Free sample reads

Welcome to my store where enchantment, romance, imagination and more ignite your deepest passions.

Miniature Fall Blossoms Bookshelf by LDelaney on Etsy, $475.00

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I am very excited to share with you a sneak peek into my eBooks. A free sample chapter is listed below each book cover below. I would love to find out how you enjoyed reading the eBooks and if your children enjoyed their stories too.

Let’s begin:

The Eric and Izzie Series

Melanie Toye - The Eric and Izzie Series Cover


Fall in love with Eric and Izzie, as they fall for each other in the most romantic way. Go on their adventures together and meet their hilarious friends. Based in North Lakes, Australia. Discover the natural beauty and community spirit of the area.

The story grows from the romantic getaways and adventures together as a couple, to the involvement of Izzie and Eric’s friends and how their bundling personalities fit into their story. Eric is a stunningly handsome man who is a successful project manager. Izzie works at a jewellery store and is glamorous yet sweet.

Lust, romance and love. The three ingredients to being married. And marriage is on the cards. Although when Eric’s close friend, Ashton has a car accident with Veronica. Life’s challenge’s become difficult to handle. Yet this tale of ups and downs does end on a happy note for now. Just like any fairy tale ending should.
Read your copy of The Eric and Izzie Series now, as seen in My Town Magazine.

Chapter One – On the hunt for love

Izzie was 29 years old and had never been late to work, until today. She was standing at the intersection about to cross when on the other side she saw a man walking. Not just any man. This was God creating man at his best; he was tall, had thick brown hair and wore stylish clothing. Izzie could not take her eyes off him. The green light went and she walked following the man’s direction, which was opposite to her destination.

If only she could get closer and look into his face, Izzie wondered, although walking behind him provided a magnificent view. Izzie sighed. As the man continued to walk, a mere metre in front, Izzie began thinking about what she would say once she was next to him.

Izzie knew if she came out too strong, his ego would sky-rocket and that would be the last of him. If her comment was too sexy, he would expect a raunchy date and then he would be gone. But if she sweetly smiled and looked into his soulful eyes, he might just take a brief moment to ask her out on a date.

Izzie realised she had no idea where she had followed the man. He stopped at a local newsagency on Anzac Avenue and walked in. Izzie stopped dead in her tracks and nearly had five people ram her over, as they walked in a herd behind her. They apologised as they manoeuvred around her.

After the commotion, Izzie looked into the newsagent and realised the man she had followed had walked out and was nowhere to be seen. Oh my goodness, I have lost him Izzie thought. Izzie walked down the end of the street but he was not there, she walked back in the newsagency in the hope he left something behind, but after lingering for five minutes, walked out. Izzie lowered her head as she walked; she was not only embarrassed but shattered and very late for work.

Izzie tried to remember the way she came but when she realised she was lost, she could not help but cry. She looked in her handbag for a tissue and then searched for her mobile to call a taxi. Something lightly brushed on her shoulder and she continued searching. Then a strong hand touched her shoulder again. This time she turned and looked up to see the man, her man, the one she had been stalking. Izzie was lost for words. She was sure her mascara was running and she most likely looked weak losing it in a public setting.

He pulled a fresh grey coloured hanky from his top pocket and gave it to her. Izzie took the hanky and wiped her eyes. “Are you ok?”

“Yes,” Izzie smiled then realised she still had a dilemma. “Oh, actually I am a tad lost.”

“Where is it that you need to go?” he asked in his masculine voice. Izzie nearly lost thought as she watched the words speak through his mouth.

“Discovery Drive.”

The kind man smiled sweetly and took hold of her hand. He looked down at her and said, “Do not let go.” Izzie just smiled as she was lost for words again. Here she was following him in the hope he would fall in love with her. And now they were in the middle of the city holding hands.

The electricity felt between them through their touch was ever lasting. Izzie knew she would never want to let go. She did not want to go to work; she did not want to do anything without him.

She looked up as she searched his handsome face and said, “What’s your name?”

“Eric,” he replied. “And what is yours?”

“Izzie.” They stopped at a set of traffic lights.

“That is a beautiful name Izzie.”

Izzie nearly melted right there on the corner of the street. Then she realised as she looked around that she knew this street. “Wait, I know where I am now,” she said hurriedly. The green light went and Izzie rushed off while Eric stayed where he was. “I’m sorry but I am very late for work. Thank you for your help,” Izzie yelled as she crossed the street.

After another five minutes walking and as her heart rate slowed, she realised how stupid it was to run away from the man of her dreams. She still had a ten minute walk to work but she was already late. She turned back around and headed back to where she last left Eric.

With her head down, she ran in heels to the street. She pressed the button at the lights. She looked up, breathed and saw Eric across the street. He looked at her bewildered and then a huge smile spread across his face.

The light turned green and this time they both ran to each other and met in the middle of the road. They were both lost for words yet both wanted to speak. After a few car honks, Eric took Izzie’s hand and they crossed the street together.

“Why are you still here?” Izzie asked.

“Why did you come back?” Eric replied as he held her in his arms and looked deep into her blue eyes.

“Because of you,” Izzie replied.

End of chapter one. To read more of this sweet story, click on the below retailers to purchase:

A Princess for a day

a-princess-for-a-day-smashwords edition

(Childrens eBook)


Sophia experiences life being a princess for a day. Staying in a real castle. The adventures she goes on will excite any young princess.

Chapter One

I have never been to a castle before, let alone meeting a real princess. But it just so happens, all is about to change. My father told me we would be staying at a castle.

“A real castle?” I asked my father.

“Yes darling, a castle for a real princess.”

“Wow.” I replied in awe. My father kissed me on the top of my head and tucked me into bed. “Do you think we will meet a real princess?”

My father chuckled, “We will just have to see, won’t we? Good night Sophia.”

“Night Daddy.”

He closed my bedroom door as he walked out.

The next day, my father had packed my suitcase into the car and off we went for a drive to a real castle.

“Are we visiting the castle today Daddy?”

“Of course. We have a few stops to make on the way, but we should be there by lunch time.” Sophia smiled. Our first stop was at a real princess boutique store. “This is my little Princess.” Daddy told the lady in the store.

