#Wednesday Writer: Nine Lives by Jaye Marie Chapter22 #MysteryThriller

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Chapter Twenty-two

Jack Holland couldn’t shake the image of the old woman from his mind. The way she had looked at him replayed repeatedly in his head, making him believe she knew what he was about and what he had done. Normally, he had the greatest respect for old age. If you made it that far, he thought, you must be worth something. She had looked at him knowingly and he didn’t like it.

What if she mentioned him to Kate? She might just assume some old women sometimes create suspicion in order to make their lonely lives more interesting, but the seeds of worry were growing.

Could she have seen anything else? One sighting might be dismissed, but had she seen him on other occasions too?

He prided himself on always being vigilant on his frequent visits to Kate’s flat, but the idea of a nosy old woman unable to sleep at night who might have been at her window had not occurred to him.

Now it ate at him. The woman’s face haunted him; sneered at his stupidity until he was convinced she would tell Kate everything and ruin his chances. He couldn’t have that. The thought of Kate finding out and running away from him again didn’t bear thinking about.

 

It took careful planning to keep both women under observation and not be seen by either of them and in a way, he was enjoying himself. He imagined he could be a secret agent on a mission of grave urgency. Down to him to do whatever was necessary to put the world straight.

His world, that is. Nothing would be allowed to get in the way of his quest to get Kate back to where she had always belonged.

The fact it had been so long now and Kate had shown no sign of missing him, had not entered his mind. It had tried to, and he had dismissed the thought as unworthy of a man in his position. He had to get her back, nothing else would do and he was so desperately tired of waiting. He was also tired of all these interferences and still fervently believed he would win in the end, once he had eliminated every distraction. He would make her need him again, one way or another.

He had invested in a small ex-electricians van, complete with a colourful logo on the side in which to conduct his surveillance. Nobody looked twice at a tradesman’s vehicle and he felt less conspicuous than he assumed Kate’s brother did, in his shabby old car. He could sleep in there if the need arose. It was a convenient arrangement and quite fitted his image of detective-hood.

She was a sweet old woman, he thought. She kept herself busy, popping up to the shops several times a week. Remarkably agile for one of her age, although he suspected she could be a nasty piece of work should the need arise. He had witnessed the way she treated the postman when he tried to post an armload of junk mail through her letterbox. He kept getting a mental picture of one of those small annoying Jack Russell dogs, busily tearing a rabbit to shreds, reminding him he had to be more than careful with this one.

Having to watch two people at the same time was a new experience for him and was proving to be exhausting, as he had no idea what either of them would do. The strain was becoming annoying and he knew he would have to take a risk soon, as he had visions of sitting in the van forever and that wouldn’t do at all.

The right time arrived just when he was prepared to risk everything by forcing the situation his way. It was Saturday morning and Kate had gone out. The old woman’s front door opened and she came out with a bucket in her hand and started to clean the windows.

It was the perfect scenario, he couldn’t have wished for better. He casually crossed the road, looking out for any nosy parkers and slipped inside the open door.

When the old woman came back inside and closed the door, she didn’t seem at all surprised to see him sitting in her living room. She just stood quietly in the doorway, waiting for him to speak.

He was in no hurry to tell her anything, in fact, he might not say anything at all. Pointless anyway, she couldn’t possibly understand just how important his mission was. He noticed she was nervously plucking at the handle of the bucket, trying not to look at him. It was almost as though she knew why he was there, and that was ridiculous.

After what seemed like an eternity, the old woman finally moved. She walked past him to the kitchen and he heard her rinse out the bucket and put it away.

He stood up and followed her, grabbing her by the elbows and throwing her to the floor. He had no real plan of action, no thought as to how to be rid of her, but he had no idea how strong an old woman could be. He had fantasied that the mere sight of him might have done it, but she was looking up at him, fiercely defiant blue eyes determined to see through whatever was coming. He took her head in his hands and contemplated crushing her skull. It didn’t feel strong. Her hair was soft against his fingers and he paused for a moment.

‘Shame about this, old girl, but no good ever came of being nosy, now did it…hmm?’

Then the sweet old woman with the soft hair and defiant eyes became an obstacle once more, something that had to be removed.

