A Game of Life and Death · WIP SEWING · Writing

Chapter 3 – No Coffee

(a/n: In an effort to get this ‘out there’ as quickly as possible, and I don’t have a lot of time at the moment. I’m going to just focus the blog on getting this up and updating on my WIP progress for a while.)

No Coffee

Novel had only just arrived in the office and already his day was ruined. He glared at the flashing device in his hand as if he could scare it into submission. Predictably, that did no work and the message remained annoyingly unchanged on the brightly light mobile screen.

Missed booked flight home. Organising alternative. Will update you when I know more. Can you feed the furball tonight please?

She had promised him that she would be back in the office tomorrow. Now she might not be. He needed her here tomorrow. The office had already descended into chaos without her. Someone had attempted to reorganise the filing system on the computer yesterday – a phonecall confirmed that this had been IT – and now none of his desktop short cuts worked and he could not find a single thing. If Cassie had been here she could have fixed it – made them change it back.

But she was not here and the chaos had continued on. To make it worse, he would have to go and feed that stupid feline on the way home.

Unlocking the screen, he typed out a reply:

The cat will be fed. What is your flight number?

With this information he could at least keep track of her now.

He called HR to let them know that he has authorised an additional day of emergency holiday for Cassie. Then he started reading through the report he had been sent through.

When Novel arrived home – after surviving another ordeal with the cat – he pulled his mobile out from his pocket again. Cassie had sent him through the required flight number and he used this to check details of her flight. Apparently it had landed over an hour ago – perhaps she was still stuck waiting for her luggage?

It was almost time for the mid-week briefing by the time Novel realised something was missing. He check his phone again, there was still no message from Cassie, so the only conclusion was that she was already in the office…. But why had she at not at least apologised?

He stood and walked out of his office. Then he asked the room, “Cassie, can you come to my office please?”

There was no reply except for a few strange looks from the other officers. After meeting the stares, daring them to comment – no-one did – he stepped back inside his office.

His first action was to call the reception to see if they had heard from Cassie – they had not. The HR line was also similarly lacking in information. His gut was telling him that something was seriously off. But it had been feeling like that since Cassie had initially gone off on holiday – so a complete sense of trust could not be completely provided to him gut today.

He pulled his work mobile (only mobile) from his pocket.

“Call Sarah Lucas,” he told the phone slowly.

A non-descript silhouette of a person with the words Sarah Lucas appeared on his screen. The word Dialling… quickly followed.

It was answered after a few rings, “How can I help Assistant Chief Inspector?”

“I need you to see if you can trace someone for me please?”

“Yes Sir, who?”

“Do you remember Cassie?” there was an affirmative noise though the speaker, “she was due to return to work today after some delayed flight. I know her plane landed in Northern Ireland, can you access the database to make sure she went through passport control please?”

“Text me the flight number, and her passport number if you have it. Try calling her again – because I’m guessing you haven’t yet?”

“I’ll do that now.”

This was a number he could speed-dial. However, while Sarah’s suggestion had been a good one, it did not produce the results that he had been hoping for. The phonecall went straight to voicemail. Cassie either had no signal or her phone was off. This was not helpful and entirely out of character.

After leaving the message, he hung up. The phone started ringing again about 30 seconds later.

“Any luck with the phonecall?”

“Straight to answerphone.”

“Well she definitely landed in Northern Ireland. I cannot find any details of any flight or ferry crossings, so she is definitely still in the country.”

“Any other details that might be useful? I really would like to be able to get in contact with her ASAP. This is completely out of character for her.”

“For some reason she appeared to be traveling with some guy named ‘Mohammed’. He’s got a different surname to her – any thoughts?”

“No. But she left me an emergency contact number at hers. I’ll give her family a call and see if they know anything. Can you check any CCTV from the airport? I could do with a lead as to where she went from the airports. Can you put an alert on her passport? I need a warning if she leaves the country.”

“Get me the paperwork and I can have it with you in 30. I’ll email it over to you.”

After disconnecting the phone, he left the room and headed down the corridor. He needed to ask for some time off and to explain what little he knew about the situation.

