Saturday, 24 September 2022

A Fire In The Sky by Wendy A M Prosser


A Fire in the Sky: Or, the Fantastical History of James Sadler, as Related by Himself: How the Son of an Oxford Pastry-Cook became the First English Aeronaut
Published by Swervy Piglet Productions on the 31st October 2021.

How I got this book: Bought the ebook from Smashwords

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A battered old green-and-gold shop sign creaks in the breeze.

Tho. Sadler, Pastry-cook & Confectioner

…& Son? Perish the thought! James Sadler’s ambitions transcend the mere vending of pastries and pies.

Vowed never to plod in his father’s commonplace footsteps, a hasty but lucrative wager could raise James’s station to staggering heights—though a lifelong distaste for hard work has frustrated his previous schemes for advancement.

Can James at last turn dreams into deeds, and become in the span of one month, the first English aeronaut? Can he escape the shop counter forever, defying the dreary hand dealt him by Fate? Will he forge a new path to fortune and fame, or disaster?

And when the chance arises to truly step into another man’s shoes—will he take it?

“Excuse me if I have this incorrect. You say that you will ascend, and then descend.”

“There will be some sideways motion, also.”

“And where will that motion take you?”

“That, I cannot say. ’Tis the winds that decide the direction, not the aeronaut.”

“That seems awfully silly. Why set out on a journey when you do not know where you’ll end up?”

A Fire in the Sky is a fantastical reimagining of the story of James Sadler, the laboratory assistant and shopkeeper’s son who at Oxford in 1784 made history’s first-ever flight by an English balloonist.

What a wonderfully engaging story! I bought A Fire In The Sky on the strength of Wendy Prosser's writing in previous essay collections of hers that I have read and because I was keen to learn about James Sadler, a genuine historical figure who lived - and flew - in 1780s Oxford. Prosser brings Sadler vividly to life on the page and I loved the wealth of period detail she includes in her portrayals of the Sadler family, the town of Oxford and the rarified university environment that exists alongside them.

James himself is inquisitive as a child, with a scientific brain, and keen to make more of his life than simply being his father's successor in the pastry shop. I felt Prosser deftly captured his character both as a child and as a young man with the family interactions giving us readers a good sense of what was culturally important and acceptable at the time. A Fire In The Sky completely fulfilled what I love about immersive historical fiction - and it also has a fantastical surprise up its sleeve.

Now, of course, I'm not saying that the more magical elements of this story couldn't actually have happened as they are depicted - after all, the simple creation of hydrogen to inflate the giant balloon must have been seen as pretty magical to many people at the time - but A Fire In The Sky does cleverly drift into a fantasy storyline that I loved. I felt this worked so well with the factual grounding. I can't say too much more without giving away massive spoilers. Personally I eagerly followed where Prosser's imaginative flights took me - there certainly was a sideways drift! - but I can appreciate that this might not be as delightful for readers who prefer their historical fiction to remain rooted in authenticity.


Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Beyond Mod Vintage

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Wendy A M Prosser / Historical fiction / Books from England

Friday, 23 September 2022

Wild at Heart by Stacy Gold + Giveaway + Excerpt

Wild at Heart
Stacy Gold
(Wild Love, #1)
Publication date: May 2nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

They each hit the trail solo in search of themselves…

Overworked entrepreneur Jules Martinez is sick and tired of men leaving her for their exes. Determined to wipe the giant, scarlet R for rebound off her forehead, she kicks off a yearlong vow of celibacy with five, blissful weeks backpacking her favorite trails through Washington State. Solo.

Out-of-work financial analyst Evan Davenport hasn’t been happy since camping in Scouts as a kid—before his wealthy parents and now ex-fiancé made all his major life decisions. Hoping to find joy and purpose, he buys all the latest ultralight backpacking gear, flies to Washington, and sets off alone on a weeklong speed hike through the wilderness.

Mother Nature has other plans, though, and keeps shoving Evan and Jules in each other’s paths. Usually naked. When sparks fly, can they find what they’re looking for in life together instead of apart?

On sale for $1.99 for a limited time only!

EXCERPT:

Chapter 1

JULES

“I’m so jealous, Jules.” Bryn perched on the end of one of the beds in our hotel room at Cascade Locks, watching me pack gear. The thin, gray light of pre-dawn filtered through a crack in gold curtains that’d seen better days.

