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The Fascination by Essie Fox #Review #Giveaway

   Today be prepared for a dark, Victorian gothic novel! The Fascination by Essie Fox is published on June 22nd by Orenda . For the chance to win a print copy of The Fascination see the foot of this post for details. Victorian England. A world of rural fairgrounds and glamorous London theatres. A world of dark secrets and deadly obsessions… Twin sisters Keziah and Tilly Lovell are identical in every way, except that Tilly hasn't grown a single inch since she was five. Coerced into promoting their father's quack elixir as they tour the country fairgrounds, at the age of fifteen the girls are sold to a mysterious Italian known as ‘Captain’. Theo is an orphan, raised by his grandfather, Lord Seabrook, a man who has a dark interest in anatomical freaks and other curiosities … particularly the human kind. Resenting his grandson for his mother’s death in childbirth, when Seabrook remarries and a new heir is produced, Theo is forced to leave home without a penny to his

Conviction by Denise Mina #Extract #Giveaway @vintagebooks


 Welcome to the blog today ! I have a great extract for you from Conviction by Denise Mina and also the chance to win a print copy (UK only). Details on how to enter the Giveaway are at the foot of this post. 

Extract Chapter 1

The day my life exploded started well. 

    It was early morning in November and I woke up without the use of an alarm clock. I was pleased about that. It was a concession to our couples counselling: I wouldn’t wake Hamish at six with my alarm clock and he wouldn’t play Candy Crush on his phone all evening while ignoring the children. 

    I was looking forward to my day. I had a new true-crime podcast series waiting on my phone and I’d heard good things about it. I planned to listen to the first episode, get a taste for the story before I woke the kids for school, and then binge on it while I trawled through a day of menial tasks. A good podcast can add a glorious multi-world texture to anything. I’ve resisted an Assyrian invasion while picking up dry-cleaning. I’ve seen justice served on a vicious murderer while buying underpants.

     I lay in bed savouring the anticipation, watching light from the street ripple across the ceiling, listening as the heating kicked on and the grand old dame of a house groaned and cracked her bones. I got up, pulled on a jumper and slippers, and crept out of the bedroom.


    I loved getting up before everyone else, when the house was still and I could read or listen to a podcast alone in a frozen world. I knew where everyone was. I knew they were safe. I could relax. 

    Hamish resented it. He said it was creepy. Why did I need this time alone, sneaking around the house? Why did I need to be alone so much? 

    Trust issues, the couples counsellor called it. 

    I tried to reassure Hamish, I’m not planning to kill you or anything. But that was not reassuring, apparently. In fact, Anna, it might sound rather hostile to Hamish, if you think about it from his point of view. Really? (I said it in a hostile way.) Does that sound hostile? Then we talked about that for a while. It was a stupid process. We were both hostile and sad. Our relationship was in its death throes.

     I tiptoed across the landing, skirting the squeakiest floorboards and looked in on both of the girls. They were fast asleep in their wee beds, school uniforms laid out on chairs, socks in shoes, ties under collars. I wish I had lingered longer. I would never see them so innocent again. 

    I went back out to the landing. The oak banister curled softly from the top of the house to bottom, carved to fit the cup of a hand, grainy to the touch, following the wind of the stairs like a great long snake of yellow marzipan. It led down to a grand hallway with marble pillars flanking the front door and a floor mosaic of Hamish’s ancestral coat of arms. The house was bought by Hamish’s great-grandfather in 1869. He bought it new from Greek Thompson.
     
    Hamish was very proud of his background. He knew nothing at all about mine. I must emphasise that. I’m not just saying that to protect him, now that everything has come out. He was a senior member of the Bar, hoping to be appointed to the bench like his forebears. He wouldn’t have risked that just to be with me. 

    When we met I was Anna, the new office temp from Somewhere-Outside-of-Aberdeen. I chose Hamish quite carefully.I did love him,I must say that, and I still do,some times. But I deliberately picked an older man with money and status.A declamatory man, full of facts and opinions. He was the perfect hide. 

    Hamish was born in that house and had never lived any where else. His family had been on or near the Scottish judiciary for two hundred years. He didn’t much like foreign travel. He read only Scottish writers.That seemed so weird to me. I think I found it a little exotic.

     It was cold in the hall that morning. I walked through into the white-gleaming, German-designed kitchen and made a pot of strong coffee. I picked up my phone.The true-crime podcast series was called Death and the Dana. The description read ‘A sunken yacht, a murdered family on board, a secret still unsolved . . .’ 

    Oh yes: ponderous tone, secrets, murders, it had every thing. And the case had happened while my girls were small, a time of little jumpers and waiting outside school, standing silently with the timeless phalanx of mothers, absent from the wider world. I didn’t know anything about this murder case.
 
    I poured a big mug of coffee, sat down, put my phone on the kitchen table in front of me and pressed play. I expected an absorbing, high-stakes story. 

    I had no idea I was about to meet Leon Parker again.

About the Author

 Denise Mina is a critically acclaimed Glaswegian crime writer. Her novels includeThe End of the Wasp Season and Gods and Beasts, both of which won the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award in consecutive years. Denise also writes short stories and in 2006 wrote her first play. She is a regular contributor to TV and radio.

Find out more at www.denisemina.com or follow her on Twitter @DameDeniseMina

Book link: Amazon UK 

Thanks to Denise Mina and Hope Ndaba of Vintage for a place on the tour

Check out the rest of the tour


Giveaway (UK only)



 

To win a print copy of Conviction, just Follow and Retweet the pinned Tweet at @bookslifethings and good luck!




 Closing Date is 26th February 2020 and there is one winner.


*Terms and Conditions – UK only  The winner will be selected at random via Tweetdraw from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve 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. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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