Everything Changes But You
By Jennifer Joyce
Available as an ebook 16th September 2014
Ally Richmond is dreading turning thirty and bidding farewell to her youth. And when her husband says he wants to start a family, she begins to panic. Is this all that life has to offer from now on? Popping out babies and growing old gracefully? She wants a life crammed with glamour and spontaneous adventure, not one full of dirty nappies and night feeds. When Ally makes a silly birthday wish for a new, exciting life, her wish is granted. But when Ally is presented with the freedom and opportunities she craves, she soon realises this new life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that there really is no place like home.
‘I made a wish?’
Clementine tilted her head to one side, causing her plait to swish to the front. ‘You don’t remember? It was in this house. Here, in this very room, in fact.’
The cake! Ally remembered now. She’d somehow made it to the birthday tea – head and body intact – and her mother had produced a cake. With candles.
‘That’s right.’ Clementine picked up on the not-so-subtle look of panic as Ally recalled the previous evening, her eyes stretching to giant orbs of horror.
‘Were they…’ Ally paused and lowered her voice, leaning in towards Clementine so she could be heard. ‘Magic candles?’
Clementine threw back her head and laughed. Gone was the demure tinkle and in its place was a booming belly laugh. ‘Magic candles?’ Clementine wiped tears of mirth from under her eyes. ‘Magic candles? Don’t be absurd.’
Ally was standing in front of some sort of angelic being who was telling her that her entire life had been turned on its head after a birthday wish. But yeah, the idea of magic candles was absurd.
‘Then what? Are you a guardian angel?’
Ally narrowed her eyes. ‘You don’t have wings.’
‘What?’ Clementine turned to try and see behind her and ended up doing a pirouette on the sitting room rug. ‘Dammit, I’ve left them behind again.’
Ally’s eyes were now nothing more than slits on her face. ‘Are you toying with me?’ Clementine gave a shrug of her dainty shoulders. ‘Can I have my old life back now?’
Clementine gave a slow shake of her head. ‘All wishes are final. It’s in the contract.’
‘What contract? I didn’t sign any contract.’ There was hope! Clementine couldn’t force her to live this life without her consent! But wait, Clementine’s tinkle of a laugh was back.
‘I’m just messing with you, Petal. There is no contract.’
Oh. ‘So I’m stuck with this life then?’
‘I’m afraid so. But hey, look on the bright side.’ There was a bright side? ‘It’s what you wanted.’
‘Well, no. Not really. I wanted a bit of excitement in my life. I wanted to go out on adventures with my friends and tell amusing stories the next day in the office. I wanted to live a little before I was coerced into giving up my life and womb. I didn’t want to be hated by my friends and family. I didn’t want to lose my husband.’
‘Not even for Jason?’ Clementine’s slight body quivered. ‘He is delicious by the way. I can see why you were jealous of Kelly.’
‘I was not jealous.’
‘Really? You could have fooled me.’ Clementine muttered the words under her breath but Ally still caught them. ‘Anyway, there’s no need to be jealous now, is there?’
Ally allowed her body to drop onto the sofa, a huge sigh heaving out of her body as she slumped against the cushions. There had to be a way out of this mess. Her whole life couldn’t be eradicated and replaced with this nightmare after a silly little wish.
‘Are you sure I can’t go back?’
‘Absolutely certain, Petal.’ Clementine joined Ally on the sofa and gave her knee a pat, but it offered little comfort under the circumstances.
Clementine gasped as she jumped back up to her feet, her cheeks burning bright on her porcelain skin. ‘Cripes! Mermaid Girl has fallen in the ruddy sea.’ Her long, slender fingers rested on her
bottom lip as she paced the sitting room. ‘This is not good. This is not good at all.’ She ceased pacing and turned to Ally. ‘I have to go. But don’t worry, I’ll be back.’
‘When?’ Ally asked but the sort-of guardian angel had vanished, leaving no trace that she’d ever been there at all.
Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. When she isn’t disappearing into her own fictional worlds, she can be found waffling on her blog and reviewing books for Novelicious’ Alternative Thursday. Everything Changes But You is her second novel. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books at www.jenniferjoycewrites.co.uk
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