Hello, Book Dragons! Today I would like to welcome you all to my stop on the Blog Tour for Quicksand Of Memory by Michael J. Malone, and I would like to share an extract from the book, with all of you. Thank you very much to Anne from Random ThingsTours for the invitation. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Publisher: Orenda Books
Genre: Crime/ Thriller
Release date: 14 04 2022
Price*: Kindle £4.27 (GBP)/ Paperback £7.09 (GBP)
Kindle $7.49 (USD)/ Paperback $15.95 (USD)
Pages: ~ 300
You can get this book here:
Description of the book: Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships. Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner’s young son, following a devastating tragedy. When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve the stability and happiness they both desperately need. And yet, someone is watching. Someone who has been scarred by past events. Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge…
Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder…
Extract from Quicksand Of Memory by Michael J. Malone
Before working in the shop she’d seen reading as a solitary pastime, but working here had shown her that readers were a community of the best kind of people, and now she couldn’t imagine working in any other kind of place, in spite of her mother’s chagrin.
In guilty moments she’d prayed that the change of personality in her mother following her head injury would result in a less judgemental side emerging. But she couldn’t have been more wrong.
‘What a waste,’ her mother had said that morning when she called in to check on her. ‘Waste of an expensive education. We put you through private school and for what? For you to work in a bookshop? What about that journalism degree, eh?’ If her mother had ever held back her opinions she was now free to say exactly what she felt. All filters removed by what the doctor likened to a storm going off in her brain.
‘Yes, Mum,’ Jenna said while checking the cupboards to make sure there was enough food in the house. ‘And for the millionth time, I didn’t throw it away. I was made redundant. People don’t pay for news so much nowadays, and the bookshop was the only place that would have me.’ There was a hugely capable woman called Martie who came in daily to make sure her mum was clean and dressed and fed, and Jenna was happy to let Martie do her job, but she needed to salve her conscience by coming in every day to check. Which sadly also meant her running the gauntlet of her mother’s insults and accusations.
‘I suppose you’ve taken up with another druggie arsehole. Just don’t be thinking he’s going to get any of my money. It’s all under lock and key, m’dear.’
That was one of the more recent tirades, and no matter how many times Jenna told her she was done with men, her mother kept at it.
While Jenna opened her computer and accessed the ordering system, Luke wandered off to look at the bookshelves. Jenna was always interested in what other people liked to read, so she watched as he scanned the fiction section before landing on the self-help books.
To be fair that was relevant for his job. Maybe that was all he read?
The book he’d asked about popped up on her screen. ‘It’s in stock at the warehouse,’ she called over to him. ‘Would be here in a couple of days. Are you happy for me to order it?’
‘Yes, please,’ he replied.
‘Excellent,’ she said. It meant she would get to see him again.
But there was the issue of him being her one-time therapist. She wasn’t going back, so it really was a one-time deal, even though a quiet voice asserted she still needed the help. She pressed the button to order the book, and asked for his name and address in a reverse echo of their first meeting.
‘That’s your book ordered, Mr Forrest,’ she said.
He smiled his thanks and said, ‘See you in a couple of days.’
Disappointed he hadn’t lingered a little while longer, Jenna watched as he walked towards the door.
As he opened it a young man stepped inside and paused.
Not him again, she thought. He’d been hanging around for weeks. Seemed harmless at first, but now he was giving her the creeps. He’d begun by walking past the big shop-front window and stealing glances inside. Then he graduated to standing over at the crime section, casting glances her way before leaving emptyhanded.
It was Mhairi, the shop owner, who first spotted him.
‘I think you’ve got a fan,’ she’d said a few days earlier.
‘Nonsense,’ she replied.
‘Yup.’ Mhairi nudged her, grinning. ‘It’s only on the days you’re working that he does his walk past. He even went so far as coming in the other day. When he realised you were offhe actually ordered a book.’
‘Why would he do that?’
‘So he could come back?’
Jenna shivered. ‘That’s creepy.’
‘Ocht, he’s harmless. Look at him, he’s barely started shaving.’ She heard the young man apologise. Then there was a pause before Luke spoke in a tone it was difficult to analyse. Equal parts pain and pleasure.
‘It can’t be,’ Luke said. ‘God, you’re his spit. Jamie? Wee Jamie? I used to run about with your big brother. Man, you’re his spitting image.’
About the author: Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died, In the Absence of Miracles and A Song of Isolation soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.
Twitter: @michaelJmalone1 / Facebook: @themichaeljmalonepage
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com on the current date. The price might change at the time of your purchase. The links used in this post for book purchases are affiliates.