This one comes with a warning – a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller – think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone! What happens when opposites attract – when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force – when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge – when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay – when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder… and he’s just getting started!
I would like to thank S C Cunningham for visiting booksaremycwtches today with an extract from her novel The Penance List.
Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.
The Penance List
by S C Cunningham
Three fun loving friends meet regularly for lunch at the glamorous Cellini’s Restaurant in Chelsea. They have no idea that they’re being watched by a killer with a penance list.
Click, click… hidden in a cafe across the street, he pulled on the focus, ﬁtting all three into shot.
Tara and Helen had met as juniors at a convent boarding school for young ladies, upsetting a multitude of nuns in their wake. Josie had been adopted by the feisty twosome years later at college. Her cheeky up-front London cockney savvy and their self-effacing Sloaney wit made an entertaining mix. They’d stuck together through thick and thin, enduring life’s roller coaster; a good team.
Their bond was about to be tested. Evil was entering centre stage of their cosy, comfortable lives. It had been sitting on the periphery for years, plotting, planning, patiently waiting. It was watching them now; they only had to look up through the restaurant window to see it, hiding behind the large black lens that focused directly on them.
Click, click… the shot pulled in tight, slender ﬁngers wrapped the stem of her glass.
The girl’s witty banter moved at a gallop, sprinting through sentences that didn’t need completing, interspersed with giggles, tears and hugs. They ‘got’ each other with intuitive precision.
Tara did sometimes wonder how they could talk such utter rubbish for hours on end; she put it down to a necessary form of free DIY therapy from those who actually loved, cared and understood you. Knew how to make you laugh and what made you tick. She believed in avoiding shrinks whenever possible, buy a friend lunch; it was cheaper and didn’t keep the drug trade in business, too many unnecessary pills out there.
“I hate BJ’s… I hate the taste, the feel, the pressure. I am SO useless at them, they make me gag, which is SO not such a good look,” complained Helen, pulling a very unattractive gagging face.
The girls giggled; Josie put her fork down, giving up trying to eat.
“No, seriously,” continued Helen. “I try really hard, but I can’t swallow to save my life, and my hand jobs are a nightmare. I get into a nice rhythm, everything’s going ﬁne, then it starts, the insecurity creeps in. Am I doing it right? Am I holding too tight, too hard? Am I yanking too fast? He’s not saying anything, not helping, except the odd sharp intake of breath or animal-like groan. Was that a ‘pained’ intake of breath or a ‘pleasurable’ intake of breath? A ‘yeah, good’ groan or an ‘ouch! fuck that hurt’ groan? How the hell do you know? You have to be a mind reader. My hand gets tired, my knees ache, my jaw starts to lock, my teeth get in the way, I remember that he pees out of it and …”
She takes a slug of wine, soldiering on with her regular moan about her disastrous sex life.
“… whoosh!…I lose it, hand-to-mouth coordination gets all out of sync and I go into a blind panic, knowing that he knows, that I know, that I’ve lost it. It’s like reverse parking; start analysing it and I mess up, every time…”
The girls look at her quizzically, trying to keep up with her line of thinking…reverse parking?
“And, to make it worse, he’s looking impatiently down at me, like, ‘come on, babe, get a move on,’ probably waiting for the footy to start, spotting my roots need doing, and trying not to laugh at the farting noises my mouth is making…urrgh!! It’s all SO unattractive.”
She sighs, serious faced, topping up wine glasses, the girls trying not to laugh.
“How do you know if you’re doing it right?” she pleaded.
“Hey relax gal, you don’t ‘ave to do it, it’s not mandatory. Some guys don’t like blow jobs, having a set of gnashers around their privates fills them with terror, and some guys don’t like to go down on us for the same reasons; we pee out of it, and the little ‘panic button’ is hell to figure out,” Josie tried to calm her, but she wasn’t listening.
“And why the hell is it called a ‘blow job’? Granted, it’s a bloody job, but there is no bloody blowing involved, unless I’m doing it wrong,” she stopped in her tracks and looked quizzically up at the girls.
“Do you blow in the hole?” they both shook their heads, trying not to laugh.
“I don’t want to force a bloody air bubble down his tubes, he’ll go blue… try explaining that to an ambulance crew. No one teaches you these things, its real trial and error stuff.”
“Well maybe that’s what the older man is for, hun… to teach a girl the sexual basics,” piped up Tara.
“That’s even worse, they take Viagra and never bloody stop… they have a hard on for days, your bits are sore as hell… and they never bloody come, where’s the fun in that? To top it all they end up having a heart attack,” Helen gulped more wine, shaking her head.
Josie giggled. “We’re a bit old for older men don’t ya think? Ours would come with a wheelchair and bus pass. It would be more useful to learn a few resuscitation techniques… a good bit of slap’n tickle and a cheeky bit of CPR, very sexy.”
Click, click… the frame catches their three heads rock back with laughter, a cauldron of witches.
The Penance List can be purchased from Amazon
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About the author.
British Crime Investigator & Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates stegamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction. An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub). Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.
She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs.
You can follow the author on her website, Twitter and Facebook.