Kicking off the #AFatalSecret #blogtour with an #extract! @HQStories @FaithMartin_Nov

A Fatal Secret Blog Tour Banner
Many thanks to the HQ team for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Faith Martin and ‘A Fatal Secret’. I have an extract from the book for you all to enjoy, but first here is a little bit more about Faith Martin’s latest read:

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Oxford, 1961

A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard.

It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all?

Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become.

Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…

‘A Fatal Secret’ is the fourth book in the ‘Ryder and Loved’ series – buy now from Amazon.

Extract.

Oxford, England. 1st April 1961.

It was a lovely Saturday morning, and less than three miles away as the crow flies
from the city of dreaming spires, someone was contemplating how ironical it was that
it should be April Fool’s Day.

The daffodils were just beginning to bud in the small woods surrounding Briar’s
Hall. Birds were busy building their nests, and a weak and watery sun was promising
that spring really was on its way.

But the person leaning against a still-bare ash tree, moodily observing the fine
Georgian building below, cared little for the promise of bluebells to come.
That person was thinking of only one thing: death, and how best to bring it about.
Perhaps, not surprisingly, that person was feeling not at all happy. Not only was
death on its own something that you would never consider in detail unless given
absolutely no choice, contemplating cold-blooded murder was even more unpleasant.
Not least, of course, because if you were caught at it, you’d be hanged. Which was
terrifying.

And yet death – and murder – there would have to be. The person in the woods
could see no other way out.

Which instilled in that person’s heart yet another, stronger emotion. Rage.
It was simply not fair!

But then, as the person in the woods had already learned very well indeed, life had
no interest in being fair.

A woodpecker struck up its rat-a-tat-tat drumming on an old dead horse chestnut
tree deeper in the woods, its resonance vibrating through the air. But the human
occupant of the wood barely noticed it.

Tomorrow, the silent watcher in the woods thought, would be a good day for it.
With so much happening, there was bound to be confusion, which would almost
certainly provide the best opportunity for action.

Yes. Tomorrow someone would have to die.

Sharing an #extract from #NoFilter! @scribbler_maxi #boldwoodbloggers @BoldwoodBooks

For my stop on Maxine Morrey’s blog tour, I am sharing an extract from her new book, #No Filter. Before i do though, here is a little bit more about the book:

Popular lifestyle blogger, Libby Cartwright, is being boggled by business when help shows up in the shape of gorgeous but shy, Charlie Richmond. Libby’s determined to keep it at ‘just good friends’ – she’s dated someone from ‘Corporate Land’ before and it didn’t end well. As she and Charlie begin spending more time together, Libby is starting to waver – until she discovers something which makes her question if she’s ready for love.

Still reeling, she suffers another blow as her blog is attacked in a national newspaper, for promoting unachievable perfection. Libby knows it’s not true – but the only way to prove that is to strip off the armour she’s been wearing for years.

Is she brave enough to show the world she’s far from perfect? And will Charlie be by her side if she does…

Available to purchase now from Amazon.

Extract.

‘That’s it! I am totally going to jail. I’m going to get it wrong, owe thousands, not be able to pay, and go to jail!’ I flung myself backwards with an overly dramatic sigh and lay sprawled on the paperwork I had been looking at. ‘And seriously? Me in an orange jumpsuit? I don’t care how on trend they are; I could never pull that off! Orange is so not my colour.’

Amy topped up her wine glass before reaching a hand down to grab my arm, tugging me in the direction of the sofa. I slid along the floor for a few moments in my prone position, like some sort of beached, four-legged starfish, until I eventually bumped into the furniture.

‘I think that’s more America, hon,’ she said, yanking me upwards. ‘I’m not sure what ours are like. Something much more subtle, I expect. And don’t worry. I’ll hide a file inside the first cake I bring you. You’ll be out in no time.’

I paused in my clambering from the floor onto the sofa, and gave her a look. She made a sawing motion with one hand, accompanied by an over-exaggerated wink as she held out my wine glass. Flopping onto the couch, I took the glass and swigged a large mouthful, before laying my head back onto the soft cushions.

