Sample Sunday .... My current WIP

This is the first chapter of my current WIP.
I'd appreciate any comments.
Even better constructive critism.
Best of all would be comments if you like it.


“My Mum is dead.”

Emma peeked over the reception desk and into two beautiful green eyes, which belonged to a little girl with brown curly hair, a cute little face with a freckled button nose and she couldn’t help but smile.

“Nadine!” Emma heard a stern voice and turned to see an elderly lady.

“My apologies for that,” the lady said to Emma without the face actually showing any signs of apologies.

Emma smiled. “No need to apologise.” She noticed an elderly man joining the lady and then said, “May I help you?”

“Yes. We would like to check in. Gibbs. William and Teresa Gibbs.”

Emma typed the name on the keyboard and while she was waiting for the screen to give Mrs Gibbs the details she looked at the little girl and broke into a friendly smile.

“Holidays?” she asked.

Nadine’s face spread into a smile and Emma noticed that the little girl had her two top teeth missing.

“And I see the tooth fairy has been to see you recently.”

“Excuse me, –” Teresa glanced at Emma’s name badge. “– Emma. Can we proceed with the check-in please?”

“My apologies, ma’am.” Emma concentrated on the screen, made a few notes and turned around to activate the automated door card in the back office. All the while she noticed Teresa’s glare on her and instinctively pulled on her navy uniform skirt feeling slightly uncomfortable.

Emma was in her early twenties and had worked at the “All Stars” Hotel in Melbourne for about twelve months. It had been something she had always wanted to do – to greet people to this beautiful city and make their stay as comfortable as possible. She was a petite young woman with tawny short curly hair, which was always a bit in disarray, a freckled face with piercing blue eyes and always a smile on her face – Emma was popular with staff and guests.

“Ma’am, that’d be room 502. If you go to the right over here, take the lift to the fifth floor and follow the hall to the near end, you will find Room 502 on your right.”

Teresa Gibbs took the card from Emma and turned it in her hands.

“Ma’am, you slide that into the door instead of a key. I’m happy to ask someone to come with you and show –”

“I’ll be fine thank you.” And Teresa turned to go.  ­

Emma rested her arms onto the counter and winked at the girl. “Enjoy your holidays,” she said and winked with her eye. “And come and see me sometime to tell me about the tooth fairy.”

“We’re not on a holiday,” the girl said in almost a whisper. “We’re here to meet my Dad.”  Then she hopped off after her ... well Emma assumed Mr and Mrs Gibbs were the little girl’s grandparents.

Emma wondered about that remark and then remembered what the little girl had said about her mother. She watched as Mrs Gibbs rushed her husband and Nadine into the lift and then they all disappeared.

“Emma! Come on, stop dreaming.”

Emma turned around and saw Jack standing next to her. She smiled.

“Jack! Where’ve you been?”

Jack lifted one side of his mouth. “Morning Tea.”

“Are you for real? You’ve been gone for an hour.”

Jack grinned and ruffled her hair. “Another bad hair day?”

Emma gently pushed him away and rolled her eyes. “You’re avoiding the subject, Jack!”

He raised his eyebrows. “Which subject?”

 And she poked her tongue out at him. Why should I care if he gets into trouble!

“Miss Gallagher!”

Emma startled and blushed as she slowly turned her head only to see her boss standing behind her. “My apologies Mr Morgan,” she said with a tilt of her head.

Leo Morgan, a man in his mid-forties, still handsome with his olive skin and the hair showing the first signs of gray, suiting his blue eyes, though now his square jaw tensed visibly, took a deep breath and stepped slightly closer to her. “Listen Emma,” he whispered, “I only hear good things about you, people like you and you have a good –, “he paused and then said, “– let’s call it repute. But there’s a certain standard here and I need you to uphold that. Are we understood?”

Emma nodded. “Yes, sir.”

“Good. Now go and do your job and whatever it is between you two, keep it outside the hotel.”

She looked straight up. “But there is nothing –”

“Miss Gallagher!”

“Yes, sir. Understood.”

