Thursday teaser: Here the Truth Lies

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Read on to see how you could WIN an autographed copy of the bestselling Here the Truth Lies, the subject of this week’s psychological thriller teaser

Here the Truth Lies: psychological thriller by Seb KirbyBy Seb Kirby

At home that night, I look long and hard at the bottle of scotch. I shouldn’t be drinking. Too much is happening. I need to keep a clear head to see my way through it.

I took care to change my pattern on the journey back from Bankside, taking a later train. There was no sign of the man in the black coat.

The golden glow of the liquid in the bottle is so appealing. I pour myself a small one, add water and take a first sip. Warmth and composure run through me. As if I need any reminder that whisky is so irresistible.

The events of the day come closer into focus.

Bill McLeish and his continuing demands.

Margaret Hyslop’s arrogance.

Alec Waring with his self-loathing.

But emerging now are the thoughts I’ve struggled to hide all that time.

Jenny’s words burn in my mind.

I know who you are.

You’re not Emma.

I’m still shocked at how much this poses a threat to whatever sense of well-being I’ve managed to manufacture around myself. A shiver of guilt runs down my spine. When I look down at my hands, they’re trembling. What makes me feel this way?

I try to recall my parents, John and Mary Chamberlain. Nothing comes. Just distant, ill-formed memories of people I should know intimately but who are like strangers.

Is this what Jenny meant?

Or is this one more sign of pressure?

McLeish’s complaints.

The tall dark man following me.

BACK OFF BEFORE ITS TOO LATE written in child’s crayon.

The fact that, if I’m being honest with myself, I’m drinking too much.

Are these things playing with my mind, making me believe I can’t do something as simple as recalling my own parents?

I rifle through the dressing table drawers in the bedroom. I’m not the type to have any interest in displaying photographs in frames around the house nor on my desk at work. But somewhere here, there’s a small stack of photos in a cellophane packet that I keep but seldom look at. Something to reassure me in this moment of doubt.

As I find them and begin searching through them, my first thoughts are, is this all? How old am I now? Twenty-eight. These ten photographs paint a paltry record of my life. Yet, I tell myself this is how I want it. People with children have every incentive to manufacture the thousands of images of themselves and their kids and offer them as trophies of their success on social media before printing and framing their favorites as more tangible tokens of the permanence of their lives. I’m not in this position, though I would in all certainty behave in much the same way if my life were different.

I pause to take another long sip of the scotch. The warmth in my stomach brings with it more intense perception, I’m sure.

Here is the photo of my parents, John and Mary. The only one.

They look respectable enough. Endearing as they stand together with their winning smiles.

But the longer I look, the more I convince myself I don’t recognize them. Maybe I’ve never known them. They are as much a mystery to me as any photo of any married couple taken years ago that I might have seen on TV or in a magazine.

I leaf through the remaining photographs. None of me as a child. No images of me at play on holiday, no pictures of me as a schoolgirl.

About Here the Truth Lies

Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition—to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question—who is Emma Chamberlain?

To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.

Win a signed copy of Here the Truth Lies

Author Seb Kirby will send you an autographed copy of his latest book to one personwho correctly names the city that Here the Truth Lies  is set in. Leave your answer in the Comments below.

Seb Kirby

BestSelling author Seb Kirbywas literally raised with books: his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.

He’s been an avid reader ever since.

He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More; the science-fiction thriller, Double BindEach Day I Wake; and Sugar for Sugar. His latest book is another psychological thriller, Here the Truth Lies.

Seb can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page  |   Amazon Author page  |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |    Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website & blog 

 

 

 

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Fact meets fiction: Denial and reality in Double Bind

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Your favorite bestselling authors describe times when the world around them comes to reflect situations from their  books. This week, the author of Double Bind describes a warning for us all.

By Seb Kirby

I’ve seldom thought of my fiction as having any intention to foresee the future. What I mainly write about is the interior landscape of ordinary people facing unprecedented changes in their lives. But in one of my earliest novels, Double Bind, published eight years ago, I did stray into that territory. The book starts out as a doppelgänger fantasy but then quickly takes on a sci-fi direction. I don’t want to reveal the main plot line since this is meant to be one of those secrets that sneaks up on the reader. But suffice it to say that a large element of the story is the understanding that the world we live on exists in a fragile equilibrium that could be overturned at any moment by climate change.

