#BlogBlitz! #Extract from Jungle Rock by Caroline James @carolinejames12 @Rararesources

Jungle Rock Banner
Happy book birthday to Caroline James’ ‘Jungle Rock’! I am super excited to be helping Caroline James celebrate her book birthday with today’s blog blitz. Alongside an extract from ‘Jungle Rock’, I also have a giveaway for you all!

Jungle Rock Cover

Handsome young chef Zach Docherty is feeling the heat. Following an exposé in a national newspaper, his fiancée Poppy Dunlop has broken their engagement. Heartbroken at the thought of life without Poppy, Zach drowns his sorrows and, when his agent suggests that Zach becomes a contestant in a reality TV show, Jungle Survival, he reluctantly agrees. Plunged deep in the jungle, into a bizarre mix of talent and trials, Zach meets glamour model Cleo Petra, and the cameras go crazy. Will Zach survive and be crowned Jungle King? Or will his latest exploits push Poppy further away…

“If you’re looking for a highly entertaining story, look no further.” Linda’s Book Bag
“Another really good book from Caroline James.” Rachel’s Random Reads
“A fun romantic read – 5 stars!” My Chestnut Reading Tree
“Fans of ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ will love this book!” Nikki Ashton, best-selling romcom author

Purchase Link – http://mybook.to/JRF

Extract.

We join Jo and Hattie as they prepare to watch Zach’s arrival in the Jungle…

“Come on Jo, it’s started!”
Hattie had arranged a sofa in prime position in front of the large screen in Jo’s lounge and sat on the edge as she waited for Jungle Survival to begin. The opening credits had rolled and the presenter was gibbering on about the new series and the celebrities entering the jungle.
“Bleedin’ hell, she’s thin.” Hattie studied the screen. “What’s with the drop-crotch jeans?”
Hattie held her head to one side and studied Ava’s outfit. “She looks ridiculous.”
Jo dashed into the room and flung herself on the sofa. “Be quiet!” she said and sat forward.
“They’re about to announce a contestant.”
The camera switched to an aerial shot and a helicopter came into view. On board, another camera was fixed on the pale and terrified face of Zach, as he sat on the edge of the open- doorway and stared with horror at the view beneath.
“Oh, my gawd!” Hattie covered her face with her fingers. “He’ll die before he’s even got there!”
Jo had her eyes closed and she gripped Hattie’s arm. They listened to the shrill voice of Ava as she explained that Zach was attached to an experienced parachutist who wouldn’t begin their descent until Zach gave the word.
“Jump!” They all yelled, chorusing from Marland and mid-air. Jo and Hattie opened their eyes and watched with horror as Zach leapt from a chilling height.
“He hates heights,” Jo whispered as they watched Zach’s face fill with fear. “He wouldn’t even sit on a stool when he was little.”
As Zach fell at terrifying speed they held their breath. A remote camera attached to his helmet recorded his contorted expression and rapid descent. Suddenly a parachute opened and Zach seemed to bounce before slowing to a glide. His eyes were wide and tear-stained as he gazed around and, realising that he was safe, began to hoot with joy as they came to a gentle landing on the soft brown earth below.
“Did you enjoy that?” Ava asked as Zach scrambled to his feet and an instructor reached over to unhook Zach from his flying kit.
“I want to do it again!” Zach cried and he grabbed the host in a bear hug.
“Blimey,” Hattie said.
“Thank God.” Jo sank back into the sofa.
They watched Zach begin to make his way on foot into camp and, as the camera panned away and an advert break began, both let out a sigh.
“I need a stiff one.” Hattie stood and poured two large brandies. “We’ve got three weeks of this, I’m not sure I can stand the tension.”
“That’s if he makes it to the final.” Jo took a gulp of her drink.
“Oh he will,” Hattie said. “Old Wonder Boy will sail through the tasks and the public will love him.” She sat back on the sofa. “Just you wait and see.”

Giveaway!

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Giveaway – Win a £20 Amazon Voucher

Sign up to Caroline James’ mailing list to be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher. Giveaway open internationally and closes 30 th November 2017. Winner will be announced by Caroline via email.

Sign up here!

Author Bio –

Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality
industry – a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK and spends her time writing, climbing mountains and running a consultancy business. Caroline has a great fondness for the Caribbean and escapes to the islands whenever she can. She is a public speaker, reviewer and food writer and loves cooking and baking, especially cake. Her next novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel is coming soon…

Amazon: Caroline James Author
Twitter: @CarolineJames12
Facebook: Caroline James Author
Website: http://www.carolinejamesauthor.co.uk/

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#BlogTour! #Extract – Only One Woman by @Jane_Risdon & Christina Jones (@bucolicsfrolics)

Apologies for my post being late in the day, however, I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for ‘Only One Woman’ by Jane Risdon and Catherine Jones. For my post today I have an extract to share with you.

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Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

Extract.

Renza’s Diary
May 24 th 1968 – late

What a flipping nightmare of an evening. I really thought I’d never get home in one piece.

Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Someone up there hates me I’m sure.
If only Selina hadn’t lost her handbag at the Top Rank, I’d have caught the last bus back
from Reading and I would’ve been home on time. Instead I’d gone back with the others to look for it – thankfully it had been handed in at the cloakroom and nothing was missing.
Luckily I had just enough money for the train, which I’d had to run for. Selina’s dad took the others home in his brand new car as arranged, and there wasn’t room for me as well. I reckon he could’ve taken me but Yvette refused to let me sit on her lap in the front, in case I ripped her Mary Quant stockings. Sometimes I really want to do her a mischief.
They’ve got to do something about our local station, it’s just too creepy for words. Steam
from the train almost suffocated me as I crossed the bridge to the exit on the opposite
platform; all very ‘Brief Encounter’ I remember thinking, in an effort to stop my mind
wandering off into ‘Hitchcock-land.’ Talk about cough myself silly, and my eyes stung
something rotten as I tried to find my way in the pitch black; the two over-head lamps didn’t help much, they should do something about those flipping lights, I could’ve broken my neck, or even worse, tripped over in my new pink kitten heels and broken one of them.

I slowly took the steps down to the lane beside the station, glancing around me all the
while – I admit it, I was a little freaked out. It’s always deserted, and you can never be too
careful. Not long ago a dangerous prisoner escaped from the nearby asylum and hid in the waiting room for days before being recaptured. Hardly anyone uses the station since the cut- backs by that old idiot, Beeching, and the trains are a bit hit and miss since they messed with the timetable, so the convict was able to wait for his twisted ankle to mend without much danger of discovery. For all I knew, another Jack the Ripper could’ve be lurking in there waiting for me to pass, that’d just be my flaming luck.
I was in so much trouble. Forty minutes later than agreed. She’d never believe me about
the bag, but no other excuse came to mind as I walked down the lane. I was going to be so dead.

Oh God!

I had such a fright. Something or someone, made a noise behind me, so I stopped and
listened, but I really felt like running. Some sort of night creature, silly girl, I decided as I
walked on. But there it was again. Was someone behind me?
I turned and peered into the pitch dark – I’m still shaking as I write this. I told myself it
sounded like a hedgehog – had to be. Don’t panic, no-one comes down here at night I
reminded myself. Oh cripes, that lane, I hate it. Anyone could jump out to get you, seriously, I’ve often wondered, who’d hear you yell? No-one that’s who. There aren’t any lights or houses down there.
I must remember – next time the girls ask me to the Top Rank – to leave early and get the
bus on time. Next time, who am I kidding?
I’m going nuts – I hope no-one ever reads this, I’d die, but I started singing quietly to myself – I do that sometimes when I’m feeling a bit nervous – well seriously spooked actually. I turned on to the main road relieved no-one had grabbed me, and headed for our house.
That’s when I heard him…
‘What time do you think this is?’
Well, I nearly died of fright. I actually jumped. I couldn’t work out where the voice was
coming from. It seemed to echo all around me in the dimly lit street. Someone had followed me, that’s what I kept thinking. I hurried past the bus stop when I heard him again. What to do? Should I run? If I screamed, bringing Mum and half the village outside, Mrs Digby would just love that and if I got murdered, well, it didn’t bear thinking about. All this went through my brain at a rate of knots as I tried to work out where the voice was coming from. Would I make it to the gate? Bloody Selina and her stupid bag. I was going to die all because of her stupid bag.

Pre-order now from Amazon UK

The blog tour has only just begun so make sure you follow the blogs listed on the graphic below, if you wish to keep up to date with the tour.

oow blog tour

#BlogTour! #Extract from ‘Shadows’ by Paul Finch (@paulfinchauthor) @AvonBooksUK

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Thrilled to be taking part in Paul Finch’s blog tour today! I am delighted to be able to share with you an extract from his new novel; ‘Shadows’. Enjoy!

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[Extract 7 from Chapter 8, pp.66-67]

‘He attacks late at night, and not many people are likely to go out to a cashpoint late at night unless they feel relatively safe. These particular cashpoints, because they’re out in the open, will probably be deemed safer than most.’
‘So, if he hangs around these, there’s basically more chance he’ll get lucky,’ Blake said.
‘That’s my reading of it, ma’am, yes.’ Lucy’s finger roved further across the street map. ‘These points also benefit from having getaway routes everywhere. A side passage through to a pedestrianised shopping mall, from where there are half a dozen other points of egress. A subway . . . An overpass that leads to a housing estate. Plus, and this could be very important, they’re all in close proximity to free on-street parking.’
‘You think he’s mobile?’ Blake said.
Lucy shook her head. ‘I don’t know, ma’am. You dress up like a lunatic, pick someone at random, cut them down with a sword and just run off into the night, in most cases leaving them alive to shout for help. . . you’d normally be asking for trouble. I mean that wouldn’t just draw attention to the scene of the
crime, but to you and to whichever route you’ve used to get away. That would normally be the trademark of a disorganised attacker who’s doomed to get nicked pretty quickly. Unless, as we’ve already said, it’s a part of an act, the purpose of which is to conceal the fact he’s actually a very organised offender indeed. I mean, while the cops are running around looking for a grinning maniac, he’s removed his disguise and miraculously become an ordinary citizen again, happily driving home to his house in the
suburbs . . . or something like that.’
Blake contemplated this.
‘Of course, he’s not going to leave his motor on an actual car park,’ Lucy added. ‘I mean, they’re covered much more intensively by security cameras than on-street, and that would reveal his VRM.’
‘You’ve really done your homework on this, haven’t you?’

