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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Underneath’ By Anne Goodwin

As I descend the concrete staircase, I can’t see my feet for the cardboard box I’m cradling in my arms. Nudging the banister with my elbow for balance, I duck to avoid the underbelly of the main staircase and catch a whiff of chocolate sponge filtered through the fragrance of your freshly laundered clothes.

The stairs shunt left and left again. I count the last three steps beneath my breath. A short walk down the corridor and  I’m setting down the provisions on the chequerboard lino alongside the panelled door.

I put my eye to the peephole and flick the switch on the wall. Inside the room, the ceiling light beams on the grass-green carpet dotted with daisies and on the three hundred and sixty degree mural in fiery sunrise hues. It picks out the lidded bucket in the far corner and, directly opposite the door, the double mattress marooned in a sea of discarded food packaging and dirty underwear. It traces the curve of your back where you lie beneath the duvet.

The duvet veils your torso, your hands, your head, your hair. But it can’t disguise the spasm in your shoulders as the light comes on. The flinch. There’s an echoing jolt through my own body, and I have to back away for a moment while my pulse quells. When I look again, you’re frozen in the same teasing posture: camouflaged by the quilt apart from one foot peeping out the bottom, the enamelled nails a regal lapis lazuli.

The bolts squeal as I drag them one-two-three into their casings. I shoulder your box of goodies and shove through the cream-coloured door

Clicking on the book’s cover image will link you directly with it’s Amazon listing.

Check out both book and author at ‘Mailbox Monday

Don’t forget to stop by on May 21st, when Anne has a great guest post lined up to share as my stop on her blog tour!


A picture button for book beginnings at Rose City Reader

Would the first few lines of your book make you want to read on?

If so, would you like to share them with us, (without revealing too many spoilers of course) ?

Visit your host, Gilion @ ‘Rose City Reader

You can then leave a link to your own book beginnings post, or just browse for some great reads, there are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

Don’t forget that Gilion and all the other contributors to this meme love to hear from you, so why not leave a comment or two at the same time?

I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!


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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Bev,

      I do enjoy a good psychological thriller and whilst this storyline isn’t unique in real life, I haven’t come across it used in a work of fiction before.

      I am looking forward to getting started reading it!

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • Hi Sherry,

      I’m not sure whether Steve started out to be wicked, however that is definitely how things are set to turn out by the sound of things.

      I think that in this case ‘wicked sounds good’, as you say!

      ‘Happy Reading’ 🙂

  • What captivating first lines!! Paired with what I’d already read from your earlier post, I’ve just preordered the Kindle version (only $2.99). I know I said this last time, but I really like the cover.

    I’m looking forward to the guest post from the author.

    • Hi Kelly,

      I hope that you consider it money well spent, when you get to read your copy.

      I have to say that I’m not so sure about the cover art. I know that it ‘does what it says on the tin’ so to speak and the little light down below is quite spooky – perhaps it is just a bit too blue for my liking, although I really am nitpicking, don’t you think?

      I think that you are really going to enjoy Anne’s guest post, I found it so interesting and if I cheat a little and tell you that it is titled “Compassion and Condemnation”, then you’ll know what I mean!

      Enjoy your Sunday 🙂

      • Ooo great teaser! I really look forward to the guest post!

        Yep…I’d say you’re nitpicking. 😉 The blue adds to the creepiness.

        • As a bit of a claustrophobic, the thought of being underground anywhere is terrible, so I certainly don’t need blue to add to the creepiness 🙂

          I’m just putting the finished guest post together now for publishing next Sunday 21st May as my spot on the blog tour.

          Enjoy the rest of your day 🙂

    • Hi Sandra,

      If you haven’t read the full premise for the book, then you are almost spot on in your assumptions about the cellar prison!

      Personally, I think that Steve has really gone over the top with his captivity measures given the circumstances, however he does sound as though he has some real emotional and self-esteem issues going on. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out!

      I have to say that I think I am going to enjoy Anne’s descriptive writing style and I can’t wait to get stuck into the first chapter proper.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, I always appreciate and enjoy reading them 🙂

    • Hi Mareli,

      It doesn’t actually specify in the book, but I am assuming the this is a prologue extract, with the main body of the story leading up to the situation in which we now find ourselves. I think that the ‘whys and wherefores’ are going to most interesting and disturbing!

      Great to have you visit and thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂

    • Hi Nadene,

      Thanks for stopping by Fiction Books this week. I enjoy ‘meeting’ new people, so your comments and visits will always be welcome and appreciated 🙂

      You just know that the situation isn’t normal, don’t you? and it sounds as though the person under the duvet is scared to move or show herself. I need to keep reading to discover exactly how this set of extreme circumstances has happened.

      Have a great weekend and ‘Happy Reading’ 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      There are no names mentioned in this opening extract and it is a stand alone page of prologue before the main story begins. I have therefore had to make some assumptions myself from reading it in conjunction with the premise. So as not to give too much away, I’ll just highlight this short sentence from the premise …

      “If he could somehow make her stay, he wouldn’t have to choose … and it would be a shame not to make use of the cellar.”

      … So now you can see why I am assuming that the narrator in the extract is he (Steve) and the person led on the mattress is her (Liesel).

      Either way, this sounds like quite an intense and rather spooky storyline that is going to keep me on the edge of my seat!

      Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend 🙂

    • Hi Lauren,

      It does sound so good, if more than a little creepy!

      If you need any more encouragement to add it to your list, you should check out the fantastic blog tour Anne arranged for the book. She has written some excellent individual guest posts for the participants, including my own which airs on may 21st 2017!

      Thanks for stopping by, I always value your comments 🙂

Written by Yvonne