Categories
Book launch FREE

#2020gift YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO BE A PROM QUEEN #Wattpad

Hi all:

I hope 2020 is going well for you so far, and I also hope it will get better and better. It is customary to take stock of what has gone on over the year, and although I enjoy the posts where people share lists of achievements, recommendations, events, etc., I always find others’ reflections more interesting than mine and seem to have too many other things to share and do this time of the year, so there you have it.

Although I hadn’t planned a “best of 2019”  kind of post, I wanted to offer you a gift (of sorts) for Christmas, but I ran into some technical difficulties and didn’t manage to get everything ready. Instead, I bring you a gift for the New Year. Well, not sure it’s much of a gift, but, hey, ho!

I decided to do a little experiment and try to see if writing for a short period of time every day would work for me. Instead of publishing the resulting book, because I’m not too convinced about it, to tell you the truth, and I’d rather invest the money necessary in other things, I’ve shared it on Wattpad. You can read it there, if you fancy it, although, don’t worry, I know the topic is a bit peculiar and not to everybody’s taste.

You're Never Too Old to Be a Prom Queen by Olga Núñez Miret
You’re Never Too Old to Be a Prom Queen by yours truly!

Here is the description:

You’re Never Too Old to Be a Prom Queen.

Have you ever found yourself in the unenviable position of being told that you are too … (fill in the gap with whichever word fits: young, pretty, thin, fat, short, tall, clever, silly, old…) to do something? Mildred, one of the protagonists of the story, had always dreamed of having a prom. But when she finished her studies, in the UK, that was not the done thing. Now, many years later and with time in her hands after having retired from her full-time job as a nurse, she is still thinking about it. She tells her husband, who is less-than-enthusiastic about her idea. After years of being told what to do, she decides it’s time to take things in her own hands. With more than a little help from her friends, her project starts to take shape.

What started as a challenge becomes a mission that engages the imagination and the hearts of all the people involved.

A heart-warming story for all ages about friendship, creativity, determination, and the power of a tight-knit community and of dreams.

https://my.w.tt/bXAPlbrY32

Thanks for reading my reviews and everything else, and you know what to do! Keep smiling, reading, reviewing, and being happy in 2020!

 

Categories
book promo FREE

#Summerreads #FREEBOOKS and offers Effrosyni Moschoudi (@FrostieMoss) has a great offer you should not miss!

Hi all!

I know it’s not one of my usual days to share posts, but as the weekend is coming and many of you (well, hopefully) will be enjoying or preparing for the summer holidays (and if not, perhaps you need a great read set up in beautiful Greece), I had to share this great offer by one of the writers who has visited my blog on a few occasions, Effrosyni Moschoudi.

Author Effrosiny Mouschudi

To celebrate the arrival of summer, she has all of her novels on offer. It was difficult to choose a date to share this with you, but I hope you’ll take note…

The Necklace of Goddess AthenaFREE July 16-20

Phevos, an ancient Greek, remembers very little from his childhood. What’s more, his mysterious father never explained how his mother disappeared years ago. When Phevos turns twenty, his father sends him on a time-traveling journey to modern-day Athens without telling him the reason. There, Phevos finds new friends, romantic love, and a trail of clues that lead to shocking revelations. Excited, he continues to unravel his family’s mysteries and soon realizes his father has set up an ingenious plan so their family can be whole again. This plan involves two Olympian gods and a war that’s been raging between them seemingly forever. One of the gods is out to help Phevos, the other, to destroy him. Will he escape the mortal danger and manage to fulfill his destiny?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I5GXHCO
The Lady of the Pier, book 1: The Ebb – $0.99 July 16-20, FREE July 21-22.

CORFU, GREECE, 1987
On a long holiday with her grandparents, Sofia Aspioti meets Danny Markson, a charming flirt who makes her laugh. Although she tries to keep him at arm’s length, worried that village gossip will get back to her strict family, she falls desperately in love. That’s when strange dreams about Brighton’s West Pier and a woman dressed in black begin to haunt her. Who is this grieving woman? And how is her lament related to Sofia’s feelings for Danny?

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND, 1937
Dreaming of wealth and happiness, Laura Mayfield arrives in Brighton to pursue a new life. She falls for Christian Searle, a happy-go-lucky stagehand at the West Pier theatre, but when she’s offered a chance to perform there, her love for him is put to the test. Charles Willard, a wealthy aristocrat, is fascinated by her and pursues her relentlessly. Will Laura choose love…or money?

The Lady of the Pier, book 2: The Flow – $0.99 July 16-22

The Lady of the Pier, book 3: The Storm – $0.99 July 16-22
Link to the trilogy: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BOWI3HO

The Amulet – $0.99 July 16-22 (You can check my review, here🙂
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MCZ2UOU

And, so you don’t miss any of the books, here is the link to the author’s Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/author/effrosyni

Thanks to Effrosyni for such great offer, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment, click, review and keep smiling! 

 

Categories
book promo FREE

#FREE #ROMANCE NOVELS Escape to Greece with THE EBB and FACETS OF LOVE courtesy of Effrosyni Moschoudi (@FrostieMoss)

Hi, all:

I don’t normally share posts on Sunday, but I got an e-mail from an author whose work has featured on my blog before and I have read an enjoyed, Effrosyni Moschoudi (here is my review of The Amulet). I know quite a few of you were interested in her stories, and considering that, at least here, the weather is getting worse and worse, what better than to spend some time in glorious Greece! I could not let this opportunity pass me by and I had to share it with you. And here it is! (Ah, and Facets of Love, is a collection of short-stories whose authors I’m sure you’ll also be familiar with! Nicholas Rossis, MM Jaye, Angel Sefer, S.R. Mallery and Mimi Barbour)

Two unmissable FREE romances set in Greece!

 

Two of Effrosyni Moschoudi’s books FREE!

 

Greek award-winning author, Effrosyni Moschoudi is offering two of her books for FREE right now. Both are perfect choices for lovers of romance and all things Greek!

The Ebb is an award-winning novel set in Corfu. It is $0.99 on Amazon but can be downloaded for FREE in other e-stores as well as a PDF file from the author’s website. Choose among various formats here: http://effrosyniwrites.com/books/the-lady-of-the-pier-the-ebb/

Facets of Love is a brand new short story collection, but you won’t find it published anywhere. It is an exclusive book for Effrosyni’s mailing list readers. Join the list by leaving your email on her website and receive the book in a few minutes. The author sends out emails very sparsely and your privacy is guaranteed! Go here to claim your FREE copy now:

http://effrosyniwrites.com/yours-for-free/

 

Author Effrosyni Moschoudi

About the author

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes books for the romantics at heart.

 

Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. In their glowing 5-star review they declared it, ‘a stunning masterpiece’.

 

Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist. Effrosyni’s novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times. She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a naughty cat called Felix, but her mind forever drifts to her beloved Greek island of Corfu.