Within 15 minutes he had the equivalent of a blank cheque for resources he needed – providing he got a sanity check on anything that involved foreign governments. He forwarded the confirmation email to Sarah and headed out of the building.

Within half an hour he found himself staring at the Cassie’s white plastic front door. He hovered there for a few minutes before eventually knocking.

No answer.

He knocked again, louder his time. Then shouted a greeting through the letter box.

If in the increasingly unlikely event that she was in he would have to re-explain basic etiquette to her. This was just rude.

After a pause, he wondered how she would have got in anyway. He had new locks put in after the break in…

After using the key to let himself him, he scanned the small entrance hall. It was as he had left it.

There was a small black folder on the left side of the desk labelled ‘travel papers – Novel’ on the spine. That would be a good place to start.

He picked up the folder and made himself comfortable in the lounge with a coffee. Flicking through the folder, he quickly found a printed itinerary of her trip. A neatly typed page of emergency contacts was next.  Her place of accommodation – the house of a cousin – would have to be his starting point for intel.

After deciding to use the landline, the phone was picked up after a couple of rings.

“Hi Cassie,” greeted a woman, “how was your trip back? We were expected to hear from you yesterday.”

“This isn’t Cassie. I am her boss, Chief Inspector Novel. I’ve been looking after her cat while she has been away.”

“Chief inspector, may I ask why Cassie isn’t calling?” the woman on the other side of the phone was starting to sound worried.

“She has not made it home yet. All I know is that she missed her initial flight, took an alternate flight home to Northern Ireland and I can’t trace her from there.”

“The last time I saw her was when she left from here with her cousin, Mohammed, he kindly agreed to escort her to the airport.”

“He was still with her in Northern Ireland. Can you think of any reason why?”

“Perhaps he was still escorting her? He did promise to keep an eye on her…” the voice was sounding less than convinced at this point, but she would not elaborate any further. However, she did make him promise to make Cassie contact her once he had found her.

Upon returning home, he gave his mother a summarised version of events so as to explain why he would be leaving.

Her only reply had been an enigmatic smile combined with a set of twinkling eyes. However, she did offer to make him a sandwich for the road – so he presumed she understood.

Within an hour, there was a taxi by the front door. His passport was tucked safely in a hidden pocket in his backpack – along with his credit card.

It was the middle of the afternoon when Novel arrived at the airport. The driver handed him his backpack and received his payment before driving away.

After moving into the airport, he walked purposely over to the ticket desks. After reaching the front of the queue, he inquired as to the availability of tickets.

“Good morning Sir, how can I help you today?”

“I could do with getting to Northern Ireland as soon as possible. Do you have any available seats please?”

She smiled politely and did a quick search on the computer in front of her.

“We have a spare seat in business class on a flight leaving 3 hours from now. How does that suit?”

“That would be ideal. I’ll pay by card.”

After the payment had processed successfully, she handed Novel his newly printed ticket. “We hope that you have a pleasant trip. Please take the time to enjoy the airport’s duty free facilities and the executive business lounge.”

“Many thanks,” he replied, carefully storing the ticket in his jacket pocket and moving in the general direction of Check-in.

“Holiday Sir?” asked the man at the check-in desk. He paused briefly to peer over his glasses at Novel to compare to the unflattering passport picture.

“Just meeting up with a friend.”

After receiving back his passport along with a bright pink stick emblazoned with HAND LUGGAGE he headed in the direction of security

Eventually, Novel emerged into the brightly lit shopping mall that was the duty-free area. It was packed full of items he would not normally buy and people he did not have any inclination of speaking to.

He had some time before his flight, so he headed into the calmness of the business lounge. Once he had found himself an armchair, he settled himself down with a coffee to wait.

After the customary safety talk, the plane took off without incident. Once the seatbelt sign had been switched off, Novel reached into the back and retrieved the paperwork Cassie had left for him.

It was evident from the paperwork that she have planned to return on the booked flight. There was a clear travel timetable typed up, along with the confirmation email of her flights. It was unclear how she could have missed her flight from the plans – although the escort of her cousin could have thrown her initial planning.