‘Shadows’ by Paul Finch is available to buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Extract – ‘If Only You Knew’ by Cynthia Clark (@cynthiaNYC) @Aria_fiction

ARIA_Clark_IF YOU ONLY KNEW_E
A wife, a mother, a killer.

One wrong decision, one terrifying night, leaves student Elizabeth with a stark choice – kill or be killed. And the consequences of that choice will shape her whole life.

Now a wife, a mother, and a lawyer, she must find a way to out run her past, protect her family and live with her secret. But is it really possible to live a happy life with such a huge shadow cast by the past? And as it becomes clear that someone else knows her secret and is hunting her down, time is running out for Elizabeth to keep her family safe.

In the bestselling tradition of Clare Mackintosh and Jenny Blackhurst, Cynthia Clark has written a heart-stopping story about the choices we make and how far we’d go to protect our families. Even if it means deceiving the people we love most…

Buy links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2fnvZvH

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2xz8jeP

iBooks: http://apple.co/2xksqO0

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2wLIV19

Extract.

Hello, I’m Elizabeth and I’m a killer.

I’ve dreamed about saying those words. I’ve always thought that it would be a relief to finally say them out loud, to stop suppressing the one secret that haunts me every single night. Every single day. Every single second of my existence.

You see, secrets have a way of repressing your being, making you feel stifled, as if you’re not yourself any more. And the longer you keep a secret, the more it crushes your soul, making you want to scream, scratch at your skin, tear your hair out. It’s the desperation of being alone, of knowing that nobody else can be told, that you can’t share your secret with anyone, allow them to help you carry the burden. Because, after all, who would understand? You know that instead they would just see you as a monster. I know that’s what people would think about me if I ever dared to tell them.

Because it doesn’t matter why I did what I did. The bottom line is that I took a life. That was someone’s child, someone’s neighbour, someone’s friend.

I’ve thought about being able to tell at least one person what I’ve done. Test the waters and hope that they would understand. I’ve come close on a couple of occasions. But in the end, fear has always taken over and I’ve backtracked, my resolve to share my deepest, darkest confession shaken to the core. I’m too scared that the life I’ve built for myself will be shattered. I’m terrified of having to face the consequences of my actions, carried out in the heat of the moment.

No, I cannot tell anyone. I need to remain the sole custodian of the truth. My scary reality. Nobody can know that I’m Elizabeth and I’m a killer.

Chapter 1

2014

I’m clearing the remnants of this morning’s breakfast from the kitchen when my work phone rings, stopping me in my tracks. I see my assistant’s name flashing on the screen.

“Hi Jennifer, what’s up?”

“There’s this girl.” Her voice is coming in rapid pants. “She’s going to be slaughtered by the prosecution unless you take over her case.”

Cradling my phone between my ear and shoulder, I rinse Coco Pops from a cereal bowl. There’s no time to waste; I’m already running late. “Ok, I’m listening.”

“I got in early to file the Preston paperwork. I was waiting for the clerk to come in and heard Sarah, from the public defender’s office, talking about this case.”

Jennifer pauses for breath.

“So, what is it about?” I urge.

“There’s this girl, Chloe. She’s fifteen and is being charged with attempted murder.”

“What did she do?” Moving my phone to the other ear, I carry on clearing the kitchen, mentally urging her to give me the whole story rather than scraps of information.

“She ran over this guy and fled the scene.” Her voice is tinged with excitement.

“Hold on, how come she was driving? You said she’s only fifteen?”

“Yes, she is. She got into his car and reversed over him.”

“How did she get the keys? Did she steal them?”

“I’m not sure…” Jennifer’s voice trails off.

“Ok, we can find out later. Is he injured?”

“Oh yes.” She is suddenly animated. “He’s still in hospital. Both of his legs are broken, he has a couple of fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and severe internal haemorrhage. Doctors aren’t sure if he’ll ever walk again.”

“Ouch,” I wince; shuddering as I try to freeze out images of the unknown man’s wounded body.

“Sarah suggested running the case by you, to see if you have time to take it on,” Jennifer continues.

Taking a deep breath, I mentally run through my current workload. “I don’t know. You know how busy I am right now.”

“Yes, but you’re always looking to help young women, girls who don’t have anywhere else to turn. And you haven’t taken a pro-bono case in a few months.”

Jennifer’s right. Cases where the accused has a tough story, where others would have run a mile, always get to me and make me work my hardest.

“Are you still there?”

“Yes, yes,” I quickly answer, jolted back to reality. “I don’t know. It’s a hit-and-run. Is it worth the effort?”

“Well, it’s not like the usual cases you tend to take on. But just because she’s not the victim of abuse doesn’t mean that she doesn’t deserve a solid defence.”

“And you know how busy the public defenders are,” she presses. “Sarah is juggling eighteen other cases. She has no time to provide a proper defence. This girl is doomed.”

Something about Jennifer’s description of the case doesn’t tally. There’s a small voice inside me warning against wasting time, telling me to move on. “Can’t her parents find a good barrister?”