 

Visit her website for free excerpts, book trailers, a free guide to Corfu, yummy recipes, and to join her newsletter for her news and special offers: http://www.effrosyniwrites.com

[amazon_link asins=’1539742873,B01BOWI3HO,B00I5GXHCO,1519648200,B00LGNYEPC,1540409759,1540410099′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’wwwauthortran-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a8c91004-ab72-11e7-bf01-5f807b2e5101′]

Thanks very much to Effrosyni for sharing her two books with us, for free, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment, click, and of course, REVIEW!

Categories
book promo FREE Giveaway

#FREE epistolary novel 5-7th November LETTER TO CHARO by Estrella Cardona Gamio (@EstrellaCG) Straight to the heart #amreading

Hi all:

You might remember a few weeks back I talked to you about the latest book I’d translated that had been just published, Letter to Charo, a novella I fell in love with when I read it and I was lucky enough that the author asked me to translate it. Now, the author and her sister, Concha, are celebrating the 17th anniversary of their publishing company CCG Ediciones being live on-line, and as part of the celebrations, Letter to Charo will be free from the 5th to the 7th of November inclusive. As there was a fair amount of interest in it when I first dedicated it a post (see here, as I share the translated review of the novella I wrote for the Spanish version) I couldn’t help but share it with you. Here is a reminder:

Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translation by Olga Núñez Miret
Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio. Translation by Olga Núñez Miret

Letter to Charo by Estrella Cardona Gamio 

AUTHOR’S NOTE

LETTER TO CHARO is not a novel like all the rest in its presentation. For starters, it is an epistolary novel, a genre that was fashionable in other eras and that has left us works like DANGEROUS LIAISONS to mention a particularly fine example. It’s a very interesting genre because through its structure, and in the first-person, intimate stories are narrated that slowly reveal the most closely guarded secrets of its characters.
In LETTER TO CHARO, the reader will find the story of two friends who’ve known each other from childhood and carried on being friends through the years and the distance when the husband of one of them, for work reasons, has to move to London with his family. Throughout the years they exchange letters, until a certain day when an event that has nothing to do with either of them, the death of a famous Italian cinema actor, Marcello Mastroianni, sends them on a trip down memory lane unearthing confidences that had been hiding for decades and discovering two people who are complete strangers to each other.
Another peculiar characteristic of this novel is that the letters that are exchanged between the protagonists open with one dated the same day when I first started writing LETTER TO CHARO, and, the intervals between the letters are authentic. The truth is that I wrote the novel as if its protagonists were dictating it to me.
In this work, romantic and sentimental, you’ll find various degrees of love revealed in detail: tenderness, nostalgia, rivalry, egotism, envy, jealousy and uncontrollable and wild passion. You should not miss it, follow my advice.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE

I have tried to respect the style of the author and the sense of urgency and closeness of the correspondence written to (mostly) those close to us, which follows the style of our speech and the wanders of our mind, rather than grammar rules or best-practice when writing formal texts. I have adapted casual expressions but have always tried to maintain the meaning and the spirit of the original.
With regards to titles of books and/or movies mentioned in the book, I’ve adopted the ones more commonly used, although sometimes different editions or movies in different countries might be known by different titles. I have added only a few parenthetical notes where I felt that the general reading public might not be familiar with the term and it is fundamental to follow the gist of the story.
I am very grateful to the author and to her sister for giving me the opportunity to translate this short novel that I fell in love with as a reader.

Link:

http://relinks.me/B01LY90NED

Thanks to the author and her sister for the novel and for keeping me informed, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK! It’s FREE!

Categories
Book launch book promo FREE

#FREE #YA story for only two days (29th and 30th) WE ARE FAMILY. Neighbours, prejudice, friendships, small-town and love.

Hi all:

Sorry to crowd you all with so many posts but I’ve been having a few funny days, with travelling, trying to sort out the house, and a job offer that might mean (if it comes to pass) that I’ll have to take a bit of time off, at least initially from being everywhere. In the middle of this maelstrom and because one has to try everything, I suddenly decided to publish one of my stories that had done well in Wattpad but I never seriously thought about publishing it anywhere else. As I didn’t have a lot of time and I wanted to do a bit of a test, at the moment it’s only available in Amazon and will be available in Unlimited too, at least for 90 days (I’ve never had any luck with that, but). I decided to try a different persona too, and to offer it free for a couple of days (29th and 30th of July, although you know Amazon days are West Coast days, so do check later if not free when you try). So if you know somebody who might be interested in a YA story with quirky characters, friendship, romance and some emotional ups and downs…

 

We Are Family by Misty Pink (yes, me)
We Are Family by Misty Pink (yes, me)

 

Description:

Meet the Waltons. They arrive to Leamington, a sleepy town, and cause chaos and outrage. They are ‘weird’. According to some they are scandalous and indecent. But if you let them, they might steal your heart.

We Are Family. A Young Adult story of friendship, families and how you don’t always have to go far to find love.

Kim, a young girl, sees her quiet existence shaken by the arrival of the new neighbours, the Waltons, a family of hippy travellers whose lifestyle creates conflict and tensions in Leamington. Accusations of rape, teenage pregnancy, adultery, suicide…the newcomers pay a heavy price for daring to intrude in the ordered lives of the inhabitants of Leamington. But not all is bad, and Kim’s life is transformed for the better. Forever. Oh, yes, and she finds romance and love.

Link:

 relinks.me/B01J6RPB2Y

Thanks to all of you for reading, and don’t feel obliged to download and read, but if you know of anybody who might enjoy it, especially readers who like YA stories or YA readers, I’d be grateful for any shares, comments and CLICKS! I’ll keep you posted on my news and also on this experiment. 

Categories
Facebook giveaway FREE Giveaway

#HappyMother’sDay Facebook event. Come over to win some fabulous #audiobooks!

Hi all:

I know I’ve been talking about Mother’s Day quite a lot. And that’s not only because Mother’s Day in Spain is in May (like in the US) but also because I’m taking part in a Facebook event for Mother’s Day, Happy Mother’s Day, organised by an author and artist I admire enormously and who’s visited my blog not long ago, Uvi Poznansky (check here to read the post).

Pic for event

Before I forget, if I haven’t already invited you through Facebook or Goodreads, here is the page of the event.

What is it about?

Here Uvi herself explains a bit more:

Don’t miss this opportunity! A select group of authors has joined forces with me, to bring you amazing stories narrated by great voice actors. This spring, we invite you for an early Mother’s Day picnic.. Come listen to voice clips from the audiobooks. You may win one of them!

✿ Here’s what you can win http://tinyurl.com/join-us-mothersday
✿ Never listened to an audiobook before? It’s easier than you think:http://tinyurl.com/never-listened
✿ To keep up with upcoming events, like https://www.facebook.com/uviart

The event runs for the 5th of May at at 2 pm to 7 pm on 7th May (PDT). The ten authors taking part (hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with the time difference) will share fragments of the books they’re offering in Audio version, fragments particularly related to mothers. We’ll talk to readers and answer questions. And on the 7th May we’ll be announcing the lucky readers and listeners who’ve won the audiobooks.

