#BlogTour #HarlequinTradePublishingBlogTour @htp_books / #Excerpt : On A Quiet Street #OnAQuietStreet – Seraphina Nova Glass @SeraphinaNova @HarperCollins @HarlequinBooks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘On A Quiet Street’ blogtour, organized by Harlequin Trade Publishing Blog Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Seraphina Nova Headshots Jan 2019Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she teaches film studies and playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and she’s also a screenwriter and award-winning playwright. Seraphina has traveled the world using theatre and film as a teaching tool, living in South Africa, Guam and Kenya as a volunteer teacher, AIDS relief worker, and documentary filmmaker.

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Synopsis :

Title: On A Quiet Street
Author: Seraphina Nova Glass
ISBN: 9781525899751
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Publisher: Graydon House Books

Seraphina Nova Glass author photo - verticalA simple arrangement. A web of deceit with shocking consequences.
Welcome to Brighton Hills: an exclusive, gated community set against the stunning backdrop of the Oregon coast. Home to doctors, lawyers, judges–all the most upstanding members of society. Nothing ever goes wrong here. Right?
Cora’s husband, Finn, is a cheater. She knows it; she just needs to prove it. She’s tired of being the nagging, suspicious wife who analyzes her husband’s every move. She needs to catch him in the act. And what better way to do that than to set him up for a fall?
Paige has nothing to lose. After she lost her only child in a hit-and-run last year, her life fell apart: her marriage has imploded, she finds herself screaming at baristas and mail carriers, and she’s so convinced Caleb’s death wasn’t an accident that she’s secretly spying on all everyone in Brighton Hills so she can find the murderer. So it’s easy for her to entrap Finn and prove what kind of man he really is.
But Paige and Cora are about to discover far more than a cheating husband. What starts as a little agreement between friends sets into motion a series of events neither of them could have ever predicted, and that exposes the deep fault lines in Brighton Hills. Especially concerning their mysterious new neighbor, Georgia, a beautiful recluse who has deep, dark secrets of her own…

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Excerpt :

