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The New Girl Book Tour – Extract

The New GirlSit back and enjoy an thriliing extract from Ingrid Alexandra’s chilling new book called ‘The New Girl’.

The wine is cool and crisp as it passes my lips and, after a couple more sips, the familiar warmth curls in my stomach like a cat settling in for the night. Humming a catchy tune I heard on the radio, I flip through the mail.

An estate agent advertisement, the electricity bill and a letter, the one with the brown stain on it, addressed to someone named Sophia Gates. It’s the second time this person’s mail has arrived here; Sophia Gates must have been the previous tenant. I toss the letter into the recycling, take a long pull of wine and then pause, rubbing a finger along my lips.

I knew someone named Sophia once. Or Sophie, maybe. I think for a moment but my mind’s cloudy, and I can’t remember anyone specific. It’s probably no one important, yet I have that feeling I get at times, like I’m supposed to remember something but there’s a brick wall in my mind and my thoughts stop there. A blank space, as I’ve come to call it.

My wine’s nearly gone and no one’s home yet, so I top up my glass with a bottle from the laundry. I go to my room, sit at my desk and flip open my laptop. I check my email, trawl through my newsfeed. Without planning to, I google the name Sophia Gates. Images, Facebook pages and LinkedIn accounts pop up, but I don’t recognise anyone. I’m being stupid, paranoid as usual. It must just be a coincidence.

‘Any mail?’ Cat’s voice calls from the kitchen, startling me. I hadn’t heard the door.

‘On the coffee table!’ I tell her, gulping a mouthful before hiding the glass under the desk.

Just a short taster, that really leaves you wanting more.

You can buy The New Girl from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th October 2018.

The Lost Sister Book Tour – Extract

The Lost SisterToday’s book tour features an extract from Tracy Buchanan’s new book called ‘The Lost Sister’.

Mike shot me a disapproving glance. ‘Fruit or nothing,’ he said, grabbing his car keys. He gave Becky a kiss on the head then waved at me before letting himself out. There was once a time when he’d kiss me before leaving for work.

Not now though.

Should that have made me feel sad? Well I didn’t. I felt nothing. When I was sure he was gone, I went to the cupboard and got some chocolate flavoured cereal out, winking at a giggling Becky. ‘You have to be quick though, we have to leave for school soon.’

Five minutes later, we walked to Becky’s school. It was a breezy day, still warm though, the skies blue, the sun bright, the sea glimmering in the distance. People were either walking to work or coming back from dropping kids off, dressed in shorts and T-shirts, sandals and flip-flops.

The school lay at the bottom of a hill, five minutes’ walk from our new-build house. As I passed the newsagent, I noticed the headline: UK’s Economy at Historic Low. I peered towards where Mike worked with Greg at a large
financial advice firm in town.

There had been rumours of redundancies the year before but nothing had come of it. What if Mike was made redundant now?

Would I have to go back to working full-time again?

The thought sent a dart of fear through me.

Better if they made me redundant from my senior copywriter job. It wasn’t like I was pulling in much on my three-day salary anyway.

I put my sunglasses on, pulling up the straps of my silky red vest top to cover my bra straps, my black skirt skimming the back of my knees. Everyone else around me was wearing pastel colours, but I liked to be bold: blood reds and stark blacks, azure blues and emerald greens. I had earrings to match, necklaces sometimes too.

You can buy The Lost Sister from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 20th September 2018.

Top 5 Tips for Creating You Own Cut Flower Garden By Vanessa Carnevale

The Memories Of UsOn the book tour for Vanessa Carnevale’s new book called ‘The Memories Of Us, she talks about creating her own cut flower garden and tips to making it a success.

While researching flowers for ‘The Memories of Us’, I set about creating my own cut flower garden in my own backyard. I pulled up all the veggies in my veggie patch and replaced it with flowers. I created garden beds for roses, peonies, dahlias, sweet peas and most of the varieties that Gracie cultivates at Summerhill. Here’s how you can go about creating your own mini flower farm.

Make a list of your favourite varieties
Start by making a list of flowers you love and the kind of colours you’d like to see in your garden or flower arrangements. You may like to plant several plants of the same variety so you can harvest multiple stems at the one time.

Some great cut flower varieties include: dahlias, peonies, ranunculus, sweet peas, hybrid tea roses, tulips, daffodils and gerberas.

Beside your list, make a note of when the sowing time is for seeds or bulbs, along with another column for the time you can expect your flowers to appear in the garden. You may not be able to order all the seeds or tubers at the same time, so it pays to keep track and add them to your garden as you go. For example, dahlias will come into bloom over the summer, peonies have only a short flowering window of around three weeks, and roses will last over a period of several months. If you can ensure you’re planting a range of flower varieties, you can be assured you’ll have a nice range of blooms to pick for as long as possible.

Don’t forget to plant filler foliage! Dusty miller, hypericum berries and seeded eucalyptus make great filler foliage. Bulking up an arrangement with greenery makes flowers look even more stunning in a vase or bouquet.

