#BlogTour! #Extract – What Happened to Us by Faith Hogan (@GerHogan) @aria_fiction

I am delighted to be on the blog tour for Faith Hogan’s new novel today. Unfortunately I couldn’t do my review due to a technical difficulty in getting the book, but I am able to share an extract from the book instead. Do watch this space as I intend to read it ASAP though!!

Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego. 

 Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!

 Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side. 

 With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable… 

 How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

 Buy links

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Pv3cCJ 
iBooks: https://apple.co/2BBjSpp

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2o3aMrV 
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2OHDsSO

Extract.

Carrie eyed her stocky frame critically in the mirror. She had washed her hair and attempted to brush it out straight, but of course, as always, it disobediently fell back into a mass of curls. In the end, she pinned it up in a messy bun and pulled a few tendrils free, in case she needed to hide behind them. She had just spent an hour crying about the way things had turned out, so she hoped there were no more tears left. Her shift in the restaurant started in less than forty-five minutes. The last thing she wanted was a replay of the previous evening. She may be an emotional wreck; it didn’t mean that all sense of herself had to be obviously lost.

She pulled out an emerald wrap dress she’d bought in New York a few years earlier. It was made of the softest wool and always garnered a compliment when she wore it. It worked quite well with patent heels and her black lacy bolero. She needed a splash of Manhattan in her life now. The wrap top managed to hold in her ample boobs. The skirt though narrow didn’t make as much of her peasant thighs as some clinging skirts did. It was the best she could do, and she wasn’t sure who she was trying to impress anyway, she could never match Valentina for looks.

‘Right, Teddy, how do I look?’ she quizzed the little dog when she went back into the kitchen. He looked at her curiously, she was not sure if she passed the appearance test, but she had a feeling he saw something in her that went deeper than her figure. She bent down and scratched his head gently. He seemed content to slumber in the same spot in her kitchen, so she left him there.

She was dreading going into The Sea Pear. There, she’d said it. How long had she felt like that? She shook her head, not long, probably only since Kevin made his announcement. God, it was almost a full fifteen minutes since she gave him a thought. Now the dread filled her again. There was no point going through the thoughts that were cramming her mind: What was she supposed to do now? What was Kevin going to do? Was he going to shack up permanently with Valentina? Carrie couldn’t allow her mind to go there, not yet. For now, she had to get through working in the same building as the pair of them. For now, that would be as much as she would demand of herself.

The restaurant felt warm and fresh when she arrived. It wasn’t four hours since she walked through here with Teddy and Luke. Yet, knowing that Kevin was going to be here now, the place felt different. As though its familiarity was jarring with what it should be. She hadn’t been at work since yesterday evening, when she’d run out of here distraught. No one had checked up on her and the business had not come crashing down without her. Actually, the place looked fine. Everything was exactly as it should be.

The smell, familiar, trailing before her was Kevin – a mixture of Calvin Klein and hair products to make his wiry hair appear sleek. They had not spoken, not really, since he had trotted out of her office with Valentina at his side. Oh, they’d exchanged orders from the kitchen to the front of house. They’d worked around each other in careful silence for almost two days, until finally the hollowness inside her had given way last night. He, she knew, was much more cowardly than she. Had she always known that? Was he actually spineless? She thought about it for a moment, then she threw her shoulders back, her ample chest out and marched into the kitchen. She was not afraid. Broken, but not afraid.

‘I can’t believe you left my mother high and dry.’ Kevin’s voice reached a pitch she hadn’t heard in years.

How are you Carrie? How are you doing? I was worried about you?’ Carrie said the words sarcastically; after all, they were what she imagined she would say to him if things were reversed.

‘Of course, I was worried about you, we both were, but…’ He ran his long fingers through his thick hair and she noticed it seemed greyer now than it was before. Could he have aged overnight or was it really so long since she’d actually properly looked at him? ‘But still, what was I supposed to do, drag you back to work. Valentina said you probably needed some time to get your head around things. We managed fine, by the way,’ he nodded towards the restaurant.

‘Really,’ Carrie said and she let the hurt of him talking to Valentina about her slide sideward on her consciousness. She couldn’t think about all the times they’d probably spoken about her these last few weeks or maybe months. ‘Well, good news for both of you. But I’m back now, so…’

‘Well, of course,’ Kevin bit his lip, a nervous habit he had worked hard to kick in college. ‘And…’

‘Yes?’ she said. Had he thought about the restaurant, had he thought about the house? She’d bet Valentina had thought of it.

‘Well, it’s just…’ He was too weak to move things forward and for that, perhaps, she was glad; she had enough to cope with for now.

‘You’ll need to tell your mother, Kevin. From now on you’re going to be bringing her to mass every Sunday.’ She grabbed an apple from the top of a newly delivered box and took a satisfying bite. God, but she’d love to be a fly on the wall when he told Maureen Mulvey about Valentina.

Working in the restaurant that evening was hard. There was no point lying to herself. Carrie sidestepped Valentina when she could, but they couldn’t avoid each other. Perhaps she could ask some of their friends to give Valentina work in their restaurant. Jim McGrath ran a little bistro on the north side; she’d make a bomb there in tips. She could suggest it to Kevin, maybe, in a few weeks, when they had time to cool down, all of them.

That was the funny thing though; they were all very cool about this. She hadn’t lost her temper, she hadn’t screamed or shouted, or thrown plates. Today, at least, she didn’t want to hit him or hurt him in any way and, maybe, that meant something. Maybe it meant something more than she’d have realised if this hadn’t happened. Oh, she was hurt. She was hurt beyond description, the kind of pain that goes deep into the core of you. Even when she thought she’d cried herself out, she felt a new current of grief rise within her, bringing waves of tears to her eyes that there was no stopping. Poor Teddy had leant against her leg, lapped up the tears and occasionally rested his head on her lap, as if to offer her his own brand of sympathy. It was a funny thing; there was something in the dog that made her feel he actually got her pain, he, by his very wish to console her, somehow made things better. She was so glad to have him in the house with her.

