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Extract from ‘The Secret Mother’ by Shalini Boland

‘The Secret Mother’ is being published as an eBook on the 9th November 2017 by Bookouture.  As a special treat they are giving readers the chance to read an exclusive extract from the book.  Isn’t that just lovely of them?

I am just one of a number of bloggers who is hosting this extract.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

Tessa Markham comes home to find a child in her kitchen calling her ‘mummy’. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the child. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Sister.

~~~~~

What readers are saying about Shalini Boland:

‘Read in one sitting from 9pm last night until 2:15 am.  I literally could not put it down!!!!  The story line and the twists and the way it’s written just draws you in completely and you have to know where it’s going  I couldn’t read fast enough… absolutely addictive and brilliant  and an end I didn’t see coming.  This is one book you have to read and it gets 5 huge stars from me!!!! ’  Goodreads reviewer , 5 stars

‘What can I say? Just wow. I’m usually never surprised by an ending, but  this one blew me away. I am totally in shock  and think I’ll have a hangover from this book for a while.  A great read that keeps you on your toes until the very last word .’  Stacey Harrell, Goodreads

‘If anyone can have me reading until 2am and finishing a book in less than 48hrs in the school holidays it’s this author…  massive five stars  from me.’  Sarah Mackins, UK Crime Book Club , 5 stars

‘The  ending of this book blew me out of the water, you won’t be able to put this down .’  For the Love of Books , 5 stars

‘The plot is  gripping  and once you’ve started reading,  you have to keep on reading, you need to know how the story will end .’  Bits About Books , 5 Stars

… one of the most chilling reads of the year for me .’ Ajoobacats Blog , 5 Stars

‘This book should come with a warning… make sure you have enough time to read it in one-sitting because as soon as you’ll pick it up,  you won’t be able to put it down! ’  Bookishly Ever After , 5 stars

‘This is a brilliant psychological thriller. In fact, it’s one of the best I’ve read. It is full of suspense and has  more twists and turns than a fairground ride .’  Jackie Roche, UK Crime Book Club , 5 Stars

‘I thought I knew the direction this story was going go. Then the  jaw dropping  moment happened!…  unputdownable! ’  Goodreads Reviewer , 5 Stars

‘Once again, Boland has managed to blow my mind with all the  twists and turns … an outstanding  explosive  read!’  Mello and June , 5 Stars

‘Great book. I read it in less than 24 hours. I was unable to put it down. The story was  fast paced and intriguing .’  Goodreads reviewer , 5 stars

 

Extract

Chapter One

The street lamps flicker, illuminating the grey pavement mottled with patches of dirty snow and slick black ice. Slushy puddles hug the kerb, cringing away from the hissing, splashing car tyres. It takes all my concentration to keep my balance. My hands would be warmer if I jammed them into my coat pockets, but I need them free to steady myself on walls, fences, tree trunks, lamp posts. I don’t want to fall. And yet would it really be so terrible if I slipped on the ice? Wet jeans, a bruised bum. Not the end of the world. There are worse things. Far worse things.

It’s Sunday: the last exhale of the week. That uncomfortable pause before Monday, when it all starts up again – this lonely pretence at life. Sunday has become a black dot on the horizon for me, growing larger each day. I’m relieved now it’s almost over and yet I’m already anticipating the next one. The day when I visit the cemetery and stand above their graves, staring at the grass and stone, talking to them both, wondering if they hear my inane chatter or if I’m simply talking into the empty wind. In burning sunlight, pouring rain, sub-zero temperatures or thick fog I stand there. Every week. I’ve never missed a Sunday yet.

Sleet spatters my face. Icy needles that make me blink and gasp. Finally, I turn off the high street into my narrow road, where it’s more sheltered and the wind less violent. A rainbow assortment of overflowing bins lines my route, waiting for collection tomorrow at some ungodly pre-dawn hour. I turn my face away from the windows where Christmas tree lights wink and blink, reminding me of happier Christmases. Before.

Almost home.