“You are going to make a beautiful princess. How about you come with me and find the perfect dress you can wear in your castle.”

Sophia nodded and followed the lady around the store as she chose a pink ball gown that had lace down the front, puffy sleeves, long white gloves for her hands and even clear pretty shoes.

“And now, every princess needs to have her own tiara.”

The lady walked over to a special glass case cabinet and found the perfect sized tiara on the pink shelf. “Here it is. This tiara will only fit on your head, if you are a real princess.” Sophia closed her eyes as the lady tried to put the tiara on her head, hoping it would fit her. And it did.

“Look at that, it does fit.” She turned to Sophia’s father, “looks like your daughter is a real princess.”

“I always knew she was.” He said proudly.

They left the store and entered the car. “Daddy, is the lady true, am I really a princess?”

“Today darling, you are.”

Sophia could not believe it. She was a real princess.

End of chapter one. To read more of this enchanting story, click on the below retailers to purchase:

Exploring for dinosaurs

Exploring for dinosaurs by Melanie Toye

(childrens eBook)


Zac wakes up with a great idea. He invites his brother Alec to begin a day of exploring. The adventure begins in the muddy holes in the back yard, to digging in the beach. A surprise by their mother brings them much closer to discovering dinosaurs. Where will they go to explore for dinosaurs?

Chapter One – Zac and Alec’s adventure begins

Zac woke up after he had a dream about dinosaurs. He ran to his brother’s room to wake him up and tell him about his dream.

“Alec, today we are going to explore the backyard for dinosaurs.” Zac said.

Alec picked up their buckets and shovels and went to look in on their mother to see her still sleeping.

Zac went to the outside tap and filled up a small bowl of water.

“Where shall we start to dig?” Alec questioned.

The boys looked down at the green patch of grass. Zac ran over to a small dirt patch at the back corner of the yard, in front of the garden bed filled with home grown vegetables. Zac pulled the small bowl of water onto the dirt to soften the ground. Alec brought over his bucket and spade and both kids started to dig.

They felt as if they had been digging for hours.

“I’m hungry.” Alec said.

“Me too.” Zac agreed.

They both ran inside to find their mother sipping her cup of tea in her nightgown. Her eyes popped wide and then she laughed. “Have you been digging up the backyard?” She asked amused.

“Yes, how did you know?” Alex replied.

It may have been that they were both covered from head to toe in mud, “Mothers just know these things.” She winked.

“We are digging to find dinosaurs.” Zac exclaimed.

“Did you find any?” Mother wanted to know.

The boy’s heads dropped low, “no,” they replied in unison.

“How about I run you boys a bath, then we can go to the beach to see if there are any dinosaurs there?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” squealed the boys.

They played together in the bath, a game involving all their bath dinosaur toys to leap off the bath edge while competing against the other toy dinosaurs to see who could make the biggest splash.

Zac and Alec loved dinosaurs. They ate cooked dinosaur shaped looking spaghetti for dinner and even had dinosaur pictures on their pyjamas.

End of chapter one. To read more of this explorer’s story, click on the below retailers to purchase:


Free to be with me

Free to be with me by Melanie Toye


Free to be with me takes Madison, an assistant to a famous fashion designer, through a self-appreciating journey of fashion, love and design. Free to be with me oozes fun, glamour and most of all hot lustful romance. Will the man Madison falls for, be too risky for her lifestyle? Or will she shy away from it all? Find out in this heart warming, page turner.
This novella, is a great holiday read for those times when you need to escape. Free to be with me, will leave you with butterfly feelings and a big smile on your face.
Tell all your friends and family about this awesome read.

Chapter One

I was running late again. “Madison, wait,” Marc said firmly.

“I am sorry Marc, I have to go. I am already late.”

Marc’s lips tightened together and I knew he was not impressed. What could I do? I ran over and gave him a peck on the lips, then rushed out the door.

“Late again,” Raulf eye-rolled me as I entered the fashion department doors.

I gave Raulf an apologetic smile and rushed passed over to my working space. “Floral, darling.  This is what I want for the collection.” Gerald, the ultimate fashion designer in Australia and renowned for his elegance and class around the world, shares with me his creative mind. I took my blackberry out from my purse and noted his thoughts down.

“Low, elegant yet a soft flowy dress. A long diamond opening at the front to highlight the woman’s cleavage. A high back with a gathering on either side of the hips, with the length coming to mid-calf and little ruffles at the hem and at the end of the sleeves.”

Gerald walked around the space. “Brilliant,” he said at his own creation.

I smiled. I loved working under Gerald’s artistic influence. “Fabric colour needs to be warm, such as rosy pink … hmm, wait.” I watched as he let his creative vision take over. “A light green, not lime,” he added pointedly. “With pale pink and purple flower petals. Pick up a metre of white satin ribbon as well, which I might include.” I waited a moment to see if he wanted anything else. Then he walked out of the building to do whatever a creative god does during the day.

I waited a few moments then walked out too. “Do not forget the white satin ribbon darling,” said Raulf.

I loved my job, everything felt so alive and fresh. I guessed it was rather different than a rigid office job. I did what I loved.

I shopped for the fabrics Gerald sought. I enjoy the freedom in my day, rather than rushing around from meeting to meeting. I am inspired by the fashion genius who I get to witness his true form every day. Life is pretty good. I found a few samples of fabrics of which I hoped Gerald would fall in love with.

I also gathered samples of thread, buttons and zips that matched the fabrics chosen. Gerald liked choice. As long as what was chosen matched as close as possible to his vision. Luckily over the past three years I had been able to work to Gerald’s taste. I understand the types of fabric he liked to work with and what he would throw in the bin if he loathed it.

After my wonderful day I arrived home. I opened the door and immediately felt a shift of negative energy. Something has happened but I am unsure what. “Marc,” I yelled out. I looked around my apartment. Everything looked the same. Yet I cannot shake the feeling that something is missing.

I entered my bedroom to see if Marc was in the shower. I walked in, but he was not there. This was strange as he was always home before me. I changed out of my work attire when I saw a note on my dutches. I opened the note and quickly folded it. No. I could not believe it. I read it again.

