#BlogTour – Love Among The Treetops by Catherine Ferguson – Read an #Extract (@AvonBooksUK @_CathFerguson)

I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on Catherine Ferguson’s Love Among The Treetops Blog Tour today, with an exclusive extract!

love among the tree tops coverCan love flourish amongst the tree tops?

 When pastry chef Twilight Wilson was a young girl, she would hide from school bullies up in the treehouse at thebottom of her garden in her family home in Sussex. It was her special place, and even as an adult she still loves it.

So when her family tell her they can’t afford to live there any more, Twilight is devastated. Not only will they lose their home – but the treehouse too!

She comes up with a plan to save the family home – she’ll start up a cafe in the treehouse! It’s a brilliant idea, and excitement builds as she starts planning the menus, with the help of Theo – a rather attractive man from the gym. But when former school bully Lucy finds out the plan, she starts plotting – and opens her own rival cafe in the village!

Can Twilight save her family home? Will her friendship with Theo ever be anything more? And who will win the cafe wars?

Catherine Ferguson is back in this hilarious, heart-warming read perfect for summer. 

Published in ebook 8th March 2018 and Paperback 17th May 2018 by Avon

‘I guess I should have started my training earlier.’ He grins and goes back to his book which, looking at the cover the right way up, I suddenly realise isn’t about crotches at all. My upside-down reading clearly needs some work. The book he’s so enthralled by is actually called Adventures with Crochet. (Which, to be fair, sets my mind boggling all over again.) There’s a colourful crocheted doll on the cover and a jolly border made from one long line of crochet, like I used to make when I was a little girl and Gran taught me.

I observe him curiously beneath my eyelashes. He certainly doesn’t look like a crochet enthusiast, with his rugby player’s body and big hands that would surely be way too clumsy to wield a crochet hook. But appearances can be deceptive. For all I know, he might also be a whiz at macramé and enjoy whipping up the odd summer fruit soufflé in his spare time. It was probably very politically incorrect of me to picture a crochet enthusiast as an elderly lady with a cat curled at her feet. Yes, in fact, good for him!

His brow is tense as if he’s concentrating hard. He’s obviously a ‘metrosexual’. The sort of man who’d feel perfectly at home exhibiting his macaroons in a Women’s Institute tent. Although why I should be so curious about someone I don’t even–

‘Excuse me,’ says a slightly breathy voice.

I glance up and so does Mr Needlepoint. The voice belongs to the blonde I spotted earlier.

‘Sorry to interrupt, but did I hear you say you’d just run a marathon?’ She bats her extensive eyelashes at him.

‘Twenty-six miles of hell,’ he says cheerfully. ‘Usually I enjoy them but today’s was tough going for some reason.’

‘So you’ve run marathons before?’

He nods. ‘Dozens.’

Her hazel eyes open wide in admiration, and I find myself fascinated by her make-up. Her eyelids are like two perfectly matching mini canvases, artfully brushed with shades of gold, pink and purple, fringed with dark, curled lashes. Mr Needlepoint seems quite taken with them, too.

‘Sorry, I should explain.’ She sits down next to me in a cloud of flowery perfume, while continuing to completely ignore me. ‘I’m Olivia.’

‘Theo Steel.’ They shake hands and as an afterthought, she turns to me.

‘Twilight.’ I wait for the reaction. Most people smile in surprise at the unusual name, which is exactly what Olivia does. Her hand feels thin and icy cold. She turns back to Theo.

‘So I have a friend who’s spearheading a “Get Hart’s End Fit!” campaign. I assume you live around here?’ She includes me in this query.

I nod. ‘My parents live in Hart’s End.’

‘Lake Heath,’ says Theo, naming a neighbouring village a few miles from Hart’s End, further along the track.

‘Well, my friend wants as many people as possible to take part in a 10k run she’s organising for charity.’ She gives Theo a coy look. ‘And you’re obviously very fit.’

‘Well … I don’t know about that.’

‘Oh, but you must be. Running all those marathons.’

‘I suppose …’

‘And those lovely, hard muscles must be the result of an awful lot of weight training,’ she says, gazing admiringly at his arms.

Like the sound of this? Available to buy now in Ebook HERE 

love among the tree tops

#BlogTour – The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare – Extract and #Giveaway (@MillsandBoon)

I’m thrilled to be hosting the stop on The Duchess Deal blog tour today with an extract and a chance for one lucky person to win their very own copy of this gorgeous looking book!