ONE
Paige

Paige stands, watering her marigolds in the front yard and marvels at how ugly they are. The sweet-potato-orange flowers remind her of a couch from the 1970s, and she suddenly hates them. She crouches down, ready to rip them from their roots, wondering why she ever planted such an ugly thing next to her pristine Russian sage, and then the memory steals her breath. The church Mother’s Day picnic when Caleb was in the sixth grade. Some moron had let the potato salad sit too long in the sun, and Caleb got food poisoning. All the kids got to pick a flower plant to give to their moms, and even though Caleb was puking mayonnaise, he insisted on going over to pick his flower to give her. He was so proud to hand it to her in its little plastic pot, and she said they’d plant it in the yard and they’d always have his special marigolds to look at. How could she have forgotten?
She feels tears rise in her throat but swallows them down. Her dachshund, Christopher, waddles over and noses her arm: he always senses when she’s going to cry, which is almost all the time since Caleb died. She kisses his head and looks at her now-beautiful marigolds. She’s interrupted by the kid who de-livers the newspaper as he rides his bike into the cul-de-sac and tosses a rolled-up paper, hitting little Christopher on his back.
“Are you a fucking psychopath?” Paige screams, jumping to her feet and hurling the paper back at the kid, which hits him in the head and knocks him off his bike.
“What the hell is wrong with you, lady?” he yells back, scrambling to gather himself and pick up his bike.
“What’s wrong with me? You tried to kill my dog. Why don’t you watch what the fuck you’re doing?”
His face contorts, and he tries to pedal away, but Paige grabs the garden hose and sprays him down until he’s out of reach. “Little monster!” she yells after him.
Thirty minutes later, the police ring her doorbell, but Paige doesn’t answer. She sits in the back garden, drinking coffee out of a lopsided clay mug with the word Mom carved into it by little fingers. She strokes Christopher’s head and examines the ivy climbing up the brick of the garage and wonders if it’s bad for the foundation. When she hears the ring again, she hollers at them.
“I’m not getting up for you people. If you need to talk to me, I’m back here.” She enjoys making them squeeze around the side of the house and hopes they rub up against the poi-son oak on their way.
“Morning, Mrs. Moretti,” one of the officers says. It’s the girl cop, Hernandez. Then the white guy chimes in. She hates him. Miller. Of course they sent Miller with his creepy mustache. He looks more like a child molester than a cop, she thinks. How does anyone take him seriously?
“We received a complaint,” he says.
“Oh, ya did, did ya? You guys actually looking into cases these days? Actually following up on shit?” Paige says, still petting the dog and not looking at them.
“You assaulted a fifteen-year-old? Come on.”
“Oh, I did no such thing,” she snaps.
Hernandez sits across from Paige. “You wanna tell us what d id happen, then?”
“Are you planning on arresting me if I don’t?” she asks, and the two officers give each other a silent look she can’t read.
“His parents don’t want to press charges so…”
Paige doesn’t say anything. They don’t have to tell her it’s because they pity her.
“But, Paige,” Miller says, “we can’t keep coming out here for this sort of thing.”
“Good,” Paige says firmly. “Maybe it will free you up to do your real job and find out who killed my son.” Hernandez stands.
“Again, you know we aren’t the detectives on the—” But before Hernandez can finish, Paige interrupts, not wanting to hear the excuses.
“And maybe go charge the idiot kid for trying to kill my dog. How about that?”
Paige stands and goes inside, not waiting for a response. She hears them mumble something to one another and make their way out. She can’t restrain herself or force herself to be kind. She used to be kind, but now, it’s as though her brain has been rewired. Defensiveness inhabits the place where empathy used to live. The uniforms of the cops trigger her, too; it reminds her of that night, the red, flashing lights a nightmarish strobe from a movie scene. A horror movie, not real life. It can’t be her real life. She still can’t accept that.
The uniforms spoke, saying condescending things, pulling her away, calling her ma’am, and asking stupid questions. Now, when she sees them, it brings up regrets. She doesn’t know why this happens, but the uniforms bring her back to that night, and it makes her long for the chance to do all the things she never did with Caleb and mourn over the times they did have. It forces fragments of memories to materialize, like when he was six, he wanted a My Little Pony named Star Prancer. It was pink with purple flowers in its mane, and she didn’t let him have it because she thought she was protecting him from being made fun of at school. Now, the memory fills her with self-reproach.
She tries not to think about the time she fell asleep on the couch watching Rugrats with him when he was just a toddler and woke up to his screaming because he’d fallen off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. He was okay, but it could have been worse. He could have put his finger in an outlet, pushed on the window screen and fallen to his death from the second floor, drunk the bleach under the sink! When this memory comes, she has to quickly stand up and busy herself, push out a heavy breath, and shake off the shame it brings. He could have died from her negligence that afternoon. She never told Grant. She told Cora once, who said every parent has a moment like that, it’s life. People fall asleep. But Paige has never forgiven herself. She loved Caleb more than life, and now the doubt and little moments of regret push into her thoughts and render her miserable and anxious all the time.
She didn’t stay home like Cora, she practically lived at the restaurant. She ran it for years. Caleb grew up doing his homework in the kitchen break room and helping wipe down tables and hand out menus. He seemed to love it. He didn’t watch TV all afternoon after school, he talked to new people, learned skills. But did she only tell herself that to alleviate the guilt? Would he have thrived more if he had had a more nor mal day-to-day? When he clung to her leg that first day of preschool, should she have forced him to go? Should he have let him change his college major so many times? Had he been happy? Had she done right by him?
And why was there a gun at the scene? Was he in trouble, and she didn’t know? Did he have friends she didn’t know about? He’d told her everything, she thought. They were close. Weren’t they?
As she approaches the kitchen window to put her mug down, she sees Grant pulling up outside. She can see him shaking his head at the sight of the cops before he even gets out of the car.
He doesn’t mention the police when he comes in. He silently pours himself a cup of coffee and finds Paige back out in the garden, where she has scurried to upon seeing him. He hands her a copy of the Times after removing the crossword puzzle for himself and then peers at it over his glasses.
He doesn’t speak until Christopher comes to greet him, and then he says, “Who wants a pocket cookie?” and takes a small dog biscuit from his shirt pocket and smiles down at little Christopher, who devours it.
This is how it’s been for the many months since Grant and Paige suffered insurmountable loss. It might be possible to get through it to the other side, but maybe not together, Paige said to Grant one night after one of many arguments about how they should cope. Grant wanted to sit in his old, leather recliner in the downstairs family room and stare into the wood-burning fireplace, Christopher at his feet, drinking a scotch and absorbing the quiet and stillness.
Paige, on the other hand, wanted to scream at everyone she met. She wanted to abuse the police for not finding who was responsible for the hit-and-run. She wanted to spend her days posting flyers offering a reward to anyone with information, even though she knew only eight percent of hit-and-runs are ever solved. When the world didn’t respond the way she needed, she stopped helping run the small restaurant they owned so she could just hole up at home and shout at Jeopardy! and paper boys. She needed to take up space and be loud. They each couldn’t stand how the other was mourning, so finally, Grant moved into the small apartment above their little Italian place, Moretti’s, and gave Paige the space she needed to take up.
Now—almost a year since the tragic day—Grant still comes over every Sunday to make sure the take-out boxes are picked up and the trash is taken out, that she’s taking care of herself and the house isn’t falling apart. And to kiss her on the cheek before he leaves and tell her he loves her. He doesn’t make observations or suggestions, just benign comments about the recent news headlines or the new baked mostaccioli special at the restaurant.
She sees him spot the pair of binoculars on the small table next to her Adirondack chair. She doesn’t need to lie and say she’s bird-watching or some nonsense. He knows she thinks one of the neighbors killed her son. She’s sure of it. It’s a gated community, and very few people come in and out who don’t live here. Especially that late at night. The entrance camera was conveniently disabled that night, so that makes her think it wasn’t an accident but planned. There was a gun next to Caleb’s body, but it wasn’t fired, and there was no gunshot wound. Something was very wrong with this scenario, and if the po-lice won’t prove homicide, she’s going to uncover which of her bastard neighbors had a motive.
She has repeated all of this to Grant a thousand times, and he used to implore her to try to focus on work or take a vacation—anything but obsess—and to warn her that she was destroying her health and their relationship, but he stopped responding to this sort of conspiracy-theory talk months ago.
“What’s the latest?” is all he asks, looking away from the binoculars and back to his crossword. She gives a dismissive wave of her hand, a sort of I know you don’t really want to hear about it gesture. Then, after a few moments, she says, “Danny Howell at 6758. He hasn’t driven his Mercedes in months.” She gives Grant a triumphant look, but he doesn’t appear to be following.
“Okay,” he says, filling in the word ostrich.
“So I broke into his garage to see what the deal was, and there’s a dent in his bumper.”
“You broke in?” he asks, concerned. She knows the How-ells have five vehicles, and the dent could be from a myriad of causes over the last year, but she won’t let it go.
“Yes, and it’s a good thing I did. I’m gonna go back and take photos. See if the police can tell if it looks like he might have hit a person.” She knows there is a sad desperation in her voice as she works herself up. “You think they can tell that? Like if the dent were a pole from a drive-through, they could see paint or the scratches or something, right? I bet they can tell.”
“It’s worth a shot,” he says, and she knows what he wants to say, also knows he won’t waste words telling her not to break into the garage a second time for photos. He changes the subject.
“I’m looking for someone to help out at the restaurant a few days a week—mostly just a piano player for the dinner crowd—but I could use a little bookkeeping and scheduling, too,” he says, and Paige knows it’s a soft attempt to distract her, but she doesn’t bite.
“Oh, well, good luck. I hope you find someone,” she says, and they stare off into the backyard trees.
“The ivy is looking robust,” he comments after a few minutes of silence.
“You think it’s hurting the foundation?” she asks.
“Nah,” he says, and he reaches over and places his hand over hers on the arm of her chair for a few moments before getting up to go. On his way out, he kisses her on the cheek, tells her he loves her. Then he loads the dishwasher and takes out the trash before heading to his car. She watches him reluctantly leaving, knowing that he wishes he could stay, that things were different.
When Paige hears the sound of Grant’s motor fade as he turns out of the front gate, she imagines herself calling him on his cell and telling him to come back and pick her up, that she’ll come to Moretti’s with him and do all the scheduling and books, that she’ll learn to play the piano just so she can make him happy. And, after all the patrons leave for the night, they’ll share bottles of Chianti on checkered tablecloths in a dimly lit back booth. They’ll eat linguini and clams and have a Lady and the Tramp moment, and they will be happy again.
Paige does not do this. She goes into the living room and closes the drapes Grant opened, blocking out the sunlight, then she crawls under a bunched-up duvet on the couch that smells like sour milk, and she begs for sleep.

