Thursday 22 September 2016

The Best Friend - a chilling psychological thriller

My new thriller The Best Friend is now available!!
They say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer . . . Wrong.
Louisa’s new best friend has it all – the house, the status, the money – but she’s also hiding a dark secret. And, as Louisa is drawn deeper into her friend’s life, events take a chilling turn . . .

Here's a sneak peek...
It’s him again. And I’m pretty sure he’s following me. I mean, I can’t be a hundred percent sure, but I’ve seen him here three times already this week, and he was there at the corner shop on Monday, and yesterday at the garage.
‘Mummy,’ Joe says, tugging on my arm. ‘Mrs Landry said my picture was the best in the class.’
‘Wow,’ I say, taking his small, sweaty hand in mine. ‘That’s fantastic.’
‘Well, maybe not the best in the class,’ he amends. ‘But she said it was really good.’ Joe lets go of my hand again and leaps into the tempting pile of yellow and brown leaves that has drifted up against the school fence. He stamps his feet, a grin on his face, enjoying the crackle and crunch of autumn.
The man is about a hundred yards away, on the other side of the road. He has a scruffy, sandy beard and he’s wearing one of those awful sea-captain-type hats. He looks like a tramp, but I don’t think he can be very old. I’m sure he’s not a parent because I’ve never seen him with a child. Maybe I should report him.
‘Don’t go running out of sight,’ I call, as Joe spies one of his friends up ahead and abandons the pile of leaves.
‘I won’t!’ he yells back, his sturdy legs stomping off down the pavement.
The man has dropped a little further away from me now, but he’s still there. I know it. My skin prickles. I feel his eyes on my back, but I curb the urge to turn and double check. I don’t want him to know I’ve noticed him. Maybe I’m just being paranoid. He probably lives somewhere around here. He could be just an eccentric millionaire or something.
‘Joe!’ I yell. ‘Wait for me at the bottom of the hill!’ I stride a little faster, squinting in the late afternoon sunshine. I should’ve worn my sunglasses.
Joe has stopped. He’s chatting to a tall blond-haired boy on a silver scooter. My heart lifts knowing he’s managed to make friends quickly. He’s only been at Cerne Manor Prep school for two weeks, but it feels like he’s been here forever. He already loves it. Jared was right – this place is perfect for him. Okay, it costs an arm and a leg, and we’ll be skint forever – finding the termly school fees is going to be a challenge, but Joe is the happiest he’s ever been, and that’s what matters.
‘Who’s this?’ I ask Joe, finally catching him up.
‘Tyler. He’s in my class.’
‘Hi, Tyler. Where’s your mum?’ I ask.
He points behind me, up the hill. ‘Talking to her friends, as usual,’ he says, rolling his eyes.
I swivel my head to see a group of glamorous mums clustered around a white four-wheel drive vehicle. They’re laughing and chatting in a haze of colourful dresses, scarves, shawls and bangles. That’s the other thing about starting a new school – it’s almost worse for the parents. I’m the new mum on the block and I don’t feel quite up to talking to them today. My nail varnish is chipped and I’m sure I must seem dowdy in my jeans and plain blue shirt. My four-year-old niece, Megan, comes here, too, but she finishes half-an-hour earlier than Joe, so I never get to see her or my sister, Beth, at school pick-up, which is a shame. It would be nice to have someone to chat with. To not feel quite so much of a newbie.
‘Well, it was nice to meet you, Tyler,’ I say. ‘Have a lovely evening.’
‘You, too,’ he says, politely.
Joe takes my hand again, and we cross the road. I steal a glance behind me, and sure enough, the man is still there, following slowly at a distance, his head down. Joe and I turn left down a side-road.
‘Okay, Joe,’ I say. ‘How about you and I have a little race?’
‘I thought your knee was bad,’ he says. ‘When I wanted you to come on the trampoline yesterday, you said
‘Well, my knee is bad,’ I say, feeling the joint twinge in anticipation. ‘But it’s probably okay enough to run to the end of the road. Winner gets an ice cream.’ That’s all I have to say to get Joe to move like there’s a stick of dynamite under him. He’s off. I follow him at a jog. My knee aches, but I ignore the pain and keep going. If that guy really is following me, I don’t want him to see where we live. I catch Joe up and we run along the pavement together until we reach the next road. I let him win by a head.
‘Yessss!’ He pumps his little fist into the air.
‘Let’s cross over,’ I say, taking his hand.
My heart drops as I turn and see the man at the end of the road. He’s speeding up now. Not quite jogging, but walking pretty fast. I can hear my heart beating, whether from the run or from anxiousness, I can’t tell. Should I call someone? The police? Jared? And say what? No. It’ll be okay. Joe and I can lose him. We’ll have another “race”.
Joe and I cross the road. There’s no one else around, other than a few cars whizzing past far too quickly – late for school pick-up, no doubt.
‘Okay,’ I say. ‘Ready, steady . . .’ He’s off again, his rucksack banging against his back, his feet slapping the pavement. I limp along behind him, my poor knee clicking and grinding.
‘Does that mean I get two ice creams?’ he asks when I finally catch him up again.
‘Only if you want to be sick.’
‘I won’t be. I could have two different flavours. One for dinner, one for pudding.’
I take his hand and we turn into another side road.
‘This isn’t the way,’ he says.
‘We’re going a different way, today,’ I say. We jog across the road and turn right and then left. I throw another glance behind us, but I can’t see the man anymore. The sun has dipped behind the houses and a couple of street lamps flicker on. I shiver, even though I’m warm after our exertions.
Finally, we leave the side streets behind and come to Penn Hill Avenue. It’s busier here and so Joe and I head towards the crossing. Joe is still chattering away, but I’m too preoccupied to pay him any proper attention. I usually love our walk home. It’s a chance to catch up on everything he’s done that day. A chance to chat without the distractions of TV or video games. But that creepy guy has unnerved me.
The green man flashes at the crossing and we stride across the road, leaving the leafy glamour of Lower Parkstone and heading through narrower streets to our characterful four-bedroom house at the top of the hill. My knee is throbbing. I can’t wait to get in and sit down with a cup of tea.
‘Mummy, do you want another race?’
‘You go ahead. I’ll time you. See if you can reach home before I count to ten.’
My phone pings. I pull it out of my bag and swipe the screen to see a new text message, number unknown:
Hi Louisa! Darcy here – Tyler’s mom. I got your number from the class list.
Wondered if you guys wanted to come over after school tomorrow.
Tyler can’t stop talking about Joe. We can have a cuppa while they play xxx
I text her back:
That would be lovely. Thank you.
Can you text me your address? Louisa X
I smile. Maybe the mums here aren’t as snobby as I first imagined.
Even better, I haven’t spotted that creepy man again. I’m starting to feel a little silly for worrying about him. Why on earth would I have a stalker? What would anyone want with me?

The Best Friend is now available on Kindle and in paperback.

Tuesday 7 June 2016

The Girl from the Sea - pre-launch teaser!

I'm two days from launching my first suspense thriller, The Girl from the Sea. 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?’
‘Can you tell me how you feel, physically?’
‘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.
‘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



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.

The Girl from the Sea

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

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.