I laid on my bed and looked up to the ceiling to try and recapture what happened. Marc wanted to tell me something this morning. I guess now it could not wait. His new girlfriend Rosalie was much more organised and perfect for him. He used the words, that I was, ‘unmanageable and not-wife material.’ How could this be? Shattered, I cried myself to sleep.

I woke up in the middle of the night. Still dressed in my work clothes, my face a mess and a sore heart that I wondered if it would ever get healed. I turned on my bed side lamp light and reached for my phone. Eight missed calls. Half expecting it was Marc, I looked at the screen and saw it was not Marc, but Gerald. Oh why tonight? Of all nights, why could I not shrink back to my sulking, sad self and climb to bed? There was no point now, I was not tired enough to go back to sleep.

I checked my phone log and saw Gerald’s last call was made less than twenty minutes ago. I washed my face, changed into something more comfortable and called Gerald. As predicted, he needed me at work four hours ago. So off I went.

I walked in and saw Raulf first. “Oh my dear,” he said in shock. “You look.” He could not put a word to it.

“I know,” I said.

“I know it is late but did you check a mirror before you came?” I shrugged and then burst into tears. It was not my finest moment.

Raulf passed me his handkerchief and patted me on the shoulder. “There, there,” he said. “Clean yourself up before seeing Gerald. He is having a hard time finding inspiration for his collection for the runway next week.” I nodded and pulled out my pocket mirror to try and touch up my blotchy face as best I could.

Obviously though, it was not enough for when I walked near Gerald his mouth opened wide yet no sound escaped. “I came here as fast as I could,” I said as I tried to hide the humiliation of this moment.

Gerald walked closer to me. His eyes never left mine. “You will be my muse,” he said.

“I am sorry,” I said, a little lost at his comment.

“The new collection will draw upon your darkness. The raw emotion we shield ourselves from will be on display in what we wear. No longer a fashion statement, now it will be an emotional statement.”

I did not know what to think. Was he finally losing it? I half wondered if I should feel flattered by being a muse. He circled me as he drew upon my emotions, to get in sync with his next creation. “Raulf,” he called. “Come here and take notes.”  Raulf followed and it calmed me that he did not look horrified to see me as the centre of Gerald’s attention.

“The collection will need to show a rawness to it. Part edgy and unparalleled. A straight lined, deep purple coloured silk skirt with a high diagonal front. High waist and deep pockets at the front.” Gerald reached out to hold my hand. “To place your shaking hands.” I looked down in unease. “A bronze slinky tank top that uses stretchy fabric at the waist. Because, comfort is what the woman seeks through this time. And the same coloured jacket to match the skirt that they can wrap around their body to feel warm. Topped with purple thick heels to cause pain to anyone who gets in her way.”

I closed my eyes in the hope when they opened, this would all just be a dream and I would really be at home in bed, alone. The thought provided me with no comfort as Gerald whispered, “Open your eyes,” he said soothingly. My eye lids slowly fluttered open. “You are beautiful. I know this is not easy. But you are a strong, independent woman. You will find a way to breathe again.”

I smiled at his kind words. How could he read me so well? “Raulf, please give Madison the notes to source tomorrow.” Gerald reached out and held my hands, “thank you for being my muse.” I blushed at the moment.

We all walked out together. I looked at my watch, it was 3am. In three hours I would wake up and begin the working day again. Except there would be no Marc. I sat in my car and looked down at my mobile, which had found its way to my hand. After an interesting evening my emotions and thoughts were scattered and I desperately wanted to hear Marc’s voice. My fingers started to dial the well-known number, when I heard a tap on my car window. After an initial scare, I lowered the passenger’s window. It was Gerald. “Can I jump in?”

“Okay,” I said.

He sat in next to me and for a brief second I wondered how messy my car was. But his chilled aroma eliminated the thought and curiosity followed. “Do you need a ride?” I asked.

“Actually, I figure you could do with a ride. Come in my car and I will drop you off tomorrow to collect yours.”

I did not know what to think, yet I felt safe. He was my boss and I was pretty sure he was gay. He was just being nice. I hopped into his car and he drove me to his home. We pulled into the undercover car park to his mansion. He turned to me, “No woman should feel unloved. I have been waiting for this day for a long time. A time when you would be free. Free to be with me, if you choose. I have fallen in love with you every day for the past three years. Your free spirit and charming, gentle nature. I feel connected with you. You are in my thoughts constantly.

“I know right now this is a lot to take in. I still need you in the office. But please think about us. I will continue to wait for you.” He reached over and kissed me on the cheek.

Unable to understand if this was really happening, I took the simple approach. “I need to sleep.”

End of chapter one. To read more of this romantic story, click on the below retailers to purchase:

8 Slices of Cake

8 Slices of Cake by Melanie Toye


“We walked out into the hall together and I took a breath as I waited seeing the double doors open. And when they finally did, it was beyond words. The entire setting was ethereal. The loveliest thing I had ever seen. Magic surrounded me, family, friends, beauty….but most of all, Michael. I paused, holding the moment. Frozen in time, before flashing back. Replaying the memories of my former life in fast forward, as if to wash them away for good. One chapter was finally closing forever, another one was on the verge of bursting open.”

Weddings, marriage, love; heartache, even abuse, relationships good or bad, all create a story in our lives. These stories are meant to be shared to help us grow and give insight into a path we may want, oh so badly, to travel towards.

When you bring together eight writers from around the world including Australia, England, Ireland and the United States of America, to write about a wedding, the number one item on the list to discuss, is the cake.

Weddings are such a magical time for any bride. Yet weddings for guests aren’t always so pleasant. Sometime or other most are asked to be a bridesmaid, if not the bride. And then there is cake. Most people find at least one wedding they have attended is a day filled with joy. A few women have dreaded to attend a wedding and thought, well I will go, just for the cake. Come see how it all works out for the bride, her guests and of course for the cake.

A unique spin on a collection of short stories as well as 8 cake recipes for you to share within.

