#Excerpt: Her Greatest Mistake by Sarah Simpson

Summary:

DO WE EVER KNOW WHAT GOES ON BEHIND CLOSED DOORS?

Eve and Gregg were the perfect couple, with the perfect marriage… which has become the perfect lie. Gone is the charming, attentive Gregg – instead Eve wakes up each morning beside a manipulative and sinister man who controls his wife’s every move.

So Eve flees her immaculate marital home to keep herself, and young son Jack safe. Yet no matter how careful she has been, she knows Gregg will be relentless in his pursuit of his missing family. And that one day, when she’s least expecting it, he will find them…

What was Eve’s greatest mistake?

Marrying Gregg? Leaving him? Or leaving him alive…?

Her Greatest Mistake

Chapter Six
Cornwall 2016
I creep nervously into my own home; listening. Silence. Keys clasped tightly in my hand. No obvious signs of an intruder, no kicked-down doors or shattered crockery strewn across the floor. My heart pounds in my ears like a damp drum as I slink through the kitchen towards the back door. Startled, as a dark shadow thuds at the window. I jump and drop my keys. The minute sound of my keys hitting hard floor fills the room. ‘Christ, Humphrey, why did you do that?’ He waits in total nonchalance at the foot of the door outside. I rattle the handle, and breathe again. Thank God, I did lock the door.
But still there is something alien dangling in the air. If I didn’t know better, if the door had been unlocked, I’d swear someone has been in my home.
I pull open the door to an appreciative ball of fluff; he wraps himself around my legs. Purring. I pick him up and snuggle my face into indulgent fur, allowing my heartbeat to return to baseline. ‘You’re coming upstairs with me, mister, keep me company whilst I get ready for work. Frightening me like that, how could you? Haven’t you realised you’re living with a neurotic woman?’
I survey the sitting room as I creep through, before gingerly taking the stairs, still half-expecting someone to jump out. ‘What’s wrong with me, Humph, eh? Why can’t you talk to me? Did you see anyone?’ I sneak along the landing towards my bedroom, stopping to check Jack’s room first, all the usual potential hiding places. The wardrobe, under the bed. Nothing but used crockery – Jack and his blinking late-night cereal cravings. Still with Humphrey purring in my arms, I move on to my room.
I place him on my bed, where he immediately stretches out to fill the abstract shape of sun rays. ‘So tell me, Humph, to pull myself together. No one’s been in the house. The door was locked and there’s no other way in.’ Big round eyes glare back at me before he begins his grooming process. ‘No useful words of wisdom, eh? Anything will do? Or have you been silenced? Coerced to the dark side?’ He gives me the look of disdain only cats can do. ‘I get it, you’re just refusing to humour me. Wise move.’
I convince myself it’s safe for the moment. I need to get a move on for work. An invigorating shower of soft florals, all the time with a watchful eye on the door. Only panicking when the shampoo temporarily obscures my vision, rinsing it through as quickly as if my life depends on it. Not long later, I leave the house, double-checking the locks. Not bad, a transformation from home-comfort clothes to a tailored azure dress. Softly applied make-up, coral lips. Elegant shoes with a sharp distinguishing echo. Finally, my files, mobile and diary. All in less than thirty minutes. Trepidation has its perverse benefits.
Ready for another borrowed day.
Choosing where to open my clinic was easy. I peered through sash windows before a toadying agent opened the door to the pretty, terraced, Cornish sandstone and slate building. Proudly nestled between its charming unassuming neighbours. Two mottled slate steps lead the way to the solid wood door of 39b Lemon Street. Warm, humble and crammed with character. Inside, a large reception window films passing life, sweeping down to the heart of Truro. ‘Sometimes, things just feel right,’ I’d agreed with the toady agent.
Knowing Ruan, my fresh-faced, uncomplicated-by-life assistant, will always be there to open up first is a blessing. Despite his ungodly early morning jaunt to catch the sunrise waves. He’s then usually followed by Bea, the physiotherapist who sublets a room. Today, when I push through the door, characteristically late, the sunlight fills the reception area, elbowing through the leaded window. The cream slatted blinds are pulled back tight to allow shimmering beams to create a warming ambience. Thoughtful shadows grace the archetypal dense walls. Not all shadows are dark, I remind myself.

 

 

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#Spotlight ~ Barbara Hinske’s Books

Coming to RosemontCOMING TO ROSEMONT

Forensic accountant Maggie Martin survives the sudden death of her husband, the charismatic President of Windsor College, only to uncover the secrets of his carefully-concealed double life. Dealing with the financial and emotional wreckage left in Paul’s wake, she is stunned to learn he inherited an estate known as Rosemont in the seemingly-serene Midwestern town of Westbury. Why had he never told her?

Maggie travels to Westbury for the stated purpose of listing Rosemont for immediate sale, but what she really seeks are answers to her all-consuming questions about her sham of a marriage; her sham of a life. She never anticipated the seductive charm of Rosemont. Throwing her trademark caution to the wind, and over the objections of her opinionated grown children, she pulls up stakes and moves halfway across the country, determined to make a fresh start in Westbury. Behind closed doors, however, lurks a cadre of evildoers, playing with multiple wild cards of fraud, embezzlement and arson.

