Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway

Are you ready for a brand new tease? This week's tease comes from one of the first authors I've ever met on Twitter, and since then I have become a huge fan of her work. I had the pleasure of reading Painted Faces, and a month later I still think of this beautiful love story.  L.H. Cosway has created a love story like I've never read before. All the characters stay with you as if they are your friends in your real life. Here just read this week's tease.

Synopsis: Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..
Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn't have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her. Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she's around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn't know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night. She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer. In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

~Tease~

Chapter One

Can I Call You Viv?

Dublin, Ireland, Present day.

The mascara stings my eyes as it drips down my cheeks. It's a good thing I'm not wearing lipstick or I'd look like some sort of circus clown. A lunatic escaped from the asylum perhaps. I could certainly give Alice Cooper a run for his money.
A sudden downpour of rain is soaking through my clothes, leaving my skin full of goose pimples, my curly hair a soggy mess and my boots squeaking with the liquid that has gotten inside. I'm the picture of a modern woman who doesn't own a car and doesn't possess the forethought to carry an umbrella.
This is what we call summer in Ireland ladies and gents. One minute the sun is beating down on you, making you all sweaty, and the next it's lashing rain. Either way, you're going to end up damp. I'm carrying what feels like about a million plastic shopping bags, though in reality it's only three. The bags are most likely adding to my appearance of being an escaped psychiatric patient. Is it just me, or do the psychologically unstable always seem to carry plastic bags around?
I live in an apartment block just off Aungier Street. It's a bit of a dive truth be told, but at least it's central. I fumble for the keys in my handbag which is slung over my shoulder, as a couple of the local kids walk by me, snickering at my struggle. I want to tell them to go fuck themselves, but of course societal rules prevent adults such as myself from swearing at children. I suppress a snort at the idea, it would again add to the fa├žade I'm unconsciously cultivating of being off my trolley.
Finally, I manage to retrieve the keys from their hiding spot at the very end of my bag - wouldn't you know - beneath a half empty bottle of spring water and a half eaten bar of chocolate. I live on the third floor and the building doesn't have an elevator. I have to trudge my way up the stairs, soggy clothes, plastic bags, open handbag (since I'm too lazy to zip it back up after finding the keys) and all.
As I mentioned, the block is a bit of a dive and I don't have the nicest of neighbours, so I always tend to hurry getting from the front entrance up to my apartment. Just as I'm slotting in my keys, the door from the recently empty apartment next to mine flies open.
I'm curious to see who my new neighbour is this time. A single mother with three little brat kids who'll make an unholy racket day and night perhaps? Knowing my luck it'll be something like that. Only it isn't, instead a very smartly dressed man emerges. He has a crisp white shirt on, the first two buttons casually undone, expensive black trousers and black dress shoes. Well, well, well, perhaps Nora and I are going to have a respectable neighbour for once.
Myself and my best friend Nora have been living together for almost three years now in our two bedroom apartment in the city. Not as glamorous as it sounds, let me tell you. In those three years we've lived next to a junkie couple, a single mother with two obnoxious children, and a young husband and wife with a baby who, when the baby wasn't crying the building down, would have noisy rows at two o'clock in the morning. The couple moved out about three weeks ago, providing myself and Nora with some much deserved peace and quiet.
The man I'm currently staring at looks like he belongs in this place about as much as an Indian tiger belongs in the Dublin Zoo. He has jet black hair, sort of midway between long and short, ice blue eyes and a classically beautiful face. His physique is lightly muscled in that kind of athletic way, and when he smiles at me politely his whole face lights up. His eyes are all shines and sparkles.
Hello there,” he says, shutting the door behind him and locking it with his key. His accent is mildly Australian, not Irish. He steps toward me, holding his hand out for me to give it a shake. I give him a look that's probably somewhere between confused and exasperated, as I clearly can't get my hands free for the shake he's waiting on.
You must be Freda, your flatmate Nora invited me in for a cup of tea earlier. Lovely girl.” He says.
Oh, I'm sure she did. Nora is quite the opportunist when it comes to men, and I'd say she thought this fellow was a fine specimen. Even within this short conversation, I've noticed something sort of electric about his personality, something addictive. His eyes pull me in, like they hold secrets that could make my boring old life so much more exciting. You don't come across men this alluring very often.
Fred, you can call me Fred,” I tell him stupidly, placing the plastic bags down on the floor so that I can finally shake his hand.
Our palms touch, our fingers entwine, and I can't believe I'm admitting this, but the tiniest tingle goes through me at the contact. Of course, he doesn't know that, and thank fuck, because he'd probably think I was some kind of a pervert. I mean, who exactly gets tingles when they shake a person's hand? You might as well say, Hello, you'll be starring in my dirty dreams tonight, Mr Blue Eyes. Not creepy in the slightest. Perhaps it's been too long since I last had a boyfriend.
I let go first and try to ignore his magnetism. He laughs, a wonderfully low sound that vibrates through to my toes. “Okay Fred, you can call me Vivica.”
Our eyes connect and we both smile at his joke. It's funny, but not funny enough to solicit a laugh. “Cool, if we become close friends can I call you Viv?” I respond.
He mock flicks his hair over his shoulder, a very feminine gesture, and puts on a sweet Marilyn Monroe voice. “You can call me whatever you like, Frederick.” The gesture suddenly opens my eyes to a certain fey aspect in his demeanour, maybe he's gay. He certainly dresses well enough.
Why thanks, I'll keep that in mind, Viv. It was a pleasure to meet you. I hope you're finding the place to your liking.”
Oh it's a palace fit for a queen, Freddie, a real find.”
I take note of his obvious sarcasm. He still faces me, walking backwards down the hall, twirling his keys around his fingers. Clearly he has somewhere he needs to be.
I laugh. “Well, that's good to hear. Drop in for tea any time.”
He nods and leers at my wet top, where my purple D-cup bra is blatantly visible through my cream t-shirt. “Damn it,” he says humorously. “Did I miss the wet t-shirt competition, again?” The way he's staring at my top makes me 99% sure he isn't gay.
Ah you did I'm afraid, in Dublin we put on some great ones too. We all gather down by the river Liffey and dive in with our clothes on. When we climb out the junkies on the board walk give us marks out of ten.”
He smirks at me. “If that's the case then you must have gotten an eleven. Sounds like a real classy affair Fred, I'll make sure I don't miss the next one.”
Come along whenever you like. We always welcome newcomers.” I tell him, running with the joke.
He salutes me then, smiling at me fondly, and disappears around the corner. It's only at that moment that I realise he still hasn't told me his real name.

{End of Tease}

Find Painted Faces at


About the Author


L.H. Cosway is a self-employed writer, editor and proofreader. She has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. 

Visit L.H. Cosway at her blog: http://lhcosway.blogspot.ie



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