Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: April 2019
Series: The Detective’s Daughter #7
Purchase link Amazon uk
Trudy Wates stopped inside Stella’s porch. The front door was ajar. She had two choices. Step away and call Stella –better still the police –or venture inside and check the place herself.Since she’d started working as Stella Darnell’s a year ago ago, Trudy knew that she had a hard act to follow. Her predecessor, Jackie Makepeace, had anticipated Stella’s every requirement before Stella realized what she required. Trudy had set about proving herself a match for Jackie (now running Stella’s fledgling detective agency). Trudy intended to exceed expectations.Stella would hate to be interrupted while she was deep cleaning for a client. Trudy must present Stella with a problem solved. She tipped open the door with a gloved finger.The ground floor –living room and kitchen –appeared untouched. Easy to tell because of course Stella kept her own house as clean and tidy as she did her clients’. Trudy climbed to the half landing.The first door was shut. A burglar could be lying in wait.‘Who’s there?’ Trudy hadleft the front door open so that she could be heard from the street. She was in her forties but went to a boot camp twice a week and walked whenever possible. She carried a penknife, an unwanted present from her husband that, since his death, she treasured. It was her talisman.Trudy flung wide the door. No one in the bathroom. One down. Two to go.She climbed the stairs to the top landing and approached the room that faced the street. If there was someone in there she would confront them. She didn’t want to be surprised from behind by trying the door of the closest room.Stella’s bedroom. Her bed was neatly made without a crease. Trudy found no one inside the built-in wardrobe. A lingering whiff of Stella’s perfume was distantly reassuring. She caught herself in triplicate in the three mirrored doors. She looked rigid with tension. Since becoming a widow she had aged years. She gripped the knife and went back along the landing.Later, Trudy would tell the police (they sent Chief Superintendent Cashman, presumably because Stella was a copper’s daughter) that the intruders had only been in Stella’s study where they’d tried to steal Stella’s computer and her printer. The monitor lay by the door, wires trailing. Paper files were strewn on the floor. Cashman
BiographyLesley Thomson is a Londoner. Her first crime novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People's Book Prize in 2010. The Detective's Daughter is a number one bestseller and Sainsbury's ebook for 2014. Ghost Girl, the second in the The Detective's Daughter series (2014) went to number one in Sainsbury's e-chart and is another bestseller. The Detective's Secret was published in 2015. The Runaway, an ebook short about Stella Darnell (the detective's daughter) came out in July 2015 and the fourth in the series, The House with No Rooms in 2016. The Dogwalker, another case for Stella and Jack, in 2017. In 2018 The Death Chamber was published. The Playground Murders came out in 2019.
Lesley lives in Sussex with her partner and her dog and is working on The Mermaid Murder, a story set in Newhaven that features Fred Power, a female mobile fishmonger.
‘Compulsive reading’ JANE CORRY
‘Full of tension’ KAREN HAMILTON
She wants your life – and she’ll do anything to get it…
Erica has always wanted to be exactly like her neighbour, Faye: beautiful, thin, and a mother. But Faye’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems – she has a terrible secret, and slowly but surely, it is threatening to destroy her and everything she holds dear.
When Faye’s daughter Tamsin goes missing after school, the police turn to Erica. But is Erica the only one who has been enviously watching Faye? Or is there another threat hiding in the shadows…?
An unsettling, claustrophobic thriller about jealousy, greed and desire from Sunday Times bestseller Amanda Robson.
Thrilled to be sharing an extract of this book with you
When my run is over, even though I actually enjoyed it for the first time, I feel light-headed, as if I am about to faint. I hobble back to my flat and collapse on my bed. I fall into a deep sleep and dream.
My dream is so sharp. So clear. I’m in my muddy blue tracksuit, my pain has disappeared and I am running effortlessly, wearing gold Lycra and shiny purple trainers, which cushion my feet. People turn their heads as I pass, wanting to admire my fitness. My surreal body is perfect for a sportswear advert. I dream that Nike have asked me to model for them next week. I am running to pick Tamsin up from school. She steps from the classroom door and her face lights up as soon as she sees me; blue eyes with a sapphire shine. She runs into my arms. I hold her against me, wanting to protect her for ever. Tamsin, my heart sings, Tamsin my love.
Then I wake up in my cold damp flat. I look down at my body, my heavy arms and thighs, my baggy clothing that needs washing. Tamsin is not my girl. The dream was so beautiful that when I realise it was only a dream I almost cry.