My little north London terraced house sits halfway along the road. Pushing open the rusted gate, I turn my face away from the neglected front garden with its discarded sweet wrappers and crisp packets blown in from the street, now wedged among long tussocks of grass and overgrown bushes. I thrust my frozen fingers into my bag until they finally close around a jagged set of keys. I’m glad to be home, to get out of the cold, and yet my body sags when I open the door and step into the dark silence of the hall, feeling the hollow of their absence.

At least it’s warm in here. I shrug off my coat, kick off my boots, dump my bag on the hall table and switch on the light, avoiding my sad reflection in the hall mirror. A glass of wine would be welcome about now. I glance at my watch – only 5.20. No. I’ll be good and make a hot chocolate instead.

Strangely, the door to the kitchen is closed. This strikes me as odd, as I always leave it open. Perhaps a gust of wind slammed it shut when I came in. I trudge to the end of the hall and stop. Through a gap in the bottom of the door I see that the light is on. Someone’s in there. I catch my breath, feel the world slow down for a moment before it speeds back up. Could I have a burglar in my house?

I cock my ear. A sound filters through. Humming. A child is humming a tune in my kitchen. But I don’t have a child. Not any more.

Slowly I pull down the handle and push the door, my body tensing. I hardly dare breathe.

Here before me sits a little boy with dark hair, wearing pale blue jeans and a green cable-knit jumper. A little boy aged about five or six, perched on a chair at my kitchen counter, humming a familiar tune. Head down, he is intent on his drawing, colouring pencils spread out around an A4 sheet of paper. A navy raincoat hangs neatly over the back of the chair.

He looks up as I enter the room, his chocolate-brown eyes wide. We stare at one another for a moment.

‘Are you my mummy?’ the little boy asks.

I bite my bottom lip, feel the ground shift. I grasp the counter top to steady myself. ‘Hello,’ I say, my heart suddenly swelling. ‘Hello. And who might you be?’

‘You know. I’m Harry,’ he replies. ‘Do you like my picture?’ He holds the sheet out in front of him, showing me his drawing of a little boy and a woman standing next to a train. ‘It’s not finished. I haven’t had time to colour it in properly,’ he explains.

‘It’s lovely, Harry. Is that you standing next to the train?’

‘Yes.’ He nods. ‘It’s you and me. I drew it for you because you’re my mummy.’

Am I hallucinating? Have I finally gone crazy? This beautiful little boy is calling me his mummy. And yet I don’t know him. I’ve never seen him before in my life. I close my eyes tight and then open them again. He’s still there, looking less confident now. His hopeful smile has faltered, slipping into a frown. His eyes are now a little too bright. I know that look – it’s the one that precedes tears.

‘Hey, Harry,’ I say with false jollity. ‘So you like trains, huh?’

His smile returns. ‘Steam trains are the best. Better than diesels.’ He scrunches up his face in disgust and blinks.

‘Did you come here on the train? To my house?’

‘No. We came on the bus. I wish we did come on the train, the bus was really slow. And it made me feel a bit sick.’ He lays the sheet of paper back on the counter.

‘And who did you come with?’ I ask.

‘The angel.’

I think I must have misheard him. ‘Who?’

‘The angel brought me here. She told me that you’re my mummy.’

‘The angel?’

He nods.

I glance around, suddenly aware that Harry might not be the only stranger in my house. ‘Is she here now?’ I ask in a whisper. ‘Is there someone else here with you?’

‘No, she’s gone. She told me to do some drawing and you’d be here soon.’

I relax my shoulders, relieved that there’s no one else in my home. But it still doesn’t help me solve the problem of who this little boy is. ‘How did you get into the house?’ I ask, nervously wondering if I might find a smashed window somewhere.

‘Through the front door, silly,’ he replies with a smile, rolling his eyes.

Through the front door? Did I leave it open somehow? I’m sure I would never have done that. What’s going on here? I should call someone. The authorities. The police. Somebody will be looking for this child. They will be frantic with worry. ‘Would you like a hot chocolate, Harry?’ I ask, keeping my voice as calm as possible. ‘I was going to make one for myself, so—’

‘Do you make it with milk?’ he interrupts. ‘Or with hot water? It’s definitely nicer with milk.’

I suppress a smile. ‘I agree, Harry. I always make it with milk.’

