With Fiction Books stop on this comprehensive Blog Tour, being quite close to the final date, I’m sure that there will have been plenty of extracts, author guest posts and interviews already shared, so why not visit a few of the earlier tour participants and see what goodies are on offer … A full second half schedule of Blog Tour spots, is shown below!
DEATH OF A MERMAID
Freddy left her childhood home in Newhaven twenty-two years ago and swore never to return. But now her parents are dead, and she’s back in her hometown to help her brothers manage the family fishmonger.
Nothing here has changed: the stink of fish coming up from the marshes; the shopping trolleys half-buried by muddy tides; the neighbours sniffing for a new piece of gossip.
It’s not what Freddy would have chosen, but at least while she’s here she’ll get to see her childhood best friends, Toni and Pauline.
At school, the three of them were inseparable. The teachers called them the Mermaids for their obsession with the sea, and with each other.
Then Pauline goes missing, and Freddy must decide. Go back to her new life, or stay and find her friend?
Lesley was born in 1958 and brought up in Hammersmith, West London. She graduated from Brighton University in 1981 and moved to Sydney, Australia the year after, where in between writing her first attempt at a novel, she sold newspapers in a shop at Wynyard underground station in the heart of the city.
Returning to London, Lesley held down several jobs to support her writing, including working for one of the first Internet companies in the UK. She completed an MA in English Literature at Sussex University and she is now a guest tutor on the Creative writing and Publishing MA at West Dean, where she also runs a crime-writing short course, leads workshops and takes master classes on writing crime novels.
Lesley currently divides her time between East Sussex and Gloucestershire, living with her partner and a raggedy poodle both of whom are treated to blow by blow accounts of scenes and twists in a plot at any given time. In fact, she doesn’t know how they sleep at night!
Visit Lesley at her website
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BLOG TOUR EXTRACT (publisher chosen)
‘The trawler is divided into four main compartments. They cover all that’s needed on the boat.’ After a year of being in a relationship with him, Toni had finally asked Ricky for a tour of his trawler. Put off by anything on water, she had to admit it was great to see Ricky talk passionately about his pride and joy, bought with a loan from his family’s fishery. She had agreed today because the trawler was berthed at the mouth of the River Ouse in Newhaven. Surely nothing could go wrong there.
In the distance the swing bridge was lifting. Damn. Traffic would back up on the ring road and she’d be late getting to the police station. A large boat – she wasn’t good on boats – was being led through by a smaller boat. Toni shivered. The weak sunshine that had cast the slightest sense of warmth had been obliterated by dark clouds coming in from the sea.
‘…engine room, cabin, fish hold and the net store where we stow spare netting and nets we’re not deploying. It’s where we do the repairs.
‘Wow.’ Toni knew Ricky, like all the Powers including his sister Freddy, was a dab hand with a needle. He did his own sewing.
‘There are six tanks, for fuel, obviously, and water. We carry at least a tonne of ice when we go out to keep the fish fresh.’ Ricky was in his element. Water was his element.
‘Wow. Ice.’ Toni whistled. She pictured a gin and tonic. Feeling guilty for this she grabbed his hand. ‘What happened there?’ The tattoo on Ricky’s wrist was smeared with blood.
‘Caught it on a hook.’ He let go of her hand and rubbed it.
‘Careful you’ll make it worse. You don’t want it to go sceptic like Andy’s did.’ Toni had never got the point of disfiguring your body.
‘Do you want a tour?’ Ricky sounded irritated, he hated fussing.
‘I do. So er, you’re up in the, um… cabin?’ She indicated a glassed-in structure on the deck.
‘The wheelhouse,’ he corrected her patiently. ‘Done my time in the hold or on the deck. I keep dry unless we hit a problem. Daniel’s life is in my hands.’ He looked serious for a moment.
‘Yes, of course.’ Toni preferred the police. Give her toughened criminals over raging seas. However, she liked the words associated with the trawler. Beams, goalpost gantry, derricks, gilson lines and topping lifts. ‘Where’s Derek?’ Ricky biffed her for her feeble joke.
Ricky yanked a handle on a metal hatch revealing steps. She followed him down.
Toni was surprised by Ricky’s actual cabin, wood-lined walls, leather-padded bench seats, kitted out with food and medicinal supplies. If the boat was on land, she’d rather like chilling out in it. Although even in port, the creaks and squeaks of the hull and the equipment would make her on edge.
‘You down there, Rick?’ A man’s voice. ‘Need to talk to you about upping our bass order.’
‘Wait here.’ Ricky was up the steps before Toni could say she should go. Sighing, she remembered the swing bridge. No point leaving, she might as well see the rest of the trawler.
A narrow passage ended in a metal door. Sealed, she guessed, to prevent water getting in or out. Ricky was hot on battening down hatches. She’d noticed that what most people used as clichés or catchphrases – full steam ahead, plenty more fish in the sea – were the nitty-gritty of Ricky’s life.
She opened the door and her heart stopped. She was faced with gigantic lumps of metal, a generator, an auxiliary generator, the engine. A puzzle of wires and hoses. Huge pipes, the yellow or red paint stained by rust, snaked above. Narrow pipes ran at her feet. Toni recalled Ricky saying that he and Daniel had to attack the engine with spanners when it stalled in a storm. She could change a tyre but only on solid ground.