‘Seriously though. I really don’t know what I’m doing with this. I thought I was handling all this business stuff OK until now.’

‘And you are!’ Amy interjected. ‘Your blog is doing amazingly well! I can’t believe the difference in a year – it’s incredible! Seriously, Libs, you should really be proud of yourself.’

I sighed. ‘Thanks, Ames. And I am, and of Tilly. I couldn’t have done it without her. But I’m so frustrated! I’ve taken on this insane learning curve and, for the most part, got the hang of things. I think. But this?’ I kicked a piece of paper with my bare toes. ‘This, I just cannot get my head round! Why does tax have to be so bloody complicated? They send you this stuff so that you are supposedly able to do it yourself, but write it in the most confusing language possible! How is that even remotely helpful?’

Amy just shook her head and took another sip of wine.

‘So, what are you going to do?’

‘I don’t know. I guess I need to start looking for an accountant.’ I twiddled the wine glass stem in my hand.

Amy leant over and bumped her head gently on my shoulder. ‘You know; it is OK to ask people for help sometimes. We can’t all be amazing at everything. Creating all this in such a short space of time is brilliant, Libby. Finding that you need some extra expertise in one area is perfectly acceptable, and perfectly normal.’

‘I guess.’ I put the glass down. ‘Before I forget, I have something for you.’

Immediately, Amy sat up straighter in anticipation and her eyes watched me as I crossed to the other side of the room and picked up a small, but fancy, cardboard bag with intricately twisted rope handles and a swirly script logo on the side. Walking back over to the sofa, I plopped the bag down on Amy’s lap.

‘Did I ever tell you that going for it with this lifestyle blog business is the best thing that you’ve ever done?’

I laughed. ‘You just like the freebies.’

#BlogTour! #Extract from #AShotInTheDark by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello (@neilmustard @katonahprod) @RedDogTweets

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Today I have the pleasure of hosting an extract from ‘A Shot In The Dark’ by Neil Richards and Matthew Costello. Many thanks to RedDogPress for asking me to be involved with the blog tour. Before I share the extract however, is a little bit more about the book and the authors behind it:

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Sussex, England, 1929.

Mydworth is a sleepy English market town just 50 miles from London. But things are about to liven up there considerably, when young Sir Harry Mortimer returns home from his government posting in Cairo, with his unconventional American wife – Kat Reilly. No sooner have the two arrived, when a jewel robbery occurs at Harry’s aunt’s home – Mydworth Manor – ending in one of the thieves being shot…and killed. The local police are baffled by the case. But Harry and Kat have an edge in the hunt for the second thief: not only do they have certain useful “skills” they’ve both picked up in service of King, President and Country, they also have access to parts of English high society that your average bobby can’t reach. Because this Shot in the Dark…could have come from anywhere.

Buy now from: RedDogPress Shop // Amazon UK

About the authors.

Co-authors Neil Richards (based in the UK) and Matthew Costello (based in the US), have been writing together since the mid-90s, creating innovative television, games and best-selling books. Together, they have worked on major projects for the BBC, PBS, Disney Channel, Sony, ABC, Eidos, and Nintendo to name but a few. 

Their transatlantic collaboration led to the globally best-selling mystery series, Cherringham, which has also been a top-seller as audiobooks read by Neil Dudgeon. 

Mydworth Mysteries is their brand new series, set in 1929 Sussex, England, which takes readers back to a world where solving crimes was more difficult — but also sometimes a lot more fun.

Extract.

KAT REILLY WATCHED her husband Harry shield his eyes from the morning sun as he studied the unloading process of the cross-channel ferry at Newhaven dock.
She knew him well enough to see that he was concerned.
The Pride of Sussex had berthed an hour late, and, in the frenzied hurry to turn the ship around, Kat had already seen one precious cargo slip from its net and smash on the quayside.

