An excerpt from 'Violet Eyes'.
“Christine gave herself a rueful smile in the mirror. She opened her makeup bag, rummaged for the black eyeliner pencil and added an Elizabeth Taylor beauty spot to her right cheek. Before she could change her mind, she grabbed the bag containing one clean, folded handkerchief and left the room, closing the door firmly behind her. At the top of the staircase, she encountered George. Frank had told her all about the little bronze dragon. Lucky George, he was called, because his twin brother had met a watery fate on the ship Titanic. The plaque beside the sculpture explained his story. The hotel staff encouraged guests to meet George. ‘Stroke him, make a wish and it will come true,’ they said. Even so, Christine felt awkward. She glanced around but no one was there. She gently cupped the dragon’s face with both hands and looked into his green eyes. Her fingers traced the silky smooth, muscular curves of his body and she whispered her wish in his ear.”
“The upper room contained one enormous bed. Above the headboard hung a Degas print of a naked woman combing her long dark hair. Christine stared at the painting and slowly sat down on the bed. Did Frank know about this room? Had he been here before? And who was Dee Dee? The name he’d called out in his dream. Did Dee Dee come here too? Her fingers smoothed the lace coverlet. It looked inviting. She lay back on the pillows and stretched out. There was a curtained closet in the corner of the room; probably hanging space, she thought. She needed to unpack her case, but it could wait for a few minutes. Frank wanted to take her to visit Monsieur Barnard, the wig maker. He’d said he would meet her in reception in half an hour – there was time enough to relax. Her eyes strayed upwards. She froze. There, on the ceiling directly above the bed, was a large smoke-glass mirror.”