‘Okay. Yes, please,’ he replies. ‘Hot chocolate would be lovely.’

My heart squeezes at his politeness.

‘Shall I carry on colouring in my picture,’ he says, ‘or shall I help you? Because I’m really good at stirring in the chocolate.’

‘Well, that’s lucky,’ I reply, ‘because I’m terrible at stirring in the chocolate, so it’s a good thing you’re here to help me.’

He grins and slides off the stool.

What am I doing? I need to call the police right now. This child is missing from somewhere. But, oh God, just give me ten minutes with this sweet little boy who believes I’m his mother. Just a few moments of make-believe and then I’ll do the right thing. I reach out to touch his head and immediately snatch my hand back. What am I thinking? This boy has to go back to his real mother; she must be paralysed with worry.

He smiles up at me again and my chest constricts.

‘Okay,’ I say, taking a breath and blinking back any threat of tears. ‘We’ll do the chocolate in a minute. I’m just going to make a quick phone call in the hall, okay?’

‘Oh, okay.’

‘Carry on with your drawing for a little while. I won’t be long.’

He climbs back up onto the stool and selects a dark green pencil before resuming his colouring with a look of serious concentration. I turn away and pad out to the hall, where I retrieve my phone from my bag. But instead of dialling the police, I call another number. It rings twice.

‘Tess.’ The voice at the other end of the line is clipped, wary.

‘Hi, Scott. I need you to come over.’

‘What? Now?’

‘Yes. Please, it’s important.’

‘Tessa, I’m knackered, and it’s hideous out there. I’ve just sat down with a cup of tea. Can’t it wait till tomorrow?’

‘No.’ Standing by the hall table, I glimpse Harry through the doorway, the curls of his fringe flopping over one eye. Am I dreaming him?

‘What’s the matter?’ Scott says this the way he always says it. What he really means is, What’s the matter now? Because there’s always something the matter. I’m his damaged wife, who’s always having some new drama or make-believe crisis. Only this time he’ll see it’s something real, it’s something not of my making.

‘I can’t tell you over the phone, it’s too weird. You have to come over, see for yourself.’

His sigh comes long and hard down the phone. ‘Give me twenty minutes, okay?’

‘Okay. Thanks, Scott. Get here as soon as you can.’

My heart pounds, trying to make sense of what’s happening. That little boy in there says an angel brought him. He says I’m his mummy. But he’s not mine. So where on earth did he come from?

I take a breath and go back into the kitchen. The air is warm, welcoming, cosy. Nothing like the usual sterile atmosphere in here.

‘Can we make hot chocolate now?’ Harry looks up with shining eyes.

‘Of course. I’ll get the mugs and the chocolate. You open that drawer over there and pass me the smallest pan you can find.’

He eagerly does as I ask.

‘Harry,’ I say. ‘Where are your parents, your mummy and daddy?’

He stares at the pans in the drawer.

‘Harry?’ I prompt.

‘They’re not here,’ he replies. ‘Is this one small enough?’ He lifts out a stainless-steel milk pan and waves it in my direction.

‘Perfect.’ I nod and take it from him. ‘Can you tell me where you live?’

No reply.

‘Did you run away from home? Are you lost?’

‘No.’

‘But where’s your house or flat? The place you live? Is it here in Friern Barnet? In London? Close to my house?’

He scowls and looks down at the flagstone floor.

‘Do you have a last name?’ I ask as gently as I can.

He looks up at me, his chin jutting out. ‘No.’

I try again, crouching down so I’m on his level. ‘Harry, darling, what’s your mummy’s name?’

‘You’re my new mummy. I have to stay here now.’ His bottom lip quivers.

‘Okay, sweetie. Don’t worry. Let’s just make our drinks, shall we?’

He nods vigorously and sniffs.

I give his hand a squeeze and straighten up. I wish I hadn’t had to call Scott. And yet I need him to be here when I ring the police. I can’t deal with them on my own, not after what happened before. I’m dreading their arrival – the questions, the sideways glances, the implication that I might have done something wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong, though. Have I?

And Harry… he’ll be taken away. What if his parents have been abusive? What if he has to go into foster care? A thousand thoughts run through my mind, each worse than the one before. But it’s not my place to decide what happens to him. There’s nothing I can do about any of it, because he’s not mine.

I don’t have a child. Not any more.

