Book Extract: Brown Eyes by Frances Ive

I am pleased to be welcoming Frances Ive to Novel Kicks today with the blog tour for her book, Brown Eyes. 

A watchful eye as a marriage falls apart. The phone call, the rows, and the split are all observed by the family Labrador. He knows the habits and senses the moods of his beloved family members. Seeing them unhappy and hurting each other is unbearable. Where did his perfect life go?

Her marriage to Phil in crisis, two children at the challenging teenage stage, and a close friend in peril, Meriel’s world is falling apart. She finds solace in the arms of another man, but is this the answer for her? It is her stubbornness that threatens the family’s future together, until a major loss has a life-changing effect on her. A sliver of hope returns.

Like a fly on the wall, Benji the dog sees it all.

Narrated by both the dog and Meriel, Brown Eyes is a novella (a short read) written by the author of Finding Jo and Give and Take with a Capital G & T.


Frances has shared an extract from Brown Eyes today. We hope you enjoy! 



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


Can a marriage be saved?

In many countries including the UK the divorce rate is very high – between one in two or three marriages ends in a split.  Sometimes relationships break down because of extreme behaviour, but others are often just lacking communication and appreciation. The route from problems like infidelity to splitting up is sometimes very fast.

For those couples who seek couples counselling it can sometimes be avoided if both partners want it to work. Meriel and Phil were jogging along in their relationship when one of them strayed off the path. Almost immediately they were splitting up and the children and the family Labrador were distraught. Could therapy save their marriage?


Extract from the point of view of Jane, the counsellor. Starting with Phil speaking.

‘I didn’t think it happened quickly. I had liked Meriel for a long time, but she always seemed to be with a boyfriend. I used to wonder how we could get together, and so I just took a risk and rang her. And thank goodness, it worked.’

He laughed, and they smiled at each other seeming animated and happy, so how did it come to this?

Phil said to Meriel,

‘And do you remember that waiter, the one with the funny lisp?’

‘Oh yes,’ she started laughing. ‘I really enjoyed that time.’

It was as if I wasn’t there. This couple loved each other still, but I had to get on with what we were here for.

‘Sorry to bring you back to reality. I can see something between you but again it’s up to both of you. Are you both willing to do some work and relinquish other relationships?’

He nodded. ‘I am.’

She hesitated, ‘If Phil is sure, I am too.’

They said goodbye and I could hear them chatting as they walked down the corridor. I had a better feeling than I often do about some of my clients.


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



About Frances Ive:

A career as a journalist/PR led to health writing for UK nationals newspapers and consumer mags. Out of the blue I was inspired to write my first novel, Finding Jo, which I self-published in January 2021. Brown Eyes is my 2nd novel, written a few years ago. It was inspired by our black Labrador Benji. Before Finding Jo,  I previously had only non-fiction books published, including One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis (2019), a positive approach to staying mobile.

Say hello via Twitter, FacebookInstagram or on my website.  

Brown Eyes was published by Five Press on 12th January 2022. Click to buy on Amazon UK, and Amazon US


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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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