While the steamer belched smoke into the sky, hordes of trucks, horses and carts, and hand-barrows swarmed around the dock-side, as passengers called instructions, and customs men tried to intervene. So much for all the English politeness and decorum she’d been expecting to see on this, her first trip to Britain!
Though, in truth, Sir Harry Mortimer seemed as ever to typify the calm, unruffled English gentleman. Tall, slim, his black hair longer than she’d ever known it, jacket slung nonchalantly over one shoulder, white cotton shirt sporting a dashing red tie.
All he needed was a tennis racquet to complete the look.
Or should that be – a cricket bat? He turned back to her.

“Hmm… just going to have a quick word with those chaps over there. Make sure
they, er…”
She grinned at that. “And how will that go?”
Harry – with one of his great smiles – nodded.
“You think they won’t welcome my advice?”
“With open arms, I’m sure. That or clenched fists.”
“That is my car they’re about to drop on the quay.”
“Your car?”
“Ah, right. Sorry – old habits. I mean our car. Thing is, she may not be a Bugatti, but that Alvis is damned
precious to me.”

“Good luck. Back in New York nobody argues with the longshoremen.”
“Well, I fancy we’re a tad more civilised over here.”
“Civilised? Nine o’clock and I’m still waiting for that coffee you promised.”
“How about we stop in at a local hostelry en route and celebrate my return to the motherland, and your
first visit, with a slap-up breakfast?”
“Slap-up?”
“Forgot you don’t quite speak the lingo yet. Means ‘large’. The works!”
“Sounds delicious.”

 

#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 Honeymoon For One by Frankie Collins (@frankiecollins_) @BoldwoodBooks #Boldwoodblogtour

Frankie Collins Blog Tour (2)
Many thanks to Boldwood Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Honeymoon For One’ by Frankie Collins, it’s a pleasure to be involved! For my stop on the tour, I am delighted to be sharing an extract from the book itself. Before I do that, here is a little bit more about the book, as well as the all important ‘buy’ link. Enjoy!

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When disaster strikes, paradise calls…

As a published novelist, Lila Rose has been writing about fictional weddings all her life. But disaster strikes on her own big day when she hears her philandering fiancé, Daniel whispering sweet nothings to someone else.

With her dream day shattered, all Lila wants to do is run and hide, so she decides to fly solo on her own honeymoon.

When Daniel arrives in the resort with his new squeeze, Lila strikes up a ‘showmance’ with hot new movie star, Freddie Bianchi. Freddie is perfect for the part and Lila soon relaxes into her leading lady role.

But as truth starts to merge with fiction, could real love be in the air?

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

Your wedding day is the start of a life-long journey, and, like any other journey, it
requires a lot of planning.
First, and most importantly, you need to know where you’re going and how you’re
going to get there. Are you on a one-track path to growing old together or are you
planning on making stops at pets, babies or house moves?
On a real trip you’re going to want insurance, but on the life-long journey of
marriage, assurance is what you need. Are you doing this with the right person? Will
they stand by you for better, for worse? For richer, for poorer? In sickness and in
health?

When your plans are all in place and it’s time to set off on this wonderful, wild
adventure, the only thing left to do is pack – but pack light.
Unfortunately, on this non-stop flight to a happy ever after, ex-boyfriends will not
fit in the overhead storage, no matter how much you dissected the relationship. All
baggage must be destroyed before boarding – you absolutely cannot bring your baggage
into a marriage.

Before you tie the knot, customs will confiscate any and all contraband still on
your person, not limited to, but including flirtatious WhatsApp threads and other
miscellaneous weaponry.

