Category Archives: #Excerpt

THE BRIDE’S TRAIL by A. A. Abbott #Excerpt

bride's trail

THE BRIDE’S TRAIL

by

A. A. Abbott

Perfect for fans of John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Ruth Rendell

Twenty grand has vanished from Shaun Halloran’s casino, and so has gorgeous blonde croupier Kat White. Once he’s tracked her down, he’ll shoot first and ask questions later.

Amy Satterthwaite’s just learned Kat stole her ID for a sham marriage. Desperate to clear her name and save her friend from Shaun, she swallows her pride and turns to arrogant Ross Pritchard for help. But can they find Kat in time?

Twists and tension keep the pages turning in A.A. Abbott’s stunning crime thriller. As Kat’s trail leads from London’s smart Fitzrovia to secret tunnels below central Birmingham, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Extract

“What do you want?” she asked.

“Where’s Kat? I need to see her.”

“I don’t know.”

He took the knife from his pocket.

“No,” Amy said, “I really don’t know. If I did, I’d tell you. She’s been gone for three days and I can’t reach her. I’ve tried, believe me.” This was no time for heroics. Had she the slightest idea of Kat’s whereabouts, she would have divulged them, of that she was sure.

His eyes darted down to the knife. He flicked it open, stroked its blade, then looked up at her again. “I need answers, Amy,” he said, almost sorrowfully. “If someone had stolen twenty grand from you, you’d want some answers too.”

“Kat stole twenty thousand pounds?” A week ago she wouldn’t have believed it. Now, she couldn’t be sure. “That’s not all she’s done. She married an illegal immigrant, using my name. The police were round this morning.”

“Do they know where she is?”

Amy sighed. “No.”

“Good. I want to see her before the police do. I don’t suppose they’ve searched this flat for clues to her whereabouts?”

She was silent.

“No,” he said. “I thought not. You and me, Amy, we’re going to do that now, before any such clues might do a vanishing act like our mutual friend. Show me Kat’s room.”

“You’re in it.”

He looked around, shook his head. “Really? I thought this was the lounge. Okay, I want you to take everything out of those boxes.” He pointed to a stack of wooden wine crates, painted white, in which Kat’s belongings were stowed.

The top crate was crammed with shopping bags, over a dozen of them, bearing the names of designer boutiques: Prada, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu and more. Reluctantly, Amy picked up a bag.

“Open it,” the knifeman said.

It was from Agent Provocateur, a powder pink paper bag sealed with a black ribbon. Carefully, Amy untied the bow. Inside, there was a pink cardboard box.

“Now that,” he ordered.

“Must I?” Amy pleaded. “These are Kat’s personal things.”

“That’s the whole point.”

Silently, she opened the box, unfolded the black tissue paper inside and shook out a frilly silk underwear set. A receipt showed it had cost two hundred pounds.

He whistled, leering. “Very nice. Now the rest.”

Altogether, Kat had spent over four thousand pounds on unworn purchases. “A shopping addiction,” he said thoughtfully, reflecting Amy’s surprised reaction. “Carry on.”

The crates below mostly contained clothes, neatly folded, and shoes in bags. There were a few books, overspill from the shelves by the wall, and finally, a box file containing paperwork.

“Give me that,” the dangerous stranger commanded. He fished out a letter. “Dearest Kat,” he read aloud, “I hope you are well. I am fine, and so is Cedric the Cat, but he is very old now. I have a little job now at Treasures in Harborne. Same old, same old. Do write and tell me your news. With love, Auntie Lizzie.” He paused. “Isn’t that sweet?” he said sarcastically. “Let’s see if there’s more of the same.”

He rifled through the box, shaking his head. Evidently, nothing further was deemed worthy of comment. He asked her to empty the only other article of storage in the room, a large rosewood chest, but that merely yielded towels and bedding.

“Interesting, and predictable,” he muttered. “I’ll tell you what we haven’t found. No suitcase, money, passport, women’s things like cosmetics. No certificates for qualifications, birth, marriage even.” He looked pointedly at Amy. “She’s done a runner.”

Amy bit her tongue. He was unlikely to appreciate being told he was stating the obvious.

He pocketed the letter. “I’ll be back. And you’ll tell me where she is, okay?” He fingered the knife again. “Not a word to the Old Bill. I’ve never been here, not on your life.”

“What about the CCTV?” she couldn’t resist challenging him.