As you know I’m fairly new to audiobooks and when Uvi asked me if I had one that featured mothers prominently, I straight away thought about I Love Your Cupcakes. Although some of my other books also have mothers in them, I Love Your Cupcakes has very interesting family relationships. Dulce’s mother has died before the action of the novel starts (well, there are two time lines but…) and she’s the inspiration for the baking business the girls start. Toni, Adelfa’s mother, becomes Dulce’s stepmother and that is a supportive relationship, although Toni doesn’t think she’s done enough for her stepdaughter, who also happens to be her best friend’s daughter. And to add complication to family matters, there’s also Storm… But well, if you want to know more, you might as well, read, or listen to the book. But I thought I’d share some of the fragments I’d chosen…

I Love Your Cupcakes Audiobook narrated by Glyn Olson
I Love Your Cupcakes Audiobook narrated by Gwyn Olson

ONE

Dulcinea loved her name. She had always felt it suited her to a T. So much so, that if she hadn’t been called that she was convinced she would have changed her name to Dulcinea. OK, it wasn’t the most typical name for an American girl, but her mother, Carmen, was Spanish and she always thought that the imaginary lady/love of Don Quijote deserved a second chance and a bigger role than she had ever been given. She also adored the fact that if it was shortened to Dulce, its meaning was ‘Sweet’ in Spanish. And if there was something her mother had loved was everything sweet. Carmen was the best amateur baker amongst all her friends’ mothers and she doubted that many professionals of baking and desserts could have competed with her. Her culinary skills got so popular and so many people asked her to give them her recipes or teach them how to bake that she ran a course on desserts and cooking at the local adult college until her death. It was only fair and fitting that even her daughter was Dulce.
You can listen to the sample directly in Sound Cloud (this one is longer than the text, the others are the same as the text):

TWO

It was a Saturday during Spring-break and Dulce and Adelfa had just arrived back from one of their non-shopping/shopping trips (when they went to the mall, walked around the shops, selected their favorite items, calculated costs, imagined appropriate occasions to wear their outfits but didn’t buy anything, or maybe only a drink or an ice-cream at a push). They stopped by Dulce’s house first but there was nobody there, and as it had become the norm since the death of Dulce’s mother, they went to Adelfa’s house. There they found Toni (Adelfa’s Mom) crying whilst hugging Tony (Dulce’s Dad).

Adelfa’s Mom had been very supportive of Tony since Carmen’s death. She had cooked for them, invited them around, and the two families had spent plenty of time together. Chad, Adelfa’s Dad, was a well-known chef that spent most of his time helping restaurants and hotels in crisis throughout the whole of the US and abroad, giving seminars and teaching in the most prestigious culinary schools in the world, and was hardly ever home.

Dulce’s first reaction to the scene was to wonder how close her Dad and Toni had actually become, as he was not only hugging her closely but also drying her tears and caressing her. She could not help but suspect that kisses might also be in the agenda.

Adelfa’s reaction was to go to her mother and, taking her by the elbow, ask her:

“What’s happened? What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

“Oh, Adelfa!” Toni burst into another flood of tears. “Your father…”

“Is also my father.”

They all turned to look in the direction the voice had come from. Adelfa and Dulce had been so taken by the scene between their parents that they had completely missed the young boy standing at the back of the room, by the patio door.

“Who are you?” asked Adelfa. “And what do you mean?”

“Oh, girls, this is Sebastian. He’s Chad’s son. It seems Chad, your father…” Toni started.

THREE

Toni looked at Dulce.

“This must be a lot of work. And for what Adelfa was telling me, you have lots of plans of other things to do, like reading groups, children’s play groups, workshops, events…”

“Yes. We have lots of people interested in facilitating things and in helping out. But I think we’ll need to get some permanent staff very soon, as otherwise it could get overwhelming.”

“I’d love to help. As you know I can cook although cakes have never been my strong point. But I feel…There’s something I must be able to do. You know I’ve never wanted to take your mother’s place, and I couldn’t. She was an incredible woman, my best friend and we’re very different. But I’ve always felt that I’ve never done much for you. I’ve been there for your Dad, and Adelfa always seemed to know what she wanted to do from very early on, but I’ve never been of much help to you.”

“You’ve always been there…”

“Looking on and not knowing what to do. I can see how passionate you feel, well, you “all” feel about this. And I can see why. There’s a lot of love here. Let me help. If there’s anything I can do.”

 

Just in case you want to have a look beforehand, here I leave you the links…
Audible.com                    Audible.co.uk                  Amazon                   Apple i-Tunes 

If you’ve never tried Audible before, this is a great promotion.

If you prefer to watch the You Tube video:

Ah, and Uvi has dedicated the event some blog posts that you might want to check:

http://uviart.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/join-us-for-chance-to-win-audiobooks.html

http://uviart.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/let-me-introduce-you-to-my-author.html

http://uviart.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/happy-mothers-day-what-to-expect.html

Thanks so much to Uvi for organising this wonderful event, thanks to all the writers taking part, thanks to all of you for reading and listening and I hope to see you all there. And please, feel free to share, comment, like and to invite anybody you think might be interested. Many thanks!

Categories
Blog Tour FREE New books

#Freebook tour. Lucky Charms by Louisa Bacio (@Louisabacio) 18th of March last day. Hurry!

Hi all:
As you know on Fridays I usually bring you new books, and today I saw the chance of bringing you a new book (although the story had already been published), free (but only until the 18th inclusive, so hurry), and really appropriate to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Because who doesn’t need a lucky charm and a bit of the luck of the Irish? Have a very green and lucky day!

lucky-charms_web

Lucky Charms

After Cornelius’s family is jinxed, he suffers from the unluck of the Irish. Forced to spend every St. Patrick’s Day with green hair—and more—Cornelius must convince Jenna of his love when she’s unable to remember him.
Out for a good time and some green beer, Jenna sustains disbelief of not-so-little green leprechauns when she discovers Cornelius’s really big curse.
** Story originally appeared in Lucky Stars Boxset

Lucky Charms

Available via Amazon. http://authl.it/4vz
About the Author:
A Southern California native, Louisa Bacio can’t imagine living far away from the ocean. The multi-published author of erotic romance enjoys writing within all realms – from short stories to full-length novels.
Bacio shares her household with a supportive husband, two daughters growing “too fast,” and a multitude pet craziness: Two dogs, five fish tanks, an aviary, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs and hermit crabs. In her other life, she teaches college classes in English, journalism and popular culture.
Contact Details:
Website http://www.louisabacio.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/louisabacio
https://www.facebook.com/Louisabacioauthor/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/louisabacio
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Categories
Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings FREE Writing samples

#Free Last Chapter of Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings #TuesdayBookBlog

Hi all:

This is the last week when I’m sharing the prequel to Escaping Psychiatry. Yes! We’ve got to the last chapter! Although  I have the draft of the next story in the series, I’m not going to punish you with it yet but I’ll be catching up on reviews, life and other projects…

First… A reminder. I finally published the prequel and it’s FREE, hopefully in most places by now . (If not, please report to Amazon adding the link to one of the other sites, as they need to be informed of links in each place it seems. I have reported links in the UK but they’re taking their time. Otherwise I’m happy to send it to you personally.)

