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Monday's Child - The series

Monday’s Child must hide for protection,
Tuesday’s Child tenders direction
Wednesday’s Child grieves for his soul
Thursday’s Child chases the whole
Friday's Child is a man obsessed
Saturday’s Child might be possessed
And Sunday’s Child on life’s seas is tossed
Awaiting the Lifeboat that rescues the lost.

That's the poem that sums up this series. And it's a lot better than the version I came up with--fortunately the editor in chief at Pelican Book Group, Nicola Martinez, fixed it. Else you'd have had something a whole lot less brilliant as the series poem.

In writing this post, I dug out all my original notes, and wow, things changed. Not just the book order, but characters names and even the stories themselves. Originally Monday was Sara, Tuesday was Liam, Wednesday was Niamh (pronounced NEEVE), Thursday was John (that got taken out of this series and became An Aussie Christmas Angel), Friday was Patrick, Saturday was Aaron and Sunday was Alana who became Kiera who became Hattie. Monday's Child actually had several different titles as it was written. It began life as The Beach and had about ten different POV's in it. That changed a lot. But it was always Sara and Luke. And it's more or less how I wrote it, minus about 8 POV's.
So John's story was removed, Nate's put in it's place, and the story order changed to fit the ones I'd already completed. The poem came last.
Saturday's Child. Yes, I didn't want to write this one. I suggested it, planned it, but when it came to writing it, life just fell apart. Things went wrong left right and centre. I emailed Nicola and Lisa. Begged them to replace it with something else instead. They said no. I wrote something else, but kept going - in the daylight - with Saturday's Child.
Because most of the demonic stuff in the book happened. Either to me or someone I know. And yes, the infamous bed scene did happen. I was there. Likewise with the exorcism bit, and the mirrors. That was our house. Not the one we live in now, the previous one. No, I no longer have that mirror. Still don't like them now.
Anyway.... on with the rest of the blurbs and extracts.


 Blurb:
Monday’s Child must hide for protection...

This was not the assignment Luke Nemec expected when he came to the UK—babysitting a beautiful widow. It wouldn’t be so bad if Sara wasn’t such a hostile witness. Despite her complaints and continued jibes, Luke finds himself falling for her.
When, Sara Barnes is thrown into the witness protection programme, she becomes the “wife” of Lt. Luke Nemec, an American cop on temporary assignment with the British police. Despite Luke’s American bravado, she finds he’s kind and considerate in ways her late husband never was.
But things aren’t always what they seem, and Luke soon realizes he’s fighting a battle of two fronts to keep Sara safe. Loyalties are called into question, and he’s no longer certain who he can trust. Luke is way out of his depth. As the threats against Sara escalate, it’s a race against time to find her husband’s killer before Sara is silenced forever.


Excerpt:

Luke smiled at her and offered his hand.
Sara ignored it, staring aghast at Wilcox, shock resonating through her, and not just at his abrupt tone. Was there something wrong with her hearing? There was no rank of lootenant in the English police force for one thing. For another, he didn’t look like a soldier, and— Wait a minute, did he say marriage? “I’m sorry?”
“Lieutenant Nemec will be with you on a full-time basis. As far as the world is concerned you’ll be his wife. First name terms only.”
Furious, Sara shook her head. Her eyes narrowed and her lips set. “Oh, no. There is absolutely no way, either in this lifetime or the next, that—”
“Sara—”
“Don’t you Sara me. I am not going to live with anyone, Inspector. Especially someone I’ve only just met. And I am definitely not marrying him.” She glanced at Luke, deliberately pronouncing his title the English way. “No offence, Leftenant Nemec.”
Luke slid his hands into his pockets. “None taken, but my name is Luke. If it helps any, I was just told myself.”
Taken aback by his accent, Sara did a double take. “You’re American.”
“And you’re British.” He tilted his head, flashing his teeth in a broad smile.


Blurb:
Tuesday's Child tenders direction...

Deaf from the age of five, Adeline Munroe operates a hospital for injured dolls, but lately her quiet life is disturbed by violent, haunting visions. Perhaps it's just her unspoken fear--a serial killer has struck in Headley Cross. But Adeline soon realizes she's seeing each murder just before they happen and reluctantly contacts the police.
Detective Sergeant Nate Holmes has enough to deal with between caring for his orphaned niece and his current assignment--the Herbalist killings, so when a woman comes forward who claims to be "seeing" the crimes in dreams, he isn't hopeful she'll be of any help. But he knows her from church, and she inexplicably describes how each crime is committed. Is God answering his prayers through Adeline?
Adeline assists the police, yet more women die and she becomes the prime target of the killer. Will Nate crack the case before the Herbalist can complete his agenda--or will the next murder Adeline foresees be her own?