Book Review · Reflections · Uncategorized · Updates

Book Review: The Diamond Queen: Elizabeth II and Her People. Andrew Marr


I’m starting to really make time in my life to actually do some more reading. With the summer finally starting to look like it’s not fa away, I’m able to make use of my garden bench and enjoy the morning sun. Cup of tea and a good book are a great way to start the day!

This was another my my charity shop book finds. I’m pretty sure there was a buy one get one free offer and I picked this up as my freebie… anyhow, it’s been sat looking dispondant my bookshelf for years and on my bedside table for months.

Some good news! I have finally finished it.

Written by Andrew Marr, this book is seriously not a page turner. But if, like me, you have an interest/fascination with the British royal family, this book is really worth a read.

It contains a really interesting narrative about how the definition of being ‘Queen for Britain’ has slowly changed over the last century. He also describes how the Windor’s have learnt to cope with these changes, in order to stay relevant to a modern age.

Although a bit ‘stuffy’ (the total opposite to the style of, say, Phillapa Gregory) this book is worth perusing if you have an interest as the content is really fascinating.

So what are you lovely lot reading at the moment?

Mrs Kirsty Holl



Apologies for the Radio Silence – An update

I definitely feel like I’ve been a bit silent the last couple of days in terms of blogging. Feeling a little bit out of kilter at the moment.

We are still waiting for a definite move date for our new house (there is one last job we need the seller to complete before we will exchange) – so I’m not feeling very centered at the moment. That always puts me a bit off kilter. I hate not having a firm schedule.

To add to that, my husband’s nan has gone into hospital. So that’s also been rather distracting as we are slightly worried. Fingers crossed she will be ok.

On a more positive note – I have managed to find another one of my friends who also wants to go running 🙂 So have found myself a new running buddy – yay! So we managed about 6K on Monday night. Although it did take us an hour and 40 minutes because we ended up chatting to a dude down at the beach who then offered us free pizza (we had a slice each). As a result our speed wasn’t great on route home…. But it was soo worth it!

Carrying on with the theme of running – I’ve signed up to another race! So I’m really looking forward to that. It’s only a 5K this one – I thought it would be a good bridge to the 10K in April. My speed for 5K is about 40minutes at the moment on my own.

Time left for me to train....
Time left for me to train….

This is the route and elevation details. I definitely need some more hill runs though. Although near the new house will be a local heathland with lots of hills. So will be making lots of use of that 🙂

New Forest 5K route
New Forest 5K route

I’ve also managed to make further progress in my quest to finding the perfect cup of decaf coffee. I’ve finally found some filter decaf coffee and so treated myself to a plunger mug so I could have some strength of flavour at work! I’m finding it’s making good cups of coffee and the cost was good. 

My new plunger mug
My new plunger mug

This week I have also managed to finish a book I was reading – The Boss Killers by Keith Gillison. Really funny and I will be publishing my review in the next couple of days once I’ve filmed the review video.  If you want to have a read of something a bit different – here’s the amazon link.

The Boss Killers by Keith Gillison
The Boss Killers by Keith Gillison

I have been doing some knitting this week. But that’s currently top secret (sorry!) and I will update you on that next week…

What have you guys been up to this week?


Book Review · Game of Thrones

Review —> Game of Thrones – A Song of Ice and Fire – Book 1

Song of Ice and Fire – Book 1

Author: George R. R. Martin

Pages: 780

ISBN: 978-0-00-742854-0

My copy (obviously well loved by the previous owner) of Book 1 of the Song of Ice and Fire - Game of thrones
My copy (obviously well loved by the previous owner) of Book 1 of the Song of Ice and Fire – Game of thrones

Having watched the series 1-3 on DVD I was keen to read the books. My friends who had read it told me that the books were much better. So, unlike most times when I pick up a book, I already knew the plot line. This was an experience I had not had for a while. It did afford me the opportunity to get to grips with any hints and clues for the future plot – as I didn’t have to worry so much about what was going on now.

