Kindle Promotion for Let it Go…

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Starting on Thursday, 30th November, and for five days, Anita’s family adventure drama Let it Go, will be free on Amazon…

For some reason this book has always been the black sheep on our book list, so it has to be time to show it some love, don’t you think?

Pretty please?

Amazon Universal Link:  (but not until Thursday!)  myBook.to/LetGo   

 

 

Excerpt

Ruth whispered for me to be still, she had only come to make sure those darn fools didn’t harm Martha. From the way the men were waving their lighted torches around, it didn’t seem as though they only meant to scare her. Martha was awake now and I could see her face. Her cheeks billowed and sank with each frightened scream that backed up against the filthy rag in her mouth. Dark eyes shone like coal in the moonlight, filled with fear, pleading for her unborn child.

Ruth pointed a gnarled finger at the scene below, saying Martha was in labour. Said she would have to go down and see what she could do about putting a stop to it.

I watched as she stumbled and fell on her short legs, rolled over and managed to get herself down to the cove. She was about two feet away from the wheel when the men turned on her; the flames from their torches lighting her face red, like blood. As Ruth stepped forward, the rush of silence almost hurt my ears. Sam stepped in time with her, saying she had no business there. Ruth looked him square in the face, saying her business was the baby about to be born. Couldn’t they see the woman was in labour?

Sam spun around to Kenny in horror. As he did, his torch fell from his hand, not caring where it landed. Ruth tried to kick the torch away from the wheel where Martha lay, but the flames bit into the fish oil and crept around the wheel, taking hold before Ruth could free her. The baby was coming fast and the men fled. As Ruth cut through the ropes one by one, Martha pulled the gag from her mouth and her scream tore at my heart. She knew Ruth was trying to save her and the baby, but they were the screams of someone who knows she is dying and giving birth at the same time.

No words can tell how the sound of those screams hurt. Ruth’s hair and clothes had caught alight from the dancing flames. The knife she used to cut the ropes must be hot in her hand, but still she tried in vain to set Martha free.

The flames had nearly completed the circle, but she was able to tear with her knife at Martha’s undergarments. One last scream and the child lay in Ruth’s arms. Somehow, as though sleepwalking, I had made my way down to Ruth and I gave her my coat to wrap the baby. She would need help to bring him up, at least until the burns on her face and arms had healed. She asked me to stay with her and say nothing of what happened that night. They wouldn’t want this child in the village, and I knew how that felt.

I had no words; there were none available to me. I barely managed to nod my head, seeing clearly the flames had completed the circle and were burning fiercely. Martha was not moving.”

 

I closed the diary slowly, hardly believing what I had read. It couldn’t be real; people didn’t do this kind of thing. Even years ago, we were more civilised than that. At least I thought we were. Maybe it was Morgan’s attempt at fiction.

Touching the soft leather cover of the diary, I wondered why I had found it. If it was a true story, what could I do about it now?  I decided to finish reading it; maybe the story resolved itself.

 

 

 

Announcing the Blog Tour for Lazy Days #blogtour #truestory @jaydawes2

 

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Lazy Days, the 40 year old story of one of the best holidays we ever had, took a long time to get right. Our memories of that time were a little rusty, to say the least, and sometimes we remembered things completely differently!

After such a difficult (and often hilarious ) undertaking, we both agreed that it deserves special treatment, not just an upload to Amazon on the 7th of January.

We were hoping to run the book tour in 2017, but the time has flown by and Christmas is almost upon us, so we have chosen the 8th to 12th January 2018…

We were two women, four kids and two small dogs afloat on the Norfolk Broads in a rented boat. The holiday of a lifetime, something we would remember for a long time, but it was also a recipe for disaster, being so far out of our comfort zone.

Would it be the stuff that dreams are made of, or were we putting all our eggs in one basket?

 

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Excerpt

We had waited a long time for this day to arrive, and now the time had arrived, we could have flown to the Norfolk Broads powered by our excitement. The tension coming from all of us made the air crackle with electricity as we prepared to leave. Going anywhere with the kids is never easy, but we had planned this holiday with far more skill than our usual days out, and researched everything of interest and planned our route to ensure plenty of happy days. For the first time in our lives, we would be miles from home on a boat for two weeks. There would be six of us on this holiday, two women, four kids and two small dogs. There was the possibility of enough trouble there to last us a lifetime!

I wasn’t expecting much trouble from the teenage girls, Anita Jr and Heidi; but the two younger boys, Stephen, ten and Darren, eight would be a challenge, for they have the knack of finding trouble anywhere.  Added to the mix were our two small dogs.  Lady, a cross between a Pekinese and a Yorkie, blessed with sharp teeth and a ferocious dislike of strangers, and Katy, an adorable chocolate coloured toy poodle pup.

Getting them all in our car proved a bit tricky. A big Ford Granada, normally a comfortable fit for all of us, but this time we had Heidi, our younger step-sister to fit in too. She had been staying with us while her mother was in the hospital.

