Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Girl from the Sea - pre-launch teaser!

I'm two days from launching my first suspense thriller. Here's a sneak peek of the first few pages...


The dark water swallows me whole, pulling me under into blackness, dropping too fast. I cannot let the water take me, so I kick and flail. I push my body up. Water flows. Bubbles stream away. The sound of air and desperate splashes. The scent of damp night. And, at last, I see the inky sky once more. I don’t have enough energy for relief.  Instead, I gasp and thrash. All I know is that I must move my arms and kick my legs.

Keep moving forward.

Stay alive.
 
Chapter One

The scent of salt and seaweed. My throat, dry. Lips parched. Head aching. My clothes cling to me, heavy and wet. Cold. Shivering. I can’t think straight.
What’s happening?
Eyes closed. A rushing, bubbling, frothing. Birds, wind, warmth. I cough, a dry, echoing scrape. Painful. Everything sounds close by, yet far away. My body is stiff. Numb. I can’t move. Can I?
Water rushes over me. Cold and salty. Like it wants to claim me. To keep me covered. But it seeps away, replaced by a mixture of cool air and warmth.
My eyes fly open.
A fuzzy brightness greets me. I see blurred outdoor shapes in beige and blue and grey.
My head is pressed down onto something cold and hard. Not a pillow. Not a pavement. Sand. Wet sand. Something presses into my temple. A stone? I raise my head with difficulty. And bring up a reluctant arm. My hand peels away a pebble. Tosses it aside with herculean effort. I cough. Retch. There’s saltwater in my mouth. Bile. Tears. Snot.
Please, someone, tell me what’s happening. I feel as though I’m trapped inside my head, unable to look outside. Like I’m covered in a membrane. Sealed in.
A muffled voice breaks through my panic. I try to latch onto it. But the incoming words slip and slide away – a flow of sound that I can’t decipher. I try to keep my eyes open. To focus on something. But neither my eyes nor my ears want to cooperate.
‘Poppy, no!’
A snuffling black nose and a wet tongue. A whine and a bark.
‘Poppy, no! Come here!’
It’s someone’s dog. I still can’t focus properly.
‘Are you okay? I’m so sorry. Good girl, Poppy.’
I open my eyes once more and order them to focus.
‘Are you okay?’ The same voice, closer this time.
A face looms into my field of vision. I see a nose, a mouth, pink lipstick, glasses.
A noise comes from the back of my throat. But it’s just a rattle and a rasp. Nothing intelligible. What am I trying to say?
‘I called 999. Don’t worry. Poppy, sit! The ambulance will be here soon.’ A warm hand takes my cold one. ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be okay.’
Will I? This person is here to help me. I know that much. That’s good. I can give myself over to the help of this woman. I close my eyes again. It’s too hard to keep them open. Too hard to focus.
More voices roll in and out like the salty water, like the breeze on my cheek. A wash of sound trying to break through to me. Part of me tries to resist the voices. Wants to keep them as a distant, blurring sound. Merging one with the other, like the waves and the wind. But a greater part of me needs to decipher the words. Needs to understand what’s happening.
‘Can you hear me?’
Another female voice in my ear. A younger, firmer voice. Her breath warm on my face.
‘Hello, can you open your eyes? Can you look at me?’
I force my eyes to open.
‘That’s it. Can you tell me your name?’
Warmth spreads over my body. Someone has placed a blanket over me. I’d forgotten how cold I was.
‘Look at me again. That’s it. Can you tell me your name?’
I’m staring into kind brown eyes. A woman in uniform. Her hair pulled back in a ponytail. I open my mouth to say my name. But then I close it again. My mind has gone blank. It hurts to think.
‘Can you hear me?’
I want to nod, but my head won’t obey. ‘Yes,’ I say, even though no sound comes out.
‘Good,’ the woman says.
‘Do you know where you are?’
‘Beach?’ My voice is a faint croak.
‘That’s right. Do you know which beach?’
‘No.’
‘Can you tell me how you feel, physically?’
‘Tired.’
‘Have you been in the water? Been for a swim in the sea?’
‘I think I was in the water,’ I whisper.
‘Are you hurt? Are you in pain anywhere?’
‘I . . . I don’t know. Sore throat. Headache. Cold.’
‘Alright. We’re going to get you up off this sand. Get you away from the waves where you’ll be more comfortable, okay?’
I close my eyes again. I’m scared. They’re going to move me, but what if my body’s broken? What if it hurts when they lift me?
The next few minutes pass in a strange blur. I’m lifted onto a stretcher. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be; my body aches, but there’s no sharp pain. People are watching. I’m awake enough to feel self-conscious. The woman in the glasses with the pink lipstick hovers over me for a moment.
‘Don’t worry,’ she says. ‘You’re in good hands now. Take care.’ She touches two fingers to my cheek, and then steps back.
And now I’m being moved. Carried away from the sea, across the sand. My body is still cold, but a warm breeze skims my face, the sun heats my forehead. I feel as though I’m floating. Light as air. The woman and the man in uniform talk to me, but I’m too tired to hear them. Their voices sway in and out, merging with the crunch of footsteps and the cry of the gulls.