I tucked a bag of snacks and my rain jacket into the top of my backpack, cinched the drawcord, and buckled the lid with a solid click. “Of what, twelve guys dumping me for their exes in a row? I’m sure we could arrange that for you too. If you ever really start dating again.”

“Ha. Funny.” She toed my calf. “You’re taking five weeks off to go backpacking solo. Who cares why?”

Tingles of excitement zoomed around in my chest and I flashed her a grin. “Yeah. Dealing with zero assholes and zero clients for more than a month does sound pretty heavenly, doesn’t it?”

She grinned back. “Like I said, totally jealous. At least of your trip.” Her expression went serious. “I still can’t believe the next guy you date is gonna be unlucky number thirteen, though.”

“Yeah. I’ve thought about that. Probably too much. Definitely enough to jinx the next one for sure. So, I’m swearing off men for at least a year to restart the count.” I hesitated, the excitement buzz fading. “A year is enough time to consider it a clean dating slate, right?”

“Wait.  You mean you’re swearing off dating, or swearing off sex too?”

The last eight years had been nothing but suckage on the relationship front. It’d probably take more than a year to fix my shit. But nothing would change if I didn’t change something. “Yes. Both. All of it.”

Bryn eyes widened. “You’re serious.”

“Dead.” Bending, I tugged the rough nylon laces of my left boot. The well-worn leather snugged around my foot. “I’m never gonna figure out anything buried in too much work plus too many bad dates.”

“When did you decide this?”

“Last night.” I shouldered my pack and adjusted the straps until the familiar weight settled on the tops of my hipbones. “What I’ve been doing isn’t working. It’s time to take a big step back and focus on myself for longer than just a few weeks.”

“I guess that’s one way to break the pattern.” Bryn opened the door, and we stepped outside into early morning stillness. “And yes, a year is definitely long enough to clean your dating slate.”

Fog tendrils drifted from the Columbia River across the half-empty parking lot. The air hung thick with moisture and cedar and the sweet mustiness of damp soil. The best smell in the world after too many days breathing city fumes.

“I sure as hell hope so. If not, at least maybe I can figure out what to do about my business. I can’t keep working this much.”

We strolled across the lot side-by-side, the chill air nipping my skin through my nylon hiking pants and shirt, waking me up. The sky glowed marigold behind the inky silhouettes of the mountains.

“You’ll come up with a plan. You always do.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” We crossed the empty highway, walked a few hundred yards, and turned off. Gravel crunched under our soles. “And thanks for driving me down here from Seattle. And picking me up at the other end.”

“Of course. That’s what best friends are for.” She wrapped a hand around my arm and leaned in, hugging one of my few body parts not covered by my backpack. “Though I still wish I was going with you. I could use a break from assholes and clients, too.”

The first golden rays of sunlight slanted through the tree branches, lighting the dirt road ahead. “We’ll have to plan a girlfriends’ trip once I get back.”

“I’m holding you to that.” Her warm hand tightened on my biceps. “Maybe we can convince Aly to come with us for once.”

I snorted. “We’ll get Aly on a backpacking trip when pigs fly. But I’m all for trying.”

A handful of parked cars and a dark brown trailhead kiosk appeared, marking the southern end of the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington. And my starting point. And the start of five weeks of solitary bliss in one of my favorite places in the whole world.

Bryn pulled out her phone. “Hey. Let me grab a shot of you in front of the sign, to commemorate the moment.”

“Okay.” I took a few steps back.

“Say, single life.”

I popped a hip and smiled for the camera. “Single life.”

“Perfect.” She slipped her phone into her pocket. “I love you, girlfriend. Stay safe out there and call me whenever you hit civilization.”

“I will.” My throat tightened. “I love you, too.”


Author Bio:

Award-winning adventure romance author Stacy Gold would rather be in the middle of nowhere than almost anywhere else. To that end, she’s run more than 50 rivers in three countries, been heli-dropped into remote ski huts multiple times (and made it into even more under her own steam), worked for the U.S.D.A. Forest Service as a backcountry ranger, river ranger, and naturalist, and spent fourteen years as a commercial river guide and kayak instructor. Her last “real job” was serving as Communications Director for a state-wide mountain biking non-profit.

When she’s not busy kayaking, skiing, mountain biking, or hiking, with her husband and happy dogs, Ms. Gold writes about independent, badass women finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. Her latest release, Wild at Heart, came out May 2nd, 2022.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Amazon / Bookbub


GIVEAWAY!

Win a Signed copy of Wild at Heart + Stacy’s Emerald Mountain ebook novella boxed set (US only), or Stacy’s Emerald Mountain ebook novella boxed set + $10 Amazon gift card (INT).