When I wrote this, I was thinking that my imagined dystopia might serve as a warning to my grandchildren or great grandchildren. Since then, increasingly in last few years, it is becoming clear that the meltdown is already taking place in our time and at an escalating rate. So, whether you look at the speed with which ice is melting at the poles or the alarming rate of the increase in the extinction of species or the incidence of wildfires and soaring temperatures in the northern hemisphere or the release of methane from the north Asian tundra, the story is the same. We’ve entered a new geological age – the anthropocene. Meaning that for the first time in the three billion year history of our planet, human activity has become the dominant factor in its future. And the prognosis is not good. We may already have pushed that fragile equilibrium beyond the tipping point.

Here is an extract of what I wrote in Double Bind:

“Tell me about the deniers.” It’s Ingrid and she’s demanding more answers. Now that I’ve leveled with her about who I am.

We’re sitting at one end of the research area. Peterson and Janet are within earshot working the Xilix system, searching for information.

I move close to her and whisper. “Maybe we should talk somewhere more private.”

She whispers back. “No. Trust Peterson. The more he knows, the more he’ll be able to help.”

“You’re right.” I speak up so Peterson can hear. “It’s a long story that goes all the way back when.”

“Back to your home?”

“Yes all the way back there. The deniers. They destroyed the planet.”

I’m trying to keep from her and Peterson the true weight of the disaster. What happened as the planet died. How the life was sucked out of it in a rage of sulphur, bromine and day long darkness. How the sun disappeared and eternal night settled upon us.

“They watched as your planet died?”

“They couldn’t see the disaster that was right there in front of them. They still don’t see it. They don’t see the connection between what they did and what happened.”

“Why not?”

I swallow hard. “Ingrid. They blamed it on an angry god. A god who’d lost faith with them. Not for what they’d done but for what those who’d tried to talk them out of their madness had done.”

“People like you?”

“Yes, people like me. People who could see the big mess for what it is. What you call the tipping point. People who told them that you can’t keep pushing the planet, can’t keep overloading it with the energy that you keep producing and expect it to keep bouncing back.”

It’s an apocalyptic vision that worries me now more than it did back when I penned this just eight years ago.

Ray Bradbury’s abundant imagination strayed into this terrain in the fifties with his remarkable cycle of sequenced stories, brought together as The Martian Chronicles, that tell of the colonisation of Mars. All that remained of the sophisticated inhabitants of the planet were ghosts that represented the dying essences of a civilisation that had come and gone, one that had failed to see that the outcome of their incessant need to squander the natural assets of their world would lead to a new equilibrium on their planet in which they had no place.

We are not yet at that point. But we are close to it. It is still possible that we could commence on the kind of terraforming activities that brought life to our planet in the first place. Yet this would take significant and determined effort beginning right now. It’s by no means clear that we have the collective understanding of the importance of this task or the organisation and resources to carry it out. But one can only hope and do what one can to bring this about and avoid the catastrophe that awaits.

About Double Bind

Life-changing experiences come thick and fast for Raymond Bridges as he attempts to unravel a mystery that goes to the heart of his being.

It’s a thrilling journey that leads him to question so much of what he finds in the world around him – including the loyalty of those he thinks he knows well.

What he uncovers is a conspiracy that shakes the world he knows to its foundations and asks key questions about our responsibility to the planet.

A book that just might invoke deep thoughts about how we live today – or just be appreciated for the wild ride of the imagination that it undoubtedly is.

Get it from Amazonhttp://smarturl.it/dbb 

Seb Kirby

BestSelling author Seb Kirbywas literally raised with books: his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.

He’s been an avid reader ever since.

He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More; the science-fiction thriller, Double BindEach Day I Wake; and Sugar for Sugar. His latest book is another psychological thriller, Here the Truth Lies.

