Title: Blood Loss
Author: Kerena Swan
Publisher: Hobeck Books
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to take part in Blood Loss Blog Tour!
The Excerpt …
This extract is from the free novella Here She Lies available on my website www.kerenaswan.com
It sets the scene for Blood Loss, a novelI was inspired to write after reading a news article about people undertaking DNA tests with shocking results. This is book one in a series featuring DI Paton., After receiving numerous requests from readers of an earlier novel, Who’s There? I have reincarnated Arnold into Paton’s son Tommy, a lad with Down’s syndrome.
The Holiday Makers
The Range Rover wheel hit the pothole with a thud and the vehicle lurched sideways. Alex groaned. He felt sick and this journey was taking forever. He sat back and closed his eyes but it didn’t help. He opened them again and watched the scenery flash past. Trees, trees, mountains, a loch in the distance and more boring trees. Give him a busy street any day. At least there might be something entertaining to see. Their car emerged from the forest and began to climb a hill.
‘Ooh, look.’ Mum pointed to her left and his sister, Saffie, leaned across his lap, catching her elbow painfully in his groin.
‘You stupid bint! Look out of your own sodding window,’ he yelled. ‘It’s only another bloody waterfall.’ She was so annoying. How was he going to cope with just her and his parents for company for a week?
‘Alex. Watch your language.’ Dad glared at Alex over his shoulder then turned his attention back to the uneven road.
A smirk played on Saffie’s lips as she settled back into her seat and Alex clenched his fists. She loved getting him into trouble with their father.
‘Come on kids. This is meant to be a holiday. Let’s not spoil it.’
Kids? He wasn’t a kid. He was sixteen, for Christ’s sake.
‘How far now? I need the toilet,’ Alex said. Anything to break the monotony. He couldn’t believe his parents were dragging him to the middle of nowhere for a stupid family bonding trip. No WiFi, no television and – he glanced at his phone again – not even a phone signal. He could feel frustration building in his chest. What was wrong with screens anyway? A whole week with no Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook and they’d banned him from bringing his X-Box or laptop. All they’d got with them was a box of soppy board games from the attic. Bored games, more like.
‘We’ll be there in ten minutes. You’ll have to wait.’ Dad said.
‘Shotgun I get the biggest bedroom,’ Saffie said with her chin in the air.
‘I’m the oldest so shotgun doesn’t count.’ He’d make sure he got in first.
The car turned right onto a steep dirt track. Patches of snow lay in the hedgerows and the sky was a funny colour. What if they got snowed in? Nightmare. Alex shuddered then craned to look past his mum as the building came into view. It was like something out of a kids’ fairy story. Any minute now bloody red riding hood would appear around the corner. Logs were arranged in neat rows, one on top of the other with the ends sticking out on the corners. The windows were framed in the same colour wood and the porch was strung with those silly flag things he’d seen at the school fete. He glanced about at the landscape. Nothing but grass, trees and a view of the stupid loch. No basketball net, no goal posts. Nothing. He couldn’t even kick a ball around because the lawn was sloped.
Alex had his hand on the door handle as the car slowed. It had barely stopped when he jumped out and rushed to the front door. He was going to stake his claim on the biggest bedroom, but he hesitated as he realised the front door was ajar. Was someone in there? Even in a remote place like this surely they’d at least close the door even if they didn’t lock it. It would be bloody freezing inside now. He gave it a shove and stepped over the threshold as his family climbed out of the car behind him, his sister’s footsteps on the gravel propelling him on.
He glanced around the L-shaped room, taking in the weird wooden walls, plush sofas and neat kitchen area, and ran across to what must be the bedroom doorways. A double – that would be the main bedroom for his parents. A single – that would be his sister’s room.
Saffie had hesitated at the door to the cabin. ‘Eeuw, it smells weird in here,’ she said, then bolted after him.
Alex pushed the door open to the third bedroom and froze. Saffie crashed into his back and grunted then tried to peer around him. He turned abruptly and shoved her, sending her careering backwards until she tripped over the rug and landed heavily on her bottom.
‘Muuuum!’ she wailed.
Alex grabbed the handle and slammed the door shut then looked wildly around the room with his hand clamped over his mouth. The sink. Where was the sink? He stumbled into the kitchen area as his parents walked in laden with boxes of food.
‘What’s going on?’ Dad demanded. ‘What have you done to your sister?’
Dad dumped his box on the coffee table and rushed towards Saffie who was howling with her mouth wide open. Alex leaned over the sink and vomited his lunch onto the pristine white porcelain. He straightened, dragged the back of his hand across his mouth then shouted at his parents.
‘Get out! Don’t open that door.’
Dad looked at him, his brow furrowed, and moved towards it. As he reached for the handle Alex swept his sister up off the floor and ran outside, ignoring her protestations. Despite her struggles he opened the car door and threw her onto the back seat before clambering in after her. Her face was red and tear-stained but her crying stopped as she demanded to know what he was doing. He couldn’t keep his hands from shaking as he held her arms gently.
‘We can’t stay, Saffie. Something terrible has happened there.’ He didn’t know what else to say. What he’d seen was too horrific to put into words. He’d seen stuff like that on television but in real life it was ten times worse. He was grateful when her attention was diverted to their Dad running from the cabin, Mum’s elbow held in a tight grip as he dragged her to the car.
‘But what about the food?’ she asked.
‘Just get in,’ he shouted. ‘We need to find a police station.’
About the Book
With one eye on the rear view mirror and the other on the road ahead, Sarah is desperate to get as far away from the remote Scottish cabin as she can without attracting attention. But being inconspicuous isn’t easy with a black eye and clothes soaked in blood…
… and now the fuel tank is empty.
When a body is discovered in a remote cabin in Scotland, DI Paton feels a pang of guilt as he wonders if this is the career break he has been waiting for. But the victim is unidentifiable and the killer has left few clues.
With the death of her father and her mother’s failing health, Jenna accepts her future plans must change but nothing can prepare her for the trauma yet to come.
Fleeing south to rebuild her life Sarah uncovers long-hidden family secrets. Determined to get back what she believes is rightfully hers, Sarah thinks her future looks brighter. But Paton is still pursuing her…
… and he’s getting closer.
Kerena Swan’s brilliant novel explores how honest mistakes and human frailty can have terrifying and long-reaching consequences. It’s a tale of family ties and loyalty, revenge and redemption that you won’t want to put down.
About the Author
We are thrilled to be introducing DI Dave Paton and his son Tommy, the stars of the first novel in Kerena Swan’s new series, to the world. Before coming to Hobeck, Kerena had published three novels, Dying To See You, Scared to Breathe and Who’s There? and has built a solid fan base around her writing career thus far. She is a juggler extraordinaire: driving forward a successful care business she runs with her husband yet finding time to write. She loves to write, here and there and everywhere when she’s not working. We don’t know how she does it but we are glad that she does! Kerena talks about her writing, her influences and how she came to Hobeck in this video.
Social Media Links
Facebook : @kerenaswan · Author
Don’t forget to check out the other amazing Bloggers who are covering this publication! 🙂
Happy Reading, x