#BlogTour! #Extract from ‘A Cruel Deception’ by Kim Booth (@K_B_Author) @BOTBSPublicity

Many thanks to Sarah for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘A Cruel Deception’ by Kim Booth. Here is an extract from the book, as well as the blurb and the all important ‘buy’ link:

For Joan and Ted Warner, an innocent and trusting couple, a chance encounter with Barbara Hendry, a cunning con-woman who turned their settled lives into a living nightmare

The Warners were not victims of a remote scam, carried out over the internet by fraudsters from afar. For six years, faking a friendship face-to-face, this plausible woman carried off the impersonation of a member of the nobility fallen on hard times, manipulating the emotions of her victims, deceitfully draining them of every penny they had set aside for their retirement, and plunging them into debt.

Hendrys intention was to slip away, having sucked the Warners dry of all their hard-earned savings. But for some dogged investigative work by a determined detective she would have succeeded- and remained free to prey on other vulnerable victims.

Follow this journey of fraud and depravity in the company of the one man who knows the full story – the British detective who cracked the case and brought Barbara Hendry to justice.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

During the following months and after having spent a large amount away on the fraud enquiry it was time to return to getting on with my local work and wait for justice to take its course. I had left requests for statements to be recorded from witnesses that I had been unable to see and was waiting for any replies. In my absence there had been a number of burglaries at large houses on the patch that needed looking into, I still had the enquiry to pursue where an “additional” grave had been discovered by a gardener in a local graveyard and I had also been given an enquiry to look into about some very suspicious “goings-on” and a very large country house in the north of the patch. Gossip was rife about women being chased around the very large gardens of the premises scantily clad, chauffer driven cars arriving at all hours of the day and night being let into the premises which were guarded by very large metal gates. I decided to go and take a look to see what was going on, and when I approached the gate was met by a very large male with no neck who when I enquired as to who lived there was told in no uncertain terms to “Piss off!” not a good move really by the man on the gate it only served to feed my appetite as to what was going on.

I had not introduced myself for fear of compromising any future enquiries but as it turned out the premises were owned and being used by a multi-national company as a “knocking shop” where executives would no doubt take advantage of the pleasures on offer to ease the process of any business negotiations! The premises later featured in a national corruption enquiry involving a well-known national company.

#BlogTour! #Extract from #CallMeALiar by @ColetteMcbeth @HeadlinePG @AnneCater

‘Call Me A Liar’ is on my TBR and I hope I can get round to it soon, however I am delighted to be hosting an extract of the book for my stop on the blog tour today. Thank you to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite. Before we get to the extract, here is a bit more about ‘Call Me A Liar’:

You could say it started with vanity. We believed we were special. But the truth is we were simply vulnerable.

Months after landing their dream job, five brilliant young minds are sent on a remote retreat.

But when one of them disappears, they’re forced to question why they were brought there in the first place.

And for the first time in their lives, they realise too much knowledge can be deadly . . .

One of them is lying.
One of them is guilty.
No one is safe.

Buy now.

Extract.

Joe

Lewes Police Station

October 2017

Let me say this: cracking Libby’s skull was not part of the plan. I can’t even remember hitting her; it was more of a violent push in the deep heat of an argument and before I could do anything to change the outcome, she was flying backwards, her head making a strange metallic sound as it connected with the stone floor. Ting! That’s the only way I can describe it, like one of those instrumental triangles we used to play in school. It was a shame about the floor too – if it had been a shag pile carpet rather than porcelain, Libby might not be unconscious in hospital. But I’m certain safety was not uppermost in their minds when they were designing that house. It was all sharp angles and hard surfaces and glinting, gleaming glass that allowed your own reflection to stalk you.

I don’t mention any of these misgivings to the police, though. My solicitor has advised me it’s not a good line of defence. They’re hardly going to charge a floor covering with a violent crime, he says.

It’s me they have in their sights, at any rate. Every question is angled towards my guilt. What I did. What I failed to do. My shortcomings – of which there are many – have been itemised and catalogued, and while individually they appear harmless enough, their combined effect in the harsh light of the interview room creates an unsettling picture. I don’t doubt this is the ploy, the web the officers are spinning around me. But it is an effective one nevertheless. Having listened to their accusations and character assassinations for the best part of eight hours, I’m beginning to scare myself.

The main issue appears to be my scant adherence to the rules. Yes, it’s true, there are rules of engagement when you find your self in such situations. Say your wife or child goes missing, say you stumble across a body, or in my case, you happen to knock out a loved one, there are set procedures and scripts to follow. Firstly, you raise the alarm. You call 999. You attempt to help the victim. You account for every second spent before help arrives. Officer, I passed wind at 2.02 p.m. You display the correct mixture of horror, fear and sadness. You cry the requisite amount of tears. Basically, you’re aiming for high levels of authenticity in every single action. Anything too forced or overly dramatic will arouse suspicion. Anything too casual and you are cold and callous. It’s a balancing act and I’m no circus entertainer. I’m failing spectacularly.