Excerpted from On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass, Copyright © 2022 by Seraphina Nova Glass. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : The Catcher #TheCatcher – Kerry Birds @KerryBWriter @darkedgepress

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Catcher Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘The Catcher’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Kerry Birds Author PhotoKerry Birds lives in Derbyshire with her husband and two boys. She is an Environmental Chemist who started reading fiction in her thirties and took up writing soon after. She now writes prolifically, partly to quieten her anxious mind.
In 2018 she self-published her first novel, Share My Sky, which was brilliantly received. Rainbows in a Storm and its sequel soon followed. She’s had her nose to the grindstone ever since.
In her spare time, Kerry loves to be with her family, preferably walking on mountains or moorlands, where she finds the perfect places to eat cake and drink tea. She likes seeing friends, going to writing group, stalking bumblebees and drinking wine.

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Synopsis :

Kerry Birds Author PhotoThe perfect marriage?
Or the perfect lie?
Alistair tells white lies. It’s easier that way.
Elena loves Alistair. But he’s married to Celia.
Celia likes playing games. And one day soon someone is going to get hurt.
The only question is – who?

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Excerpt :

Elena

What with the salt and John Travolta’s face during the dance-off, I was nearly back in a happy place; and then I felt the crawling inside my lips.
My thoughts spun like the wheels on a runaway bike. Faster and faster, I knew where I was heading though I couldn’t stop. I got to my feet and rushed back into the kitchen, frantically scanning the room for my bag. I yanked open the zip and then the small compartment where I kept the medication to halt the anaphylaxis. But it was empty: the two auto-dispensers were gone. Amidst increasing panic, I rifled the contents of my bag before emptying it out on the tabletop. The balled-up tissues, old receipts, and my purse landed on the floor. Gasping, I grabbed my phone. The screen lit up and then went black again, the battery still dead.
I raced to the bathroom where I clawed the contents of the cabinet into the sink below. Though those two EpiPens were not there either. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t swallow; the world was trapped behind a teary, blurred screen. I fell to my knees. If I made it to the front garden I would be shielded by the wall and, even if I was found, a passer-by would be unlikely to be carrying epinephrine and an ambulance wouldn’t reach me on time. I couldn’t stand and I knew if I exerted myself the heart attack due to my plummeting blood pressure would kill me before the asphyxiation. There were no two ways about it, I was going to die. I was going to die because I did not have an EpiPen.
They were gone.
Somebody had taken my medication.
And I knew it was her.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : The Major Minor Murders #TheMajorMinorMurders #DIBarneyMains – Jim McGhee @bigbarneymains

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Major Minor Murders Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘The Major Minor Murders’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jim McGhee Author PhotoJim McGhee’s a former award-winning environmental journalist.
Based in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, Scotland, he spends much of each year (in normal times) in the South of France, the main setting for the DI Barney Mains series, with tolerant wife Jean and rampant Irish Terrier, Jack.
After a full-on career as a campaigning newspaper reporter, he and Jean launched their own recruitment company in central Edinburgh and for twelve fun-packed years worked closely together alongside their brilliant team – without spilling a single drop of blood.
The Alpes-Maritimes and Var departments, on the other hand, have provided a host of dramatic locations just perfect as inspiration for the odd spot of fictional gore.
Locals, blessed with scenery ranging from unspoiled mountain villages to the classic palms-and-marinas coast, claim that they can be swimming one moment and skiing a little over an hour later.
Though when not writing or travelling en famille, Jim’s more likely to be off on a hike in the hills with his ever-ready buddy, Jack.

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Synopsis :

The Major Minor Murders Tour PosterThere’s been a murder. And the only suspect has vanished.
Even his own brother, DI Barney Mains, thinks he’s guilty.
But when the missing man’s teenage daughter begs Barney to help, he has no choice.
And before long he starts to question whether the criminal brother he hasn’t seen for ten years could actually be innocent this time.
It’s just that everyone seems to be in an all-fired hurry to pin the killing on him.
Despite there being a pair of highly visible alternative candidates – a tall ex-army type and a sidekick built like a tank.
The trail leads Barney to the South of France and the gated world of the super-rich.
For only there will he discover whether his brother is a killer on the run.
Or the next victim…

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Excerpt :

They checked in then took turns to shower. Barney sensed how natural they were around each other, as if they’d been doing this for years. They jumped into bed without any first-night nonsense then lay there under the satin duvet in their stiff white cotton gowns, giggling like silly kids. ‘What’s this?’ she asked, running a finger down a five-inch scar on his chest.
‘Oh, that? That was when I hiked across the Outback. Ended up on Bondi Beach. Shark attack.’
‘Yeah, right.’
‘OK, it was actually on Portobello Prom when I fell off my roller skates. Lost a very good ice-cream cone that day, too. Changed my life.’
She thumped him on his scar. ‘Come on big boy. I’ll make you forget all about it.’ She opened her gown and slid on top of him, opening his as she went. He felt the silky heat of her skin then grinned like a Cheshire cat as she lowered her wicked, flushed face to his, her fragrant, damp hair coating his throat.
And she did make him forget. The ice-cream, everything. By the time he resurfaced he realised that he’d actually forgotten all about art fraud and murder too. It was around five in the evening. She was purring contentedly, her right arm draped limply across him. He slipped out of bed as carefully as he could. He found his phone and checked messages. There was a text from Abbey. Great news! Dad’s getting out tonight! Picking him up at seven. Be there or else! He smiled then texted back: I always respond to threats!
He crawled back into bed. She stirred. ‘Sorry, did I wake you?’ he said. But he wasn’t sorry at all.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #PromoPost : The Storm Girl – Kathleen McGurl @KathMcGurl @HarperCollinsUK @HQStories