She looked up at the clock, almost ten p.m. She walked to the door. Across the road, The Marchant Inn was in darkness and its emptiness thrashed like a wave of lonesomeness through Carrie. She thought of Jane, so fragile and alone in the hospital. Through all those tears, Carrie had made a promise of sorts, even if she hadn’t put it into words – she was going to look out for Jane from now on. Somehow, she was going to help that lonely woman get back to a life that meant something. She sighed, perhaps it would do her good to think about someone else for a while and take her mind off Kevin and Valentina.

Sunday night was always quiet, very few bookings this evening and generally, everyone was seated by nine or half past and they managed to clear out by twelve. She was looking forward to getting out of here now. Funny, but she’d never felt like that before.

Carrie slipped upstairs to her office and turned on the computer. She logged into her Facebook account to catch up with what was happening with people she knew who were flung all over the world these days. For one more time, she could pretend that everything was normal. Then she’d call Anna and tomorrow she’d go and see her mother.

About the author.

Faith was born in Ireland and currently lives there with her husband, four children and two fussy cats. She gained an HonorsDegree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate from University College, Galway. She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair- an international competition for emerging writers. When she’s not writing, she’s an enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger. 

 Follow Faith

Twitter: @gerhogan

Facebook: @faithhoganauthor

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#BlogTour! #Excerpt from ‘Cupid F*cks Up’ by Paula Houseman (@paulahouseman) @RaRaResources

Cupid & Twat Full Tour Banner
Haha oh I love the titles of these books!!!! Me and Cupid aren’t best buds anymore which is pretty ideal when you take a look at what book I am featuring for this blog tour! Yes that’s right, I have the pleasure of hosting an extract from Paula Houseman’s ‘Cupid F*cks Up’. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite. Before I share the extract with you all, here is a bit more information about the book and the all important ‘buy’ links. Enjoy!

Cupid Fcks up ebook cover
Ruth Roth is a straight shooter. Pity Cupid’s not.

Smart-mouth Ruth is an inspirational humour columnist for a popular women’s magazine. Recently divorced, she has found the love of her life. Without any help, mind you, from the little fat love god. Ruth has decided she herself is her one and only.
And she’s in a comfy place. Why wouldn’t she be? No need to yell ‘Put the bloody toilet seat down!’ No need to hoover toe-nail clippings off the carpet.

But then a silver-tongued Prince Charming fronts up in his shiny Merc and tickles her discarded, little-girl fantasies. He tells her their love is written in the stars.
It must be a misprint. A romance with this particular PC is not so PC! Still …
Ruth’s life plays out more like ancient myth than fairytale. And what hot-blooded woman can resist forbidden fruit?

There’s a problem, though. Ruth does not have a hot-blooded mum. Ruth has a pain-in-the-arse mum whose squawking disapproval cranks the taboo up a notch.
All the more reason to take up with the stud! But it means taking on the harpy.
Tensions mount, and even Ruth’s man can’t protect her from the trash-talking voices in her head. It looks like he can’t muzzle his own either. When an earth-shattering revelation causes him to give her grief, it makes her feel like she’s dating her mother.
Taking the kind of advice she doles out to her readers is not so easy, and Ruth wonders if this love can survive. More to the point, is it worth the trouble?

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US

Extract.

It was a difficult time, compounded by Sylvia’s demands. And her browbeating. Joe was
gone; I was here to wear it. She was ringing three or four times a day, but then for two days, there was nothing. It felt like a holiday. It didn’t last long.
I was at the dining room table late one afternoon working on an article about hypercritical parents, when mine turned up on my doorstep. Sylvia had often worn black when Joe was alive, but now it was her uniform. Today, she had on a black towelling tracksuit.
‘You could have called me,’ she accused. ‘I might have been dead on the floor like your
father was. I could have composted.’
What? As in, like, manure and chicken scraps?
‘You think that’s funny? Oeuf, pest!’
I think it’s hysterical. ‘No, but I think you meant decomposed.’
‘Decomposed, composted … what difference does it make? You wouldn’t have even known I was dead!’ She beat her chest and snivelled.
‘Yes, I would. Myron calls you every day. He would have let me know.’
It was the wrong answer. She turned off the waterworks and threw me a dirty look. I was in no mood for this today. The article had got me all riled. I held her stare and threw her back one of irritation. She shifted uncomfortably and cleared her throat.
‘Well, are you going to invite me in?’
Is there a choice? I held out my hand in mock formality and watched her as she shuffled
into the lounge. With her shrunken posture and slow gait, she seemed to have aged. I felt sorry for her. I also felt guilty that I had little tolerance for my mother, so I willed myself to think positive. Ah yes, this is research for my article. It was the best I could do.
She sat on the sofa, picked at a loose thread on the seam of her trackie dacks and picked up the thread of our conversation. ‘Anyway, I’ve been calling you.’
Her little dig dissolved the pity I felt. I didn’t respond.
‘Where are the children?’
In a lucky place. ‘In their bedrooms. Hannah! Casper!’ I called out. ‘Come say hello to
Nanna.’
Two bedroom doors groaned open. Both kids came out, dutifully kissed their grandmother and said they had to finish their homework.
What the—? I was about to say something but they stared at me with eyes like saucers.
Sylvia was too self-absorbed to remember it was school holidays. I kept quiet, but I fixed my children with a look that implied, You owe me. They nodded relief. It was the closest I’d come to feeling appreciated in a while.