He closed his eyes and lifted her head away from the blue patterned lino. Her hands were clutching desperately at his sleeves, fluttering like birds wings. He thought of Kate, and how much he missed her, and the familiar mist seeped into his brain as he pounded the woman’s head against the floor repeatedly until her eyes closed and she stopped breathing. He left her lying there and went back to his van…

 

 

#Throwback Thursday: The Maker of Skulls by Amanda Markham #ThrillerMystery @Amanda467

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To shy, book loving Professor Fineas Steele, his beloved office, overflowing library and pipe are his world… until the morning his life is turned upside down by a secret he’s guarded for almost thirty years.

For decades, Fineas has been protecting a dead man’s secret – an elaborate hoax perpetrated by a much loved, dashing national hero. A secret on which Fineas has built his life, career and professor’s tenure.

When news of a carved granite skull and a sea captain’s lucky escape from a cannibal tribe turn up on the front page of the city’s newspaper, Fineas must make a decision.

Does he risk everything and expose the lies of the man who made him what he is? Or does he undertake a perilous journey to solve the mystery behind the skull’s makers and a tribe of cannibals who never really existed?

~~~~~~

It was the cover of this book that first attracted my attention. The kindly old face of the professor and the old world setting really appealed to me.

The professor is blissfully happy in his own world, until the day something happens. Something that just wasn’t possible.

Should he investigate, or leave well enough alone?

Although he is far too old for an adventure, he decides to find out if what he always thought was a myth, could in fact be true.

I loved the touches of humour from the professor and the complex twist at the end of this mystery story.  I can recommend The Maker of Skulls wholeheartedly.

 

Rosie’s #Book Review Team #RBRT No One Can Hear You by Nikki Crutchley #Mystery&Thriller @NikkiCAuthor

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‘He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’.

Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars.

Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers.

As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder.

And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own.

 

Our Review

A brilliant opening prologue, the story opens in a foster home in 2001.

Faith Marsden had been in worse places, but a late night escapade finds her in somewhere much worse…

Sixteen years later, Zoe Hayward, a teacher at a boys school, is unfairly sacked because of an incident with one of the boys. Her mother, who she hasn’t seen in years, dies and Zoe must return home to arrange the funeral, so she is unable to stand her ground over the dismissal.

Zoe is just doing her duty regarding her mother but gradually becomes involved in the mystery of the missing girls in her hometown. The authorities seem to want it all to disappear, but she isn’t about to let that happen.

Fast paced in the beginning, the thread of this story alternates between the characters and their chapters, which vastly increased the tension.

Such a complicated and skilful plot, you really need to be on your toes with this one. The story unpeels like an onion, each layer full of frustrating clues and red herrings. By the time I was just over halfway through, the tension had built to an almost unbearable level.

The story slowly descends into a gruelling hell as the author describes the extent of the missing girl’s trauma with painful precision.

The climax of the story begins when Zoe makes an important discovery, triggering one of the best finales I have read in a while…

 

Excerpt

Her eyes began to burn from staring unblinkingly into the dark. She shut them tight again. Her hands wandered further, cautiously, off the edge of the mattress. A concrete floor, chilled and unforgiving. She stretched her hands out either side. One side touched hard wood. Shelves maybe? The last time she remembered any contact with people was sitting in Garth’s office at the Crawton Tavern, having a few drinks after work on Sunday, with … who?

She stood on shaking legs, the dark playing with her balance. She hardly knew which way was up, and a whimper escaped her lips. The sound, desperate in the stillness, chilled her. She edged forward, hands in front of her, hesitant, not knowing what to expect. After she’d counted six steps from the mattress her hands found a door. She had performed the same actions days or hours ago. She knew what the result would be but grasped the handle anyway, daring to hope, and turned it.

Locked.

She stumbled to the side and her foot kicked something. A bucket? It skidded across the room. She knocked her elbow on what she guessed was more shelving. Rubbing at it the tears came, wretched, choking sobs that echoed around her prison. Her head thumped as she tried desperately to piece together what had got her here. They’d taken her like she knew they would. She’d told herself what she’d overheard was nothing, even when Tania disappeared. Deep down she’d known she was in danger.