 
The walls are toothpaste green, and the air smells of old socks and disinfectant. Stale and recycled like an overheated aeroplane. I’m sitting up in a hospital bed in the Accident and Emergency department, waiting for a doctor to see me. A nurse has already taken my blood pressure and temperature. The curtains are pulled around the sides of my bed, but they’ve been left open at the end so I can still see out. A teenage boy lies in the bed opposite, his mother at his side. I can’t tell what’s wrong with him. My thoughts are clearer now than earlier, my mind a little sharper. But my head still throbs, and I can’t quell the panic in my chest, the constant fluttering in my stomach or the tightness in my throat.
Nurses stride past, calling out instructions to colleagues. Trolleys clatter as medical equipment is wheeled up and down the ward. At least I’m warm and dry. They took my wet clothing, and now I’m wearing a hideous blue hospital gown. I tense as I hear a woman’s voice getting closer. Her accent is pretty, and I wonder where she’s from. Maybe Russia, or Poland?
‘The one from the beach?’ I hear her say. ‘How long?’
Another woman replies: ‘Only a few minutes.’
The women step into my line of sight. One is a young doctor in a white coat, her blonde hair pulled into a bun at the back of her head. The other is an older lady, a nurse. The doctor looks up at me and smiles. The nurse continues on her way.
‘Hello. I’m Doctor Lazowski.’
‘Hi,’ I croak.
She picks up a clipboard from the end of my bed and comes closer. ‘How are you feeling?’ she asks.
‘Strange,’ I reply. ‘A little dizzy. I have a headache. I’m tired . . . and a bit freaked out.’
‘Can you tell me your name?’
I open my mouth to answer, but, like before on the beach, nothing comes out. I give a small embarrassed laugh. ‘I . . . It sounds so silly, but I just . . . I can’t seem to remember.’ I run a hand across my damp and tangled hair.
‘That’s okay,’ she says. ‘Do you know where you live?’
‘I . . . I think. I  . . . No. I’m sorry. I don’t know. How can I not know?’ My voice is trembling and I’m on the verge of tears.
‘You’ve had a shock,’ she says. ‘Just try to relax. Try to stay calm. You’re here now, and we’ll look after you. Okay? You have some retrograde amnesia, but with any luck, your memories should return soon.’
The word “amnesia” makes me catch my breath.
‘I’m going to run a few tests,’ she says, closing the curtains fully. ‘We’ll see how you are, physically, and then we’ll try and get those memories back.’
I nod again, hit by a wave of exhaustion. My eyes want to close. I feel the pull of sleep, but Dr Lazowski is talking again. I should try and concentrate.
‘Can you sit up, please?’
I do as she asks.
‘I’m going to listen to your heart and lungs. Just breathe normally.’ She takes the stethoscope from around her neck and begins examining me, first by placing the end of the stethoscope on my back. Then, on my chest.
‘Can you remember swimming in the sea?’ she asks, as I clumsily try to rearrange my hospital gown.
‘No.’
‘Were you in the water at all?’
‘I think so. But I don’t know. I remember lying on the beach, soaking wet. The waves were coming over me.’ I give a shiver at the memory.
‘Hmm, Okay,’ she says. ‘We don’t know how long you were in the water. I’m worried about a possible lung infection, so we’ll have to keep you in for a few days at least. To keep an eye on you.’
‘Is it serious?’ I ask.
‘Just a precaution,’ she replies. ‘We’ll also get you on an IV drip.’
‘A drip?’ I don’t like the sound of that.
‘You’re dehydrated,’ she says. ‘You need fluids.’
I close my eyes and massage my forehead with the tips of my fingers. What’s happening to me? What am I doing here? How on earth did I end up unconscious on the beach?
Why can’t I remember anything?