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés
Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret

How far would a writer go for a killer story? This is the question psychiatrist Mary Miller must answer to solve the first mystery/thriller of her career. You can get to know the main characters of this psychological thriller series for FREE and test your own acumen and intuition in this novella about the price of ambition.

Dr Mary Miller is a young psychiatrist suffering a crisis of vocation. Her friend Phil, a criminalist lawyer working in New York, invites her to visit him and consult on the case of a writer accused of a serious assault. His victim had been harassing him and accusing him of stealing his story, which he’d transformed into a best-selling book. The author denies the allegation and claims it was self-defence. When the victim dies, things get complicated. The threshold between truth and fiction becomes blurred and secrets and lies unfold.

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings is the prequel to Escaping Psychiatry a volume collecting three stories where Mary and her psychiatric expertise are called to help in a variety of cases, from religious and race affairs, to the murder of a policeman, and in the last case she gets closer than ever to a serial killer.

If you enjoy this novella, don’t forget to check Mary’s further adventures. And there are more to come.
Here you can check a preview live:

AMAZON (e-book)      KOBO    NOOK    APPLE  SCRIBD

PAGE FOUNDRY

And without further ado, here is Chapter 8

8.     The Truth

As part of her ongoing training, Mary moved to a different job, and although it was only a few miles from where she lived, it involved some adjustments and getting used to a new routine. It was also a busy job and she didn’t have much time to think about anything else. When her phone rang at 6:30 one morning, she jumped out of bed, thinking she was on-call. Then she remembered she wasn’t and wondered who’d be calling her so early.

“Hi, Mary. I didn’t wake you up, did I?”

“Phil! I thought it was a call from work.”

“Are you on-call?”

“No, but it took me a while to remember that. Not many people call me at this time of the morning. Is anything wrong?”

“Eh… No, no. Nothing like that. Are you following the trial? Fenton’s?”

“Not closely. I read a bit about it and I saw something in the news, but I haven’t paid it that much attention. I’ve changed jobs recently, and it’s always a bit hectic. How is it going?”

“It’s all very awkward. Lance went to work for the DA’s office and is sitting at the prosecution table. He hasn’t opened his mouth but it’s unnerving. Mr Wright tried to talk the judge into throwing him out, but Lance’s name wasn’t on any of the previous depositions and he wasn’t listed officially. She—the judge—warned the DA that she’d not only dismiss Lance but would throw out the trial on a technicality if they used any privileged information they should not have had access to. But it has opened the trial right up.”

“It sounds quite tough.”

“Well, I don’t think they have a case. There’s plenty of evidence of Green’s deranged behaviour, and Fenton always tried to do the right thing.”

‘Yeah, right,’ Mary thought. “So, when do you expect it to finish?”

“One can never be precise in these situations, but I imagine Friday. That’s why I was phoning you. Could you take the Friday off and come? Perhaps you could come on Thursday evening and stay over the weekend, if you can escape. Percy suggested you might want to be present, and I think it’s a great idea. Especially if you might become an expert witness at some point in the future. People always think they know how it is because they watch TV programs and movies, but it isn’t like that.”

“I’m not working this weekend. I’ll try to see if I can get Friday off. I’d like to see the resolution of the case. I have the feeling it will be interesting.”

“You’ll probably be disappointed, but we can do something nice over the weekend, and I’m sure that Ryan would love to see you again.”

“Oh, Phil! Stop that!”

“Only joking!” He laughed. “Give me a call! And have a good day!”

Mary managed to get a day off, and the doctor who was on call on Friday agreed to keep an eye on her cases. She phoned Phil to confirm she was going, and on Thursday, as arranged, he went to pick her up at the train station. As they were riding in a taxi, Mary asked, “So, will tomorrow be the last day, then?”

“Very likely. It’s their turn to question Fenton’s agent tomorrow morning. And after that…well, that’s it. Closings and then up to the jury. We might not hear the verdict tomorrow, but I don’t expect it will be long.”

“And how has it gone so far?”

“Well, other than the evidence that Fenton was very forceful when he defended himself, there isn’t anything else against him. There have been plenty of witnesses that have talked about Green’s behaviour and how he had been harassing Fenton non-stop for months.”

Mary was quiet for a while. “I always imagined that the real protagonist of the novel, the real David Collins, whatever his true name is, would have turned up.”

“What for?”

“Well, it would have given even more strength to the story that Green wasn’t well and his suspicions were unfounded.”

“Perhaps he doesn’t think there’s any danger that Fenton will get into serious trouble. Self-defence. And, if he’s such a private person, perhaps he’s out of reach of the media.”

Mary shook her head. “Unlikely. The case has been going on for a long time. And it’s everywhere. Anyway, just wondering.”

Next morning they went to court. Percy and Steve sat at the defence table with Fenton. Phil took Mary’s arm and made her sit next to him on the bench behind them. Ryan appeared a few minutes later and sat next to her. A handsome African-American man, wearing a blue suit, sat at the prosecution table, talking animatedly to Lance. Phil saw Mary looking at them and said, “The DA. Stanton.”

Percy and Steve turned to say hello. Percy looked sideways. “I wonder what they’re talking about. You wouldn’t have guessed things are going badly for them, looking at how animated they seem.”

Fenton looked back briefly and nodded in their direction. Mary had the feeling that he wasn’t terribly pleased to see her. But he had more important things to think about, so perhaps it was only her imagination.

Judge Pearson, a woman in her early sixties with curly red hair, entered, announced by the clerk, and they all stood. Once they were ordered to sit, proceedings started. Although Mary had not met Mike Spinner, Fenton’s agent, she didn’t expect anything new from his statement. Stanton asked him about his background and then what he knew about the origins of the book. He also asked briefly about Green’s behaviour. Everything seemed to fit in with the version of events Fenton had given. Stanton approached the table, looked at a piece of paper that Lance showed him, and then walked slowly back to the witness stand. “Mr Spinner, was there ever talk of an injunction?”

“An injunction? I did talk to one of my lawyers about it, but there was the complication of the tours and the continuous travelling that would have made it difficult to fix the terms. And even keeping him at a certain distance, if it had been agreed, with the amount of public attention and people coming and going… It would have been impossible to enforce. It wouldn’t have worked. There was no point.”

“So, you never heard Mr Fenton or Mr Green mention an injunction,” Stanton asked again.

“No. Not really, no.”

“Not really?” Stanton, who had been walking back towards the table, turned around quickly and fixed his eyes on the witness.

“The witness has already replied to the question, Your Honour,” Steve said.

“No, not really,” Judge Pearson replied, with a smile. “Proceed.” She nodded in Stanton’s direction. Mary noticed how Fenton’s neck reddened.

