Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising this blog tour and to Rachel Walkley and Spare Time Press for giving me an extract to host on my blog today. I hope this gives you a taste of this fabulous sounding novel.
Giveaway to Win One copy of The Last Thing She Said or The Woman of Heachley Hall (Open INT)
- If the winner is in the UK then it will be a print copy, otherwise International winner is e-book.
Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.
Whispers in the courtroom.
Only one juror hears them.
Can Laura unravel the truth by the end of the trial?
In an old courtroom, a hissing voice distracts shy juror, Laura, and at night recurring nightmares transport her to a Victorian gaol and the company of a wretched woman.
Although burdened by her own secret guilt, and struggling to form meaningful relationships, Laura isn’t one to give up easily when faced with an extraordinary situation.
The child-like whispers lead Laura to an old prison graveyard, where she teams up with enthusiastic museum curator, Sean. He believes a missing manuscript is the key to understanding her haunting dreams. But nobody knows if it actually exists.
Laura is confronted with the fate of two people – the man in the dock accused of defrauding a charity for the blind, and the restless spirit of a woman hanged over a century ago for murder. If Sean is the companion she needs in her life, will he believe her when she realises that the two mysteries are converging around a long-forgotten child who only Laura can hear?
An Extract From Beyond the Yew Tree
Laura lives with her boyfriend, except for several weeks, he’s been absent in Italy and proving difficult to reach. Her curious mother wants to know all her latest news, which includes Laura’s stint as a juror at the crown court where she’s listening to case of defrauding a charity. Nothing exciting, or so it seems.
That evening, her mother had plenty to say when Laura rang for their weekly catch-up. Angela Naylor wanted to know about the court case, and Laura’s refusal to divulge anything frustrated her.
‘It’s not a murder. Rape? Oh no, that would be awful—’
‘It’s nothing violent,’ Laura conceded, tired of the battery of unanswerable questions. The last thing she wanted to mention was that Seeside was a local charity providing holiday homes, caravan parks, and tailored excursions for the blind. Her wily mother would immediately ask if Laura was on the verge of a panic attack. She wasn’t; she hadn’t had one for years, and Seeside was surely irrelevant to the events of her past.
‘That’s all I’ll say, Mum.’
‘Marco?’ Another tentatively presented query.
‘A text. He’s in Rome.’ It had arrived not long after she’d got home.
He hadn’t answered her reply – When are you coming home?
‘Rome?’ The problem with geography extended to Angela, too. ‘That’s where the Pope lives, right?’
‘It’s where a lot of Italians live.’
‘I know you don’t want to hear it, love, but really, he’s not—’
‘You’re right. I don’t want to hear it, so please don’t.’ She shot across her mother’s negativity with a display of pique that surprised her.
Marco should have a future in Lincoln. But it seemed two years of studying wasn’t worth coming back to, never mind her, his girlfriend… supposedly.
‘He’s not the kind of man to give up on things. I should know,’ Laura said. The lie stuck in her aching throat.
Her mother said nothing. A wise decision, and shortly afterwards, they ended the call.
Laura folded back the duvet on her bed and plumped up the pillows. She’d brought up a hot chocolate and planned to read a chapter of a biography she’d chosen from the library. She preferred real lives to fictional ones, although recently she’d come to doubt that people told real stories. The revelations in the tales of an ex-soap star were harder to believe than the fictional character portrayed on the television.
The purpose of the quiet time before switching off the lights was to try to mitigate the return of that dream. She’d suffered four consecutive nights of nearly identical nightmares. Recurring dreams of the unpleasant kind, typically involving shattered glass and screeching tyres, had once been a speciality of hers. But she believed she’d shaken them off and had never mentioned them to her mother. Sometimes she needed Angela to be like other mothers, sympathetic and soothing. Unfortunately, Laura wasn’t sure her mother understood those needs, and dreams were hardly the best way to communicate her apprehensions. In the past, when insomnia had plagued Laura, Angela had suggested everything from sleeping pills to hypnosis. Laura had rejected any offer of outside intervention, especially from strangers. She’d waited, and eventually the flashbacks had fractured into tiny slivers of panic that were easier to ignore.
What her recent dreams alluded to was vastly different to those of the past, and they were obviously something to do with the castle and its history. Current events had awoken evocative thoughts and, along with the persistent noises she heard in the courthouse, Laura suspected something was going to happen that was bound to upset her inner, delicately balanced karma. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling. Jodi was right; Laura had more imagination than she realised.
Author Bio – Rachel Walkley
Aspiring writer who pens Women’s Fiction and magical tales about family secrets.
An East Anglian turned Northerner – almost.
Information professional, always.
Biologist, in my memories.
Archivist, when required.
Amateur pianist and flautist.
Scribbler of pictures.
And forever…. a mother and wife.
Oh, not forgetting, cat lover!
Social Media Links –
Twitter – https://twitter.com/RachelJWalkley
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RachelJWalkley
Instagram / Twitter handle – https://www.instagram.com/raejcreations/
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