PRAISE FOR AMANDA ROBSON:
‘Gripping, tragic, and sometimes insane, Guilt is an intense exploration of love, sibling relationships, obsession, drug abuse, secrets, and rape.’ SEATTLE BOOK REVIEW
‘Fast moving. Compulsive reading.’ JANE CORRY
‘An addictive, compelling read, full of tension.’ KAREN HAMILTON
‘Another brilliant read from Amanda Robson. A dark, addictive and compelling page turner!’ BA PARIS
‘Absolutely powered through Guilt.Totally addictive and unputdownable.’ ROZ WATKINS
I read Guilt over one weekend, completely enthralled. This twisty and complex tale of twin sisters and the dangerous, damaged man who comes between them kept me guessing.’
‘Robson’s writing is sharp and emotive; the plot so tense and engaging. A fantastic read.’ ELISABETH CARPENTER
‘Packed with shocking twists, Guilt is a gritty, page-turning read that is not to be missed.’ PETRINA BANFIELD
‘I absolutely loved it and raced through it. Thrilling, unputdownable, a fabulous rollercoaster of a read – I was obsessed by this book.’ B A PARIS
‘Obsession is a welcome addition to the domestic noir bookshelf. Robson explores marriage, jealousy and lust with brutal clarity, making for a taut thriller full of page-turning suspense.’ EMMA FLINT
“What a page turner! Desperately flawed characters. Bad behaviour. Drugs. Sex. Murder.This is one highly addictive novel!” WENDY WALKER
"A compelling page-turner on the dark underbelly of marriage, friendship & lust. (If you're considering an affair, you might want a rethink)." FIONA CUMMINS
‘Very pacy and twisted – a seemingly harmless conversation between husband and wife spins out into a twisted web of lies and deceit with devastating consequences.' COLETTE MCBETH
‘Expertly injects menace into the domestic. It was clear from the very first chapter that this was going to a dark and disturbing journey.’ HOLLY SEDDON
Book DescriptionA gripping psychological thriller that will shock you
The Dare (Detective Natalie Ward Book 3)
Jane’s daughter is a good girl. What is she hiding?
When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school, as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm.
Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward whose daughter Leigh is the same age as Savannah. Soon Natalie’s worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.
Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as the net is closing around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing.
As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours.
But Natalie isn’t quick enough for this killer, and she is devastated to find Harriet’s body on a fly tip a day later.
Caught up in the case, she takes her eye off her own daughter and when Leigh goes missing after school she knows she must be in terrible danger. The clock is ticking for Natalie. Can she catch this killer before her little girl becomes the next victim?
Book 3 in the Detective Natalie Ward series. A gripping read you won't want to put down, but you won't want it to end either. What can I say? I am loving, loving, loving, this series. The author again has beat all expectations and created another fantastic addition to the series.
Natalie is again struggling juggling her home life and her work life, taking her eye off either could cause explosions. But I have to say I wish Natalie and her husband would sort out their issues. lol
Natalie's life is about to get a whole lot tougher. Natalie and her team are brought in to investigate a missing teen . Her body is found a day later having been murdered. It's then, another teen goes missing. It's going to be a race against the clock.
On investigation it appears that these girls have been using a website to carry out dares. Is this the only link to the girls? It's down the Natalie and her wonderful team to get stuck in and do what they do best- Solve cases.
The team work so well together the characters are likeable and realistic. They throw themselves in to the case and work brilliantly as a team. This is a very cleverly put together story, it felt fresh and with the use of the internet for everything in a teenagers life, it added to the realness of the story.
Bravo Carol, another first class read. I'm really liking Natalie's character but would also like a return of Robyn at some stage.
About the author
Carol Wyer is an award-winning author and stand up comedian who writes feel-good comedies and gripping thrillers.
Her book, GRUMPY OLD MENOPAUSE won The People's Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
Carol moved to the ‘dark side’ in 2017 with as series of thrillers. LITTLE GIRL LOST became the #2 best-selling book on Amazon, #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible and a Top 150 USA Today best-seller.
The DI Robyn Carter and DI Natalie Ward series have sold over half a million copies, earning her acclaim as a crime writer.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ''Irritable Male Syndrome' and 'Ageing Disgracefully' and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines 'Woman's Weekly' featured in 'Take A Break', 'Choice', 'Yours' and 'Woman's Own' magazines and the Huffington Post.
