Book Extract: All Grown Up by Catherine Evans

allgrownupcatherineevansI’d like to give a big hello to Catherine Evans. She’s here with the blog tour for her novel, All Grown Up.

Neveah is fifteen. A schoolkid. With a secret life. She’s a digital freelancer, and is having an affair with her biggest client.

Giles is married. He thinks Neveah is twenty-two.

She’ll do just about anything to stop him from finding out her true age. But secrets have a way of spilling out.

With devastating consequences.


Catherine has shared an extract with us today. We hope you enjoy. 

(Warning: Strong Language.) 


*****beginning of extract*****


CONTEXT: Neveah (pronounced Ner-vay) is a 15-year-old schoolgirl having an affair with a married man, Giles, who believes her to be an independent woman of 22. Neveah is bright and ambitious, and works as a freelance digital marketer. Giles is her biggest client. Neveah lives with her single mother, Marie. Marie is completely obsessed with her own issues, and has no idea how her daughter earns money or who she is involved with. The affair with Giles is necessarily secret, not only because of his marital status but also because of her age. Nevertheless, Neveah has confided in her best friend, Sharna, who is also 15.

Neveah and Sharna are making their way to the swimming pool. Sharna’s on a weight loss kick, and has roped Neveah in. Neveah doesn’t mind. She knows it won’t last. Besides, she likes the pool.

‘We’ll swim for half an hour, yeah?’ says Sharna. ‘Then we can grab a MackyD?’

‘I thought you wanted to lose weight.’

‘Oh, come on. We’ll deserve it after burning all them calories. D’you wanna stay over tonight?’

‘Yeah sure.’ Neveah never has to ask permission. She’s a totally free agent. Marie works nights except for Tuesdays, and even then she’s not fussed if Neveah isn’t home.

‘So you’re not seeing Mister Loverman then?’

‘Seeing him tomorrow.’

allgrownupcatherineevans‘D’you love him?’ Sharna suddenly asks.

Neveah can’t answer immediately ‘I like being with him, if that’s what you mean.’

Sharna bobs her head from side to side, curls her lip and falsettos, ‘I like being with him if that’s what you mean.’ She rolls her eyes. ‘Ain’t what I mean and you know it.’

‘He’s interesting. He talks about cool stuff.’

‘Like what?’

‘I dunno … like politics. History.’

‘Fucking Snoozeville.’

‘I like history. And I like that he’s done things.’

‘Girl, the dude’s like a hundred. I hope he’s done some things. There’s gotta be more to it than that.’

‘There is.’ She pauses. ‘He makes me laugh.’

‘Well, fuck me,’ Sharna grins. ‘He must be good. He can make Miss Frostypants laugh.’

Neveah smiles and nudges her friend. Sharna persists. ‘Come on. Seriously. I’m just dying to know what some old skinny white guy has that keeps you going back for more. Besides the dough, of course.’

Neveah rounds on her. ‘You know it’s not that!’

‘Whoah. Easy tiger.’

‘It’s got fuck all to do with money. He pays me to work. He paid me before we even… did stuff. And he’s not skinny.’

‘Okay, okay. Chill, will ya? I just wanna get with what goes through your head.’

Neveah isn’t sure she understands it herself. He engages her. He’s given her a key to a whole new world. He’s easy to be with. He’s interested in her, not only her body. He gives her stuff to think about. She’s happier, simply because he’s in her life. And how has she repaid that? By lying to him all the time.

Sharna drops her voice to a stage whisper: ‘Is he-’

‘Is he what?’

‘You know. Packin’? Is it, like, huge?’

‘Shut up, Sharn,’ says Neveah.

‘Is he good in the sack?’

‘Like I’d tell you.’

‘Well who else are you going to tell?’

‘Well obviously nobody.’

‘So go on then. Spill.’

allgrownupcatherineevansNeveah is silent. Does she like sex with Giles? It should be a simple question to answer, but it isn’t. She doesn’t want to tell Sharna, but Giles is definitely ‘good in the sack’. He’s a gentleman, he’s good at making her feel special. Loved, even. She’s good at the posing and the posturing and she knows how to appear keen without straying into porn territory. She loves the power she has over him, a power she senses that he willingly gives her. Altogether, she’s fine about the sex. It doesn’t feel dirty like it did with Blue. She shudders. Thank fuck her mum finally got it through her thick skull that Blue was a Grade A scumbag.

Neveah is aware that something deeper is going on. There’s something she gets from Giles that no one else gives her. He’s the only person who touches her. She can imagine Sharna’s reaction if she tried to explain. ‘Of course he touches you, you saddo. You’re having sex, that’s kind of how it works.’ But he doesn’t only touch her that way. He cuddles her. No one else does that. Both her grans used to cuddle her when she was little, and she’s sure her mum must have, but now, no one gives her that simple affection. Her mum’s all huggy kissy when she has an audience. As for her dad… she and Jackie have a quick hug when they say hello or goodbye; a mask for the very slender bond between them. How can she explain this to Sharna, who lives with her mum and her dad and her brother and two little sisters, where the whole family cuddle each other all the time? When they’re not fighting, she supposes. Bickering, rather. Neveah’s seen fighting. She knows the difference.

She casts her mind back to the early days when she used to meet with Giles in his office to update him on the work she was doing. She started to really, really look forward to seeing him. She’d invent excuses to pop in. Yes, he was older, but there was something about him that drew her. He was still good-looking, despite his age. His creases and his crow’s feet suited him. She liked his smile. He was always so considerate. He was always funny. Always interested in her. When she showed him things on the screen and he leaned in, she’d try not to let on that she was breathing him in. He smelled so clean. A hint of lime. The scent of a hot iron clung to his shirt. It was all she could do not to bury her face in his sleeve. She remembers trying to explain SEO techniques to him, while longing for him to put his arms around her. The thrill when he finally did… God. She’ll remember that moment for the rest of her life.


*****end of extract*****



catherineevansAbout Catherine Evans –

Catherine Evans is an author and publisher. She’s the Editor of fictionjunkies, which publishes book and short stories online by authors around the world and the co-founder of Inkspot Publishing –, which has now released four titles.

She’s a trustee of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, and lives in Oxfordshire. She’s married with a daughter and three stepdaughters.

Say hi via her website, Inkspot Publishing, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

 All Grown Up was released by Inkspot Publishing. Click to buy on Amazon UK, Amazon US and Waterstones




Have a Book Club? Win a copy of All Grown Up. 

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All you have to do is enter using this link.

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UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above. 

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This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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