“I don’t know, but if she’s been referred to a public defendant, that’s probably her only choice. Just guessing.”

Despite my reservations, I’m intrigued. “Can you ask Sarah for the case file?”

“I got you a copy already. It’ll be on your desk when you get in.” A smile creeps onto my face. Jennifer’s extraordinary organisational skills allow me to focus on what really matters – defending clients.

IF YOU ONLY KNEW blog tour (1)

#Extract from #TheSecretMother by Shalini Boland (@ShaliniBoland) @Bookouture

Fans of Bookouture already know that when the team set their mind to something, by golly do they achieve it! I am super excited to be one (of many) bloggers helping to fill social media with Shalini Boland. Not literally of course – that would be mean!

Hmmmmmmm, how else could we do that…

Oh! I know! Extract from Shalini Boland’s upcoming novel #TheSecretMother perhaps?

Shalini Boland - Author Pic
What readers are saying about Shalini Boland:


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

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

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

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

‘The plot is gripping and once you’ve started reading, you have to keep on reading, you need to know how the story will end.’ Bits About Books, 5 Stars
 
… one of the most chilling reads of the year for me.’Ajoobacats Blog, 5 Stars

‘This book should come with a warning… make sure you have enough time to read it in one-sitting because as soon as you’ll pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down!’ Bookishly Ever After, 5 stars
 
‘This is a brilliant psychological thriller. In fact, it’s one of the best I’ve read. It is full of suspense and has more twists and turns than a fairground ride.’ Jackie Roche, UK Crime Book Club, 5 Stars

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

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

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

Pre-order ‘The Secret Mother’ now!

Amazon UK
Amazon US

EXTRACT!

THE SECRET MOTHER
By Shalini Boland

 Chapter One

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

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

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

Almost home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

‘And who did you come with?’ I ask.

‘The angel.’

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

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

‘The angel?’

He nods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My heart squeezes at his politeness.

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

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

He grins and slides off the stool.

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

He smiles up at me again and my chest constricts.

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

‘Oh, okay.’

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

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

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

‘Hi, Scott. I need you to come over.’

‘What? Now?’

‘Yes. Please, it’s important.’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He eagerly does as I ask.

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

He stares at the pans in the drawer.

‘Harry?’ I prompt.

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

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

No reply.

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

‘No.’

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

He scowls and looks down at the flagstone floor.

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

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

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

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

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

He nods vigorously and sniffs.

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

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

I don’t have a child. Not any more.

 

#BlogTour! #Extract from ‘The Note’ by Zoe Folbigg (@zolington) @aria_fiction

THE NOTE blog tour
It’s TWG’s turn to host Zoe Folbigg and her debut novel, ‘The Note’. For my post today I am delighted to share an extract with you. Enjoy!

9781786698070
As featured on ITV’s ‘This Morning’…

Based on Zoë Folbigg’s true story comes an unforgettable romance about how a little
note can change everything…

One very ordinary day, Maya Flowers sees a new commuter board her train to London,
and suddenly the day isn’t ordinary at all. Maya knows immediately and irrevocably,
that he is The One.

But the beautiful man on the train always has his head in a book and never seems to
notice Maya sitting just down the carriage from him every day. Eventually, though,
inspired by a very wise friend, Maya plucks up the courage to give the stranger a note
asking him out for a drink. Afterall, what’s the worst that can happen?
And so begins a story of sliding doors, missed opportunities and finding happiness
where you least expect it.

The Note is an uplifting, life-affirming reminder that taking a chance can change
everything…

Buy links:
Amazon // Kobo // iBooks // Google Play

Extract.

Chapter One

May 2014

Maya has done it. She has delivered three sentences and a friendly sign-off, and now
it is out of her hands. She struggles to walk the incline of the seemingly uphill train
carriage because her legs are shaking, her mouth is dry, and putting one foot in front
of the other takes effort and focus her racing heart isn’t capable of at the moment.
Her legs buckle as Maya slumps into a seat on the other side of a grubby internal
door. Which is just as well because she wanted to linger with the last straggles of
bedraggled Train People disembarking reluctantly; to make herself invisible to all the
commuters she just embarrassed herself in front of. So, Maya lies low with the sleepy
people. The people who can’t stand their jobs. The people who are lost in someone
else’s life, frantically turning or swiping pages to find out if the girl got the guy, the
adventurer made it back to London or the heretic was burned at the stake.

Train Man isn’t a straggler. Every day Maya sees him stand up confidently at the
same point on the track, somewhere between the football stadium and the tunnel, as
the train snakes towards a new day and a new terminus. Equine legs, strong arms. He
throws a grey backpack with two thin brown leather straps onto his back, stands in the
doorway and, as the train comes to a stop and orange lights ding, he steps off with
pace and purpose. Maya usually walks a healthy distance behind Train Man, tiny
sparks flying from her heels, down the platform and through the barriers under the
canopy of a reverse waterfall bubbling white and bright above them. The intimate
huddle of a metal umbrella for thousands of people who don’t even look up. Train
Man always walks straight through the station and Maya wonders what he’s listening
to, trying to guess from his gait, not realising he was at four of the six gigs she went to
in the past year. Every day she sees him turn right out of the station and walk swiftly,
resolutely, into a mist of people down the road. Until she can’t keep up with his long
stride, he in Converse, she in heels – or ballerina flats if she needs to be nimble and get to a meeting – and Maya tends to lose him around the big crossroads at the artery by the hospital. But not today. Today Train Man has long gone.