Open until the 6th October.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

 



Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Stamping Street

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Stacy Gold / Romance fiction / Books from America

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Beachy Head by Adam Lyndon


Beachy Head by Adam Lyndon
Published by Joffe Books today, the 22nd September 2022.

How I got this book: Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


MEET DETECTIVE RUTHERFORD BARNES IN THIS BRILLIANT NEW CRIME SERIES FROM A SERVING POLICE OFFICER.

Just before midnight, Mandy is woken by a frantic knocking at the door. It’s her ex-husband. Drunk. Again. At that moment her new partner James gets home from work. Mandy hears raised voices. Then a dull, smacking sound. Followed by a sickening crunch . . .

DC Barnes is back on the job after an eighteen-month suspension. He’s offered this case no one else wants — and he’s in no position to refuse. A one-punch homicide.

The accused is Mandy’s partner James. An honest, upright citizen and a firefighter. The victim is Mandy’s ex, an aggressive alcoholic. James’s acquittal is a sure thing. No jury will convict this good man defending his girlfriend. So why does James suddenly disappear just before the jury reach their verdict?

The following day a body is found at the foot of Beachy Head. The injuries sustained reveal this wasn’t a suicide.

Barnes’s case has now become something deeper and darker than anyone could have imagined.

Beachy Head is the second novel in Adam Lyndon's compelling Detective Rutherford Barnes crime fiction series. I already enjoyed reading the first book, Devil's Chimney, a few months ago so was delighted to get this opportunity to discover DC Barnes' new case in Beachy Head. Barnes certainly does get stitched up this time around. The case that no one else wanted, for good reason as it turns out, is baffling to the exteme and it makes for a really gripping novel, especially with all the local Sussex detail that Lyndon includes. Remembering street names, pubs and cafes, and the chaos of Airbourne from my own years living near to Eastbourne added vivid depth to the tale. This, together with Lyndon's authentic police knowledge gives the story such a convincing grounding that I could often believe that the events had really occurred.

Rutherford Barnes himself, despite his unwieldy first name, is equally as plausible as a character. He has his flaws, as all good detectives should, but he didn't feel at all stereotyped and I loved his interactions with the other characters. I could easily envisaged the aggressive Tully family at one end of town, and the friendship Barnes has with his next-door neighbour, Eleanor, provides a hint of sanity away from the intensity of his job.

I can highly recommend Beachy Head to crime and mystery fiction fans. The plotting is complex and satisfying to unravel, with a good pace maintained throughout the story. I don't think it is actually necessary to have previously read Devil's Chimney in order to enjoy Beachy Head, but as they are both just 99p (at the time of writing), why not treat yourself!


Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Claire Graves Textiles

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Adam Lyndon / Crime fiction / Books from England

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

The Sleeping Giant by Tammy Lowe + Giveaway + Excerpt

The Sleeping Giant
Tammy Lowe
(The Acadian Secret, #2)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 21st 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Time-Travel, Young Adult

When a tormented man begs 17-year-old Elisabeth London to travel back in time to save his life, she reluctantly agrees. Assuming Scotland is the destination, she ends up in Ancient Rome instead.
The good news is she finds the man; now a bold 17-year-old named Aquarius. The bad news is he’s an indentured slave, sentenced to death in the arena, and doesn’t even know her yet.
Elisabeth helps Aquarius escape and becomes an outlaw herself. Armed with her wits and his rock sling, the new friends are on the run from a relentless slave dealer, Rufus Leptis.

Elisabeth soon realizes she’s not here to save Aquarius from Rufus, but from the doomed city of Pompeii. Although trying to be brave, the thought of remaining in Aquarius’ swashbuckling world a minute longer than necessary is inconceivable.

At least, it used to be.

Before that darn, happy-go-lucky slave stole her heart.

Goodreads / Amazon.com / Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo
The Book Depository

EXCERPT:

The thundering sounds all around them seemed to fade into the distance as Elisabeth stood pinned against the side of the cliff. Her gaze darted up to the grassy overhang. There were only two ways off this ledge; the tunnel or the rushing river that would sweep them over the falls within seconds. About to hyperventilate, Elisabeth buried her face in David’s back. Every millisecond moved at an unbearable speed. She held her breath as the inevitable moment drew nearer. Their only chance would be if Rufus didn’t step outside of the tunnel, but that would take a miracle. David looked prepared to fight, but from the side of a mountain ledge with a giant of a man? That could end up a bigger disaster.

