#BlogTour #Extract ~ The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey @LizBWrites @SapereBooks

A big welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Gilded Shroud by Elizabeth Bailey.

The Gilded Shroud is published on 21st June 2018 by Sapere Books.

The Gilded Shroud (Lady Fan Mystery Book 1) by [Bailey, Elizabeth]

When a murder is committed a lady’s companion finds herself as an amateur sleuth…

1789, London

When Emily Fanshawe, Marchioness of Polbrook, is found strangled in her bedchamber, suspicion immediately falls on those residing in the grand house in Hanover Square.

Emily’s husband – Randal Fanshawe, Lord Polbrook – fled in the night and is chief suspect – much to the dismay of his family.

Ottilia Draycott is brought in as the new lady’s companion to Sybilla, Dowager Marchioness and soon finds herself assisting younger son, Lord Francis Fanshawe in his investigations.

Can Ottilia help clear the family name? Does the killer still reside in the house?

Or could there be more to the mystery than meets the eye…?

Thank you to Caoimhe at Sapere Books for asking me to participate on the blog tour. I am delighted to share an extract from the book. It is the first chapter and sounds absolutely brilliant!

‘The chambermaid, creeping into my lady’s room to light the fire, noticed nothing amiss. Prey to all the discomforts of a cold in the head, with her hearing muffled, Sukey was unaware of the unusual silence. Nor could any unpleasant odour penetrate beyond the thickness of a stuffed-up nose. Indeed, her concentration was intent upon trying not to sniff too loudly, for fear of disturbing her mistress’s rest.

With deft and practised movements, she went about her accustomed task with the minimum of noise, scraping out last night’s ashes and setting fresh coals and faggots in their place. When it came to blowing up the embers to encourage a fitful flame, however, the shortness of breath induced by Sukey’s condition made her cough involuntarily.

Catching a hand to her throat, the chambermaid paused in her work, her fearful head automatically turning towards the great four-poster behind her, poised for the slightest sign of wakening within.

At this juncture a faint sense came over her of something out of true. Unformed and eerie, the feeling momentarily froze Sukey’s spine as she stared at the dark shape of the curtained bed, only half-visible in the grey tint slipping round the edges of the shutters at the windows.

A shiver shook her, and she jerked round towards the fire again, watching the struggling flame without seeing it or remembering for a moment what she must do to make it flare brighter.

A drip at her nose recalled Sukey’s attention to the task in hand. Wiping her sleeve across the offending moisture, she resumed her work, tucking flinders into the flame with unconscious haste and blowing now with a will, her ills pushed to one side in a bid to be done as quickly as she might and be gone from my lady’s chamber.

A little more than an hour later, her ladyship’s personal maid, stepping quietly into the dressing room next door, was less fortunate. Burdened with nothing worse than the morning cup of hot chocolate destined for the delectation of her mistress, Mary Huntshaw yawned the remnants of sleep out of her eyes and paused as they took in the condition of the room. What she had left in meticulous order upon retiring to her bed the night before had become a shambles.

The silken bodice, the overskirt, and its embroidered petticoat had been carefully laid up in the larger press by the lady’s maid herself, but her ladyship’s under-petticoats lay in an untidy heap on the floor, together with a crumpled shift and her discarded stays, the laces half-ripped from their moorings. The drawer in the dressing commode had been left open, and a dusting of colour overlay the disarranged pots within, indicating a hasty application of paint and powder. The maid’s disapproving glance next caught upon an object thrown carelessly into the mess, and a betraying twinkle in the gloom forced from her lips a shocked gasp.

The fan, my lady’s precious fan, relic of a bygone age, a prized family heirloom, had been flung down as if it were of no account. It was an exquisite object, its guards encrusted with gemstones, its painted leaf of finest kid decorated with a scattering of tiny diamonds. Now it lay carelessly discarded, half unfurled, its delicate sticks spread across the open pots, exposed to disfiguring smears and breakage.

As she stood there, dismay and consternation gathering in her breast, Huntshaw grew aware of an acrid odour emanating from the bedchamber. Her instant thought was of the chamber pot and the unpleasant duty which must fall to her lot, of emptying its contents and washing it out. An immediate reflection followed: How unlike her ladyship to leave it under the bed rather than stowing it in the bedside cupboard where the smell would be somewhat contained.