“What about it?” he said dismissively. “None in that car park. I cut the wires.” He stood to leave, putting a finger to his lips. “You’re a lucky, lucky girl, Amy, because I believe you. Thousands wouldn’t. Now don’t forget – not a dicky bird, okay?”

When he’d gone, Amy bolted the door and searched the kitchenette for alcohol. Finding a bottle of Snow Mountain vodka, less than a quarter full, she drank all that was left of it and went straight to bed.

Please note there is also a taster story, The Gap, at:

http://aaabbott.co.uk/free-stuff/

About A.A. Abbott

bride's trail

AA Abbott (also known as Helen) chose her pen name in a shameless attempt to slot into the first space on your bookshelf. Born near London, she’s lived in Birmingham and Bristol, and worked in all three cities. She works for big companies for half the year as a tax accountant, taking temporary work so she can spend the rest of the year writing fast-paced crime thrillers. Although her work gives her inspiration, she says none of her colleagues have murdered, blackmailed or defrauded anyone. Hanging out in coffee shops and cocktail bars, she loves city life and can’t resist writing about it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AAAbbottStories/

Twitter: @AAAbbottStories

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7339437.A_A_Abbott

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+AAAbbott

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/aaabbottstories

Blog: http://aaabbott.co.uk/

Website: http://aaabbott.co.uk/

Circles of Fate by Pamela S. Thibodeaux #Eggcerpt Exchange

circles of fate

Circles of Fate

by

Pamela S Thibodeaux

 

circles of fate

Five Facts about Circles of Fate

My husband (now deceased) was stationed at Ft. Benning, GA while in the Army. That was before I knew him but he talked about it often.

Thibodaux is an actual city in Louisiana although spelled slightly different than my name (Thibodeaux), the two are pronounced the same – Ti-ba-dough with the i as in “it”.

There was a café in my hometown of Iowa, Louisiana named the “Feed Trough”

Although more regulated now, military in lieu of jail was an option in the past especially during war time.

Circles of Fate was initially written in 1989 and comprised of two five-subject notebooks. I typed it using a word processor in 1994 then the files were converted to rich text format (rtf) by a friend so that I could put it on my computer. That was in 2000. It sat virtually untouched on my computer until 2014.

circles of fate

Blurb

Set at the tail end of the Vietnam War era, Circles of Fate takes the reader from Fort Benning, Georgia to Thibodaux, Louisiana. A romantic saga, this gripping novel covers nearly twenty years in the lives of Shaunna Chatman and Todd Jameson. Constantly thrown together and torn apart by fate, the two are repeatedly forced to choose between love and duty, right and wrong, standing on faith or succumbing to the world’s viewpoint on life, love, marriage and fidelity. With intriguing twists and turns, fate brings together a cast of characters whose lives will forever be entwined. Through it all is the hand of God as He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Excerpt

“Promise me you’re sure or I won’t let you go.”

She would have to convince him or he’d never let her leave. She also knew he’d see through anything less than complete honesty.

“Oh, Todd,” she whispered, her voice urgent. “I wish it were that easy. I’m sure I have to try. But I want you to know something…” She hesitated, unsure how to say what she needed to say. “If things were different, if he weren’t so determined, if nothing was left between us, if I didn’t think there was a chance, I would stay.” Her eyes searched his for some sign he understood.

A ghost of a smile played around his sensuous lips, he nodded. “I know,” he whispered. “And I understand,” he said and gathered her close once more.

She should leave. Shaunna knew Joe waited for her, but was unable, unwilling, to end it, to end them, just yet. She held him firm in her embrace, committed the feel of his body to heart.

“I have to go,” she whispered, then clung, not yet able to turn him loose.

“I know,” he answered and tightened his arms around her. With a sigh of surrender, he stepped away, loosened his hold but rubbed her back and shoulders in a tender gesture.

“Don’t look back,” he whispered then dropped his hands to his side, clenched his fists.

She saw the struggle in his eyes, felt it in her heart, as each fought not to grab hold and cling. They gazed at each other, read the naked truth in each other’s eyes.

Neither wanted to be the first to walk away.

Shaunna touched his face, traced his features…his eyes, his jaw, his mouth. A shiver shook her when he held her hand and pressed his lips to her fingertips.

“I almost wish we had made love the other night.”

Almost?

The word echoed between them like a silent scream. The despair in his eyes slashed her heart another degree. He shook his head, swallowed hard.

“Know this. If we had, you would not leave here today.”

She stroked his cheek, her smile tender, bittersweet. “Take care of yourself. Please,” she whispered then placed her mouth on his.