THE DUCHESS DEAL is a perfect witty, sassy Regency Romance from the internationally bestselling author, Tessa Dare, with a definite hint of Beauty and the Beast. The book debuted at #6 on the New York Times bestseller list when the book released in the US earlier this month.

So what’s it about? 

the duchess deal‘I am a Duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.’

When the Duke of Ashbury returns from war scarred, he realises he needs an heir – which means he needs a wife! When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress visits wearing a wedding dress, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:
– They will be husband and wife by night only.
– No lights, no kissing.
– No questions about his battle scars. 
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has secrets and some rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

When a girl meets a Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules… 

Published 22nd February 2018 by Mills and Boon (UK) 

Like the sound of this? Here’s an extract to give you a little taster of the book! 

A duchess? 

Well. Emma was grateful for one thing. At least now she had an excuse to stare at him. Ever since the duke had revealed the extent of his scars, she’d been trying not to stare at him. Then she’d started worrying that it would be even more rude to avoid looking at him. As a result, her gaze had been volleying from his face, to the carpet, to the coins on the desk. It was all a bit dizzying. 

Now she had an unassailable excuse to openly gawk. 

The contrast was extreme. The injured side of his face drew her attention first, of course. Its appearance was tortured and angry, with webs of scar tissue twisting past his ear and above his natural hairline. What was more cruel—his scarred flesh stood in unavoidable contrast with his untouched profile. There, he was handsome in the brash, uncompromising way of gentlemen who believed themselves invincible. 

Emma didn’t find his appearance frightful, though she could not deny it was startling. No, she decided, “startling” wasn’t the right word.  

Striking. 

He was striking. 

As though a bolt of lightning had split through his body, dividing him in two, and the energy still crackled around him. Emma sensed it from across the room. Gooseflesh rippled up her arms. 

“I beg your pardon, Your Grace. I must have misheard.” 

“I said I will make you a duchess.” 

“Surely . . . surely you don’t mean through marriage.” 

“No, I intend to use my vast influence in the House of Lords to overturn the laws of primogeniture, then persuade the Prince Regent to create a new title and duchy. That accomplished, I will convince him to name a vicar’s daughter from Hertfordshire a duchess in her own right. Of course I mean through marriage, Miss Gladstone.” 

She gave a strained laugh. Laughter seemed the only possible response. He had to be joking. 

“You can’t be asking me to marry you.” He sighed with annoyance. “I am a duke. I’m not asking you to marry me. I am offering to marry you. It’s a different thing entirely.” 

She opened her mouth, only to close it again. 

“I need an heir,” he said. “That is the thrust of the matter.” 

Her concentration snagged on that word, and the blunt, forceful way he said it. 

Thrust. 

“If I died tomorrow, everything would go to my cousin. He is an irredeemable prat. I didn’t go to the Continent, fight to preserve England from tyranny, and survive this”—he gestured at his face—“only to come home and watch my tenants’ lives crumble to ruins. And that means those laws of primogeniture—since I don’t intend to overturn them—require me to marry and sire a son.” 

He crossed the room, advancing toward her in unhurried strides. She stood in place, unwilling to shrink from him. The more nonchalant his demeanor, the more her pulse pounded. His face might be striking, but the rest of him . . . ? 

Rather splendid. 

To distract herself, Emma focused on her own realm of expertise: attire. The tailoring of his coat was immaculate, skimming the breadth of his shoulders and hugging the contours of his arms. The wool was of the finest quality, tightly woven and richly dyed. However, the style was two years behind the current fashion, and the cuffs were a touch frayed at the— 

“I know what you’re thinking, Miss Gladstone.” 

She doubted it. 

“You’re incredulous. How could a woman of your standing possibly ascend to such a rank? I can’t deny you’ll find yourself outclassed and un-befriended among the ladies of the peerage, but you will no doubt be consoled with the material advantages. A lavish home, generous lines of credit at all the best shops, a large settlement in the event of my death. You may pay calls, go shopping. Engage in some charitable work, if you must. Your days will be yours to do whatever you wish.” His voice darkened. “Your nights, however, will belong to me.” 

Any response to that was beyond her. An indignant warmth hummed over every surface of her body, seeping into the spaces between her toes. 