When Maya’s legs buckled and she fell into a dusty seat, she put distance between
where Train Man had been sitting, where she had awkwardly stood over him, and into
this sanctuary of a cringe-free carriage. Catching her breath, she waits for three
minutes until she, Maya Flowers, is the last of the stragglers. Hot face. Thumping
heart. I did it!
In the empty carriage, Maya’s legs stop shaking and she flattens her wavy hair in
an attempt to regain composure for no one’s benefit. She takes long deep breaths and
calms herself by putting her fingertips against her ribcage to feel her lungs fill slowly.
A tall man in a bright blue short-sleeved shirt that sits pleasingly against Somali
skin steps on and starts to throw newspapers into a sack before passengers board the
train that will take them north. Maya stands and tries to stride with Train Man’s purpose. She knows she won’t catch him up today, to see whether he is clutching her note to his heart, whether it’s crumpled in his pocket, or whether he tossed it into a bin. It doesn’t matter for now.
What matters is she did it.
Spring sunshine looks down gently and tempers rise noisily in the gridlock of an
underpass, but all Maya can hear among the birds and the horns are the words of an
American woman in her head.
‘What’s the worst that can happen?’
Maya smiles proudly as she passes a bin and gives a cursory glance into it.

About the author

Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001
and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK,
Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the- world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. This is her debut novel.

Follow Zoe

Website: http://www.zoefolbigg.com/
Twitter: @zolington
Facebook: @zoefolbiggauthor

 

#BlogTour! #Extract from The Angel by Katerina Diamond @TheVenomousPen @AvonBooksUK

Angel Blog tour
Katerina Diamond is back with a brand new book! ‘The Angel’ was published by Avon on the 21st September. I currently have Katerina’s book on my TBR thanks to Avon Books but rest assured, I will read it and review it as soon as humanly possible. I cannot wait to get stuck into it and I’m annoyed with myself for not getting it read! Anyway, not all is lost as I have an extract from ‘The Angel’ to share with you today! Tease much? Enjoy!

theangel

THE TRUTH WON’T STAY LOCKED UP FOREVER

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

Miles and Grey are back in the thrilling new novel from bestselling author Katerina Diamond, perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and M.J. Arlidge.

Buy now from Amazon UK

Extract
Extract Nine from Chapter Three, pp 31-32

‘I’m DS Imogen Grey and this is my partner, DS Adrian Miles.’
‘Gabriel Webb.’ He held his hand out, Imogen took it and shook it. He was very direct and seemed both polite and unfazed by this interaction.
‘Can I ask where you were this evening?’
‘With some mates. Around.’
‘We have CCTV of you leaving a signal box.’
‘Right, yeah, I was there.’ He brushed his hair out of his eyes.
‘Who were you with?’ Adrian asked.
‘Why?’ Gabriel Webb narrowed his eyes. He didn’t seem like someone with something to hide.
‘Did you perhaps start a fire inside the signal box?’ Imogen asked, hoping to God he said no. Perhaps he had no idea at all about the man in the room below in the signal box. The repercussions of this were bigger than anyone his age should have to deal with. Despite his height, he had a young face; he couldn’t have been much older than eighteen. She wanted to send him home, before his world got turned upside down. It was always hardest with the young ones.
‘In the bin, yeah, but it burnt out before we left. Who told you that?’
‘Where are your friends now? Are they here?’
‘There’s something you’re not telling me, isn’t there?’ Gabriel’s pale face looked even more ghostly than before as the gravity of the situation started to dawn on him. ‘I’m not implicating anyone else until I know what’s going on.’

#BlogTour #Review – The Flower Shop on Foxley ST by @WriterDove @HQDigitalUK @brookcottagebks

TheFlowerShoponFoxletStBanner
TWG is thrilled to welcome Rachel Dove back to the blog today! It seems like ages ago when the lovely lady was popping her TWG cherry, but by golly hasn’t she come far in this last year!  Rachel Dove has been published by HQDigitalUK and her new book, ‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St’, is out to by right now! Don’t worry, all the important ‘to buy’ links will appear further down, but first I am super excited to share my review with you today:

FLOWER SHOP
A new love could be about to bloom for Lily in this bright, warm women’s fiction title that fans of Holly Hepburn and Cathy Bramley will love.

Lily Rose Baxter loves her little flower shop on Foxley Street and the freedom and
independence from her family that it represents.

Lily can’t help but feel that something is missing from her life…, but when mysterious
stranger Will Singer comes into her shop looking for the perfect bouquet of roses, all that
could be about to change.

What does TWG think?

If you hadn’t guessed already, Rachel Dove’s new book is set in a flower shop. A flower shop even people with hay fever can enjoy – how brilliant is that! Oh, and of course the main character is named after a flower….or two. I’m just grateful it wasn’t a modern-day ‘Hyacinth Bouquet’! Anywhoo, Lily is in her element tending to her stems every day, wrapping up delightful blooms for anyone who graces her shop alongside her best friend, Roger (who by the way, is an absolute hoot!).

