Hi, I just read a wonderful review about my new release from Michelle Ryles book blogger. I was blown away.

I thought I would pop in a portion of a chapter of the Twenty-One-Year Contract, though as some would say you can dip in on Amazon and get a feel of it from there. But hey. Why not.

Just about to sign my first novel Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox. A truly unbelievable, humbling experience!


‘Chapter 37
October 22, 1955
The private detective Jack employed had been
worse than useless. It was now four months since
Kathleen’s disappearance. Having been interrogated by
the police, he was finally released. Jack held the last
letter from his niece in one hand, double-checking the
time and instruction.
Impatient to cross over to Trafalgar Square, the
constant tide of traffic belching sooty fumes and
burning oil refusing to give up a space, Jack saw a gap
and dodged between a hackney cab and a bus. He was
rewarded with a blasting of horns and the angry yell of
“Bloody idiot!” Jack waved apologetically without
looking back.
Jack’s need to scope out the area long before the
agreed meeting time felt paramount. He didn’t want to
leave anything to chance. He’d arranged a couple of
men to pace the perimeter. They had photographs of
A man stood in the middle of Trafalgar Square
with his arms telegraphed outward, covered in pigeons.
Even his trilby appeared to have taken on a life of its
own. Jack shook his head, never understanding the
fascination. He spotted a little girl, probably about five
or six years old, wearing her Sunday best, holding a
small brown paper bag. She squatted with bird food
cupped in her hand. Hundreds of pigeons quickly
descended in droves, pecking greedily. She shrieked
excitedly. If only Kathleen were that small, she would
never have been left to her own devices. He strode past
the police phone box at the edge of the square.
Jack’s heart skipped a beat. A young woman about
Kathleen’s age moved purposefully toward him from
the opposite side of the square. He kept staring. Jack
recalled Eve once wearing the same skirt, a poodle
design, she called it. The girl turned at the last minute,
away from him, and headed toward Nelson’s Column.
“Kathleen?” He moved swiftly, calling out.
“Kathleen!” He managed to catch her.
She turned, startled as he touched her shoulder.
“Please excuse me. I thought you were someone
else.” She gave a puzzled nod and resumed walking.
Disappointed, worried, Jack paced the whole of
Trafalgar Square before deciding it might be easier to
see her from the designated waiting area. He climbed
the steps outside the National Gallery. Pushing his hand
through his hair, he raised a brow. Clever girl, making
him stand there in full view. If she wanted to back out
at the last minute, she could. He hoped his men would
be alert.
Returning Kathleen’s letter to his suit pocket, he
pulled a cigarette, staring into the ever-changing swell.
The bitter taste of tobacco filled his mouth, reminding
him why he gave it up in the first place.
Nine fifty-one and still no sign. Kathleen being late
was nothing new, but more than twenty minutes? She
would realize the importance, surely. In different
circumstances, he might be relaxed about it. Not today…’

Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. Than you for being kind…


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