Christmas is in the air! No, don’t worry, you’ve not skipped summer.
I know it is only the beginning of June so this opinion may be unpopular but to me, it’s never too early for festive themed novels. That is why I was happy to be taking part in the cover reveal for Magic under the Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman.
Christmas and romance are in the air…
It’s December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn’t relishing spending Christmas at his family’s country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They’ll spend half of the holidays with each other’s families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten…?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed… It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!
OK, so drumroll for the cover. Three… two… one.
It’s the weekend, the sun is shining (mostly,) and P.R. Black is here with the blog tour to his latest novel, The Family.
The best way to catch a killer? Offer yourself as bait.
Becky Morgan’s family were the victims of the ‘crimes of the decade’.
The lone survivor of a ritualistic killing, Becky’s been forever haunted by the memories of that night.
Twenty years later, with the killer never found, Becky is ready to hunt them down and exact revenge. But the path to find the murderer is a slippery slope and she finds herself opening up some old wounds that should have been left sealed.
Will Becky avenge her family or join them?
I’ve reviewed The Family below but first, P.R. Black and Aria have shared an extract.
***** beginning of extract*****
‘Let’s turn to the perpetrator – who is it we’re looking for?’
‘I’m afraid that clues are few and far between, which is why it’s taken so long to find him. He never showed his face, but what we can say is that the man we’re looking for was around six feet tall or more, well-built, and probably aged between 25 and 40 – certainly a young, fit man. That means he’d be between 45 and 60 today, of course. He had a strong accent – not English, and, we think, not French, but perhaps Eastern European.’
The presenter faced the camera. ‘I apologise to viewers in advance, as this is a particularly distressing detail. But we have to talk about the mask.’
Becky looked away.
‘Yes,’ said Inspector Hanlon. ‘As far as we can tell, it was this mask.’
‘We should stress, this is an artist’s interpretation,’ the presenter added.
‘Yes. This object seems to have been created by the killer himself. We believe it’s made of real bone, attached to some dark cloth. It’s nothing that was available in fancy dress shops, but it is just possible that someone, somewhere, might remember a man buying this mask from a specialist shop.’
‘It’s difficult to imagine what that poor girl must have gone through.’
Becky toasted the TV screen. ‘Don’t have nightmares,’ she said, remembering the final words uttered by the presenter who hosted an earlier series of Crimewatch.
On-screen, the presenter said, ‘Inspector, what more can you tell us about what the killer was wearing?’
‘When he arrived at the cottage, he wore all-black clothing. The only other clue we have is that he had size-fourteen feet, going by footprints left at the scene. He was wearing these shoes…’
The man beside Becky said, ‘I bet he wasn’t wearing all-black clothing when he got going. He might have kept his shoes on, though, for a quick getaway.’
She glanced at him for a moment – and then he was wearing her G&T.
Rivulets meandered down his jowls like tears, and a sliver of lemon clung to his chin like a slug on a bannister losing its fight with gravity.
‘What do you think you’re doing?’ he spluttered.
‘Hey.’ The barman pointed at her. ‘You’ve had enough, love. Out.’
‘I was just going. Love.’ Becky lurched to her feet, clinging to the counter until her shoes found purchase, and then strode out the door.
The bar was set in the basement of a refurbished tenement block, and Becky had got halfway up the stairs to street level when the man who’d sat beside her gripped her shoulder. She gasped and clung onto the railings to avoid falling backwards.
The man’s hair was still plastered to his forehead with her gin. He looked like a young boy grotesquely groomed by his mother for church.
‘I dunno who you think you are, freak,’ he snarled, ‘but you’re lucky I don’t kick you up and down this street.’by