I sensed an air of resentment as the kids tried hard to fit themselves into the back seat. Various elbows were used to show disapproval, prompting a chorus of complaints. For a moment, it looked as if we wouldn’t be going anywhere. The situation looked hopeless. Anita finished packing our luggage into the boot of the car and appeared at my side.

‘Is there a problem here? Do we want to go on this holiday or not?’

No one spoke, but as I watched, a subtle relaxing of tightly packed bodies occurred as they all thought about it. They knew their mother well. She would cancel everything if they didn’t accept their fate and settle down, and if the holiday was cancelled because of them, they would never hear the end of it…

~~~~~~

This is where I get down on my knees (I can just about get there) and ask for volunteers to take part in the blog tour for Lazy Days. It’s a true story, a novella, based forty years ago when we and the world were a hell of a lot younger.

We will supply #free books, promotional material and posters, and our eternal devotion to anyone who has some free time in January.

Please leave your details in the comments, or on the contact form.

 

Baby Steps (part two)

Here is the final choice of cover for Nine Lives…

Huge thank you’s to everyone who gave their opinion yesterday!

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Book Description

Death has been visiting Kate all of her life, leading her to imagine she has nine lives, like a cat.

With nothing to live for, no family or friends, just a brother she hates, she waits for Death to finally take her away when her lives run out.

Death continues to speak to her, teasing her, yet will not come for her.

But when people around her begin to die at the hands of a serial killer, she hopes to be next.

Has Kate finally run out of lives, or will she find a reason to live before it is too late?

Excerpt

Something dark was smeared all over the plastic flap. It looked like blood, dripping down the door into a puddle on the floor.

‘What the..?’

She didn’t want to look, but knew she must and edged closer. The blood seemed to be all on the inside, she would have to open the back door.

She reached out her hand, but it refused to grasp the handle or the key that was in the lock. She stood, frozen, for what seemed like an age. Desperately wanting to run away and knowing she couldn’t, not yet.

It began to filter through to her brain that someone had been in her flat again. Her stomach dropped to her knees, what if whoever it was, was still there, hiding somewhere?

She couldn’t do this. Her knees had turned to jelly and there was a real risk of her falling to the floor right where she stood. The smell of the blood was making her feel sick and she knew if she didn’t open the door soon, there was a great possibility she never would.

‘Get a grip, girl, what’s the matter with you?’ she said angrily, reaching out for the handle once again. This time she managed to unlock the door and open it, stifling a scream with both hands as she saw what was on the other side of the door.

There was more blood and a lot of blood-soaked silver fur scattered over the doorstep. She knew what it was, but there was nothing she could identify. Just bits and pieces as if he had been hacked to pieces.

She stood there staring, not knowing what to do, so she shut the door, hoping her brain would come up with some plan of action all on its own. She should start by checking the flat; although if she found anyone, she knew she could quite easily kill whoever it was. The shock was wearing off, being replaced by an incredible sadness and anger. Who could do such a thing to a defenceless animal, and more to the point, why? What reason could they possibly have?

The voice sarcastically remarked that the cat had run out of lives too.

What was all this nonsense about lives?

 

Still looking for some beta readers, if anyone would love to help  me out?

Voices in Your Head?

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My first book, The Ninth Life came into being mainly because I became intrigued by the notion that most of us hear voices in our heads at one time or another.

From Pinocchio to Joan of Arc, people have been hearing things and sometimes a little voice can change history, and not always for the best.

Kate Devereau, the ageing artist in my book, has been hearing a voice all her life. Never sure if this is good or evil, she makes a point of ignoring everything it says. Would her life have turned out differently if she hadn’t?

Some people call this the voice of our conscience, a bit like Jiminy Cricket, but how many of us really listen or even obey its commands?

I personally don’t hear any voices, but sometimes I just know I should have done things differently, and have suffered the consequences…

When I researched this topic, I was amazed by just how many famous people have heard voices, going back as far as Moses. Some of these people were convinced they were hearing the voice of God; some thought a heavenly host had visited them. Whereas, on the other side of the scale, if a voice talked you into committing a crime, they usually lock you up and throw away the key.

Personally, I like the idea of a wise voice, advising and helping us with life’s problems. Pointing out the error of our ways would be very handy in our house.

But how many of us would dare to trust it?

 

Excerpt from The Ninth Life

… as the pain rolled on and on, Kate just wanted to die. She knew no one was going to rescue her, they never had before and it was a little late to start believing they would now. For some reason, she knew it was her lot in life to suffer, to be alone and be miserable, no matter how hard she tried to make her life any different. Surely, it was time for the curse on her life to stop? The voice in her head had said otherwise, apparently, there was much worse to come. But what could be worse than this, she thought.

Once the pain started to make her want to push, it all became a little more bearable. At least she felt more in control of the situation, not just lying there helplessly, being tortured.

The baby, a boy, was born that evening and nobody could have been more pleased it was over than Kate herself.

Throughout the ordeal, the voice had kept up a running commentary about her life being ruined. How she had wasted every opportunity and how sorry it was. The last bit surprised her, for she had always thought it disliked her. It had never said anything with any hint of kindness in it before. If it was simply trying to depress her even more than she was already, it had succeeded…

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#Free on Kindle!

Today, and until Monday 2nd October, The Broken Life is #free on Amazon Kindle!

Please show it some love everyone, and then maybe tell me about it!

 

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DI David Snow has a serial killer to catch, a killer as mysterious as the crimes he commits.

Snow is due to retire, but not before he discovers why someone killed his sergeant and is now coming after him.

The killer seems to have a personal vendetta against Snow, but he is determined that no one else should die because of him. His efforts are hampered by the arrival of a new sergeant, ‘ruthless’ Ruth Winton, for she is not what she seems. Alarm bells start to ring when Snow realises she is after more than just his job.

… It was almost midnight, the cold rushing wind the only sound in the empty, deserted streets. The detective was unaware that someone had been following him ever since he left the public house. This had not been a social visit, he had been looking for information, seeking to loosen a few tongues with the help of the local brew.

It had been another waste of his time, and his mood was as black as the night around him.  He heard a sound behind him and stopped walking, waiting for the person to come into view. When no one appeared he knew he was alone and more than a little drunk and frustrated.

As he stood in the middle of the road, something hit the side of his head, something hard and painful. He had been right, after all. Someone had been following him, and they had just thrown something at him. His senses began to fail as the pain intensified, his sight the first to go. As his knees buckled, he reached up, his fingers touching the alien object that was protruding from the side of his head.

The shock of realising what was happening accelerated his system failure, and he collapsed, his head hitting the road hard. As he lay dying, someone walked up to him and knelt down beside him. He couldn’t see who it was, or whether they were friend or foe, but he had the feeling it didn’t matter anymore anyway. The last thing he felt were the icy cold fingers on his face…

Amazon Universal Book Link:  myBook.to/BrokenLife

 

 

Not So Simple?

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Excerpt from Simple…

Walking towards Gran, I could feel the blood draining from my body, trying to find some place to hide.  It felt as if it had all gathered in my feet, making each step I took the hardest thing I had ever done.

Gran got up from her rocker and I watched it continue to move, as if she had left some part of herself sitting in it.  She walked inside the cabin and waited for me. She had never done more than cuff me across the back of the head, but I figured I had to be in for more than that this time.  I was trying to think of the worst she could do.

It was cool inside the cabin.  Gran was sitting at the big wooden table grandpa had made.  She might as well have been the town judge, sitting behind the high bench.  She didn’t move or look at me as I sat opposite, waiting for judgement.  I knew better than speak first.  I couldn’t have, even if I wanted to, my mouth had dried up.  Gran finally spoke, her voice hard, as if she had eaten gravel.  ‘You’ve done a bad thing, Leanne. Taken our trust and pissed it in the wind.  Jimmy says he should be the one to punish you, says you had no right taking Simple anywhere near the Spiers. Reckon I should turn you over to him, save my words for someone who can hear them.’

I said, ‘I can hear real good,’ with more grit in my voice than I intended.

Gran fixed me with one of those looks that made me wish I could turn to stone. ‘Seems to me, young lady,  if your ears still work, then your brain’s gone soft like Simple’s. Fancy interfering in business that aint yours. You know right enough, he needs telling more times than the sun wakes us and then some. You want him took off for takin’ town young’uns?’

‘Course not, Gran.’  My voice came out as a whisper. ‘Simple was hurt real bad.  I couldn’t just leave him . . .’

 

Amazon Review

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Disturbing, but compelling and heartwarming

By Rivergirl

5.0 out of 5 stars

This is a story about some very tough and mean people somewhere in the backwoods and mountains of America. It is told from the perspective of a young girl whose mission in life is to protect her big, but simple-minded brother from harm. The story is compelling, frightening and sometimes brutal in the manner of the film Deliverance, but it is also a heartwarming story of loyalty, love and deep affection. It was not what I was expecting, but I’m glad I read it. It has an unforgettable quality about it and the characters are complex but convincing. It really is a great story and unputdownable.

Universal Book Link:  myBook.to/mySimple

 

Simple…

Anita thought our books needed a bit of an airing!

Simple is another one of Anita’s books, written in the same West Virginian theme as Bad Moon. The story of a backwoods family and the way they treat their mentally challenged son, Ethan. Or Simple, as he is called. A story of love and caring, of living with fear and brutality; and how the love of one person can make a difference.

excerpt from Simple…

Gran stormed across the clearing, bending to pick up a stick from the ground without breaking her stride.  Simple, sitting against the wood pile, was in for another of her beatings.  I yelled for him to run, but he didn’t hear me.  Lost in one of his daydreams I guessed.

I watched in silence as Gran repeatedly swung the stick hard against the side of her son’s head.  There were no words to describe Simple’s pain, or the pain of watching.  He probably didn’t even know what it was for and I hated her for making me feel all the things he couldn’t say. He didn’t move or look her in the face, not until she let the stick drop from her bony fingers did he feel safe enough to close his eyes.  He slowly put his hands to his battered head, blood pushing its way through the gaps in his dirty fingers…

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Universal Amazon Link:  myBook.to/SimpleS

 

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