But there hadn’t been anywhere else to go.

Thank you to the author and to #RBRT for my #free review copy…

 

CrossFire…with poem by Anita #MysteryThriller

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CrossFire

Snow has a target on his back

A female finger on the bow.

He may not have long to go

This life a clock ticking fast.

Blood and sand made of paint.

Does Kate still factor in his fate?

Alas, she is taken by the wind

A new female wants her pound of flesh

With arrow poised, she lets it fly

Snow is hit, his trap undone

Ruth has fled, now on the run…

©Anita Dawes

 

Excerpt from CrossFire

‘Do you know why we have brought you here today, Ann?’

Ruth thought she would ease her way in, rather than accuse her straight off, for triggering any hostility wouldn’t get them anywhere.

The woman stared at Ruth, her pale, colourless eyes searching for clues. ‘Nah… but I ‘spect you’ll get to it pretty quick…’

Ruth indicated a brown paper bag on the table beside her. ‘We found a pair of work boots at your house, Ann. According to your husband, they’re not his. Are they yours?’

Ann Taylor glared at Ruth. She seemed to be enjoying the interview, her arrogance showing through the previous nervousness. ‘Dunno, can’t see them can I?’

Ruth undid the bag and placed the dirty boots on the table. Most of the mud had dried and fallen off, but still didn’t seem like the kind of boot a woman would wear. ‘Are these your boots, Ann?’

Without looking at the boots, she shook her head. ‘Nah, I don’t think so.’

Ruth looked at Snow, but not for confirmation. She wondered why he was choosing to stay silent. What was the point of sitting in if he wasn’t going to contribute? Not that she cared, one way or the other. She had only looked at him to signify inclusion.

She looked back at the woman. ‘Are you quite sure, Ann?’

The woman shrugged her shoulders and refused to speak.

‘For the benefit of the tape, Ann Taylor has refused to answer.’

Ruth decided to read out the coroner’s report, detailing every bruise and damage to the child’s body. When she read the part about the boot imprint on the child’s back, she slid the photograph across the table in front of the mother.

‘Did you do this, Ann?’

When the woman didn’t answer, Ruth decided it was time to play the ace card, and she looked forward to it. This cold-hearted bitch of a woman was about to be arrested, but not before Ruth had enjoyed herself. ‘Are you aware that the person who wore these boots would have left significant DNA inside them?’

Ruth paused, watching as the realisation sunk in.  ‘And are you also aware that we have tested your DNA and it has been proved that you are the owner of these boots?’

The fear and shame were beginning to show on the woman’s face, and Ruth watched, wondering what she would do now. She didn’t have to wait long to find out.

Ann Taylor’s face seemed to implode, as the terror of being found out took effect.  ‘I swear I don’t remember that part… I know I were angry, but when she fell over and banged her head, I thought she was dead…’

‘So what did you do then, Ann?’ Ruth knew what had happened next, but not which one of them had done it.  ‘Were you aware that Amy was still alive when you dropped her into the canal?’

The horror was all-encompassing, as the woman realised the enormity of what she had done. She looked around the room, just once, before she started screaming…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Rosie’s #BookReviewTeam #RBRT Dragonfly Wishes by Penny Harmon @PennyH_Author #Romance #Woman’s Fiction

I love #ThrowbackThursday, such a wonderful way of sharing the books you have enjoyed!

#RBRT Review Team

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Callie Daniels had it all – a handsome and loyal husband – a sweet and loving son. When death comes knocking at the door twice and they are both taken from her, Callie is suddenly struggling to find a reason to continue with her own life.
During an accidental overdose, she discovers that maybe her son is not lost to her forever when she sees a vision and her journey to understand what happens after death takes top priority.

In the middle of Callie’s quest to deal with her grief, she uncovers a secret that she just can’t ignore. These secrets lead her on a journey to understanding more about life than she ever expected to know.

Our Review

I knew that Penny Harmon writes romance novels, but Dragonfly Wishes didn’t read like a romance at all in the beginning. The sad opening chapter set the tone for the book, at least that was my initial impression.

Callie’s world is in ruins, her husband and child gone.

What are you supposed to do at times like these?

How do you pick up the pieces of your life and carry on?

Although I haven’t lost anyone through illness or accident, I can only imagine how painful it must be, to be constantly reminded of all the things that have been taken away.

