Today, I’m super pleased to be on the next stop on the blog tour for Come A Little Closer by Rachel Abbott. For something a little different, I have agreed to take part in the author’s writing challenge, which I am both excited and a little scared about!
So the challenge:
Rachel Abbott has written a killer opening paragraph and all I had to do was finish off the story in no more than 800 words. One other thing – I had to make sure I included four key items which are; a bath, a Facebook post, a single lightbulb and a glass of sweet sherry.
First up the blurb for Come A Little Closer:
They will be coming soon. They come every night.
Snow is falling softly as a young woman takes her last breath.
Fifteen miles away, two women sit silently in a dark kitchen. They don’t speak, because there is nothing left to be said.
Another woman boards a plane to escape the man who is trying to steal her life. But she will have to return, sooner or later.
These strangers have one thing in common. They each made one bad choice – and now they have no choices left. Soon they won’t be strangers, they’ll be family …
When DCI Tom Douglas is called to the cold, lonely scene of a suspicious death, he is baffled. Who is she? Where did she come from? How did she get there? How many more must die? Who is controlling them, and how can they be stopped?
Now for the challenge:
Gemma had been afraid of the dark for as long as she could remember. As a child, she had blamed the cold, ancient house they had lived in – its endless corridors had too many closed doors for people to hide behind, too many secrets concealed in the shadows. But now there was no excuse. Her flat was modern, open, with huge windows.
It made no difference, though. Each night of the long winter months as she stood outside the block, she imagined all the doors she would have to pass before she reached her own, wondering if the lights in the hallway would be working, or whether they would flicker and go out, leaving her blind in the inky black void. Alone with her fear.
Perhaps she had always known that this day would come. She took a deep breath and stepped into the silent entrance, her heels tapping out a warning that she was coming on the polished concrete floor of the long corridor.
As Gemma walked towards her flat, a single bulb flickered in the hallway before extinguishing itself. She was alone in the darkness. She felt like it was suffocating her. Closing in on all sides. It felt as if someone was watching her, waiting to get her. Gemma could hear her breath coming out in short gasps. She needed a hot bubble bath, that would calm her down. She could picture her large bath with its golden feet and shiny taps. If only she could reach her flat. It was only a few steps away. Wasn’t it? She held her hands out so she could touch the walls on each side of her, and let her hands guide her to her front door.
After escaping into the confines of her flat, Gemma opened the kitchen cupboard and poured herself a glass of sweet sherry. She needed to get a grip on herself. As she took a sip her mobile phone vibrated in her pocket. She pulled it out and she saw it was a Facebook post notification. Someone had probably commented on her latest rant about socialism. That could wait, surely? But something inside of couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching her. She needed to know what it was, because only then could she stop the panic she felt.
Gemma unlocked her phone, opened her Facebook and clicked on the post. The words ‘I’m coming. Closer and closer’ had settled itself on her wall, along with an emoji of an eye. What the hell? She looked at the person who had posted it, she hadn’t taken it in before. She gasped. The post was from Daniel May-Banks, her ex-boyfriend and boss. Gemma dropped the glass in her hands; the brown liquid seeped across the floor.
But that was impossible. He was dead. She should know. She had held the pillow over his face until his legs had stopped twitching. Someone knew her secret.
About the Author:
Rachel Abbott, born and raised in Manchester, founded her own interactive media company in the 1980s, before selling it and retiring in 2005. She then moved to Italy where she worked on the renovation of a 15th century Italian monastery, and it was here that, one day, she found herself snowed in and decided to begin writing for pleasure. This became her debut novel Only The Innocent, which she went on to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing, topping their chart for 4 weeks.
A true self-publishing pioneer, Come a Little Closer is Abbott’s seventh novel. All of her previous thrillers have hit no.1 in the Kindle charts. She splits her time between Alderney in the Channel Islands and Italy.
Big thanks to Maura Wilding and Rachel Abbott for allowing me to be a part of this tour.
As always don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this fabulous blog tour!