The 8 fabulous writers of 8 Slices of Cake –
Meadow Bleu, Paige Bleu, Lisa Day, Monica Lee, Yvonne McEvaddy, Paula Mills, Brenda Perlin and Melanie Toye

Chapter One – Lemon 

By Meadow Bleu

So this is it, Prince Charming is finally getting his happily ever after. Standing on the beach I gazed back at the wedding; there’s a sort of ethereal feel to the sight, like something out of a real-life fairy tale. The milky blue sky seemed to seep directly from the ocean as it stretched its foamy fingers into the heavens. I spotted Ava and her bridesmaids in an upstairs window getting ready for the big day; she looked so beautiful with her silken hair falling gently from the loose updo it was piled in. A tear came to my eye. I guess somewhere deep down I had always known this day would come. Still I couldn’t help but be a tad bit jealous. As sweet as she was for inviting me, there’d always been a piece of my heart that stayed locked into these sandy shores where Michael and I had spent so many summers when we were young. I slid off my shoes to feel the sand between my toes again.

“Lilly? Is that you?” It was Michael. I turned and made my way back up the beach to where he was standing. “You made it! Ava said you didn’t know if you’d be able to.”

“You’re kidding! I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” I said, forcing a smile. “So, are you nervous?”

“Nervous? No, no, not nervous… excited, maybe, but not nervous.”

“Oh?” I teased, “Don’t lie to me, you’re sweating already!”

His face flushed slightly.

“I’m kidding, Michael, you look great… I’m happy for you, both of you. Ava’s wonderful.”

He shook his head, grinning. “Thank you.”

“Yeah, yeah… Now go get ready!”

Nodding, he left me to my thoughts again. I watched him walk away, taking a little piece of me with him. He truly was the one that got away.

It wasn’t long before Grammy was shepherding us into our seats for the big event. I found mine on the left side of the aisle with Michael’s family, and watched as the other guests clambered around in a sort of ordered chaos. Lovely creatures clothed in their finest attire swooned into their seats at the spectacle Ava had dreamed into existence… and it truly was a spectacle. Soft petals of pink and red scattered across the horizon, and silken bows of black neatly lined the bride’s runway. I held my breath to take it all in.

“She did well, didn’t she?” Grammy smiled at me.

“Yes, everything looks fabulous Grammy.” I smiled for her; she was always such a saint.

“Promise me something, Lilly.”

“Yes, Grammy?”

“Don’t let that sweetheart of yours go to waste. Smile big, and let one of those boys in. Grammas don’t live forever. Make sure you let yours see you down an isle before their time.”


“Promise me, Lilly. Take some chances, life’s too short.”

“I promise…”

She patted my hand, and continued to shuffle the others into their places so the ceremony could begin.

Cue the music! Soft, romantic tones carried in the salty air, seeping slowly through each well-dressed bag of bones into every soul… at least so it seemed to me. There was a gentle awe and each head turned sharp to see the lovely bride as she approached: stepping lightly, with her slender fingers clenched tightly around her bouquet as if in attempt to suffocate each tiny flower. Her delicate lips were curled into a shy smile, and through the shimmer of her veil I could see silver tears of joy swelling in her sapphire eyes. I could feel tears pressing lightly against the back of my eyes as well, only mine were much less joyful.

I bat my lashes and fought them away, begging God not to let her see the remorse hidden cleverly in the corner of my smile. All eyes were on her, and hers interlocked with his. Those deep, gleaming, chocolate eyes, so full of life and love, were drowning into hers. He used to look at me like that, back in college. His eyes would swim in mine for hours, and every time I’d melt. It was as if I was the only girl in the world. Seeing him now with her, I wondered where we went wrong. They exchanged vows and half the crowd had tears on their cheeks by the big kiss. Knowing this, I let one roll down my face as well. I was happy for him, really. He’d finally found everything he was looking for… We exited to the reception room.

I found my seat at the reception next to Uncle Benny. That came as a huge relief to my surprise. He was always an interesting character, a law school drop out gone cowboy with the rugged looks of a yeti in biker’s clothes, accented by a pair of obscenely thick glasses that somehow always reminded me of Old Saint Nicholas. Intimidating as he may have been with his rough arms flexed in anger and cheap liquor on his breath, to those he loved he was nothing more than a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Benny may have been the family kook, but he’d always kept a soft place in his soul for me, even during the harsher points in my relationship with his nephew. Besides, at least this way I knew for sure Ava and Michael weren’t attempting to set me up with one of Ava’s brilliantly charming but oh so cliché city boys. For once, I actually looked forward to babysitting the drunkard.

“Hello, Uncle Benny!” I said cheerfully as I pulled my chair out to sit down.

For a second, he looked at me like I was an alien as he fumbled to put on his glasses. “Lilly?” he exclaimed once he could see me clearly, “Little lady, is that really you?” He pulled me into a bone crushing hug.

“Yeah, it’s good to see you, too!” I giggled, prying myself out of his arms and collapsing into my seat.

We talked about where we’d been and what we’d done, the good, bad, and ugly rumours we’d heard in passing, truths, lies, and yes, even politics as we ate our meal together. About halfway through our plates it was announced that the bride and groom were about to share their first dance as man and wife. My heart decided it felt more at home in my stomach. Uncle Benny must have taken notice.

“Drink this, kid, it helps.”

He pulled a dingy old flask out of his coat pocket and slid it over to me. I took a drink, shuddering as the strong burn of whiskey began to creep through my throat. I handed the flask back, my eyes watering slightly, and began chugging my wine to kill the taste.

“You never were a big drinker,” he smirked, taking a large gulp of his whiskey before returning it to his coat pocket. “Waiter!” he called to one of the servers near us, “Get this little lady another glass of wine.”

The next song began and to my delight the dance floor filled and I could no longer see the newlyweds. Instead I was faced with a new nightmare: an endless sea of happy couples and hopeful strangers twirling in each other’s arms, coddling each other’s affections. I hadn’t had a serious relationship since Michael. That was the pathetic truth. Sure, I’d dated plenty of guys but there always something I’d found to be an indisputable difference in them. The longest hopeful to last, only lasted a year before I left him as well. His only offense: he proposed. My mother said I was looking for reasons not to be in love with these men, and maybe she was right, but my heart still had a beat for the groom, and how can you love two men at once? Three glasses of wine later, my head was spinning just enough to give me the courage to dance with strangers.