Seb can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page  |   Amazon Author page  |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |    Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website & blog 

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Thursday teaser: Here the Truth Lies

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This week we present a psychological thriller teaser from the new book, Here the Truth Lies

JASON FARRAR VIA FLICKR

By Seb Kirby

I make it home in good time to take the call from Brian Cooper.

All the way, I’m worried that the tall man might get off the train at one of the stations further down the line, wait there and re-board my carriage when it arrives. But as each station stop passes and there is no sign of him, my sense of fear subsides and I sink back into the warm, welcoming arms of my whisky-aided world.

When eight-thirty comes around and there’s nothing from Cooper, I begin to think he must have second thoughts about calling. After all, I hadn’t been able to offer much hope of getting his case reviewed the last time we spoke, which is over two weeks ago. When the phone rings, I half expect it to be a cold call, but it’s Cooper’s voice at the end of the line.

He doesn’t waste time with any formalities. “Look, I don’t have long. I’m on three calls only a week and this is one of them. We have fifteen minutes.”

I try to put him at ease. “I’m glad you got through, I thought you might have problems accessing the phone.”

“They do you no favors in here. But, sweetheart, that’s something I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”

“I have an important question, Brian. I want you to think very carefully before you reply. The way you answer may well determine if I can go on helping you or not.”

“You’re trying to pull a number on me?”

“No, of course not. But you have to understand that there are some things we have to get straight before I can offer any further help.”

“I get it, sweetheart. What is it?”

“You are on the level with me, aren’t you?”

“Is that it? If you mean, did I do it, you know what the answer is. I didn’t do it. I was nowhere near the house.”

“So where were you?”

“Like I told you last time, I was out and about, working my patch.”

“Pushing drugs? With Alison?”

“What else. That’s what we did.”

I take a deep breath. “I need to understand why Alison placed you at that house in Morden. You and he were mates, working together.”

“He was never a mate of mine.”

“But you worked together.”

“Call it a marriage of convenience. You don’t have to like someone to work with them.”

“You’re saying you didn’t get on with him.”

“No, I’m saying that’s how the world is, sweetheart.”

I hate how Cooper calls me sweetheart in such a dismissive way. No doubt this is his attitude to most women, but I let it pass. “You’ve got to help me here, Brian. Did Alison have any reason to want to set you up for the murder by testifying that you and he were at the house in Morden?”

“He may have had his reasons.”

“Like what?”

“Isn’t that what you’re supposed to be finding out?”

“You need to see how damaging that was to your case. In coming forward Alison was putting himself at great risk, admitting to drug dealing along with you and placing himself in a position where he could have been accused of being an accomplice to murder. That gave his testimony tremendous weight with the court. Why would he risk all that if he didn’t feel compelled to tell the truth about the killings?”

Cooper falls silent for a worrying length of time, as if he’s thinking too much about what he should say next. I’m left with the feeling that he knows the importance of the question and that the way he answers will have a major effect on whether I’ll continue to support him. A pause that makes me uncertain that he’s not seeking to find the answer that will manipulate me the most. And when he does reply, what he has to say doesn’t calm those fears.

“Look, Alison was a bad man. There are a lot of bad men like him. They do terrible things. How do I know why he turned me in? All I can tell you is, I wasn’t there. I didn’t kill that girl or her father.”

I take another a deep breath. “Look, Brian. I need to say this to you again to make sure I understand. You could win parole by admitting that you did the killings. If you showed remorse, told them how sorry you were, you’d be more or less certain to be listened to. They could conclude that you’re no longer a danger. A year in a low security prison or so and you could be out.”

He interrupts with an undisguised note of aggression in his voice. “And admit to something I didn’t do? Spend the rest of my life being known as a child killer? There’s no way I would ever do that, sweetheart. I thought you knew I was never going to do that.”

“Which means there’s something you need to understand. If I continue the investigation and I turn up evidence that places you at the scene of the murders, I’ll be duty bound to reveal it. That would weigh heavily against any chance you might have of an appeal.” I pause again. “So, tell me one more time. Were you ever at the house in Morden? Yes or no?”

“It’s like I told you. I didn’t do it. Is that clear enough for you, sweetheart? And if I didn’t do it, how could I have been anywhere near that house? Answer me that?”