~~~~~

Did the extract leave you wanting to read more?  ‘The Secret Mother’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2xrkDu4

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2vXeg3W

 

About Shalini Boland

Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

THE SECRET MOTHER (published by Bookouture) is now available to pre-order!

Shalini’s debut psychological thriller THE GIRL FROM THE SEA reached No 1 in the US Audible charts and No 7 in the UK Kindle charts. Her second thriller THE BEST FRIEND reached no 2 in the US Audible charts and No 10 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row. Shalini’s recent release THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE reached No 9 in the Kindle UK charts.

Follow Shalini Boland on:-

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ShaliniBoland

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ShaliniBolandAuthor/

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Guest Post by Dianne Noble

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I am delighted to welcome Dianne Noble to my blog.  Her second novel, ‘A Hundred Hands’ is out on the 2nd November and I was really interested in knowing what made Dianne write about India.

 

What made me write about India

Imagine your shirt sticking to your back as you edge round a goat, swat at flies and cough as smoke from pavement cooking fires catches in your throat. After four hours of threadbare sleep you’re trying to find the group of street children you’ve come to Kolkata, India to teach English to as a volunteer.

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Your ears hurt with the noise – shouting, blaring horns, a backfiring bus. A cow stands in the middle of the road, munching impassively on an old newspaper, as traffic edges round it. This animal is holy and if a driver were to run into it, he would be dragged from his car by an angry crowd and beaten up.

Heat beats on your head like a hammer as you search among blackened buildings whose stonework crumbles like stale cake. There is a smell of spices and sewage, urine evaporating in hot sun.

When you see the small group it takes you an age to cross the road, weaving between rickshaws, yellow taxis, tuk tuks festooned with dusty tinsel. The children are so tiny – malnourished – with bare feet, cropped hair and laddered ribs, but they shriek with laughter when you try to speak to them in Hindi. They stroke the pale skin of your arms and clamber on to your knees as you sit, cross-legged and crampy, on the bare earth floor. They are a joy, desperate to learn English, desperate to improve their position at the bottom of the luck ladder.

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When you get back to your small room that evening your feet are gritty and blistered, your chest is raw with exhaust fumes and you are unbelievably filthy. Sweat makes white rivulets down the dirt on your face and you feel, and doubtless smell, rank.

By the end of the first week you will be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the poverty, despairing at the smallness of your contribution. How can you possibly do this for three whole months? Whatever were you been thinking of when you signed up?

Maybe, like me, you’ll start a journal and at the end of every day, no matter how tired you feel, you’ll write down every detail of your day – how the children are progressing, who made you laugh, who can now write their names, how much their poor chests rattle, who has the worst sores. It’s a sort of de-briefing you might find cathartic.

Despite having nothing, the children giggle and fool around, laugh and sing, hang on to you, desperate for cuddles, Everywhere you go in this dreadful place Bengali men and women will get used to seeing you, wave and call out ‘Hello, Aunty’ (a term of respect for women of a certain age!) At the wayside shrine even jolly, elephant-headed Ganesh will be wearing a broad grin.

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My diary covered three months and formed the basis for A Hundred Hands, which tells the story of Polly who saw the plight of the children living on the streets and stayed to help. Since then I have been back to India many times. Despite its horrors the country is mesmeric and its people a joy.