Decide on perennials versus annuals
When planning you’re cutting garden you may like to like to take into account how many perennials and annuals you’ll be planting. Bell flowers, asters and foxgloves are great examples of perennials that will grow back each year.

Stagger planting windows
Once you’ve made your list, plot out on a calendar, when you can look at planting each flower variety in your garden.

Decide where to plant your flowers
Deciding where to plant your flowers will depend on how much room you have. Raised beds and pots are a great option if you have limited space.

Keep your garden healthy
Be sure to adequately water and fertilise your garden. Don’t be afraid to cut flowers and when you do, be sure to cut stems a little longer than you’ll need them so you can recut when you arrange them in a vase.

You can buy The Memories of Us from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Summer On The Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio Book Tour

Summer On The Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish StudioOn the book tour for Phillipa Ashley’s latest book called ‘Summer On The Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio Book Tour’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the Summer story.

Dan had walked onto the stage and Poppy had perked up immediately. Admittedly, she couldn’t remember many of the details of the presentation, but as for the presenter himself – the hour had flown by. He was tall and fit with toffee-blond hair and he reminded her (a bit) of Ryan Gosling. He came across as confident but not cocky, and he really knew his stuff. When she asked a question at the end, he answered it politely and explained his point without patronising her. Afterwards, he made a beeline for her in the hotel bar and while his colleagues were getting pissed, he spent the evening chatting to her. She was impressed by his ambition and his attentiveness. He made her feel special and, by a huge stroke of luck, it turned out they only lived half an hour from each other.

They made arrangements to meet up on a date, and six months later, they’d moved in together. Two years on, their lives were as tightly intertwined as vines and Poppy hoped they would always stay that way: growing closer and building a future together.

‘So, how long have you been making a living from the gallery?’ Poppy heard Dan ask Archie.

‘Too long to remember.’ Archie chuckled, caught Poppy’s eye and winked. He started to explain to Dan how he’d bought and converted the boatshed into a gallery while his family were young. He mentioned ‘while my Ellie was alive’ more than once, which must mean he was a widower now, unless the lady at the cash desk was his current partner.

Poppy glanced at her phone and realised it would soon be time to walk down to the ferry. With a smile for Archie, she said, ‘I must finish my shopping,’ and left him and Dan talking. After swooping on a few ‘must-haves’, she took her purchases to the counter. The assistant added up the cost on an old-fashioned calculator and put Poppy’s money in an old cash tin.

You can buy Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: The Starfish Studio from Amazon

The Girl Who Got Revenge Book Tour – Extract

The Girl Who Got RevengeToday I’m hosting the book tour for Marnie Riches new book called ‘The Girl Who Got Revenge’ which is the fifth book in her George McKenzie series, and I’ve an extract to share. So make a cup of tea, sit down, relax and enjoy this short taster.

The ferry heaved violently on the waves. Feeling nausea sweep over her, George swallowed down a lump of ginflavoured regurgitation. She was about to climb the perilous steps back up when she heard whimpering from the car deck. What the hell was that? An abandoned dog? Surely not. But then she heard a child’s voice quite clearly above the tinnitus hum of the ferry’s bowels, crying and shouting in a small voice. Speaking a language she didn’t at first recognise, but then realised was an Arabic dialect.

‘Hello! Who’s there?’ she called out in Arabic. She wasn’t fluent, but she’d picked up enough to get by over the years – always handy in the wilds of multi-ethnic South East London, and especially so now that her life revolved around research into trafficking, where a good proportion of the victims, often from the Middle East and Central Asia, spoke little English, if any.

From between the gleaming bonnets of the BMWs and Audis and Citroëns, a small child crawled towards her. He couldn’t have been more than six or seven, George assessed, though she was fairly hopeless as far as children were concerned.

‘What’s your name?’ she asked, extending a hand to him whilst clinging to the bottom of the handrail. ‘Come on. Don’t be scared.’

The little boy was dressed in filthy jeans and a hoodie. Tears poured from huge, sorrowful brown eyes, streaking his dusty skin with clean furrows. His lip trembled.

George didn’t understand much of his response, but she did pick out the word ‘Ummi’. He was looking for his mother. Where the hell had he come from?

‘What are you doing on the car deck, kiddo?’ she asked, knowing the child couldn’t understand her. But, of course, she was fairly certain she knew what a dishevelled, lost kid on the lower decks of the Stena Line ferry from the Netherlands to Harwich might feasibly be doing.

Enveloping the small sobbing boy in her arms, she stroked his thick black hair and shushed him until he began to calm.

Two broken hearts in one day on one ferry. But George suspected there were rather more, hidden somewhere among the stationary vehicles on some lower deck. This boy’s mother, for one, no doubt anguished at the disappearance of her son.

She had a decision to make: alert the authorities now, or let the boy lead her to the vehicle in question and then raise the alarm? Her common sense screamed at her to find a steward.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

You can buy The Girl Who Got Revenge from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.