Excerpt:
All of Nate’s senses kicked into action, his copper’s antennae twitching.
She knew something, or at least thought she did.
“What is it?”
Adeline sucked her lower lip into her mouth, worrying it with her teeth. “This is going to sound stupid, but…” She took a deep breath. “I saw them. All of them. They all had their hair tied back or up.” She picked up the top clipping. “She was playing on a swing and wearing a red jacket. This one was walking the dog and wearing blue.”
Nate jolted as if he’d been struck by lightning. Those details hadn’t been released. Was he wrong about her? Was she somehow involved with the murders? “Wait a minute. How did you know any of this?”
Adeline carried on speaking as she shifted through the papers. “She was on her way to dance class in pink. This one was jogging in a gray toweling track suit and the first one…”
Nate put a hand on her arm, cutting her off.
She jerked her head upwards in surprise.
He held her gaze. “How do you know all this?”
“I told you, I saw them.”




 Blurb:
Wednesday's Child grieves for his soul...

Liam Page, school teacher and ex-missionary, is a man with a secret agenda. Revenge. But when he says it with flowers, toppling a vase of carnations and drenching  a woman who just happens to be the school's landscape architect, he may have found a light in his darkness.
After an abusive relationship, Jacqui Dorne prefers work to men. It's safer. But Liam Page with his boyish charm and wounded soul, manages to change her preferences. Has God led her to Liam to help him heal?
When their growing relationship is marred by the reappearance of Jacqui's ex-boyfriend, they find themselves suddenly embroiled in a series of dangerous events --leading them to Africa and leaving them fighting for both love and life.

extract
“Hey, watch where you’re going.”
“Sorry.” Liam turned around, hitting the table again. He watched in horror as the table shifted, like a view in slow motion. The vase of flowers tipped over, sending water all over the laptop and papers.
“Oh no! That’s all I need.” The female voice, as soft and silky as he imagined, was tinged with dismay and anger.
His face flaming, Liam snatched a pile of napkins from her side. “I’m so sorry. Let me help.”
“I think you’ve done enough.” Irritation flashed in her hazel eyes as she glared at him. “Just leave it. I’ll do it.” She picked up the flowers and shoved them back into the vase.
Liam’s cheeks burned, matching the churning in his stomach as it rebelled against his lunch. Dumping the napkins on the table, he pulled a pen from his jacket and scrawled his number on one of them. “I’ll pay for any repairs your computer needs. My name’s Liam Page. This is my mobile number. The phone’s on all the time. If you get voice mail, just leave a message, Miss...?”
The woman flinched as she took it, her cool fingers sending waves of heat through him as they brushed his hand. “Miss Dorne. No doubt I’ll be in touch”--she glanced down--“Mr. Page.”



Blurb:
Thursday's Child chases the whole...

Broken...with bits missing. That's how Niamh, senior prosecutor for the CPS, feels when she wakes in hospital severely injured with no knowledge what happened--for the past ten years. A tall man in a firefighters uniform claims he's her husband. While he's everything she's ever dreamed of in a man and more, she doesn't know him. And if he was so important why can't she remember? Was there something so terrible, so painful in her marriage, her mind has suppressed it?  
First on the scene at a horrific accident, Jared Harkin is devastated to find his wife one of the injured. He's already lost a child, can he live through this? Niamh survives the crash, but awakens with ten years missing and no memories of their life together. Determined to help her remember the past and their love, he sets about wooing her all over again. But are some things best forgotten?
As Niamh struggles to remember, the investigation into the accident reveals foul play. Did her recent caseload have anything to do with the attempt on her life? Or was it someone closer to her?  As bit and pieces of memory return, the attacker strikes again. Can she piece together the whole of her past before it's too late?

extract 1

Jared shouldered the gear. “Don’t mention it.” He headed towards the smashed vehicles, the oil and petrol from shattered engines and tanks, mixing with the rain water. Other firefighters started running out hose having considered the high risk of fire. He could hear them talking and equipment buzzing, the normal sounds of a shout mixing with what he knew he had to do.
He got closer to the red car. The woman lay slumped over the steering wheel, black hair stained red with blood. He looked at Steve. “Did you bring the trauma care kit?”
“No.”
“Go get it. That way we can start treating her until the paramedics arrive.”
Steve nodded and ran back to the fire engine. Jared smiled and then moved closer to the car. Though the teeming rain he could make out the start of the number plate in the tangled wreckage. ROO. The rest of the plate was torn off.
It’s the same as Niamh’s. Don’t be silly. There are probably a thousand red cars that start ROO, if not more than that.
He got closer and suddenly the Station Manager, Brad Peters was there, blocking his path. “Jared…”
Jared looked at him. The look on the Guv’s face said it all. Oh, God, no, please… “Guv?”
“I’m sorry. It’s Niamh.”
Nausea and sheer panic filled him. Dropping the equipment to the ground, Jared moved as if in fire or lime. Everything slowed down, voices and sounds echoing. He shook off the arm that held him, his whole being determined to get to her, his eyes fixed on the wreck. Somewhere in that tortured and twisted hunk of metal was his wife.
“N-n-n-i-i-a-a-m-m-h-h-h.”

