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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.

A Grand Old Time Book Tour – Extract

A Grand Old TimeSit back and enjoy an extract from Judy Leigh’s new book called ‘A Grand Old Time’.

Four is the luckiest number. Born on fourth of April, 1942. Fourth of five children. Four hundred thousand euros from the sale of the house. Four sausages for lunch today. Four had always been lucky for her. Her da had given her a four-leaf clover, dried between the pages of a book, when she was four years old. She’d had her son on the fourth of March. He’d been her fourth baby, the only one who stuck.

Fifteen is not a good number. Left school at fifteen. Hated school. Married Jim on fifteenth of July. Married life, from then onwards, until he died. Moved to Sheldon Lodge on the fifteenth of December. Room number fifteen. No, fifteen is definitely not a lucky number.

Evie was deep in thought when Mrs Lofthouse spoke to her. Mrs Lofthouse spoke for the second time, and the third, more loudly and with slow emphasis.

‘Evelyn. Your son is coming to see you today. Brendan? He is coming to see you.’

Evie blinked. She put on her best confused look and stared directly back.

‘I’ll just give your hair a bit of a tidy up. Brendan will be here at four.’

‘Four.’

‘Brendan – and his wife Maura. Lovely couple, Evelyn.’

Evie pulled a face. Maura was always stiff, polite, putting on a pretence of wifely perfection. Evie didn’t feel she knew her well at all, even after almost twenty years. Maura was humourless, starchy. She reminded her of the nuns at school, who insisted she must be called Evelyn and not her preferred abbreviation. She’d decided at four years old that ‘Evie’ was so much nicer, cheekier: it suited her much better than the more formal version. Evie was a chirpy name.

Maura could do with being chirpier, she thought.

You can pre-order A Grand Old Time from Amazon from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 3rd May.

Hold My Hand Book Tour – Extract

Hold My HandSit back and enjoy an extract on the book tour for M’J Ford’s chilling new tale called ‘Hold My Hand’.

Jo tried to ignore the vibration in her jacket pocket and concentrate on what Dr Kasparian was saying.

‘. . . the cost of the vitrification starts at three thousand pounds for one harvesting procedure, but there are discounted rates for subsequent treatments.’

‘And would you recommend that?’

The doctor – well-tanned, athletic, expensive-looking wire-rimmed spectacles – spread his hands.

‘In most cases, the initial hormone boost should allow us to harvest more than one egg. Of course, probability-wise, you are more likely to conceive the more cycles of fertilisation you undertake.’ He looked at the papers in front of him.

‘Based on your age, any single attempt yields a twenty-two per cent chance of a successful pregnancy.’

‘One in five,’ said Jo flatly.

‘A little better that that,’ replied the doctor.

Not great odds either way. Her phone stopped ringing.

The doctor cocked his head sympathetically and removed his glasses.

‘Ms Masters, I realise this is a big decision for anyone, whether a woman of twenty years, or someone older. No fertility treatment is foolproof. But I can assure you that here at Bright Futures, we are solely concerned with providing you with the best possible care and outcomes. Our protocols are designed to the highest medical technology standards in the field. Our results reflect that – we’re in the top ten percentile points of success.’

‘So three grand?’ said Jo. If she got the promotion to Detective Inspector, it wouldn’t be a problem. ‘Do the eggs have a best before date?’

You can buy Hold My Hand from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Places I Have Written. Or Tried To Write Anyway By Maddie Please

A Year Of New AdventuresOn the book tour for Maddie Please’s new book called ‘A Year Of New Adventures’, Maddie talks about her favourite places for writing.

On the train
It’s not often I go on a train but when I do it’s the ideal place to write. I like a table seat with a charging point, a large coffee and possibly a biscuit or two and I’m off. Surprising how many people are also typing away although I expect they are doing spread sheets for international trade expositions or finance deals with the World Bank.