“I mean…the last time Green came to a book signing, I had been called away to talk to the bookshop owner, and we both heard a kerfuffle. Two of the security guards were dragging Green away by the time I got there. The security guards later told me that Green had managed to get close to the table by wearing a name tag like the bookshop employees and he had got right next to Fenton, and had whispered something in his ear.

“They told me Fenton had replied something very low, that they hadn’t heard and waved at them, and when they were taking him away, once out of the bookshop, Green had said that no injunction would prevent him from telling the truth, or something of the sort. Nothing new, although I don’t know where the idea about the injunction came from. I did ask Oliver—Mr Fenton—later, but he told me that all Green had told him was more of the same, that he had used his story and he’d get redress. Nothing else.”

Steve seemed like he was about to stand up and object, Mary imagined ‘hearsay’, but Percy stopped him. He seemed intrigued.

“Thanks.” Stanton picked up a piece of paper that Lance was offering him. He walked to the witness stand and showed the paper to Spinner. “Do you recognise this mobile phone number?”

“No. I don’t have a lot of memory for numbers, though. I could check my phone…”

“Isn’t it the accused’s number?”

“No, no. That number I know very well.”

Stanton smiled and said there was nothing else. Spinner was told he could leave and stepped down.

“We wish to recall Oliver Fenton,” Stanton said.

Percy, Steve and Fenton looked at each other.

“I need to confer with my client,” Percy said, standing up.

“Let’s have a brief recess. We’ll be back in half an hour,” Judge Pearson said.

Once the judge had left, Percy turned to Phil and Ryan. “Come with us. And you too, Mary.”

“But is it OK with Mr Fenton?” Mary asked.

Fenton turned to look at her and smiled, his lips pressed so hard that they had become a white line. “Of course I’m OK. Do you think I’m scared of you? I know you have no superpowers and you can’t read my mind. And anyway, I have nothing to hide.”

Mary shrugged and followed them. They went to a side room whilst the guard waited outside.

“So, what’s that about an injunction?” Percy asked, as soon as they were all sitting down.

“I know nothing about any injunction. Who knows what he might have said? Some mad idea that came into his head,” Fenton replied, dismissive.

“And that mobile number?” Ryan asked.

“Which mobile number?”

“Evidently the prosecution asked your agent about a phone number. Is there anything we should be worried about?” Percy asked.

“Why didn’t you object to all that blah, blah from Mike? It was all hearsay. Green whispered something, I said something. It means nothing. What could he have said?”

“Surprises are no good in this business, Fenton,” Wright said. “We can prepare for almost anything, but not for what we don’t know.”

Fenton sighed. “I’ve already told you. I’m sorry he died but the man was crazy,” he said, letting his head drop.

“OK,” Percy said. Then, he turned to look at Mary. “Any questions, Doctor Miller?”

“I was just wondering…” Fenton looked up and glared at her, “why whisper? He’s shouted about the fact that you’d used his story, loud and clear, and he’d told anybody who would listen to him. Why whisper it in your ear? It makes no sense. He must have told you something else. Why would he talk about telling the truth and how nobody would stop him? If it was the same allegation, he’d already told the truth. And don’t reply that he was just mad. He hadn’t done that before, and he’d been pretty vociferous and consistent. He must have had a reason. A reason that got him killed.”

Fenton stood up from the chair so fast that it fell on the floor, making an echoing sound. “You think you know everything. What do you really know?”

“That man was obsessed with the truth. He must have found something out, or suspected something, but had no confirmation of it. That’s why he whispered it to you. Your reaction confirmed his suspicions,” Mary said, still sitting down, looking up at him and keeping a low voice and a calm expression.

“Yes? And what do you think that was? Perhaps you really have superpowers?” Fenton said.

“I have no idea, although if I had to hazard a guess… You invented the whole story. The book is a work of fiction. No, you didn’t use Green’s story, because you didn’t use anybody’s story. You just made it up. And he must have worked it out somehow. Perhaps you contradicted yourself at some point, or perhaps he checked and discovered that you hadn’t really worked for a phone helpline. Whatever the circumstances, when he told you, you threatened him with an injunction.”

Fenton had paled and was shaking slightly. “The harassment was one thing, but that could have ended my career. There have been scandals for plagiarism and being economical with the truth in the literary world, but that… It would have been the end right at the beginning. I just got a phone, no contract, untraceable, not registered, and called him. I was planning on meeting him somewhere discreet and offering him money to keep his mouth shut and disappear, but when I phoned him he told me not to waste my time that he was not for sale. That he wanted to make an example of me for exploiting that topic and making a profit out of a lie, out of something that had hurt so many people.

“Then I told him I’d taken out an injunction against him and he wouldn’t be able to follow me around or turn up at my apartment ever again. I knew that would provoke him and he’d turn up. And it would be perfect for me, as he’d be invading my home and I could allege self-defence. I sent the receptionist out with an excuse and waited, in hiding. When he turned up I did give him a chance to take some money and leave but he refused. He turned around and said he would talk to the press and I…”

Percy looked aghast. Steve, Phil and Ryan had stood up too and were looking at each other, lost for words.

“They must have a recording of the phone call… Or at least a record of it,” Steve said. “And they must have tracked it back to you. It’s evidence of murder. It was planned.”

“He didn’t die there and then! Can’t we just go after the hospital, claim they mishandled it?” Fenton asked.

Phil shook his head. “The chain of causation is clear.”

“But he had been harassing me!”

“Yes, but that is not the motivation for it. Self-defence won’t cut it if they have the call,” Ryan said.

“I’ll have the mental health assessment!” Fenton shouted.

Mary shook her head. “You’re free to ask for another opinion, but…”

Percy shrugged. “No point. Lance knows Fenton, and he was there when we discussed his mental health. He also knows he refused to have an assessment. Although he cannot testify to that, they’ll have no problem finding experts who’ll say there’s no evidence of any disorder. At least nothing that would get him off on an insanity plea. And I can’t think it would be easy for us to find somebody who’d say the opposite.”

“What shall we do, then?”

“Change the plea to guilty. We can try to claim overwork, stress, the harassment, but it depends on how generous they are feeling. We’ll try to negotiate a plea bargain,” Phil said.

The clerk knocked at the door. “Time to go back.”

Once inside, after the judge had returned to the courtroom, Percy approached the bench. After listening to him, the judge called Stanton. The two lawyers had a few words and the judge adjourned. This time the judge, Stanton, Lance, Wright and Steve met in private. The public waited outside. Ryan asked Mary, “How did you know?”

“I didn’t know for certain. It just struck me as a possibility when I started talking. And Fenton’s reaction just confirmed it.”

“Perhaps you have superpowers,” Phil said.

Mary laughed.

Shortly after, they returned. There was a change of plea and the judge adjourned for sentencing.

“Extraordinary,” Percy said on the way out, shaking Mary’s hand. “I seriously hope you’ll work for us in the future.”

“Thanks very much. I’m very busy in my current job, but I must admit it’s been very interesting.”

“And you can undertake any formation you deem necessary, at our cost.”

