Please join us in welcoming the ultra-groovy, tremendous Cassie O’Brien to the StudioBlog. She’s awesome, she’s spiffing, and she’s sharing news of her debut novel. Ooh, a debut. How marvellous! Here we go!

Studioenp: What’s your favourite drink and why?

Cassie: Champagne, because it means I’m celebrating something happy, fantastic, and fun.


Studioenp: Cup of chamomile tea for Em, Coffee for Paul. Em wants to try all forms of tea, something she’s yet to do, which leads us nicely to your next question. What’s on your bucket list?

Cassie: Italy—lots and lots of it. There is so much I want to see there. I’m waiting for the day when (hopefully), with money and time to do so, I can make an extended visit of several months.


Studioenp: Ooh, that would be nice. All that yummy food they make. Another lead to the next question! If you had to eat the same meal every day, what would it be?

Cassie: Chicken fajita made with my own spice mix.


Studioenp: Get you with your own spice mix. We’ll kidnap you for the recipe one day. Moving on, because we did not just mention kidnap, because that’s against the law… What’s your phobia and why?

Cassie: Shudder—any arrangement of tiny, tightly packed somethings in sequence turns my stomach. My list is endless… The centre of a sunflower, beadwork on clothes, Romanesque broccoli, tapioca, and worse of them all…corn on the cob!


Studioenp: Corn on the cob? Why on Earth…?

Cassie: Well, several years ago I heard a revolting ‘fake news’ story involving the aforementioned corn on the cob that seared such a gross image in my mind that the head pic reappears in all its full glory at the sight of any sequential reminder.


Studioenp: Trauma! Do you need smelling salts? Are you okay? I mean, even writing that must have been horrible. Let’s run away from that now. In your spare time—if you have any!—what’s the thing you do that makes you feel the most you?

Cassie: Putting the world to rights over a bottle of wine with ’im indoors.


Studioenp: Oh, we like to do that, too. Mainly over a hot chocolate or something like that. We’re probably classed as boring. Are you an extrovert or introvert?

Cassie: A secret extrovert. I’m quiet and, I think that most people would say, a little shy until someone mentions the word party, then it’s high-high heels, a body-con dress, and OTT all the way.


Studioenp: Ooh la la! Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know.

Cassie: I’m one of a pair. I have a twin.


Studioenp: How great is that? If money were no object, what’s the first thing you’d buy just for yourself?

Cassie: In an orgasmic frenzy, vast quantities of Louboutin’s and Jimmy Choo’s!


Studioenp: Shoes. Hey, ’im indoors, watch your wallet! What’s one outrageous thing you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the courage?

Cassie: I’d love to freefall skydive. It would be just…wow!


Studioenp: Blimey, you are an extrovert! So what’s the best thing you’ve ever done?

Cassie: If we can take the raising of children as a given, it has to be having The Girls’ Club accepted for publication by Totally Entwined.


Studioenp: Ah, that’s lovely. Good luck on your debut release—and keep writing!

Blurb for The Girls’ Club:

A girl with darkness in her past. A man who can heal her wounds.

A dark night. A shortcut through the park. A nineteen-year-old girl is violently mugged.

Four years later…

Ness lives in London with her flatmate Jules—single, carefree but shadowed by the darkness of the violence that has created a distrust of strangers and the inability to have a sexual relationship with a man who is not first a friend. Then she meets Jason…

Their attraction is powerful, their sex incredible and they are compatible in other ways, too, but Ness’ insecurities come to the fore. She doesn’t have the life experience to determine whether Jason feels the same—and the antics of her co-workers aren’t helping.

Jason—who has mysterious ties to his business and the artworld—must recognize that his attractiveness to other females is an issue before the sudden threat he encounters puts them both in danger of not being together at all or suffering a deadly fate.

Excerpt for The Girls’ Club:

The moon hid behind the trees to leave the path a dark trip hazard of exposed, misshapen tree roots for us to find. I grabbed Jules’ hand to steady myself and giggled into the warm night air as I stumbled. Jules giggled beside me.

“Shouldn’t ’ave had the last one, Ness.”

“The B-52 or the pinta piña colada?”

Jules lurched against me as her shoe snagged and caught. I laughed and pushed her upright again.

“Both. Should’a got a taxi, though.”

“Only gotta get through the par—”

Jules’ chin hit her chest and her knees crumpled as the back of my head exploded with pain from a curled fist that I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye as my legs gave way. My butt hit the path and I joined my scream to Jules’, kicked out with my foot and caught the thigh of the chunky male closing the gap between us with the high heel of my shoe.

“Fuck! You bitch!”

The man made a grab for my ankle. I brought my other leg up, kicked, caught his thigh again with the heel of my other shoe and screamed louder. Jules’ shrill cry cut off with a crack of bone on bone.

“What the fuck you doin’, man?”

“She’s kicking me.”

“Just shut ’er the fuck up!”

The man lurched forward and dropped his weight onto my legs, used it to stifle my struggles and cut off my voice with a hand clamped over my mouth and nose as I writhed beneath him. I fought for breath, aimed desperate fingernails at brown eyes beneath a knitted hat pulled down low and flashes of light swam before my eyes as a clenched hand connected with the side of my head.

“Get the fuck on with it! I’ve got the other one’s jewelry and bag.”

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