Friday, 30 November 2018

A Hollow Sky by M. Sean Coleman - Blog Tour, Extract & #Giveaway

Today, I am delighted to be part of M Sean Coleman's blog tour for his new book A Hollow Skythanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources ...... I have an Extract and a fantastic giveaway prize!


Genre:  Mystery Thriller
Publication Date:  21 November 2018
Standalone book two of the Alex Ripley Mystery Series

A SUSPENSEFUL, ATMOSPHERIC THRILLER.
Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.
The next day, Jane died in her husband's arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.
When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan's house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.
Fascinated by Megan's case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.
A Hollow Sky is the second Alex Ripley Mystery

Purchase Links
Direct from Red Dog Press - https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop



EXTRACT

RIPLEY WAS GRATEFUL for the stupid woolly hat she’d shoved in her bag at the last moment. Colourful candy stripes with a pompom on top, it was an unwanted and unexpected gift last Christmas from a friend who obviously didn’t know her as well as she’d thought. She felt it made her look unnecessarily cheerful and quirky. But at least it was warm, and no one knew her here, so let them judge.
It was a bitterly cold, crisp day. Ice in the air made her nose run and her eyes water. She shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her long coat and tucked her chin into her collar. The arctic wind coming off the sea brought a familiar smell of salt, seaweed, and sand. A big gust caught her full in the face as she rounded a long bend in the narrow road.
A narrow pavement grew up out of the verge as the road straightened out. A neat row of cottages, small-windowed and compact, ranked along it. Their white-washed walls all stained grey with the years of being battered by the elements. Weather-beaten.
Short, mossy paths led from the pavement to a series of narrow front doors, all painted that ubiquitous seaside blue. An old man in a heavy coat and flat cap, raking leaves from the small patch of grass in front of his cottage greeted her with a cheery ‘hullo’. So far so pleasant.
The church loomed into sight, steeple first. A small building in a small town, though its dark, flinty walls made it seem imposing against the grey sky. The whole church, including the small surrounding graveyard, was above road level on a grassy slope, forcing the observer to look up at it from any angle, lifting their eyes to the heavens in the process. Clever.
A stone wall which protected the graveyard from the road was mostly obscured by a long canvas banner with the words God’s Gift – The Power to Heal printed across it. The same logo she had seen on the poster in the police station, advertising the group prayer meeting with Megan Shields. Sure enough, beside the words this time was an image of a young girl, seemingly asleep. Megan.
Ripley rolled her eyes as she passed the banner—such cynical commercialism had no place on a church wall. She walked up the stone steps to bring herself up to ground level with the church. The door was ajar, and she could hear a gentle burble of voices within. Chatter, rather than worship. A high, joyous peal of laughter made her smile.
She pushed the door open and peered into the body of the church. A handful of round tables nestled in the space behind the pews. Some kind of social morning was in full swing, complete with plump sponge cakes and the rich smell of coffee.
There were only a few empty seats, with the rest filled with well wrapped-up parishioners, pinkie-fingers held aloft as they sipped from fine cups. Some women knitting as they chatted, a couple playing dominoes, another reading a faded-covered, well-thumbed, romance novel.
A man in a thick-knit, heavily patterned jumper looked up at Ripley and smiled. He waved happily.
“Come on in,” he said, his voice loud enough to carry clearly over the hubbub, which showed no sign of abating. The world was being put to rights here, just as it doubtless was every week.
Ripley pushed the door closed behind her and stepped into the church as the man headed over towards her, his arm outstretched, low and welcoming.
“Don’t be shy,” he said. “Everyone’s welcome. There’s coffee or tea in the urns, and there’s plenty of cake left.”
He shepherded her in without waiting for an answer, steering her towards a low trestle table, decked in a check cloth. A pair of silver catering urns sat side by side, radiating heat. China cups on matching saucers lined the table beside them, and a selection of cupcakes and sponge cakes sat beneath transparent plastic lids. Ripley’s stomach rumbled spontaneously. The cakes looked great.
“Help yourself,” he said. “They’re all handmade. Not by me. There’s no charge. Apart from a little friendly conversation and a smile.”
“What a nice idea,” Ripley said, as he handed her a cup. His hand trembled ever so slightly. His smile revealed yellowing teeth, overcrowded enough to overlap in places, forcing their way over each other at strange angles.
“Gets people together, doesn’t it? I’m Colin, by the way. Can I tempt you?”
He lifted a plate of cupcakes towards her, and she chose a small one.
“Of course, if you feel compelled to make a contribution, we have a local fund we like to collect for, but there really is no obligation. We love new faces.”
Ripley noticed that the collection box he was talking about also bore that same God’s Gift logo. She filled her coffee cup and added a splash of milk. She fished a pound coin out of her pocket and dropped it into the container.
“Yes, I’ve seen some of her posters while I’ve been wandering around today,” she said, treading carefully. “It must be quite a thing to have someone like her right here in the village.”
She’d made her voice sound enthralled, excited by this miracle girl. She wasn’t sure of Colin’s role here, but she’d bet he was very much in favour of Megan Shields and her so-called healings.
“We are all very proud to call Megan one of our own,” he said, leaning in too close, his hand patting her arm just briefly. An awkward gesture. His breath smelled of stale coffee, lingering cigarettes, bad gums.
“I’m sure.”
“Are you in town for an audience yourself?”
“Not specifically, no,” Ripley said, truthfully. “Although I would love to meet her. We all have something that needs fixing, don’t we? Maybe I should look her up while I’m here.”
“Oh, you definitely should,” he gushed. He dashed across to a table near the door and came back with a leaflet which he thrust into Ripley’s hand. “We will be holding a group prayer the day after tomorrow. At the All Souls Meeting Hall, just through the back there. We’re very excited.”
She looked at the leaflet, turning it over to glance at both sides.
“Having come all this way, I would far rather see her in person, if I could,” Ripley said, folding the leaflet and dropping it into her pocket.
“Oh, but you will see her,” Colin said, looking at her like she was stupid. “She will be right here in the church, otherwise what would be the point?”
Again Ripley questioned how Anne Shields could wheel her daughter out in front of all these people, in her condition. It was barbaric. The poor girl.
“Oh, great,” she said, masking her surprise with false enthusiasm. “Well, in that case, I may well drop in.”
“Please do,” said Colin. “It’ll be busy, but we’ll make room for everyone who wants to come. One way or another.”
“Are you the vicar here, then?” Ripley asked.
“Oh, Lord no,” Colin laughed explosively, and Ripley leaned back to get some clean air between them. “No, they let me do the odd sermon now and then, at peak times, you know? But no, Reverend Rodwell is your man. He’ll be here this afternoon, if you were looking for him.”
“Great,” said Ripley, thinking it would be as good an excuse as any. “Perhaps I’ll pop back then. Thanks for the coffee.”
“Not to mention the cake,” he said.
She waved the cupcake aloft in acknowledgement as she headed for the door.
Ripley took one bite of the cake as she strolled away and dropped the rest into a waste bin as she passed. It had a strange flavour she couldn’t quite pinpoint. Mostly cheap margarine and sugar.

About the Author


Author Bio – Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.
Social Media Links –  

Giveaway to win paperback copies of The Cuckoo Wood and A Hollow Sky, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)


*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter 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, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
To enter the giveaway click here

Check out the other Bloggers on the Tour




2 comments:

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