This book could have been all doom and gloom, but surprisingly, it wasn’t.

The arrival of a dragonfly and other mysterious incidents brings a radical change to Callie’s thinking. What  starts out as one small flight of fancy, or was it something more? leads Callie on an endearing journey. The story of loss and bereavement quickly grows into a journey of discovery as Callie tries to get her life back on track.

Far from being a sad story, this book has it all, adventure, detective work, a bucket list and romance. I thoroughly enjoyed this well thought out, uplifting story, although it just missed out on five stars.

Biography

While I have been writing since I can remember, it wasn’t until 2006, after my kids were grown, that I decided to take my writing seriously. I have written for newspapers and magazines, and I have had several short stories published. In January of 2016, I finished my first novella Complicated Inheritance and am now working on a romance to come out in March of 2016 which is the first of a series.

I get asked the question of “Why romance?” a lot. The answer is easy. Most romance novels have a Happy Ever After (HEA) and who doesn’t like a HEA? I can remember being ten and eleven years old and stealing my mother’s romance novels to read. Of course, back then, they weren’t as steamy as today’s romance novels. Whether you read contemporary romance or historical romance, the one thing you will find is they have a great plot and they leave you with a good feeling inside when you’re done.

I started writing romance stories when I was young…unfortunately, I never chose to do anything with them until now. Of course, the majority of my writing was lost in moves, but the ideas are still there.

I live in the U.S…Maine to be exact. You will find the majority of my books have a Maine setting!

I love to hear feedback from readers and you can email me at pennyharmonauthor@gmail.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!!!

 

 About the Author

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Penny Harmon began writing at an early age and developed a great love of words over the years. After her children were grown, she took her writing more seriously and has published in both newspapers and magazines. In January of 2016, her first novella, Complicated Inheritance, was published and she is the author of the Rocky Isle Romance Series.

Penny lives in Maine with her other-half, Dan, two grandchildren, and three cats. She enjoys spending time with all nine of her grandchildren and enjoys working on DIY projects, especially those that involve making something new out of something that should have been thrown away.

 

#WednesdayWriter: Nine Lives~ Chapter 19 #MysteryThriller

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Kate had welcomed death from an early age. With no family to speak of and a brother she hates, she waits for death to take her away.

It speaks to her. Teases her, yet will not come for her.

Death takes those around her, making her desire for it greater than ever.

She wonders how much longer it will take for her time to run out…

Chapter 19

On the way home from her walk around the park as she approached the bakers, she wondered idly if they had any doughnuts. The sight of her old friend and neighbour Janet standing at the counter made her walk inside the shop.

‘Hello Janet, I wondered if I would see you today. How are you?’

Janet was buying a small loaf of bread; she was so short she had to stretch to pay the woman. ‘I’m fine Kate, though I could do with a box to stand on in here. This counter is far too high for me.’

Kate held out her hand for Janet’s change and asked, ‘Have you heard a child crying near us lately?’

Putting the change in her purse, Janet shook her head. ‘No, can’t say I have. Someone might have visitors… has that silly cat come home yet?’

Kate shook her head and bought two doughnuts. As they walked to the door of the shop, she realised it was raining heavily. Janet fished an umbrella out of her shopping bag and with a quick wave; toddled up the road looking like a little pixie in her boots and raincoat.

Kate made her way home, looking in every doorway and behind all the bushes and bins. There was no sign of Dylan. Tears ran down her face as she willed the missing cat to appear. It was as though she knew he was gone for good, and she would never see him again.

Once back indoors, Kate had to change her clothes as she was soaked through and cold. She didn’t want to turn on the central heating, so she wrapped herself in her old fleece dressing gown and rubbed some of the water from her hair with a towel. She wandered into the kitchen, intending to put the kettle on for a cup of tea to go with the doughnuts when something about the cat flap made her stop short.

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?

She finished checking the flat but there was no intruder, just the faint smell of cigarette smoke in the living room. Danny! Why would he do this?

