To set the scene for you, this is (sort of) where it first began. I based the house where characters Lucy, Gina, Gary and Cynthia live with their landlord, Tony Wong, on the bed-sit in Liverpool where I once lived.
I’ve taken the photo from Google Maps. I didn’t have a camera back then. The house has been smartened up a bit since I was a tenant in the 1980s when the rent was just £10.50 a week (that’s about US$13.50). My room was on the ground floor on the right.
YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE
5 star rated on Amazon and Goodreads
A novel set against the backdrop of 1980s Liverpool. It’s a tale of love and loss, thieves and gangsters, and ultimate reunion and redemption. There are mysteries to be solved and a few laughs along the way. And don’t forget your dancing shoes!
PS – it’s not about football or allegiances but is does contain content of a sexual nature; some swearing and occasional violence. Try a sample!
I’ve put together a collection of offers for e-readers which will start on Black Friday!
A 4 day free ebook offer for You’ll Never Walk Alone will start on Thursday 28 November atmidnight PST. I’ll be doing some targeted advertising to parts of the US and Canada via a Facebook ad campaign to see how the novel will be received ‘across the pond’.
Hot on its heels will be a 5 day freebie of Following the Green Rabbitwhich I’m going to run alongside a reduced-price offer on the paperback version, targeted at UK readers on amazon.uk. Again I’ll be trying some paid advertising via Facebook. This certainly worked for my ‘summer-read’ novel: ‘The Silver Locket’ (penned as Holly Atkins), reached the dizzy heights of No.17 in the UK charts for free Kindle books during that campaign.
And talking of the summer, I’m going to try a similar freebie offer directed towards Australia and New Zealand to see if they’d like to pour themselves a Pimm’s and spend a sunny afternoon with The Silver Locket over the holidays there.
Offers will be across all Amazon territories, so you might want to bookmark this page, although, of course, I’ll be mentioning them again as they’re launched!
To everyone who has read my books already.
Especially to everyone who has read, rated and reviewed
on their WordPress sites, on Goodreads and on Amazon.
I’m really thrilled by your support and enthusiasm for my work!
Cynthia smiles at me. “It’s so nice to see our author doing well.” She sips her drink and leans over to stroke Asmar, her beautiful Abyssinian cat, who is lounging by her feet. “And even darling Asmar gets a mention.” Asmar pricks up his ears at the sound of his name. “Well, he was rather a hero, wasn’t he?” Cynthia continues. Asmar rolls over and looks up at me, the suspicion of a smug smile behind his long whiskers.
I stretch out my hand towards him, nodding in agreement.
Next I hear a familiar screech and Fingers bounds up to me from the side gate where Bob and Gary have just appeared. The little monkey launches himself at me, chattering excitedly. Bob hurries to retrieve him. “Sorry about that luv, but he’s dead excited about being in a book review.”
Connor refills he glass from the jug of Pimms which is sitting on the little wrought-iron table. He sits back down and leans towards me. “I understand you’re running a wee promotion on that first book of yours?”
“Marketing eh? Sound.” Gary gives me a ‘thumbs up’ sign. His face lights up as Gina appears at the French doors. “We got any beers upstairs, luv?”
Gina rolls her eyes and sits down next to him, ignoring his request.
“I’ll go,” says Bob, lowering Fingers into Gina’s lap.
“And bring some crisps,” Gary adds. Fingers chirrups in agreement.
“The Silver Locket, it’s a lovely romantic book with a touch of mystery and magic,” says Cynthia.
“Oh yes, it’s dead good,” chimes in Gina. “Just the kind of book to read sitting in the garden on a sunny afternoon. Like that nice Ms Scott said.” She sighs. “They even go to Paris! Wouldn’t that be wonderful, Gary?”
Gary pulls a face, he’s not one for ‘abroad’. “How do you two know what’s in the book anyway?” He glances at me, frowning. “She wrote it a while before ours.”
“Ah,” Cynthia reaches for her glass. “Gina and I, and Lucy too, were in a short story Ms Hall wrote, even before that.”
“That’s right,” Gina continues. “We had to wait ages for her to write our book.” She looks at me and smiles, fiddling with her engagement ring. “You could take us to Paris…”
Connor clears his throat. “Interesting idea, this downloading, Ms Hall. Not really sure I understand. I suppose it’s something from the future which we haven’t been written into yet.”
Was that another hint?
Mystery, romance, ghosts and dreams: perfect reading for a lazy sunny afternoon!
Get your ebook freebie of The Silver Locket, written under my pen name Holly Atkins by clicking on the links below.
I smile as I watch my mother play with my little brother Tommy on the hearth-rug. My father sits in his chair, still but alert. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I detect a movement in the yard. I turn to look. Soldiers, four of them! By the way they are dressed, I know them instantly as ‘the enemy’. My father has followed my gaze as I gasp in fright and immediately he’s on his feet, sweeping up Tommy in the same movement and shoving him in my direction.
‘You know what to do Annie,’ he says quietly. He nods urgently at me and I grab Tommy’s hand and propel him through the kitchen. I look through the window, checking our route to the barn. It’s clear, so I open the door and we slide through and dash into the slatted wooden building. Behind us, I hear the soldiers hammering on the front door, shouting.
Although Tommy’s only little he knows what to do. Just as we’ve practiced so many times in recent months, I help him up the ladder to the hayloft. He doesn’t make a sound as we creep across the creaky boards and hide ourselves in the straw behind the loosely baled hay. We lie there, waiting. We haven’t practised what happens next. Then I hear a scream; I know it’s my mother, although the sound is like none I’ve ever heard her make. Her pain and terror flood my head. I grip Tommy tightly; he’s trembling and sobbing silently. The minutes tick by; I wonder what’s happening in the house. My father is shouting, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. The shouting stops abruptly and I hear the back door slam against the outside wall of the kitchen.
Heavy boots march towards the barn; I bite down hard on my knuckles. A cold fist contorts my stomach as I suddenly realise I forgot to drag the ladder up behind us. I hear the soldier’s heavy breathing down below. He’s pulling things over, searching. He approaches the ladder and in my mind’s eye I see him grab the ladder and place his boot on the first rung. Sweat runs down my back. Tommy is rigid in my arms.
There is a loud call from the house: ‘Move on!’ I hear the sound of the ladder clattering to the floor. It settles and there is no sound apart from the blood pumping in my ears. Slowly I get up, my legs are shaking. I grab the rail at the edge of the loft and feel for the rope which we use as a swing when it’s too wet to play outside. Telling Tommy to stay where his is, I let myself down and run quickly towards the back door which is gaping off its hinges.
Inside the house furniture has been overturned and one curtain has been ripped from the window. My mother cowers in a corner. Her blouse is torn and there is blood on her skirt. Father’s face is bruised and bloody. He reaches for her, but she turns her face to the wall.
That was the first piece from ‘A Sextet of Shorts’, my little book of short fiction pieces.
‘Sextet’ is currently available to download on your Kindle for $0.99 / €0.99 / £0.99 and other currency equivalents (+VAT) until midnight on 01.01.19.
And, since it’s the holidays, if you’d like a freebie, I will arrange to gift a download to the first 10 people who respond in the comments section below!