She pushed a pile of rocks aside with her foot and shuffled as far along the ledge as possible so David could step back and they’d be flush against the wall. When they heard Rufus grumbling, she knew he had to be near the end of the tunnel. Her leg muscles tightened. Elisabeth wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go.

He was so close.

Too close.

She dared not look to see if he had walked onto the ledge. He would only need to step outside to see them.

What was that noise?

Hissing?

Elisabeth felt the color drain from her face, and then turned ever so slightly to look at the ground beside her.

She gasped, and the sound of her heartbeat thrashed in her ears. If anyone thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, they’d be wrong. Coiled at her feet, next to the dislodged rock, was a snake, looking as startled as Elisabeth. Her mouth fell open, repulsed, but unable to look away from the creature.

“No…no…no…” she whimpered.

Author Bio:

An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.

She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.

I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Pinterest


GIVEAWAY!

Win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Open internationally until the 29th September.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1



Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Burin And Plate

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Tammy Lowe / Young adult fiction / Books from America

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Inside Your Heaven: Inspiring Stories of the After Life by April Natale + Giveaway


Join us for this tour from Sep 19 to Sep 30, 2022!

Book Details:

​Book TitleInside Your Heaven: Inspiring Stories of the After Life by April Natale
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction (18+),  244 pages
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher:  April Natale (self-published)
Release date:  July 28 2021
Content Rating:  PG: Some Mature Content  
 

Book Description:

This book affirms our loved ones are always here with us. If you suffer the deep grief of losing loved ones, or suspect connecting with spirits is possible, or remain fascinated by otherworldly premonitions, dreams, or signs, you will be inspired by this book! Follow along as April comes to terms with her own childhood trauma and grows into her vocation, first as a nurse, then as a Psychic Medium. In this book she shares stories about:

  • Gianna and Vanessa overcome the painful loss of their mothers.
  • Elena receives guidance and comfort from her Uncle and Grandmother
  • Ella’s Babcia (grandmother) helps her feel more beautiful, more loved, no longer abandoned.
  • Sammy’s loving parents help affirm her self-worth.
  • Leah Rae and Jenny receive closure and peace from the spirits of their deceased children
Other incredible stories await that will inspire you. You’ll also discover your own gifts and how to embrace your gifts. It will make you less fearful about death and more able to heal. So that you can live a more loving and purposeful life!

BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon.com ~ Amazon UK ~ B&N
The Book Depository
add to goodreads

I wasn't really sure what to make of Inside Your Heaven, April Natale's spiritual memoir which recounts significant incidents in her life journey from an anxious, neglected child to a professional psychic healer. An obviously deeply religious woman, Natale was brought up within the Catholic faith with a strong belief in the existence of Angels and their influence on everyday human life. As a spiritual soul now, Natale helps to ease grief by connecting still-living people with their loved ones who have already died. Natale doesn't make any attempt to explain the hows and whys of this psychic connection with the afterlife, but does give many examples of when her early premonitions about people's fates were uncannily accurate and also recounts a number of readings she has undertaken since embracing her 'gift'.

I think that readers who are already convinced that our deceased relatives watch over our lives will find a lot to identify with by reading Inside Your Heaven, and may also gain solace from Natale's accounts of her work. Her tone does vary in different chapters and I did wonder if some turns of phrase might not be too flippant considering the potential audience for Inside Your Heaven. The similarity of presentation of the later chapters, recounting readings done for Natale's friends, family and clients, did become too repetitive for my tastes, however this probably wouldn't be an issue if one were to dip in and out of the book rather than reading it through over a short period of time. Natale herself is obviously sincere about the help she feels she can offer the bereaved and the afterlife vision she embraces. 


Meet the Author:

April Natale is a nurse and psychic medium, who has been seeing Spirit since she was a child and suffered from anxiety for years because she didn’t understand her gift. She eventually got help from an International spiritual healer, teacher, and author, Pat Longo, who taught her how to understand and use her gifts. Soon April was channeling and relaying healing messages from the other side to people across the U.S. and now works with clients across the globe. She now does readings for clients to help them deal with their grief and communicate with their loved ones who have crossed over. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, and you can reach her through her website.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Sep 19 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Sep 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / author interview / giveaway
Sep 20 - Literary Flits – book review / giveaway
Sep 21 – Books for Books – book review / guest post
Sep 21 - Leels Loves Books  - book review / giveaway
Sep 22 – A Mama's Corner of the World – book review / giveaway
Sep 23 – Splashes of Joy – book review / giveaway
Sep 26 – Just Another Mother With Books – book review / giveaway
Sep 27 – Fur Everywhere – book review / giveaway
Sep 28 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Sep 30 - Adventurous Jessy – book review / author interview / giveaway
 

