Introducing Be My Baby by A.L. Michael...

Be My Baby

Blurb: Two’s company…

If you asked Mollie whether she struggled as a single mum, she’d have to cover her daughter’s ears before answering. Surrounded by friends, watching Esme grow into the sassiest eleven-year-old in North London, and building her name as TV chef Mollie Makes, Mollie’s never been happier. Well, that’s what she’d tell you. But as her best friends pair off, and Esme starts getting into trouble at school, Mollie wonders whether life would be different – not better…but easier – with a team mate.

Three’s a crowd?

But Esme’s dad, Jamie, would be the last man Mollie would team up with. After all, he made it clear eleven years ago that he wasn’t interested in playing the family game. So when he suddenly reappears, Mollie can’t believe her eyes. And soon, she’s got to ask herself the hardest question yet: she knows she can succeed as a single mum. But what if her daughter doesn’t want her to?
Well, Mollie thought as she desperately sipped her glass of Pinot Grigio, Ben was perfectly nice. But he was going to have to die.
This one was all Kit’s fault, suggesting a ‘friend’ from work. Ben was an accountant, he went to the gym every day at five a.m., he loved holidays in the south of France and would choose a good cheeseboard over a dessert, every time. Ben also chewed with his mouth open, and if she had to look at the half-masticated cow he’d been rolling around his trap whilst he’d been talking, for one moment more, Mollie thought she might vomit. Also, the man didn’t ask questions.
‘Well, I should probably get going, got a big morning tomorrow, you know,’ Mollie shrugged, signalling desperately to the waitress for the bill, and reaching for her purse.
‘Big morning?’ Ben smiled, ‘I thought you worked in the arts? Surely it’s all ten a.m. starts and parties?’Ah, so he did ask questions. Stupid questions.
‘Nope, I’ve started a company creating healthy, exciting food for kids. I’m being interviewed for a morning TV slot. Mollie Makes...’ Mollie shrugged awkwardly, ignoring the fact that, whilst that was true, that wasn’t happening tomorrow. Tomorrow morning she was taking her daughter to school. Not that he knew she had a daughter, because Ben didn’t ask questions.
‘Oh no, not more of all that “kids can eat quinoa” bollocks, is it?’ Ben laughed, slurping at his wine. The wine he’d spent ten minutes telling the waitress didn’t have a full enough body, and was incorrectly described on the menu. ‘I ate chicken nuggets and chips all the time as a kid. If those obese kiddies are fat, it’s because they’re lazy and need to get off their games consoles.’
Mollie widened her eyes, but said nothing, instead sending a look of relieved appreciation as the waitress delivered the bill. The girl caught her eye and quirked a lip, she must have seen a billion bad dates at this table. Mollie brandished her purse desperately, hoping the waitress wouldn’t leave.
‘Oh no, no, Molls, my women don’t pay,’ Ben shook his head, reaching for his wallet, ‘besides, I don’t suppose you’ve got a gold card, have you?’
‘No, I applied, but when they asked for my soul as collateral, I had to decline,’ Mollie smiled sweetly, and Ben looked at her in surprise.
‘Well look, Molls...’ he pulled out her chair as she stood, ‘let’s talk about where this is going, I’m an upfront guy, can’t afford to waste time, time is money you know. So, how many dates before I get the keys to the kingdom, so to speak?’ He raised his eyebrows in what he seemed to think was a playful manner and grinned, hands in his pockets as he shrugged.
Mollie pursed her lips as if she was thinking, ‘Ahh, I see, I mean, you’ve got out the gold card, so...’
‘Exactly! I knew you were the sort of woman who understood how the world works.’
She was that sort of woman, Mollie realised. She was a woman in her late twenties, who had successfully raised a child, who had started a business, left her crappy home town and created a brilliant life. And the only thing that was missing was someone to share it with.
But apparently, in the eleven years she had been raising a child, men had started to believe that swiping right was what their opposable thumbs were truly for. No more. If this was how the dating world worked, then the fairy tale was dead before it began. It was time to put away the politeness.
‘Right, well,’ Mollie pouted, twirling her blonde curls around her finger thoughtfully, ‘I’m afraid my vagina doesn’t come with a card chip-and-pin machine. Or contactless. But thanks though. Word of advice? Maybe try chewing with your mouth closed in future. Or just keep your mouth closed throughout the date, that would work too.’
Mollie threw her shoulders back as she walked off, and the waitress grinned at her, clapping her hands silently in applause. Well, for her first date in eleven years... that went as well as could be expected.

The prize is a goodie bag, full of healthy foodie treats inspired by one of the characters in the book! It will include baking goodies and other stuff!
It will run from the 28th November till the 12th December. UK only.
About A.L. Michael

A.L Michael is a writer and workshop leader from North London. She has a BA in Creative Writing with English Lit, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship and is starting an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She likes learning and hates essays.

She's a fan of cheap wine, expensive chocolate and still wants to be a secret agent when she grows up, but she'll settle for lying on the page.



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