‘There must be something wrong with your phone,’ Sylvia said, as Hannah and Casper
disappeared into their rooms. ‘Like I was saying, I’ve been calling you and I keep getting a wrong number. It’s always the same one that’s got a message telling me about good times coming. I’m not in the mood for a good time. I’m a grieving widow.’ She sounded affronted.
‘Uh, you sure you’re not calling the wrong number?’
‘Of course I’m not! I’m a grieving widow. I haven’t lost my memory!’
Pity. All those accumulated grudges. The slate could have been wiped clean.
I told her I’d look into it.
The grieving widow stayed for another hour of lamentation. When she left, I called my
landline from my mobile. I gasped.
‘Hannah! Casper! Get out here, NOW!’
The automated greeting had been delivered by a smoky female voice, but the message made it pretty clear what the nature of the business was. I’d had a little chuckle before trying to act like a responsible person. And I’d felt confident enough to summon them with a shout—they were beholden to me.
The two of them came into the kitchen. ‘Okay, which one of you call-forwarded to a
brothel?’
Hannah looked at me with a confounded expression. Then, eyes widening, she turned to
Casper and both of them started laughing. They slapped palms.
Oh, just lovely. Great job of mothering you’ve done that your children think it’s okay to do something like that.
I think it’s quite creative. I wanted to palm-slap along with them.
What? Creative? Your children have no respect for you!
‘It’s not funny!’ I yelled, mainly to block out my internal head-to-head than berate my kids.
My disrespectful children stopped laughing. Casper gave me a repentant look. ‘Mum,
Nanna was ringing a hundred times a day and moaning about being a widow eeeevery time I answered the phone. I know she’s your mother, but … she’s a pain in the arse.’
No shit. ‘I know, but it’s not very nice to do that, is it?’ It’s never too late to be pious.
‘Sorry. I’ll call her later to apologise.’
What? No! Not too pious. ‘Uh, best not. If she finds out what you did … well, imagine?’

About the author.

Paula Houseman was once a graphic designer. But when the temptation to include ‘the
finger’ as part of a logo for a forward-moving women’s company proved too much, she knew it was time to give away design. Instead, she took up writing.
She found she was a natural with the double entendres (God knows she’d been in enough trouble as a child for dirty wordplay).

As a published writer of earthy chick lit and romantic comedy, Paula gets to bend, twist, stretch and juice up universal experiences to shape reality the way she wants it, even if it is only in books. But at the same time, she can make it more real, so that her readers feel part of the sisterhood. Or brotherhood (realness has nothing to do with gender).
Through her books, Paula also wants to help the reader escape into life and love’s comic relief. And who doesn’t need to sometimes?

Her style is a tad Monty Pythonesque because she adores satire. It helps defuse all those gaffes and thoughts that no one is too proud of.

Paula lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband. No other creatures. The kids have flown the nest and the dogs are long gone.

Social Media Links

Twitter
Goodreads
Facebook
LinkedIn

#BlogTour! #Extract – Reflected Destinies by Florence Keeling (@keelingflorence) @rararesources

I love this cover! Today I have the pleasure of sharing an extract from Florence Keeling’s – Reflected Destinies. Enjoy!

Laura is happy and content, she has a new boyfriend and loves her job teaching primary school pupils in London.  But when she inherits a rundown house from a stranger on her 30th birthday, memories of her prom night come flooding back, memories of a scary encounter and an antique mirror in the very same house.

Laura visits the house with all its secrets and as she unravels the clues she reveals the biggest secret of all: her own destiny.  But how can you change the future if it’s already written in the past?

Buy now!

Extract

When I was writing Reflected Destines, one of the most important aspects was the mirror.  Here Laura encounters it for the very first time.

They were at the front of the house now, just one room left which they assumed would be the master bedroom.  All the doors on all the rooms were either open or non-existent but this room was different, the door to this room was shut.

“I don’t think I want to go in.”  Beth backed away as Laura tried the metal handle.  It turned with a little squeak and Laura opened the door just a fraction.  

“There’s something in there.”  Laura opened the door wider and stepped in.  “It’s got a sheet over it.”  

“Laura?”  Beth edged further away.  “Come back.  I don’t like it.”  But Laura wasn’t listening, she wanted to know what was under the sheet.  She wanted to know why all the other rooms were empty except for this one.

She was right in front of it now.  Its outline was slightly taller than her and about a foot wide.

“I think it’s a mirror,” she called back to Beth as she pulled the sheet slowly down, but Beth didn’t answer, she’d already gone to wait with Lucy.

The sheet slid off to prove Laura right, it was a mirror with a beautifully carved frame surrounding the almost perfect glass.  Laura let her hands move over the frame feeling the intricate design.

“You always loved that mirror.”  A man’s quiet voice from behind her froze Laura to the spot.  She looked in the mirror and jumped at the sight.  A very frail looking old man stood in the reflection.  He had neatly combed white hair, was dressed smartly in a full suit and tie, and leaned heavily on a cane.  He was holding what appeared to be a piece of paper in his hand.  “You look so beautiful.  Just how I pictured you would.”  He held out the paper for her.  She turned slowly and stepped a little way towards him.  She wanted to speak but found her voice had failed her.  She felt terrified yet strangely intrigued.  

Tentatively she took the paper from his hand and instinctively moved away from him towards the door.  The moon was shining into the room from a window on the landing and Laura could see a faded old photograph of a girl standing in a pretty ball gown, yet the photograph was in colour.  Recognition suddenly dawned on her and she dropped the photo as if it was a piece of hot coal. “

About the author

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day.  She is married with two teenage chidren.  Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton.  Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/florence.keeling.7

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KeelingFlorence

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/florence.keeling/

#BlogTour! #Extract from #JoNesboMacbeth @DeadGoodBooks @HarvillSecker

Blog Tour Poster - Macbeth
Many thanks to Mia for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Macbeth’ by Jo Nesbo! For my stop today, I have a chapter sampler to share with you all. Enjoy!