“You should expect me to visit your bed every evening, unless you are ill or having your courses, until conception is confirmed.” 

Emma tried, one more time, to understand this conversation. After running through all the possibilities, one alternative seemed the most likely. 

The duke was not merely scarred on his face. He was sick in the head. 

“Your Grace, do you feel feverish?” 

“Not at all.” 

“Perhaps you ought to have a lie-down. I could send your butler for a physician.” 

He gave her a quizzical look. “Do you need a doctor?” 

“Maybe I do.” Emma touched one hand to her brow. Her brain was spinning. 

If he wasn’t ill . . . Could this be some sort of ploy to make her his mistress? Oh, Lord. Perhaps she’d given him the wrong impression with her willingness to disrobe. 

“Are you—” 

There seemed no way to say it but to say it. “Your Grace, are you trying to get me into your bed?” 

Yes. Nightly. I said as much, not a minute ago. Are you listening at all?”   

About The Author 

tessa dareTessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty historical romances. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award (twice) and the RT Book Reviews Seal of Excellence. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance,” and her books have been contracted for translation in more than a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a trio of cosmic kitties. 

Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook 

the duchess deal

Giveaway!!! 

Fancy owning a copy of your own? Simply head over to follow my twitter account @vicki_cosybooks where I’m giving away one copy (courtesy of the publisher) and ReTweet my pinned post – you can find me HERE 

Closes March 9th at Midnight GMT, Winner will be selected at random and contacted for mailing address to be passed onto the publisher. Open Internationally!

Good luck!  

duchess deal

#Blogtour – My Mother The Liar by Ann Troup – An Extract (@HQDigital @TroupAnn)

I’m joining the blog tour today for Ann Troup’s latest thriller, My Mother, The Liar. Released by HQ Digital on 12th February 2018 in ebook, I’ve got the incredibly gripping and dramatic first chapter to share with you!

my mother the liarEvery family has its secrets…

From the author of The Lost Child, and The Forgotten Room. Perfect for fans of The Secret Mother and Linda Green.

Two dead bodies. A lifetime of secrets.

When Rachel Porter’s estranged mother dies, she returns to her family home filled with dread about having to face her past, and the people who populated it.

Little does she know that there are dead bodies waiting to be discovered, and a lifetime of secrets are about to untangle.

Secrets kept by her mother, the liar.

 

 

Chapter 1 

Rachel’s mother had been fond of blanket statements that set others indelibly in their places. Proud of her insights into the characters of others she had set out her children’s traits like a script. As if they were pickles in jars, all three of her daughters had been permanently labelled and preserved by her assertions.
Frances was the clever one, Stella was useless, and Rachel was just downright difficult.
Did all parents like to define their offspring, leaving their children floundering and typecast? Rachel felt imperfectly moulded by her family, an inconvenient, bit part player in the sometimes drama that had been her life. It had made her bitter.
Now her mother was dead. Valerie was no more and Rachel wasn’t feeling much of anything except antipathy.
She would have known about Valerie’s death weeks before, but she’d quietly ignored the first letter from Frances, knowing that it couldn’t contain good news. The Porters didn’t trade in good news. The slanting, deeply etched handwriting on the envelope had said enough. Frances could ooze anger even when writing a simple address. She’d used green ink, which Rachel was inclined to think had been distilled from her sister’s bile.

It had taken a second letter containing the expected diatribe of accusations and sour grapes to make Rachel finally take notice. She had already missed the funeral. Frances had been brutal and unforgiving about that. Rightly so in Rachel’s mind – missing your own mother’s funeral was pretty shabby in anyone’s book. Even if your mother was Valerie Porter. She might not have gone back at all if she hadn’t been required to assist with the application for probate. Without that she’d have carried on burying her head in the sand and ignored them all for ever. It was Valerie Porter’s final revenge to force her to go back.

When she was sitting on the train, when it was too late to turn back and take refuge again, she allowed herself to think about the consequences of going back. Of what she’d have to face.

Who she’d have to face.

There were people more dreadful than Frances who populated the past.

While the train took her relentlessly towards ‘home’, she pulled out the second letter and reread Frances’s words.

