Today as a part of the blog tour, I am sharing an extract from The Perfect Girl by Kelly Golden. This one looks is right up my alley since it’s a thriller! I’m also currently reading it and was hoping to be able to share my review as well, but life happens! My review will come sometime this month! The Perfect Girl is available to purchase now!
He always said she was just a friend… What if she’d kill for more?
Sophie is perfect. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and when she smiles her teeth sparkle. And she cares; she’s passionate. Everybody loves her. So would I, except she’s my husband Mike’s best friend, and sometimes they seem a little too close for comfort.
This summer, Sophie is renting the grand house next door, bringing over fancy wine, offering to babysit our beautiful three-year-old daughter. It’s nice, actually. She’s smart and funny. Maybe the way she is with Mike – squeezing his arm, tilting her head when she laughs at his jokes – is just how she is with everybody.
But then she says something that sends a shiver down my spine – does she know something about me she shouldn’t?
And when her new husband arrives, looking slightly too familiar, I realise my time is running out. My baby girl and I are in terrible danger.
Sophie really is perfect. She has me perfectly trapped. And as my world begins to crumble, I start to wonder: does Sophie just want to steal my husband, or has she planned the perfect murder?
A completely unputdownable psychological thriller that will keep you flicking through your Kindle late into the night. Perfect for fans of The Housemaid, The Guest List and anything by Louise Candlish, Erin Kelly or TM Logan.
A note on the extract from the author:
This is a little way past the middle of the book with a couple of spoilers removed! Emma has come round to trusting Sophie and is trying to do the right thing, telling Mike, Emma’s husband, that she’s concerned Sophie might be being abused by her husband, Johnnie. Sophie’s reaction is predictably unpredictable.
Chapter 52 – Tuesday 19th July 2022
‘Why, oh why, would you tell Mike?’ Sophie is digging in her handbag and I can’t see her eyes behind her hair. The bag is the shape of a butterfly, black leather, brown velvet, shiny dots of red.
A field of cows flashes past. A cardboard sign advertises fresh eggs. The sun dazzles my eyes and I pull down the sunshade. ‘He’s your oldest friend. I thought you needed help.’
‘I need help?’ She laughs, bending forward slightly against the seatbelt and I feel myself tense. She keeps rummaging, pulls out a slender glass tube, unscrews the lid and rollers something onto her wrists then puts it back again.
The scent of jasmine fills the car. It reminds me that an hour ago I was in the surreal normality of my soap class. Freya showed me how to cut and pull a layered candle so it looked like an orchid.
‘You’re a puzzle, Emma. I thought you were good at this.’ Sophie gets the bottle out again and puts some on her neck, then more on her wrists.
I don’t know what she means. She seems unhinged. I’ve already had a very confusing morning. After my class I went to the doctor, but Maisie, the receptionist, said I’d called to change to the Monday and had missed the appointment and I had to rebook for the following week. I hadn’t called. But, of course, it was me who seemed crazy. Maisie’s look had confirmed it.
‘Good at what?’
‘Getting what you want.’
I wish I could look at her properly, but the bends in the road are too sharp and the hedges too high for me to take my eyes off it for long. ‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean, what happens now?’
I risk a longer glimpse at her and she stares at me intently with those turquoise eyes. I’m completely lost. I try to remember what she’s said. I have the feeling I’m missing something. Her jaw is clenched so tight.
‘Sophie? Are you okay? I’m sorry I told Mike, but I was really worried about you.’
‘Fine. Fine.’ She turns and stares out the window.
‘Are you sure he isn’t hurting you?’
‘We’re married. Of course he’s hurting me. That’s what we do to the people we love.’ She seems like she’s about to snap. Or maybe this is her snapping.
‘I don’t think that has to be true,’ I say.
‘That’s because you’ve got Mike.’
I realise I’m going too fast, and slow as we approach the bronze cow. Someone has hung a garland of orange flowers around its neck.
I’m too scared to ask her what she means again. I’m out of my depth. My stomach turns. What did she mean, that I was good at getting what I wanted? Does she just mean that my life has turned out nicely, or that she knows something about how I achieved it?
About the Author:
I’m the working mum of a bossy little girl and a bossier cat called Pesto. We live in the southwest of England and escape to the beach whenever we can. I’ve never stopped writing my whole life but this is the first time I’ve published a book!
