It’s ready to go. Yes, the next Jasmine Frame case, Molly’s Boudoir is available on pre-order on Amazon for Kindle. Publication date is 30th November for the e-book edition. Order here (if you’re in the UK). The price is £2.99 in the UK with relative prices in other markets. The paperback version will follow soon after.
The events of Molly’s Boudoir, the 4th Jasmine Frame novel, take place several months after The Brides’ Club Murder. Jasmine has been called for her Gender Confirmation Surgery which will require weeks of recovery and recuperation. Meanwhile events at Molly’s, a shop in Thirsbury (a small town west of Kintbridge) are reaching a climax resulting in a fire and a murder. Tom Shepherd, now a DI, is the investigating officer and he realises that the business at Molly’s requires Jasmine’s input. With the approval of DCI Sloane, Jasmine is invited to join the case as transgender advisor. Despite not being fully fit Jasmine is soon actively involved and pursuing a line of inquiry which leads her into areas of sexual activity that she is unfamiliar with and puts her new female status under test.
With some violence and sexual content, which you may have come to expect from Jasmine Frame’s cases, Molly’s Boudoir takes Jasmine’s story a stage further.
If you would like a free pre-publication version of Molly’s Boudoir in return for a review on Amazon posted on 30th November, contact me here.
Visit us next week for news of some special offers!
It’s been a momentous week in the Brexit saga. It’s total chaos with no-one in power taking responsibility to admit that the paradoxes are unresolvable and the voters must be given the opportunity to vote again, this time with the correct facts. That’s it. I’m not saying any more. For now.
Finally here is the next episode of Monochrome, the Jasmine Frame prequel. The events in this story take place five years before Molly’s Boudoir when Jasmine is still unsure of her gender status.
Monochrome: Part 4
It was a tale Jasmine had read about but had not heard described by the victim. She struggled to accept that it was real.
Angela continued questioning the girl, her tone suggesting she could hardly believe the story herself. ‘Those disgusting men left you alone and drove away?’
The girl nodded. ‘Yeah. Tipped me out of the back, threw my clothes at me and went off.’
‘What did you do?’ Angela asked.
‘Got dressed of course. It was fucking freezing.’
‘Yes, I’m sure it was. What then? Did you set off somewhere?’
‘How could I? I didn’t know where the fuck I was. It was pitch black. I just wandered along the track until I got to this place.’
‘You broke in,’ Jasmine said.
The girl looked belligerent. ‘I didn’t have to break anything. The window was open. I only had to climb in.’
‘You stayed the night? Angela asked.
‘Yeah. There was a duvet on the bed. I rolled myself in it and got warm. I slept. Best night’s sleep I’ve had for yonks.’
‘Why?” Angela said, showing surprise at the girl’s statement.
‘It was dead quiet. I didn’t have the fucking neighbour’s kid screaming all night or my mam moaning. I slept so well I nearly got caught.’
‘By whom?’ Jasmine asked.
‘Some woman. I heard her fiddling with a key in the lock. I just managed to get into the bathroom before she got in. I went out of the window and waited till she left.’
‘It must have been Mrs Williams getting the cottage ready for us,’ Angela said. Jasmine nodded in agreement.
‘Then what did you do?’ she asked.
The girl looked pleased with herself. ‘Climbed back in, of course. The woman had left some food – bread and milk. I really thought my luck was in. It filled me up that did.’
‘So that’s why there wasn’t anything here when we arrived,’ Angela said to Jasmine. ‘I knew Mrs Williams said there would be some basic supplies here for us.’ She turned to the girl “You didn’t leave then?’
The girl shook her head. ‘Why should I? It was nice and warm.’
‘Mrs Williams put the heating on for us,’ Jasmine said.
‘Yeah, I s’pose it was all for you,’ the girl said. ‘When I heard your car, I realised I’d better scat.’
‘But you didn’t go, did you?’ Jasmine said. ‘What did you do for the night?’
‘I hung around outside and when I heard you go to bed, I climbed back into your bathroom, real quiet like. I stayed there until it got light.’
