GUEST POST by lead character,Tara Warr

My Girls, by Tara Warr (lead protagonist in The Penance List by S C Cunningham)

Hello there, my name is Tara Warr, T to my friends. I’m solvent, single, live in London (this is beginning to sound like a dating app profile… don’t even get me started on those!).

I have two gorgeous, single, fun-loving, trouble-magnet girlfriends, Helen and Josie. We’ve all reached the age of thirty having avoided the three things that sap a girl’s energy; marriage, divorce and kids.

It’s not that we don’t want long-term relationships, we’re sexually active and adore men, but we’ve just never quite understood the workings of the male mind.

I just about hold down a good job in advertising, heaven knows how – my time keeping is shit, my boss is a dick, I fancy our biggest client (a premiership footballer!) and my incessant swearing and upfront honesty gets me in trouble.

I own a small one bed flat in Chelsea and mostly manage to pay my bills on time (I don’t understand my bank managers lingo, I mean what is a ‘vortex situation’?) and am the dutiful daughter of an eccentric, overbearing, social climbing snob of a mother, whom I pray I don’t become.

My girls and I meet once a week for lunch at our favourite Italian Restaurant, Cellini’s, where we take time out, dump the reality of this crazy world at the door and talk utter rubbish for hours, mainly debating the complicated science of men.

We love escaping to our cosy waiter-friendly haunt, sipping wine, gossiping the trivia stuff and picking at delicious food, whilst being spied on by flirty waiters and pervy, pasty businessmen with wives at home who have no idea on how non-understanding they are.

There are some things we disagree on and our debates get pretty heated. For example, Helen, although she fucks for England, doesn’t actually like sex, whereas I love it. My thoughts are, hey it’s free, healthy, body toning, and sends feel-good pheromones whizzing through your system, what’s not to like? As long as no one gets hurt and you’re with the right person, what better way of spending the weekend than loved up, giggling under a duvet with a delicious edible creature?

But sadly, being an old romantic, for me sex and love go hand in hand. To make love to someone, I have to be ‘in love’ at least a little. And as falling in love doesn’t happen every day I hardly ever actually get any duvet action and endure insufferably long dry patches. But when it’s good, it’s very good and SO worth the wait.

When I do fall I have a penchant for falling for the wrong guys, mainly Viking types, rape and pillage. Well no rape, but certainly plenty of pillage. Pillage of my heart, generosity, trust and with my messier affairs, my bank account.

Thank goodness in the aftermath of my break-ups my trusty girls are always on hand to pick up tear-stained pieces. Their hardest job is overseeing my mobile phone usage. Vetting the texts, voice messages and emails I insist on sending to the offending males, especially after copious amounts of wine and character assassination sessions late into the night.

 ‘to be honest I don’t know why I ever went there anyway, he’s got a small cock, doesn’t know how to use it, could never find my panic button and can’t spell!’

The girls would often have to forcibly uncurl angry digits and confiscate my phone. Not an easy task as I have the strength of an ox when under the logic-drowning influence of alcohol, but much needed to avoid acute embarrassment the following sober day.

‘gonna cut ur herpes-ridden balls off, put em in a coffee grinder, post em 2 ur tart wiv a note, ‘dear slapper, wake up n smell the coffee.’

Is not the sort of helpful message to send to an ex and plaster over Facebook when trying to cultivate the cool, sophisticated, hand raised, ‘am SO not bothered about being dumped’ look.

Post relationships my girls have banned me from sending an ex any non-authorized-by-the-girls messages for at least three weeks – Josie says three weeks is the average habit-breaking time frame.

I’ve spent many a hangover, between trips to the bathroom, wolfing down headache tablets, gallons of water and egg and bacon toasted sandwiches, feverishly thanking my girls for saving me from myself. Why does being dumped by a bloke make us ‘strong women’ behave so desperately pathetic?

“They are after all only ‘men’ for God’s sake! There are plenty more rocks on the mountain,”

Helen would say, patting my back as I classily lean into a loo basin. Josie and I know she means pebbles on the beach, but with the amount of men Helen’s has got through, mountain is indeed probably more appropriate.

So, may I raise a glass of thanks to my girls, Helen and Josie – little do they know of the evil that’s waiting for us just around the corner.

Passion, revenge, kidnap, murder…. and David, that psycho brother of Helen’s, is just getting started!

Thank you for your time, and hang on to those girlfriends of yours, men come and go but the girls stay forever.

Kind regards

Tara Warr

(lead character in The Penance List by S C Cunningham)

Purchase The Penance List HERE


The Penance List by S C Cunningham

A suspense-ridden, sexy, psychological thriller – think SEVEN meets 50 SHADES and hold on tight! A skilled mix of fueled tension, dark humor and pulsating sex scenes. Close the bedroom door and read alone!

What happens when opposites attract – when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a sexual tour de force – when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge – when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay – when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder… and he’s just getting started! To what lengths will exotic millionaire David Howard go, to get what he wants?

Sound good? Go and grab your copy now: The Penance List by S C Cunningham