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JO NESBO: #1 Sunday Times bestseller, #1 New York Times bestseller, 40 million books sold worldwide

He’s the best cop they’ve got.

When a drug bust turns into a bloodbath it’s up to Inspector Macbeth and his team to clean up the mess.

He’s also an ex-drug addict with a troubled past.

He’s rewarded for his success. Power. Money. Respect. They’re all within reach.

But a man like him won’t get to the top.

Plagued by hallucinations and paranoia, Macbeth starts to unravel. He’s convinced he won’t get what is rightfully his.

Unless he kills for it.

Extract.

Lady walked through the gaming room. The light from the immense chandeliers fell softly on the dark mahogany where they were playing blackjack and poker, on the green felt where the dice would dance later in the evening, on the spear-shaped gold spire that stood up like a minaret in the middle of the spinning roulette wheel. She’d had the chandeliers made as smaller copies of the four- and- a- half-ton chandelier in Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, while the spire pointing from the middle of the ceiling down to the roulette table was a copy of the spire in the roulette wheel. The chandeliers were anchored with cords tied to the banisters of the mezzanine in such a way that they could be lowered every Monday and the glass cleaned. This was the kind of detail that passed straight over most customers’ heads. Like the small, discreet lilies she’d had sewn into the thick, sound-muffling burgundy carpets she had bought in Italy for a tiny fortune. But they didn’t go over her head, she saw the matching spires and only she knew what the lilies commemorated. That was enough. For this was hers.

The croupiers automatically stood up straight whenever she passed. They knew their jobs, they were efficient and careful, they treated the customers with courtesy but were firm, they had manicured hands, groomed hair and were immaculately dressed in Inverness Casino’s elegant red and black croupier uniform, which was changed every year and tailor-made for every single member of staff.

And, most important of all, they were honest.  This wasn’t something she assumed, it was something she saw and heard. Saw it in people’s eyes, involuntary tics, muscular twitches or theatrically relaxed states. Heard it in the tiny distinctions of quivering vocal cords. It was an innate sensitivity she had, inherited from her mother and grandmother. But while this sensitivity had led them as they aged into the dark shadows of insanity, Lady had used her skills to flush out dishonesty. Away from childhood’s vale of woe, up to where she was today. The rounds of inspection had two functions.

One was to keep her employees on their toes that little bit more so that every day, every night, they would show themselves to be at least one class higher than those at the Obelisk. The second was to uncover any dishonesty. Even though they had been honest and honourable yesterday, people were like wet clay: they were shaped by opportunity, motive and what you told them today, and they could blithely do what had been inconceivable the day before. Yes, that was the only thing that was fixed, the only thing you could count on: the heart was greedy. Lady knew that. She had that kind of
heart herself. A heart she alternately cursed and counted herself lucky to have, which had brought her affluence but had also deprived her of everything. But it was the 94 heart that beat in her chest. You can’t change anything, you can’t stop it, all you can do is follow it.

She nodded to the familiar faces gathered around the roulette table. Regular customers. They all had their reasons for coming here and playing. There were those who needed to switch off after a challenging working day and those who, after a boring working day, needed a challenge. And those who had neither work nor a challenge, but money. Those who had none of the above ended up at the Obelisk, where you were given a tasteless but free lunch if you gambled more than five hundred.

You had idiots who thought they had a system which promised long-term gains, a breed that kept dying but curiously never died out. And then you had those who –  and no casino-owner would admit this aloud – formed the bedrock of their business. Those who had to. Those who felt compelled to come here because they couldn’t stop themselves risking everything, night after night, fascinated by the roulette ball whizzing around the shiny wheel like a little globe caught in the sun’s gravitational field, the sun that gave them daily life but which in the end, with the inevitability of physics, would also burn them up. The addicted. Lady’s bread and butter.

Talking about addiction. She looked at her watch. Nine. It was still a bit early in the evening, but she wished the tables were fuller. Reports from the Obelisk suggested they were continuing to take business away from her despite the heavy investment she had made in interior design, the kitchen and the upgrade of the hotel rooms. Some thought she was in the process of pricing herself out of the market and, because the three-year-old Obelisk was well established in people’s minds as the more reasonable alternative, she could and should 95 cut down on the standards and expenses. After all, she wouldn’t lose her status as the town’s exclusive option. But they didn’t know Lady.

They didn’t know that for her it wasn’t primarily about the bottom line but being the exclusive option. Not only more elegant than the Obelisk but better, whatever the comparison. Lady’s Inverness Casino should be the place you wanted to be seen, the place you wanted to be associated with. And she, Lady, should be the person you wanted to be seen and associated with. The moneyed came here and the top politicians, actors and sports personalities from the celebrity firmament, writers, beauties, hipsters and intellectuals –  everyone came to Lady’s table, bowed respectfully, kissed her hand, met her discreet rejection of their equally discreet enquiry about gambling credit with a smile and gratefully accepted a Bloody Mary on the house. Profit or no profit, she hadn’t
come all this way to run a bloody bordello, as they were doing at the Obelisk, so they could have the dregs, those she would rather not see beneath Inverness Casino’s chandeliers. Genuine chandeliers.

But of course the tide had turned. The creditors had started asking questions. And they hadn’t liked her answer: what the Inverness needed was not cheaper drinks but more and bigger chandeliers.

Business wasn’t on her mind now though. Addiction was. And the fact that Macbeth hadn’t got here yet. He always said if he was going to be  late.  And what had happened during the Sweno raid had affected him.  He didn’t say so, but she could sense it. Sometimes he was strangely soft-hearted, it seemed to her – a man she had seen kill with her own eyes. She had seen the calculated determination before the killing, the cold efficiency during it and the remorseless smile afterwards.