extract 2

The firefighter next to her took a sharp breath. “Hon?”
She looked sideways at him. “Please don’t call me that. I have no idea who you are.”
Shock resonated in his eyes and his jaw dropped. “I’m sorry? You don’t you know who I am?”
“No, I don’t.” She looked back at the doctor. “I don’t remember him at all. The only thing I do know, is when I woke, he was holding my hand.”
Dr. Anders looked at her, then across at the firefighter, concern showing in his steel grey eyes. “Would you mind waiting outside while I examine your wife?”
Niamh swallowed and choked. “Wife?” She didn’t know who this guy was. What other surprises waited for her? Maybe she was still asleep and in some kind of weird dream.
“Yes, Niamh. You’re my wife. I’m Jared. We’ve been married for eight years.” He tore his anguished eyes from her and looked at the doctor. “Why can’t she remember? I want to stay while you check her over.”
She shook her head. “No. I’d like you to leave. Please.”




Friday’s Child
Blurb:
Friday's Child is a man obsessed...
MI-5 agent Patrick Page is on the trail of a drug smuggler. He doesn't have time to revisit his past when he reconnects with the girl who got away--his girlfriend from college working at a library. He's more than surprised to see sweet Elle singing on stage when he slips into a nightclub to gain intel on the club's owner.  Why is she working two jobs? Why is she using an alias?  Is she somehow involved?  And is her involvement with his suspect merely a business relation or is there more to their partnership?
Elle has a secret she doesn't want Patrick to know. His daughter.  She'd turned custody over to her parents, but now she wants to be a mother not just a sister. But her own mother can't seem to let go neither has she forgiven Elle for her past.  So Elle works two jobs and supports them both. Her one light is her music. The career she abandoned, and her boss has promised to make her a star. But now with Patrick back in her life she's questioning her choices. And is he interested in her, or does he have some hidden agenda? Does Patrick have a secret too?

extract:
Patrick turned his attention to the people gyrating on the dance floor. They were all so young, either that or he was showing his age. Enough of the old. You already had this conversation with yourself once today. He sipped his drink, the music reverberating within him. Glancing around, he spied a table to one side. Grabbing a handful of peanuts, he crossed over to it and sat down. Hopefully this Lisa would start singing soon, before the bass did serious damage to his ears.
He caught a glimpse of a woman making her way to the small stage. Her long white dress, split to mid-thigh, glowed in the blue lighting, her features and very feminine curves enhanced by it. Her brown hair hung almost to her waist. She looked older than the teens bopping to the latest dance hits on the floor. If he had to guess, he’d say around his age. What is this fascination with age? Sooner I am out of here the better.
The dance music stopped. As the woman sat on the stool near the center of the stage and picked up the guitar, Patrick’s heart stopped. Lisa Bellamy was none other than Eleanor Harrison, his former girlfriend and the dowdy librarian from earlier. Was she really as good as Liam said she was?
In which case, why was she a librarian? Something didn’t add up.
Wow, but she looks cute in that outfit. So much better than the librarian getup… Then he quickly caught himself. He was working and until proved otherwise, he had to assume that no one was above suspicion of wrong doing.
This was the center of the operation.
It was this bar that the drugs were coming in and out of, as well as the money. On the surface, things looked fine. The place turned a tidy profit, and nothing had come to light during the routine police and health and safety checks. All the employee checks as far as he knew were fine.
But the intel he’d received from Scotland pointed to something far deeper. And if Elle worked here, she could be involved.





Blurb:

Saturday's Child might be possessed...