She was not looking forward to cleaning up what was left of her beloved old friend. As she willed herself to move and take charge of the situation, she knew her life had just changed dramatically. There was no way she could stay in the flat any longer than was necessary.

She filled the bucket with hot soapy water and walked towards the back door. The sight of the blood turned her stomach over and she just made it back to the sink, heaving up nothing but bile. She retched so many times her muscles began to cramp. With an extraordinary effort, she tried to pull herself together. Dylan deserved that much of her at least, she thought, splashing her face with cold water.

Clearing up took a long time because she had to stop so many times to wipe her face and blow her nose. There seemed to be far too much blood for one little cat. It was so unfair, he was her friend, probably her only friend, as Sam didn’t count, being work-related. She would have to tell her soon she would be leaving, and it was going to be awkward, as Kate didn’t want anyone knowing where she was going. She thought of just leaving and not telling anyone but that felt wrong somehow. Sam was relying on Kate to produce exceptional art for her new gallery.

Anyway, Kate thought she could trust Sam. She had proved herself a good friend in all kinds of circumstances. Depending on where Kate moved to, their relationship would be tested to the hilt. Sam wouldn’t want to work with someone who wasn’t conveniently located.

Kate tried to make a cup of tea, but her hands were shaking so much most of the tea and sugar went everywhere. She gave up and sat down on the kitchen stool, her head spinning. She did feel ill. The room was slowly revolving and she thought there was a chance she might faint. Everything she looked at seemed strange. What was that thing you supposed to do, she thought, put your head between your knees?

The thought of bending over or moving in any direction didn’t seem like a good idea at all, but she managed to pull herself together and walk to the bedroom. She slammed the door behind her, the loud noise triggering something inside her, and she collapsed on the bed and sobbed her heart out…

Amazon Review:

4.0 out of 5 stars
Suspenseful Story
Kate is an artist who’s had a very painful life and a few close calls with death. After a heart attack, Kate tries to go on with her life, however trouble lurks in the form of her vindictive ex-husband. One by one Kate’s friends and loved ones meet mysterious deaths and Kate, fearing she’s next runs for her life.
Adding to Kate’s dilemma is a the mysterious voice that’s been plaguing her her entire life, which at times proves to be more of a nuisance than of help.

At times Kate comes across as standoffish, but after reading about her history and the tragedies she suffered in the past, gives you a better understanding for her attitude. After reading about her past, I was wishing she’d find the peace that she wanted.

The story is very mysterious and suspenseful, and I was left wondering if Kate would escape the murderer. The mysterious voice plays a big part in the story and the ending does a wonderful job of explaining the voice and it’s purpose in Kate’s life.

 

 

It Is Scarlet Ribbon Day Today!

Today is a very special day for Anita’s book, The Scarlet Ribbon!

We have already posted the wonderful interview with #LisaBurtonRadio today, and just had to go a bit mad…

To celebrate this madness, we are posting all things Scarlet Ribbon related, starting with a new poster, featuring new 3D cover image.

In the off chance that someone might want to read The Scarlet Ribbon, and /or leave a review, here is the Amazon Book Link:  http://myBook.to/SRIBS

And the Books2Read Link: https://www.Books2Read.com/u/b5rvY7

 

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Then we thought we would run the trailer, just for the fun of it!


Of course, we had to include a review…

 
It’s rare these days to find an original concept in fiction but Anita Dawes has created an unusual story here. Maggie has been knocked down by a car and is in a coma, aware of her surroundings but unable to communicate. While in the coma, she also occupies an alternate world somewhere between life and death. Here she meets David and Annie, two characters who will continue to haunt her when she emerges from her coma. The novel is beautifully written and the characterization is strong; the reader is rooting for Maggie from the start. It took me a little while to get into this story but from the point Maggie comes out of her coma I couldn’t put it down. The whole premise is thought provoking and I’d particularly recommend it to people who are interested in concepts of the afterlife. In particular, the ending will stay with me for a long time…

 

Next we have a new poem from Anita, called The Wishing Tree…

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The wishing tree stood alone by the still, white water,

Festooned with ribbons of every colour

A fallen rainbow reflected there.

I could see one scarlet ribbon hanging low

Its ragged edge touching the water

As if wanting to be washed clean.

I run my fingers down this lonely ribbon