 

About Dianne Noble

I was born into a service family and at the tender age of seven found myself on the Dunera, a troopship, sailing for a three year posting to Singapore. So began a lifetime of wandering – and fifteen different schools. Teen years living in Cyprus, before partition, when the country was swarming with handsome UN soldiers, and then marriage to a Civil Engineer who whisked me away to the Arabian Gulf.

Most of the following years were spent as a single parent with an employment history which ranged from the British Embassy in Bahrain to a goods picker, complete with steel toe-capped boots, in an Argos warehouse. In between I earned my keep as a cashier in Barclays, a radio presenter and a café proprietor on the sea front in Penzance.

My travels have taken me to China, Egypt, Israel, Guatemala, Russia, Morocco, Belize and my favourite place, India. I keep copious notes and constantly dip into them to ensure my writing is atmospheric.

My debut novel, Outcast, also set in India, was published by Tirgearr March 2016. I had 32 rejections before I got a foot in the door!

 

Links

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Buy Links for A Hundred Hands which is priced at 99p/99c pre-order until Nov 2nd 2016

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01LZ03JQZ

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZ03JQZ

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/669126

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-hundred-hands/id1161101503?mt=11

https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=9781370663460

 

Author Links

www.dianneanoble.com

www.facebook.com/dianneanoble

www.twitter.com/dianneanoble1

 

Book Launch – ‘The Devil You Know’ by Terry Tyler

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Congratulations to Terry Tyler whose new book, ‘The Devil You Know’ is out today.  Isn’t the cover just fab!

 

Book Blurb

Every serial killer is someone’s friend, spouse, lover or child….

Young women are being murdered in the Lincolnshire town of Lyndford, where five people fear someone close to them might be the monster the police are searching for.

One of them is right.

Juliet sees an expert’s profile of the average serial killer and realises that her abusive husband, Paul, ticks ALL the boxes.

Everyone likes Pru’s new boyfriend—except her teenage daughter, Maisie.  Is she the only one who can see through Gary’s friendly façade?

Jake fancies Tamsin.  Tamsin loves Jake.  But then her love turns to suspicion…

Steve is worried.  Is his childhood friend, Dan, just being his usual, misogynistic self, or has a new friend’s influence taken him down a more sinister path?

Dorothy’s beloved son, Orlando, is keeping a secret from her, and a chilling discovery forces her to confront her worst fears.

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW is a character-driven psychological drama that will keep you guessing about the outcome until the very end.

 

‘The Devil You Know’ is available to buy from:-

Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devil-You-Know-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B01LXQISIY/ref=sr_1_30?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475484232&sr=1-30&keywords=the+devil+you+know

Amazon.com:-

https://www.amazon.com/Devil-You-Know-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B01LXQISIY/ref=sr_1_1_twi_kin_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475488636&sr=1-1&keywords=the+devil+you+know+terry+tyler

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32334948-the-devil-you-know

 

Blog Blitz – ‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ by Tilly Tennant

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Congratulations to Tilly Tennant whose book, ‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ is out today.  With it’s lovely cover you are bound to start feeling that little bit Christmassy.  To celebrate, Bookouture thought it would be great if there was a blog blitz and I’m really happy to be a part of it.  I asked Tilly some questions.  I hope you enjoy my interview with her.

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ please?

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery takes us back to the village of Honeybourne to catch up with the characters of The Little Village Bakery. It’s Christmas, so Honeybourne is sparkling with newly fallen snow and buzzing with anticipation for the festivities. But as usual, the holiday season is not plain sailing for everyone. This book centres around Dylan’s friend, Spencer, and a new arrival at the bakery, Darcie, who is Millie’s cousin. Everyone is keeping secrets and everyone seems to be having some battle or another – whether it is against forbidden love or warring parents, and peace and goodwill to all men seems a long way off!

 

When did you start working on this book?

I started it in February of this year, suffering from post-Christmas blues and wishing we could have it back!

 

Where did you get the idea for this novel from?