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Storm Girl

Today I’m on the ‘The Storm Girl’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

NGwQ3UFgKathleen McGurl lives near the coast in Christchurch, England. She writes dual timeline novels in which a historical mystery is uncovered and resolved in the present day. She is married to an Irishman and has two adult sons. She enjoys travelling, especially in her motorhome around Europe but home is Mudeford, where this novel is set.

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Synopsis :

The Storm GirlThe gripping new historical novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Girl from Bletchley Park and The Forgotten Secret.
A heartbreaking choice. A secret kept for centuries.
1784. When Esther Harris’s father hurts his back, she takes over his role helping smugglers hide contraband in the secret cellar in their pub. But when the free traders’ ships are trapped in the harbour, a battle between the smugglers and the revenue officers leads to murder and betrayal – and Esther is forced to choose between the love of her life and protecting her family…
Present day. Fresh from her divorce, Millie Galton moves into a former inn overlooking the harbour in Mudeford and plans to create her dream home. When a chance discovery behind an old fireplace reveals the house’s secret history as a haven for smugglers and the devastating story of its former residents, could the mystery of a disappearance from centuries ago finally be solved?
Sweeping historical fiction perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley, Kathryn Hughes and Tracy Rees.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BookTour #BookAndWineLoversMarketing / #PromoPost : The Nighthawkers – Amy L. Bernstein @amylbernstein @WildRosePress

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

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Today I’m on the ‘The Nighthawkers’ blogtour, organized by Book And Wine Lovers Marketing.
To promote this book I have a some ‘basic’ information for you.

About the Author :

Amy L Bernstein HeadshotAmy L. Bernstein writes for the page, the stage, and forms in between. Her literary preoccupations include rooting for the underdog and putting ordinary people in difficult situations to see how they wriggle out. Amy is an award-winning journalist and speechwriter as well as a playwright. When she’s not writing about romance or dystopian futures, she loves listening to jazz and classical music, drinking wine with friends, and prowling around Baltimore’s glorious waterfront.

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Synopsis :

perf5.000x8.000.inddArchaeologist Pauline Marsh is convinced she’s an unlovable freak. Who else in the world shares her ability to locate ancient artifacts without a map, hear their stories, and commune with long-dead artisans? But all that changes when handsome, charismatic Grey Henley persuades her she’s the girl of his dreams. For Pauline, Grey is the family she never knew. And for Grey, Pauline’s treasure-finding skills will make him immensely rich. But the lovers are keeping secrets from one another that push their relationship to the breaking point. Grey is in league with a criminal relative and Pauline is visited by an other-worldly stranger with a message. Sometimes, it takes a broken heart to discover your true destiny–and find eternal love where you least expect it.

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The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheHistoricalCollaborator / #Excerpt : The Colour of Rubies (Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery Book 10) – Toni Mount @tonihistorian

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

rubies excerpt tour

Today I’m on the ‘The Colour of Rubies’ blogtour, organized by The Historical Collaborator.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Toni Mount is the author of several successful non-fiction books including How to Survive in Medieval England and the number one best-seller, Everyday Life in Medieval England. Her speciality is the lives of ordinary people in the Middle Ages and her enthusiastic understanding of the period allows her to create accurate, atmospheric settings and realistic characters for her medieval mysteries. Her main character, Sebastian Foxley is a humble but talented medieval artist and was created as a project as part of her university diploma in creative writing. Toni earned her history BA from The Open University and her Master’s Degree from the University of Kent by completing original research into a unique 15th century medical manuscript.
Toni writes regularly for both The Richard III Society and The Tudor Society and is a major contributor to MedievalCourses.com. As well as writing, Toni teaches history to adults, and is a popular speaker to groups and societies.

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Synopsis :

Toni cropMurder lurks at the heart of the royal court in the rabbit warren of the Palace of Westminster. The year is 1480. Treason is afoot amongst the squalid grandeur and opulent filth of this medieval world of contrasts. Even the Office of the King’s Secretary hides a dangerous secret.
Meeting with lords and lackeys, clerks, courtiers and the mighty King Edward himself, can Seb Foxley decipher the encoded messages and name the spy?
Will Seb be able to prevent the murder of the most important heir in England?
All will be revealed as we join Seb Foxley and his abrasive brother Jude in the latest intriguing adventure amid the sordid shadows of fifteenth-century London.

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Excerpt :