I did nothing. Try explaining that one away. I tell them I panicked but even that’s not true. I wasted precious minutes standing over Libby unable to compute what had happened. There was nothing left inside me, no nerves or sensory receptors to send messages to my brain. Even when finally I leant over her to assess the level of damage, I became instead mesmerised by my own face, gawping at me from the polished brilliance of the porcelain floor.

Well, look what you’ve done.

You thought you were special.

Turns out you’re every bit as bad as the rest.

The officers say they want to know everything, but this is a lie. They want to know everything around the narrow field of their investigation, scavenging for morsels of extraneous information that will get us nowhere while blocking out the bigger picture. I have no intention of pandering to them. I could tell them Amy Winehouse was playing on the karaoke system at the party downstairs, not Amy herself, obviously, but Will’s brutal destruction of ‘I’m No Good’, but that would be pointless scene­setting, nothing more. I could make a stab at describing the hurt Libby inflicted upon me. Her revelation chiselling into my bones. I don’t love you, I never did. How she stood in front of me and delivered this nugget of truth. I could tell them how it burnt through the epidermis right down to the subcutis, how I thought the pain might send me mad with grief, but this would provide them with a motive, allow them to craft a neat narrative around revenge.

And this is not a story about revenge.

It’s about ambition and greed, and love, I suppose, and what we do in the name of them.

I tell the officers I looked out of the window and saw the car and the two men getting into it and driving off. I tell them I ran into the hallway and that’s when I saw the smoke and felt the blistering heat.

Have I mentioned the fire?

It has been suggested several times that I started it deliberately to cover up my crime, as if an assault wasn’t enough for one evening and I decided to go the whole hog and burn the place down.

Let me say this clearly: I did not start the fire but someone else did.

Everyone invited to the party was meant to die in that fire.

And just because we survived doesn’t mean we’re safe.

Not even Libby, if she ever wakes up.

#BlogTour! #Extract from Enemy at the Window by A.J.Waines (@ajwaines) @Bloodhoundbook

It is TWG’s turn to host A.J.Waines and ‘Enemy at the Window’ today, and for my stop on the tour I have an extract from the book. Before that however, is a little bit more about the novel, as well as the purchase link. Enjoy!

Someone knows what you did… and they’re watching you…

Daniel is living the dream with a devoted wife, perfect job and adorable toddler. Until out of the blue, his wife accuses him of having an affair and stabs him in a frenzied attack with a kitchen knife. As his wife is sectioned in a psychiatric ward, Daniel returns home from intensive care to find his precious world is inexorably falling apart:

Who is prowling around his house?

Why is someone sending threatening postcards?

And who is his son talking to in the dead of night?

As Daniel attempts to put his life back together, a merciless force just out of reach is unravelling it, bit by bit, until Daniel is plunged into his worst nightmare.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

When Sophie opened her eyes everything was wrong. Someone had tucked her into bed, but it wasn’t hers. She wasn’t in the right place. This wasn’t home.

The last thing she remembered was the sound of a police siren. Somebody further up the street must have had an accident or maybe it was coming from the television. She wasn’t sure. Before that, the childminder had let herself in and was holding her phone, looking horror-stricken. Then there had been a woman wearing green pulling at her arm. She looked like she’d just hopped out of a helicopter or been sky-diving.

What was Daniel doing lying there on the floor under the kitchen table like he’d fallen asleep? And who had spilt all the red paint?

She needed to get out of here; to start clearing it all up.

She struggled against the crisp white sheets. They were too tight. As if she was strapped down. Looking over to her right there was another bed, and then another next to that. Wait a minute – there are other people here. What’s going on?

The curtain on her left was pulled aside; the rings rattling along the pole like coins spilling from a fruit machine. A woman dressed in a blue uniform looked down on her.

‘How are you, Sophie?’

‘Where am I?’

The nurse smiled and held Sophie’s wrist as she focused on her watch. ‘Do I know you?’

Sophie read the name ‘Rose’ on her name tag, but it didn’t mean anything to her.

‘You’re in hospital – you’re safe.’

Rose leant over to plump up her pillows and Sophie flinched. ‘Don’t worry… no one is going to hurt you.’

‘This isn’t right. I’m not…’

‘Rest for now. There’s some juice on the table if you want it.’

Sophie narrowed her eyes. There was a persistent throbbing sound. Too loud. Trapped inside her head. Clanging and banging. She jerked from side to side to try to find the source. They’re trying to electrocute me. They’re trying to kill me. Her bones felt like they were on fire beneath her skin. She called out.

‘Help… help me!’