Really it was just a natural progression of where we had left the story at the end of The Little Village Bakery. People wanted to know what had happened to certain characters and I was only too happy to find out along with them!

 

What’s it like writing a Christmas book at a different time of the year?

Because this one was written only just after Christmas it didn’t seem too weird. But last year I was writing a Christmas book in July and that was very weird. It’s hard to get in the zone when it’s thirty degrees outside your window and everyone is eating ice-cream!

 

What do you hope readers get from your book?

If they get a few hours of a new world to escape to and a nice feeling at the end, I will be happy I’ve done my job well.

 

Do you have a village bakery near you?

One or two fantastic ones, although they’re more city bakeries as I don’t live in a village. They do make good cakes, though.

 

Have you ever wanted to start your own bakery business?

God no, I’d be hopeless! Much easier to write about a business than run one!

 

What’s your favourite cake?

Cake. Basically I love nearly all cake!

 

When will your next book be out?

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery is out today. I’m currently working on a new series set in Rome and the first one of that is due out in the spring of next year.

 

What’s your advice for anyone wanting to write their first novel?

Stop worrying about whether it will be good or bad and just write it! So many people tell me they would love to write a book but the fear of it being rubbish stops them.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love getting out and about with my teenage daughters. I do like baking but I’m not very good at it. I like going for walks and seeing new places. If I could afford to be on holiday every week I would!

 

Finally, what will you be doing this Christmas?

Collapsing after the mental year 2016 has been! In all seriousness, it will probably just be a quiet family Christmas, but sometimes they are the nicest ones, aren’t they? I’ll be enjoying the break and getting fired up for 2017.

 

About Tilly Tennant

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From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

 

Links

‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ is available to buy from:-

UK: http://amzn.to/29glVkf

US: http://amzn.to/295yTw0

Tilly Tennant’s Website – www.tillytennant.com

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by Jane Lovering

Book Cover

This is the gorgeous cover for ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ by Jane Lovering which is being published on the 28th June 2016.  Read on to find out more about this book.

 

Book Blurb

Is it all too good to be true?

When Willow runs into her old university crush, Luke, she’s a new woman with a new look – not to mention a little bit more cash after a rather substantial inheritance. Could she be lucky enough to score a fortune and her dream man at the same time?

Then Willow meets Cal; a computer geek with a slightly odd sense of humour. They get on like a house on fire — although she soon realises that there is far more to her unassuming new friend than meets the eye …

But money doesn’t always bring happiness, and Willow finds herself struggling to know who to trust. Are the new people in her life there because they care – or is there another reason?

 

Can’t Buy Me Love is published by Choc Lit and is now available to pre-order as an eBook!

Click HERE for pre-order information.

 

 

Cover Reveal – ‘No Turning Back’ by Tracy Buchanan

Book Cover

I am delighted to be taking part in this cover reveal.  ‘No Turning Back’ is being published on the 28th July 2016 by Avon as an eBook and in paperback.  This book sounds really good and is one I am planning to read.

 

Book Blurb

You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life…?

 

‘No Turning Back’ is available to pre-order from Amazon UK:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/No-Turning-Back-Tracy-Buchanan-ebook/dp/B01BB1VMKI?ie=UTF8&keywords=tracy%20buchanan&qid=1461951070&ref_=sr_1_4&s=books&sr=1-4

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘Journey to Death’ by Leigh Russell