Enter the Giveaway: 

Enter to win a signed copy of INSIDE YOUR HEAVEN: Inspiring Stories of the After Life (USA only) (ends Oct 7)

INSIDE YOUR HEAVEN Book Tour Giveaway

 




Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Modelina Clay Stories

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by April Natale / Religious books / Books from America

Monday, 19 September 2022

Lazy, Broke & Vegan By R Hall + Free Book


Lazy, Broke & Vegan By R Hall
Self published in November 2016.
 

How I got this book: Downloaded the ebook from Smashwords

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Free @ Smashwords

Whether it’s concern for your health, animal welfare, the environment, world hunger or your desire for a world without violence or oppression, there are so many reasons to become vegan. Whether you’re a beginner, trying to maintain a vegan diet or simply curious, this guide should be able to help you know more about:

Where to get vegan substitutes for your favourite non-vegan foods.

Ensuring you meet all of your nutritional requirements and live healthily and happily on a vegan diet.

What to eat on a vegan diet with plenty of tasty recipes and meal plans.

How to live the vegan lifestyle by not only eating compassionately but also using products that haven’t been tested on animals and wearing products that haven’t come from animals

I'm gradually working my way through the myriad vegan guides and cookbooks available via Smashwords. The most recent I found - Lazy, Broke & Vegan by R Hall - was published in the UK in November 2016. I appreciated its British roots especially when looking through the suggested recipes because I knew I would be able to find all the ingredients without too much difficulty! Not all the information in the book is relevant in the UK though. I did spot a reference to sugar being non-vegan because it includes bone char. American sugar processing uses animal bones, however this is not the case in Europe.

Overall Lazy, Broke & Vegan is a good little book for new and prospective vegans. There's plenty of practical advice about food particularly, but also about other aspects of the lifestyle such as cosmetics and cleaning products. I liked the inclusion of cleaning product recipes for those of us who are really on a tight budget. With the way prices are rocketing across the UK at the moment I can imagine lots more people will be trying out veganism purely to cut their grocery bills. Hall's easy, everyday recipe selection will certainly help with that and I don't think the chosen meal ideas should be to intimidating for people unused to cooking from scratch either. There's several very tempting sweet bite recipes too - being vegan doesn't mean missing out on treats!

Obviously, with this book having been written nearly seven years ago, some of the information regarding brand name products may be out of date, but Hall does emphasise the need to check ingredients' labels carefully - something we should all do anyway, but I admit I rarely bothered prior to becoming vegetarian and then vegan. However, with the much greater range of vegan-labelled food available now, and the enthusiasm of Lazy, Broke & Vegan, I think new vegans will soon be comfortably settled in to the start of their new life journey.


Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Peachi Prints

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by R Hall / Food and Cookery Books / Books from England

Sunday, 18 September 2022

The Unlikely Spy by Sophie Schiller + Giveaway + Excerpt

The Unlikely Spy
Sophie Schiller
Publication date: August 21st 2022
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance, Thriller

Casablanca meets Notorious in a Hitchcock-style thriller of espionage, romance, adventure, and intrigue.

1917. Emma Christensen is a young widow who returns to the Danish West Indies to reclaim the life and the villa she left behind. When she discovers her husband has disinherited her in favor of his young heir—an illegitimate son—she turns to the one thing she knows, gambling, and soon finds herself deeply in debt.

Emma is approached by Cornelius Smith, a representative of an American shipping line, who offers an alternative: infiltrate the suspicious Hamburg-American Line and spy on its nefarious leader, Julius Luckner, to gain valuable business intelligence for his firm.

It doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that both Smith and Luckner are not as they seem. Close to the Allies but even closer to the enemy, Emma bravely engages in missions that could blow her cover at any moment. But with the Panama Canal at stake, how far will she go to help the Allies?

A gripping and suspenseful World War I spy thriller from an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer.

Goodreads / Amazon.com / Amazon UK

EXCERPT:

Smith took her arm and led her outside. They walked in relative silence as they headed to the park beside the Grand Hotel where they settled on a bench beneath the rustling trees.

“Tell me about your husband,” he said. “Why did he cut you out of his will?”

