Sunday, 28 October 2018

Book Blog Stop Spotlight & Extract: Love Punked by Nia Lucas

Love Punked by Nia Lucas

When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother's floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that's not so much 'less well trodden', more 'perilous descent down sheer cliffs'.
Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.
Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn't balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.
Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.

Extract Two:

I can’t stop smiling, I think I probably look a bit mental. Sat next to me, in the driver’s seat of this impossibly bad-boy VW Golf, is the fittest lad I have ever seen. Jamel. The lad I have just spent hours snogging at an illegal rave, royally pissing off the twat I actually arrived with and now I, rank, ugly, ginger Roberts, am being driven home by him at 2am on a Sunday morning. It’s very possible that I might die from the giddiness of it all. It’s like I am every kind of cool that teen magazines drone on about. Me.

Humiliation Palmer-Smart can bloody do one.

So Ginger Feist, we gonna hook up again, eh? You going next week, that big one in Oxford?”, in the darkness, I see him turn briefly to look at me and my heart races from his attention.

I have not got the first clue what he’s on about, “Er, I don’t know. I mean, Ryan used to be the one that took me to these and now he’s er, not. So I guess…...not”

It’s a certainty that Ryan Jones will be having nothing further to do with me. As Jamel snogged me into some sort of lip-chapped lock-jaw, I saw Ryan’s fury in the distance. I heard his shouts and insults and then, two hours later, I saw him shagging a girl against the wall of the cattle market as Jamel led me by the hand to his car to take me home. With Jamel’s large warm hand in mine, I floated past.

I’ll come fetch you, yeah? I’ll take you on Saturday”, and with Jamel’s words, my fate is sealed.

I know that Jamel is nineteen, that he lives in Bristol but that he’s ‘not from there’. His accent is a bit hard to place, Brummy perhaps but he is pretty cagey. He mentions brothers in passing, in response to me talking about my own fourteen-year-old fraternal burden Dylan but I don’t have a clear picture about who he actually is. He mentions a Nigerian Nan but frankly, I’m too mesmerised by him to care about anything other than how long it will be until he snogs me again.

My plan, haphazardly formulated as Jamel’s fingers toyed with my knickers in the back-seat of the Golf, is that Jamel will drop me home and I’ll sleep in Dad’s garage (always unlocked) until such time as I can reasonably walk in the door, pretending to arrive home from Lees’.

It doesn’t turn out like that though. It never does with me.

In so many of the 80’s films that have shaped my expectations of romance and love, the loss of virginity is generally undertaken in a variety of covert, parental-avoiding scenarios but with the key uniting ingredient of a bed and some degree of comfort. I’d always expected my deflowering to be in Johnny’s cabin at Kellermans or perhaps it would be in Tom Cruise's bed after the big football game. This dream has adapted in recent days, morphing into Ryan’s back-seat with an Enya CD playing in the background.

Think again Roberts.

In Dad’s garage, bumbling about in the dark so as not to attract any neighbours attention, Jamel helps me reach down the bloody recliner patio chair from the ceiling rack, the chair on which I intend to sleep tonight. We’re snogging again, I’m melting into a pile of hormonal goo as his large, muscular frame drapes around me and his hands are wandering into all sorts of forbidden territories. He keeps muttering against my lips that he needs to ‘get going’ but the only place he actually goes is into my underwear and the part of him that I can feel ‘getting going’? Good LORD it’s huge.

I, Erin Roberts, lose my virginity to Jamel Don’t-know-his-surname on my mother’s floral Argos patio recliner in a dark spider-filled garage at 3am in the morning. Jamel’s kisses taste like Dr. Pepper and his skin tastes like fizzy sweets. He has hard ropey muscles that move under his soft skin and when he likes something, his breath goes jagged and his kisses get wetter. In the dark, his hair feels like sponge and when he slowly slips inside me, he whisper swears. Whilst relatively painless, it is nonetheless the most astonishing and disconcerting event of my life thus far. Jamel, a well-endowed young man compared to Ryan, does an applaudable job of making it as pleasant as it could possibly be. If I’m honest, I could have been convinced to have another go afterwards given the brevity of the event itself but in the post-coital awkwardness, Jamel just busies himself in re-dressing and asking for directions back to the motorway.

As I adjust my own clothing, I feel awash with emotions that are too complex for words. I have never felt this vulnerable before. I want him to hug me, reassure me and kiss me but it doesn’t seem to be on offer. As we gently open the up-and-over garage door enough to allow Jamel’s exit, the words bubble unbidden from my mouth.

What happens now?”, I feel lost in this new adult landscape.

I am a UK based author of Contemporary women's fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90's and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.