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

“When everyone is on the make, it’s hard to tell who’s fooling who…”
‘The Mark’
By Heather Burnside
Blog Tour Extract

Following the enthusiastic response to the cover reveal posts for this new series, the work really begins for everyone now, with the first in a series of Blog Tours, following publication of the opening book.

Thanks as always to Vicky from Aria Fiction for making room for me on this busy schedule and to NetGalley for their ever efficient download service.

Image of the Blog Tour banner for the book 'The Mark' by author Heather Burnside

THE MARK – (The Working Girls – Book #1)

Cover image of the novel 'The Mark' by author Heather BurnsideA TRIP TO THE DARK SIDE.
When respected journalist, Maddy, goes to interview prostitutes in a rundown Manchester pub, she doesn’t reckon on attracting the attention of their ruthless pimp, Gilly. He quickly decides to use Maddy for his own gains; he just needs to work out how.

A TOXIC AFFAIR.
In the weeks that follow, Maddy is oblivious to Gilly’s growing obsession with her, particularly when she begins a romance with successful businessman, Aaron. Their passionate love affair starts to dominate her life, and she finds herself losing control and alienating the people around her.

A TARGET ON HER BACK.
As Maddy’s safe and successful life starts to crumble around her, she must quickly work out who has it in for her, before it’s too late…

HEATHER BURNSIDE

Image of author Heather BurnsideHeather grew up in Gorton, a working-class area of Manchester, moving to Longsight, where she spent her teenage years on one of the toughest estates in Manchester.

During the 1990s the estate became the headquarters for one of Manchester’s predominant gangs. It regularly featured in the local press due to shootings and drug-related problems. Heather draws heavily on this background as the setting for many of her novels.

After taking a career break to raise two children Heather enrolled on a creative writing course. During that time she had many articles published in well-known magazines and went on to run a writing services business before focusing on her novels.

Heather now works full-time on her novels from her home in Manchester which she shares with her two grown-up children.

Heather has a lovely website where you can keep up with all her news

You can follow Heather on Twitter

You can also check in with Heather on Facebook

Image of author Heather Burnside

AN AUTHOR INTRODUCTION

“I am very excited to announce my new series of books called, The Working Girls. As the title suggests, it centres around the world of prostitution.

The idea for the series started when I watched a police detective series many years ago. In one particular episode the female detective was interviewing prostitutes in a seedy pub where she seemed completely out of place in her smart suit and with her refined middle-class accent.

I remember thinking how gutsy she was to do that and that she might be leaving herself open to all sorts of danger. This gave me the idea for the first book but I replaced the police detective with my journalist, Maddy.”

Cover image of the novel 'The Mark' by author Heather Burnside

BLOG TOUR EXTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

2004

The two women sitting side by side in the run-down Manchester pub couldn’t have been more different, so they made for unlikely friends. Maddy was an attractive middle class woman in her late thirties, outwardly confident and self-assured. Her background showed in her clothing, which screamed of quality. She was wearing a neat top, pristine leather jacket and expensive fitted jeans that flattered her trim yet shapely figure.

Her blonde hair was shoulder-length, lustrous and wavy, but today Maddy had it in a loose chignon. The style emphasised her perfectly formed face with high cheekbones, smooth complexion and large cat’s eyes. She wore a light dusting of premium-brand make-up, carefully applied to enhance her striking features.

Crystal, on the other hand, although only in her early twenties, already had a careworn complexion, which was over emphasised by cheap, garish make-up. Her messy bright red lipstick was paired with a darker shade of lip-liner, which extended beyond the natural outline of her lips and made her look clown-like.

Likewise, Crystal’s eye make-up was heavy and there were thick clumps on some of her eyelashes where the mascara had clogged. Her eyebrows had been plucked to death then pencilled back on in a shade of brown that looked out of place against her intense, dark eyes. Even her hair let her down; it was dyed in a lurid shade of red and was dry and coarse.

Although it was growing cold outside, Crystal wore a short skirt displaying her bare, skinny legs, which were covered in sores, and the backs of her feet were red and inflamed from wearing plastic, high-heeled shoes. Her top clung tightly, exposing the mounds of her huge breasts, which were at odds with her skinny frame. She had obviously had a boob job, under the guidance of her pimp rather than her plastic surgeon.

The Rose and Crown was tucked away in the back streets of Manchester where it had managed to avoid the redevelopment that had taken place in other parts of the city centre. Its dated, shabby décor and worn furniture were reminiscent of a previous era. Although close to the thriving main streets, the pub seemed a world away from the twenty-something revellers, hen and stag parties, and excitable young students who thronged nearby. This was the sort of place frequented only by those in the know and who were up to no good.

Inside The Rose and Crown customers chatted, joked and struck illicit deals while a grubby-looking dog lay sprawled lethargically beneath one of the battered tables. The sound of Girls Aloud played quietly through outdated speakers; it was the pub’s only nod to the early twenty-first century.

Maddy was sitting amongst a group of women who were dressed similarly to Crystal, their clothes selected for maximum exposure rather than as a defence against the chilly night air. Although Maddy’s clothing and make-up weren’t as bright as the other women’s, she stood out from the crowd, for Maddy had class as well as charisma, and a way of dealing with people that immediately put them at ease.

 

Written by
Yvonne

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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4 comments
  • I’ve started so many new series this year it isn’t funny. I’ve given up trying not to now and will definitely look into this one as its theme and background seem unusual. Worth a look I think.

    • Hi Cath,

      Same here, I now just read any book I like the sound of, regardless of whether or not it is part of a series. New books are being published so frequently now, that there just doesn’t seem to be any other way, without missing out on some great new authors altogether!

      Heather seems to enjoy writing her books as trilogies, although it does sound as though they could be read as stand alones. Manchester born and bred, Heather writes with that gritty Manc accent, which takes a difficult subject, grabs it by the throat and tells the story exactly as it is!

      I’ll leave you a link to Heather’s Fantastic Fiction page, where you can see all the books and check out the premises in one place. You’ll soon see what I mean!

      https://www.fantasticfiction.com/b/heather-burnside/

      Thanks for stopping by and have a good Sunday 🙂

  • I don’t remember this one appealing to me much when you first featured it, but I’ll admit that I like the excerpt shared here. The contrast between the women is interesting and I can see how the premise could work well. I’m keeping an open mind. 🙂 (though I’m still not that impressed with the cover)

    • Hi Kelly,

      There are just too many new books out there for you to feel compelled to read one which isn’t really ‘doing it’ for you at all, in either the storyline or the cover.

      I left a link for Cath, so that she could check out Heather’s books and series, all in one place, so perhaps that might help you make a decision one way or the other.

      I am already thinking though, that as Heather seems to quite like writing in trilogy form, perhaps each one of her mini series might work well as a made for television drama or film. I’m not convinced they are quite right for full blown film rights.

      Anyway, I’ll leave that one with you and I thank you for still taking the time to comment, I always like to hear what your thoughts are about a post 🙂

Written by Yvonne

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