Aaron Field is a farmer. He’s sworn off parties and bonfires, and being more concerned with losing his farm than anything else, he has little time for church. When his field is hired by the church for a Guy Fawkes night bonfire, Aaron is ill prepared for the feisty Welsh woman who steps onto his land and into his heart.
Meaghan Knight is a farmer’s daughter. It’s her job to make sure the church’s bonfire party runs smoothly, and if that means ironing out the kinks in surly Farmer Field then that’s what she’ll do. When she finds out what’s really behind his attitude, she feels ill prepared to face his history, his family, and the danger.
As Aaron and Meaghan join forces, they discover an evil so demonic it threatens not only the farm, but their lives, as well. Meaghan knows God can prevail, but first she has to convince Aaron not to give up.


extract
Aaron glanced across the room at the mirror. For a moment, he was sure he saw four reflections. He blinked hard and looked again. Three people—Jack, Meggie, and him. Just as there should be.
Then there was a fourth. Exactly as Meggie and Nancy had described. Red eyes, narrowed in hatred. Pointed ears, and sharp teeth. The cowl pulled around the face, the figure seemed to be pushing the glass forward, as if it were trying to break through. His insides jarred violently, and Aaron backed away, standing between the mirror and Meggie. “Jack…”
Pastor Jack stood, still pale, but color gradually returning. He handed the phone back to Meggie. “Your brother and the elders of his church are praying for us now.”
The front door opened and slammed shut. Footsteps in the hall seemed to grow closer and the door to the hallway flung open. But there was no physical presence standing there.
“Get out!” A deep voice reverberated through the kitchen, shaking the glass in the dresser and making the lamp shade swing from side to side.
Meggie screamed in terror.
Aaron grabbed her, holding her tightly, his own heart pounding violently as brutal fear gripped him.
Meggie tugged on Aaron’s arm. “We should get out of here,” she cried.
“Stand firm.” Pastor Jack’s voice, deep, resolute and full of authority, filled the room.




Sunday’s Child on life seas is tossed, awaiting the lifeboat that rescues the lost…

Hattie Steele feels like the world is passing her by. Her entire life revolves around the guest house she runs in Headley Cross with her overbearing twin brother. He even attempts to undermine her friendship with a handsome guest. Not that famous ex-footballer, Callum Trant would ever give her a second glance. Hoping to regain control of her life, Hattie takes a well-earned holiday with her aunt on Penry Island.

After retiring from football, Callum Trant divides his time between the family business and volunteering as helm officer on a lifeboat. Danger is nothing new for him. But when he’s called out on a shout and finds the beautiful innkeeper from Headley Cross on a sinking vessel, Callum realizes his heart is in danger.

But could Hattie ever forget his womanizing past and feel the same way? Or will a dangerous rescue end the relationship before its had time to grow?

extract
Cal turned the boat and headed into the heart of the storm, keeping the bow of the boat into the breaking waves. Visibility was down to five feet.
“There’s another flare,” Sam yelled. “But doesn’t look the same direction.”
“Radar’s got something.” Cal squinted at the screen.
“There. Two o’clock, there’s a light.”
Cal aimed the boat at the faint light he could see between the towering waves. As he grew closer he could see the hull of the boat with a figure clinging to it. “Phil, toss the rope to him. If he catches it, bring him in that way. If not rope up and go get him.” He touched the mic button. “Penry base this is Ray of Hope. Found the Petunia Bay. We will need assistance to tow the capsized boat out of shipping lane. One in the water.”
“Roger that, Cal. Will send out the RHIB.”
Cal brought the boat around, bringing it in closer to the wrecked cruiser. He watched the figure on the boat catch the rope. Then he brought the lifeboat right alongside the upturned hull.
Phil and Sam grabbed the man and pulled him into the safety of the lifeboat.
“Is there anyone else with you?” Sam asked.
“Harriet. Where is she? Did you pick her up, too?”
Hattie’s out here? A stab of fear filling him, Cal turned in his seat, hoping he was wrong. The soaked figure was as unmistakable as his clipped posh accent. He wanted to berate the man for being stupid, but now wasn’t the time. “Where did you last see her, Markus?”
“Didn’t you find her yet?”
“We barely found you. Where did you last see her?” Oh, God, keep her safe out here.
“Before we capsized. The boat flipped over so fast. When I came up she was gone.”
Trevor turned the searchlight on the water around them.
“Sam, check Markus over.” Cal yelled, fear twisting his gut.
“I’m fine. Harriet was hurt before she went into the water. She hit her arm on something, and couldn’t use it.”
“You’re being checked over regardless. Trevor, rope up in case you need to go in. If she’s hurt she won’t be able to hold onto the rope.”
“Aye, aye.”
Did he imagine a faint call for help carried on the wind? “Aim that light over to the right.” The search light caught sight of something yellow floating on the waves in the distance. Cal turned the boat around on a dime. Please let it be her.
“There!” Sam yelled.
Cal nodded and accelerated the boat towards the small yellow shape the light picked out. He came in close to the figure and Trevor dived over the side into the maelstrom. Waves crashed over and around them, spray threatening the stability of the boat.






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