“Thanks!”

Phil saw Lance walking towards the door and called out. “Eh, Lance, don’t you remember your friends?”

“Hi, guys! Mary…” he smiled warmly at her.

“Come on, tell us. What did you have?” Ryan asked him, patting his shoulder.

“Now, now, you know I can’t tell. Confidential. See you soon!”

Ryan muttered something about secrets and they all left court. The case made it big in the media: television, radio, newspapers… Of course, there was a book written about it not long after.

Mary did take up some of the training on offer, about writing reports, being an expert witness, and studied the workings of the criminal justice system.

Approximately a year after the trial, Phil called Mary. “I have good news.”

“Yes? Tell me more.”

“Do you remember I told you Wright was looking into expanding? He’s agreed to have me set up a new branch of the firm in the south. I’m not sure if it’s Savannah or Atlanta. I need to go and check in more detail. He’s giving me full independence, so I’m planning on doing plenty of pro-bono, hiring local lawyers and—”

“Being more ethically correct.”

“Correct! The best of both worlds. I’m not leaving the firm, but I don’t have to condone all their practices, or follow them.”

“Sounds perfect.”

“What do you say? Do you fancy a trip to the south?”

“I thought you’d never ask!”

The end (of the beginning)

Just in case you’ve missed the other chapters, here are the links (I’ll create a page with all the links so you can always go back to it at your own leisure).

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

And this is the last week Escaping Psychiatry is available at a special price, so, here it is! 
Rather than give you the description, you can have a look a read and preview it directly from here:

And a few links:

AMAZON (e-book) KOBO NOOK APPLE SCRIBD

PAGE FOUNDRY OYSTER PAPER

Thanks so much for reading and you know… Like, share, comment and of course CLICK!

Categories
Book reviews Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings FREE Rosie's Book Team Review

#Bookreview ‘Going Against Type’ by Sharon Black (@Authorsharonb) and Chapter 7 of Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings #TuesdayBookBlog

Hi all:

Yes, you’re in the right place and I’m still sharing the prequel to my story, but as I had another post booked for Friday (a great new book) I felt I should share this book I read as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team. It’s a completely different read to my own book, but I like to mix it up and I know you do too. And now…

Going Against Type by Sharon Black
Going Against Type by Sharon Black

Going Against Type by Sharon Black. A quirky romance that turns expectations on their heads

I am reviewing this novel as part of Rosie’s Book Review Team and I thank her and the author for providing me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Going Against Type is a romantic comedy that turns many conventions and expectations on their heads. The female protagonist, Charlotte, who goes by Charlie, is a sports journalist who’s always been mad about sport and wanted to be a footballer when she was younger. She still exercises regularly and loves watching and talking about sports more than anything. She’s just out of a traumatic relationship where she sacrificed her sense of self and personality for a man who never appreciated it, and she’s not keen on repeating the same mistake again. Derry, the male protagonist, is also a journalist, but he’s an expert on clothes, fashion, the arts and celebrities in general. They work for rival newspapers and somehow end up writing anonymous features where they take opposing points of views about everything. Their columns and their bickering on the page become popular, but what neither expects is the fact that opposites attract and despite their personal baggage and their different approaches to life they fall for each other, without knowing they are journalistic rivals.

The story is told in the third person, mostly from Charlie’s point of view. She is younger and less confident, still trying to establish herself as a serious sports journalist. Not only her interest in sports, but also her lack of self-awareness, dislike of fashion and shopping, and concentration in her career marks her as different to most female protagonist of what has been called chick-lit. She’s insecure, and her relationship with her friends is strong, but she’s also family-oriented, focused on her work and refuses to drop everything when a handsome man just happens to turn up. Derry is also not your usual eye-candy. Although in appearance he is a Don Juan who goes out with as many models and flashy women as he can, we later discover he’s also had bad experiences, and he’s mostly straight in his dealings with Charlie (apart from keeping from her his writing identity).  Despite his reputation, if anything Derry seems a bit too good to be true (and reminded me of some comments about men in romantic novels written by women being a female fantasy rather than real men. Although that’s part of the appeal).

Not being a big sports fan in general, I was more interested in Derry’s line of work than in Charlie’s (apart from fashion, that is not my thing either), and I empathised with her doubts as to what they had in common. On the surface at least, it seems a case of opposites attract, although we do realise later in the novel that they share similar emotional experiences. Perhaps a more detailed account of their dates and time spent with each other would give the readers a better sense of their relationship and where the attraction between the two comes from. They are both likeable characters, the content of their columns —that is shared in the novel— is funny and witty, and some of their exchanges (on paper more than live) remind one of the good old classic comedies, like Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy’s films (although to my mind not quite as sharp). They do go to watch one of their movies at some point in the novel, that I thought it was a nice touch.

If you want a very light romantic read, set in gorgeous Dublin, with a background in the world of journalism, quick-witted and fun, with no erotica or daring sex scenes, I recommend you this novel. It’s perfect to pick up anybody’s spirit.

Here I leave you a preview if you want to have a look:

And more links:

http://amzn.to/1SLrdnI

http://amzn.to/1SLrgQk
Just in case you haven’t heard I published the prequel and it’s FREE, hopefully in most places by now . (If not, please report to Amazon adding the link to one of the other sites, as they need to be informed of links in each place it seems)

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés
Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret

How far would a writer go for a killer story? This is the question psychiatrist Mary Miller must answer to solve the first mystery/thriller of her career. You can get to know the main characters of this psychological thriller series for FREE and test your own acumen and intuition in this novella about the price of ambition.

Dr Mary Miller is a young psychiatrist suffering a crisis of vocation. Her friend Phil, a criminalist lawyer working in New York, invites her to visit him and consult on the case of a writer accused of a serious assault. His victim had been harassing him and accusing him of stealing his story, which he’d transformed into a best-selling book. The author denies the allegation and claims it was self-defence. When the victim dies, things get complicated. The threshold between truth and fiction becomes blurred and secrets and lies unfold.

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings is the prequel to Escaping Psychiatry a volume collecting three stories where Mary and her psychiatric expertise are called to help in a variety of cases, from religious and race affairs, to the murder of a policeman, and in the last case she gets closer than ever to a serial killer.

If you enjoy this novella, don’t forget to check Mary’s further adventures. And there are more to come.
Here you can check a preview live:

AMAZON (e-book)    KOBO NOOK APPLE    SCRIBD

PAGE FOUNDRY
But as I promised you to publish the whole of the story in my blog, here is Chapter 7. But don’t forget to download the story, to tell people about it, and if you like it, to review it too if you can. Ah, and next week, THE LAST CHAPTER!

7.     Inside Knowledge

Mary put the phone down, smiling. She was convinced that Phil would be wondering how she knew Lance had left, but she doubted he’d reach the right conclusion. It was true that he didn’t know the content of the conversation she’d had with him at the Hamptons, but that wasn’t all. Sometimes his set ideas and preconceptions blinded him to what should have been evident. But that was for the best. Mary had decided, in advance, to pretend to be surprised when he gave her the news, but in the end she hadn’t managed. It was lucky he hadn’t reached the right conclusion, as Mary didn’t want to risk Phil getting into any trouble over her own decisions and behaviour.

