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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.

29 Seconds Book Tour – Review And Extract

29 SecondsOn the book tour for TM Logan’s latest book, ’29 Seconds’, I’ve a review and an extract to host.

Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call

‘29 Seconds’ is a fast paced thriller with a strong protagonist and an insanely dislikable enemy, that made for gripping and frustrating reading.

In this book, we meet Sarah, a woman who’s looking to get ahead in her job but there’s one thing, holding her back. Her boss, Alan Lovelock. A bully, controlling man who preys on women, tormenting them with lewd sexual advances and comments. Many women have tried to stand up to him, but have failed and ended much worse than they initially were.

As a tired mother of two, whose marriage is currently on a break, Sarah, is tired of Alan’s advances and is determined to make a change when the opportunity arises.

This book is fast paced with many unexpected twists which made the story quite shocking in parts. Alan is a horrendous character, vile with an old fashioned, sexist attitude, so I was rooting all the way for Sarah. I loved Sarah, she was a strong woman who refused to be next in a long list of women.

A thrilling, thought provoking story, that had me hooked from the start ‘29 Seconds’ is fast paced drama about the battle of morals that was impossible to put down.

You can buy 29 Seconds from Amazon

Fancy a sample from the gripping drama? Then look no more.

The Russian lit his cigar and drew on it heavily, clouds of smoke rising to the ceiling. ‘I have never been in debt, not one day in my life. Never owed anything to anyone. Until now. Back home we say that debt is beautiful – but only after it has been repaid.’

‘You don’t owe me anything,’ Sarah protested.

He considered the tip of the cigar, glowing cherry red. ‘Do you know what a truly good deed is, Sarah?’

‘When you do a good turn.’ She shrugged. ‘When you help someone. You know.’

He shook his head emphatically.

‘No. A truly good deed is one that is totally unselfish, with- out any hope or expectation of a reward. By its nature, a truly good deed cannot be repaid.’ He rolled the cigar between thumb and forefinger, before pointing it at her. ‘But I am going to try. Because in my life I have learned that to be a great man, to be a leader, we cannot simply strike back against the evil done to us. We must also reward loyalty, bravery, brains, to truly elevate ourselves above the masses. My colleague Mikhail, for example: you met him already this evening, I think. At the age of fif- teen Mikhail hacked my company’s computer network, planted viruses, made a mess. Not to steal, just to have fun. We caught him, of course, and he was punished. But I recognised his genius with the computer and asked him if he wanted to come work for me, to stop such attacks happening again. And he has provided loyal service ever since.’

‘I don’t want anything from you. I’m just glad your daughter is safe.’

‘You don’t seem to understand, Sarah. Listen to me: I am in your debt. Every good deed must be rewarded. And the reward should match the deed, so I’m going to give you something very special – a gift like no other.’ He took a deep drag on the cigar, smoke coiling from his nostrils. ‘Back home in Russia one of my other nicknames was volshebnik. Do you know what this means?’

‘My Russian is about as basic as it gets, I’m afraid.’

‘It means “The magician”. Because I could make things disap- pear – money, evidence, problems.’ He paused for a moment, his dark eyes boring into her. ‘Sometimes people, too.’

‘O-OK,’ Sarah said, hesitantly.

‘The men who took my son in Moscow – I made them disap- pear. All of them. The men who tried to take Aleksandra last week, they were members of an Albanian gang who want to carve a niche for themselves. They too will disappear soon. So here is my offer.’ He put the cigar in an ashtray and leaned forward, hands clasped together on the desk. ‘You give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear. For you.’

Ottercombe Bay Book Tour – Extract

Gin And Trouble‘Today on the book tour for Bella Osborne’s new book ‘Gin and Trouble’ which is the second book in her ‘Ottercombe Bay’ series, sit back and enjoy an extract from the story.

Daisy pushed her salad around her plate aware Aunt Coral was talking about what had happened at the pharmacy that day, but she wasn’t really tuning in.

‘… and then the gorilla stuffed a packet of paracetamol up his nose, jumped onto the counter and demanded I do the tango with him. Daisy are you listening?’

Daisy lifted her head and tried to recall what Aunt Coral was going on about. ‘Not really, sorry.’

‘I thought not. What’s the matter, love?’ She reached a hand across the table and patted Daisy’s wrist.

‘I want to do something useful with the year I’m here. Either get a decent job to have something substantial on my CV or … I don’t know.’ Daisy tailed off and speared a cherry tomato that ceremoniously squirted juice over her pristine white t-shirt. Daisy groaned.

‘A job is definitely a good idea but what was going to come after the “or” in your sentence?’

Daisy was busy sponging off the tomato juice with a cloth. ‘I don’t know,’ she said with a half-hearted shrug.

‘Come on now, yes you do. What was it?’ insisted Aunt Coral who had now put down her cutlery and was looking intently at Daisy.

‘The planning officer basically said I couldn’t do anything to the building apart from change of use and all the suggestions he gave sounded dull, but I was speaking to … someone and they’ve given me an idea.’ Aunt Coral became alert as Daisy seemed to lose interest in her own suggestion. ‘Ahh you know it’s probably a dumb idea anyway and it would take loads of money to make the changes. I should probably just go for the job in the fish and chip van.’

Her shoulders slumped forward and she resumed pushing her lettuce about.

‘Stop being defeatist,’ said Aunt Coral, in an uncharacteristic snap. ‘You’ve always been impulsive so what does your impulse tell you this time?’ She softened a little and fixed her gaze on Daisy.

‘Go for it,’ said Daisy, almost without thinking. In her gut she had a rumble of excitement caused by the thought of a new venture.

‘Great,’ said Aunt Coral enthusiastically. ‘What is the idea exactly?’ She bent forward in anticipation.

A small smile played on Daisy’s lips. ‘A gin bar.’

Aunt Coral’s eyes widened. ‘Oh my, now that is something new. Would it only sell gin?’

‘Not exactly. Different types of gin would be the main theme. Gin is quite big right now.’

‘I’ve always liked a gin and tonic and your Great Aunt Ruby was a big fan. Do you think it would make money?’

‘Yeah, I do. They’re very popular. I think it would pull people in and if we stock good quality craft gins they should keep coming back.’

Daisy could see Aunt Coral was thinking. ‘I do like the idea and I can see the tourists lapping it up but what about in the winter months when it’s just the locals?’

They both sat back in their chairs a little and looked to the ceiling for inspiration. Aunt Coral had a good point. Daisy knew the seasonal change in seaside resorts was dramatic.

Aunt Coral jumped in her seat as if someone had stuck a pin in her. ‘Lantern parade!’ she shouted.

Daisy blinked. ‘What?’

‘Oh, sorry you’ve not been here for the lantern parade yet. Each December the children make paper lanterns, pop a battery light inside and walk from the church to the prom and they give out prizes and hot chocolate. If you were shut for the winter it would be a good thing to open up for. I bet the adults would like a shot of gin before they set off. It’s usually a bit chilly.

You can buy Ottercombe Bay – Part Two: Gin and Trouble from Amazon (Ottercombe Bay Series)