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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Giveaway & Excerpt of Suspending Reality by Kelly Rimmer


Carla stuffed the plastic bag deep into a garbage bin and limped briskly across the plaza towards the hairdressing salon. 

Polished white tiles gleamed on the floors and walls and sunken but glary lighting couldn't have been kind to older patrons.  The familiar bitterness of perming lotion and dye was in the air, mixed with the strange sweetness of strawberry potpourri. 

Behind the stainless steel reception desk, a young blonde woman in a black miniskirt and tube-top was scribbling in a book with a bright pink pencil.  At the sound of shoes on the tiles, she looked up, paused dramatically, and then cringed openly at the sight of Carla’s slightly patchy, orange and yellow hair.

“Oh, dear,” she said.  She placed her open palms on the counter and leant forward with enthusiasm and concern.  Hello.”

“Hi,” Carla said wryly.  “My niece has just started an apprenticeship and told me she'd learnt to colour and cut.  She obviously lied.  I need some repair work as soon as humanly possible.”

The receptionist grinned and glanced down at her desk.  She twisted the pencil vaguely between her fingers as she flicked the pages of the book with the flair of a performer.

“We're booked out, but you need an expert and we are the experts.” The receptionist giggled.  “I'll shift some people around, it’s obviously an emergency.  Perhaps we can fit you in at eleven?”

Carla glanced at the watch on her wrist.  That would give her two hours to kill, but she was dressed like a bag lady and needed to refresh her wardrobe anyway. 

“Terrific.  Thanks.”

The plaza was in the very centre of the city of Melbourne.  Piped music adorned the ambience and people in suits walked briskly and carried environmentally-friendly, designer shopping bags.  Carla stopped at a chemist and purchased a hair-tie, several packets of bandages and some strong antiseptic cream, then located an underwear store.  She took a selection of pink and tan bras from the racks and a fistful of matching lacy panties, before rounding off the visit with several revealing items of sleepwear.  The shop assistant seemed surprised when Carla didn't try a single thing on, but happily took the wad of cash anyway.

Next on the list was a shoe-store.  The fitter approached her a little nervously as she stepped inside and Carla smiled confidently.  She may have been wearing a tracksuit and hiding beneath caravan-park hair, but she was the sort of woman who was accustomed to spending money and receiving commanding service. 

“I'm a size seven,” she announced.  “And I'll take a pair of each of these.”

The shoe-store had to arrange a luggage trolley for her to take all ten boxes of shoes and her large bag of underwear on to the next shop.  After her visit to the casual wear store, the plaza provided her with a porter to push the trolley and carry her bags.  He waited patiently while she visited a makeup counter in a department store to buy the cosmetics items she would require for her time in Melbourne.  The ever-growing pile upon the luggage trolley was completed with several suits and some handbags, before Carla and her porter made a quick stop for accessories at a jewellery store.

“Right,” Carla announced, surveying the packed trolley.  “Could you lead me to a bathroom? I'd like to change out of these rags before I go to my hairdressing appointment.”

“Certainly, Miss,” the porter said, with a level of enthusiasm that was clearly conditional.  He'd obviously been watching her tip the shop assistants.  Inwardly, Carla sighed.  Good help was so hard to find these days, and to her constant frustration, people truly seemed to prefer money to the joy of effective service.

When she returned to the hairdresser five minutes before her appointment, the receptionist surveyed her designer jeans and leather shoes, scanned her slinky black singlet and the heavy silver jewellery she wore, and smiled.

“I see you've been shopping.”

Carla smiled back.

“My luggage was lost when I flew in,” she lied easily.  “I've had to replace everything, I simply don't have time to wait for that damn airline to find it.  Is the stylist ready?”

“Certainly,” the receptionist said.  “Can I get you a coffee or tea? Perhaps a mocha?”

* * * *

There was so much to do, but Carla was riding on the shockwave of motivation that arriving in Melbourne had created.  The hotel room was everything she needed it to be, and once she'd unpacked her new clothes, it felt like home.  She sat on the expensive camel bedspread with a newspaper and red pen and circled six potential jobs, then made six phone calls, did some very smooth talking, and managed to arrange four interviews the next morning.

Carla's skills and work history were strong, and she knew she'd have her pick of the jobs she'd phoned about.  She would demand a high salary, but couldn't imagine that being a problem.  Her references were gushing with enthusiasm and she could talk her way into anything.  Not for a single second did it occur to her that she might not get exactly what she wanted from the Melbourne job market.  She was Carla Davies, a beautiful, successful woman who knew how to navigate life with ease. 

After a trip to the hotel gym and a light salad for dinner, Carla crawled between the Egyptian cotton sheets on the bed and shut her eyes.  The trip to Melbourne had been long and the shopping expedition had been tiring. 

As she drifted off to sleep, Carla reflected on how at-peace with the world she felt.  It was a nice concept, and a lovely thought to close the day with.

At , she woke suddenly to find her heart racing and her sheets drenched with sweat.  Her thigh ached and her face was covered with hot tears.  She sat up and reached for the bedside lamp.  When light flooded the room, she carefully surveyed her surroundings, and then sank weakly against the pillows.  When Carla was finally calm enough to sleep again, she left the light on.

Title: Suspending Reality
Author: Kelly Rimmer
Publisher: Self
Length: 62,000 words
Genres: Contemporary Women’s Fiction, Drama

Everyone has parts of their life they’d like to change - but if your whole life had become a disappointment, how far would you go to find happiness?

Esther feels stifled by her religious, judgmental family. Cheryl is unfulfilled by motherhood and trapped by her poverty. Carla is beautiful and successful, but haunted by the ghosts of her past.

For these women to find peace, someone might need to die.

Suspending Reality is a fast moving, intricate novel of character and suspense.


Kelly Rimmer is an Australian author based in Orange, New South Wales. Her debut novel, Suspending Reality, was published in March 2012. In writing Suspending Reality, Kelly says she wanted to capture a moment most women experience at some point in their lives, wondering what it would be like to just get in a car and drive away to become someone else. How exactly would someone go about that, and what would the consequences be?

Kelly fits her passion for writing around her other full time jobs, which include raising two adorable children and trying to keep the impossible polished tiles in her living areas reasonably clean. Her next novel, Me and My Barefoot Lover, will be released in June 2012.

Enter below for a chance to win a Ebook copy of Suspending Reality by Kelly Rimmer!

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  1. Intriguing start to the read. I want to read more.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. I would love to read this book. It sounds very interesting. Please enter me in contest.


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