A tall, nameless man with shimmering jet-black hair and soft blue eyes whisked me into a careless waltz on the dance floor. My silken ball gown swished around my ankles like the soft tides of the ocean to the little pebbles scattered along the sandy shores, exposing the rhinestones embedded in my high heels. The pastels of the lace were dizzying as I looked down at them, spinning in the handsome stranger’s arms, his fingers trailing my waist with a cautious romanticism. I felt exhilarated, like the blood in my veins had been replaced with a smooth cocktail of adrenaline and kerosene. This dance was striking a match and I was on fire. He pulled me into his chest, and I watched the backdrop spiral away behind us. I released my hair from its tight up-do and let it cascade down my shoulders to my waist, shaking it out as if to free myself from the tension that’d been building inside me since I’d awoken that day.

“I don’t even know your name,” I whispered in the cursive lingo often mistaken for a drunken slur.

“You don’t need to,” was all he said.

He twirled me around his fingertips once more. I had butterflies. My instinct screamed at me to back away, to fall into my seat and wait in hope my first love may still be my last. Grammy’s voice echoed behind my ears before I could. Take a chance. She was right, here I was granted the opportunity to do exactly that, and two songs in I was already searching for a quick escape back into my comfort zone. I needed to snap myself out of this trance, and fast. Before I could even comprehend what it was I was doing, I felt my lips collide with his. I felt his muscles tense up under his suit before he relaxed, wrapping an arm around me and pulling in for a deeper kiss.

“You don’t even know my name,” he smirked.

“I don’t need to,” was all I said.

And at that, our dance resumed. I could feel the shocked expressions on every face around me. Scandalous? Maybe, but Grammy was right; with all hope of Michael and I reuniting ending here, it was time for me to drop my walls for a change and leave myself open to change. As the last song ended and the cake was cut, Uncle Benny surrendered his seat so that my new interest could seat himself next to me. Michael walked up unexpectedly to hand me my slice. He was smiling.

“A slice of lemon for my favourite sourpuss,” he teased, taking notice to the man next to me he added, “I see you’ve found a friend; I’m surprised at you Lilly.”

I blushed.

“Hey Mike,” the man said grinning ear to ear, “Congrats man, now go take care of your lady, I got this one covered.”

They shook hands and laughing, Michael departed, telling us to have fun and “stay out of trouble” as he turned away.

“How do you know Michael?” I questioned, such a cliché inquiry for a wedding, but my curiosity got the best of me.

“Well, to start, he just married my sister… and you obviously must be the infamous Lilly I’ve heard so much about.”

My face ran red with embarrassment, and he chuckled, taking me by the hand before I could even finish my cake and leading me back out to the beach to be alone.

“Where are we going?”

“Hearsay can’t possibly compare to a proper introduction. You’re a puzzling character… I’ve always liked puzzles.”

We sat on the porch for the next hour, sharing little laughs and a couple tears. Could it be that this was the man I’d been waiting for all these years? For so long I’d regarded happily ever after as a fairytale phrase, and maybe I was… but that wasn’t about to stop me from letting this be my once upon a time.

Gazing back at the shades of love displayed behind me as I stepped onto the beach one last time, I saw both endings and beginnings. Old fires were dying, and new ones were sparkling and growing strong. It was then that the reality finally sunk in: I was the one living in a dream world, not the guests, or the bride, or Michael. College was over, and it was time to move on. I took one last long look out at the ocean, and watched in wonder as it waved goodbye.

End of chapter one. To read more of this intriguing story, click on the below retailers to purchase:

 Kids, Write Your Own Stories

kids write your own stories by Melanie Toye

This e-book is for your child to express themselves through creative writing. This is a great tool for teachers who want to provide a creative approach in helping children harness their own creativity through imagination.

I am a Mother, freelance writer and Author of Entice Me. For a long time now I have been wondering how I can help uplift young people’s talents to help them chase their dreams. Schools are great for learning English and the proper way to write. This eBook is purely to inspire and excite young children to take a step out of the technicalities and rules of writing and just write freely letting their imagination guide them.

I hope this e-Book provides your child the motivation to continue to follow their true passions in life, whether writing stories, play scripts etc. I also hope they have some fun throughout these activities. There is no right or wrong answer, this eBook is just to add an element of unlimited boundaries within the creative world.

How to Use this E-Book

There are multiple ways you can use this e-book such as, your child can read the activity from your e-reading device and write down their stories in a note-book or journal or even type it on a computer. You can print this e-book out as a PDF and give to the child as a booklet to work through themselves. Or you can print one activity a fortnight and give to your child to work through. There are many different ways, do what works best for your child. They might want to write down the activity in their notepad and then continue on with their story. Or you may even read out the activity to them.

There are 26 activities which can be explored fortnightly or as often as the child wants to sit down and write. You can host a creative writing session where you create every fortnight, a time out to sit somewhere inspiring (could be outdoors, in a creative or colourful room, or at the beach, or somewhere quiet) this provides good practice for your child when your child wants to continue writing after the 26 weeks. Ask your child afterwards how they feel after completing the activity?

Activity 1

With a parent or friend go out to the park and sit somewhere away from too much noise. Close your eyes, take three deep breaths, listen to your surroundings. Hear the birds playing in the trees. Hear the wind whistle through the trees. Take one more deep breath and slowly open your eyes.

Welcome to your peaceful paradise. Here you have time to sit, imagine and create. Do not wait for the perfect words, just take your pen to paper and write what you feel.

End of chapter one. To start a young and budding interest in creative writing, click on the below retailers to purchase:

Annabelle’s Angels

Annabelle's Angels Smashwords Edition

(Children’s eBook)


Annabelle’s Angels is a sweet story about a young girl who can see angels. Living in the country where nature is awe inspiring, Annabelle and her family have to move to the big city. Annabelle’s Angels is a great story that will help children who are being transitioned into another school or moving to a new location. As well as showing your child the magic a world can be when one believes in the power of angels.