Being a florist seems to run in Lily’s family, as the previous owners of the shop were her parents. What a small buttercup world we live in! Lily has always pondered through life in a world of her own, believing that she had everything she ever wanted. Including happiness. True happiness. Well, that was until local heart-throb, Will Singer, entered the building, making Lily bloom like a sunflower towards the sun. Things aren’t always as straight forward as they seem, are they….

What a lovely read this is! The characters were well thought out (even if one deserved a prick on the tooshmanoosh by a rose thorn), naming no names of course. The character makes themselves known so I’m sure it won’t take you long to figure out who I am on about! Look, I can’t help having strong opinions about characters in storylines, especially if they’re an absolute cockscomb like ‘theywhoshallremainnameless’ is. Can you tell they got on my nerves? Geeeeee whizz! I’m afraid to say that Lily’s response to said person earlier on the book, annoyed me as well because I felt like she was allowing herself to be a doormat, despite having reservations about this persons actions. I wanted her to stand up for herself, so I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t impressed with her for a little while.

It just goes to show that I enjoyed ‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St’ seeing as multiple characters made me react in various ways. If the storyline was pants, I wouldn’t think twice about the characters, nor would one of them still get my back up several days after reading it haha!

The storyline itself was such a funny read, making me laugh out loud on several occasions. Even when the story ventured down a more serious path, I didn’t feel as though the book lost its humour, or that it was overwhelmed by the toned down scenarios at that point in the story. Rachel Dove managed to keep the tension light, regardless of how stressed out one of the characters became. Personally, I enjoyed that little touch as it meant I was able to sit back, relax and just enjoy the book without feeling as though I had become an agony aunt to the characters without even knowing it.

Whilst ‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St.’ was such an enjoyable, light-hearted, and fun-filled novel, there were times where I felt that certain situations within the book ended up being a little predictable. Of course, there isn’t anything wrong with romance being obvious or even predictable, but for me it was a teeny bit TOO obvious. It fit with the overall theme of the book, don’t get me wrong, and if it works then great. That’s just my opinion and its in no way a reflection on the authors overall writing.

Speaking of writing style; Rachel Dove wrote this novel as though she was sitting down with her reader having a cup of tea and a natter. It was as though the author was telling the story directly to the reader as opposed to using the main character as a buffer. I loved that, it added a lot of warmth to the overall feel of the book in my eyes.

‘The Flower Shop on Foxley St’ is definitely a treasure trove of a read; full of wonderful and memorable characters, alongside priceless antics and heartfelt moments. I am so pleased that this book is part of a series because I am so looking forward to getting stuck into another huggable novel by Rachel Dove. Predictability schmicdictabilty – this author get me entertained regardless. What’s not to love?

Thanks Brookcottagebks and Rachel Dove.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

EXTRACT

Will Singer looked every inch the thirty-two- year-old man he was. The bathroom mirror
rarely did anyone any favours, but this particular winter morning it appeared to be magically channelling the mirror from Snow White in terms of stark clarity and downright truth. Who’s the hottest man of them all? Certainly not you, dude.
He had badly needed a shave. People were starting to comment on it, but the clean-shaven Will was not a great improvement. At least his dark stubble had detracted from the huge Kardashian-sized luggage wedged under his eyes. Without his hairy mask, Will felt naked, unable to hide. Even worse was the fact that the lack of hair on his face left people free to roam over his other features, in particular the mop of hair sprouting from his head. He looked like Lionel Messi mixed with Mufasa the lion. It did well for them, but Will wasn’t sure it was such a great style for him. Any longer and he would have to buy an Alice band like Beckham. Start sporting a man bun. He was pretty sure the villagers had never seen a man bun. It might scare them enough to dust off the pitchforks and torches. He had a sudden vision of his uncle Archie dressed like Braveheart, rallying the twin set and mohair-clad villagers into action from atop a horse. ‘People of Westfield, we shall not lie down and die. The man bun must be
destroyed!’ He chuckled to himself at his own humour. He would have to tell Lily that joke later.

About the author.

I am a wife, mother of two boys, perpetual student, avid reader and writer of words. I sometimes sleep, always have eye bags and dream of retiring to a big white house in Cornwall, with 2 shaggy dogs, drinking wine on my seafront balcony whilst creating works of romantic fiction. All done with immaculate make up and floaty dresses.
In the meantime I nearly always remember to brush my hair, seldom have time to look in a mirror and write many, many to-do lists.

My first solo novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format. Look out for my horror shorts, published through Bayou Brew Publishing: The House of Sugar Blood, August 2013 and Uni Assassin, out now, and my short story, Mallow Girl, out now.
In July 2015, I won the Prima magazine and Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction Competition, with my entry, The Chic Boutique on Baker Street, out now in ebook and paperback, and the follow up novel in the series, The Flower Shop on Foxley Street.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RachelDoveauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterDove
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5831003.Rachel_Dove
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/writerdove/
Blog: https://racheldoveauthor.wordpress.com/

Giveaway!!!!