To learn more about Carol, go to www.carolwyer.co.uk or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer.
Carol also blogs at www.carolwyer.com
A beaten homeless vet. Three cops gunned down. A multistate manhunt. The trial of the decade.
A new kind of legal thriller
When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.
A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr Tessa Thorpe, a veteran's counselor, is caught up in the chase.
Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa's patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield's dramatic capture.
Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?
Author Bio – N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People's Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Barnes and Noble
Isle of Savages by T. Briar
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (June 15, 2017)
Category: Thriller/Suspense, New Adult, Sub-Human Cannibals
Tour dates: Mar-Apr, 2019
Available in Print and ebook, 220 pages
Follow Isle of Savages by T. Briar Tour
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 22 Kickoff & Interview
Jody Amazon Mar 25 Review
Shannon Muir – Infinite House of Books Mar 27 Guest Review & Excerpt
VictoriaILoveReadingUK Apr 1 Excerpt
Nancy The Avid Reader Apr 5 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Apr 8 Review & Guest Post
Jennifer Book Junkiez Apr 9 Excerpt
Laura FUONLYKNEW Apr 11 Review
Susan Dab of Darkness Book Reviews Apr 15 Interview
Amber Imaginative Mama’s Dragonfly Reads Apr 17 Review & Flash Fiction
Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings Apr 19 Review
Dee Amazon May 1 Review
Kathleen Celticlady’s Reviews May 3 Guest Review
Amber Rose Reviews May 6 Review, Guest Post, & Excerpt
Jessica JBronder Book Reviews May 8 Review
Nicole Willow’s Thoughts & Book Obsessions May 10 Review & Flash Fiction
Aparna Amazon May 10 Review
Isle of Savages by T. Briar Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (June 15, 2017) Category: Thriller/Suspense, New Adult, Sub-Human Cannibals Tour dates: Mar-Apr, 2019 ISBN: 978-1771279277 Available in Print and ebook, 220 pages
Description Isle of Savages by T. BriarEleven souls are shipwrecked on an island teeming with sub-human cannibals. Who will survive to tell the tale? On July 20, 20— a charter school’s sponsored sail from San Diego to Hawaii hits a reef during a violent storm. Sixteen souls abandon ship. Nine students, along with the hated captain and first mate, wash up on what they believe is a deserted island. Separated into three groups by circumstance and mutual distrust, treachery and death lurk for all. Over the course of a single day, one student betrays all the others. Another drowns. Two others get ambushed by a great white shark. And, like falling dominoes, the captain, first mate, and six students fall prey to a tribe of bloodthirsty cannibals. In the face of almost certain death, who will escape the isle of savages to tell the tale?
Praise Isle of Savages by T. Briar“Freaking Amazing! This books was such a wild ride from page one. So many twists and turns that you just can't figure out what the hell is going to happen next! It was so hard to put down and very, very well written. I am very picky with the books I read, I know I say that a lot, but it's true. This book met every single one of my expectations and then some. With the characters, you either really felt for them, or you held seething hatred for them. It was like the main characters couldn't seem to catch a break and the villains of the story kept getting a leg up. It was driving me crazy! I was found yelling at my kindle, cursing, clenching my fists, all because this story was so easy to get into! In fact, it was hard NOT to! This is not a happy story, by any means. There is so much death and destruction and it's written in great detail. So if you get wigged out easily, this might not be the book for you. Me, I love this kind of stuff. The blood, the gore, the chaos, this book had it all! Definitely 5 out of 5 stars for me!”- Amanda, Rabid Readers Book Blog
About T. BriarBriar spent his formative years in the treacherous worlds of The Savage Sword of Conan, The Warlord, and Jonah Hex comics. So he’s been fascinated with action adventure stories for most of his life. From there, he eventually discovered Jack London, Louis L’amour and Jack Higgins. These days he’s devouring thriller novels by James Rollins, Clive Cussler and a host of other adventure writers. This led him to start writing at an early age and he didn’t stop until he saw his name in print. Although, it wasn’t in the thriller genre. Not at first. But it was always a given that he’d eventually write and publish a thriller. It just took him a few extra years to get around to it. He lives in South Georgia with his wonderful wife of 25 years.