But this had been different, she knew.

(Extract taken from Chapter 5 of ‘Macbeth’ by Jo Nesbo)

To buy a copy of Macbeth by Jo Nesbo, click here!

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#BlogTour! #Extract – Perfect Silence by Helen Fields (@Helen_Fields) @AvonBooksUK


Today I am breaking the perfect silence by taking part in the blog tour for Helen Fields’ brand new novel! For my stop on the tour, I have a fabulous extract to share with you all. I am currently reading Helen’s new book so please keep an eye out later on in the week for my review! Thank you, as always, to Avon for the blog tour invite and the ARC. I hope you enjoy the extract!

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

‘Luc, call the station. Ask them if they have a young woman
listed as missing in the last forty-eight hours. Just say between
sixteen and twenty, long brown hair, red-brown dress. No other
description for now,’ Ava instructed Callanach.

‘It’s not,’ Jonty said.

‘Not what?’ Callanach asked.

‘It’s not a coloured dress,’ Jonty replied. He slid a gloved
hand under the girl’s left shoulder to raise her a few inches off
the fl oor, exposing a small section of the dress behind her
shoulder blade. The bright white patch of cotton glowed in
the floodlights.

Ava took in a sharp breath. ‘It’s a white dress?’ she muttered.

‘How the fuck did she . . .’

Jonty answered the question by raising the hem up over the
girl’s thighs and abdomen. A massive section of skin had been
cut from her stomach, the raw sections of fl esh curling back
where her body had begun to dry out. Blood was crusted over
the whole of her lower half, washing down her legs and her
bare feet.

If that extract doesn’t make you head to Amazon to pick up a copy of ‘Perfect Silence’, I don’t know what will!

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Extract – 11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter (@LibbyCPT) @AvonBooksUK

11 Missed Calls Blog Tour FINAL
Today for my stop on the ’11 Missed Calls’ blog tour, I will be sharing an extract from Elisabeth Carpenter’s new book. Enjoy!

image001-10
Here are two things I know about my mother:
1. She had dark hair, like mine.
2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.

Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.

But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.

Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.

And then a body is found…

Extract.

I grab my laptop and take it into the living room. I still don’t know what to say in my reply to Debbie. It is too important to just fire off a few words when I have a whole lifetime to write about. She won’t be expecting a message from me, but I doubt Monica or Dad have replied yet. They would have told me if they had, though I’m not sure of anything these days.

‘Just ask to meet,’ says Jack, reading my mind. ‘You don’t have to write an essay. If she is who she says she is, then you’ll find out soon enough.’

Perhaps it is as simple as that. There is a tiny part of me – self-preservation, again – that tells me not to give too much away in an email. She must earn the right to hear my news. The least she could do is meet me.

I click on the email forwarded by Dad. I already know her words off by heart, but I still read it. ‘The memories of shells and sweet things …’ No one else could know about that.

I type out the reply before I can think about it, and press send.

Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Extract from #TheBookNinja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus (@thebookninjas) @simonschusteruk


Second day of the blog tour for ‘The Book Ninja’, and the tour bus stops here at TWG! This book is on my TBR and I aim to get to it very soon, but until then I have an extract from the book to share with you all today. Before I do that however, here is a little bit more information about Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus’ new book:


‘Frankie, think about it. Literature is your life. You’ve been trawling Tinder looking for well-read intellectuals, but it’s not working. Let’s shake things up! Just use your favourite books to find a man.’ 

Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal person. It’s not that she hasn’t tried – Frankie is the queen of online dating. But she has had enough.

With the help of her best friend and colleague Cat, Frankie decides to embark on the ultimate dating experiment. Inspired by her surroundings at The Little Brunswick Bookshop where she works, Frankie places her hope in her favourite books to find her the perfect man… Secretly planting copies on trains, trams and buses, Frankie hopes to find the man of her dreams through a mutual love of good books. The only flaw to the plan? That she may never get her books back!

But that turns out to be the least of her worries… In between crazy dates and writing them up on her blog, Frankie stumbles upon her perfect man. There’s just one problem…Frankie is strictly a Jane Austen kind of woman and Sunny is really into Young Adult. Seriously, obsessively into it…

Can Frankie overcome her book snobbery for the man of her dreams? Or will she be left searching the trains for her modern-day Mr Darcy forever?

You can purchase ‘The Book Ninja’ now from Amazon

Extract – chapter 1.

If Frankie’s life were a book, she would title it Disappoint- ment, named aptly after the disaster that was her career, her family and, of course, her love life.

Frankie’s alarm blared accusingly, declaring that she was already twenty minutes late to get out of bed. She sighed, rolled over, and buried her face in her shabby copy of Emma, which she had shoved under her pillow the night before. Then she bit her lip, thinking she would never be remarkable enough to have a book named simply after her first name.

But Frankie never judged a book by its title. Nor by its cover. She liked to judge a novel purely by its opening sentence, which she and her best friend Cat dubbed a ‘book birth’. InEmma’s birth, Austen described Miss Woodhouse as ‘hand- some, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition’. By contrast, the opening sentence of Frankie’s birth was her mother proclaiming, ‘She’s bald and has her father’s big nose.’

Frankie pulled her blanket over her head and drank up the words on the page in front of her. She knew she was approaching the proposal scene, and closed her eyes tight. Just like a good chocolate bar, she wasn’t sure whether she should indulge in its goodness right now, or savour it later. And just like that, the jarring ring of her phone solved the dilemma for her. Frankie picked it up and saw her mother’s name flashing on the screen. She rolled her eyes, clicked ‘ignore’ and slowly dragged herself out of bed.

Searching for an outfit that was easy to put together, she SY picked up a loose cotton dress from her floor and flung it on. Scooting through her bedroom door, she walked towards her pride and joy – her precisely colour-coded bookshelf. Filled with 172 of her all-time favourites, the bookshelf lined a full wall of her living room. Beginning with reds on top, the wall shaded into oranges, yellows, pinks, purples, greens, blues, greys and, finally, blacks. A rainbow of books. Her happy place. She dragged her fingers absently across the cloth-bound Austen’s, along the hardcover Fowlers, over the Brontës and then stopped haltingly at the muted green book with ‘Frankie Rose’ embossed on the spine. She picked it up cautiously, as if it were a snake about to bite, and peeled open the first page.

To Mum, Dad, Cat, Ads and, most importantly, pizza. For all the love, support and cheesy goodness.

Frankie slammed the book shut and threw it to the other side of the room. She grabbed her handbag, which lay beside the couch, slipped on a pair of red sneakers and ran out the door of her too-small Richmond apartment.

After digging for the keys in the bottom of her bag, Frankie let herself into The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop; her home away from home for the last year and a half, right about the time her dreams shattered and her life fell apart. Working at the bookstore had saved her, in so many ways. It reminded her of the three months she had spent working at the famous Parisian bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, before she returned to start her Masters of English Lit at the University of Melbourne.

Free of responsibility, Frankie had relished this time spent lost between bookshelves, writing, and eating almond croissants. That same carefree feeling washed over her every time she entered The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop. She loved watching people from the inside out, like a backwards kaleidoscope of literature lovers gazing into their beautiful front windows from vibrant Brunswick Street. She loved being surrounded by powerful women such as Angelou, Atwood and Adichie. And most of all, she loved working with Cat. Cat’s husband Claud had inherited The Little Brunswick Street Bookshop from his grandparents, and when he – an accountant at a small city law firm who maintained long hours and an intense knitting hobby – was unsure how he would juggle a second job, Cat had the genius idea of selling the books in the front, while he, occasionally, managed the books from the back. And when Cat offered Frankie a job, it didn’t take long for her to say yes, yes, yes!

Since the days spent penning love letters to Mr Darcy instead of practising algebra in Year 8 maths, their bond had endured even though Cat, pregnant with her first child, now spent Saturday nights watching reruns of The National Knitting Evening on Netflix with Claud, and Frankie, pregnant with last night’s pizza, spent hers on awful first dates. And now, with their days spent surrounded by, discussing and reading books (and of course appraising everyone else based on their book choices), Cat and Frankie were closer than Horatio and Hamlet.

Frankie wound her way through the shelves and unceremoniously flung her bag beneath the front counter. She cranked on the air conditioning, sank into the seat behind the register, placed her feet up on the counter and returned to her worn copy of Emma. She had just turned the page when the front door chimed open and Cat marched into the store. Her red SY frizzy hair was everywhere, sweat dripped down her face and she wore a hot pink knitted top, black lycra pants and bright orange sneakers.

‘Catherine,’ Frankie nodded from behind her book. ‘Frankston,’ Cat nodded back. She joined Frankie behind

the counter, grabbed her copy of Jasper Jones and propped her feet up next to Frankie’s.

‘What’s with the sweat?’ Frankie asked.

‘I had another K-Pop dance class this morning – which was amazing, by the way – but their showers are broken and I couldn’t be bothered walking home to change and then coming all the way back here, so I thought if I just stood outside for a while I would dry. But I forgot that it’s going to be thirty-two freaking degrees today! Plus, these knits Claud keeps making me do nothing for sweat absorption. Look at me dripping, I’m like an ice cream!’ Cat grabbed Frankie and tried to pull her head into her sweaty chest.

If Frankie was the queen of dating, Cat was the queen of exercise classes. From barre to one very confronting summer of pole dancing, Cat became obsessed and then unobsessed with every sort of exercise and health kick imaginable, before dropping it like Marius drops Eponine. It all started a few summers ago and, at first, Frankie thought the fixation on fitness was simply Cat wanting to be healthier and more toned, but lately she had wondered whether it tapped into a deeper insecurity. Cat used to relish watching heads turn at her overly attractive husband, but was she starting to feel overlooked?

‘What are you up to?’ Cat asked, glancing at Frankie’s battered book.

‘Almost at the proposal,’ Frankie gushed.

‘Aren’t you sick of reading the same books over and over?’

‘You’re reading Jasper Jones for the fourth time,’ Frankie countered.

Cat spread her arms as if to say touché.
‘So, something pretty weird happened at K-Pop today.’ ‘Oh?’ Frankie asked.
The front door opened, halting their conversation. Frankie

and Cat shut their books, dropped their feet to the floor and looked up, alert. A stout, slightly balding man walked in.

‘Sci-fi!’ hissed Cat.
‘War biography!’ spat Frankie.
The man, red in the face, smiled at Frankie and Cat. They smiled back sweetly and asked if he needed any assistance. He shook his head and then proceeded to walk excruciatingly slowly around the bookstore, scratching his head, not touching anything. The women stared at him, examining his every step.

‘Just make your move,’ Cat whispered at him.
‘He’s about to pounce!’ hissed Frankie.
After what seemed an age, the man stopped in the science fiction section and grabbed two Stephen King novels, placing one swiftly under each armpit.

‘Damn it! Shirt but no tie. Dead giveaway,’ Frankie said, disappointed.

‘Pay up, Frankston.’ Cat held her hand out in front of Frankie’s nose, wiggling her fingers in anticipation. Frankie slowly dragged a five-dollar note out of her wallet and slammed it into Cat’s hand.

‘Just these two wonderful sci-fi books, then?’ Cat said to her customer while smiling devilishly at Frankie.

