Here are some extracts to whet your tastebuds! Happy reading!
There are websites dedicated to each series that are detailed below, but here’s a sample to whet your appetite!
Richmond were long forgotten as Aiden sat on the bench in the England dressing room, months down the line.
Casting his eye over the England team, he realised he was still in shock from the boss’ decision to make him captain, even though he’d known several weeks before. His gaze took in Don, their first choice goalkeeper; Steve, Terry, Rob and Peter made up the defence; with Frank, James and Joe holding their midfield; supporting Theo; Justin and himself up front.
Secretly he knew certain members of the team, both from the first team and subs, had made vocal protests over this decision. All went unheeded. His stubborn streak kicked in: he would show the best teams in the world just who was boss in the England squad camp, dispelling any doubts.
It wasn’t that he was influenced by what anyone else thought of him, it was the thought that if they failed, the nation would hold him responsible for crushing their dreams.
Jimmy, Carl, Henry, Jack, Alan, Ricky, Paul, Gareth, Phil and David – their subs – worked just as hard as the first team, each knowing that they had a chance, despite not being in the top eleven.
Aiden had smiled as the team congregated at the airport to travel together. Thanks to Leah’s matchmaking, Lynn and Justin were getting along very well, and she’d worked around getting an extended holiday so that she could be with him for the next few weeks….or maybe longer.
It was great to see her and Leah together again for the trip: she and Justin had moved in together a few months ago and they’d all felt her absence in the house since then.
He had no doubts that Leah would fit in with the rest of the footballers’ wives; she had in the past, and at Richmond’s Promotion parties she’d slipped into the crowd easily. He knew she was completely different to these women; you just had to look at them to see that.
Some of the player’s partners also brought their children along, so sixteen month old Sadie wasn’t the youngest either. He registered fairly early on that she was a model child compared to some of the players’ kids, even the older ones who should’ve known better.
The qualifying matches were relatively easy for the team, considering how hard the group stages would be, and they found themselves vying for top position after the initial stages. This made the next scheduled match harder; the opposition backed by the bookies at home as the underdogs.
Aiden groaned. That meant England would be hammered!
And now onto some extracts from the popular WTSMP series. Read on…
WHEN THE SAX MAN PLAYS: PART 1 – MAKING IT
Kipper rushed through the corridors backstage, avoiding the hazardous cables and wires, searching. Jason beckoned to him, the frown creasing his face telling Kipper he had cut it fine, timing wise. The band were announced and cheering went up: Sophie, Anna and Leanne were in the front row, wolf-whistling as they took up their positions.
Georgie allowed herself a little grin at them before her face set into a more serious expression. She was perfectly comfortable wearing her soft black leather trousers, and the funky emerald satin blouse her friends had chosen for her. Their shopping trip had seemed so many months ago, but in reality only two months had elapsed since.
She took a few calming breaths, smiling when she heard them chanting her name, catching Jason’s eye and smiling at him. She looked too at Kipper, who blew her a kiss, and Dave, who winked at her. They were all on an adrenaline high, she was thankful the adrenaline overtook the nerves swamping her stomach. Jason had rigged the auto cue screen at the bottom of the stage with her words, just in case. It was such a sweet gesture. She was determined to not need them, but the reassurance alone was enough.
Jason began the rhythm quietly, building up speed and volume; Kipper’s piano and Dave’s guitar producing the perfect harmony: Georgie began on cue.
Silence filled the room, but soon, Georgie could see that the crowd were really getting into the music, all swaying and clapping their hands with the rhythm, no doubt down to her girlfriends in the front, who had started it all off, the gesture adding such an atmosphere. Georgie relaxed as they reached the chorus, swinging her hips and shoulders with the beat.
As the end of the song approached, Georgie took a few steps backwards, finishing the song and gesturing to Jason, then left to Kipper, then right to Dave. Dave came towards her, taking her hand with his, and leading her to the front of the stage as the crowd roared, making her take a bow in front of them, much to her embarrassment and everyone else’s amusement.
Cheering and clapping echoed in their ears as the four walked off stage. Each grinning at each other, congratulating each other.
“We did it!” Georgie was breathless with exhilaration, her face bright, her eyes shining.
“We’ve definitely done it!” Kipper boasted. “Definitely.” He pointed at Jason, who was looking rather pleased with himself. “You play a mean set of drums, for a jazz man.”
Jason laughed. “You’ve got to be multi-talented in the music world.”
“About that.” Kipper began, sure that he had everyone’s attention. “I know how we’re gonna beat the others, if it comes to it. I’ve been experimenting, c’mon, come down to the set.”
WHEN THE SAX MAN PLAYS PART 2 PROVING IT
Jason rolled his eyes. Now he’d made it, he had to prove himself to the industry: proving it would be a lot harder than making it, he felt sure! Their journey so far had ‘dubious’ written all over it. However, there was nothing dubious about the group’s collective talent, and by merging the two groups, surely his work was halved? That answer was negative he felt sure.
Looking up as the studio door opened, Rae ushered in the five he knew so well – Kipper, Dave, Vince, Michael and Georgie. Jason’s sombre expression brightened, seeing the five looked as nervous as he felt. Rae was a demanding personality, launching straight into the schedule. They would record the two songs that each group had performed, and the rest would be collaborations.
Dave shot Jason a nervous look, wondering how his new found confidence would hold up under the strain. As usual, Jason gave him an encouraging smile, silently telling himself that some things – no matter what happened to the group – wouldn’t change. Kipper looked the same self-assured young man, nodding eagerly at Rae’s words. The other three looked on, sharing the same excited-yet-worried mixed expression. Jason laughed to himself.
They would live the dream, albeit only for a little while, unless their efforts took the music world by storm (which was a possibility). And yet— Yet, he didn’t feel the same sense of excitement. The dreadful sense of anticlimax that had filled him on the night of the Final was impossible to shift.
“Get used to your new surroundings.” Rae let them loose on the instruments in the studio, beckoning Jason outside and closing the door behind him.
“Look.” Rae crossed his arms over his broad chest, fixing Jason with his most serious look. “I know what’s going on inside your head. You need to snap out of it. You’re ruining the experience for everyone else.”
“Me?” Jason spluttered, indignant.
“So what if the contest was rigged? We achieved the right outcome. The two groups are quite a talent, for unknowns, and they deserved a shot at fame – and they got it. What do you find about that so wrong? I cannot see what your problem is.”
“You wouldn’t, it was your idea.” Jason too crossed his arms. “And if you don’t know, then there’s no point me telling you, because you’d never understand.” He spoke calmly, despite his inner boiling rage.
“Fine!” Rae snapped, pointing at the five on the other side of the glass. “Just make sure you bloody lead them, and lead them right. The sooner we get this done, the better.”
“I will.” Jason responded, letting Rae seethe as he strode back into the studio.
“Let’s have a run-through. I want it, exactly as you performed in competition. Exactly.” He stressed the importance of the word. “We’ll do it until we get it perfect. Okay?”
He received five nods, watching as the five looked at Jason.
“No problem.” Jason grinned at them, holding a deliberate pause. “Give it hell, guys!”