Buy Isle of Savages by T. BriarAmazon BarnesandNoble Indiebound
Isle of Savages by T. Briar on Net GalleyFor those who can't join the tour but would like to review the book, the ebook is available to download on Net Galley. It is available from February 11-May 11th. Here is the link: http://netgal.ly/UdF7f6
Giveaway Isle of Savages by T. BriarThis giveaway is for 3 winners choice of one print or ebook copy of the book. Print is open to the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends May 10, 2019, midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter onlly. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow Isle of Savages by T. Briar TourTeddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Mar 22 Kickoff & Interview Jody Amazon Mar 25 Review Shannon Muir - Infinite House of Books Mar 27 Guest Review & Excerpt VictoriaILoveReadingUK Apr 1 Excerpt Nancy The Avid Reader Apr 5 Review Lisa's Writopia Apr 8 Review & Guest Post Jennifer Book Junkiez Apr 9 Excerpt Laura FUONLYKNEW Apr 11 Review Susan Dab of Darkness Book Reviews Apr 15 Interview Amber Imaginative Mama's Dragonfly Reads Apr 17 Review & Flash Fiction Carole Rae's Random Ramblings Apr 19 Review Dee Amazon May 1 Review Kathleen Celticlady's Reviews May 3 Guest Review Amber Rose Reviews May 6 Review, Guest Post, & Excerpt Jessica JBronder Book Reviews May 8 Review Nicole Willow's Thoughts & Book Obsessions May 10 Review & Flash Fiction Aparna Amazon May 10 Review
Here is an excerpt for you to read. Sit back with a cuppa and enjoy.
Thrilled to be closing the tour for this awesome book.
Dying is easy. It’s living that’s hard…
‘Gritty and gripping’ Kimberley Chambers
An eye for an eye.
Cabhan Morton wants to leave the Russo crime family for good and live in peace with his daughter, Alice Rose. But the Russos won’t let him walk away without a fight.
A tooth for a tooth.Franny Doyle would do anything for Cabhan and Alice, but helping them escape the vindictive Russo brothers won’t be easy. The only place they’ll be safe is back in Essex with Alfie Jennings.
A daughter for a daughter…Franny knows she won’t be welcomed by Alfie with open arms – but she doesn’t have a choice. The Russos are out for blood and they won’t stop until Alice is dead…
The heart-racing new thriller perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers and Martina Cole.
I was thrilled when I received an email from the wonderful Sabah Khan asking if I was interested in being part of this blog tour - Hell Yeah... so thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this alongside some truly amazing bloggers.
No secret that I'm a huge JR fan. The book world has been waiting on a return of this awesome author, and she flew back into my bookish life in the summer of last year and here she is again with another exceptional read.
JR is one of those authors for me, that as soon as I see her name on a book, I have to read. Doesn't matter what it's about, I didn't even read the blub, I saw the cover and knew I wanted to read it. Back with some familiar characters, it wasn't long before I was flying through those pages.
Cabhan is working for the Russo brothers, a crime family headed by 3 brothers, Nico, Salvadore, and Bobby. It's only now Cabhan wants to leave and move on with his life to bring up his daughter away from the troubles that surround the work he is involved with when things start to turn ugly.
Being involved in an accident, involving one of the Russo family members see's Cabhan take flight. Along to help him is Franny Doyle. Life becomes so much more complicated and things begin to spiral out of control.
To what extent you would have to be discovered by reading this book.
This is not a book you will pick up and put down after just a few pages at a time, this is a high octane, nail biting, heart beating fast kind of read that you will devour is as little amount of time as possible.
Once started any JR fan will not be able to put this book down. It's great to be back with some familiar characters, characters you've grown to like over years really add to the story.
JR is certainly an author who does not disappoint, I for one am so glad she is back writing books we love and can't wait for more and more from this author.
First class and right up there with some of the best from this genre.
Amazingly we don't have to long to wait for the next book by Jacqui Rose.
Sinner is available for pre order now.
D/C Mike O’Shea, a young cop with a knack for working hard and following hunches, is on the verge of cracking a prostitution ring when an undercover from another unit burns him. With only days left before their pimps shuttle the girls out of the country, Mike pushes his team into overdrive. Hours later, with too little information, sleep, or luck, the unthinkable happens.
And now, the chase is personal.
In the first of the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, 10-33 Assist PC draws us into the dirty world of human trafficking through the eyes of the cops who put their lives on the line every day to shut it down. Written by a Real Detective, 10-33 Assist PC is the story of a cop who must decide how to move forward without forgetting the past.
Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.
Desmond P. Ryan - Author Bio
Very few books give you the real crime experience because even fewer authors have it.
Desmond P. Ryan has it.
For almost thirty years, he worked the back alleys, poorly-lit laneways, and forgotten neighbourhoods in the city where he grew up. Murder often most unkind, assaults on a level that defied humanity, and sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the victims were all in a day’s work. Days, evenings, midnights--all the same. Crime knows no time.
Exhilarating. Exhausting. Often heartbreaking.
Whether as a beat cop or a plainclothes detective, Desmond Ryan dealt with good people who did bad things and bad people who followed their instincts. He wrote thousands of reports describing their lives, the places they lived, and the things they did. He investigated their crimes and wrote detailed accounts of the activities that brought him into their world. Detective Ryan also held victims as they wept, talked desperate people off of ledges, and sat beside the decomposing bodies of men and women who, in life, had been discarded and long-forgotten by society.
Now, as a retired detective with three decades of research opportunities under his belt, Desmond Ryan write crime fiction.
Because he wants to tell you a story like no other. Because he wants to bring you inside a world that will both fascinate you and challenge what you thought you knew about human nature. Because he wants to seamlessly weave truth and fiction together to create a place for you where the Good Guys ultimately win.
And because you deserve to have the most authentic crime fiction experience every time you pick up one of Desmond Ryan’s books.
Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.
And now the chance to read an extract from the book.
10-33 Assist PC
Saturday, October 29th, 2005 - 2:30 p.m.
Detective Constable Mike O’Shea casually drove the unmarked scout car around the corner. He felt good. Maybe it was the bright October sunlight reflecting off the crushed beer cans scattered on the overgrown lawns. Maybe it was the police-issued snubby holstered in the small of his back. Or maybe it was the anticipation of a successful end to a long project. Whatever the reason, it made him smile.
“Mike! Left!” Sal grabbed the dashboard with one hand while instinctively reaching for his gun with the other.
The clang of metal rang in their ears as a streak of green flashed in front of them.
Someone bounced off the hood of the car.
Mike slammed the brakes, one hand on the wheel and the other reaching for the snubby. Despite their ratty sweatshirts, stained jeans, and unshaved faces, neither cop looked quite as rough as the
scrappy man who popped up from the pavement next to Mike’s door. They watched, hands on their still-holstered guns, as the scruffy man yanked a battered bike from under the front tire of the car. Without a word, he wobbled away, apparently none the worse for wear.
“Hey!” Mike hollered after the cyclist, who responded with a suggestive finger in the air.
“Bike’s stolen and he’s drunk. Or stoned. Let him go,” Sal said, spitting sunflower seed shells
on the floor of the car before settling back into his seat.
“Unbelievable,” Mike mumbled, shaking his head.
“No shit,” Sal agreed, stuffing another handful of sunflower seeds into his mouth.
“I’m talking about you, asshole. You’re not spitting those shells in the car, are you?”
“Use the fucking window.”
Sal spat a shell at Mike’s feet.
He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough...
Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District.
The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.
As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.
But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?
A tenacious young detective with scars both physical and emotional, Beth Young will stop at nothing in her fight for justice for the innocent. The Silent Dead is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District, it is perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and Peter James. .
The first in a new series from this outstanding author is, The Silent Dead, Beth Young Book 1. What a treat I think we are in for if this first book is anything to go by.
Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team, so her first case is going to be something she'll be remembered for. Able to think outside the box, Beth is going to be a great asset to this team.
When a body is discovered in the grounds of a hotel, discovered by none other than the blushing bride, who is not going to let anything spoil her big day.
It's down to the Major Crimes team to figure out what has happened. When more bodies start to turn up, it becomes a race against time.
Not only is the clock ticking, so is your heart, in this superb, disturbing, thrilling, twisted, edge of your seat, race to find a killer.
For me, Graham Smith has smashed it again with another read you will not want to put down. Don't just take my word for it, read some of the other reviews. Better still read the book and make up your own mind. I don't think anyone is going to be disappointed, certainly not fans of Graham's writing.