1st Prize : Signed paperback copy of The Flower Shop on Foxley St. (open internationally)

2nd Prize: A Signed paperback copy of The Chic Boutique on Baker St. (open internationally)

To be in with a chance of winning, all you need to do is Enter the giveaway now!

Good luck!!

#CoverReveal! #ThePerfectGirlfriend by Karen Hamilton @KJHauthor @headlinepg @wildfirebks

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
You should all know by now that TWG LOVES a cover reveal! Well, aside from the waiting for the book to be published once revealed, naturally. Small price to pay though, right? -bites nails and paces around house-. See, I can be patient! -paces the floor-. Can you do a better job of being patient than TWG?

Yes?

HA! You might be saying that now. You just wait until I show you this UH-MAZING book cover! Not only does the cover excite me in the only way books can, it also sounds like an ‘OMG I NEED TO READ THIS NOW’ kinda book.

Still think you that you can be patient?

I am over the moon that Becky from Headline Books asked me to help with the cover reveal today, thank you!

It’s time folks….

The Perfect Girlfriend cover

Karen Hamilton’s THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND is a frightening depiction of unbridled obsession, where love and pure hatred grapple on a knife edge. The perfect new psychological thriller for fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

Juliette loves Nate.
She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight
attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.
The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing.
Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend.
And she’ll make sure no one stops her from
getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

If you cannot wait until March 2018 to read this bad boy, the extremely generous team over at Headline Books have kindly allowed me to let you have a sneak peek at an extract of The Perfect Girlfriend!

Read an extract from ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ now!

Pre-order ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ from Amazon UK – now!
Pre-order ‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ from Amazon US – now!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#CoverReveal! @SherylBrowne – Deadly Intent @Brookcottagebks @ChocLitUK

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)
At TWG, we are quite partial to a cover reveal. Although, the temptation of a cover reveal is as excruciating as seeing a lemon meringue pie on the side which cannot be eaten yet due to it being STILL FROZEN. Trust me, the struggle is real. I am delighted to be taking part in today’s Cover Reveal Blitz Day for author, Sheryl Browne, and her brand new book; Deadly Intent, which is published today! Exciting! I hope you will all join me in wishing Sheryl Browne a happy publication day.

Keep scrolling after the cover reveal though, as a little birdy told me that there may be an extract for you to read….but you didn’t hear that from me!

Deadly Intent

Series: A DI Matthew Adams Thriller – Book #3 (can be read as a standalone)
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: September 6 2017
Publisher: Death by Choc Lit
18+ (some violence and language)

What if you and your family were at the mercy of a psychopath/a man with no conscience? Just when DI Matthew Adams thinks he’s left the past behind him, it comes back to haunt him once again; this time in the form of the Conner family.
Like Matthew, the Conners have lost a child in tragic circumstances – and they’ve also found themselves in the hands of one of the most depraved criminals to walk the streets: ‘Dead-eyed’ Charlie Roberts, a drug addicted low-life with a penchant for extreme violence. Matthew’s greatest affinity lies with Daniel Conner, the brooding father who still blames himself for his youngest child’s death. But when Daniel’s wife and daughter are tortured and tormented by Roberts, can Matthew prevent him from completely ruining his own life for an act of revenge particularly when, once upon a time, that’s exactly what Matthew would have done too?

Book links.

Amazon UK  // Amazon US  // Choc Lit

Extract.

Daniel’s eyes flickered away from Charlie for a second. ‘Come on, baby, come out,’ he said
to the daughter, who was standing hesitantly on the top step. ‘It’s safe now.’
‘Yeah, come on, baby,’ Charlie mimicked. ‘Come and join the party.’
Charlie stepped sideways, allowing the girl to exit, her eyes like a terrified Bambi’s and
shaking as much as Danny boy, poor cow. Must be hereditary.
‘Give me a shout if you fancy another quick shag, sweetheart,’ Charlie called as she stepped onto the towpath.
A tic went at the side of Daniel’s mouth. He walked calmly over to Charlie and smiled, which had Charlie momentarily flummoxed, then pulled back the gun and rammed it hard into his stomach.

****

Matthew flinched as Charlie doubled up. ‘Ouch,’ he said under his breath. ‘Okay, Daniel,’ he said carefully. ‘I know how you must be feeling but you need to let him go now. He’ll get what’s—’
‘You have no fucking idea how I feel,’ Daniel shouted, glancing quickly at Jo. ‘The only way that bastard goes anywhere is feet first.’ He raked a hand angrily though his hair. ‘Got that, Charlie? Now, get down on your knees.’
Charlie looked up, astonished. ‘You must be joking. I ain’t—’
‘Do I look as if I’m joking?’ Daniel asked, his eyes burning with hatred.
‘For fuck’s sake,’ Charlie uttered, turning to Matthew, his hands nursing his stomach.
‘On your knees, Charlie,’ Daniel repeated. ‘Now!’
Matthew dearly wished he could turn a blind eye as Roberts blinked at him beseechingly,
and scared witless, satisfyingly. Unfortunately, as much as he would relish seeing the
abusive piece of scum get a taste of his own, he couldn’t.
‘You need to drop the gun, Daniel,’ he said, moving cautiously towards the boat. ‘Leave him to me and get your wife and child—’
‘Don’t,’ Daniel warned, his eyes and the gun still fixed on Roberts. ‘Back off.’
Matthew hesitated, uncertain. God knows, the man had every reason to … But was Conner actually going to shoot Roberts?
‘I can’t do that, Daniel.’ Matthew stepped closer. ‘You know I can’t.’
‘Stay!’ Daniel shouted, swinging the gun around, then fast back to Charlie. ‘And you,’ he
grated, ‘down on your knees, while you still can.’ He aimed the gun lower, which had Charlie dropping to his knees, fast.

