Although I love a prologue I don’t use them for every book. You can read an earlier blog post about why I decide to use them here.
Below is the opening of my brand new release ‘The Fall’. This takes place 10 years before the explosive secrets at Marsh Farm are exposed. Even then, unbeknown to the family, someone was already watching them. ‘The Fall’ is currently 99p across all digital platforms. Find on Amazon, Apple iBook, Google Play, and Kobo.
The darkness is absolute.
A ragged breath.
The wait excruciating.
Light floods the stage.
Two little girls stand shoulder to shoulder, hands anxiously fiddling with their tutus, pink tulle stiff, before their fingers find each other, linking together.
The audience collectively sighs, hearts melting, as the girls edge forward, ballet shoes shuffling, chubby legs clad in cream tights. The hall smells like every other primary school – poster paints and lemon cleaner – but tonight it has been transformed into a theatre. Rows of grey plastic chairs stripe the shiny parquet flooring.
The girls look at each other for reassurance, so similar with their bright blue eyes and blonde, tightly wound buns that they could be mistaken for twins instead of the cousins they are.
They’re the best of friends.
From the speakers, the first strains of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. From the wings the frantic whisper of their teacher.
‘Come on. Everyone’s waiting.’
The lower lip on one of the girls juts out before it begins to tremble, her eyes filling with tears. On the front row, her mother grabs the arm of her sister.
The desire to go and rescue the girls is immense.
‘Shall we go up there and—’
‘Give them a minute,’ her sister says in a low voice. Although she’s concerned about her niece, she knows her own daughter will take care of her. ‘They’ve got each other. They’ll be okay.’
The first girl steps into position, raising one arm in a perfect arc above her head. The other stays by her side, still tightly gripping her cousin’s hand. The first girl squeezes her cousin’s fingers, three times in the way she knows her mum does to her aunt when she is stressed about something.
The second girl wipes her eyes, mimics the move.
They begin to dance, their moves clumsy at first because they never once let go of each other until beaming smiles replace worried frowns.
Then, they break apart, each spinning pirouettes that are only fractionally out of time. Even then you could see they had rhythm, talent. Too young to go on pointe, they run, graceful, circling the perimeter of the stage, arms outstretched as though they are flying, hair escaping their buns.
Their mothers relax. One sister placing her head on the shoulder of the other.
A family united. A family who love each other. Support each other.
A family full of secrets.
As cameras click and bright flashes fill the auditorium, no one could have ever guessed that ten years later one of those girls would be in a coma, fighting for her life. Everyone close to her hiding . . . something.
That the two sisters, so proud of their daughters, would be at war, trying to uncover the truth, conceal the truth.
Protect their children.
The entire family forced to take sides, torn apart.
It was impossible to predict as they sat watching the show.
But in the years to come, they wouldn’t be the only ones watching those girls…
Thanks for reading – here’s the blurb: –
She promised not to tell. They made sure she couldn’t.
At her surprise 40th birthday party, Kate Granger feels like the luckiest woman in the world but just hours later her fifteen-year-old daughter, Caily, is found unconscious underneath a bridge when she should have been at school.
Now, Caily lies comatose in her hospital bed, and the police don’t believe it was an accident. As the investigation progresses, it soon becomes clear that not everyone in the family was where they claimed to be at the time of her fall.
Caily should be safe in hospital but not everyone wants her to wake up. Someone is desperate to protect the truth and it isn’t just Caily’s life that is in danger.
Because some secrets are worth killing for…