This post has been scheduled as I’m currently away on the Isle of Wight.
Mind Games is now available for pre-order. It shines a light on the effect that an addiction to pornography can have on a previously happy marriage. The story is told from the perspectives of both the husband and the wife.
Frances Andrews is sick of her husband Martin’s addiction to pornography, and has lost her trust in him. Martin views porn as a harmless pastime, but when Frances threatens to leave, he is distraught and begs her to go with him for marriage guidance therapy. Counsellor Rhona suggests they take a holiday in the first instance, and start talking to one another again. Frances just wants out of the marriage, but finally agrees to go on a cruise…as long as they have separate cabins.
Here’s a little sample from Chapter 1:
She could not bear the sight of him. As he brought the car to a halt outside the familiar end-of-terrace house, Frances Andrews jerked the passenger door open and jumped out, slamming it behind her with more force than was really necessary. She glared at her husband Martin over the car’s roof, as he slowly unfolded his 6 foot 2 inch frame from the driver’s seat.
“What’s the point of coming back here? We’re getting nowhere!”
Martin, pale and tight-lipped, activated the car’s central locking system with a click of his key fob.
“This time it’s my idea, so humour me if you can.”
Even the sound of his voice grated on her nerves. Frances turned around sharply and headed past Rhona’s obviously new Honda Civic, which sat squarely on a concrete pad in what had been a pretty front garden 18 months before. She ignored Martin as he rang the bell, and took another quick glance at the counsellor’s car over her shoulder.
“Business must be booming.”
She heard Martin sigh beside her.
“Yeah, I expect Ipswich is full of shitbags like me beating a path to her door. Probably that’s why out-of-towners call it Ip-shit.”
“You’re in the right place then.”
She shot a thin smile towards Rhona Perkins, purple haired and still resembling a middle-aged hippie, who greeted them with what seemed to Frances like genuine warmth.
“Frances! Martin! Lovely to see you again! Do come in!”
“Hello Rhona.” Frances stepped into the hallway as the counsellor closed the door behind them. “Thanks for fitting us in at such short notice.”
“No problem.” Rhona ushered them along a passageway with one hand. “First on the left as usual; make yourselves comfortable.”
The consulting room was almost as she remembered, with the blue velvet two-seater sofa and matching armchair opposite, but a newer looking Persian rug than previously and even more shelves of books lining the walls. Chaz, the same sleepy ginger cat, stretched out languidly on the window sill in the late evening sun. A fresh vase of flowers and three glasses of water were on a glass coffee table placed in-between the sofa and armchair, along with the compulsory box of half empty tissues.
Frances sat down carefully on the sofa, as far away from Martin as she could get. Rhona plonked herself down in the armchair and picked up her sheaf of notes.
“How long has it been since I saw you both?”
“Must be about eighteen months.” Martin cleared his throat before continuing. “But it’s my idea to come here this time.”
Frances shrugged and crossed her legs.
“For what good it will do.”
“I’m trying.” Martin sighed. “At least I’m here of my own accord this time.”
“Glad to hear it!” Rhona chuckled and looked up from her notes. “So; what brings the two of you here today?”
“Same old problem.” Frances rolled her eyes to the ceiling. “Little did I know that thirty five years ago I married the bloody Porn Baron of Norfolk.”