At the hairdresser
I don’t enjoy these visits but somehow I am now in a never-ending cycle of going to the hairdresser. I’m sure it’s a cunning plan. Otherwise I look like a sad old bag lady with stripy hair. The place is far too chic for me; the staff are all depressingly young, thin and cool. As the visit usually lasts at least two hours I take a notebook and pencil so I can write. The alternative is watching my reflection with a head covered in plap and foils, looking unnervingly like my mother.

In the office
I try to write every day. My husband also works from home and we share a garden office and have desks that face each other. I’ve heard it said the perfect view for a writer is a brick wall, but I have a gorgeous view over some wonderful Devon countryside that can be quite a distraction. So can the birds that flock to our garden because I keep tempting them in with over priced fat balls. I’ve just registered for the RSPB annual bird watch much to my son’s amusement. He says I’m now officially middle aged, which is unexpectedly kind of him. As our house is white and on top of a hill I think we are a landmark for the Devon Air Ambulance and some huge military planes that routinely go over us. I love it when that happens and I usually run outside and wave. Sad really.

On holiday
This is really the best. I’ve written on patios overlooking the sea (The Summer of Second Chances), in an old stone longère in Normandy, by the side of swimming pools (A Year of New Adventures) and in huge Malls in America. My absolute favourite was last year on the Queen Mary 2 when my wonderful husband took me on a fantastic trip. The quality of eavesdropping to be had on a transatlantic crossing cannot in my opinion be bettered. I found a favourite spot in the Commodore Club with a fabulous view over the front of the ship (we sea dogs call it the Bow). Every morning I went there to edit my next book, provisionally called ‘The Girl at the End of the Garden’. There were waiters within hailing distance, a beautiful painting next to my favourite chair, and in the adjacent room (glass doors) variously there were meetings of AA, a renewal of wedding vows ceremony and an 80th birthday party for a lady who looked twenty years younger. Sailing obviously agrees with her; I can’t recommend it highly enough.

You can pre-order A Year of New Adventures from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 5th April 2018.

Shame On You By Amy Heydenrych

Shame On You‘Shame On You’ is the latest book by Amy Heydenrych.

Meet Holly. Social media sensation. The face of clean eating. Everyone loves her. Everyone wants to be her. Or do they? When Holly is attacked by a man she’s only just met, her life starts to spiral out of control. Was she targeted because of her online wellness empire, or is there a darker reason behind the attack? He seemed to know her – but she doesn’t know him. Or does she? What if Holly isn’t who she seems to be? What if Holly’s living a lie? But surely we all lie a bit online, don’t we . . .?

I started reading this book late one Friday night and reluctantly had to stop reading it when I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

With short and snappy chapters that leave the reader wanting more this book is one of the grippiest books of 2017.

The story is seen through the narratives of Holly Evans and her attacker Tyler on the lead up to and after her attack.

Holly is an influential and powerful character who has a huge following on instagram after proclaiming that after a healthy diet and vitamins, she was able to cure herself of cancer and stay away from the more rigorous and traditional method of chemotherapy. But one night, she meets a handsome man who attacks her slicing her face and taking away her beautiful looks and confidence. As her army of fans rally around her, Tyler is determined to bring her down for the destruction, she caused to his life.

Both characters are equally fascinating and unlikable. Holly, is so caught up in the glory of her popularity and her legion of followers, that she fails to see the error of her ways. She’s determined to keep her mistakes a secret, she thrives on likes and loves from social media.

Whilst Tyler is consumed by hatred for the woman who unknowingly ruined his life. His bitterness leaps off the pages as he goes on a one man quest to ruin her life. He hates social media and everything that it stands for and as a doctor himself, doubts that Holly was able to cure her cancer solely through a healthy diet.

Fast paced and gritty from the very first page, ‘Shame On You’ is a dark, possessive and telling read about the power of social media and how much it controls people’s lives, reminiscent of an episode of ‘Black Mirror’, this book was a thrilling read.

You can pre-order Shame on You from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from July 26 2018.