Chapter One:

My name is Annabelle and I am ten years old. I live with my mother and father on a small house on a farm. I enjoy living here because all the houses surrounding ours have other children living in them. I live in a house on a hill top in the country. I find peace and nature here. I spend most of the day playing outside.

My mother walks outside with two glasses of freshly squeezed lemonade on a wooden tray with cheese crackers. “Annabelle” she called out as she placed the tray on the small wooden table.

I run over and we both sat down to eat. “What were you playing?” Mother asked.

“I wasn’t playing.”

“Oh really, then what were you doing?” She asked sweetly.

“I was watching the angels fly around me.” I smiled.

My mother smiled too. “Did they fly up to heaven?”

“Oh no they are my guardian angels. They would never leave me. They were just playing.” My mother seems to ponder over it. I look over behind me and two of my guardian angels twirl around each other as they fly. I giggle as I watch.

That evening as I prepare for bed, I walk out to the hallway and I am about to walk down the steps to say goodnight to my parents when I watch my father pace the floor mumbling angrily about something. I look at my mother who is sitting on a chair knitting rigorously. My mother only knits like that when something is wrong. The last time I saw my mother knit like that was a few months ago when a stranger came to our house and sold something. When my father found out he was so angry he was yelling.

I placed my ear close to the floor in hope to hear my father’s mumblings. A few minutes pass and I could only catch single words from his speech. Something along the lines of ‘work’, ‘move’, ‘Annabelle’ and ‘imaginary friends’ none of which made any sense to me. My mother is quiet and continues to knit. I quietly stand back up and walk back into my bedroom room. I assume that my father’s behaviour is unrelated to me and now feel able to sleep. It is not long after I tuck myself into bed and drift off to sleep.

When I wake, a new day begins. As usual I change into my school uniform, brush my hair and walk downstairs to the sunroom for breakfast. I take my seat opposite my parents who sit at the end of the table. “Annabelle, you will not be going to school today. Instead you will be helping us pack to move to the city.”

“We’re moving?” I asked. “Why?” I was a bit shocked from the news and was a bit unsure how to take it since my parents had the fight last night. Did my mother not want to move?

“Your father has received a new job that will benefit us all.” My mother replied softly.

“Do you want to move Mother?” I look her in the eye as I wait for her response.

“Although it is beautiful living in the country a change in lifestyle will help us grow.” Mother said as she eyed my father. We ate breakfast in our usual manner and let the excitement build at the thought of new possibilities once we moved.

Annabelle picked up some boxes from the foyer and lifted them to her room. She closed the door behind her and smiled. She loved her life but to move into the city filled her mind with excitement. She had only ever been to the city at Christmas time when the family would visit the sights. Annabelle could only imagine how the city lived the rest of the year.

Annabelle changed out of her uniform and into her causal clothes in a rush. She opened the first box and looked around the room for a place to begin. She saw two glorious little angels fluttering their delicate wings. Annabelle smiled when she realised the angels were showing her where to begin. They pointed to her treasured paintings from Aunt Shelley.

As she wrapped and placed the paintings carefully into the box she remembered the fun times she had painting with Aunt Shelley. They dressed in white clothing with a white apron over the top, so once they finished painting, their clothes would also be a piece of art. Aunt Shelley would drive them to see the scenic mountain views located a good hour drive away. And they would spend the day taking in the glorious views to inspire their artwork. Annabelle enjoyed the entire creative process but also loved to watch Aunt Shelley find inspiration and then not being able to stop painting until she finished.

Annabelle taped up the box, then she heard a knock at the front door, Annabelle quickly ran to her bedroom window and looked down. Her best friend Rose was standing at the front door, Annabelle took the stairs two at a time and when she finally came down, she nearly bowled her mother over at the front door. “It’s Rose”, Annabelle said opening the door. Rose ran in and gave Annabelle a hug.

“Is it true, you’re leaving?”

“Yes”, Annabelle said shyly.

“Girls, you can have a few minutes but Annabelle has to pack.” Mother said.

“I don’t have long anyway I am on my lunch break.” Rose replied.

Rose was home schooled, which gave her more free time at home. Whereas Annabelle had to travel an hour each way to school by bus every day. The girls ran upstairs to Annabelle’s room and both lay down on the bed. “I can’t believe your moving to the city, how will we stay in touch? Will you still be my best friend when you leave?”

“Of course silly, no one will replace you.” Annabelle hugged Rose tight. Rose smiled, grateful for the reassurance.

“Do you remember making these?” Rose said as she picked up a necklace.

“Yes, to ensure where ever we were, we would remember each other when we wore our necklace.”

“Will you promise me you will wear it when you leave?” Rose asked.

“Pinkie promise” Annabelle said offering her pinkie. They both shook on it and Annabelle placed the necklace in the jewellery box. Then she packed her hair scrunches and books in the box and taped it shut.

“Rose, you believe in angel’s right?”


“But you can’t see them?”

“I can’t see them but I can see the beauty they bring to the world. Just by looking outside and seeing nature and animals play and live, I know that angels are close by. Why do you ask?”

“Oh it’s nothing” Annabelle shrugged. Rose had confirmed Annabelle’s fears that possibly not everyone was as willing to accept her angel sightings.

Mother knocked on the bedroom door, “sorry Rose but time’s up I’m afraid.”

Rose turned to face Annabelle and smiled, “never forget me.”

“I won’t” Annabelle promised.

Rose left and Annabelle felt the mood of the room shift. The initial excitement of exploring a while new city now seemed little compared to not seeing her best friend every day.

Annabelle continued packing but felt sad. An angel appeared in front of her. Although no words were uttered, Annabelle felt the angel speaking to her soul, reassuring this path was for the best. Memories would not be forgotten but it was time to learn and grow. She felt that with this move it would not only help herself but many others. The glowing angel had large white wings and was the most glorious angel she had ever seen. If there was such a thing as a Princess Angel, this was it. She fluttered her wings with a smile and then vanished.