She rubbed her arms, trying to comfort herself. Slowly she told him about her life, how Axel had started drinking, how their marriage had crumbled. She related her shock at discovering that Axel had had an affair with the housekeeper. And how he had an illegitimate son to whom he’d left his entire estate. She told him how she hoped to get her house, but it seemed as if the only way to achieve that goal was by gambling.

Smith listened all the time, never taking his eyes off her. When she had finished, he emitted a low whistle. “If you continue gambling, you’ll lose a lot more than your shirt. You could end up in serious debt. You’re a smart woman. You should know how risky it is.”

“But what are my options?” she said.

Smith lit a cigarette and took a few puffs. “You’re one of the most capable, determined people I’ve ever met. You’re a problem-solver by nature, a tactical thinker. I see it in your eyes. I see it in the way you play cards. You can do whatever you set your mind to it. But if you continue down this path of self-destruction, you’ll end up like your father.”

“That’s easy for you to say. I’ve got nothing to fall back on. Gambling is the only thing I know. I feel like I’m caught in a vicious trap.”

“Emma, listen to me,” he grabbed her by the shoulders. “You have to quit this gambling before it ruins your life.”

“What do you care so much?” she asked. “That’s the one thing I don’t understand.”

“Because I think you can help me.”

“What?”

“Yes, I think you can help me. I think you can be useful to me and I to you. I think we can help each other.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“I’ve been watching you these past few days. You’re smart, you think fast on your feet. You have a good memory, and you’re highly observant. But above all, you don’t quit. You go after what you want and let nothing get in your way. You have all the right qualities for a job I have in mind.”

“What kind of job? And even if you had a job, it couldn’t possibly pay me enough to buy my house back.”

He looked at her inquisitively. “How badly do you want your house back?”

“Very badly.”

“Then I have a proposition for you. If you’ll agree to work for me, I’ll buy your house back. I’ll pay you enough money to give you a second chance at life. You’ll never have to gamble again. You’ll have everything you want.”

She eyed him skeptically. “Why would you do that for me?”

“Because I need your help.”

She thought for a moment. “You still haven’t told me about this job of yours. I have to know what it entails. Of course, there are some things I will never do.”

His face turned serious. “It’s a job that requires discretion, trustworthiness, and first-rate observational skills, all the qualities I’ve seen in you. It also requires extreme caution. But the person I hire must also be courageous. You have to have nerves of steel.”

She got up to leave. “Something about your job sounds suspicious and I’m not sure I can trust you. Besides, I want my freedom. I don’t want to have to answer to anybody. Can you understand that?”

“What good has all your freedom gotten you?” he asked. “You’ve been free to make all the wrong choices in your life. You’ve been free to get into debt. You’ve been free to gamble everything away. I’m offering you the chance to break free of all that. I’m offering you a second chance, Emma. Not many people out there get a second chance. Think about it. Did your father get a second chance?”

“You think I’m just a hopeless gambler like him.”

“No, Emma. If I did, I wouldn’t be offering you this job.”

The look on his face startled her. She knew he was serious.

She backed away from him, shaking her head. “I’m sorry to have taken your time, Mr. Smith, but I’m not interested. Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s getting late and I’ve had too much to drink.”

Emma hurried through the park, back to her villa on Norre Gade, far away from Mr. Smith and his intrusive meddling. She had no intention of working for him or anyone else. She would make it on her own. She didn’t need his job to get her house back.

She didn’t know how wrong she was.


Author Bio:

Sophie Schiller is an author of historical fiction and spy thrillers. She loves stories that carry the reader back in time to exotic and far-flung locations. Kirkus Reviews has called her "an accomplished thriller and historical adventure writer." Publishers Weekly called her novel, ISLAND ON FIRE, "a memorable romantic thriller", her novel RACE TO TIBET, “a thrilling yarn,” and her TRANSFER DAY, “a page-turner with emotional resonance.” Kirkus Reviews called her latest novel, THE LOST DIARY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON, "an engaging coming-of-age story of heartbreak, bravery, honor, and triumph." Her latest novel is THE UNLIKELY SPY, a historical spy thriller set during WWI. She graduated from American University, Washington, DC and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!
Win an Ebook copy of The Unlikely Spy.
Open internationally until the 29th September.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:
XBTBanner1

 



Bookishly Inspired Find!
by Alicia Marks It

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

Search Literary Flits for more:
Books by Sophie Schiller / Historical fiction / Books from America