I’m travelling light today. All I have with me is my something old (a necklace my
grandma left me in her will), my something new (the sapphire studs in my ears), and my
something borrowed (a handkerchief from my mum, which I’m going to keep in the
pocket of my wedding dress, because you’d better believe I had my wedding dress made
with sneaky pockets). My something blue is (apparently) my best friend, Ali, who is
currently lying on the chaise longue at the bottom of my bed in my hotel room.
‘Oh, Lila,’ she says dramatically. ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’

I smile at myself in the mirror. Most best friends are supportive, attentive maids of
honour. Ali is showing me her love and support by constantly questioning whether or
not this is the right thing to do. I wouldn’t have her any other way though.
‘I’m pretty sure,’ I tell her. ‘I made sure I was sure before I spent thousands of
pounds on a wedding and a honeymoon.’
‘Well, yeah, I figured,’ she replies. ‘But… I don’t know, I don’t think I thought you’d
go through with it.’
I laugh.
‘And yet here we are,’ I say, smiling at her.
‘Daniel is… you know, he’s fine,’ she says.
‘Fine,’ I repeat back to her. Just what a bride wants to hear on her wedding day.
‘Yeah, he’s fine… he’s maybe just fine though?’
My best friend hasn’t waited until my wedding day to say this, she’s been telling
me for years that Daniel was just too boring to settle down with. I think this is a ‘speak
now or forever hold your peace’ type conversation, not that the latter sounds remotely
like something Ali would do.
‘I know you think he’s boring,’ I tell her. ‘But, maybe “boring guys” are the ones
you settle down with? Take that playboy banker you met last weekend – you wouldn’t
marry him, would you?’
‘Well, someone clearly did,’ she points out. ‘There was a wedding ring in his hotel
bathroom.’
‘Was?’ I dare to ask.
‘Yeah, I flushed it down the lav,’ she says casually. ‘I really don’t appreciate being
lied to.’
Ali is a real force to be reckoned with.
‘I know you’re only being semi-serious with the whole talking me out of getting
married thing,’ I start. ‘But honestly, I’ve thought this through. I love him, we’re happy
together – OK, things might not be wild, but I know in my heart that it’s time to put sexy
playboy bankers behind me.’
‘Well, that’s what I do with them,’ Ali says with a wiggle of her eyebrows.
I know that Ali just wants me to be happy, but I did consider all of this before
agreeing to marry my fiancé, Daniel Tyler, and when I say I considered it before
agreeing, I mean I literally asked him for a moment, before I gave him my answer. The reason for this is because marriage is something I take seriously. My parents, both sixty-
five years of age, have been married since they were nineteen. I might be thirty-one, but I want to marry once, and for life. I had a blast in my twenties, Daniel and I moved in
together when I was twenty-nine and now, comfortably accepting of the fact I am in my
thirties, I finally feel ready to tie the knot.

When some women say they have been planning their wedding for years, what
they really mean is they’ve been dressing up in net curtains as kids and trolling
Pinterest for flower arrangements as adults. Well, I really have been planning weddings
for years… sort of. Not my own wedding and I’m certainly not a wedding planner.
I’m a rom-com author and although the weddings I work with may be fictional, I
haven’t just planned a lot of them – I’ve ruined a lot of them too. I’ve written ten books
now, so it’s pretty safe to say I’ve considered every possible triumph, every little hiccup
and every epic fail my romantic yet devious mind can conjure up.
So, yes, while I have researched flowers, cakes and dresses, and tweaked them
accordingly (pockets! Honestly, this is going to be a game changer), I don’t just know
what this wedding needs, I know what it doesn’t need too. Obsessing over what flavour
frosting to have is rather silly – that’s just the icing on the cake. What you should be
worrying about are the things that are out of your control.
I have essentially reverse-engineered every single wedding I’ve ever written, to
make sure that my real wedding is perfect. It’s kind of a genius move.

About the author.

Frankie Collins is the pseudonym of Portia MacIntosh, bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and The Accidental Honeymoon. Previously a music journalist, Frankie writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.

Follow Frankie on Twitter

#BlogTour! #Extract from #MummyNeedsABreak by Susan Edmunds (@SusanEdmunds) @AvonBooksUK

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Many thanks to Avon for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Mummy Needs A Break’ by Susan Edmunds! Seeing as it was my daughters 6th birthday on Wednesday, this particular mummy certainly needs a break! For my stop on the tour, I have the pleasure of hosting an extract from the book. Before I do, here is a little bit more about Susan Edmunds’ novel and the all important ‘to buy’ link. Enjoy!