‘Get them out of here,’ Matthew shouted, indicating Jo and Kayla over his shoulder. Roberts had pushed Conner right over the edge. He bloody well was going to shoot him. Christ, hadn’t this family already been through enough?
‘Daniel …’ Warning himself to tread carefully, empathising with the man more than he could possibly know, Matthew tried again. ‘You can’t take the law into your own hands.’ He stopped and waited, wondering whether Daniel, who was now swaying on his feet, could even hear him. ‘You have to do this the legal way. Please, give me the gun, Daniel.’
‘Can’t.’ Daniel closed one eye.
Matthew took a breath and stepped closer. ‘Why can’t you, Daniel?’ he asked quietly.
‘Three, two, one,’ Daniel replied, nonsensically.
‘Right.’ Matthew was scared for him now. If he used that gun with police marksmen aiming right at him … ‘Which means what, exactly, Daniel?’
Daniel shrugged. ‘Bang.’ He concentrated his aim.
‘Fuck,’ said Charlie, turning a pale shade of white. ‘Don’t, Danny,’ he pleaded.
Daniel cocked the gun.
‘Look, I didn’t touch your daughter—’
‘Shut the fuck up!’ Daniel yelled.
‘I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.’ Perspiration broke out on Charlie’s forehead. ‘Danny, please. I’m sorry. Okay? I—’
‘The name’s Daniel, not Danny. Not fucking Danny boy. Daniel! Got it?’
‘Yeah,’ Charlie nodded quickly. ‘Daniel. Whatever. Just put the gun down.’
Daniel continued to stare at him.
‘Shit. This is nuts.’ Charlie looked desperately to Matthew. ‘Do something! Don’t let them
go!’ He nodded past him, to where the man’s wife and daughter weren’t being persuaded to leave. ‘He won’t do anything in front of them.’
That’s probably the first, and might well be the last, time you’ve said anything sensible in
your entire life, you piece of shit. Matthew looked him over derisively. Conner cared about his family. They’d endured too much to go through any more. He must know it.
Matthew drew in a breath and then took a gamble. ‘Okay, Daniel. Fine. Do it,’ he said.
Charlie gawked.
‘Go ahead. Blow his brains all over the boat if it will make you feel better.’ Matthew paused for an instant. ‘And leave your wife wondering why you did it in front of your daughter. Whether to visit you in prison, when you didn’t care enough about her, or Kayla, not to.’ Daniel tightened his grip on the gun.

His hands were shaking, Matthew noticed. Shaking badly.
‘I have kids of my own, Daniel,’ he said softly, taking another careful step towards him.
Daniel’s shoulders stiffened.
‘I know you lost your little girl, Daniel.’ Seeing Daniel reel on his feet, Matthew pushed on and prayed. He needed to get through to him. Had to.
‘You think I can’t know how you feel, but … I lost my little girl too, Daniel,’ he confided,
though it almost choked him to say it. ‘I do know at least some of how you feel.’
Still Daniel didn’t move, but Matthew saw a swallow slide down his throat.
‘That bastard has piled pain on top of pain, hasn’t he?’ Matthew kept going, touching raw
nerves, he was well aware of that, but what other choice did he have? ‘Persecuted Kayla
and Joanne? Taunted them. Touched them, Daniel?’
Daniel’s jaw tightened.
‘Dared you to do anything about it, so he could revel in his pathetic power and beat you
senseless? I know him,’ Matthew said forcefully. ‘He’ll get what’s coming to him. But you
have to stop this. Now, Daniel. For the sake of your wife and daughter. Show them you care enough not to put them through this.’
‘Jesus!’ Daniel leaned to wipe his perspiring face against his shoulder. ‘Of course I care!’ he raged frustrated, and obviously confused. ‘But he’ll get out, won’t he?’
A sharp cough rattled his chest.
‘Jo and my kids are my life. Jo and Kayla … Were my … I …’ Trailing off, Daniel closed his
eyes. And lowered the gun.
‘Hah.’ Charlie levered himself to his feet. ‘No bottle. Knew it. I’ll catch up with you when I’m out, Danny boy.’ He smirked, as Matthew climbed on board. ‘Keep that pretty wife of yours warm for me, won’t you?’
Daniel brought the gun back up sharp. ‘Say your fucking prayers, freak,’ he hissed.

Now that’s not all! If you fancy a chance at winning an e-copy of Sheryl Browne’s novel, Deadly Intent, all you need to do is click —> here! <—. Good luck!

About the author.

Heartache, humour, love, loss &amp; betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, heart-wrenching fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.

Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s
contemporary fiction comes to you from award winning Choc Lit.

CHOC

Author Links

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