Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the tantalising blog series where I share snippets from works-in-progress, up-coming releases and published novels. Except for when I let writing buddies take over, like today.
I’m so thrilled to host Christine Wells on the blog again because it allows me to gush about her new book which released last week. Regular readers will know Christine as the author of The Wife’s Tale, one of my favourite reads of last year (and which I spoke about here on her previous Teaser Tuesday visit, and here in My Favourite Reads).
Well, having read The Traitor’s Girl last month I can tell you this story is even more intriguing. If you love female characters with courage and strength, you are going to adore this one. I did! And if you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present, this should be on your list. Not only is The Traitor’s Girl beautiful to look at, it’s a cracking story that will have mum – and you – hooked.
Anyway, enough of me. Please give a big TT welcome cheer to Christine. And make sure you read until the end because there could be a very juicy GIVEAWAY.
Hello Cathryn, thank you so much for having me on Teaser Tuesday. I’m thrilled to share my new release with you all today. THE TRAITOR’S GIRL is about an Australian teacher, Annabel Logan, who receives an alarming phone call from her long-lost grandmother, Carrie. Contrary to Annabel’s belief that her maternal grandmother died before she was born, Carrie is very much alive and she’s in trouble. Annabel rushes to Beechwood Hall, Carrie’s house in the English Cotswolds, only to find that her grandmother has disappeared. As Annabel searches for her relative she learns about Carrie’s daring and desperate work during World War II. With the help of a dashing journalist who claims to be writing Carrie’s biography, Annabel unearths the truth behind the mysterious happenings at Beechwood Hall.
THE TRAITOR’S GIRL flashes back and forth between Carrie’s adventures during the Second World War and Annabel’s quest to find her. Here is an excerpt from the evening in Paris when Carrie realises the man she is falling in love with is a double agent and a traitor:
My hands were shaking. I needed a drink to calm me down. The man I had been falling in love with was not only a spy who might know something about my mother’s death, but a traitor who might well have killed her.
I nearly crumbled at the thought; the hairbrush clattered into the sink. Gripping the edge of the marble vanity, I squeezed my eyes shut and took several deep breaths. I had not been falling in love with Peter Durant. It had all been an act.
Sylvia. I needed to be strong for my mother or her life would have been sacrificed for nothing. I opened my eyes. The Hollywood lights that studded the edge of the bathroom mirror illuminated my face to an unearthly degree. Wonder of wonders, no trace of my emotions showed in my expression.
I could do it. I must do it. If Sylvia’s suspicions proved correct, there was much more at stake now than any personal vendetta.
I stared into my eyes. They were blank and unrecognising, like a stranger’s. ‘You don’t matter,’ I told myself. ‘You don’t matter at all.’
Suddenly, I noticed Peter leaning against the door frame, suave in his immaculate Savile Row tailoring.
He’d never come to my room before and I cursed that he’d chosen tonight of all nights to do so. Did he sense my turmoil? Had he somehow guessed its cause?
If my pulse raced before, now it was about to break the land speed record. Randomly choosing among the cosmetics ranged over the vanity, I picked up my powder puff and dusted it over my nose.
Some force beyond my control dragged my gaze to meet Peter’s in the mirror. Those hazel eyes betrayed no hint of anything amiss. I hoped mine were equally tranquil. I was a rank amateur at a game he had mastered long ago.
A crease appeared between his eyebrows. ‘I like your hair better down.’
I flushed. ‘I’m afraid this will have to do. I…’ I couldn’t admit missing a hair appointment. He’d wonder why. ‘I don’t have time to change it.’
This was the first occasion he’d expressed any opinion or preference about my appearance. Could it be coincidence that his manner toward me had altered, grown more intimate, today of all days?
I picked up the pot of rouge, touched a fingertip to the peachy-pink cream and dabbed a little along each cheekbone, working lightly to blend it into my skin. ‘Be a darling and get me a drink, won’t you? Before I put my lipstick on?’ Anything to put distance between us.
But instead of doing my bidding, he moved until he was standing close behind me. I felt crowded by him, aware of the heat of his body, the faint brush of his jacket rasping my bare shoulderblade.
Slowly, he pulled the scarf from around my neck. It hushed as it slid across my clavicles, leaving bright tingles in its wake. He wound the long length of gauze around his fist as if he’d tie me up with it, as if he’d strangle me in a lightning burst of violence.
My eyes went wide. Our gazes locked in the mirror. I put my hand up to my throat.
The scarf fluttered to the floor. His hands slid down my bare arms to cuff my wrists. He bent to press a hot, lingering kiss on my nape.
I watched us, brightly illuminated in the looking glass. His dark head made a bold contrast against the ivory and gold of my body as his mouth trailed heat over my skin. I watched my lips part in a gasp as my head tilted back, saw my flesh-and-blood self yield to him in a surrendering swoon, as if to say, ‘At last. At last’.
Wasn’t that brilliant? I loved that scene, it was sexy and dangerous and… well, I’d better not say any more. But if you’d like to savour another bite of this compelling story, skip on over to Christine’s website for another delicious excerpt.
The Traitor’s Girl is in stores now but you can also order your print or ebook copy online in an instant by visiting these retailers: Booktopia, Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Fishpond, Dymocks, Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play or your favourite store.
Now, as many of you know, Teaser Tuesday guests are not only great writers, they’re exceedingly generous, and Christine is no exception. Yes, my lovelies, we have a…
Here’s Christine to tell you about it.
Today I’m giving away a signed trade paperback copy of THE TRAITOR’S GIRL to a reader who can tell me about their favourite heroine from history. (Australia only)
Oooh, now that’s a tricky one. How to choose a favourite when there are so many? Hmm. Okay, in keeping with the war theme, I choose Nancy Wake, the French Resistance operative known as The White Mouse. Her bravery is incredible.
What about you? Who’s your favourite heroine? Comment below and you’ll go into the draw to win a signed copy of The Traitor’s Girl.
Please note: Giveaway closes midnight Friday AEST, 5th May 2017. Australian postal addresses only.