Annabelle no longer felt sad, she now felt at peace. The world wasn’t crashing down on her; it was opening up to her. She realised country life was great but it was time for a change and a mighty change at that. Annabelle looked around the room and saw she had filled many boxes with sentimental items. Only one item was left and this was small enough to fit in her pocket. Annabelle took this item everywhere she went.

End of chapter one. To read more of this lovely story, click on the below retailers to purchase:


Entice Me

Entice Me by Melanie Toye


Miranda is the top recruitment consultant for Entice Consultancy, working long hours to achieve great results. From the outside she appears to have her life in order as a successful career woman. Yet a jealous rival is determined to do anything to take her down and soon Miranda’s life turns problematical.

Grace and Louise both met Miranda through work and led interesting lives of their own. Grace a free spirit, falls in love with a man who appears to be perfect. When her true love goes missing her world soon falls apart. Louise’s eating disorder is pushed to the limit as is her marriage with Mike. Retirement and a new relationship seem like bliss until one night’s event changes everything.

Entice Me is a journey that explores life changing events that forces each woman to rediscover themselves and what they are seeking from life. Meltdowns, break-ups, love and laughter make Entice Me into an entertaining read.

Chapter One

Sally was dancing with her girlfriends at her favourite club when she noticed a man staring directly at her. When the music changed to a slower pace, she walked over to the bar and the mysterious man followed. “Isaac,” he said confidently as his eyes flirted with Sally’s.

Sally laughed, playing the game. “Yes Isaac?” she teased, turning to face the man, only then realising up close how seriously handsome he was. She thought with her good looks they would make a stunning couple.

“Would you like to dance?” he asked in a charmed voice.

“I am quite tired.”

“Want to go to bed?” he said lifting one eye brow as he risked letting his eyes wander over every inch of her body. Sally shivered with obvious delight.

After a late night, Sally wakened not exactly knowing where she was or whose bed she was in. Not too worried she dressed into her previous night’s attire. As Sally walked out of the bedroom, she was caught by the man in the kitchen. “Want a coffee?” he asked.

Sally nodded. “I had a bit too much to drink last night, my name is Sally,” she said holding out her hand.


“Did we have sex last night?” Sally asked directly.

“Yes, you don’t remember?” she shook her head. Sally loathed small talk. As it would seem she would have nothing to base their conversation around.

“I would like to see you again Sally, what are you doing today?” Isaac asked.

“Hmm, I would have to cancel my scheduled plans?” she questioned.

“Good, book me in,” Isaac smiled.

“I guess I can fit you in,” Sally smiled back. “Do you mind if I take a shower?” she asked politely.

“No problem.”

As Sally stripped down, she purposely left her French black knickers on his bed, then went for a shower. It had only been a few minutes when Sally heard a knock on the bathroom door. Isaac walked in shirtless. “I am not sure if you are aware, but we are in a drought. We really need to conserve water,” he said as a matter of fact, while he proceeded to undress. As he unzipped his jeans and began to take them off, he revealed the most well-defined butt cheeks Sally had ever laid her eyes on.

After the show, he finally joined Sally in the shower and after much pleasure they went back to the bedroom for more.


“Louise, Louise,” Mike called.

Louise flushed the toilet then quickly applied toothpaste to her teeth. “Be there in a sec love.” Louise had an important presentation today and was extremely nervous.

“Louise you will be fine.” Mike hugged her encouragingly, once she finally stepped out of the bathroom.

“Thanks Hun, I just don’t know. What if they don’t like my presentation? Or ask me a question that I cannot answer?”

“Sweetie you have been working on this for months. You will be surprised how much knowledge you’ve got up there,” he said while patting her head.

“Really,” Louise said seeking his approval.

“Really, now hurry up, we are very late.”

Louise arrived to work feeling nervous. She had never been good at public speaking. Louise believed the main reason she excelled in her position as the Director of Financial Services was because no client interaction was called for.

Tim knocked casually on Louise’s office door. Louise motioned him to come in. “I just came to wish you luck Louise. Being the only woman in a Director’s position, it must be hard.”

Tim was a manager and was desperately trying to get a promotion. Louise had seen it many times before. A man trying to steal her role because being a woman, made her an easy target.

Louise never understood it; just because she was a woman does not mean she could not have a chance at success. Louise was presentable and professional. Her work was always delivered to a high standard. She never joined in on office politics, always achieved above the set targets; whilst other Directors only scraped by.

Louise paused when she realised Tim was still waiting for her to respond. “Is that all Tim?” Louise asked. He nodded in triumph. “Good luck Tim, you will need it if you want to steal my role from me.” Louise said out loud, realising as she looked up that he had already left.

Louise looked at her watch. It was not long now before her presentation. She gathered all of her materials to set-up in the board room. As Louise walked in, she was surprised to see her biggest fear had already arrived. “Louise, are you ready for today?”

“Yes sir, I am just setting up now.”

“Good,” was all he said as he turned his attention to the paperwork in front of him. A sure sign of do not disturb. Louise was setting up her presentation when the four other Directors walked into the meeting room, laughing at some discriminative joke. Their laughter quickly came to a halt when they saw Scary Ray had already arrived.

They took their seats as Louise began her presentation. “Good morning everyone, thank you for taking the time to be here today. I know we are all very busy.”

“Louise, get to the point,” scary Ray interrupts.

“Ok-k,” Louise stuttered back, as she gathered her notes to check what she should say next.

After a gruelling hour Louise finished the presentation. Only one question was asked, which she found no difficulty in answering. The three men departed the room when Louise heard a deep thundering voice call her name.

Louise nearly jumped out of her skin just hearing his voice. “Yes?” she asked terrified.

“I want you to work on a project.” There was no well done Louise, you did a great job. No please, no thank you, just pointedly adding more duties to Louise’s already busy workload. “Tomorrow have everyone meet me here at 9a.m. sharp to discuss further.” Louise nods her head as she struggled to find a response.

She departed the room and marched straight into the bathroom to throw up. Her first thought was that she would be fired. But she soon remembered Scary Ray had said he had another project for her. This thought was not comforting, as this could mean a demotion or a possible move to another company.