 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Special release price - The Girl from the Sea


 

RELEASE DATE - June 9th 2016

Now available to pre-order!

Limited-time, new-release price of 99c / 99p

 

THE GIRL FROM THE SEA

 
For fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.
 
A chilling suspense story of wounded hearts and dark secrets.
 
Washed up on the beach, she can't remember who she is. She can't even remember her name. Turns out, she has a perfect life - friends and family eager to fill in the blanks.

But why are they lying to her? What don't they want her to remember?
 
When you don't even know who you are, how do you know who to trust?
 

Available for 99c for a limited time from:

Amazon US   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU



Monday, 9 May 2016

Psychological Thriller - The Girl from the Sea


So, I'm branching out into a new genre. Leaving the security of YA behind me and trying my hand at writing an adult thriller. It was so much fun to write, mainly because I plotted it out so tightly before I began writing - something I've never done before as I usually fly by the seat of my pants.

Set in beautiful Christchurch, Dorset, The Girl from the Sea is about a woman who wakes up on the beach with retrograde amnesia, and her subsequent journey to uncover the truth about what happened to her.

I typed 'The End' last week and it's currently at the editor's being ripped apart polished. The release date is June 9th 2016.


 
A chilling suspense story of wounded hearts
and dark secrets.
 
Washed up on the beach, she can’t remember who she is. She can’t even remember her name.
Turns out, she has a perfect life –
friends and family eager to fill in the blanks.
 
But why are they lying to her?
What don’t they want her to remember?
 
When you don't even know who you are,
how do you know who to trust?
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Other Side of Forever from a bestselling #ParanormalRomance author!

 
allie 3The bestselling Edge young adult box set introduces Other Side of Forever, a novel by Shannon Eckrich. This is just one of 20 page-turning, full length novels for only $.99! Order your copy today!
 
What if your life finally seemed to make sense? But, what if —in an instant— everything is taken away? How far would you go to get your life back? Seventeen-year-old Allie Anderson's telekinetic powers are anything but useful— she can't bring her father back, can't stop her mother's downward spiral into alcohol, and can't keep her from falling in love with Ethan Bradley. Loving Ethan is easy, but it comes with a hefty price: Ethan is prohibited by his people from interacting with mortals— because he isn't mortal himself. When Allie and Ethan's love is discovered, there's someone who will do anything to keep them apart. If Allie can't learn to control her powers and fight to save Ethan, this dark entity will make every attempt to stop her beating heart. And if that happens, not even the energy of an immortal can bring her back.


Author bio
Shannon Eckrich is an International Bestselling Paranormal Romance author who writes for teens and adults. She is a dreamer, an avid reader, ghost hunter, and believer in aliens, myths, and love at first sight. After all, she did marry her high school sweetheart. Shannon also believes all the problems in the world can be solved with a little bit of love and compassion.
 
When she’s not creating worlds that walk the line between fiction and reality, she enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at the firehouse down the street.
 
She currently lives in Delaware with her husband, two kids, three cats, and her dog, Chewy.
 
Excerpt from Other Side of Forever
“Allie, why do you hate me so much?” he asked softly as he stared into the sky. His question took me by surprise. Did he really think that? “I…I don’t hate you, Ethan.” I stumbled over my words. “I barely know you.” “Then why do you try so hard to avoid me?” “I don’t,” I lied, knowing that I did, but not in a mean type of way. I closed my eyes and sighed, wishing he didn’t have to ask so many questions. Couldn’t he just go back to saying nothing at all? “You do,” he argued. I could hear the change in his voice. He was smiling. “No. I don’t,” I answered sarcastically. His persistence was pinching my nerves. “Then look at me,” he challenged. Without thinking, I turned my head and looked at him. His warm, sweet breath blew against my face as he exhaled. The scent of peppermint. His dark eyes snatched me up and whisked me away. I was lost and unprepared as he drew me deeper and deeper inside him. The walls he created around me were getting higher and harder to climb. Like I had slipped into a trench and I was sinking into the earth. Ethan pressed forward, attempting to close the gap between us. His lips were so close to mine I could feel the heat emanating from them. And just as our lips were about to brush, the voice in my head begged and pleaded and screamed for me to stop. Then I turned away.