Lips met on a sigh, breaths mingled on a sob. Each of them committed the kiss to heart, and fought not to cling to the other. With a final touch, a last trembling smile, Shaunna did one of the hardest things she’d ever done in her life.

She left.

Purchase Links

Kindle: http://amzn.to/13b6qCG

Print: http://amzn.to/1zfEzNH

Nook: http://bit.ly/1ySeQqJ

B&N Print: http://bit.ly/1wA6DsH

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/136qK7n

About Pamela S. Thibodeaux

 

circles of fate

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Links

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com

Blog: http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com

Face Book: http://facebook.com/pamelasthibodeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1jUVcdU

 

 

336 HOURS by Rachel Cathan #RealLife #Giveaway

336 hours

336 Hours

by

Rachel Cathan

 

336 hours

Genre: ‘Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.’

Release Date: 13th February 2017

Publisher: SilverWood Books

The next 336 hours will be tough. No, the next 336 hours will be really tough…

I feel like an Olympian, waiting to see whether the years of hard work, sacrifice and dedication are finally going to pay off, or whether my body is about to fail me at the last hurdle and make me wonder why I ever hoped I could win.

My best friend is pregnant, my single friends are planning their pregnancies and, after five long years of tests and investigations, I’m coming to the end of my third – and supposedly final – IVF treatment. There are 336 hours to survive before I’ll know if I get to join the motherhood club. That’s 224 waking hours of pure psychological torture. 112 sleeping hours to stare at the ceiling and wonder, what the hell am I going to do with my life if it turns out I can’t have kids?

Based on the author’s true life experiences, 336 Hours is a humorous and poignant diary about one woman’s quest to be a mother.

Extract 1:
They should have IVF farms for women like me to book into at times like these; pretty padded cells with flat-screen TVs and row upon row of feel-good DVDs and relaxation CDs, and beautiful gardens and luxury bathrooms with hot taps that would never heat up to embryo boiling temperatures, and gigantic rocking chairs so that we could legitimately sit and rock ourselves backwards and forwards for hours on end without looking completely crazy in the process.

Extract 2:
I can’t pretend to have a clue what she means, of course. I don’t know what it’s like to have little people shouting, ‘Mummy! Mummy! MUUMMEEE!’ all day long, to never be able to go for a wee on your own, to make spaghetti bolognese and then watch your dinner dates tip it straight over their heads, to stay up all night comforting a teething toddler, to spend hours coercing and pleading with very small people to put shoes and coats on so you can at last leave the fucking house.

But I want to know this life. Because that stuff gives you stories, first-hand experiences, and the right to exchange knowing smiles of solidarity with other frazzled parents as you all manoeuvre your wayward shopping trolleys around the aisles of Tesco.

And it comes with other stuff, too: the good stuff.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

Silverwood Books

Writing about real life – the pros and cons

When it comes to writing a book, sticking to what you know is generally considered sound advice, and writing about events that have happened in real life means that you’re already an expert on your chosen subject. But, as with anything, there are inevitably some downsides to exposing your real-life experiences – and the most obvious of these has to be that it feels like a pretty big risk.

Of course, writing from real life experience is a fantastic way of offering an insight into something that many people won’t understand, and/or giving a voice to all the other people in the world who will have experienced something similar in their lives. It’s a powerful way to connect with all those people, to let them know they’re not alone, or to increase public awareness of what others might be going through. The downside to this is that it’s so very revealing. And it’s not something that you can choose to tuck back in a drawer if you decide you’re just not in a ‘sharing’ kind of mood. The material you’ve put out there will, quite rightly, be considered fair game, and for me personally this means I should now prepare to be introduced to people as the woman who couldn’t get pregnant, the woman who had IVF, the woman who hates pregnant women, and possibly, if people have read the last page available on Amazon’s preview, even the woman who farts more than most people would care to admit to.
There is also the unavoidable fact that all kinds of people in your life, including your in-laws, your co-workers and your grandmother could potentially end up reading what you’ve written. A sobering, if not, horrifying prospect if, like me, your book contains details of your sex life, huge amounts of swearing and the real reason you avoided your grandmother’s 90th birthday celebrations. But then who could try to write a book with that particular audience in mind? And even if you did, you could pretty much guarantee that nobody would want to read it.

