Sunday, May 17, 2020

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Along Came a Soldier by Brenda Davies - Book Tour



Along Came A Soldier
When murder stalks St. Merryn, no secrets are safe…
A forbidden romance…


Set in 1820 Cornwall, Charity Perrow lives a sheltered life in the village of St. Merryn. When she meets and falls for Jethro Ennor, they soon learn their families are bitter enemies, and Charity finds herself torn between remaining loyal to her family and giving into her growing desire for a man they hate.
A village with hidden secrets…
A battle-scarred redcoat is lurking In Greenoak Woods. Struggling to keep his grip on sanity, he’s come home to settle the score with those responsible for the heavy burden he’s been carrying all these years.
An innocent man accused…
When a villager is murdered, the suspicion falls on Jethro. Now Charity must risk everything, including being disowned by her family, to prove his innocence and save him from the gallows.
But as Charity hunts for the truth, she begins to uncover secrets over a decade old—secrets that will change everything.


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Excerpt
My book, Along Came A Soldier, is set in 1820 Cornwall. One of my characters, Jethro Ennor is held inside Bodmin lockup before being taken to the assize court where he will stand on trial for murder.


He was locked in an upright coffin-shaped box that was three feet wide and three feet deep. He could only stand or sit on an arse-numbing plank of wood. They called it a holding cell, but it was more like being buried alive, except he couldn’t lie down and rest his aching head. He sat because his trembling legs wouldn’t hold him up. He let his head loll sideways toward one shoulder, and the movement made his brain fracture like glass. Nausea rose to his throat. He shivered, and droplets of sweat dripped from his forehead to his chin. He didn’t bother to wipe them away; moving was too difficult. The pain was more than he could bear.
            Something scuttled over his foot. A rat, no doubt. A woman whimpered, then wailed hysterically. He wished she’d stop; her cries were too loud for his ears. There was also a child sobbing, right next door to his cell. How many were caged up like animals while they waited for their trial? His own fate now lay with the hangman’s noose. All hope crushed, Jethro’s despair swirled around his box like the deep, cold sea until he was drowning in it. He tried to breathe, but the air, damp and thick with mould, clogged his throat. The place reeked of dirt, sweat, and urine, ripe and rancid. He stank like a wet dog. His clothes were ripped and grimy, coated in the iron stench of his own blood. The cramped space suffocated him, there wasn’t enough air. Fear gripped every inch of his body. He didn’t want to die.
The bolt to his cell slide back with a crunch, and a figure stood in the shadowy doorway. ‘Some bread an’ water. Will keep you goin’ until your trial, which won’t be until the late afternoon. You’ve got a long wait in here, so eat, drink.’
            Jethro said nothing. His mouth was too dry and his tongue too thick. Besides, his brain couldn’t form a sentence. The gaoler thrust two bowls toward Jethro’s chest. He tried to reach for them, but pain stabbed at his skull with each movement. The gaoler placed them on the floor beside his manacled feet.
            ‘Do you need to use the privy? I warn you now, the smell’s enough to knock a grown man off his feet.’
            Hell no. Jethro wasn’t moving again unless forced. He remained silent. The child in the next cell wept again. Jethro heard the rattle of its breathing. At his lack of response, the gaoler slammed his cell door shut, and an explosion of light, like stars, filled Jethro’s head. His eyes fluttered closed, and he concentrated on breathing to smother the bile sweeping upward to his throat. He trembled, clammy with sweat. Someone groaned and he realised it was him. His leg irons clinked as he accidentally nudged the bowl of water with his foot. He hadn’t eaten for a long time. His limbs hung limp, and his guts felt hollow. His mouth had lost all moisture, but he left the bowls where they sat.
            He was sure he could see hell, sputtering at the edges of his blurry vision. God, he was only twenty-five. He knew he was trouble, but this? This was worse than any dream he’d ever had, and far worse now that he knew the life he could have had. He heard her voice in his head, soothing and gentle. What was she saying? Hold on. I’ll fight for you, for us.
            Too late, my love. I think I messed up. I’m sorry. He choked back tears and rubbed the scar on his wrist. He’d never shed a single tear before he met Charity, not even close. She’d made him soft.




Author Bio: 
Brenda Davies can trace her Cornish heritage back to the 17th century. She loves to indulge her passion of history and all things Cornish by delving into the past and bringing it alive for the reader to experience, which inspired her to write her debut novel Along Came a Soldier. She enjoys whiskey, chocolate, going to the theatre, and losing herself in a good book. She resides in Bristol, England, where she is currently working on her next novel.

Social Media Links: 
Facebook - @brendajanedaviesauthor  
Twitter - @authorbrenda1



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