‘I am patently aware that you still harbour resentment about the past however the house is a joint responsibility and whatever grudges you still bear, I feel you should put them aside for once and show a little loyalty,’ Frances’s letter baldly stated. ‘Stella is nowhere to be found and I’ve been left to deal with this alone. You have a legal obligation to carry out Mother’s last wishes at least. I will expect to see you at the soonest opportunity I shan’t say at your convenience because that would mean waiting for ever”

Rachel could imagine the gritted teeth and grim expression that had fuelled those words. It had been a sense of stale guilt and obligation that got her to Paddington Station plus curiosity and a strange, unpleasant yearning for something she couldn’t define which had made her get on the train. Since when had Frances ever needed anything from her?
With every mile that took her closer to home she felt an increasing sense of apprehension. Given the circumstance of her departure all those years ago it was bizarre that Frances would contact her at all, let alone request her help – they both knew that there was no love lost between Valerie and Rachel, they hadn’t spoken in years.

The only logical conclusion she could draw was that her physical presence was needed to allow the sale of the house because no connection between sisters, or mothers for that matter, would have driven Frances to write otherwise. Given that for most of Rachel’s life Frances hadn’t been able to bear being in the same room as her for more than a few minutes there couldn’t be any other reason.

Frances wanted the money. Nothing else on earth would have forced her to make contact, not even the truth. That was something none of them could bring themselves to face.
***
By the time Rachel arrived at the house Frances had already sold everything of any remote value that Valerie hadn’t, and had resorted to burning what was left on a large bonfire in the overgrown garden. Things that couldn’t be burned, like the ancient enamelled cooker that their grandmother had bought in 1959, and the six broken vacuum cleaners that had languished in the attic for years along with numerous
other aged and dishevelled domestic items were to be taken to the local tip by Sid, ‘The Man With A Van’ and his monosyllabic sidekick, Steve.

Sid and Steve were cheap, available and discreet. Frances valued discretion and economy above most things – including false sentiment. She showed none of that when greeting her sister, merely offered her a pair of rubber gloves and a black bag and told her to pick a room, any room, and get on with it. Rachel received a warmer welcome from Sid. The amiable Sid explained that he and Steve had been at the house for days, repeatedly loading the van and making trips to the local landfill site as Frances steadily forced the large old house to disgorge its contents and bare its mouldering soul.

Rachel arrived with barely enough time to salvage Stella’s meagre belongings from the purge, and only just managed to stop Steve feeding yet another box of books onto Frances’s pyre. They were Stella’s books, children’s classics that Stella had kept from her own childhood and had read to Rachel during hers. Frances argued that if Stella had wanted the books she would have taken them with her. Rachel shrugged and said that she was keeping them anyway. One of the rare pleasures of her childhood had been
listening to Stella read those stories, so even if Stella didn’t want them, she did. Besides, monstrous though Frances could be, what kind of person could burn books?

Frances had been so eager to clear the house that she hadn’t really left much that Rachel could do, except stand by and wonder at her sister’s vigorous enthusiasm for incinerating every last stick the house had ever contained. It felt as if she were only there to witness the destruction. It was Frances’s way of punishing her she supposed.
‘I’ve spent too many years being oppressed by all this junk!’ Frances yelled above the crackling bonfire, eyes blazing as bright as the fire as she watched the flames consume yet another chunk of their past. ‘It’s liberating, don’t you think?’

Sid, standing next to Rachel, shook his head and said ‘I dunno, seems a shame really – could have got a few quid for some of that stuff on eBay. Sacrilege ’ he added, bemused. He looked back at the house ‘ must really have been something in its day. They don’t build them like that any more.’

Rachel followed his gaze and looked back at the mock Tudor sprawl she’d once known as home. ‘Probably ’ she said, her voice dull. Not that she could ever remember it being anything other than dark, damp, cold and gloomy. By the time she’d been born The Limes was already suffering from serious neglect. Valerie had been too mean to heat the rooms they didn’t use and mildew had taken hold running riot over the walls. The negligence had been an open invitation for rot and decay to come on in and have
a ball. Even in winter it had sometimes been warmer outside than in – a childhood full of blue noses chilblains and chipping the ice from the taps had left its mark on Rachel. She still couldn’t bear the cold.

The house had eight bedrooms. In Rachel’s memory only four had ever been regularly used. Of the four bathrooms, they had all shared one, and out of the study, drawing room, morning room and reception room, they had only ever used the morning room as it was close to the kitchen and easier to heat. The attics and cellars had been no go zones for so long that she had almost forgotten they existed other than as repositories for the things Valerie had been too lazy to throw away.
As far as Rachel was concerned The Limes was a mausoleum that housed a bitter past. If it had ever had a heyday it was so far back in the mists of time she would have to squint to imagine it.

Much in the way that she needed to squint at Frances through the billowing smoke. She was prodding the fire with the end of a garden hoe, her eyes glinting and flickering with reflected flames making her look like a reject from the legions of hell. The fire had brought out a demonic glee that made Rachel instinctively shudder despite the heat that rolled across the neglected lawn.

‘Right, that’s going nicely ’ Frances called. ‘Stephen, you come with me and we’ll tackle the outbuildings and Sidney, you can go with Rachel and make sure there’s nothing of value left inside.’

A brief flicker of panic crossed Steve’s face as he looked at Sid. Sid had quietly confided to Rachel that both men had fallen foul of Frances’s imperious temper over the past few days and it was considered the short straw if one of them had to work alongside her. ‘Come on, chop chop!’ she shouted, clapping her hands as if Steve was a refractory Pekingese.

Rachel watched them go. ‘I suppose we’d better follow orders ’ she said to Sid, preparing herself to go back into the near naked house. Free of its clutter, the house was even more cavernous than she remembered, all its strident objections to old age and infirmity amplified by the lack of furnishings. With nothing to soak up the sound and attract
the eye it looked bare and ashamed of itself Rachel almost felt sorry for it. Nobody loved it, and she couldn’t remember anybody ever having been happy there. As a home its heart had been hollowed out by acrimony and now it was being finished off by arch indifference.

She and Sid ascended the stairs, the bare treads creaking in protest now that they had been stripped of carpet. They checked the bedrooms, finding them damp and empty, until they entered Valerie’s room. Their mother’s room had always been sacrosanct, an oasis of calm and solitude that Valerie had often retreated to – usually complaining of a headache and clutching a medicinal bottle of sherry. Rachel couldn’t recall ever having been allowed inside, and it surprised her that she’d never thought it strange before that moment.

Now only a few black sacks stood against the wall ready for Sid’s next run to the tip. This first and final ingress into her mother’s secret chamber – the room that had been the inner sanctum, the room that had been the container of Valerie’s personal misery – was a frank disappointment for Rachel. As a child, she had often spied by squinting through the keyhole like a woebegone urchin, imagining that beyond the locked door lay another realm. The wardrobe in the corner might have been the entrance to another dimension, where Valerie existed differently and found the peace she had so often demanded before shutting the door against the needs of her family. Although, in Rachel’s imagination the White Witch had always had much more of a resemblance to Valerie than had been entirely comfortable. Stella’s books had stirred some lonely and uncomfortable memories.

Though Valerie’s presence still echoed in the hollow room, Rachel could not for the life of her imagine what peace of mind her mother had ever found from lying on the bed staring drunkenly at the blowsy roses scrambling across the wallpaper beneath the dust and cobwebs. Those keyhole shaped memories had suggested something exotically different from the chilly, mildewed reality she now faced. The only piece of furniture not yet consigned to the tip, or dispatched to be consumed by the flames of Frances’s blaze, was the wardrobe.

Rachel walked over to it and touched its mirrored door, which opened with an ominous creak. She gave it a wry smile, unsurprised that it wasn’t filled with fur coats and melting snow after all.

‘She said I could have that ’ Sid said, apparently afraid that Rachel might condemn it to the fire. ‘I was saving it for when we finished. That way I can put it on the van and take it straight home ’

The faintest aroma of mothballs belched out as she shut the door. ‘I’ll lock it so it’ll be easier to move. You should hang on to the key- they’re always better when they still have their keys.’

The door was a little warped, and she had to shove it hard to make it fit properly, promptly dislodging the prized key in the process. ‘Bugger!’ she said. The key had bounced on the bare floorboards and hidden itself underneath the wardrobe. On hands and knees, Rachel peered into the murky spider graveyard that lay beneath ‘I can’t see it we’ll have to pull the bloody thing out ’

Sid obliged, and together they coaxed it into a reluctant slide across the wooden boards. As Rachel bent to retrieve the key, something prodded at the edges of her awareness. ‘I didn’t know that was there ’ she murmured, standing up and looking at a door that had been hidden from view.

‘Built in cupboard ’ Sid pronounced knowledgably. ‘What d’you need a wardrobe for if there’s a built in cupboard?’

Rachel shrugged. ‘More junk for you to get rid of I expect ’ she said, prising open the cupboard door and cringing as the hinges squealed in protest. The cupboard was surprisingly empty given the rubbish that had always cluttered the rest of the house. A faint flurry of fetid air wafted into their faces as they peered into its dark recesses. On the lone shelf, there stood a biscuit tin and on the floor stood a metal box. Rachel took down the biscuit tin and levered of the lid. Various bits of paper and old photographs nestled there – mostly showing Frances as a young child. The papers proved to be old school reports, all describing Frances’s attributes in glowing terms. Rachel couldn’t recall Valerie keeping a record of either her or Stella’s school records – though Frances probably would have burnt them if she had. As Rachel rifled through it occurred to her that she had never seen a photograph of herself as a child anywhere in the house. Probably because there weren’t any to see.

Under the photographs was a small red book – the type that had a tiny lock. She took it and the photographs and stuffed them into her back pocket. Maybe Frances would want them, maybe not. The rest she put back in the tin and threw the whole thing into one of the black sacks that flanked the room.

Sid grabbed the metal box ‘Bloody hell, this is heavy. Hey, perhaps we’ve found the family jewels!’ he quipped.

Rachel responded with a sardonic smile. The box was little bigger than a bread bin but looked like it weighed a ton. Sid placed it at Rachel’s feet, grunting with the effort.

‘Want to do the honours?’ he asked.

She shook her head, watching as Sid attempted to release the lid. Though the metal had been galvanised, some substance had affected it, causing rust to scab the edges and eat into the structure. Sid took out a Swiss army knife and used the screwdriver bit as a lever, giving a satisfied grunt as the orangemcrust gave way. He lifted the lid, revealing the contents.

‘It’s full of sand ’ he said, puzzled.

‘Sand?’

‘Hang on, there’s something poking out of it ’ he tugged, dislodging a torrent of dry, gritty matter as the object shifted.

It was some kind of parcel, wrapped in dirty cloth. Sid unwound the material, causing more sand and grit to fall and litter the floor as each layer of fabric came away and disintegrated in his hands.

‘What is it?’ Rachel asked, peering over his shoulder at what appeared to be some type of shrivelled, leathery doll.

Sid didn’t speak. His skin had turned a ghastly shade of grey and all Rachel could see as she peered at his stricken face was his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down like a fishing float as he fought for the words to describe the thing that was now lying on the floor.

***

Frances’s scream was so piercing it rattled the glass in the rotten window frames, buffeting Rachel’s eardrums and snapping Sid out of his shocked stupor as effectively as if it had taken tangible form and slapped him in the face.

Once the sound receded, everything became horribly quiet as if there had been a sudden solar eclipse and the birds had stopped singing in deference to the dark. Time became elastic as seconds extended themselves into blurry, suspended pockets of disbelieving minutes.

Sid’s mobile phone began to ring he tinny, incongruent tones of ‘My Way’ shattering the silence and stirring him into action. When he finally answered the thing after fumbling for it in every pocket, Rachel could hear Steve’s high pitched voice. With escalating panic, he told Sid about the scene outside. Rachel doubted that Steve had ever uttered so many words in one hit before. Which was probably why he sounded confused.

She could have sworn she heard him say that they’d found a dead body in the shed.

 

Doesn’t that just make you want to read more?  Then you can purchase the rest of the book here

About The Author  

ann troup

Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.

Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.

She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.

In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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#Blogtour – Mothering Sunday by Rosie Goodwin – An Extract @BonnierZaffre

I’m hosting the final stop on the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Mothering Sunday by Rosie Goodwin. Sadly the book didn’t make it to me in time (thanks to wandering parcels!) and so I’ll be reviewing it later, and I’m really looking forward to it – is sounds like such a charming, cosy afternoon read! But for now, here’s an extract for you to enjoy – and if you’ve already read this one, then I’d love to hear what you thought!

mothering sunday.jpgIf you love Dilly Court, you’ll love Rosie Goodwin.

ALL SHE WANTS IS SOMEONE TO CALL HER OWN

1884, Nuneaton.

Fourteen-year-old Sunday Small has never lived outside the Nuneaton workhouse. The regime is cruel, and if it weren’t for Miss Beau – who comes in every week to teach the children their letters – and her young friend Daisy, Sunday’s life wouldn’t be worth living. And now she’s attracted the unwelcome attention of the workhouse master.

With no choice but to leave behind everything she knows, Sunday strikes out on her own to make her fortune and to fulfil her promise to come back for Daisy. And, secretly she dreams of finding the long-lost mother who gave her away.

But she’s about to discover that, try as she might to escape, the brutal world of the workhouse will not let her go without a fight

Published in paperback 27th July 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre (UK)

After scouting around for a while Sunday found all she needed. A bucket and a somewhat grimy mop, some soda crystals and lye soap and a number of old rags. Annie was already seated at the kitchen table shelling peas by then so she silently made her way back to her room. She was breathless by the time she got there. It had been no easy task balancing the bucket up two flights of stairs but she was eager to make a start. So much so that she forgot all about going to say goodbye and thank you to Lady Huntley. First of all, she gathered up the rugs that were scattered about the floor and placed them by the door. Later on she would take them outside and give them a good beating. She then opened the window as wide as it would go and set to with a vengeance, coughing and spluttering as the dust swirled around her in clouds. She was so absorbed in what she was doing that she started when Annie appeared in the doorway some two hours later.

Are yer deaf or what?” she grumbled. “I’ve been bawlin’ me lungs out fer you to come an’ ‘ave something to eat from the bottom o’ the stairs.” She looked around in amazement then. The floorboards were gleaming damply in the light from the window that Sunday had cleaned, the whole room was spick and span, and the furniture smelled of beeswax polish.

Well I’ll be,” she said greatly impressed. “You’ve certainly transformed this room, lass.”

Sunday sat back on her heels and grinned. She was in the process of washing down the chest of drawers now.

I’ve almost finished. I hung the flock mattress out of the window and gave it a good shake but I forgot to ask you where I might find some bedding. I want to give the rugs a good beating then and once that’s done you can tell me where else you want me to start.”

I’ll show yer where the linen cupboard is an’ yer can help yerself to whatever yer need. But leave this fer now an’ come n’ get somethin’ inside yer. We only ‘ave a light snack mid-day but it’ll keep yer goin’ till yer dinner tonight.”

Sunday stood up and wiped her hands on her apron before following Annie downstairs.

I’ve taken a tray in to the missus,” Annie informed her, “but she’ll eat in the dinin’ room wi’ the lodgers this evenin’. You’ll eat in the kitchen wi’ me.”

As they entered the kitchen the smell of new baked bread reached Sunday and her stomach growled ominously. She suddenly realised that she hadn’t eaten at all that day, she had been too nervous at breakfast, not that she had missed much. The greasy porridge that was served to them in the workhouse always left a nasty after taste and often made her feel nauseous.

Now she gazed in amazement at the two loaves that were cooling on a rack on the table. They looked nothing at all like the dry grey bread that she was used to and her mouth watered at the sight of them.

I do me own bakin’ at least three times a week,” Annie informed her proudly. “There’s one thing I’ll say fer the missus, she don’t skimp when it comes to feedin’ her lodgers an’ though I say it meself I’m a fair old cook.” She chuckled then. “I’ve ‘ad to be. I ‘ad eleven nippers see to an’ they was always hungry so I ‘ad to make me money go a long way. They’ve all long since grown up an’ flown the nest now but I still pride meself on keepin’ a good table. Now sit yerself down an’ stick in, lass.”

Sunday plonked herself down on one of the kitchen chairs and stared at the food spread out before her.

That’s the last o’ the leg o’ pork left over from last night’s dinner,” Annie informed her. “An’ there’s some pickled onions an’ cheese there along wi’ the butter. That should keep yer goin’ till later.”  

Mothering Sunday bt

About The Author

rosie goodwin

Rosie Goodwin is the author of over twenty bestselling novels, selling more than 300k paperbacks. She is the first author in the world to be allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels. Having worked in the social services sector for many years, then fostering a number of children, she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the top 50 most borrowed authors from UK libraries and regularly appears in the Heatseeker charts.

 

www.rosiegoodwin.co.uk

@RosieGoodwin