If like me you have to play amature detective and try and figure out who the killer was, then I think you are going to be getting it wrong. I certainly did. That to me is the sign of a great book, not being able to guess who it was until the very end. As I've said, there was some great tension throughout this book and it really does help make it and edge of your seat read. It really does amaze me how, after so many books authors like Graham Smith still manage to come up with some of the idea's they do. Where does that mind go to when writing. Wherever it is, keep going there.
I think Beth is going to be an amazing character over the course of this series, I know from past books I have read by this author that he has a great ability to develop characters into loveable, likeable, readable characters. Beth will have plenty of room to grow and I look forward to getting to know her a whole lot more. There is just something brilliant when you know you have just found another series to follow.
Happy Reading folks.
Starlight on the Palace Pier
Get swept away with Tracy Corbett and spend your holidays on the Brighton pier
After an injury derails her dream of becoming a professional dancer, Becca Roberts heads home to Brighton in search of a fresh start.
And, when a part-time dance teacher role becomes available at The Starlight Playhouse, it seems like her stars are finally aligning. The crumbling old playhouse might need a bit of tender loving care (and a lick of paint!), but Becca is more than up to the challenge.
That is until Becca’s first love (and first heartbreak), Tom, waltzes into the Starlight Playhouse, and she realises life by the sea might not be as simple as she thought…
Fall in love on Palace Pier in this feel-good romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Jill Mansell.
Thrilled to be able to share with you today, an extract from Starlight on the Palace Pier.
Part of her had wanted to question why they allowed their children to behave in such a rowdy manner, but she’d held her tongue. She suspected teaching was like the world of show business, where everyone knew everyone. If word got out that she had a bad attitude, then it would be game over.
But it’d been tough. She’d never struggled to be civil before. But then she’d never been faced with a horde of competitive parents, who did nothing but criticise her appearance, her lack of control, or her ability to teach.
The distressing thing was, they were right. She was a useless teacher.
The only chink of light had come at the end of the class when one of the mothers had thanked her for helping her kids understand the meaning of ‘turnout’, something they’d struggled with under Mrs Morris. She’d introduced herself as Rosie and promised to return next week. She’d even left smiling, seemingly oblivious to just how disastrous the class had been.
Despite all this, Carolyn had still offered Becca the job. She wasn’t naive enough to believe this was because she’d impressed Carolyn. Far from it. Carolyn hadn’t even witnessed the debacle – she’d still been asleep in the office – which meant the offer was based purely on Carolyn’s desperation to find a replacement teacher, and not on Becca’s ability. It wasn’t exactly a glowing endorsement. And now Becca had to do it all again. This time with the adult tappers.
While she waited for the class to arrive, she took the opportunity to stretch out her hamstrings. Flexibility was the key to any style of dance. Stiff joints and tight tendons didn’t allow for freedom of movement.
She went over to the barre and began her routine, using the time to have a proper look around. She’d been so busy on Saturday trying to control the kids that she hadn’t paid much attention to the state of the dance studio. On first glance, it looked fine. It was a decent-sized space, with a wooden sprung floor, a mirrored wall, and a ballet barre running the length of the room. But on closer inspection, she could see damp patches on the walls, cracks in the plasterboard and chunks missing from the floorboards. It looked tired and scruffy, like the rest of the building.
She was mid-stretch when the doors behind opened. A couple entered, both very tall and model-thin skinny. They wore matching woollen coats and hats, despite the mild weather. They ignored Becca and shuffled over to the furthest seats, as if trying to hide.
She went over. ‘Hi, I’m Becca. I’ve taken over from Mrs Morris.’
They acknowledged her with shy nods, but didn’t hold eye contact.
Becca tried for a welcoming smile. ‘And you are?’
They looked at each other, as if silently questioning who was going to answer.
Eventually, the guy spoke. ‘I’m Nick. This is my wife, Cassie.’
‘Lovely to meet you both. Have you been coming to the class long?’
They shook their heads. ‘First time,’ the man replied.
Thank God for that. She figured it would be easier if people had nothing to compare her with. ‘Welcome to the class. Do you have tap shoes?’
Thrilled to be part of this blog tour and to bring you this awesome extract.
And the Number One Answer Is...
In a recent survey, 100 people were asked to list the things that irritate them most, and the winner was...
stupid bloody surveys that ask people to list things.
Have scientists, the government and women's magazines got nothing better to do with their time than ask inane questions? Isn't there an ozone layer that needs patching up? Don't hospitals need some attention? Schools needing new books?