Throwing two mints into her mouth, Louise walked back to her office with dignity. She was surprised to see Tim sitting comfortably with his legs on top of her desk. “Are you lost?” Louise asked with fire in her eyes.

“Oh hi Louise, I was just getting the feel for my new office,” he said, while he stroked her furniture.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” Louise replied curtly trying to tame her temper.

“We’ll see.” Tim stood up and then continued smugly, “I guess we will find out tomorrow.” He winked, pausing for effect before walking out.

Louise had hit boiling point. After Tim had left, she shut her office door. Did Tim know what Scary Ray had planned? Would she be fired? Louise strengthened out her skirt as a calming effect. Seeking comfort, she dialled Mike’s number and then hung up. Louise had never made a personal call before from the office. The phone rings. Assuming it was Mike, Louise immediately burst into speech, “you will never guess what happened,” she spat out in anger.

“Is this Louise?” a young lady asks on the other line.

“Yes, I’m sorry. I thought you were someone else. How may I help you?” Louise said completely embarrassed.

“My name is Miranda Burke from Entice Consultancy. Would you be available to meet with me? I would like to discuss possible vacancies you may have on at the moment.” Louise gulped then accepted the invitation without hesitation; if she was going to be fired she wanted to know in advance.

Louise walked out of the office building to meet Miranda at the coffee shop down the street. Outside, the sun was shining, a perfect summer’s day. Louise stood still for a moment to breathe in the fresh air.

Louise met with Miranda and after an in-depth discussion, she felt as if Miranda and her had been friends for years. They talked about work and discussed life in general. Louise discovered that Miranda did not call to recruit for her job, rather the staff Louise employs under her. Miranda was confident, beautiful and smart. They both have a mutual understanding for each other, understanding the work and time involved to achieve their high-powered positions.

After getting to know each other, Louise reluctantly ended the meeting and returned to the office.


Its 9a.m. and Grace is late to work again. As Grace walked into the office, she noticed the staff glare at her. Grace hated her work and her boss. Grace had not even turned on her computer when her boss summoned her over. “Grace would you please come over here?” he asked. Admitting defeat Grace reluctantly walked over. “Please do this report for me immediately,” he demanded.

“Sure,” Grace replied, trying to bring a smile to her face, though a more of an annoyance look shined through. Grace purposely held onto the report till mid-morning then presented it to him.

Grace had been working in her role for over four months now and was already over the honeymoon period. Generally the honeymoon period would last for six months and then she would come to realise she absolutely hated her job. To resolve her anguish, Grace would soon quit and begin the process all over again, by accepting a similar role. It was a vicious cycle.

Grace could always tell when she had reached the end of the honeymoon period. She started making ‘humph’ noises whenever someone asked her to complete a dull task. Her swearing dramatically increased and she became quite verbal in meetings, not in a good way. Grace would then begin to talk about the company in a sarcastic tone. People would just laugh at Grace because they had witnessed her sweetness and could not accept that she could get angry. They thought she was playing around. But she was not. She would become so angry, that it was unhealthy.

Every morning after her three alarms buzzed loudly, Grace would continue to sleep in and arrive to work very late. And because she could not handle the office politics she would leave work early too. The less time she was at work the better. The worst part was Grace was only on a contract. Her employer could fire her with one finger click, leaving her jobless and without a reference. This thought offered little comfort to her current situation.

When lunch time arrived, Grace would set out for her daily walk pass the newsagency. She was in luck; a flyer read $30 million Jackpot. Lotto was on tonight. Grace quickly walked in and purchased five mega quick picks. If there was any chance of retiring now, she was taking it.

Grace’s thoughts soon changed from her dire situation, to dreaming of having unlimited money and a new lifestyle. As Grace takes pleasure in these thoughts she returned to work feeling on top of the world. She cleared out her personal emails, documents and even cleaned out her desk. If she won lotto there would be no way she would be giving two weeks’ notice to her employer. On that comforting thought, Grace’s phone rings. “Grace speaking.”

“Grace my name is Miranda; I received your resume for the Executive Research Assistant position. Do you have a moment to talk?”

“Would tomorrow be OK?”

Miranda agreed to call back tomorrow; hopefully by then Grace would have the satisfaction of telling everyone she was young and retired. Finally she would be able to use her youth to enjoy life rather than wasting it working in a role she disliked.

Grace arrived home nervously waiting for the winning lotto numbers to be announced. At the time of the broadcast her phone rings. After the call, Grace hastily jumped online to see if she had won. Out of five mega quick picks, she had won zero dollars. Shear disappointment washed over her. Grace pushed away her upsetting thoughts about going back to work tomorrow and went to bed.

The next morning, Grace woke up to hear her phone ringing. Who would be calling her at this hour? Grace checked the time on her watch, it was mid-morning. It could be her boss demanding where she was. Grace nervously answered, “Hello.”

“Grace this is Miranda, I spoke with you yesterday.”

Grace sighed in relief. “Yes, you were going to tell me about a job?”

“I think you will be perfect for the role. The client is offering $25 per hour. The role is based in the city and has room for personal growth and development.”

“Sounds perfect,” Grace said.

“Excellent. I need you to register with us before I can put you down for an interview with the client. When are you free?” Miranda asked.

“I can meet you in an hour,” Grace said confidently. “Oh and Miranda prepare all my paperwork for the client, as I can start tomorrow.”

Grace is motioned into a room overlooking the Brisbane River. Miranda walks in, “Hi Grace, thanks for coming, please take a seat.” Miranda jumps straight into the interview. “Tell me about your current position.”

“I work for an engineering firm as the assistant to the Director,” Grace answered confidently.

As the interview continued Miranda is satisfied Grace would be well suited for the job. “Grace, I have to say with your experience, I believe you will be a great candidate for this role.”

“Thank you,” Grace said, knowing full well how to play interviews.

Grace walked back to her car, when her mobile rings. She answered the phone and is surprised to hear Miranda on the other line. “Grace, I have spoken with the client, they think you will be a great asset to their team. You don’t need to go for an interview; they trust my decision, so make me proud.”

End of chapter one. To read more of this entertaining story, click on the below retailers to purchase:

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