The time is up. The line goes dead.

I’m less convinced by Cooper than before the call. He could be using me, regarding me as a soft touch. Yet I know that whatever force is drawing me to the story hasn’t changed, no matter how unconvincing Cooper is. And once again he’s refused to admit to the crime, even though that could have bought him his freedom.

It’s that, more than anything else, that stays with me.

Here the Truth Lies: psychological thriller by Seb KirbyAbout Here the Truth Lies 

Sometimes your past is stranger than you ever imagined.

Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition – to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question: who is Emma Chamberlain?

To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.

Seb Kirby

BestSelling author Seb Kirbywas literally raised with books: his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.

He’s been an avid reader ever since.

He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More; the science-fiction thriller, Double BindEach Day I Wake; and Sugar for Sugar. His latest book is another psychological thriller, Here the Truth Lies.

Seb can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page  |   Amazon Author page  |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |    Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website & blog 

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Villains: Why authors love to write them

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Seb Kirby

continues bestsellers’ musings on the villain: why we write them and what makes them compelling for both authors and readers.

villain with a knifeIn my latest psychological thriller, Here the Truth Lies, I wanted to create a villain who was ruthless and heartless, yet driven by forces outside his own control. I found this in Evan Cargill, a military-trained killer for whom all sense of remorse had been long ago destroyed by events in his brutalising past.

All that captivity.

The years in the children’s homes they forced him into were difficult but nothing compared with the times he spent in the Middle East, first as a soldier of fortune, then as a hostage.

They tried to break him every which way but all they did was hone his spirit of defiance. Each time they tortured him, he felt his body responding, strengthening, becoming ever more resilient. Each time they trashed him and left him for dead, he recovered, stronger, more determined.

He survived.

Time to take back what is owed.

But how can you reclaim a childhood?

That’s where it all began. The never-ending struggle that became his whole life.”

Where a villain comes from

I drew some of the inspiration for this character from Mary Shelley’s observation: “No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.” Evan Cargill does not see himself as a villain. He believes he is doing nothing but good in the string of gruesome murders he carries out. He sees the killings as wholly justified.

He’s not the main character in the story. That’s Emma Chamberlain, a young journalist facing her own struggle to make sense of her past. But in Cargill, I think I’ve created her dark counterpoint.

Here the Truth Lies: psychological thriller by Seb Kirby

About the book

Sometimes your past is stranger than you ever imagined.

Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition: to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question – who is Emma Chamberlain?

To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.

Seb Kirby

BestSelling author Seb Kirbywas literally raised with books: his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.

He’s been an avid reader ever since.

He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More; the science-fiction thriller, Double BindEach Day I Wake; and Sugar for Sugar. His latest book is another psychological thriller, Here the Truth Lies.

Seb can be found:

BestSelling Reads author page  |   Amazon Author page  |   Facebook   |   Twitter   |    Goodreads   |   LinkedIn   |    Website & blog 

 

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Thursday teaser #excerpt: Here the Truth Lies

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This week’s excerpt is from the new psychological thriller

By Seb Kirby

PROLOGUE

I’m alone in the bed, unable to sleep, my eyes wide open, willing darkness. One of those who needs complete absence of light.

This means, as a minimum, full blackout curtains to take care of the lamps in the street outside. Even then, I detect stray splinters of light appearing around the edges of those curtains once my vision adjusts to the supposed blackness. This involves using the bed sheets to cover my head just enough to shade my eyes while leaving space to breathe. It’s a ritual that, once complete, is an essential prerequisite to any more sleep this night.

But here I am, awake, aware that something is wrong with the room.

I close my eyes. Too much is happening in my mind. Above all, McLeish, my boss, is hounding me for progress on the Stanley story. I doubt I’ll get back to sleep again but I must try.

A faint noise, a rustling sound, comes from the corner of the room. I don’t want to look. I’m phobic about moths, spiders, crane flies and anything with spiny legs. It could be one of those or, worse, a mouse. Nocturnal visitors are more than likely in the ground floor rooms I rent in this old Victorian house.