She knew Lance had left because… Yes, because Lance had phoned her. If Phil had phoned her on Tuesday, or early on Wednesday, it would have been a genuine surprise, but Lance had phoned her on Wednesday evening. She’d just come back from a long day at work and her phone had been ringing as she walked into her apartment. She’d grabbed the phone and said, “Hello!” convinced that she was too late.

“Hello, Mary? Do you remember me?”

The voice was familiar and it took her only a few seconds to remember where from. “La… Lance? But how did you get my number?”

“Where there’s a will there’s a way. It wasn’t very difficult but I don’t want to get anybody into trouble. After our conversation on Saturday, I wanted to catch up with you.”

“OK.”

“You might want to take a seat.”

Mary had obeyed, wondering what he was going to tell her.

“Thinking about it, it might not come as such a big surprise to you after our chat. I left Wright’s firm on Monday morning.”

“Wow.”

“Well, when I left on Sunday—and, by the way, sorry for not saying goodbye, but I needed time to think—I kept churning and churning everything that had happened and everything we had talked about in my head. And by the time I got home I had decided I had to do something. I needed to make amends. I had to atone for my actions and for the consequences of such actions.”

“But it wasn’t your—”

“I know, I know. I remember what you told me. Still, I felt guilty. I knew I couldn’t work with Oliver Fenton. I couldn’t defend him. And as I kept thinking about it, I realised I couldn’t carry on working in Wright’s firm, either. Similar ethics and ambition had already resulted in the death of an innocent and tortured man. It scared me to think how much more damage I could do if I carried on with that kind of work. So I went there on Monday and I just told him I was leaving, and that I cared too much about ethics and morality to carry on working there, or something of the sort. And I walked out. I had expected to feel anxious or scared or worried, but no. I just felt free.”

“What are you going to do now?”

“That’s the best of all! As soon as I walked out of the building it hit me. I am a lawyer. I’d caused terrible harm because I only cared about fame and my own reputation, but the law would help me achieve what it should really be about, Justice. So I went to the District Attorney’s Office and offered my services. My only condition was that I wanted to take up the case against Fenton. If not as principal, at least to be a part of the team. They agreed that I could be in charge, even if unofficially, under supervision.”

“Fantastic!”

“And that’s the other reason why I wanted to talk to you. I wanted to give you the news, but I also wanted to talk to you about the case. If you feel you’re in a position to talk about it. I’ll understand if you think you shouldn’t, as I know your standing in the case was quite unclear.”

“I’m not sure I will be of much help, but Fenton refused to be assessed, and other than my opinion about his mental health, there’s no documentation or a contract or a report that I have put my name to. I guess it would all be considered hearsay and would not stand up in court. Personally, I don’t think of him as a client, and although Percy Wright said he wanted to work with me in the future, nothing was formalised. And there was no exchange of money. Talking about such matters, how can you go from one side to the other? Isn’t there the issue of privileged information, et cetera?”

“Well, officially the DA will be the one running the show. And as Wright had insisted that he had overall responsibility, I am not listed in the documentation. It’s Percy Wright and team. Well, as you might have noticed, that’s the way he works. There might be issues later on, but we are hopeful that Fenton might plead guilty and that would save everybody a lot of time and effort.”

“In exchange for a reduced charge?”

“No… Perhaps a slightly reduced sentence.”

They were both quiet for a few seconds. Eventually Mary had to ask, “You said you wanted to talk to me about the case. As I told you, I’m not sure I’ll be of any help but ask and we’ll see.”

“I noticed from your reply to Mrs Roberts on Saturday, and from our later conversation, that you didn’t seem particularly sympathetic to Fenton’s version of events. From the little I know of you, I had the sense that although you might not like the guy personally, there was something else behind it.”

Mary had been wondering why she felt as she did about Fenton, too. “It’s nothing major, but we did have a brief conversation that at the time gave me pause, and later I’ve been replaying in my head.”

“Go on.”

“When he heard about the assessment, he decided that I wanted to know about his childhood, and he gave me a quick version of his biography. OK, it was brief, so it’s possible he decided to leave it out, but considering he’d talked about it in such detail and it was so central to his book, he never mentioned having worked on a phone helpline.”

“Interesting indeed.”

“Then I asked him if he had any hypothesis as to why Miles Green might have thought he’d based the book on him. I suggested that perhaps the details fitted him and he said that wasn’t his fault. And he added, ‘And I didn’t write about him. Or about…’ I had the feeling he stopped himself from saying something else, something incriminating. But I’m not sure what. Although I wonder—”

“What about?”

“I told Phil, when I finished reading the novel, that it didn’t ring true to me. Not sure why, but it doesn’t.”

Lance was quiet for what seemed like a long time.

“I told you I didn’t have anything specific or that could be used in a court of law,” Mary said.

“Oh, I think you’re wrong on that. Anything else?”

“I wasn’t very convinced about the timing. He was talking as if Green had been harassing him non-stop for a long time, but it hadn’t been that long. Ah, and he mentioned an injunction, but I’m sure nobody had talked about it. At least whilst I was present. The first time Percy and the team interrogated him, he mentioned the police and said they had told him to reveal his source, but nothing else. It’s probably nothing. I’m basing all that on impressions, a brief conversation with him that he was reluctant to engage in, and a couple of other interactions with you all.”

“You’re a gold mine. I’m in your debt.”

“I just hope justice is served.”

“I’ll be in touch. If you don’t mind.”

“Of course not. Good luck!”

Just in case you’ve missed any of the previous chapters, here are the links:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

If you’re intrigued and you haven’t caught up with the three others stories I’ve published featuring Mary and Phil, I just wanted to remind you that Escaping Psychiatry is available for only $0.99 only until the end of February. Rather than give you the description, you can have a look a read and preview it directly from here:

And a few links:

AMAZON (e-book) KOBO NOOK APPLE SCRIBD

PAGE FOUNDRY  PAPER

Thanks so much for reading and you know… Like, share, comment and of course CLICK!

Categories
Book launch Escaping Psychiatry launch FREE Writing samples

#Booklaunch. It’s out! FREE chapter 6 of Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings #Tuesdaybookblog

Hi all:

I finally published the prequel in a few places last week and it’s FREE, hopefully in most places by now . If you find it is not, could you do me a big favour and report that you’ve seen it free elsewhere? That will make them change the price. Thanks!

 

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés
Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret. Cover by Ernesto Valdés

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings by Olga Núñez Miret

How far would a writer go for a killer story? This is the question psychiatrist Mary Miller must answer to solve the first mystery/thriller of her career. You can get to know the main characters of this psychological thriller series for FREE and test your own acumen and intuition in this novella about the price of ambition.

