Bright sunshine flooded through the tall windows, touching each surface with its dazzling light. Every corner of the room was bathed in a soft yellow glow, and its elegant proportions were displayed to their best advantage. It was a disaster. The one thing she hadn’t allowed for was a sunny day.


Maximum impact—that’s what she was striving for. The clothes, the hair, the jewellery; her attention to detail had been impeccable, and any false note would influence his perception of her credibility. But instead of completing the illusion by creating subtle lighting and atmospheric shadows, the room was more akin to a floodlit stage. It was the end of October in London. It was supposed to be raining...

Excerpt from Stranger Child

Emma glanced out at the dismal day. The black clouds heavy with rain were creating  such gloom that the kitchen lights were a necessity even this early in the afternoon.


For a moment, she was in a trance, staring at nothing because in her head she  could see summer days when the garden was finished, the beds bursting with newly  planted flowers. She could almost smell the lavender she would grow in the borders.


She wasn’t sure of the moment that it happened. It wasn’t an instant in time, it  was more of a gradual awareness, but as she stared blindly at the black window,  dreaming of the happy months ahead, something moved at the edge of her  peripheral vision. Her eyes refocused from the garden to the surface of the glass, the bright lights of the kitchen against the dark sky beyond creating a perfect mirror.


Every nerve ending in her body prickled, and she gasped as her brain finally  acknowledged what she was looking at.


It was a pair of eyes. A pair of eyes that were behind her, watching.

Close behind her. In her kitchen.

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