Extract ~ Blog Tour ~ The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir.

The Forgotten Children PAPERBACK front

The Forgotten Children

A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest periods
Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt that threatens to consume her.  For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born.  But now, in the summer of 1987, she decides to begin the search for her son.
Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness.  But it is when she decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons.

Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.

Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her own sad experiences.  Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.

The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.

At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is painful.  Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and governments, who should have known better.

The Forgotten Children

Extract

The novel opens with Emily experiencing the second big loss in her life…

Mark is a casualty of a war I’ve been having since December 1967. A war with more than one enemy and only one true ally, my beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine. In truth, if it were not for Geraldine, I would have spent most of the last twenty years unattached and free from the emotional demands that inevitably come from any relationship. But Geraldine, Gee to her friends, can’t bear to see me single. So I ditch one bloke, only to be introduced to another. If it wasn’t so sad it would be funny.
Mark is the latest. We’ve been together just short of two years. He’s funny, uncomplicated and a great dancer. All attributes that score him ten out of ten in Gee’s books, and leaves me wondering why she didn’t go out with him herself.
I can’t imagine a time when Mark and I would ever be as synchronised as Gee and Alan, who have been together so long they even finish each other’s sentences. Nevertheless, life with Mark is easy enough. We party late at weekends and usually crawl out of bed at midday, nursing muzzy heads.
But since a visit to the doctor confirmed the reason I had lost my appetite, I’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to tell him our partying days are over. We will have to leave our little house, with its terraced garden higher than the roof and find a place with a flat patch of grass and a few leafy trees.
Now, as I lay in bed with Mark beside me, I close my eyes tightly and picture our new garden, with a seat under an apple tree where I could sit and watch our child play. And that is the moment I recognise the betrayal. I’m dreaming of a new life while my first born is out there somewhere, maybe living, maybe dead.
The bleeding started earlier in the day and as I turn onto my side, it gets heavier. It’s a suitable punishment for a crime I took part in, albeit unwillingly. I try not to move for a few moments, foolishly hoping I can stop this from happening.
Mark shifts beside me in bed. I peer at the luminescent numbers on the purple alarm clock that sits inches from my face. The numbers flick silently as a minute passes, then another. It is 3.30am precisely when I use one elbow to nudge him.
‘I think I’m having a miscarriage,’ I say, keeping any emotion from my voice.
I feel him swing his legs out of bed. He turns the bedside light on. I am scared to move and with my back to him I can’t see his face, but I can sense him trying to move himself from a deep slumber to waking.
‘You need to ring for an ambulance. I’m bleeding.’
He walks around the bed and kneels, then runs his hand over my forehead. As he pulls the sheets and blankets away from me, I hear him gasp. I look down to see the worst of it. The blood has pooled below me, seeping across the bedsheet, like ink on blotting paper.
‘Oh God, Em. I didn’t know. You didn’t tell me.’
‘It doesn’t matter now, just get me to the hospital.’

You can buy The Forgotten Children from Amazon UK and US.

You can also enter Giveaway to win a signed copy of The Forgotten Children (UK Only) by following this LINK.
*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

About the author. 

The Forgotten Isabella Muir

 

Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.
As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series. These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.
Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

You can follow the author on FacebookTwitter and her website

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Book Review ~ Blog Tour ~ Spare Room by Dreda Say Mitchell.

Dreda Say Mitchell - Spare Room_cover

Home Is Where The Nightmare Is

Beautiful double room to let to single person

 

Lisa, a troubled young woman with a past, can’t believe her luck when she finds a beautiful room to rent in a large house. The live-in owners are a kind and welcoming couple. Everything is fine until she finds a suicide note hidden in her room. But when the couple insist this man didn’t exist and that Lisa is their first tenant, Lisa begins to doubt herself.

Compelled to undercover the secrets of the man who lived in the room before her, Lisa is alarmed when increasingly disturbing incidents start to happen. Someone doesn’t want Lisa to find out the truth.

As the four walls of this house and its secrets begin to close in on Lisa, she descends into a hellish hall of mirrors where she’s not sure what’s real and what’s not as she claws her way towards the truth…

Did this room already claim one victim?

Is it about to take another?

 

Review

I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.

I have to admit that when I started Spare Room, I struggled with believability around why the lead character Lisa would stay in a house as terrifying events spiral around her. That could be because I would have run for the hills and this is a psychological thriller so you’re meant to suspend your sense of disbelief. Because it is a very good story and not everyone is scared of their own shadow like me. Once I had got past that, I still personally would have run, I quickly appreciated what an excellent, unnerving and scary thriller this was. Beautifully constructed and to my mind would make a brilliant TV adaption. Why? It starts to ramp up the tension slowly, the sense of mystery behind the Lisa’s troubled past, is revealed bit by bit, like pealing back the layers of an onion. You get to understand why she would endure so much, so that she can exercise her own demons. You really can’t help but admire her bravery and determination not to run from the hellish thoughts her own mind plagues her with and the disturbing behaviour of those around her. It is great characterisation and around her the story flows which such ease, you’re at the last page without being aware of the passing of time, having scrunched your pillow tight, or was that just scared cat me? No character can carry a book entirely on their own, but Dreada Mitchell, gives us a cast of others, who play an important part in the story, especially her land lady, who was deviously mercurial and her family who I both loved, admired and on times wanted to scream at.

It is always nice to discover new writers, ones you want to read all of their books and Spare Room has added this writer onto my list. The story and writing created lots of uncertainty and ramped up anxiety levels, with a protagonist and an adversary so perfectly constructed, you love one and love hating the other.
A superb read.

Spare Room can be purchased from Amazon

About the author

dreda say mitchell

Dreda Say Mitchell is an award-winning, bestselling crime writer, broadcaster, campaigner, and journalist. Since her sixth book she has been co-writing with Tony Mason. She is the author of eleven novels, with her debut awarded The CWA’s John Creasey Dagger. She has been a frequent guest on television and radio including Question Time, BBC Breakfast, Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, The Stephen Nolan Show, Front Row and Woman’s Hour and numerous others. She has presented Radio 4’s Open Book. Dreda was named one of Britain’s 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek in association with Nokia. She was the 2011 chair of the Harrogate Crime Fiction Festival. Dreda and Tony’s work is currently in development for TV. She was born and raised in the East End of London where she continues to live.

You can follow the author on her websiteTwitter and Facebook.

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