‘You were in our bathroom all night, while we were in the bedroom!’ Angela cried. The girl nodded.’
‘Lucky for you, neither of us needed the loo,’ Jasmine said.
‘I suppose you came back in when we left for our walk,’ Angela said.
The girl nodded.
‘Ate our beans and took my jumper,’ Jasmine accused. The girl smiled defiantly. ‘And I expect you thought you’d do the same today.’
‘Yeah. I got careless though. I wasn’t expecting you back so early.’
‘It was raining,’ Angela explained.
The girl shrugged, ‘Can’t say I noticed. It was nice and comfy staying in. Don’t know what you’re doing going out when it’s this miserable.’
‘We’re getting some fresh air and exercise,’ Jasmine said. ‘How much of our food have you eaten today?’
‘Nothing. Well, just some crisps. I was going to have another tin of beans, but you came back.’
‘You haven’t had much to eat at all since you got here, have you? Not real food. You must be hungry,’ Angela said.
‘A bit. I’m always fucking starving.’
Angela stood up. ‘Well, I think you need a proper meal. I was cooking spag bol tonight. I’m sure there’s enough for three. First though I think we need coffee. Jasmine?’
‘Yes, but don’t you think we should get this girl to the police station?’
The girl leapt up and ran to a corner of the room. She crouched making herself as small as possible. ‘Don’t fucking dump me on the fuzz.’
‘That’s the right thing to do,’ Jasmine said, ‘They’ll investigate and arrest these men who’ve been abusing you.’
The girl shook her head. ‘No! They won’t believe me. They’ll say I just broke into this place to steal stuff. They don’t care about what men do.’
Jasmine realised that as well as physically and sexually abusing the girl, the men had also brainwashed her into thinking that they were above the law, that no-one would believe her story, so it was no point telling anyone in authority. She had read about it in so many cases. How else could so many boys and girls be exploited by so many men?
She approached the girl slowly, held out her hands to her.
‘I’m sorry. Don’t be frightened. I understand. Now I do. Look, we won’t go to the police. Not straight away.’ She coaxed the girl out of the corner, took her hand and guided her back to the sofa.
‘What are you suggesting, Jas?’ Angela said.
Jasmine wasn’t sure what was going through her mind. She started explaining, nevertheless.
‘We’ve got to help her but she’s right. It takes more than one victim telling a story of child sex exploitation before police officers take it seriously. Evidence is needed; not just other victims; things to corroborate their stories.’
Angela joined in. ‘Do you mean, we’ve got to get that evidence for her to be listened to?’
Jasmine nodded. Angela considered. They stared at each other, understanding each other’s thoughts. Moments of silence passed by. The girl watched them both. At last Angela spoke.
‘Okay. We’ll do it. I don’t know how, but I couldn’t spend the rest of our holiday here knowing that we’d handed her back to be abused some more.’
‘And worse,’ Jasmine added.
‘What are you two on about?’ the girl said.
Jasmine faced her. ‘We’re going to try and get your abusers arrested and ensure that when you leave here that you will be safe.’
‘How are yer going to do that?’
Jasmine shrugged. ‘I don’t know yet. We’ll think about a plan.’
‘Meanwhile, I’ll make coffee and dinner,’ Angela said.
‘And you will tell us your name,’ Jasmine said.
‘Er, it’s Nat.’
‘Nat?’ Angela said.
‘My Mum called me Natasha, but Nat could be Nathan too, couldn’t it?’
Jasmine nodded, ‘If you really wanted to be a boy, yes it could. Okay Nat. There’s something you can do while we’re waiting to eat.’
‘You could have a shower.’
The girl looked surprised. ‘Are you saying I stink?
Jasmine laughed, ‘To put it bluntly. Yes.’
‘I’ll put your clothes in the washer,’ Angela said.
‘I ain’t got any others.’
‘I know that,’ Angela sighed, ‘You can borrow my dressing gown, and some of my clothes. They’re big for you but I don’t think you’ll mind a thick jumper that’s a bit loose on you.’
The girl looked goggle eyed. ‘Are you really going to look after me?’
Jasmine and Angela nodded together.
……………………to be continued.