‘Yes, I love a good Stephen King,’ said the man, dropping the books on the counter for Cat to scan. ‘I was actually going to try my hand at that war biog, The Crossroad, by Mark someone-or-other. You know the one I mean? But then ISY thought, why stop at a good thing? And King – well, he’s a very good thing!’ he chuckled.

Frankie stared, and Cat held back a laugh as she slid the two Kings into a paper bag.
‘Have a lovely day. I’m so glad you decided to go with

King over a war biography. King really is such a good thing,’ chirped Cat.

‘He really is! Well, toodaloo!’ the man trumpeted as he walked out the door, the bell ringing behind him.

‘Go you good thing!’ Cat shouted after him, pumping her fist triumphantly.

‘He was going to buy a war biog! Give me my five dollars back!’ Frankie grabbed at the note, but Cat pulled away.

‘He was going to. But alas, he didn’t! The fiver is all mine,’ said Cat smugly.
it.’ Frankie sighed. ‘You don’t have to sound so pleased about

‘I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Cat said, smiling, and sounding even more delighted with herself.

Frankie frowned. Balancing their legs back on the counter, they reclined in their chairs. The growing heat of the day pressed its way under the gap beneath the front door, only to be stunted by the harsh air conditioning in the store. Beads of cool sweat trickled down Frankie’s neck and into her cleavage.

‘Sorry, I’m in a silly mood,’ Cat said.

Silence. ‘“Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way,”’ Frankie quoted the Austen she was reading, to a tee.

Cat smiled as Frankie gave a little bow of her head.

‘So, why the silly mood, Kitty Cat? What happened at K-Pop? Are you moving to Korea?’ Frankie joked.

‘Oh, it was nothing. I’ll go get the coffees.’ Cat jumped up just a little too quickly and grabbed her bag.

‘Cat! Seriously? What happened at K-Pop?’ It was unlike Cat to be so evasive. Frankie usually got the lowdown from her about everything, from what she had for breakfast to the romance between the two buskers who sat opposite the bookstore.

‘Nothing. Nothing.’ Cat’s face bloomed even redder, and her eyes darted towards the door.

‘Catherine Adeline Cooper. Tell. Me. Now.’ Frankie squinted suspiciously at Cat.

Cat stared back just as intently, and for a minute – a record for them – they had an ice-cold stare-off.

‘Oh, all right, fine!’ Cat threw her arms in the air, defeated. ‘Yes?’
‘Well, at K-Pop … there’s this really cute dancer. A guy.

Called Jin Soo.’ ‘Jin Soo?’

‘Yes, Jin Soo.’
‘And?’
‘And … Jin Soo.’
‘What about Jin Soo?’
‘Well, I sort of, accidentally, slept with him a few weeks

back,’ Cat covered her mouth with her hand and bolted for the door.

‘WHAT! Cat? Cat, come back!’ Frankie shouted, refusing to believe what she had just heard.

Cat, cheating on Claud? No; Frankie knew it was impossible. Cat would never cheat on him. Cat and Claud’s marriage wasn’t perfect, but whose was? Cat loved Claud. In his stupidly good-looking, knitting-obsessed entirety. And she was four months’ pregnant with his child, for God’s sake.

Frankie jumped up from her seat and raced after her sweaty, SY recently adulterous friend. As she pulled open the front door she stopped. Instead of Cat, before her stood a man. Possibly the best looking man she had ever laid eyes on. He was tall; he was burly. He was, to her mind, the perfect mix of John Knightley, Mr Darcy and Edmund Bertram all rolled into one.

#BlogTour! #Extract – #GirlsNightOutBook by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke (@LizandLisa) @AmazonPub


Today is THE Writing Garnet’s stop on the blog tour for ‘Girls’ Night Out’ by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.  For my post today I have an extract from the book. Enjoy!

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.
Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

Extract.

Natalie tried to conjure what she could from the night before—their girls’ night out. She
recalled getting ready. Putting on the black dress with the floral embroidery that she’d
purchased from a street vendor in downtown Tulum, the dress that now hung heavy on her.
She recalled going out to dinner—to that beachfront restaurant with the wooden tables—what
was it called? She strained until the thought finally came—Hartwood!

Yes, that was it. She
recalled Ashley ordering Patrón, Natalie protesting weakly before finally giving in. Despite
her policy against doing tequila shots because they would only lead to no good—she could
name a dozen possibilities—Ashley’s big brown eyes had won her over when the small
handblown glasses with salted rims were set on the table next to a plate of limes. Ashley’s
body had been angled just slightly away from Lauren, and her request was clear. Please.

Have fun with me. We need this.

And Ashley had been right. They’d needed it.

Natalie had grabbed the glass and tossed it back, the burn of the tequila in her throat
making her feel both invigorated and a little bit dangerous. As her chest warmed and her eyes
stung, she was struck with a feeling that anything could happen.

But what had happened?

Buy now from Amazon

 

#BlogTour! #Extract – The Lost Sister by Tracy Buchanan (@TracyBuchanan) @AvonBooksUK


It’s TWG’s turn on the blog tour for ‘The Lost Sister’ by Tracy Buchanan. Big thank you to Avon for the blog tour invite. Today I will be sharing an extract from the book, enjoy!

For the first time in your life, she is going to tell you the truth…

Then: A trip to the beach tore Becky’s world apart. It was the day her mother Selma met the mysterious man she went on to fall in love with, and leave her husband and child for.

Now: It’s been a decade since they last spoke, but Selma has just weeks to live. And she has something important to tell Becky – a secret she been hiding for many years. She had another daughter.

With the loss of her mother, Becky aches to find her sister. She knows she cannot move forward in her life without answers, but who can she really trust?

Extract.