The same nurse returned to her side, looking inconvenienced.

‘What’s the matter?’ she said, her hands on her hips.

‘That noise? What are you doing to me?’

The nurse glanced at something above Sophie’s head and gave her the kind of smile reserved for someone who has already made too many claims on one’s patience.

‘It’s your heartbeat,’ she said. ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’

‘My heartbeat?’

‘Yes. You’re hearing the blood pumping inside your head, that’s all. It’s normal.’ The nurse turned, her soft soles squeaking on the linoleum.

It was starting to become clear. Daniel had told lies to make these people keep her here, so he could shack up with that slut he’s been seeing behind her back. She tried to rear up again, but her head hurt and things started to swim out of focus.

Her body shook uncontrollably and a burning sweat encased her, followed by a chill that made her teeth rattle. Oh God, I’m dying.

For a moment she wondered if she was in fact already dead and her body was making its journey towards an everlasting black hole. She tried to call out again, but nothing happened. No sound came out. She was locked inside the tomb of her own body. Then suddenly, as if a switch in her brain clicked off, she started to drift into a hazy calm.

Don’t panic… it’s only a dream… you’ll wake up in a minute.

#BlogBlitz! #Extract from ‘Caught in a Web’ by Joseph Lewis (@JRLewisAuthor) @RaRaResources

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Anyone feeling as though they’re a spider right now? No? Just me…..

Anyway!!! Day four of the mini blog blitz is here, and for my stop today I have an extract from ‘Caught in a Web’ by Joseph Lewis. Many thanks to RaRaResources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. Enjoy!

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The bodies of high school and middle school kids are found dead from an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. The drug trade along the I-94 and I-43 corridors and the Milwaukee Metro area is controlled by MS-13, a violent gang originating from El Salvador. Ricardo Fuentes is sent from Chicago to Waukesha to find out who is cutting in on their business, shut it down and teach them a lesson.  But he has an ulterior motive: find and kill a fifteen-year-old boy, George Tokay, who had killed his cousin the previous summer.

Detectives Jamie Graff, Pat O’Connor and Paul Eiselmann race to find the source of the drugs, shut down the ring, and find Fuentes before he kills anyone else, especially George or members of his family. The three detectives come to realize that the ring has its roots in a high school among the students and staff.

Buy now from Amazon US
Buy now from Amazon UK

About the author.

Joseph Lewis has written five books: Caught in a Web; Taking Lives; Stolen Lives; Shattered Lives, and Splintered Lives. His sixth, Spiral into Darkness, debuts January 17, 2019 from Black Rose Writing. Lewis has been in education for 42 years and counting as a teacher, coach, counselor and administrator. He is currently a high school principal and resides in Virginia with his wife, Kim, along with his daughters, Hannah and Emily. His son, Wil, is deceased.

Lewis uses his psychology and counseling background to craft his characters which helps to bring them to life. His books are topical and fresh and appeal to anyone who enjoys crime thriller fiction with grit and realism and a touch of young adult thrown in.

Social Media Links 

Twitter 

Facebook 

Amazon


Extract.

Introduction to Brian, an Unofficial Member of the Evans’ Family.

Brian’s twin brother, Brad, died the summer before in a tragic shooting at a soccer game the summer before. His family hasn’t been the same since. His parents mourn the loss of their son, and Brian is neglected. He seeks comfort and receives it from Jeremy and his sons. He overheard the conversation between Brett and Jeremy, but didn’t enter the room because he didn’t want to intrude.

Sitting on the floor in the hallway near the doorway with his knees drawn up to his chest, Brian heard most of the conversation between Jeremy and Brett. He hadn’t intended to eavesdrop, but he didn’t want to butt in either. Still, he found he couldn’t leave. 

He never worried about getting hurt in soccer. It had never occurred to him. Sure, there was a sprained ankle and a bruised knee here or there and sometimes his hip pointer bothered him. Sometimes even his hamstring bothered him, but all of that was expected. Eventually they went away. Never did he ever think of quitting. He liked soccer too much, probably better than basketball, but he liked both. 

Twice, he heard Jeremy say that he was as important as Randy and Billy, George and Brett and Bobby. Twice, he heard Jeremy say that he was part of their family. Well, not actually a part of the family, but kind of. And he had heard Jeremy and Brett say that they loved him.

Ever since Brad had died, his parents had changed. In the year and a half since, he never had a conversation with his mom or dad like Brett had with Jeremy and that was unusual, because he and his brother always talked to his parents. Little things, big things, mostly everything. 

But all that changed the night Brad was shot and killed along with so many others. Part of the summer of death. Ever since that summer, his parents sat around the house like extras in The Walking Dead. 

Quietly, slowly, Brian stood up and walked back to the family room. 