Well, maybe, but first well just run off a potentially world-changing questionnaire asking 3,000 people what biscuit they like to dunk in their tea.
Now, usually I avoid surveys as I would, say, the bubonic plague or boob tubes, but this week there was one poll that genuinely intrigued and excited me. No, it wasn't the results of the survey that revealed that one in five blokes fake their orgasms (eh, I have questions) and that fifty-eight per cent of women do a Meg Ryan Special at the crucial moment. Nor was I particularly interested in the result of another poll that concluded Britons spend an average of £169,000 during their lives on job costs like travel and lunches. Unless, of course, you're an MP, in which case you claim double that back.
I was even less impressed with the research done by a team at the University of St Andrews that revealed that women are just as grateful for cheap trinkets as they are for expensive diamonds, just as long as the gift is given with thought and love.
Fab. Now as long as the love of your life dons a lopsided grin and recites a poem, he can palm you off with a genuine tin-plated, diamante love-heart ring from the Everything-For-A-Pound shop.
The study that did tweak my radar, however, was the survey 25,000 seven- to eleven-year-olds that found more than half reckoned their mums could do anything. Yes, us marvellous matriarchs beat off stiff competition in the superhero stakes from icons like Superman, Spiderman and whoever invented Play-Doh.
In second place came fathers, their popularity increased no doubt by the young boys who took part in the survey and were impressed by dad's ability to multitask.
My dearly beloved has an admirable ability to listen to me talking while multaneously rolling his eyeballs to heaven. And in third place came Harry Potter, that wee smug bloke who, unlike us mums, has to enlist the help of a wooden stick and a brainy (female) sidekick to conquer the impossible.
At two and three-quarters and four, my boys are below the age threshold for the survey, but I decided to boost my ever-flailing ego by checking that they concurred with the results.
Boys, do you think Mummy can do anything in the whole wide world? I asked with my sweetest, most grovelling grin. And, okay, I'll admit that the two packets of chocolate buttons I was dangling from each hand might have swayed them just slightly. Still, they looked at each other hesitantly, in the manner of crime suspects who feared they were being lured into a trap by a master interrogator. After checking the escape routes and realising they were cornered, they nodded tentatively.
I should have stopped there, but come on... I'm a mother who doesn't get out much, I'm permanently knackered and dishevelled and I haven't had a cigarette now for nearly three weeks I'm a real-life desperate housewife who'll clutch at any straw going for validation and appreciation. So what special things can I do then? I cajoled, still piling on the saccharine with a fork-lift. Give magic kisses, interjected Brad (almost three), referring to the cure for all ailments short of contagious diseases or anything relating to the bottom.
That's right, sweetheart... and what else? You can sing when you're upside down, Cal (four) exclaimed, his eyes never straying from the Buttons. Yeah, Madonna eat your heart out. You might be bendy but I can belt out a catchy tune when I'm standing on my head. Although there is usually a bottle or two of full-strength Lambrusco involved in the preparation of that particular death-defying feat. And you can make the bell ring when dinner's ready. And that, I fear, is the reason us mums came out on top. Our tiny offspring still have the naiveté of youth and the unconditional love for their mothers that convinces them that the eardrum-shattering racket produced by the dangerous combination of a woman who cant cook, a tray of chicken dinosaurs, an oven and a smoke alarm is a little piece of magic. Harry Potter, eat your heart out.
Because Mummy Said So –
About the author
Shari Low has published eighteen books under her own name and pseudonyms Millie Conway and Ronni Cooper. She is also one half of the writing duo, Shari King. She lives near Glasgow with her husband, two teenagers and a labradoodle.
About the book
The era of the yummy mummy has finally gone. To celebrate this, Shari Low has taken a baby wipe to the glossy veneer of the school of perfect parenting and written Because I Said So to show us the truth about motherhood in all of its sleep-deprived, frazzled glory.
This is a book that every experienced, new or soon-to-be parent will relate to – well, hallelujah and praise be those who worship at the temple of Febreze. For over a decade, Shari wrote a hugely popular weekly newspaper column documenting the ups, downs and bio-hazardous laundry baskets of family life.
Because Mummy Said So is a collection of her favourite stories of parenting, featuring superheroes in pull up pants, embarrassing mistakes, disastrous summer holidays, childhood milestones, tear-jerking nativity plays, eight bouts of chickenpox and many, many discussions that were finished with the ultimate parental sticky situation get-out clause...
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