 
Edge cover
EDGE: A Young Adult / New Adult Paranormal Collection
Twenty of today's favorite YA & NA authors have come together to bring you a collection packed with full-length, spellbinding reads sure to keep you keep you on the edge of your seat and up way past your bedtime!

READER BEWARE: These novels take everything to the edge--and not just the edge of your seat. With authors who aren't afraid to push the boundaries, you get stories that take everything to limit, creating whimsical reads that teens can actually relate to and that adults can enjoy, too.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Feed your #YA #PNR addiction with KISSED by Kimberly Loth

Kissed-Final
The bestselling Edge young adult box set introduces Kissed, a novel by Kimberly Loth. This is just one of 20 page-turning, full length novels for only $.99! Order your copy today!
 
Trapped in a dark cult, sixteen-year-old Naomi Aren has lived a quiet, albeit unhappy, life nestled deep in the hills of the Ozarks. With uncut hair, denim skirts, and only roses for friends, Naomi seldom questions why her life is different from other kids at school. Until the day her abusive father, who is also the cult’s leader, announces her wedding. Naomi must marry Dwayne Yerdin, a bully who reeks of sweat and manure and is the only one person who scares her worse than her father.
 
Then she meets Kai, the mysterious boy who brings her exotic new roses and stolen midnight kisses. Kisses that bring her a supernatural strength she never knew she had. As the big day approaches, Naomi unearths more secrets of about her father’s cult. She learns she has power of her own and while Kai may have awakened that power, Naomi must find a way to use it to escape Dwayne and her father—without destroying herself.
 
This young adult paranormal romance novel will appeal to readers, teens, and all readers who enjoy romance, mysteries, and fantasy.
 
Author bio
Kimberly Loth can't decide where she wants to settle down. She's lived in Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Utah, California, Oregon, and South Carolina. She finally decided to make the leap and leave the U.S. behind for a few years. Currently, she lives in Shenzhen, China with her husband and two kids.
 
She is a high school math teacher by day (please don't hold that against her) and YA author by night. She loves romantic movies, chocolate, roses, and crazy adventures. She has published six novels.
 


Edge coverEDGE: A Young Adult / New Adult Paranormal Collection
Twenty of today's favorite YA & NA authors have come together to bring you a collection packed with full-length, spellbinding reads sure to keep you keep you on the edge of your seat and up way past your bedtime!

READER BEWARE: These novels take everything to the edge--and not just the edge of your seat. With authors who aren't afraid to push the boundaries, you get stories that take everything to limit, creating whimsical reads that teens can actually relate to and that adults can enjoy, too.

Saturday, 27 February 2016

For fans of YA #ParanormalRomance - Fractured Light

Fractured LightThe bestselling Edge young adult box set includes my very own novel Fractured Light! This is just one of 20 page-turning, full length novels for only $.99! Order your copy today!
 
Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. But she never felt ready to face them---until now. Defying the Auran Council and everything she's been taught, Llona must learn to use her power over light as a weapon if she wants to survive.

 
 
 
 
EDITORIAL REVIEW
"This is seriously addictive reading. Believe me, if you like YA paranormal romance, you'll be hooked. Fractured Light offers a new take on vampire-like creatures and introduces some fresh and imaginative paranormal ethnicities while allowing the characters to struggle against the dangers of power lust and societal bigotry." -- Serena Chase, USA Today --USA Today
 
AUTHOR BIO
Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she's not in her writing lair, she's partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel's love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was...

Edge coverEDGE: A Young Adult / New Adult Paranormal Collection
 
Twenty of today's favorite YA & NA authors have come together to bring you a collection packed with full-length, spellbinding reads sure to keep you keep you on the edge of your seat and up way past your bedtime!

READER BEWARE: These novels take everything to the edge--and not just the edge of your seat. With authors who aren't afraid to push the boundaries, you get stories that take everything to limit, creating whimsical reads that teens can actually relate to and that adults can enjoy, too.