George was covered with a light blanket and asleep on the couch with his dog, Jasmine, on the floor beside him. Billy was covered with a blanket and asleep on the floor next to the couch. 

Jasper, with his tail wagging, looked up at him from the floor next to the recliner. Brian knelt down and scratched the dog behind the ears and in return, Jasper licked Brian’s face. He hugged the dog and Jasper responded by snuffling into his neck. 

Brian stood up and sat down in the recliner and patted the chair, signaling to Jasper to join him. The dog jumped up and nestled in Brian’s lap as Brian curled up and fell back to sleep.

#BlogTour! #Extract – #FallenAngel by Chris Brookmyre (@cbrookmyre) @LittleBrownUK

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It’s day two of the ‘Fallen Angel’ blog tour! Chris Brookmyre’s novel will be published on the 25th April – congratulations Chris! For my stop on the blog tour today, I have an extract from the book. Many thanks to Little Brown UK for inviting me to take part! Enjoy!

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ONE FAMILY, TWO HOLIDAYS, ONE DEVASTATING SECRET

To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.

Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…

And suspicion is a dangerous thing.

Pre-order now from Amazon! Published 25th April by Little Brown UK

She fears that she’s going to be sick. It’s not pleasant, but none­theless, there’s something reassuring about the familiarity of the sensation, and of the moment: getting rid of a problem. Getting rid of a threat.

Finally, L finds his voice.

‘There’s something wrong with you.’

‘Hardly a scoop. You know, they say that when someone tells you who they really are, you should listen.’

L steps aside momentarily as Peter ambles awkwardly past, clutching his clothes. He’s so spooked he walks right out the front door, presumably intending to get dressed in the lobby.

L waits for the door to close before he speaks again.

‘You wanted me to see this.’

‘Brilliant deduction. I guess all the things I’ve heard about your powers of observation are correct.’

There is an easeful coldness to her delivery. It comes readily enough but on this occasion it feels like an act. It puts her at one remove, saves her from truly feeling anything. This is particularly valuable tonight, because what she is feeling frightens her.

‘Look, this is a mess, but this doesn’t have to be it,’ he says. ‘We can talk. You can talk. I can listen. Believe me, I can listen.’

Ivy swallows.

‘You can fuck off . . .’

She pauses at the end, aware the sentence is incomplete. She stopped herself saying his name, because the only one she’s ever regularly called him by is a term of affection. Right from the off, it was a pet name: an inside joke, his middle initial. L. Lately when she sees it flash up on her phone, she’s become afraid it might stand for something else. That’s why she had to do this.

He doesn’t slam the door. It would be easier if he did. He closes it softly, considerately, like everything else he does.

#BlogTour! #Extract from ‘Sleep’ by C.L.Taylor (@CallyTaylor) @AvonBooksUK

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It’s TWG’s turn to ‘sleep’…or not! I have an extract of C.L.Taylor’s new novel, Sleep, for you all today! Many thanks to Avon Books for the blog tour invite. I have everything crossed that I can get to this soon!!

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All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…

To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.

Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.

Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

Extract.

Maybe I shouldn’t go for the marketing director job. Maybe I should give up work, leave Alex and move to the countryside. I could go freelance, buy a small cottage and a dog, take long walks and fill my lungs with fresh air. There are days at work when I feel I can’t breathe, and not just because of the pollution. The air’s thinner at the top of the ladder and I find myself clinging to it, terrified I might fall. Freddy would love it if I did.
Squeak. Swish. Squeak. Swish.
Get. Home. Get. Home.

The hail is falling heavily now, bouncing off the windscreen and rolling off the bonnet. Someone snorts in their sleep, making me jolt, before they fall silent again. I’ve been driving behind the car in front for a couple of miles now and we’re both keeping to a steady seventy miles an hour. It’s too dangerous to overtake, and besides, there’s something comforting about following their red fog lights at a safe distance.
Squeak. Swish. Squeak. Swish.
Get. Home. Get. Home.

I hear a loud, exaggerated yawn. It’s Freddy, stretching his arms above his head and shifting in his seat. ‘Anna? Can we stop at the services? I need the loo.’ ‘We’re nearly in London.’ ‘Can you turn the heating down?’ he adds as I glance from the rear-view mirror to the road. ‘I’m sweating like a pig.’
‘I can’t. The heater on the windscreen’s not working and it keeps fogging up.’
‘I’m going to open a window then.’
‘Freddy, don’t!’
Anger surges through me as he twists in his seat and reaches for the button.
‘Freddy, LEAVE IT!’

It happens in the blink of an eye. One moment there is a car in front of me, red tail lights a warm, comforting glow, the next the car is gone, there’s a blur of lights and the blare of a horn – frantic and desperate – and then I’m thrown to the left as the car tips to the side and all I can hear is crunching metal, breaking glass, screaming, and then nothing at all.

Buy now from Amazon.