Like Sukey before her, Huntshaw fell prey to an inner prescience that slid a ripple of apprehension through her bosom. Moving without realising that she did so, the maid went to the connecting door and seized the knob. For a moment she hesitated, a tingle in her fingers. The little silver tray she held in her other hand trembled slightly and Huntshaw was obliged to tighten her grip for fear of dropping it. Her mouth felt dry and her heartbeat quickened.

Come, she told herself, this was fanciful. She had only to open the door and step into the room to find that all was well.

Gently, she turned the knob and pushed the door slowly open. Shadows, thrown by slivers of light escaping through the shutters, played eerily across the curtains of the big bed. It was a sight to which Huntshaw was well accustomed, but now it seemed portentous. The silence yawned at her as she strained her ears for the muffled sound of the sighing breath that should have signalled my lady’s rest. Instead she became conscious only of the faint regular tick of the gold-mounted clock on the mantel.

The smell of ordure was stronger as Huntshaw’s feet shifted her closer to the bed. She was hardly aware of her own motion, impelled by the growing sensation of wrongness that thumped at her brain in rhythm with the pounding of her heart.

The tray became leaden and she needed both hands to steady it, but they trembled as she set it down on the bedside table. This close the stench was overpowering, but the maid scarcely noticed, her senses strung like a bow taut for scraping.

Her timorous fingers crept towards the break in the curtains. She grasped an edge and wrenched it back.

Shards of light raced across the dark mound within, one arrowing up to the face, illuminating a bulging eye, fixed and staring.’

Wow, I can’t wait to read on!

To follow the rest of the blog tour….

The Gilded Shroud (1)

About the Author

Elizabeth Bailey (002)

Elizabeth Bailey feels lucky to have found several paths that have given her immense satisfaction – acting, directing, teaching and, by no means least, writing. Through the years, each path has crossed the other, honing and deepening her abilities in each sphere.

She has been privileged to work with some wonderful artistic people, and been fortunate enough to find publishers who believed in her and set her on the road.

To invent a world and persuade others to believe in it, live in it for a while, is the sole aim of the novelist.

Elizabeth’s own love of reading has never abated, and if she can give a tithe of the pleasure to others as she has received herself, it’s worth all the effort.

You can check out Elizabeth’s website here http://www.elizabethbailey.co.uk/.

Elizabeth’s Twitter: @LizBWrites

#TheGildedShroud

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

#BlogTour ~ Rogue by J B Turner @EmmaFinnigan @AnneCater @Amazonpub #Rogue

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Rogue by J B Turner.

Rogue was published on 7th June 2018 by Thomas & Mercer.

 

Rogue (An American Ghost Thriller Book 1) by [Turner, J. B.]

A deep-state US organization has a top-secret kill list—and a popular senator is on it.

Nathan Stone was killed in action while serving as a covert CIA operative. Or so everyone thought. In reality he’s become a ghost, a black-ops asset with a new identity and controlled by a secret government organization.

The Commission has one aim: to hunt down and assassinate anti-establishment enemies of the state.

Its number-one target is Senator Brad Crichton, an ambitious politician with growing support. Stone is ready to take him out, but his plan is soon compromised when the Commission’s kill list is leaked to a journalist—whose own name is on the list too. And when the journalist tries to alert the senator, he is found dead in suspicious circumstances.

Stone is closing in on Crichton, but must act swiftly to reach him before the truth does.

He knows that one wrong foot will put him in the firing line. But where national security is at stake, the hunter can quickly become the hunted.

* * * * * * * *

A big thank you to Emma Finnigan and Anne Cater for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for asking me to participate on the blog tour.

This is just the type of book that I love to read and can find myself flying through the pages, as I indeed did over the lovely and sunny Bank Holiday weekend. The chapters in this book make you read fast as they are short, snappy and full of action, like the plot itself.

We are introduced to Nathan Stone who is dead. Well he isn’t really… He was declared dead when a past operation went wrong and given a new identity (and face) and has been reinvented as a Ghost who works on the missions that are strictly off the books of the CIA. We slowly learn about Nathan and his past, which begins to explains his cold and unfeeling exterior.

He isn’t a particularly likeable character (he has almost been written to be machine like)but I think the author has written him to be like that so we can make sense of his actions.

He is a very interesting and complex character though and you can almost sense him changing which I think will set up the next instalment of the series.

An enjoyable action thriller. I will definitely be looking out for the next book!

