Jo Woolaston : Pink Ice Creams

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Pink Ice Creams. I’m sharing an extract with thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and for my copy of the extract.


Intent on fixing her broken marriage and the alcohol-fuelled catastrophe that is her life, Kay Harris arrives at her grim and grey holiday let, ready to lay to rest the tragedy that has governed her entire adulthood – the disappearance of her little brother, Adam.
But the road to recovery is pitted with the pot-holes of her own poor choices, and it isn’t long before Kay is forced to accept that maybe she doesn’t deserve the retribution she seeks. Will the intervention of strangers help her find the answers she needs to move on from her past, or will she always be stuck on the hard shoulder with no clear view ahead and a glove box full of empties?
Pink Ice Creams is a tale of loss, self-destruction, and clinging on to the scraps of the long-lost when everyone else has given up hope.


There is no respite for Kay, awake or asleep or semi-comatose, the last known movements of her brother play backwards and forwards in her troubled mind –  his fate her invention more often than not, as she desperately tries to make sense of what became of him with the known facts and hypothesis interchanging at will and teasing her with their refusal to find true form…

Adam climbs down from the stile and strides through the mud, his eyes closed tight ap gainst the muddy slaughter of his new shiny-whites. Kay is a stupid cow. He was only  flicking water, she didn’t have to go MENTAL! Mummy will bring ice-cream soon, and he’ll  get the biggest one today, maybe a double cone. Kay will get none.

From the cliff edge Adam watches the sea washing over the morning sandcastles. If he throws one of the stones from his pocket hard enough, he could hit the castle Kay made.

He finds a small pebble and hurls it towards the horizon, it doesn’t even reach the edge of the cliff. He tries another, this one rolls slowly to the edge and just when he thinks it isn’t going  to make it, it picks up speed, hops a little dance and tips over.

Adam scrambles under the fence to try a better shot, ignoring the gravel loosening under his elbows, the dust cascading onto the rocks beneath. He reaches deep, scrabbling for the best pebble, round and heavy. He throws. The pebble bounces first into a rock jutting out  of the cliff before sailing down to the reducing beach with a satisfying clatter. Adam strains  to get a closer look. More dust falls.

It is the same jutting out rock that smashes into Adam’s skull on his way down. His young body turns full circle, a graceful, silent descent onto the expectant rocks below until  the landing breaks his slender neck and snaps his leg at the knee. He lies, very still, with his  chest on top of his muddied shoe. The sea laps, swirling the mud with his blood whilst  overhead helicopter blades make a swish swish swish swish…

Eurgh. Yik. I am almost awake, chewing on a gob-full of puke-coated carpet. My head is like lead and my neck too weak to lift it. Left arm is dead. My cheek is stuck to the  floor but feels at home there, as does my body on the hard floor. Oh look, a sticking plaster  under the cabinet all covered in fluff, the cleaner must have missed it.

If I don’t get moving soon, Adam will fall off the cliff again. Sometimes I wish he had, and then I hate myself. But it would have been over, we would have grieved. Me and

Mum and Nan would have lain flowers, sobbed, clung to each other, and then in some way we would have recovered.

But he didn’t fall. There was never a body on the rocks or anywhere, or even a pLlausible explanation to where he might have gone. All we had left of him was a crippling hollow between us that grew and grew, and a pair of muddy trainers in the woods.


You can follow the rest of the tour here :

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