Today as a part of the blog tour, I am sharing a short extract from Love Me Tender by Lorraine Mace. This one looks to be quite the thriller!
IF HE WANTS YOU . . . THERE’S NO ESCAPE.
A brutal murder . . .
Responding to a tip-off, newly promoted Detective Chief Inspector Paolo Sterling arrives at an apartment block to find the dismembered body of a young woman. And with no indication of a break-in, all signs suggest the killer was known to her.
An abduction in plain sight . . .
Then the victim’s friend is snatched with no witnesses and the unanswered questions mount up.
At the same time, Sterling’s team are leading the surveillance of a local club, thought to be involved in a drug operation. But when one of his colleagues ends up in hospital close to death, Paolo begins to lose his grip.
A detective on the edge . . .
With the odds stacked against him, and time running out, can DCI Sterling uncover the truth before it’s too late? Or will this case finally tip him over the edge?
Boy believes Sasha is his one true love but she has no idea he exists. He calls her pretending to be her estate agent so that he can get into her apartment to tell her how happy she is going to be living with him.
Sasha’s voice sent his heart soaring. He could barely breathe. Concentrate! He had to concentrate.
“Hello?” she repeated. “Who is this?”
“Miss Bristow? This is Mark Stacey from Harlow and Griffin,” he said, putting on the poshest accent he could and reading from the business card he’d picked up in her estate agent’s office. He’d been following her for days before she went into the agency and he was worried she was planning to move, so he hung around outside pretending to look at the properties on offer. He peered through the window and saw her hand over what looked like a cheque and was given a receipt. She chatted for a bit with the girl at the desk and then stood up.
As she was leaving, she called out. “See you next month!”
She walked off and he followed; she was completely oblivious that her one true love was there to protect her from other men. She hadn’t even noticed him when he’d stood close behind her at the bus stop. He remembered the floral fragrance that had invaded his senses. Cheap whore perfume sending out an invitation to any man close enough to smell it. From now on the only fragrance he’d allow would be from the roses he gave her.
About the Author:
Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.
Author of the D.I. Sterling series of novels, Lorraine has been engaged in many writing-related activities. A columnist for Writing Magazine, she has recently stepped down from writing two columns for Writers’ Forum and also her role as head judge of the magazine’s monthly fiction competitions in order to concentrate on her own writing. She is currently writing two standalone psychological thrillers for Headline Accent.
She also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.[Top]
Today as a part of the blog blitz, I am sharing an extract from A Prescription for Madness by Linda Fawke. This one looks intriguing with many things to leave you thinking and I hope to one day read it!
When successful business-owner Kate Shaw realises she is pregnant, after a fling with a previous lover, she has life-changing decisions to make. She needs to be in control of her life. Pregnancy in her fifties was never part of the plan. It becomes her secret.
The risks of having a baby at her age are clear but she struggles with the idea of an abortion. No-one understands her increasingly erratic behaviour as the preoccupation takes over her life.
Her marriage is precarious; the relationship with her former lover uncertain.
Is this the way to madness?
This is a gripping story about dark choices, gnawing discontent and the uncertainties of love.
Info on the Extract from Chapter Three:
Kate, having discovered she is unexpectedly pregnant at the age of 51, wants someone to confide in and seeks help from her mother. Their relationship has never been close but Kate needs someone to talk to. Maybe not the best idea…
‘You’re a bit quiet today, Kate. Are you feeling alright?’
‘I’m not totally myself. In fact, there was something I wanted to talk to you about.’
Her mother sat upright as if someone had a gun to her back. She opened her eyes wide and put her hands to her cheeks.
‘You haven’t got some dreadful disease, have you? It’s not… you know … is it? Is it treatable? If it’s a matter of money, I’ll try to help. Don’t have much but you can have what there is. Private treatment is quicker. You shouldn’t wait around for some appointment months away. But you know all about these things. Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Or have you only just found out? Oh, my poor darling!’
The questions came ever faster and she stopped when she ran out of breath. She looked at Kate in horror. A piece of pickle dropped out of the sandwich she was holding and landed on her lap.
‘Calm down, Mum. I’m not ill. It isn’t cancer. Stop panicking. Just listen for a moment or two and I’ll tell you.’
‘Well, what a relief that is! But you’ve come specially to tell me something so it’s got to be important. Is there a problem with your businesses? Are you in debt? You’re not in trouble because of a wrongly dispensed prescription, are you? There was something on the radio recently about a case like that. Is there a lawsuit? My God, what will the neighbours say?’