To follow the rest of the blog tour…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

J.B. Turner

 

 

 

 

 

J.B. Turner is the #1 Amazon international bestselling author of the Jon Reznick® thriller series. His latest book, Hard Fall (Thomas & Mercer), was published on 8 February 2018. His influences and favorite authors include: James Ellroy, Richard Stark, Hunter S. Thompson, James Lee Burke, George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Henry James, Harlan Coben, Thomas H. Cook, John Grisham, James Patterson, John Buchan, John Grisham, and Michael Connelly.

He also wrote the forthcoming American Ghost® thriller series. The new series features protagonist Nathan Stone, a former CIA covert operative who had been critically wounded, and everyone thought was dead. But behind closed doors, he was rehabilitated by a highly secretive government organization known as the Commission, given a new identity and appearance, and remoulded into a lethal assassin. His brief: to execute kill orders drawn up by the Commission, all in the name of national security. The Commission owns him, but Stone knows one wrong move could turn him from loyal asset to hunted man. The first book in the new American Ghost series, Rogue (Thomas & Mercer), is out 7 June 2018. The follow-up is Reckoning (Thomas & Mercer), is out 2 August 2018. Requiem is out November 2018 (Thomas & Mercer).

He wrote the Jon Reznick novella, Gone Bad (No Way Back Press), and the Deborah Jones crime thrillers, Miami Requiem (No Way Back Press) and Dark Waters (No Way Back Press).

His books have conspiratorial elements and themes throughout them. His work can often be described as thrillers; his books cover sub-genre categories including assassination thriller, suspense thriller, political thriller, crime fiction, military thriller, and, in the case of the Deborah Jones books, mysteries.

He has a keen interest in geo-politics.

He loves music and drinks dangerous levels of coffee (and a fair bit of red wine). He occasionally blogs. He listens to everything from Beethoven to The Beatles, The Cure to Bach. And everything in between. Occasionally writes. Loves films. Well, good ones. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Heat, The Godfather, The Offence, The French Connection, Payback, It’s a Wonderful Life, Manhattan, Annie Hall, Sideways, As Good As It Gets, Wonder Boys, The Deer Hunter, All the President’s Men, Babette’s Feast, and a personal fave, Animal House (what’s not to like?).

He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He is married with two children.

He is represented by Mark Gottlieb of Trident Media Group, New York.

Check out his website at:
https://jbturnerauthor.com

#BlogTour ~ Her Mother’s Secret by Rosanna Ley @RosannaLey @QuercusBooks @AnneCater

Welcome to my turn on the blog tour for Her Mother’s Secret by Rosanna Ley.

Her Mother’s Secret is published in paperback on 14th June 2018 by Quercus Books.

For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind.

She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?

Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past.

But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?

The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.

* * * * * * * *

A big thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for issuing me with my review copy of the book and for asking me to participate on the blog tour.

This book is a thing of beauty! From the beautiful locations to the complicated characters, it’s the ideal read to get you in the mood for summer.

When I started reading, I was happy to find out that the story started in beautiful Porthleven in Cornwall which is where I spend my summer holidays. I had the advantage of being able to picture everything perfectly.

We start the story with Colette who left her hometown of Belle-Ile when she was a teenager and hasn’t returned since. She is living quietly in Porthleven and working for a local holiday letting agency. When she receives a letter calling her back home she struggles with the decision to return she hasn’t spoken to in a number of years.

Rosanna Ley does an amazing thing with her writing and you can feel the tension rising from the pages as we are introduced to the characters of Elodie and Etienne in Belle-Ile who each have their own secrets that we discover slowly through the story.

The three characters and their stories are all entwined throughout the book and I loved this. They could almost be a book on their own! I don’t want to give too much away to this beautiful and haunting story but I was utterly captivated and sad to leave this beautiful setting.

A perfect story to read in the sunshine on holiday!

Follow the rest of the blog tour…

Her Mother's Secret BT Poster

About the Author

FB_IMG_1528235830012

Rosanna Ley has had six novels published by Quercus Books. She has worked as a creative writing tutor for many years and has written articles and stories for a number of national magazines.

Her writing holidays and retreats take place in stunning locations in Spain and Italy. When she is not travelling, Rosanna lives in West Dorset by the sea.

Visit Rosanna: @RosannaLey / http://www.rosannaley.com