First Page Feedback – Green Coat, Black Gloves, Red Handbag

A fascinating title–or shopping list?  Terry Barca (@terrybarca1) has some great visual images to capture readers in this romantic suspense story…

It’s the middle of Winter and there’s a gun in my handbag.

Actually there is a lot of stuff in there but mostly it’s the usual things that a woman carries, until you get to the envelope stuffed with money and the small calibre hand gun.

The envelope is a pretty shade of light blue and it came from a stationary set that I bought in a little shop in an arcade in Toorak.

I’d been visiting a friend who had made herself invisible in the previous few months.

I didn’t think too much about it, I was just trying to do better in the ‘friends’ department.

I’m a bit slack when it comes to friends so I was trying to make an effort. After several tries she eventually decided to meet me for lunch.

She was very bad company; obviously depressed and just barely able to put on a glad-face. It was painful but we got through it and we bought each other a writing set. I knew she liked to write letters so I thought it would be a fun way for us to keep in touch.

I never received a letter from her and a few weeks after our lunch she arranged for her son to come to her apartment on a certain day. When he arrived he found a note, written on the writing paper I had bought for her, a copy of her life insurance policy and her body, all neatly laid out.

She’d had enough.

Her affairs were in order and she simply, left us; almost as quietly as she had lived.

Her son was evasive about the contents of the note. “Just a goodbye note. Saying how much she loved us, that sort of thing.”

But, there was more to it than that, and while I was still grieving the loss of my friend I received a visit from a certain acquaintance who had come into possession of some information and if i wanted to make sure that the information remained a secret I was to bring along a certain sum of money to a certain park at a certain time on a certain afternoon. I’m on my way now.

It’s cold, but I have my gloves to keep my hands warm with the added benefit of not leaving fingerprints and protecting my hands from gunshot residue.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t actually decided to kill the blackmailing bastard.

I may give him the money instead.

I haven’t decided.

I may flip a coin.

I may kill him if it rains, spare him if it’s fine.

I wonder if he knows that his life hangs on the outcome of a weather report?

He deserves to die for what he did to my friend but that’s not how the world works; people rarely get what they deserve.

First Page Feedback from Patience Bloom

Even though this doesn’t read like the usual romance, I found this very intriguing! I wanted to know more about this potentially murderous heroine. There was a voice that resonated—with her wanting to be a better friend, of wanting revenge, or showing a quiet kind of reverence for someone who is “invisible.” These pages are short, but they pack a punch. I would definitely keep reading.

Just keep aware of some typos–and here’s a hint. StationEry (with the E for envelope) is for writing, while stationary is remaining still. 🙂