I initially picked up this book to read earlier this year. Possibly because of the size of it – I have a tendency to get bored – I read the first half of the book and then it was abandoned for a couple of months. It was then rescued from my bookshelf again on Friday and then promptly finished over the bank holiday weekend.

If you have watched the series – and loved it – then I do recommend picking up the books. The book gives a lot more time and singular focus to each character and their development within the plot. I have also been informed that with this new series the plot of the books and show start to differ.

In terms of writing style – this book brought back memories of attempting to read the Lord of the Rings in my early teens. Each chapter swaps between characters in different setting with different people surrounding them. Unless you have time to focus on what you are reading, you may struggle to follow the plot and progress. Because I already had a familiarity with the characters, I did have a better motivation to finish it. If you struggle with Lord of the Rings and not particularly keen on the TV series, then I don’t think you’ll get much enjoyment out of reading this.

The plot is constructed a bit like a play with heavy amounts of dramatic irony. It is a tale played out for the reader. The characters are blissfully unaware of their fates or the consequences of their choices. The reader is afforded a combination of explanation and hints about what is to come and why things have occurred. If the some of the characters knew what the readers knew then things would certainly play out in a different fashion.

My final thoughts upon completion:

If you to take advantage of the clues, etc, I would read this with a pen and paper beside you. I’m sure these hints will mount into something more significant over the rest of the series.

Unlike some of the novels I have read, this one has a significantly more complex plot line. This is telling multiple tales of multiple characters in sync with some cross over. It could be difficult to follow for some readers if you don’t get time to focus and read. But it is worth the effort if you’re looking for something more challenging.


While I was reading this novel I kept a pen and notebook beside more to make notes for the review. In addition, I also couldn’t resist the urge to make notes of plot hints surrounding a mystery that intrigues me – Jon Snows Parentage.

This issue initially came to my attention when I found the Youtube video below. The presenter puts all the theories together really well – along with the evidence from the books.

This goes through in detail the theory of Jon Snow’s true parentage. Which adds in some very interesting possibilities of what might happen next. The final books of the series are not written yet – so no one is entirely sure and can continue to enjoy the theories.

Reading Resolutions 2015

  • A book of more than 500 pages
  • A book by an author you have never read before
  • A book based on or turned into a TV Show
  • A book with non-human characters.
Book Review

A Magical Book Review – The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Part 1 of the All Souls Trilogy


688 pages

Book Published:


Diana Bishop is a descendant of the Bishop witches – a powerful witch lineage. After her parent’s murder when she was a child, she has gone out of her way to deny her supernatural heritage. She is now an academic visiting Oxford university. She is putting together a study about Alchemy – the point at which magic starts to become science.

This is a world where Witches, Vampires and Deamons exist in a universe with humans. They are part of the society around them, but also have their own separate existence.

Talking of vampires, Matthew is a 1500 year old vampire with a mixed and intriguing past. He is also an academic and studying genetics. He specialises in looking into the origins of witches, deamons and vampires and their interlinked genetics.

The problem starts when Diana summons an ancient manuscript from her study paper. This is an manuscript that has been lost for centuries. Suddenly, everyone wants to know what it says and denying her heritage starts to become more difficult.

This book can be read as a modern, supernatural, Romeo and Juliet story.  There are hints within the novel that this was a foretold match. However, their love is not as simple as it originally seems.

One of my favourite plot concepts in this novel is the use of genetics. I studied some genetics at university and I fully appreciated (and enjoyed) the integration between genetics, Darwin’s theory of evolution and supernatural ideas. If you like science and supernatural stories this book is worth taking a look at.

Around 2/3rds of the way through this tale I began to realise that the story would not be finished by the last page of this novel. Which was slightly disappointing. However, it is exciting to have the opportunity to spend more time with the characters. Deborah definitely leaves you wanting to know what happens next.

Overall, the book was something I was really looking forward to reading. It definitely lived up to my expectations.

Reading Challenge Points

–          A book with more than 500 pages

–          A book with non-human characters

–          A book by a female author

–          A trilogy (Part 1)

–          A book with magic

–          A book by an author you have never read before

–          A book you own but have never read