When Master Curran had departed, Seb was alone in the dormitory. The others were all at their work, leaving him to lie against the pillow and consider his situation. Head wounds being notorious for the amount of gore they produced, his clothes were blood-soaked and whosoever had attacked him had nigh torn them from his back. Filthy mud and horse dung caked everything. Ripped and stained, he had no garments sufficiently clean, undamaged and respectable to wear. The clerk’s gown was a heap of evil-smelling rags kicked under his bed.
He had not the least idea how he had made the journey from Thieving Lane to the dormitory, whether he managed it by himself or by the aid of another. He seemed to have been the victim of a vicious robbery and yet he still had his boots and gloves – both worth stealing. Was it not fortunate his purse was left here? No thief could have resisted that.
With utmost care, Seb eased off the bed. The walls spun somewhat but settled. He removed the vial from the coffer top and crouched to open the lid. The few items of clothing within should all have gone for laundering but at least they were of a piece. He pulled on nether-clouts and a pair of hose, a grubby shirt, ink-splotched at the sleeve-ends, but it would have toserve. He had brought but one doublet from home and was wearing it last eve. Now all the eyelets were torn through and it could be laced no longer, in addition to blood stains, dried black as ink, marring its once-woad-blue wool. The worst damage had befallen his thick woollen and leather jerkin, cut through with a blade, by the look of it, and gore-drenched. How easily that blade might have gone deeper and sliced flesh – his flesh. It did not bear thinking upon. But what to do? He possessed but one jerkin and it was the warmest thing he had to wear. Now it looked to be beyond repair.
Seb fished the clerk’s gown from under the bed. It had ever been a sorry piece, its thin cloth faded and the seams failing. He shook it out and held it up, wrinkling his nose at the stink. He must have lain in a pile of dung. Now stained and rent, the gown was hardly fit to wipe the floor, never mind wear. His hands came away bloodied where it had not yet dried completely.
Looking over at the serving table, hoping there was a little ale left from last eve to slake his thirst and to take the remedy for his headache, the board was bare – not so much as a crumb remained to break his fast. Not that he had any desire for food, feeling somewhat queasy, but he was thirsty indeed. He wondered at the hour. No sign of the sun beyond the dirty window, the sky grey and featureless as a blank page of poor-quality paper. Disconsolate, he returned to his bed and wrapped the meagre blanket around himself. Without clothing, he could not goto the scriptorium to work nor to the hall for dinner. What was expected of him?
Seb’s query was answered when one of the servitors who slept in the bed in the farthest corner, by the window, came in bearing a tray and some clothing draped over his arm James Penny by name, if he recalled aright.
‘Hal Sowbury bade me look in on you, if I had the chance,’ James said, setting the tray on the end of the bed. ‘And he said to find you something to wear. No idea if these’ll fit but they’re better than naught. And you can borrow his spare gown to go down to dinner, if you’re able? It’s in his coffer.’
‘I be grateful indeed to both you and Master Sowbury for taking the trouble.’
James laughed.
”Tis no act of charity. The scriptorium is short of two clerks now. He wants you back at your desk before the paperwork buries them all.’
‘I shall do so as soon as I be decent,’ Seb said. ‘What be the hour?’
‘The bell for Terce rang in the abbey just a while since. Dinner isn’t for nigh on two hours. If I were you, I’d make the most of this unexpected leisure. Enjoy your breakfast.’
When James Penny left, closing the door, Seb straightway reached for the cup of ale on the tray. He unstoppered the vial and added just two drops of the remedy into it and stirred it with his finger. It did not taste too bad but gave the ale a bitter edge. He would rather have taken the meadowsweet cure Rose made at home to treat pains of all sorts, especially headaches, but this would have to do. Hopefully, by dinnertime, the throbbing would have eased enough for his thoughts to be better ordered. At present, thinking was a difficult process, he discovered.
He was unsure about eating the fresh bread and cheese James had brought but a few tentative bites settled his queasiness and he ate most of the food before turning his attention to the items of clothing. A clean shirt – a mercy for sure. A pair of brown hose, darned and repaired but, likewise, clean though they might be too wide for him. No matter. A brown doublet of well-worn wool, darned and not of recent fashion, being unpadded at the shoulders and untailored at the waist. Not that Seb cared for courtly fashion anyway. It must once have beena splendid garment for the braiding was of silver thread, now tarnished black. At least the cloth was yet thick enough to give some warmth. But there was no jerkin nor any additional layers. Seb decided to keep his own dirty shirt on and put the clean one atop it. As he feared, the hose hung in wrinkles at thigh and knee but were of a good length for him, otherwise. The doublet also had room to spare but, mayhap, the styles had been looser in the past. Pulling on his own boots – still muddied and, he suspected, bloodied – he felt warm at last.
The only problem now was headwear. The clerks were expected to wear a coif ‘neath the hood of their gown. Seb’s coif had been lost last eve and even had it been found, like everything else, it was probably bloodstained. Anyhow, a coif was never going to fit over his bandages. He touched his hair with tentative fingers. It was stiff and set hard on the left side, below the bindings. Should he attempt to comb it? Finding his comb in the bottom of the coffer, he made an effort to tease out his hair, to no avail. Wetting the comb in the laver bowl produced some results but the water was swiftly turned to rust-colour by a mix of old blood and mud. He did his best but had no mirror to assess whether there was any noticeable improvement. His hair still felt stiff and spiky as a faggot of kindling and his efforts made him wince as the stitches pulled. He conceded defeat, fearing to tear the wound open. However dishevelled his appearance, his fellow clerks would not care, so long as he could hold a pen.
Wearing Hal Sowbury’s third-best gown – though patched, it was of far better quality than the one he had been wearing – Seb went down the stair when the bell rang to announce dinnerin the Great Hall. He trod carefully, keeping one hand against the wall forwhy he felt a little light-headed and feared to fall. Mayhap, he was not so well recovered as he thought. Mayhap,it was the surgeon’s potion. No doubt but some hot food would help.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : Don’t Play Dead with Vultures #DontPlayDeadWithVultures – Jack Leavers @jackleavers @BookGuild

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Don't Play Dead with Vultures Book Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Don’t Play Dead with Vultures ’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Jack Leavers Author PhotoJack Leavers is a former Royal Marine with over thirty-years’ experience spread across the military, private security, corporate investigations, maritime counter-piracy, and risk management. His varied career has included numerous deployments to conflict zones around the world such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, trouble spots in Africa, and the Somali pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean.
He continues to work in challenging environments and has now begun to pen novels inspired by some of the more enterprising projects that got the green light, and other audacious plans that didn’t.
Jack is normally based in London but finds he’s at his most productive writing-wise when deployed overseas. New projects in Iraq and Africa beckon, which should be good news for his third book.