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With a devilish toddler and baby number two on the way, Rachel’s big dream is to one day go to the toilet on her own. So, she’s surprised to discover that her husband has found the time to have an exciting affair while she’s been bringing up their family.

Suddenly, Rachel is left wrangling with a child who will only eat crackers and a 35-week bump. She knows even Mumsnet isn’t going to solve this.

What Rachel needs is a handsome, good-with-children, single man. But she can barely leave the house without a stain on her top and child on her hip. How on earth can she claim her life back, let alone thinking about dating?

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract.

I stared at him. An evening chorus of crickets had started up in the garden, highlighting the silence between us. I watched him struggle for words. My flicker of hope that there was a story to explain the messages evaporated. He had always become tongue-tied at the first hint of a lie and would avoid someone for months rather than risk a confrontation.

The back of my throat was caustic with heartburn and fear danced on my nerve endings. I had only just finished getting the baby’s room ready, and Stephen still had to put the cot back together. What had he done to us? To me?

I poured myself a glass of iced water, wishing it were wine, my hands shaking. It was only 8.30 p.m. What was I meant to do? I pondered calling a friend but what do you say:
‘Hello, nice evening isn’t it? I think I’ve just caught my husband having an affair.’
If it turned out he wasn’t, it would be witheringly awkward to make small talk with the neighbours at our next barbecue.

And if it transpired that he was – but we stayed together regardless – no one would look him in the eye. I could not imagine anything worse than turning up to drinks at my perfect friend Charlotte’s house and having everyone look at me, the scorned wife. Poor Rachel, stuck with a cheating husband and a new baby.

#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 #TruthOrDie by Katerina Diamond (@TheVenomousPen) @AvonBooksUK

Many thanks to Avon for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for ‘Truth or Die’ by Katerina Diamond. If you’ve been wondering about whether to buy the book or not, here is an extract for you all to whet your appetite:

Their darkest secrets won’t stay buried forever…

The butchered body of a professor is found in a private office of Exeter University. It is the first in a spate of horrific murders that shakes the city to its core.

Who would target a seemingly innocent man, and why? DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles turn to his students for answers, but their investigation turns up no leads. Someone must know more than they’re letting on…

As the body count rises, the police have to look into the past to uncover the person responsible before it’s too late.

But are they brave enough to face up to the truth?

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

At the top of the window he had a couple of tricky manoeuvres to do before he could get over the second ledge onto the small balcony. Once they had been executed, he grabbed the thin ledge and pulled himself up, and then hoisted himself over the wall. One last push before he could get onto the roof. He could go to the side and climb up that way, but it wasn’t as interesting for his followers and so he continued on his path straight upwards.

He climbed up the final window and grabbed hold of the feet of the statue standing at the top of it. He didn’t know who it was of, probably St Peter. Neither history nor religious studies were his subjects at school, so he hadn’t paid attention on the various school trips they had made to the building over the years.

He got his hand around the spike at the centre of the top of the roof and pulled himself up. He didn’t give himself time to rest; he wanted his followers to see the view and so he spun around and looked out over the city. His phone was a tiny blip on the ground from where he was standing, but he waved nonetheless. He would splice the footage together later and put it to music. This was going to look awesome; he couldn’t wait to watch it back.

#BlogTour! #Extract – A Random Act of Kindness by Sophie Jenkins (@SophieJenkinsUK) @AvonBooksUK

The final stop on the ‘A Random Act of Kindness’ is here with me, TWG, where I will share an extract from Sophie Jenkins’ new book. Thank you, Avon, for having me on the tour!

It only takes a moment, to change a life for ever…

Fern is too busy making sure other people feel good about themselves to give much thought to her own happiness. But somehow, without her noticing, life has run away from her.

Suddenly, Fern realises her vintage clothes business is struggling, and the casual relationship she’d always thought she was happy in doesn’t look so appealing.

But sometimes, karma really does come through. And when Fern goes out of her way to help 85-year-old Dinah, little does she realise their new friendship will change her life.

Dinah may have troubles in her past, but she’s lived and loved to the full. Can Dinah show Fern that even the smallest acts of kindness can make the world a better place?