It’s at times like this I wish I were with someone. But I live alone now that Mark has given up on our marriage and gone to work in Prague. I miss him, yet value the feeling of independence. But now I want someone beside me to say: Emma, what’s that?

I raise my head from the pillow and turn toward the sound.

It’s a young girl. The rustling is made by her nightdress dragging on the ground as she walks towards the bed.

I look away and dig my fingernails into my wrist so hard I fear it might draw blood. The pain is intense. I need to know I am, in fact, awake.

I turn my head back. The girl is still there but she has stopped still now and is standing looking straight at me. She is nine or ten years old with curly blonde hair. Her blue-green eyes hold a look of fear that tells of great suffering and sadness. She is speaking, her mouth opening and closing, but I can hear no words. Yet I’m sure from the way the girl stares at me that whatever she is trying to say is meant for me.

My voice, when it comes, amounts to nothing more than a whisper. “What do you want?”

The girl’s lips stop moving for a moment and her eyes widen, as if she’s heard what I’m saying.

As she mouths silent words again, I strain to decipher them. It looks like I’m here now.  And now, perhaps she is trying to say her own name. I’m Jenny. I can’t be sure.

I struggle to find my voice again. “Tell me. You know you can tell me.”

The little girl says no more. Instead, she turns and retreats to the corner.

I raise myself from the bed. “Come back. I need to know who you are.” But, by the time my feet touch the floor, the girl is gone.

My eyes search the room, looking for any sliver of light. There is none. All is once more pitch black and silent.

As I lie back down, my heart is racing. My nightclothes are heavy with sweat.

There is no chance of sleep now.

About Here the Truth Lies

Sometimes your past is stranger than you ever imagined

Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition – to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question – who is Emma Chamberlain?

To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.

Now available in paperback

Order your copy from Amazon

About the author

Seb Kirby is the author of the James Blake Thriller series (Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More), the psychological thrillers Each Day I Wake and Sugar For Sugar, and the sci-fi thriller Double Bind. An avid reader from an early age—his grandfather ran a mobile lending library in Birmingham—he was hooked from the first moment he discovered the treasure trove of books left to his parents. He was a university academic for many years, latterly at University of Liverpool. Now, as a full-time writer, his goal is to add to the magic of the wonderful words and stories he discovered back then. He lives in the Wirral, UK.

You can learn more about Seb on his:

And follow him on Twitter @Seb_Kirby.

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New and soon to be released bestsellers

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Your favorite bestsellers are still working their fingers to the bone to bring you great reading. Here are some books that have just been released, and more you can look forward to in the coming months.

New releases

Here the Truth Lies cover

Here the Truth Lies by Seb Kirby

Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition – to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question – who is Emma Chamberlain?

To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.

Now available on Amazon in paperback; coming soon as an e-book.

Wildfire: A Wine Country Mystery coverWildfire by Scott Bury

Wine Country Mystery Book 1: Law school grad and single mom Tara Rezeck takes a job in Sonoma’s most award-winning winery, and confronts a mystery in the wildfires that swept California in 2017.

Now available on Amazon; coming to other e-tailers on April 1.

Self-Publishing for Canadians by Barb Drozdowich

Barb Drozdowich brings her experience and expertise as publisher of 11 books to help authors produce, publish and market their books to bear specifically on Canadians. This book guides authors through formatting, editing, getting ISBNs and uploading manuscripts..

Now available on Amazon.

 

Coming soon

Driving Tempo by Raine Thomas

Book 3 in the House of Archer series

Rosemary was supposed to be helping her sister Lily in managing her reality show with the rock band The Void. Then things between Rosemary and The Void’s spoken-for sound specialist, Sage Strickland, start to heat up. Now there’s one more teetering band relationship for Lily to balance in the media along with her own. One misstep could not only destroy The Void’s recent success but end the only career she has.

Coming May 2018.

 

Finding You by D.G. Torrens

Noah Ainsworth has been hiding away in his ivory tower for far too long and decides it’s time he started living again. The enigmatic Eden Marshall is his prime motivation—captivated by her, he begins to trust in love again.

Until a dark secret from his past emerges, threatening all that he loves.

Coming November 2018

 

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