Kate’s silence eventually got through to her mother.
‘Sorry, Kate. You asked me to listen. And all I’ve done is talk. I will listen now.’
Kate waited. She needed the silence; she needed her mother to feel the silence, too.
There was a long pause. Kate could see her mother struggling to take in the information, to find the right words.
‘I came to talk to you about it and try to get my head straight concerning what I’m going to do. It’s called seeking parental advice.’
‘I didn’t think you and Neil wanted children. Isn’t it a bit late now?’
‘Mum, I think you’ve missed the point. I didn’t intend to become pregnant.’
‘You, Kate? You’re always so organised, you don’t have accidents. I bet you were on the pill and it failed. Always thought it was risky. A bad idea.’
Kate recalled a conversation they had years ago, prompted by a television programme about the pill. Her mother didn’t believe it worked and was uncomfortable discussing it. Kate tried to explain its mode of action but her mother would not listen and was adamant in her views. Instead she turned to finding negative, unscientific comments in newspapers or magazines, cutting them out and posting them to Kate. It was the closest she got to advice on contraception.
‘No, Mum, I wasn’t on the pill. I stopped it a while ago. And it does work. If I’d been on it, I wouldn’t now have this problem.’
This was proving harder than she expected. Her mother was either naïve or being deliberately difficult. Surely it could not still be embarrassment?
‘So what does Neil think?’
‘He doesn’t know.’
‘Shouldn’t you tell him?’
‘Okay, Mum. Let me give you the whole story. It’ll surprise you, probably shock you, but hear me out.’
A stunned face looked back. ‘I need a cup of tea. Just let me put the kettle on and make a pot.’
Tea was the answer. Her mother would make it whatever she said. Kate was standing looking out at the garden, manicured and neat, all character having been removed with the weeds, when her mother returned. With a shaking hand, she poured out two cups, trying not to look her daughter in the eye. Twice she started to say something and stopped herself. Kate broke the silence.
‘Do you remember a boyfriend I had in the last year at university? A guy called Jonathan.’
Her mother’s face brightened. ‘Lovely lad. I do remember him. He had lunch with us on one of our visits and was a delight. Chatted away to your dad and me as if he’d known us for years. And he brought you here when I had to go into hospital to have that gallstone operation. Me and your dad, we hoped it would last. Fancied having him as a son-in-law. Would have been an asset to the family. Not that I have a problem with Neil, of course. But suddenly he wasn’t around anymore. You never did tell us why and I didn’t like to ask.’
‘Well, I met him again at the reunion a few months ago.’
Her mother looked blank.
‘You remember – I told you about it. We went back to the pharmacy department to celebrate thirty years since we all graduated. Without giving you unnecessary details, Jonathan and I ended up in bed and I think the baby is his.’
Her mother let out a cry worthy of a third-rate, sensational film.
‘Oh, Kate, how could you? What a sluttish thing to do! And with your upbringing! I can’t believe a daughter of mine would behave like that!’
‘Which century are you living in, Mum? It’s 2006, people hop in and out of bed with each other all the time. Anyway, there was a reason for it, a serious reason which I don’t intend to go into. It wasn’t just lust or trying to turn the clock back. And I don’t sleep around; I object to being called a slut.’
Her mother gave her an unbelieving stare and made a guttural grunt.
About the Author:
Linda Fawke is an arts person who studied science but always wanted to write. Now retired, she indulges this passion, writing fiction and non-fiction, even occasional poetry, preferably late at night. She has now written two novels, ‘A Taste of His Own Medicine’ and its sequel, ‘A Prescription for Madness’ using her background in pharmacy as the setting of both. These are easy books to read, suitable for book club discussions. ‘A Prescription for Madness‘ is more serious than the first book, dealing with such issues as pregnancy in later life and Down’s Syndrome.
She has been a winner of the Daily Telegraph ‘Just Back’ travel-writing competition and has published in various magazines including ‘Mslexia’, ‘Litro’ online, ‘Scribble’, ‘The Oldie’, ‘Berkshire Life’ and ‘Living France’. She was a finalist in the ‘Hysteria’ short story competition.
Linda blogs at www.linimeant.wordpress.com where her ‘Random Writings’ include a range of topics from travel to ‘Things that pop into my head’.[Top]