Extract.

Anyway, I can get no enjoyment from wearing Enid’s blouse after remembering that. I’ll try it on again in three days’ time. So I hang it back up again, put my shirt back on and once more I’m at a loose end in my empty house. I ring Betty. ‘The undertakers have been,’ I tell her.
‘Oh, Kim,’ she says. ‘Poor Enid. Poor you.’
‘Yes, well. No use brooding. I’m going to ring a chap called Cato Hamilton to clear her belongings.’

‘Kim,’ she says quickly, ‘it’s far too soon to get rid of things. George might want them. Don’t do anything you’ll regret. Just try to go on as usual for now.’

George won’t want them. He has his own things. ‘I can’t go on as usual without her.’

‘No. Of course not.’ She’s quiet for a moment.

‘Do you want anything of hers?’ I ask.

‘Kim, if you want my advice, you’ll wait a bit.’

I grunt a laugh. ‘Why? In case she comes back?’ I can hear Betty suck in through her teeth at my admittedly tasteless remark. ‘I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s come over me,’ I say apologetically.

She breathes out a forgiving sigh. ‘Grief affects everyone differently,’ she says. ‘I expect it’s different for men. The sentiment, I mean. I didn’t feel right getting rid of Stan’s clothes. I felt it wasn’t enough that I’d lost him, I was giving away what little of him I had left. I gave his watch to my granddaughter’s boyfriend and when they broke up, I regretted it, but she was heartbroken and I didn’t like to bring it up. I know I sound rather mercenary, but I still think of tracking him down now and then, you know, to ask for it back. I wouldn’t mind paying him for it.’

I nod. ‘You should do that,’ I tell her.

‘Young people don’t wear watches anyway.’

‘Don’t they?’ I doubt this is true, but the sense of the world getting away from me comes over me strongly. I want to ask her what proof she has of this.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Extract from #Tightrope by Marnie Riches (@Marnie_Riches) @OrionBooks

I am so excited to be taking part in Marnie Riches’ blog tour today for ‘Tightrope’, many thanks to Orion for my invite. I was hoping to review the book today, however I didn’t receive a copy until too late so I will be sharing an extract from the book inside. I will be reading and reviewing as soon as i can though!

What happens when a private investigator ends up being the one uncovered?

Having lost everything after a failed marriage, Beverley Saunders now lodges in the basement flat of a house owned by her best friend Sophie and her husband, Tim. With Bev’s former glittering marketing career in the gutter, she begins to do investigative work for other wronged women, gathering dirt on philanderers, bosses and exes.

But when Beverley takes on the case of Sophie’s friend Angela, who is seeking to uncover grounds for divorce from her controlling husband, Jerry, the shadow Science Minister, she soon discovers that she isn’t the only one doing the investigating…

Beverley has a secret history she doesn’t want coming out – but will she manage to stay hidden long enough to give Angela the freedom she deserves?

‘Tightrope’ will be published by Orion on the 11th July and can be pre-ordered now from Amazon

Extract.

CHAPTER 1
Bev

‘Balls to Dr Mo and his group-therapy cobblers,’ she said, savouring the sight of the object of her desire. Endorphins

fizzed in her bloodstream. The rush of a conquest was always a narcotic, numbing the jab, jab, jab of her conscience that insisted she was derailing her own fasttrain back to a future worth having. With a quick glance up the double-parked street of elegant Edwardian brick terraces, she negotiated a traffic hump. The car shuddered and her teeth clacked. OK, perhaps she was going a little too fast. Eyes back on the prize. ‘Oh, Mama. I cannot wait to get you home and rip off your—’

When the 4×4 ploughed into her at speed, Beverley Saunders’ little VW Polo lurched improbably to the right, missing the parked Audi on the opposite side of the road by only inches. Her airbag inflated immediately.

‘Jesuf pft.’ A muffled outcry was all she could manage until the bag deflated, leaving her gripping the steering wheel with white-knuckled, shaking hands. Stunned, she stared at the bag that now looked like an oversized, spent johnny. ‘What bastard . . . ?’

Flushed through with adrenaline, she applied her handbrake, punched her hazard warning lights into life and

stepped out of the car. The culprit was looking down at her from the elevated vantage point of an Overfinch Range

Rover. Staring directly at Bev open-mouthed as though she

couldn’t quite believe what had just come to pass.

Bev took in the devastation wrought on her beloved little VW by the unforgiving bulk of this pimped-up Chelsea Tractor – or rather, Hale Tractor in this overpriced pocket of Cheshire. Enraged, she marched up to the driver’s side window of the 4×4, expecting to find some washed up soap

actress or footballer’s wife.

‘Get out of the fucking car, lady !’ she yelled.

The woman raised her hand to her mouth, but otherwise didn’t move.

She didn’t seem to be a celebrity, but Bev knew her type well. High blonde ponytail. Pearl earrings. Expensive looking fur gilet that showed off the owner’s reed-like arms, accented with a shitty taupe silk scarf that chimed

in perfect harmony with the Farrow and Ball-painted doors and window frames of the surrounding houses. Rocks on those bony fingers that could fund a developing country.

That much she could see through the glass.

‘Entitled shitbag. I’m talking to you !’

Bev eyed the stoved-in passenger side of her Polo, noticing how the tyre was facing inwards at an untenable angle. A flicker of guilt strobed at the back of her mind, telling her that a crash was karmic payback for being weak. But that didn’t excuse this stupid cow. She thumped the bonnet of the Range Rover.

‘You killed my car !’

Shutters were twitching either side of the street. Cleaners and nannies peered out at the scene, no doubt making

morality judgements as Bev cursed and the blonde finally emerged, tugging at the ties of her gilet.

‘I’m so, so sorry. My foot slipped and I just shot out.’

The blonde looked back regretfully at the give-way markings on the road.

‘I take it you’re not hurt.’ Bev eyed the pristine white Range Rover. It didn’t have a single dent in it. Naturally.

And those gleaming black alloys were intact. Naturally. Only the Polo looked like it had been in a fight with

Godzilla. ‘Details !’ Her heartbeat was thunderous as she proffered the brown envelope from a recent, terrifying

HMRC communiqué and a pencil she’d stolen from IKEA.

‘I think we’ve got to call the police, get a reference number or something, but first, we exchange details.’

‘Yes. Of course.’ The blonde dithered, clearly looking for something to lean on. Opted for her bonnet. She wrote,

‘Angela Fitzwilliam’ in a shaky hand.

The crash threatened to send Bev careening to the rock bottom of a cliff face she had already been struggling to cling to, let alone scale. She was just about to subject the woman to another tirade of expletives, when the guilt flickered on again ; brighter and steadier, this time, like a searchlight

shining on her shortcomings. She privately acknowledged that she hadn’t really been paying attention either. Too busy staring at the extremely rare, mint origami kit she’d bought off the old guy in Rusholme. A moment of eBay madness, indulging in the very compulsion she had sworn she would eschew. Dr Mo would remind her that she had taken four steps backwards in the board game of her life, sliding down yet another damned snake at a point where she’d hoped to climb the next ladder. Well, the self-appointed saviour of the obsessive, the compulsive and the habitually disorderly would have to damn well find out first.

Maybe she was equally to blame for being unobservant. But this woman looked loaded. She could almost certainly afford to lose her no claims bonus and pay the excess. Bev, on the other hand, had a stack of unopened bills waiting on the side in her crappy flat, not to mention the tax demand. Screw it.

‘So, you admit, it was your fault ?’

The woman closed her large, deep-set eyes and held up hands that were beautifully manicured. ‘Oh, absolutely.

Mine entirely.’

A fixed-up car, a month or two of lovely physio, being pummelled with warm oils by some beefcake – the nearest Bev would get to a massage now that she was permanently broke. A couple of grand in damages would clear some of those debts. Bish, bash, bosh. Bev mentally rubbed her hands together and thanked God for silver linings.