With a quiet, orderly — and distinctively solitary — life in mind, Maggie is instead thrown headlong into a crusade against political corruption, where defeat and retreat are not an option. Still bearing the scars of betrayal, will she find joy, romance and possibility in Westbury?

This fast-paced, smart novel has enough twists and turns to make the reader want to buckle in!

Coming to Rosemont is the first book in the Rosemont series.

Weaving the StrandsWeaving the Strands

BookBub Bestselling author Barbara Hinske’s beloved Rosemont saga continues, with secrets in the shadows and love in the air. A fun, fast read to lose yourself in over a weekend or on vacation.

Maggie Martin’s plans to start a serene new life have been derailed. As the beleaguered mayor of Westbury, she’s at the epicenter of the town’s worsening financial crisis. The looming foreclosure of its senior center followed by a suspicious death have fueled a barrage of public criticism all pointed her way. And she may have unwittingly invited a traitor into her inner circle. Throw in a lovelorn daughter, an attic full of surprises—at least one of which is most unwelcome, too many guests for Thanksgiving dinner, and an uncertain relationship with her favorite veterinarian, and Maggie has her hands full.
Her nemesis on the town council, wealthy businessman Frank Haynes, is up to what he does best—no good. He’s poking around in her late husband’s shady past to unearth whatever he can find that will help him gain the upper hand over Maggie. But his new assistant from Scottsdale may have her own tricks up her sleeve.
With trouble all around, will the winds of change blow favorably or foul for Maggie? Curl up and travel to the enchanting world of Rosemont and its irrepressible owner.

Uncovering SecretsUncovering Secrets

This third book in the beloved Rosemont series (but easily read as a stand-alone) finds Mayor Maggie Martin knee-deep in the financial problems facing Westbury. With a stagnant investigation into the fraud and embezzlement that brought the town to the brink of bankruptcy, Maggie needs results—now. The bad guys, however, are always one step ahead, with bribes and blackmail at their disposal.

Her late husband’s mistress also has an ace to play against Frank Haynes and his cronies. But the woman’s plan for revenge may be derailed by her daughter’s sudden illness. Will Haynes slip through the net once again?

Meanwhile, Maggie is busy planning her wedding as Roman forms an unlikely alliance with a litter of kittens. And Rosemont’s attic gives up its secrets; some welcome, some not. While Maggie delights in a newly discovered collection of vintage silver, Frank Haynes is on a mission to establish his claim to Rosemont. Surprisingly, his cold heart may not be impervious after all.

Dive in as Maggie seeks her silver lining.

The NIght Train

The Night Train

Some of the best words in the English language are “Once Upon A Time.” My dad told me a bedtime story every night of my childhood, and now I’ve grown up to become an author.

When I posted a few lines of a mystery/thriller under a photo of a red train making a nighttime crossing of a mountain trestle on my Facebook page in May 2014, it garnered a surprising response; readers wanted more. So for thirty-seven nights, I continued to post a few installments of the story. This e-book is a collection of those thirty-seven nights; I’ve done some editing, but kept the chapters as they were—a few paragraphs. You can decide if you want to read a bit of it each night, or all in one sitting.

Go ahead, if you haven’t already, and get your jammies on. Then come back and join me for a tale of international mystery and intrigue that I call The Night Train …

#SPOTLIGHT ~ Long Islands very own, Gary Welch, writes “The Magic Phone”

The Magic PhoneThe Magic Phone is a story of a young girl “Abigail” who lives in a quaint little town on the south shore of Long Island. She’s given a phone with powers that you’ve never imagined from a device that so many of us use everyday. This story will take you on a journey that has many subjects that children, teens, and adults will find very exciting. The novel includes adventure, fantasy, historical events, humor, mystery, science fiction, and suspense. The Magic Phone will take Abigail and you through time, both in the past and the future. The Magic Phone gives you the power to teleport anywhere around the world, defy physics as we know it, allowing her to fly, move, lift, or throw objects that weigh thousands of pounds, manipulate the weather, heal the sick, and so much more. Take an amazing journey with Abigail, the adventures are endless with the magic phone.

#SPOTLIGHT: “Promises to Keep” by Patricia Sands

Promises to KeepSUMMARY:

The painful memories from her life back in Toronto will never be distant enough, but Katherine Price finds peace under the autumn sky in the South of France…and a deepening, dizzying love with Philippe. Together, they savor the delicacies and splendor of life, toasting to a future filled with happiness and hope—a life far away from the heartache they both knew so well.

But during a trip to the medieval village of Entrevaux, a strange note turns into a dangerous car chase. Philippe reveals he has a troubling secret—and the couple’s new life together threatens to crumble before it can begin. Now that Katherine has everything she’s ever wanted, is she about to lose it all?

Promises to Keep is the heartfelt second addition to award-winning author Patricia Sands’s Love in Provence trilogy—and a stirring reminder that it’s never too late to be joyfully surprised by love, life, or even yourself.

Want to know more about this author, be sure to check back all week, as we get to know her better.