Emma turned around and checked-in the next few guests. It was only after she had finished her shift that she was able to talk to Jack.

“Thanks for getting me into trouble again.”

Jack placed his arm around her and gave her a kiss on her forehead. “Sorry for that. But you seem to attract that guy. In the five years I’ve been working here, I’ve never seen him as often in the lobby as I have in the last few weeks.”

“Yes, and that’s been exactly every time when I muck up and his focus lands on me.”

“You’ll be right. How about dinner at my place?”

Emma rolled her eyes. “Jerk!”

He grinned and held his arms up in defence. “What?”


  1. I really like Emma! :-) You've got an intriguing beginning here.

  2. What's Jack up to, I wonder?
    You have a lovely easy-read style, Iris. This book looks like being a fun read.

  3. I love it! You've got two mysteries going - what's happening with Nadine and the grumpy couple, and why is Leo Morgan so critical? I'd love to read more.

  4. Thank you sooooo much. Your comments are much appreciated!

  5. Emma is a winner. Fantastic beginning. Now stop goofing off and finish the story

  6. Thx Lindsay ... will you look after my girls for a few days so i can finish the story ??? LOL

  7. NOT
    Love the pcx of Emma

  8. I enjoyed this very much, your description of the characters brought them to life for me. Emma's hair, Nadine's teeth, grumpy grandma, etc. I just have one little quibble, a description of the locale itself.

    What does the hotel look like? Where in Melbourne is it? It's those extra little bits that turn a good story into a great one.

    If you knew me you'd probably fold your arms over your chest and glare at me, adding "you never put description into your stories" so it is a little hypocritical of me to say it to someone else.

    But I really liked the beginning and look forward to the finished article. I don't think I have many followers on my blog, but if you wouldn't mind posting a comment on this particular post, I'd really appreciate it:

  9. Thx for your comment. There'll be a hotel "description" in the next chapter.

    I will check out your post later on today and comment on it. Thx again for stopping by!

  10. I really enjoyed this. I like the style and pace and think it has all the right ingredients to promise a great read. The characters are convincingly drawn and Emma's sensitivity is very appealing - I suspect her playful relationship with Jack is not going to develop into a romance but that the mysterious father of Nadine might? And how you will bring this about is exactly what makes me want to read on!

    My only criticism is that I would have thought it could be longer for a first chapter and, whilst your pacing is excellent, there is room for a few more descriptive touches.

    Well done. I'd be happy to read more of this.

  11. Thank you so much Lynette (ManicScribbler) ... your very detailed comment is much appreciated indeed. Yes, there's more to this chapter, which I wanted to add on yesterday, but unfortunately didn't have the time .... BUT I WILL SOON ! :-)

  12. That's great Iris,
    Hopefully you'll be posting it here?
    I'll watch out for it.

  13. You can read part 2 here:

    THANKS AGAIN everyone !!! Your comments have been valuable.

  14. I enjoyed that Iris! I'm looking forward to finding out make it easy to visualize the characters, and wonder what will happen next!

  15. Thx Brenda. Your comment is much appreciated. The second part of the first chapter has been posted as well.

  16. Hey Iris,

    thanks for sharing! I really like Emma. And it sounds like the start to a good story!
    Two little things (and they are tiny, really...) that I stumbled across... when Jack tells her that their boss has a thing about her, he says that he hasn't ever seen him down this much as in the last weeks. But in the beginning you explain that Emma's been already working there for twelve months, so she's hardly new to the staff?
    Also, as a guy who is particularly proud of the standards of his hotel, her boss would hardly tick her off in public, with guests waiting to be checked in? It's just the image that threw me a little... because you write that she turns around and starts checking in the new guests straight away, so they must have witnessed that scene. :)
    Okay, like I said, these are tiny, tiny, tiny things. But you did say you wanted feedback. :) Good luck and lots of energy for continuing Emma's story!

  17. Thx 'wordsurfer'. Much appreciated. They're not tiny comments at all cos sometimes a scene is so clear in my head, yet not properly put into words.
    Could I entice you to read the second part as well?? :-)