Next on the list of potential pitfalls is the issue of being completely immersed in your subject matter. While this is a great advantage in one sense, since your characters are bound to feel ‘real’ and three-dimensional, it can be a challenge to view the story from an outside perspective and to ensure it’s still going to interest people who aren’t quite as immersed as you are. For me, the challenge was to become my own ruthless editor, employing the rule of halving what I’d written, then sometimes halving it again, and ensuring I had a reliably harsh critic to cast an eye over my work at crucial stages; one who’d happily shout ‘I’m bored!’ if ever they sensed I was straying into self-indulgence rather than sticking to the edited highlights.

Like pretty much every other writer who shares first-hand experiences, I made the decision to be honest, because if the story isn’t honest then 1) the people who’ve shared your experience will know it instantly, and 2) there’s not much point to writing it in the first place if you’re not offering the reader something real.

But that does leave me with the worry that this honesty is going to come under fire; that I’ll be judged for being an awful person or for handling my difficulties with such bitterness and rage. ‘Is that really how you thought/felt? You’re not who I thought you were’ people might decide upon reading this honest, warts-and-all book.
This is part of the risk that, in the end, you simply have to take.

Just as I have, some writers will choose to create a little distance between their own life and the story, by describing it as ‘based on real life events’ rather than pitching it as an outright memoir. But even this doesn’t create the distance you might expect. While the names, the places and the superficial details might be altered, the emotions are 100 percent real, and ultimately this is what people are going to remember.

It all sounds more than a little scary when you stop to consider the reality of sharing something so intimate with anyone in the world who wants to read it. But then this is probably no different from the fears felt by fiction writers, whose characters and plots are completely make-believe. After all, whatever you write has to have been conceived within your own mind, and if it isn’t what you’ve experienced, then it can only be what you’ve longed for, dreaded or fantasised, so there is really no escape from the exposure a writer has to face. And, on the plus side, this real-life experience that you’ve chosen to reveal might just strike a chord with somebody who felt sure that nobody in the world ever could or would understand. And if that happens with just one reader who picks up your book then, in my view at least, the risk was entirely worth taking.

ABOUT RACHEL CATHAN

336 hours

RACHEL CATHAN is a writer from Bedfordshire. In 2001, a mutual friend introduced her to a part-time pub DJ in Southend-on-Sea. A month later, they had moved in together, around seven years later they tied the knot, and a little while after that – just like so many couples before them – they made the exciting and terrifying decision to start a family. And then, like a growing number of couples today, well…not a lot happened.

Throughout the subsequent years of fertility investigations and failed treatments, Rachel kept a diary of her experiences, and it’s from these first- hand encounters in the world of infertility and IVF that her first book, 336 Hours has been adapted.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/336Hours/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rachelcathan

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33350325-336-hours?from_search=true.

Blog: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk/rachels-blog/

Website: http://www.rachelcathan.co.uk

GIVEAWAY

2 ECOPIES OF THE BOOK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MISTAKES WE MAKE by Jenny Harper #excerpt #giveaway

mistakes

Mistakes We Make

by

Jenny Harper

mistakes

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

5th book in the Heartlands series (can be read as a standalone)

Release Date: 28 July 2016

Publisher: Accent Press

Sometimes you have to dig deep to discover what you really need.

Marketing events manager Molly Keir doesn’t realise how much she still cares for her ex until she meets him with another woman. Her answer is to seize the chance of a glittering job in London – even though this will mean leaving behind her aging father and pregnant best friend Lexie Gordon.

Adam Blair is in the wrong job. Pressured by his father to join the family law firm, the stress of work helped break his marriage. Now Molly is moving to London, and he knows he needs to move on – but events soon overtake his best intentions.

A year ago, Caitlyn Murray quit her well-paid job to avoid becoming a whistle-blower. Now she is stuck at home with her overworked mother and four needy step-siblings. Tempted by the offer of a good wage, she returns to her old firm – where her nightmare comes back to haunt her.

Molly and Adam seem to have gone too far to recover the love they once had, and when Caitlyn finds the courage to speak out, she brings all their worlds tumbling down.

EXTRACT

Molly Keir rummaged in her handbag and extracted her glasses.

‘Yum, this looks amazing. Scallops, black pudding, Gravadlax, sole paupiettes. Wow. I didn’t realise how ravenous I was till I started reading!’

Lexie whispered, ‘Molly.’

‘Mmm? What do you think about beef?’

‘Molly.’

Molly looked up at the note of urgency. ‘What?’

Lexie’s face had turned an odd shade, and her brown eyes had a panicky look about them. She was staring over Molly’s shoulder at the doorway.

