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High Heels and Beetle Crushers by Jackie Skingley - Book Blitz + Giveaway

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High Heels & Beetle Crushers

A compelling memoir of post-war Britain. Jackie Skingley grew up with limited career choices but joining the Women’s Royal Army Corps offered her a different life, living and working in a military world, against the backdrop of the Cold War. Packed full of stories reflecting the changing sexual attitudes prior to the arrival of the pill and the sexual revolution of the mid 60s, Skingley’s memoir denotes a shift in the political and social fabric of the era. Follow her relationships with the men in her life from finding her first true love, which through a cruel act of fate was denied her, to embarking on a path of recovery.

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The following day, yet another physical experience awaited me. In the gymnasium, the individual obstacle course looked like something the Marines had designed. The climbing walls high, the vaulting horse demanding and the jumps wide. Tight turns were needed to make the circuit. I had to pass this test. I hated heights but was not going to show the Physical Training Instructor my weakness. He was fit and bristling with energy. The challenge had to be completed within an allotted time and each obstacle had a score. Thank God I had long legs and could run fast. I was given a few minutes to plan my strategy. I climbed, jumped, ran and tunnelled until a whistle blew. Breathless, I skidded to a stop.
   Why did you choose that way of going around?the sergeant asked me, ready with his clipboard to take down my answer.
    ‘Gave more points,I gasped.
    My legs trembled and I felt a trickle of perspiration running down between my breasts. The physical test had been hard, but I was elated by my success and allowed a tiny smile of achievement to escape across my face. Not so for Shirley, number 17. When her turn came, she tore her Achilles tendon and was carted off to hospital.
    The blue team, now six, continued the assessments. I remember a light airy room. We sat on chairs placed in a semicircle, an arena set for battle. Christians and Lions sprang to mind. The time for the mini lectures had arrived. I waited my turn, absorbing the delivery of the other candidatesprepared texts, while our team officer listened and scratched his critique on paper with an ink pen. Then he looked up at me.
   Number 12,he commanded.
   My notes fluttered in my hand. I couldnt afford to let him see me quivering with nerves. I took a deep breath and, taking strength from a well-rehearsed script, I stood up and began to speak about Pablo Picasso and his new controversial form of art, cubism. I loved Picassos work, channelling again the enthusiasm developed by my inspirational art teacher. Well into my five-minute talk, I heard the tap of a pen warning me only one minute remained. For a second I faltered, then continued my résumé of Picassos most famous cubist painting, Les Demoiselles dAvignon. The nude female bodies were distorted and formed geometric shapes. It was difficult to tell from the facial expressions of the audience if they shared my passion. The Major questioned me about the concept of cubism. I imagined chocolate box Constable prints on his living room wall. Did I explain the work well enough? I did try my best for you, Pablo.
    One more hurdle to jump, the final interview.
   Number 12, you are next to see Colonel White,said our major.
   The course was nearly over. My confidence regained, I glided down the corridor to the appointed room and knocked on the door. Enter,boomed a male voice. Straight away I became aware of someone else sitting at the back of the interviewing room. My eyes remained on the colonel but instinctively I knew the visitor was a woman. The interview wasnt taxing and, without any difficulty, I answered his questions.
   Thank you, thatll be all,the senior officer said, ending the interview.
    Relieved that the assessment was over, I stood up and turned around. There sitting in the chair, was Lady P., wife of the General of Southern Command, witness to my dramatic fall in the hallway during the recent cocktail party at the Officers Mess in Blackdown. I had blamed my high heels, but the champagne cocktails had also contributed to my downfall. She might say something to the colonel, ruining my hopes of passing RCB. But instead she smiled at me. And was that a wink? Still not sure if my chances were diminished after this unexpected encounter, I kept the fears to myself.

Author Bio –For Jackie Skingley, adventure has been her quest since childhood. Life with the British army allowed Jackie to live all over the world and gain huge appreciation for different cultures and customs. Since 1999, Jackie and her husband have lived in the Charente region of South West France where Reiki, jewellery making, painting and mosaics, as well as writing keep her fully occupied. Member of the Charente Creative Writing Group, mother and grandmother.

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Giveaway to Win 2 x Paperback copies of High Heels & Beetle Crushers (Open UK / US Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK & USA entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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