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Synopsis :

Jack Leavers Author PhotoSummer 2008 sees former Royal Marine John Pierce lured from running convoys in Iraq to a lucrative contract in the steamy jungles of French West Africa. He soon discovers this new theatre is even more dangerous than the war zone he left behind. Corrupt officials, drug cartels, and competing military factions rub shoulder-to-shoulder in a melting pot of greed and intrigue …And a sadistic foe lurks in the shadows.
When old intelligence contacts take an interest, the situation gets complicated fast. Dark forces emerge and events spiral out of control. Pitched into a desperate race against time, can Pierce’s makeshift team of soldiers and civilians fight fire with fire and outwit vicious enemies?
One thing’s for sure, Pierce won’t leave anyone to the mercy of a brutal adversary he knows only too well – no matter what it takes.
Former Royal Marine Jack Leavers has over thirty-years’ experience working in the military, private security, corporate investigations, maritime counter-piracy and risk management. His career spans numerous deployments to conflict zones worldwide such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and the Somali-pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean. Jack’s novels are inspired by some of the more enterprising projects that got the green light, and other audacious plans that didn’t.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

PART I – CONVOY
CHAPTER 1
JUNE 2008
CAMP TAJI, 15 KM NORTH OF BAGHDAD

‘But Mister John, don’t you have children?’
Kemal’s passionate outburst brought my briefing to a grinding halt. He remained seated, but a series of deep new furrows crisscrossed the veteran fighter’s leathery features. Safe to assume he wasn’t a fan of the proposed convoy route. Across the room, my guys barely stifled their amusement. Ignoring them, I returned to the floor-to-ceiling map of Iraq on the operations room wall.
The 350-kilometre mission trace, marked in red like an angry scar, ran north from the outskirts of Baghdad to US Forward Operating Base Q-West, 70 klicks south of Mosul. Then it branched east and west with arrows and timings showing three separate deliveries.
‘Yes, I do have children. But that doesn’t alter the fact we’ll be driving up Route Tampa to Q-West.’ I tapped the small hand of my wooden backscratcher on the map and swung it north along the thick red line. Some bastard had recently swiped my extendable pointer, so I’d decorated the unusual replacement in a camouflage pattern and embraced it as a nod to good old-fashioned British eccentricity. ‘It’s the approved route for the mission and it would take twenty-four hours to alter it, even if we could go up Highway 2, which we can’t.’
Kemal launched out of his seat and his cracked fingers jabbed at the trace. ‘This way is too dangerous. Through Tuz we have others that can help. Friends. Your way is big trouble.’
To emphasise the point, his fingers caressed the laminated map along his preferred route, a few inches to the right of ‘my way’. His lived-in face and dark, penetrating eyes showed no sign of the smile he’d worn since earlier in the evening.
I shook my head. ‘Highway 2 is out of bounds, so it’s not an option. As I said in the briefing, once we reach Q-West we’ll park the convoy, escort eight of the trucks to unload in Erbil, then recombine and move to the drop off in Mosul. After that it’s on to the RV with your crane in Tal Afar. Okay?’
Kemal matched my head shaking and raised me an emotive appeal to the crowded room. ‘It’s crazy. The other way is much safer.’ He swivelled left and right with widespread arms and an agonised expression.
The ops room fell silent apart from a rattling AC unit struggling to cope with the fug from the pensive, disparate onlookers. I shrugged my shoulders to indicate tough shit, that’s the way things are before placing the decorated backscratcher on the desk to signal the end of the discussion.
When the silence lingered, I tried a more encouraging approach. ‘Listen Kemal, we run convoys up and down Tampa all the time. Yes, it can be dicey, but let’s close this up and get some rest, then punch out on time and get ourselves to Q-West.’
Any hope that would bring him round was misplaced. Kemal glared at me and flounced into a furtive huddle with his men.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #Excerpt : Lethal Legacy #LethalLegacy – H.R. Kemp #HRKemp

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Lethal Legacy Book Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Lethal Legacy’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

HR Kemp Author PhotoI’m an Australian author and I’ve lived in Adelaide, South Australia, for about forty years. I grew up in country areas near Melbourne.
My second novel, Lethal Legacy, is a conspiracy mystery/thriller set mostly in Australia. It’s available on pre-order until release day 8 April 2022. Deadly Secrets, my debut novel, is an Australian political conspiracy mystery thriller. It was released in 2020. My short stories have appeared in the UK anthology When Stars Will Shine; the Australian anthology Fledglings; the online Canadian Scarlet Leaf Review Magazine; and the UK Writers’ and Readers’ Magazine.
My work experience includes a public service career spanning roles as diverse as Management Trainer, Team Facilitator, Statistician, and Laboratory Assistant. These required business writing skills, so when I retired, I successfully completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing at Adelaide University. I’d also completed numerous short creative writing courses at Writers SA and WEA. My first degree was a Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, and I have a Graduate Diploma in Education.
Besides writing; another of my passions is travelling and discovering new places. I’ve visited many fabulous countries and cities around the world. I keep a daily travel journal and take copious photos and many of these inspire scenes for my stories e.g. Deadly Secrets begins in Paris and has scenes set in Normandy, Nice, and Barcelona before returning to Australia where the action happens in Adelaide, Sydney, and outback SA. I’m an avid theatre-goer and subscribe to the Adelaide State Theatre company. I enjoy art exhibitions and galleries and of course, I love to read. In March each year, I take full advantage of the Adelaide Writers’ festival to discover new authors and to hear my favourites. Some of the writers I admire are Elliot Perlman, Anna Funder, John le Carré, and Peter Temple.

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Synopsis :

HR Kemp Author PhotoWhen Innocent questions have dangerous answers.
Laura’s life is plunged into turmoil when her husband, Tom, dies suddenly. On that same night, an intruder steals files from his home office. He’d been researching his previous employer’s Iraqi operations but hadn’t shared his concerns with Laura. Why would anyone want his notes?
Staying ignorant won’t protect her.
Learning Tom’s death could be murder, Laura takes matters into her own hands. She’s fifty-nine but it’s not too late to turn amateur sleuth. She uncovers a dark mystery, a deadly conspiracy involving organised crime and corruption. Powerful people will kill to silence their enemies and now she’s been warned. But who can she trust?
Staying silent won’t keep her safe.
A standalone Australian conspiracy mystery thriller in the style of Deadly Secrets. A novel with suspense, drama, and intrigue.

Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

John worked through one file; two South American shipments were delayed for the second time in the last six months. His contacts were embroiled in another feud with their competitors, and these ego-driven disputes were hampering business. John clenched his fist. He’d paid handsomely for officials to turn a blind eye, yet there was always another official, another payoff. Smuggling drugs should have been easy money. It was for his little sister, Dimi.
Dimi’s Iraqi supply wasn’t affected by the petty issues he dealt with in South America. He’d get his revenge. He’d make his move to take over soon. It was fitting. The family business should have been his all along.
His mind wandered. John’s business, especially transporting large-scale construction equipment, was thriving, thanks to unofficial military contracts in Iraq. That and the sensitive weapons business channelled his way by the arms manufacturer, Wayne Skollov. It was good, but not enough. John wanted more, and an introduction to the latest crop of politicians would open more doors.
You could never have too many friends and allies within the government. The current government didn’t have factions, but they had tribes, and at the moment, they were warring tribes. The PM’s sudden heart attack, during one of his early morning walks, sent the party machine into chaos. They couldn’t decide anything without him taking charge. The jostling for position had been ugly to watch, but somehow, an outsider took over as PM. Luckily, his allies were also John’s contacts.
The mobile’s shrill ringtone interrupted his musings and John fumbled his private phone out of his pocket.
‘Giovani, ah John?’ Carlo’s deep voice faltered.
John scowled. Carlo’s carelessness was unforgivable.
‘Watch your tongue. I’m John Masters now, remember that,’ John scolded. Carlo had worked for the family long enough and should know better.
‘Sorry,’ Carlo said insincerely. ‘It’s confirmed.’
John stretched his legs and leaned back. ‘So, tell me.’
‘He’s been silenced.’
‘How?’
‘You don’t need to know the details, but it’s settled.’
‘Good.’ One less impediment to deal with. Dimi was too indecisive and let that complication get out of hand. ‘And the documents?’
‘I think we have them. We’re making sure.’
John shook his head. He’d make sure issues like this were dealt with quickly once he took over. ‘What about the girl?’
‘She’s been frightened off.’
‘Bloody Hell! That’s it? She could ruin everything.’
‘The boss is on it.’
John clenched his jaw. Carlo had promised this before.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy – Sarah Rodi @sarahrodiedits @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy

Today I’m on the ‘Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

M8aqSiwV_400x400Sarah Rodi has always been a hopeless romantic. She grew up watching old, romantic movies recommended by her grandad, or devouring love stories from the local library. Sarah lives in the village of Cookham in Berkshire, where she enjoys walking along the River Thames with her husband, her two daughters and their dog. She has been a magazine journalist for over 20 years, but it has been her lifelong dream to write romance for Mills & Boon. Sarah believes everyone deserves to find their happy ever after.

Social Media Links:
Website
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Synopsis :

M8aqSiwV_400x400Her tempting enemy
is a chink in her armour!
Viking shield maiden, Svea Ivarsson, would far rather face Saxon warriors than be on the run with the fiercely captivating Lord Ashford Stanton, protector to the Saxon King. Reaching Ash’s family castle, Svea must swap her chainmail for life as a Lady. She can wield a sword like an expert, but no training has prepared her for craving the touch of her greatest enemy…

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Sarah Rodi, I’m 41, married to Chris and we have two girls. I’ve worked on magazines for 20 years, sourcing, writing and editing stories, but I’ve wanted to write romance for Mills & Boon for even longer than that! It’s always been a passion of mine. Over the years, I’ve joined the RNA New Writers’ Scheme, been on various writing retreats, kept on submitting and pitched to the Mills & Boon Editors at the RNA Annual Conference… and in 2021, they accepted my first book, The Viking’s Stolen Princess. This month, my second book, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is out.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I still love reading Mills & Boon Modern and Historical romances – you can’t beat them. You know what you’re going to get, and you experience that feeling of falling in love when you read them. As a young adult I loved the Making Out series by Katherine Applegate – and I’ve saved them all for when my girls are older. Maybe I’ll read them again too!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Sharon Kendrick. She has written over 100 books for Mills & Boon and I would love to do the same. I’d also love to speak to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical Hamilton. Have you seen it? It’s incredible. It really speaks to you. I’d love to understand how he went about learning the history, writing the words, getting the emotion in there…
Jane Austen too – as she had the best characters and ideas, didn’t she?

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would love to have my heroine, Svea, in Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, over for tea. The name Svea is of Scandinavian origin and means ‘spear’. This was apt, as my Viking shield maiden’s feisty personality smashes everyone’s ideas of how a woman should look and behave. Her non-conformity in terms of how she dresses and how she acts, in addition to her prowess on the battlefield, makes her a character to aspire to, and one who becomes more complex as the truth about her past unravels…
I also have a major crush on the Icelandic actor who plays Sigtryggr in The Last Kingdom… he can come to tea any time!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I work full time on magazines, so my writing time is in the evenings after I’ve put my two girls to bed. I switch on the kettle and pour myself a nice cup of coffee and open up a large bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk. I like to read over what I wrote the night before, to get me back into the story, before starting to write. I also light my wax melt burner and use the Devonwick Viking scent… it helps to get me in the mood!

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
My characters aren’t based on real people, but a turn of phrase or the way someone moves or reacts can inspire a thought, or a characteristic for my characters and my story. I did fall in love with Brand and Ash, the heroes in my first two books, – and perhaps there are elements in Anne and Svea, the heroines, that are like me. I guess you can’t help but put some of your personality into them. I like visiting historical places, such as Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, Lindisfarne in Northumberland or Viking Bay in Kent for research.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I like to know the outline of my story before I begin and where it’s going, but that’s about as far as it goes. When I start to write, that’s when the characters take on a mind of their own and the ideas really start to flow, so I guess I do pant my way through my books, especially the raunchy bits!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Never give up, despite any rejections you might get. Every “no” comes with useful feedback, helping you become a better writer. Go on as many courses as you can, join writing groups and talk to people, join the RNA, apply for their New Writers’ Scheme and don’t miss the conference. Always make time to write. Enjoy the journey and adventure you’re having trying to achieve your goal.