Molly shoved her glasses back onto the top of her head and swung round. A woman was walking into the room. She was Asian – Indian perhaps? – and classically beautiful. Her hair fell in thick, shiny tresses halfway down her back, her eyes were dark as treacle and dramatically outlined in black. She was wearing scarlet. Afterwards, that was what Molly remembered most – the stunning silky dress, hugging a perfect figure.

For now, the dress and the woman faded improbably into the background because there was a man behind her. Not just any man – Adam Blair.

Molly’s husband.

BUY LINKS

AMAZON UK

AMAZON US

ABOUT JENNY HARPER

mistakes

I’ve been a writer for most of my life. I’ve written and co-authored a number of books on Scotland, a history of childbirth, a children’s novel and a romantic novel, all published some years ago. I’ve now turned my attention to writing the kind of novels I like to read – well written and with some depth, but not literary or too demanding. I like to tackle issues, but also to incorporate the complicated emotional challenges of day-to-day living.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjennyharper

Twitter: https://twitter.com/harper_jenny

Goodreads Author Page:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/15692421-jenny-harper

Google+  https://plus.google.com/+JennyHarperauthor/posts

Blog:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/category/myblog/

Website:  http://jennyharperauthor.co.uk/

GIVEAWAY

1st Prize – Paperback copy of the book
2nd Prize – ebook copy of the book (x2)

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#Excerpt from The Secret of Hillcrest House

#excerpt

Sometimes there’s more to a house than bricks and mortar.

Hillcrest House is one such place. Perched on a cliff in the picturesque town of Angel Falls, there is more to this Victorian mansion than meets the eye. When referring to the house, the locals use the word haunted on a regular basis. Strange visions appear in the windows, especially the second-floor ones over the side porch. Even stranger events take place within its four walls.

Rumour has it, the original owners, Asher and Maggie Hargrave, never left their beloved home. They claim the couple and their family are responsible for driving people away. Over the years, Hillcrest House has changed hands numerous times. No one stays long. Renovations begin then stop and the house is once more abandoned. The latest in this long line of owners is Jessica Maitland.

Will Jessica be the next one to succumb or will she unravel The Secret of Hillcrest House?

Melanie Robertson-King’s latest novel serves up a delightful blend of the supernatural and spicy romance, Lynn L. Clark, author of The Home Child, and Fire Whisperer & Circle of Souls: Two Novellas of the Supernatural, & The Accusers

Intrigue, dark buried secrets, hot romance and a neat twist in the tale make this riveting reading, Sheryl Browne, MA Creative Writing, Choc Lit Author

A fun read that keeps you guessing right up to the surprise ending, Dayna Leigh Cheser, Author of Janelle’s Time, Moria’s Time, Adelle’s Time, & Logan’s Time

#Excerpt

A face and hands appeared in the window over the side porch. “There’s someone in there,” she gasped, pointing to the location.

“Keys. I’ll need them unless you want me to break in.”

Transfixed by the image, Jessica couldn’t look away. She extended her arm and dropped her ring holding her house and car keys into his hand.

“You stay here,” he ordered before sprinting to the front of the house.

The face appeared to be that of a young child. After a few minutes, the image faded. She blinked thinking it vanished because she’d stared at it for so long, but even that didn’t help.

Frightened by the disappearance, she dashed after the officer.

When she stepped through the door, the pungent smells of damp and stale assailed her nostrils. Out of habit, Jessica reached for the light switch. She discovered an old-fashioned push button one indicative of knob and tube wiring. That was another expense she wasn’t prepared for.

At one time, the dark wainscoting in the foyer shone. Now it was dull, dingy and covered with dust. The paint above it and on the ceiling had peeled and curled. Flakes littered the floor and stairs. She grabbed a loose piece of paint from the wall and gave it a tug. It pulled away with little resistance.

Two large rooms stood on either side of the main hall. Jessica entered the one to her left. Pocket doors, off their tracks, cut off part of the large doorway. Yellowed wall and ceiling paper hung from crazy angles. The plaster it once covered now exposed. Sheets covered the furniture. At one time, they had been white but now, layered with dust. Jessica thumped her hand down on the back of a sofa forcing a cloud of the grubby powder into the air. Choking, she scurried out and into the room across the corridor.

It, too, was in the same state but in here, boards didn’t cover the windows. Sun shone through grimy panes of glass, and dust particles floated in the air trapped by the beams of light.

The sound of footfalls on the stairs echoed through the house. Jessica turned. She gasped and clapped her hand over her mouth. On the back of a sheet-covered sofa, lay a pristine, long-stemmed red rose.

Buy Links:

amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo