2019, Author Love, debut novel, july, New Author to me, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Blurb: Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .

In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes? 

Review: Now this is a debut that I couldn’t wait to get stuck into. Although saying that having listened to Claire read a section of Living My Best Life at the Spring blogger event, it’s remarkable that I had managed to wait until nearer to publication day to actually read this treat.

Living my best life is the book every social media addict needs to read. More often than not we all get bogged down by social media in some way and Claire manages to show both sizes of this double edged coin. Our lives on social media are a far cry from the strains of our real lives. I’m not saying it’s all faked but it sure is filtered. Just like Millie I’ve often taken pictures at various angles cropping out all the everyday crap that just isn’t insta worthy.

Where do I start – Living My Best Life focuses on two women Millie – an insta influencer with an adorable son and there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. And then we have Bell who is approaching her 40th birthday and has just been dumped by her long-standing boyfriend of ten years. Bell works in fashion but has never thought of herself as fashionable.

From the beginning I liked both of them but I instantly warmed to Bell more, don’t get me wrong as Millie’s chapters went on I couldn’t love them both more. I don’t want to say too much about the morals of the story but I loved the community element of this book and we don’t always see that gumption anymore. I love how it brought the two very different women together and it made me think of my various friendship groups. There’s always a link that brings you together but then it’s your actual friendship that stands the test of time.

There are a number of other characters that I could and probably should mention merely due to their humour but I’m going to only add Suze – who is the best mate we all need – she tells Bell exactly how it is and drags her out of her bout of sadness and Cosette – Bells funny and loveable sister who thoroughly thinks of family first.

I’m not 40 for another five years but wow Bell sure did celebrate in style and let’s face it she deserved every single second of it.

Claire’s debut is impressive, funny and plain addictive. I was so heartbroken when I forgot my copy yesterday especially as I was so close to the finish line.

What I also loved was how Claire managed to have humour alongside a number of serious real life issues which include bullying, postnatal depression and loneliness. There may also be a romance that warmed me, I can’t say too much but I was sooo sooo Happy it turned out the way it did and I literally had all the feels. That saying it happens when you least expect it sure did come to mind.

Living My Best Life is the book you need this Summer if you’re not left feeling reflective and ready for anything then did you even read it. It also shows the power of friends and friendship and that alone warms my heart. There’s a few friends who I know will totally lap up this read and I cannot wait to give them this chance.

2019, Author Love, Publication Day, Uncategorized

As Luck Would Have It By Zoe May

Today is publication day for Zoe May’s latest offering – As Luck Would Have It. Ever since loving her debut novel – Perfect Match. You can read my review here

I’m pretty sure it was a Netgalley find and in doing so I read it really quickly and was eager to see what was next for Zoe. I must admit my ever expanding TBR pile still has a few of hers but I decided that I would make this one a priority this July. Tomorrow I will be flying to Dublin for the weekend and won’t have much in terms of luggage space so I’m hoping to get some reading in on my phone via my Kindle app.

Blurb: One holiday can change your life forever…Natalie Jackson might keep up appearances on Instagram, but in reality her fiancé has just jilted her after the birth of their baby and she’s moved back in with her mum. Life isn’t exactly going to plan!

So when she enters the village raffle for the holiday of a lifetime, she thinks she has no chance of winning. But her name is pulled out – and, as luck would have it, so is a ticket bought by her childhood nemesis: Will Brimble.

Surely a romantic holiday for two is the worst idea ever right?

Seeing as I’m off to Dublin tomorrow I didn’t stay up to see this ping through- good job really as I’m sure I couldn’t have resisted starting it. This morning I needed to get ready and pack a bag as after work I’m off to my friends ahead of Dublin early tomorrow. As I’m walking I’m listening to an audiobook but later on I will be starting this beauty. Have a fantastic day Zoe. You deserve it.

2018, Blog Tour, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Forgive Me Not By Samantha Tonge

Blurb: How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Review: Now I can’t say I have read all of Samantha Tonge’s back catalogue but what I have read I have really enjoyed.

Forgive Me Not is a brand new novel from Samantha with Canelo it’s a whole new direction for her and all I can say is wow.

I took part in a readathon at the weekend and for once I didn’t do too badly. (More on this later) but I knew I was due to review Forgive Me Not today so it was definitely on my TBR and it kept me transfixed. I was working over the weekend but every spare minute was spent truly devouring Emma’s story.

Emma is such an interesting character although at times I felt frustrated at her and on behalf of her. As the story unfolds you’re taken back and forth on her journey. There’s so much to Emma and her story isn’t as clear cut as it seems at times. I loved seeing the twists unfold and the terror and shock of what she discovered. It’s remarkable how secrets and lies can shape your whole existence – well this is definitely part of Emma’s story and I’m pretty sure there are many people out there that will agree if certain events in their lives had been different their journey would have been different. This sentiment made me question how we are towards others around us. It’s all well and good being sorry but actions do speak louder than words and Emma learns the hard way.

If you have read Samantha’s work wipe away any misconceptions as this novel is a one off a stand alone that will stay with you long after the final page.

This novel seemed to come to me at the right time. I’m penning a post that will link nicely to this book but I don’t want to give too much away the gist I will say is that every single person you meet is fighting their own personal battles and appearances can be deceptive. Sometimes we automatically judge people when we have no right. Anything can change our way of life, a difficult childhood doesn’t mean you’ll turn out a tearaway, and coming from money also doesn’t mean you’ll never experience hardship in some way shape or form.

I could share so many quotes from this epic tale but I really liked this “she’d concluded that all being normal meant was being happy with yourself.” This speaks volumes to me and right now in a good place on my Slimming World journey I finally feel happier in myself.

Forgiving comes easy to some but Emma’s sister isn’t ready to forget and on Emma’s journey as she starts to heal she realises where her family are coming from. I truly believe this sentiment will be an eye opener for most.

This story has so much to deal with and it’s done so well. I don’t want to elaborate too much as it’s a special journey and each and every reader will see different signs and triggers. Sadly in the world we live in there’s still a stigma around mental health and depression. On the flip side they are just two aspects and thanks to authors like Samantha these everyday real life battles are being spoken about more.

If you want to read a book that’s going to entertain, intrigue and teach you something then go grab Forgive Me Not and join Emma on her rollercoaster ride. My final words are Never judge a book by its cover, appearances can be deceptive and think before you judge another.

2018, Author Love, Guest Post, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Guest Post: The Power Of Kindness By Victoria Walters

Today sees the publication of part four of Victoria Walters Random Acts Of Kindness and I truly cannot wait to devour it. Although I will miss Littlewood and it’s residents.

So in honour of publication day I have the lovely lady herself here at Hayley Reviews without further ado I give you Victoria…

The Power Of Kindness

When I started writing my four-part serial, Random Acts Of Kindness, I was sceptical at how much kindness there really was in every-day life. The story is set in a small surrey (fictional) town called Littlewood and follows three women over one summer who discover that kindness can change your life. There is an act of kindness in the very first chapter, which starts a butterfly effect of acts of kindness through the story, and inspires the three women to make a pact to be kinder to both other people, and to themselves.

After I had written the first part, I experienced an eerily similar act of kindness to one of main characters. I was in a shop and suddenly realised that my handbag was no longer hung on my shoulder. I immediately panicked and frantically tried to retrace my steps in the store. There was no sign of it so I assumed it had been taken by someone. It’s a shame that was my first feeling but I thought it had gone. Then I turned around and saw a woman coming up the escalator carrying my bag. She worked for the shop and had seen it fall off my shoulder (note to self-do not wear a leather jacket with a gold chain strap in future – it slips right off!) and had picked it up and tried to find me in the shop. I was so grateful, I gave her a big hug! I think she was surprised but no more than me that someone had found my bag, and reunited me with it.

What was so crazy about this act of kindness was the mirror to my book. In the first chapter, Abbie has arrived in Littlewood from London and she drops her bag at the train station. Later, she is stunned to have it handed back to her by a stranger who followed her to a local café called Brew. Brew has a kindness board where customers write up acts of kindness that others have done for them, and it inspires Abbie, the stranger Eszter, and Abbie’s sister Louise to do their own acts of kindness. I love the idea of kindness having a pay-it-forward effect on people.

As I wrote Random Acts Of Kindness, I have noticed kindness so much more than before. If you look for it you do see so much of it that my faith in human nature has been restored. Even if it’s just someone giving you a compliment or holding the door open for you, all these small things can really make someone feel special, and turn their day around. I really hope my story inspires readers to make kindness more of a priority in their lives, and I’m definitely trying to make it more of one myself.

Thank you Victoria for joining me here at Hayley Reviews. I also would like to make kindness more of a priority in my life too. Sometimes the smallest things can mean the most to others and we should also all be kinder to ourselves, I am getting better at that but I can be my own worst enemy.

If you haven’t devoured this gorgeous series then be sure to do so part one is free and the others are 99p each what a bargain.

Random Acts Of Kindness

Before I go here are my reviews from the first three parts.

Part one

Part two

Part three

Keep your eyes peeled for my thoughts on finishing the series this week. I’m getting the bus into work instead of my usual walk so I can start devouring this beauty. Saying goodbye to Littlewood will be hard but being kind should be part of our everyday existence.

2018, Author Love, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Five Years From Now is out today…

Happiest of publication days to Paige Toon for the gorgeous Five Years From Now. A novel that sucked me in and spat me out in the greatest sense of the word. The characters are loveable and you will honestly be invested in them from the off. Nell and Vian/Van were my favourites from the off.

Here is my review for Five Years From Now one of my favourite reads this year.

I haven’t had Paige in my life for long but every one of the novels of hers that I have read have been outstanding. I started with Last Piece Of My Heart another novel that had me laughing and in tears. Which was then followed by The One We Fell in Love With and then Thirteen Weddings and the Christmas short A Christmas Wedding.

A few more of my blog posts on Paige Sampler Five Years From Now

A Christmas Wedding

The last piece of my heart

So from my links there are two I shamefully haven’t reviewed wow this won’t happen again lol.

Last July I was lucky enough to meet Paige for the first time at YALC, and since then we have met a few times. Not only is Paige an awesome writer she’s a lovely and humble human being and every-time I speak to her I’m inspired and grateful.

So to everyone who has devoured all of Paige’s glorious collection what should I read next?

So what are you waiting for get ordering this beauty. Five years from now link I will be on the hunt for the pink one from Asda I’m not sure my local Asda does books but that will be my mission. As I say I’m all ears to what Paige novel I should devour next I also love Audible so let me know if I should listen.

2018, Blog Tour, Publication Day

Publication day blog tour: The Things We Need To Say By Rachel Burton

Blurb: Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the way things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

Happiest of publication days to Rachel Burton with The Things We Need To Say….I managed to double book myself today so I haven’t read it as yet but I will be reading shortly. I’m so sorry that I haven’t got to it yet….you can purchase it Here

2018, Blog Tour, Netgalley, Publication Day, Review, TBR, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Summer in Rome By Samantha Tonge

Blurb: Blurb

To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.

Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!

Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…

A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.

Purchase from Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2rrwXfT

Review: Firstly, happiest of publication days to Samantha. What a gorgeous treat One Summer in Rome is. Now I really do want a holiday….even more than I usually do. In reading this I have been longing for pizza (something I’m not eating at the moment – unless I make a clean eating version) and to wander around by the Trevi Fountain amongst the street entertainers.

I adored The New Beginnings Coffee Club so when Rachel emailed regarding this blog blitz I was instantly intrigued. To be honest I don’t really know where to begin with talking about this book without spoiling anything but I shall do my best. Just like The New Beginnings Coffee Club Samantha has tackled a number of real-life issues in this feel good read. It’s been pretty hard going on me reading about cake and pizza but my willpower has changed a lot since starting my Slimming World journey.

From the off I liked Mary/Maria. I applauded her for taking a risk in leaving everything she knew. It was obviously terrifying for her but after everything that has been thrown at her in her life it’s exactly what she needed. The life she was given wasn’t her making but as she set foot on that plane her mindset changed. It was heartwarming to see her tackle each and every obstacle she was given in her new country of residence. I have heard many bloggers swooning over Dante from the off but for me it wasn’t that simple. He was quite obviously attractive but at the beginning I thought he was stuck up and rude. Dante wasn’t the only character I thought badly of. I also wasn’t a huge fan of Rocco either. This novel has so much back story and history it makes it addictive. I found myself very much invested in these characters and there were a number of oh my moments that had me turning the pages quicker and quicker.

It’s surprising as the secrets about each character you couldn’t have pinpointed bar one with Rocco. The penny dropped on one point but not on the more devastating reality. By the end of the book I saw the romance in Dante and my heart warmed to Rocco.

In a world full of madness One Summer in Rome manages to take you away from whatever crazy you’re experiencing at this point in life. It also makes you realise that everyone you come across is silently fighting their own battles and worries so be kinder. A number of the books I have read lately have had an underlying message of being grateful and living for now. Not what’s gone or what might be but right now.

2018, Author Love, Netgalley, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Close Your Eyes By Darren O’Sullivan

Happiest of publication days to this little beauty. It has pinged through to my Kindle even though I couldn’t wait and devoured via Netgalley. Have a truly awesome day Darren and I look forward to the paperback party. It will happen…

Blurb: He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.

When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

Review: Last July Darren O’Sullivan’s Our Little Secret saved me when I was feeling super low. Over doing it I completely bust my ankle it wasn’t broken it just made a number of daily tasks hard. I was signed off work and I didn’t want to feel sorry for myself so I threw myself into Netflix and books. I had seen Our Little Secret advertised via Twitter and I was hooked from the get go. As I have stated before I’m an avid tweeter when I’m reading and OMG did I spam Darren. If you haven’t read Our Little Secret I urge you to now. Our Little Secret Review

Close Your Eyes has a totally different feel once the story gets into swing it’s extremely fast paced I could easily see this as a film or a TV series. Darren gives Liam Neeson a fun for his money. Daniel is a character you feel for. Having been in a coma and lost a whole chunk of his life – sometimes even basic tasks are hard to fathom. When he receives the call asking to return what he took he’s completely dumbstruck and when his son and ex wife disappear he knows he needs to act fast.

Daniel was seeing a shrink to help him piece together the bad dreams and memories but he’s never needed to know in such a rush. Daniel’s story sure is a fast paced rollercoaster ride and sometimes not knowing really is best for your own piece of mind but when everything you hold dear is threatened you do things totally out of character on instinct.

The story is set over a few days with Friday being Daniel’s deadline to put the puzzle back together and save his loved ones. I really could see this as a Netflix mini series or a film. Once Daniel has a clue his gut instincts take over and we are taken on his journey. Where not only Daniel but us the reader are filled with a number of emotions.

The story has parts from Daniel, memories,dreams and letters. There are parts from Rachael and as the action hots up there are parts from Tom.

Knowing Darren is a father the love of a child is shown wholeheartedly and I honestly don’t know how he managed to write some of these truly gut wrenching scenes. I’m an auntie and I felt like my heart was in my mouth most of the time.

Rachael is the mother of his child who he still gets on with extremely well. It’s nice to see a story where this actually happens and co-parenting works seamlessly. The scenes where Rachael and Tom are taken are at times hard to read but heartwarming no matter what fear she was feeling she made sure her little boy used his imagination in the most beautiful of ways in a bad situation.

I can’t say too much else without giving spoilers and I’m not one for spoilers. What I will say is take some time away from real life and devour this action packed rollercoaster read. I did not see it coming although now I’m like were there clues. I’m not so sure. I truly loved Darren’s debut and it will always have a special place in my heart. The book that saved me, the book that brought this amazing author into my life. Ha we even had a coffee at the Kings Cross Pret which gets a mention in the book.

Darren you have lifted the bar whatever worries you had over book two forget them it’s a masterpiece and as I say could totally be a film or TV series. And now I can breathe…..now for the agonising wait of the next book. Which just means I have to go back to listening to Our Little Secret on Audible.

2018, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized, update

Publication Day of Our Little Secret By Darren O’Sullivan

Last July I came across this beauty of a book via Twitter along with the author Darren O’Sullivan. I have said this before and I will say it again I discovered this book at a time I really needed to chill and take my mind off the world and my poorly ankle.

Our Little Secret did that and so much more I was so invested in this story – the cover is gorgeous and Darren is such an appreciative author to readers and bloggers alike. We had a number of chats on Twitter and there had always been a conversation when it went to publication Darren would hand deliver me a signed copy. I always knew it would be published in paperback I never thought Darren would remember….

On 21st March, 2018 I met Darren for coffee and received my gorgeous paperback. We chatted for ages about his books and what we were both reading. What I loved was how easy the chat was and how humble Darren is. Thanks to Darren I also got to speak to Louise Jensen very briefly. I could have also continued my bookish day but my work life has been somewhat strained and I had a meeting and an event the following day. So miss sensible won out on that score but I was a happy bookish bunny.

I have today just started re-reading Our Little Secret well (listening) via Audible, and I must say I don’t know what Darren was worrying about – he is in fact reading his gorgeous story.

Been eager to do this for ages but thanks to being unwell my nose has been awful and my skin so dry. After a face-pack I felt like what the hell it is paperback publication day. I hope Darren has an amazing launch and I hope that everyone who attends realises how lucky and blessed they are and if they haven’t read this beauty then my what a treat they have in store. I’m enjoying having Chris back in my life once again….

My review from last year can be found Here and here is my cover reveal Here I’m so grateful to this book for giving me this wonderful author and I’m super excited for book two next month…Close your eyes look at that cover….May 5th can’t come soon enough…I am most definitely a fan of Darren O’Sullivan and I cannot wait to devour his next offering…I finished another Thriller today from another of my faves watch this space…

Book Snippet, New Author to me, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Neil White From The Shadows paperback is out today and here’s a sneak peak…

Here’s an extract of From The Shadows….

One year earlier

It was almost one in the morning. The house was in darkness, the curtains closed. He was wearing just a light sweatshirt and jogging bottoms but he didn’t feel the cold. His nights were about silence, not warmth, and the more he wore, the more noise he made.

He waited. He wasn’t sure what for at first, because he’d stood there before, long hours as he waited for a sign that the time was right, but it had been too still.

This time, it was different. He felt them. A light ruffle of wind through his hair, and movement under his feet like soft rumbles in the ground. Whispers behind him. He whirled round but there was no one there, just a fence that shielded him from the houses behind.

He closed his eyes, just to make sure, because sometimes there were false alarms, small teases that made him move too soon. It felt right, though. His breaths were shorter and his arousal made his tongue flick to his lip.

She had her routines to keep herself safe, but they were her weakness, because all he had to do was keep watch. He slipped into her stride as she’d walked home, or he was the man sitting three rows behind her on the bus, or in the queue in the local shop with that bottle of wine to get her through the evening. She loved her Thursday nights; he’d seen her relief as she clutched the bottle and a long week at work became just one more day to get through. He knew what sandwiches she bought at lunchtime and how she would sit outside if she could, when the weather was good enough.

Habits made her feel safe, because then she’d never forget to do something, like checking that everything was turned off or locked up. It was just the opposite, because all he had to do was learn her patterns.

Her lights gave her away, the same order each night. The television went off first, and then the flickering candles. The light for the stairs went on and then her face would appear at the back door, distorted through the glass, checking the door was locked. He was watching and waiting, just a shadow amongst the leaves.

Patience brought its rewards. There was always a way. Some people are casual about their keys. Others forget to lock their doors when they go to bed, or fall asleep drunk on the sofa. All he ever had to know was how to get in.

She never left the key in the back door. Always the front. He’d guessed why: so she could open the front door quickly if she had a delivery or something, rather than rush round for the keys. People are forgetful though, and she kept a spare back door key under a flowerpot.

Habits are dangerous.

The stair light first, followed by the landing light. Her bedroom was next, although that was harder to see, because the bedroom was at the front, so the light was not much more than a glow. There was always a delay, when he imagined her getting undressed and slipping into her nightclothes. Usually pyjamas, but in summer it was just knickers and an old T-shirt.

The bathroom came next. It was the middle window at the back of the house, frosted, with a blind she didn’t always close. He’d watched the movement of her arm as she brushed her teeth. Two minutes. Always two minutes, as if she timed herself. Then it was the toilet. Her back to the window, bending over as she pulled down her knickers, before disappearing from sight. Such a private thing but it was his view. Her secrets became his secrets.

Her garden was long and dark. He’d been in the undergrowth for an hour. Dressed in black, he was invisible. The cloth mask moved in and out as he breathed. Black and made from thin nylon, eyeholes the only bright spots. He’d passed her in the street and she hadn’t known him.

He’d waited a long time for a dry, moonless night. The winds got faster, the tremors under his feet made him unsteady. The whispers were small words of encouragement. It was time to move.

He pulled the branches of the laurel bush that grew in a corner to one side. His footsteps were light. No rustles, no noise.

There was no security light as he stepped on to the patio. He reached under the flowerpot for her spare key. The pot scraped on the paving slab. He paused as he looked out for a light in one of the windows, but they stayed dark.

The key was there.

He crept to the back door, staring through the glass as he hunted for a sign of movement inside, but it stayed dark and still. He turned the key slowly, letting out a breath at the slight clunk of the lock. The door opened silently, as he knew it would. She didn’t know that he’d oiled the hinges. The back door, and all the rooms in the house, so that he could move silently. He’d been in there before, when she’d gone out, learning his way around the house. He knew the weak points, the creaks and the groans. Avoid the third step.

He moved quickly, his breaths getting faster under the hood. He tried to concentrate but the ground moved beneath his feet, the whispers in his head like chants. He passed the doorways to the other rooms, the streetlight at the front providing a half-light in the hallway until he reached the bottom of the stairs.

He stared upwards. It seemed darker up there. A droplet of sweat ran into his eye, making him blink.

He kept to the edge of each step, striding over the third one, his clothes brushing the wall. He paused at the top. The voices stopped as if holding their breath. The earth stayed still. Now he was in control.

Her bedroom was large, with the streetlight outside the window. Her bed faced the door, so this was the most dangerous time. If she heard a noise, or just sensed his presence, she’d see him, but only as a shadow, a vague outline. Darkness was his friend, but he couldn’t afford to be caught.

He listened out for the creak of the mattress as she moved, or the sound of her feet on the carpet, investigating the noise. Nothing. Her bedroom door was ajar and the only sound was the steady tick of a clock.

He pushed at the door. It opened slowly, silently. He remained still, to see whether she moved or opened her eyes. He could leave and she might think it was a dream.

As his eyes became accustomed to the gloom, the faint glow of the streetlight made her silky bedcover gleam.

He knew how it felt; he’d lain on it when she wasn’t there, took in her aroma from the pillows, stale perfume and warm sleep. He’d looked through her drawers, run his hands through her underwear, relished the silkiness.

His mouth was open as he stepped into the room, his breath coming too quickly. Stay in control. She was under her covers, lying on her side, facing him, the sound of her sleep so gentle. If he closed his eyes for a moment, he could smell her.

He knelt by the bed. Her face was inches away. Her lips, soft and full, her hair over her cheek, her fingers slender over the duvet. He reached out but stopped. Not yet. He’d always promised himself. Not that.

He closed his eyes again. The voices were back, the chants like a rolling rhythm, the wind blowing through the bedroom, the voices now like drumbeats, tempo increasing, his heartbeat racing.

He took long slow breaths to calm himself and let the voices fall silent. The drumbeat stopped. All he had left were the race of his heartbeat and the rise and fall of his chest.

He opened his eyes and gasped. Her eyes were open too.

Her arm moved quickly. He tried to move backwards, panicking, but he was kneeling down, so his toes jammed into the floor.

He saw the lamp just before it connected. Small but made of brass and with a narrow edge. She brought it down hard.

The last thing he remembered was the loud clunk when it struck his forehead and the blinding flash of pain. Then there was nothing.

You want more it is now available on paperback and EBook you can find it Here I haven’t read it yet but the EBook is a steal at 98p. 

If you have already devoured this treat do let me know but I don’t take kindly to spoilers.