Dr Mary Miller is a young psychiatrist suffering a crisis of vocation. Her friend Phil, a criminalist lawyer working in New York, invites her to visit him and consult on the case of a writer accused of a serious assault. His victim had been harassing him and accusing him of stealing his story, which he’d transformed into a best-selling book. The author denies the allegation and claims it was self-defence. When the victim dies, things get complicated. The threshold between truth and fiction becomes blurred and secrets and lies unfold.

Escaping Psychiatry. Beginnings is the prequel to Escaping Psychiatry a volume collecting three stories where Mary and her psychiatric expertise are called to help in a variety of cases, from religious and race affairs, to the murder of a policeman, and in the last case she gets closer than ever to a serial killer.

If you enjoy this novella, don’t forget to check Mary’s further adventures. And there are more to come.
Here you can check a preview live:

AMAZON (e-book) KOBO NOOK APPLE  SCRIBD

PAGE FOUNDRY
But as I promised you to publish the whole of the story in my blog, here is Chapter 6. But don’t forget to download the story, to tell people about it, and if you like it, to review it too if you can.

6.     The Surprise

Phil had always considered himself a keen observer and used to joke with Mary that he was an amateur psychologist. It was true that such skills as he had were very useful in his line of work. He watched Ryan and Mary’s interaction on the drive back to New York. He’d secretly wondered if those two would hit it off, but worried that asking directly would scare Mary off. She didn’t take interference in those kinds of matters too kindly. Still, once they had dropped Ryan off at his apartment, on the way back to his, Phil asked Mary, “So, what do you think?”

“What do I think about what? Your boss’s place is amazing, although I wouldn’t say I necessarily liked his guests or the highly artificial lifestyle. I doubt anybody there has expressed their true feelings even once in the whole weekend. Well, perhaps one person.”

“Are you talking about…”

“Lance. I think you were too far away, but a woman seating opposite us made some pretty  unkind comment about Miles Green and he became quite angry and gave her a piece of his mind.”

“Oh…I thought you were talking about Ryan.”

Mary smiled. “Ryan always speaks his mind, it seems. Even when it would be to his advantage not to. I like him.” Phil wondered what his expression was like, because Mary looked at him and shook her head from side to side. “No, no, don’t you start trying to pair me up with Ryan. It will never work. I think we might get to be good friends but I can’t imagine it going anywhere.”

Phil sighed and looked at Mary before manoeuvring to park the car. “I could try to fix you up with Lance, but I know he’s in very high demand. It might be difficult.”

“Oh, don’t go around trying to fix me up with anybody, please. And, are you insinuating that Lance is too good for me?”

“No, of course not! You’re far too good for him, but you know that certain girls only go after the flashy individuals.”

Mary looked at Phil sideways but eventually smiled. Phew! He’d got a reprieve.

“Well, I’ll finish packing and I should get going. I’m working tomorrow. Thanks so much for having me. It’s been interesting.”

“I’m sure it will carry on being interesting. And I’m sure Percy will want your help in future cases, if not this one.”

“I think Oliver Fenton is a lost cause, at least in regards to a possible assessment. Not to worry. It’s better that way. I wouldn’t have liked to have to go and give evidence about him. I suspect I would have done more harm than good to his cause. Although perhaps that’s not necessarily bad.”

Phil accompanied Mary to the train station and they said goodbye before Mary got on the train.

“Thanks again, Phil. And keep me posted on any news.”

“I will. Of course I will. And don’t forget to give me a call once you get home. Let me know you’re well.”

“Yes, Mom.”

They kissed and Phil watched as Mary walked down the platform and climbed into a carriage. He went back home wondering why Mary was so stubborn about relationships. It was true that perhaps his personal example hadn’t done much to encourage her to try but…

The next few days at work were incredibly bizarre, and Phil hardly had any time to think about anything that wasn’t work related. On Thursday evening he decided to avoid another after-work drink to unwind and went home. He had to stop to do some food shopping on the way, as he had hardly spent any time at his apartment since Mary left, other than a few hours to sleep. He had a shower, ate something, and as he was going to turn the TV on, decided to phone Mary first. He wanted to know what she’d made of the news. She answered quickly.

“Hi, Mary.”

“Hi, Phil.”

“You’re not on call or anything, are you?”

“No, no, don’t worry. I’d been thinking about you. I was reading an interview with Oliver Fenton yesterday, and yes, I couldn’t help but think about you, Fenton…well, the whole firm.”

“Well, there have been a few changes.”

“Really? Are you at liberty to talk about it?” Mary’s voice sounded mocking.

“You’re in Percy’s confidence, so I guess it’s OK. The truth is it will all be common knowledge soon, although I doubt you’d hear about it yourself.”

“OK, OK. You got me intrigued. Tell me the news.”

“Lance… You’ll never guess. Lance went and—”

“Left the firm.”

Phil was flabbergasted. How on earth had she guessed?

“Did you know? You must have known. You’d never in a million years have been able to guess such a thing. It took all of us by surprise! Did Ryan phone you?”

“Ryan? He doesn’t have my phone number. No, of course not.”

“How did you know, then?”

“You should already know I have a crystal ball. That must have been a shock for everybody.”

Phil was intrigued, but suspected that the more he asked, the less likely he’d be to get a straight answer. It might be better to just carry on with the conversation and perhaps it would slip out. He knew he was clutching at straws but he couldn’t think of anything else to say to convince Mary to spill the beans.

“Yes. Absolutely. And the way he did it, too. He just turned up quite early on Monday, walked into Percy’s office unannounced, leaving the door open, and said that he was quitting. That he’d made a mistake and he cared too much for ethics and morality to carry on playing games. That he didn’t want to side with the rich and powerful any longer. And he walked out. Percy was left there, opening and closing his mouth like a fish. It was a sight!”

“I would love to have seen it. And what’s happened with the case? Who has taken the lead?”

“Percy doesn’t seem prepared to let any more surprises come his way and has decided to take charge personally. His name was already on the papers anyway. Of course, that means that the rest of us are running around him, carrying and fetching like headless chickens. But still…”

“Will he have enough time to prepare?”

“There’s a month left until the official date of the trial, but with the change in the team he was talking about asking for an adjournment. A couple of weeks or so.”

“Yes, that would be handy. And how is everybody else?”

Phil was on the phone to Mary for a few more minutes, but she kept him distracted talking about all kinds of things, never referring back to Lance or her mysterious knowledge. Perhaps next time.

Just in case you’ve missed the previous chapters and prefer to read them in my blog, here are the links:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5
If you’re intrigued and you haven’t caught up with the three others stories I’ve published featuring Mary and Phil, I just wanted to remind you that Escaping Psychiatry is available for only $0.99 until the end of February. Rather than give you the description, you can have a look a read and preview it directly from here:

And a few links:

AMAZON (e-book) KOBO NOOK APPLE   SCRIBD

PAGE FOUNDRY OYSTER  GOOGLE PAPER

It’s also available in audio and you can check it here (not at $0.99).

Thanks so much for reading and you know… Like, share, comment and of course CLICK!

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