Mike caught my eye. He was desperate for another. But I couldn’t think of anything worse, shuddering as I remembered that sticky, confusing, sick-infested time of Becky’s newborn months. The emotions. The tears. I adored Becky, my perfect one. It would be like going back to square one if I had another. Plus, there was the slight problem of Mike and I barely touching any more. Maybe that should have worried me, but the truth was, I didn’t want to touch or be touched. On the rare occasions when we did make love, I flinched then felt nothing, going through the motions as I turned my face away. I used to be so passionate, to love to hold and be held. But not any more.

I sighed, turning back to Julie. ‘We’ve been told we can’t,’ I whispered so Mike couldn’t overhear. The lie sent a thrill through me. ‘We don’t like to talk about it, especially Mike,’ I added with a grimace. Another touch of the arm. ‘You’re one of the only people I’ve told.’
‘I’m so sorry,’ Julie whispered back. I could see it mixed in with the empathy in her eyes, how pleased she was to be one of the privileged few to know.
‘But let’s not talk about that,’ I said, fanning my hand about. ‘Tell me about you.’
As Julie launched into the details of her problems with sore nipples, I slid my sunglasses back up to hide the fact I wasn’t really listening, my mind drifting off to the plot of my latest novel.

E-book is available to buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Excerpt from author of #DortmundHibernate, CJ Sutton (@c_j_sutton) @RaRaResources


I am delighted to be popping C J Sutton’s TWG cherry, as I share an excerpt from the book. Thank you to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite! Before I share the excerpt, here is some more information about C J Sutton’s novel, ‘Dortmund Hibernate’.


Psychologist Dr Magnus Paul is tasked with the patients of Dortmund Asylum – nine criminally
insane souls hidden from the world due to the extremity of their acts.

Magnus has six weeks to prove them sane for transfer to a maximum-security prison, or label them
as incurable and recommend a death sentence under a new government act.

As Magnus delves into the darkness of the incarcerated minds, his own sanity is challenged. Secrets
squeeze through the cracks of the asylum, blurring the line between reality and nightmare, urging
Magnus towards a new life of crime…

The rural western town of Dortmund and its inhabitants are the backdrop to the mayhem on the
hill.

It’s Silence of the Lambs meets Shutter Island in this tale of loss, fear and diminishing hope.

Buy now!

About the author.

C.J. Sutton is a writer based in Melbourne, Australia. He holds a Master of Communication with
majors in journalism and creative writing, and supports the value of study through correspondence.
His fictional writing delves into the unpredictability of the human mind and the fears that drive us.
As a professional writer C.J. Sutton has worked within the hustle and bustle of newsrooms, the
competitive offices of advertising and the trenches of marketing. But his interest in creating new
characters and worlds has seen a move into fiction, which has always pleaded for complete
attention. Dortmund Hibernate is his debut novel.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/cjsutton.author/
https://twitter.com/c_j_sutton
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/79517906-c-j-sutton

Excerpt.

In the following excerpt from Dortmund Hibernate, the protagonist Dr Magnus Paul is
discussing his past with lead guard Walter Perch to shed some light on why he chose such a
challenging and dark role. Here we take a glimpse into the lives of his siblings and their
impact on him becoming a renowned psychologist. Magnus’ past is as important as any
character in the path to a conclusion for the nine inmates.

“I was about eleven or twelve, and my brother came home beaming. He’d got this
job, the first of his life, and was waving around a bundle of colourful notes. I’d never
seen so much money. He ran straight up to me, unable to contain his excitement.
‘We are going to celebrate. Pizza, video games, whatever you want, kid.’ Mum
watched, and she was so proud. He handed her fifty dollars, and whispered in her
ear. I’d never seen her so happy. ‘Quick,’ he said, punching my shoulder, ‘grab your
sister and let’s go.’ I didn’t want to get her; her new boyfriend was over – Mitch, a
real slick cocksucker of a guy, arms like metal beams and a haircut that every prick
had at the time. I tried to tell him that it should just be us, two brothers spending
cash, but he insisted she join us. ‘Go get your sister, c’mon!’ I had no choice. Her
room was at the other end of the house, down a long hallway. I creeped, not wanting
to bust in there while they were going at it. But there was silence, so I continue. The
door wasn’t completely closed, just enough for me to peek through. I could only see
her bare legs hanging off the bed, so I pushed…and I wish I hadn’t; she was
slumped against the headboard of the bed, a needle sticking out of her arm, a dazed
look about her, chest rising ever so slightly. Mitch came out of her en suite bathroom,
turned to me and told me to get the fuck out. I’d never seen my sister use before.
She was always the good girl, telling my brother off when he smoked and slapping
my mum on the arm if she had too many champagnes.

Mitch came at me…and
pushed me so hard I put a hole in her dry wall. I ran out of there, but my brother…he
saw the fear on my face, and he reflected it with anger. I followed him back down the
hall, and he kicked the door open so hard I expected it to fly off its hinges. Now,
Mitch was a fair few sizes bigger than my brother, but here it didn’t matter. He
grabbed Mitch by the throat, pinned him against the wall and kneed him in the groin.
The bigger lad went down like a sack of shit. My brother was standing over him,
grinning; not a happy, satisfied or content grin, but a grin that wasn’t him. I knew
nothing of drugs, but I pulled out that needle carefully and tried to slap her into
consciousness. My brother twisted Mitch’s arm and led him out of the house, past
my mum who swore repeatedly at him.

He was gone for hours, and I never did hear what happened to Mitch. All I can say is
that nobody saw him again. My brother never spoke of it, and he returned still
beaming. We went out to see a movie and eat at a fancy restaurant that didn’t suit
the pair of us, and my sister spent the day recovering. They had their faults, bro and
sis, but they would’ve protected me against anyone, anything. This is my way, Walt.
There’s still a chance to do some good, for them.”