What are your future plans as an author?
My second novel, Escaping With Her Saxon Enemy, is out this month. I’ve just written book number three and submitted it to my editor, which will be out later in the year, and I’m about to start number four. The dream has always been to write for Mills & Boon and I should love to continue to do so.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

‘So, what do you think?’ he asked, giving her a playful nudge.
‘Of what?’
He pointed to the sea. ‘A late-night swim.’
‘What?’ She laughed nervously.
‘You can swim, can’t you?’ he asked, goading her.
‘Of course I can,’ she said. ‘Actually, I’ve wanted to swim since we got here, but I wasn’t sure if it was the done thing here in Braewood. In Kald, we swim all the time.’
‘Well, you’ll be pleased to know we do too.’
‘Even at this time of night?’
He shrugged. ‘We need to wash all this flour off. And at least no one else will be around to see. We’ll have the place to ourselves.’
When they reached the sand Ash began to pull off his boots, and then his tunic. He stopped when he realised Svea was just standing there, her eyes wide, staring at his large muscled chest, chewing on her bottom lip. A look of confusion crossed her face, and he stilled. Was he making her uncomfortable? That was the last thing he wanted to do. He’d thought they were having fun. He’d thought they both needed this. But perhaps his large body was off-putting—especially covered in its tapestry of scars.
‘I can’t swim in this dress. I’ll sink!’ she said, turning her attention away from him and focusing on her skirts.
Well, she wasn’t saying she didn’t want to go in…
He looked her up and down and realised she was right. She could go in naked, but he had a feeling she wouldn’t agree to that.
‘Here,’ he said, passing her his discarded tunic. ‘Put this on.’
She gripped the material tight, holding it to her chest. She still wasn’t sure, and he wanted to
reassure her.
‘It’s just a swim, Svea.’
‘Then turn around,’ she said, and he grinned.
He had known she wasn’t one to shirk a challenge.
So he did as he was told, even though they were cloaked in the late-night darkness, so he could barely see her anyway. He listened as she tussled with her gown, and then heard it drop to the sand. The response in his groin was instant. Damn. What he wouldn’t give to turn around, stride over to her and take her bare body in his arms. But he knew he mustn’t. He had said it was to be ‘just a swim’ and
he would stick to his word.
He knew he had to take this slowly. He couldn’t be sure what Crowe had done, or just how badly it
had affected her. It made him feel sick, just thinking about that man laying his hands on her. He guessed he had caused her some serious damage, given the way she held herself, the way she behaved, and he needed to build her trust—especially where her body was concerned.
‘Ready,’ she said, stalking past him and running into the water.
The material of his tunic barely reached the top of her thighs, and the sight made him harder. He followed her, laughing. The thought dawned on him that he would follow her anywhere…

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Sarah Rodi.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#DoubleCoverReveal #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources : What Lies Beneath / The Prodigal Mother – Stephen Edger @StephenEdger

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Today I’m super pleased to be on the blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources, to reveal the covers of

What Lies Beneath and The Prodigal Mother

But first some information

About the Author :

0. Author Photo 6Stephen Edger is the Amazon bestselling author of psychological and crime thrillers, including Snatched, and the Kate Matthews series. Born in the north-east of England, he now lives in Southampton where most of his stories are set, allowing him to use his insider knowledge to deliver realistic and unsettling suspense on every page.
Away from writing, Stephen loves to read anything that will keep him awake at night. He’s also a passionate advocate for contemporary cinema and binge-watching the latest offerings from streaming services. He is married with a son and a daughter, and two dogs.

Social Media Links:
Website
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Twitter

Synopses :

What Lies Beneath
Grieving father Joe Irons wants nothing but justice following daughter Lydia’s abduction and murder. But when police release prime suspect David Calderwood due to a lack of evidence, Joe feels compelled to act. In the dead of night he weighs up the moral implications of whether doing a bad thing for a good reason is justifiable. With Calderwood abducted and imprisoned in a cell beneath the stairs, Joe intends to obtain a confession no matter the cost.
When Joe learns that another child has been taken, he’s certain David is involved, and is in a race against time to break his prisoner, but wanting to hurt someone isn’t the same as physically doing it.
Invading David’s home, Joe begins to piece together how his captive thinks, picking up the investigation the police have left open. With a child’s life hanging in the balance, will Joe have what it takes to find the truth?
WHAT LIES BENEATH is an adrenaline-fuelled, high concept thriller that will appeal to fans of Adrian McKinty’s The Chain, and CJ Tudor’s The Other People.

The Prodigal Mother
Five years ago, Abbie’s son Josh died during delivery. It’s taken this long for her and husband Mark to even think about trying to restart their family. Now eight months pregnant, Abbie won’t dare dream of a happy ending in case it is snatched away again.
When a stranger tells Abbie that Josh was switched at the hospital and is living under a new identity, Abbie desperately wants to believe it’s a second chance, but Mark isn’t as easily convinced, especially when the stranger’s mental health issues come to light.
Abbie can’t find Josh without the stranger’s help, but she can’t risk the life of the child she is carrying. And she doesn’t know how far Josh’s new family will go to keep their secret buried.
Told at a breakneck pace, and with twists on every page THE PRODIGAL MOTHER is a gripping psychological suspense, perfect for fans of CL Taylor, Louise Jensen, and CJ Tudor.

After these great teasers I hope you are still excited for the

blog-cover reveal

because this is happening

right now!

What Lies Beneath and The Prodigal Mother

Did this all pique your interest in reading the book? It will be released June 6th, 2022, but is already available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

0. Author Photo 6

Did this all pique your interest in reading the book? It will be released September 5th, 2022, but is already available for pre-order on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds