#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : The Book of Skulls – David Hutchison @davidwhutchison

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

Book of Skulls

Today I’m on the ‘The Book of Skulls’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

DavidHutchisonDavid Hutchison was brought up in the Scottish Highlands. He worked for many years as a fisherman, crofter, DJ and self-taught artist.
His children’s book Storm Hags was shortlisted for the Kelpie Prize. He’s had several short stories published in anthologies (New Writing Scotland, Read By Dawn) and on BBC radio. He is also a filmmaker. He wrote and directed the sci-fi feature Graders, and comedy/meta-horror Baobhan Sith.
He has just completed The Book of Skulls, a BAME and LBQT story of hidden identity and murder, inspired by Edinburgh’s murky medical history.
Last year he put on the exhibition Medical Inspirations, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Edinburgh Seven; the first group of women to matriculate at a British university.
He is currently working on Kore, a supernatural novel where a bank clerk is contacted through her new hearing aid by her dead girlfriend. He also teaches a class in scriptwriting and is hoping to do some online class in the autumn.

Synopsis :

bookofskullsA Victorian tale of gender-bending, hidden identity, obsession and gruesome murder, set in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

1875. Liz Moliette; a poor orphan of unknown heritage, and Amulya Patel; from a wealthy Indian family, are the only female students at the Edinburgh Medical School, where a hostile attitude towards women is driven by Professor Atticus. However Liz and Amulya have allies in fellow student Campbell Preeble, The Reekie reporter Hector Findlay and the charming Dr Paul Love.
In dire need of funds, Liz becomes assistant to gruff lecturer and police surgeon Dr Florian Blyth. When a series of grisly murders take place the doctor and Liz help Inspector Macleod in his investigation, which leads to the Edinburgh Asylum, the Burry Man festival and the quack science of phrenology.
The search for the killer comes dangerously close to Liz as she uncovers her own family secrets.

The first book in the Doctresses series.

Amazon

Excerpt :

Quite a few Pernods later… Henri was having a great evening, here in his favourite Scottish pub, and it looked like he was going to get laid too. She was giving him the eye; that pretty mademoiselle across the bar; raven black hair and revealing red dress. She winked again, and then strode purposely off out of the bar.
Henri quickly downed his Pernod and rushed out after her. The street was empty. Where had she gone? He went down Quayside Lane. Ah! There! He caught a glimpse of her red dress as she turned off up another lane. Henri rushed up to the entrance. A bit dark. Eh bien! He knew well enough what he was getting. He strutted up the lane like a cockerel in a henhouse. She was leaning against a doorway, half-way up. He strode up to her and staggered slightly. He grinned. She pulled him close to her.
“Mon bijou!” said Henri and kissed her. He put one arm around her waist and with the other reached down to pull up her petticoats.
“Oh sir!” gasped the woman as she stroked her hands across his shaved head.
Suddenly Henri was grabbed from behind. Strong hands twisted around his throat. He tried to push the assailant off. He attempted to plead with the woman for help, but he couldn’t speak. She just stood there and looked back at him.
“For God’s sake Lachie do it quickly!” said the woman, Bridy Scott. She stepped aside as her man, Lachie Merry; a face bearing the visual
and mental scars of an ex-soldier, squeezed harder on Henri’s neck. The Frenchman kicked out in a last desperate attempt at freedom.
“Bastard!” shouted Lachie as Henri’s boot connected with an old war wound on his shin. Lachie gave Henri’s neck a cracking twist. The Frenchman sunk dead to the pavement.

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#MiniBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : Winters’ Gift – Florence Keeling @KeelingFlorence

– ‘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 ‘Winters’ Gift’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day. She is married with two teenage chidren. Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton. Reflected Destinies is her first novel.
Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

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Synopsis :

Winter's Gift CoverBea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.
She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers
But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.
How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?
As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.
An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Excerpt :

Bea dreams of being a published author, like me, in fact in many ways Bea is like me. Here we find her submitting her first manuscript. The nerves and excitement you feel when allowing others to read your work is such a mix of dread and euphoria. I’ve never had to do it in person like Bea though.

A few days later and Bea had finally plucked up the courage to hand her manuscript to Scott to see if it was suitable for publishing. After all she said to herself, if you work for a publishers you may as well get some benefit from it. Even if it was rubbish at least she’d know.
“Here I go guys.” She stood up and grabbed the folder from her drawer. Everyone gave her the thumbs up. She’d only told Giles but Giles had made no secret of telling everyone else but it was nice to have everyone’s support. “May I have a word Mr. Summers?”
He was sitting at his desk, his head bowed over some paperwork. He looked up at Bea’s voice.
“Mr. Summers is it?” He smiled quizzically. “You haven’t called me Mr. Summers for a long time.” He beckoned her forwards and she sat nervously down on the chair in front of his desk.
“Sorry.” She gulped, her mouth dry. “Do you remember at the interview when we talked about me being a writer?” He nodded. “Well I’ve actually finished my very first manuscript and I wondered if you’d give me your professional opinion on it?” She placed the folder on his desk and he immediately picked it up and started flicking through.
“You don’t have a title?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Everything I could think of is already a book title.” She’d spent hours trawling Amazon to check.
“No worries on that.” He put it back down. “I’ll have a read over the weekend and let you know. If it’s good enough I’m sure someone here will think of a title.”
“Thank you Scott. Thank you.” She knew one of the hardest things in publishing was actually getting someone to read your finished work so feeling the happiest she’d felt for a few weeks she walked back down to her desk flashing a smile and returning the thumbs up back to everyone.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Fall Out – Mark Grenside @urbanebooks

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

Fall Out

Today I’m on the ‘Fall Out’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

imagesMark Grenside began his working career straight out of school at Lloyds of London, specializing in Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance. At 25 it was time for a career change and to dump the suit and tie so he started his media career working for Jim Henson and The Muppets. From that moment on he has been involved in Entertainment and nearly every aspect of it. Mark then went on to create and produce a number of television series and mini-series. At the same time he started a music management company launching million seller artist Neneh Cherry. In 2004 he arranged a $250 million buy-out of the Hallmark Channel International which was then successfully sold to NBC. He returned to producing a number of movies and mini-series.
He has recently somehow morphed into a serial entrepreneur and is now a co-founder of seed to shelf CBD producer Dragonfly Biosciences (www.dragonflybiosciences.com) and a founder in two separate digital companies…. but has also seen a very good return from his love of cooking in an expanding waistline.
A probably unhealthy amount of time and money is lavished on a collection of classic cars that he has raced all over the world. He enjoys risk and has parachuted in New Zealand, scuba dived in the Pacific, hang-glided in the Himalayas and even tobogganed down the Cresta Run. In nearly every case chasing after his wife who is utterly fearless!
He is now writing the follow up to Fall Out, entitled The Bastion. In addition he also writes a humorous blog with subscribers in more than 40 countries. Mark has two grown sons, two daughters in law, three grandchildren and lives with his wife, a pug and a French bulldog in Malta.
His first thriller Fall Out publishes in May 2020.

Website

Synopsis :

9781912666751-683x1024The Player meets Get Shorty in this thrilling debut from Mark Grenside.
An LA screenwriter is killed shortly after completing his latest script, FALL OUT – a thriller destined to be a blockbuster but written with a secret double purpose. Echoing events from the past the screenplay is sent to a very specific group of people and will change their lives forever. All are connected to a movie that had abruptly stopped shooting in the jungles of the Philippines years before. FALL OUT exposes the truth about a conspiracy and murder that led to a half-a-billion-dollar fortune for a select few.
Follow the story of Producer Marcus Riley, who sets out on an increasingly dangerous quest to get FALL OUT made. From a powerful Agent’ s office in Hollywood, hidden treasures in Belgravia and a remote chalet in the Swiss Alps to murder at the Cannes Film Festival, Marcus teams up with designer Melinda (Mako) de Turris as they and the other recipients of the screenplay are pursued by an assassin from the past.
With clues cleverly concealed in the screenplay, Marcus and Mako unravel a lethal puzzle that for some will bring death, others the truth and ends in a cave with a shocking secret…..
Fall Out arrives May 2020.

Urbane Books

Excerpt :

Major Okobudo’s orders had been clear. Assemble all those involved. At midday precisely, all were to die and their souls to forever stand guard over the empty cave. The thin Major stood below the shaft; at his feet were a wooden case of artillery shells and a tin box. Inside the box was the serene smiling face of a stone Buddha and a roll of parchment. These items were coming with him; his passport to freedom. He looked down at his watch. It was only moments until midday. Suddenly there was a noise from above and all eyes swivelled upward. The gantry was slowly descending. Although the Major was indeed going to step onto it to leave, he had not commanded it to come down yet. Furious, he turned around, ready to order the immediate execution of whomever had dared not wait for his order. A solitary figure stood on the platform. The Major recognized him instantly. Sixty-year-old General Yamashita was a short compact man, bull-necked with a closely shaved head. He was wearing a simple khaki uniform but on his feet were black riding boots set off with solid gold spurs. He would present them a few years later as a gift to his American defense attorney after being sentenced to death for war crimes…. and would take his secrets to the grave.

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#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Yggdraslia: The Book of Kyrinae – LP Owen #LPOwen

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

Yggdraslia

Today I’m on the ‘Yggdraslia: The Book of Kyrinae’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

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Synopsis :

Kindle_YggdrasliaArt copy_final (1)The Church of Kyrinae is both law and religion to the world of Yggdraslia. However, that world is dying. Even empowered by magic relics given by the Goddess, the Clerics and Avatars of the church cannot seem to determine the cause or how to stop it. Perhaps, according to many of Yggdraslia’s citizens, they just do not care.
In this world lives Kiera Milla, and only a few days after the death of her mother, she finds herself visited by an animal messenger that throws her life upside down with magic, mystery and a responsibility far beyond what a 17 year old girl should have. With a desperate plea from the Goddess Kyrinae herself, Kiera is tasked with the impossible mission to restore the Goddess to her former glory and revive the dying lands. However, in doing so she must go against both the church’s teachings and laws. Using only her wits (or at least brute force..), the power of the relics and the help of new friends, Kiera will have to fight the world itself and its people, just to save it.

Amazon

Excerpt :

RED. RED. RED. The ominous color was always the beginning. The intense feeling of despair and fear was next. Chaos swirled around as unfamiliar people yelled unfamiliar words and phrases in some desperate attempt to save that which was already lost. A different shade of red appears soon thereafter, in the form of fire, as it grows and expands to claim the lives and hopes of everyone caught in its path. RED. RED. RED. Again, the same color, as every attempt to survive and recover was met with failure. The people caught in this nightmare continued fighting an unknown enemy, a battle against the environment itself. Panic. Desperation. Pain. Loss. Betrayal. The feelings of hope and promise catastrophically destroyed in mere moments. The loss of what was and what was meant to be, echoing far beyond the present destruction. RED. RED. RED. As unrecognizable as the sudden beginning, the end was even more so. In mere minutes, what was seen at first was now a melted and disfigured horror. To look at the ground was to face unimaginable terror. Not one person survived the flames that engulfed everything they ever knew. The lingering thoughts of those in their final breaths were as loud as if they screamed them. Why? Why had this happened? Who did this to us? Kiera woke from her dream. Not with a start or a cry, but simply awakened to another day. The dream had plagued her for nearly ten years now, and although the feelings and emotions no longer affected her as they once did, the restlessness that came with it was something she could never quite shake off. She could remember the first time clear as ever, as a young seven-year-old girl, awakening to her own cries to feeling such horrible emotions and pain like she had ever known. She remembered trying to tell her mother what she saw that first night but realized she could not even describe it, much less try to explain. Now, it is but a common Resttime occurrence, and with the exception of the lack of restful sleep, she was relatively unfazed. Kiera looked through her window. It was beautiful outside, not too hot, not too cold. Then again, this was how it always was. According to the church, the Goddess Kyrinae blessed the world with two suns so her children may always enjoy her light and warmth. Artaya, the first sun, gave off a bright yellow tone, while Soledun had a tinge of red. The people of Yggdraslia balanced their days and lives by the passing of each sun. As it is said in The Book of Kyrinae, yellow is a symbol of beginning, so as the first sun Artaya rises and bathes the world in its light, so too shall the people rise. And as yellow is the beginning, so was red a symbol of endings. As Artaya sets, and Soledun rises to give the world a tone of orange, leading to red, so shall the people sleep and rest for the next day.

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#OneDayBlogBlitz #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #Excerpt : Josie James and The Teardrops of Summer / Josie James and The Velvet Knife – Lily Mae Walters @LilyMaeWalters1

– ‘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 ‘Josie James and The Teardrops of Summer / Josie James and The Velvet Knife’ blogtour, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote these books I have an excerpt from Josie James and The Teardrops of Summer, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.
She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.
Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories.
Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.
Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

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Synopsis :

91544529_10217104029539949_7825181794835103744_nJosie James and The Teardrops of Summer by Lily Mae Walters

Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.Whilst staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.
The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.

Amazon

91768081_10217104030699978_8757321119771394048_nJosie James and The Velvet Knife by Lily Mae Walters

“For you to find the Velvet Knife, you must solve the riddles thrice.” A mysterious hooded figure, known only as the Velvet Knife has appeared in the cursed village of Suncroft. No one knows who he is or what he wants but when he starts leaving riddles around the village, it is time for Josie to return to Suncroft for a second time.
With Asher, her faithful husky Protector by her side, Filan, a half elf, and her great grandad, will they be able to solve the clues in time and discover his identity? The Velvet Knife is not the only one causing problems for Josie. Her rival for the position of the ‘Chosen One’ continues to grow stronger, and now he has a Protector of his own.
What does all this mean for Josie? Is she destined to lift the wintery curse of Suncroft or will another take her place as the ‘Chosen One’?

Amazon

Excerpt from “Josie James and The Teardrops of Summer” :

In this part of the story, Josie has just arrived at her great grandmother’s house to stay with her for the summer.

Heading back into her bedroom, she unpacked the rest of her clothes, hanging things in the wardrobe or placing things in drawers. She stowed the suitcase under the bed then walked over to the window to take in the view. The garden seemed to stretch for miles and she could just make out the wall at the very end. It was like a patchwork quilt. Apple, pear and plum trees lined the outside walls, their fruit almost ripe. A large wooden shed with a wire mesh run was placed against the back wall and this housed the dozen fat brown chickens that lay the fresh eggs her nan used and sometimes sold. Strawberries were growing in hanging pots to keep the slugs off and blackberries and gooseberries grew wild in the top right hand corner. Her Nan used these berries for making jam and if it was a good harvest there would be some left over for selling along with the eggs.
She saw her Nan sitting on one of the benches by the rose arbour. She looked like she was talking to someone. Leaning out of the window slightly she could hear her nan’s voice but was too far away to hear what she was saying. Then out of the corner of her eye she saw what looked like a pair of green eyes staring at her through the roses. She blinked in disbelief and when she looked back, they were gone.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

 

#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : Gilding the Lily – Justine John @justinecjohn

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

Gilding Lily

Today I’m on the ‘Gilding the Lily’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

DSCF2481 (2)After thirty years in corporate life in London, half of which was running a successful events company, I decided to take a chance to write the novel that was ‘in me’ since I was a child. Gilding the Lily is the result of this and is a domestic noir story which I hope will keep you on the edge of your chair/sofa/bed/train/plane-seat… Click here to read the prologue.
While I’m not writing I love spending time with my generous and supportive husband, riding the horses or walking the dogs. We live in the alluring and inspiring Surrey Hills.
I like chocolate, keeping fit and deep hot bubble baths. I dislike spiders, olives and bad news.

Website

Synopsis :

Gilding the Lily_Cover FINAL (1)A gripping mystery of jealousy, murder and lies.
An invitation to her estranged, wealthy father’s surprise 75th birthday party in New York sees Amelia and her husband, Jack, set off across the pond to meet a whole new world of family politics.
Amelia, now a successful businesswoman, feels guilty about never liking her father’s women, so does her upmost to give his new socialite partner, Evelyn, the benefit of the doubt. Wouldn’t it be nice if they could just all get along? But there’s something very dark, determined and dangerous about her…
When Amelia’s father, Roger, becomes ill, Jack grows suspicious that there is more to it. Amelia understands why, but no one else will believe them. They travel back to America to piece together the puzzle, but when Roger goes missing, the couple are driven to their wits’ end. It takes a DEA officer and a secret assassin to bring them answers, but the ruthless truth is something no one expected…

Amazon

Excerpt :

PROLOGUE

She stood solemnly at the graveside. A single tear ran down her cheek. A man and a woman stood either side of her, and a younger man opposite. They all looked down at the expensive coffin being lowered in to their family plot. A few other mourners were scattered around; they formed a small, sad crowd, as the priest said the familiar burial prayer. But she barely heard the words as the coffin settled with an audible thump.
“… commit her body to the earth, for we are dust and unto dust we shall return..”
She looked around her. It was a warm, bright day in September, but there was an unusual wind – a hurricane was forecast. There were many head-stones here, and a few statues. Of angels mainly. Different colours but somehow the same hue. A few trees lined the perimeter fence, some bare, some evergreen. Beyond them the city buzzed – it went on with its day and didn’t notice anyone missing.
The woman next to her was wearing a hat that didn’t suit her. It kept catching the breeze and the woman’s gloved hand caught it each time. It was annoying. She should have pinned it or something. She shivered as a gust blew by them and then smiled inwardly. How was it she came to be here? How was it that it all went so well? Was it her own cleverness, or was it luck?
“…the Lord lift up his countenance upon her and give her peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.”
“Amen”, she joined in.
Amen indeed, she thought to herself. The relief was immense. The day after it happened, it flooded through her. How was it she had become capable of such a thing? And now, it was a huge secret. But she had always been good at keeping secrets. It was over now. She could get on with her life.
“The Lord be with you.”
“And with your spirit.” everyone replied together.
Another gust. She felt it curl around her stockings. The woman next to her snatched at her hat.
“God of the living and the dead, accept our prayers for those who have died in Christ.”
She wiped away the tear. The young man opposite caught her eye and sympathetically smiled. She smiled back in a way that said ‘yes, I’m ok, thanks’.
And she was ok.
“Let us pray.”

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#BlogTour #LoveBooksTours @LoveBooksGroup / #Excerpt : The Inheritance (The Guernsey Novels #7) – Anne Allen @AnneAllen21

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

Inheritance

Today I’m on the ‘The Inheritance’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

eK2dSm9YAnne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result, she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learned to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and two small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant many moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for city breaks.
By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters, her first novel, was published in 2012. It was awarded Silver(Adult Fiction) in TheWishingShelfAwards 2012. Since then she has published six more books in The Guernsey Novels series; Finding Mother, Guernsey Retreat, The Family Divided, Echoes of Time- winner of The Diamond Book Award 2017, a finalist in Readersfavorite awards and granted a ChillWithABookAward, The Betrayal, and The Inheritance, published April 2019.

Social Media Links :
Website
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Synopsis :

WCHwfZlI1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey when her husband dies at sea. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, exiled on the island and living in his voluptuous house only yards away from Eugénie. Their meeting changes her life and she begins working for him as a copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet.
2012 Doctor Tess Le Prevost, born in Guernsey, now living in Exeter, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child she listened to Aunt Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and who, according to family myth, was particularly close to Hugo. Was he the father of her child? Tess doubts it, but inheriting the house allows her to make a fresh start in her beloved island.
Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.

Purchase Links:
Amazon

The Inheritance by Anne Allen is one year old. To celebrate all the seven books in The Guernsey Novel series will only be £1.99 on Kindle for a limited time. Each of the books can be read as a standalone too. 

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Dangerous Waters – Book One
Finding Mother – Book Two
Guernsey Retreat – Book Three
The Family Divided – Book Four
Echoes of Time – Book Five
The Betrayal – Book Six
The Inheritance – Book Seven

Excerpt :

Chapter two
Tess – Exeter March 2012

Tess stared in horror at the face of the young boy on the trolley. It was clear he was dead.
‘You all right, Doctor? It’s not someone you know is it?’ The paramedic’s voice sounded concerned.
Tess looked at him, trying to stay calm, but struggling. Surrounded by the perpetual noise of Accident and Emergency with the constant flow of trolleys carrying patients of all ages and injuries, the sight of the dead boy had hit her like a physical blow.
‘No, not really. He…he came in last week after a road traffic accident, knocked off his bike by a car. Nothing serious. What…what happened?’
The paramedic, known for his cheerfulness, looked solemn.
‘He was playing in a football match at school and, according to whoever called us, just keeled over as he was about to score.’ He touched the boy’s head. ‘There was nothing we could do, Doctor. Poor kid. But we had to go through the motions, like. Recorded as DOA, I suppose.’ She nodded as he handed her his report.
‘What about the parents?’ She held her breath, knowing she would find it difficult to face them now. What if it was her fault?
‘Away. The lad’s been staying with friends.’ He nodded towards an ashen-faced woman with her arms around a boy wearing the same football kit as Gary. Both looked as if they were about to be sick. Tess called a nurse over and asked her to take them into a private room and give them tea.
‘Thanks, Tom, would you mind taking the…body – Gary – downstairs? I’ll just sign the report and they can carry on from there.’ She dashed her name at the bottom of the report, trying not to look at the pale, unmarked face of the thirteen-year-old boy who had been so chirpy only a week ago. And alive.

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