Feeling the weight of sadness

Within the strand of red.

My tears fall, tiny ripples spread across the water

My tears mingled with those of the child

Who had placed the scarlet ribbon here?

My fingers are numb from having touched it

I left, feeling as if someone had touched me

Calling for help…

Anita Dawes

 

#ThrowbackThursday: Review for A Marriage of Convenience  by Stevie Turner #Contemporary Fiction #Family Life @StevieTurner6

#ThrowbackThursdays have been a brilliant way to replace some of our missing Amazon reviews… and give us all another chance to read about these amazing books!

 

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Gerrie Hermann, aspiring rock star from a rich South African family, has an unusual proposal for Sophie Woods when he meets her for the first time in their university canteen.

Strait-laced Sophie has never done anything out of the ordinary in the whole of her 19 years. When she decides to take Gerrie up on his offer she has no idea that her decision is going to affect the rest of her life in ways that she could never have foreseen, even in her wildest dreams.

 

Amazon Link:

Our Review

Would you marry someone simply to help them out of a dilemma?

This is what Sophie Woods, a university student, is about to do, a business arrangement, nothing more. But what happens afterwards is the stuff that dreams, and Hollywood movies are made of. Sophie, young and naïve, has never done anything risky before and has no idea of what fate awaits her.

Gerrie, a South African student, is an aspiring rock star with wealthy parents, who unfortunately don’t approve of his career choice. Gerrie wants to stay in England and the only way he can do that, is to get married.

Sophie falls in love with her new husband, but circumstances conspire to ruin their unexpected happiness and break both their hearts as well. The tension builds unbearably for them and their future outcome looks decidedly bleak.

There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to their problems and after so long, can there really be a happy ever after?

 

Excerpt from A Marriage of Convenience

The same wood pigeon is cooing outside my bedroom window that I’m sure has been there since my early teens.  Everything around me is so familiar, yet nothing is the same anymore.  The pink duvet cover adorned with red roses covered me as a girl, but now I am a woman, soon to bring another life into this world. 

I have been so very stupid. I sit up in bed and look at the clock, which shows 08:45.  I pick up my mobile phone from the bedside table, but there’s no message from Gerrie.  Dad will already be on his way down to the canal to take the first group of tourists on a morning boat ride. Mum rattles around downstairs making drinks. It’s time for me to get up and face what the day can throw at me.  I keep waiting to feel sick or faint; isn’t that what all pregnant women do?  However, apart from sore breasts I feel as fit as a fiddle and desperately hungry.  I can hear Mum humming to herself as I pad downstairs and slink into a chair at the kitchen table.  She gives me a smile “Did you sleep okay?”

“Yes thanks.”  I nod. “It’s a relief now I’ve told you everything.”

Mum hands me a cup of steaming coffee. “Of course it is.  We’ll stand by you.  There’s no way I’ll see my daughter or grandchild want for anything.”

I get up and hug my mother, who is already making me a toasted bacon sandwich.  It occurs to me that all the money in the world cannot make up for the love I’ve received over the years from my two wonderful parents.  I am truly lucky.

“Gerrie’s father is a diamond merchant out in South Africa, but he doesn’t approve of me and won’t be giving us a penny.”

 “You don’t need him.” Mum grimaces as she hands me a plate of food. “You can come home any time.  We’ll be pleased to have you and the baby here.”

I make short work of my sandwich and shoo Mum upstairs while I wash up.  After an invigorating shower, I wrap a towel around me and go back into my bedroom to get dressed.  My phone is buzzing away by the bed.  I pick it up. “Hi.”   Gerrie’s accented voice booms down the line. “This is the third time I’ve rung.”

 “I was having a wash.  How’s it going with you?”

There’s a brief silence before he carries on. “I miss you.  Are you coming back?  Sorry I punched the wall.” He sounds like a little boy who has lost his mother in a crowd, but deep down inside I’m still angry.

 

Biography

Stevie Turner works part-time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audiobooks, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audiobooks, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ caught the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books have been translated into German, Spanish, and Italian.

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address: stevie@stevie-turner-author.co.uk
You can find her blog at the following link: http://www.steviet3.wordpress.com
You can sign up for her newsletter here: https://www.facebook.com/StevieTurnerAuthor/app/100265896690345/