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I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour today.  I have read a couple of Leigh Russell’s books, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Below is an exclusive prequel from Leigh.

~~~~~

Lucy and her father were sitting at the kitchen table in her parents’ house.

‘Lucy?’

‘Shall I make some tea?’

‘No, sit down again. I want to talk to you. You know your mother and I are going on holiday?’

‘Yes, of course.’ Lucy smiled at him. ‘And you’re going to have a lovely time.’

‘The fact is, your mother’s worried about going away and leaving you here on your own.’

Lucy sighed. ‘I’ll be fine. You can’t possibly cancel your trip. You’ve both been looking forward to it for so long and anyway, it must be costing you a fortune. Don’t worry about leaving me here. Just because I’m on my own now, doesn’t mean you have to change your plans. You go ahead, and have a lovely time. I’ll be fine, really.’

Her father shook his head. ‘No, you don’t understand. We’re planning to go, but we want you to come with us.’

‘What?’

‘We want you to come to the Seychelles with us.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘Yes. Absolutely.’

‘Wow! That’s generous of you.’ Lucy hesitated. ‘But I’m just not in the mood for a holiday right now. I’d only spoil it for you. You don’t want me to come.’

Her father fidgeted with a salt grinder that was on the table and brushed a few grains onto the floor, before raising a troubled face to her.

‘The fact is, your mother refuses to go without you. She thinks the change of scene will do you good, and I completely agree with her.’

Lucy was not sure what to say.

‘Anyway,’ he went on, ‘she says she won’t go without you, so I hope you’ll agree to come with us.’

Lucy nodded her head. ‘Seems I don’t have much choice in the matter, then,’ she said, and gave an anxious smile.

Her father smiled back. ‘That’s agreed then.’ He stood up, and went to tell his wife.

Watching him leave, Lucy already regretted having agreed to go on holiday with her parents. She was annoyed with them for putting pressure on her to accompany them, and with herself for giving in. But, at the same time, she could not help feeling excited about her trip to the Seychelles.

 

‘Journey to Death’ is available to buy on Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1QJqcqx

 

Guest Post by Nigel May

Author Picture

Nigel May’s gritty and glamorous new novel, Deadly Obsession, sees some explosive, sexy, murderous action taking placing at The Kitty Kat nightclub. To celebrate its launch, Nigel filled us in on the top 10 tunes that are guaranteed to see him hot-footing it to the nearest dance floor.

 

My Top 10 Dance Floor Fillers

  1. DEAD OR ALIVE
    You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
    An awesome tune that reminds me of being a teenager and listening to the Top 40 charts on the radio every week to see if your favourite song has reached No.1. When this did I was so pleased as I’d already bought about three different versions of it!
  2. BEE GEES
    Tragedy
    This seems kind of apt given what happens at The Kitty Kat nightclub in Deadly Obsession! Poor Amy, for her that night is a real tragedy! I love 70s disco and nobody did it better than the Bee Gees. Such a great tune, although trying to sing it gives me a sore throat as the pitch is so high. It’s how they wore those tight trousers!
  3. ABBA
    Dancing Queen
    The best band ever! Nobody tops Abba for poppy joy and Dancing Queen is a song that will live on forever. Laura and Amy in the book are the ultimate dancing queens, they love to throw a move or two.
  4. DAVID GUETTA AND KELLY ROWLAND
    When Love Takes Over
    Happy summer vibes. Makes you want to go to the nearest beach, throw off your flip flops and feel the sand between your toes while sipping on a huge fruit-covered cocktail.
  5. KIM WILDE
    You Came
    Another blast of 80s pop that I adore. Kim Wilde is such a great singer and she’s kind of been the soundtrack to my life. I have loved her ever since Kids In America back in the early 80s.
  6. DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES
    The Happening
    Great Motown songs will always see me on the dance floor and even though Diana Ross and The Supremes have sung many awesome toe-tapping songs this will always be my favourite as it’s so upbeat and jolly.
  7. MARK RONSON
    Uptown Funk
    A modern classic. A huge slab of bass beat and a corking set of vocals. Is there anyone on earth who doesn’t like dancing to this?
  8. WHAM!
    Club Tropicana
    Another sunshine-dipped sound of summer. Chilled out on holiday around a swimming pool with this on the radio and a good book in my hand…bliss!
  9. CHER
    Believe
    A brilliant dance tune with those wobbly electric vocals that always seem fun to sing along with when you’ve had a drink or two. Every karaoke night out should include a bit of Cher.
  10. SIA
    Chandelier
    Wonderful vocals, a fabulous video and a song that I have to turn up full blast on the CD player in my car to try and sing along. Luckily Sia’s brilliant voice drowns out the nightmare that is my own! I gave it a mention in Deadly Obsession as it is one of the best tunes from the last few years. I adore it.

 

DEADLY OBSESSION by Nigel May

Book Cover

UK: http://amzn.to/1Np85tH

US: http://amzn.to/1Xb5Bnk

What would you do if you saw your husband killed right in front of you … identified his body … had him cremated … then six months later received a letter written by him two days ago?

Amy Barrowman grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. So when she falls in love with millionaire Riley Hart and he asks her to marry him she can’t believe her luck. She has found true love and her happy ever after.

Riley Hart is a Millionaire Man about Town. Men want to be him and women want to bed him. But to achieve Riley’s status, you have to tread on a lot of toes and make a lot of enemies.

When Riley is gunned down at the nightclub they own, Amy is determined to avenge his death. She receives a mysterious letter detailing a list of suspects including Riley’s sworn enemy, actor Grant Wilson. But with an obsessive passion brewing between her and Grant and a dangerous assassin trailing her every move it would seem Amy has opened a deadly and tempting Pandora’s Box. In settling the score for her husband has Amy put herself into terrible danger?

Website: www.nigelmay.net

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nigel_May

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nigel.may

 

Cover Reveal – ‘Chosen Child’ by Linda Huber

Book Cover

Today I am delighted to be revealing the cover of Linda Huber’s new book.  Isn’t it lovely?  ‘Chosen Child’ is out on the 15th February.

 

Book Blurb

A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.

Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.

Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the disturbing conclusion to the police investigation.

And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…

 

About Linda Huber

Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, where she trained as a physiotherapist. She spent ten years working with neurological patients, firstly in Glasgow and then in Switzerland. During this time she learned that different people have different ways of dealing with stressful events in their lives, and this knowledge still helps her today, in her writing. Linda now lives in Arbon, on the banks of beautiful Lake Constance in Switzerland, where she works as a language teacher.

Her debut novel The Paradise Trees was published in 2013, followed by The Cold Cold Sea in 2014 and The Attic Room in 2015. Linda has also had over 50 short stories and articles published in women’s magazines. Chosen Child is her fourth novel, and will be published on February 15th.

 

Links

Website: http://lindahuber.net/

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Linda-Huber/e/B00CN7BB0Q/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1433057929&sr=8-1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaHuber19

Guest Post by Ruth Dugdall

Nowhere Girl Cover

Today is a very special day for Ruth Dugdall.  Her book, ‘Nowhere Girl’ is out.

Here is a guest post from Ruth with a competition at the end.

~~~~~

It is the one night in the year when spirits walk, when those that once lived on earth can once again move among the living. And stories seep through the air like mist, dark tales to make the skin shiver. Gather round, and listen…

My story is not of ghosts, but the frailty of humans. The evil, or madness, or badness, that thrives in the most ordinary hearts, in the most normal-looking family. Surely, the scariest story of all.

There is a girl. A Nowhere Girl, whose parents hail from foreign lands, who lives in a country where she is not native. She doesn’t belong, or fit.

And tonight, as ghouls walk the land, she is happy. At a fair; noisy, lively, hot. The smells of spun sugar and the grease of the rides. The best ride of all is a huge Ferris wheel, golden and spending.

Ellie decides to ride.

But she doesn’t get off. She is nowhere to be seen….

And today, her story is finally told. Nowhere Girl is now available.

 

Links

‘Nowhere Girl’ is available to buy from Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nowhere-Girl-Ruth-Dugdall/dp/1910394637/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446147732&sr=1-1&keywords=nowhere+girl+ruth+dugdall

Facebook – Ruth Dugdall Author

Twitter – @ruthdugdall

 

Competition

To celebrate the publication, a copy is being given to a name chosen at random. To enter, simply enter this question:

In what country is Nowhere Girl set?

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 14th November 2015.

The winners will be chosen randomly within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to Ruth Dugdall.

 

Happy Halloween!

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