Wednesday, 21 March 2018

WHO TOOK OFFICE WORKER SHELLEY CRAIG? An extract from Vile City by Jennifer Lee Thomson

Vile City tells the story of abducted office worker Shelley Craig and Detective Inspector Duncan Waddell's attempts to find her.
Vile City is published by Caffeine Nights and is available now in paperback and in eBook (across a range of formats). 

~ Read an extract ~

Chapter 1
Stuart was hiding something. Shelley could tell. She was always the one who'd had to wake him because he could always block out the shrill of the alarm clock, but these days he was up before her, grabbing the mail whilst she slept. And, he’d started making breakfast – nothing much, just tea and toast, but that was more than he’d ever made her in their two and a bit years together.
When she'd calmly ask him if anything was wrong, he’d shrug his shoulders, give her a wee smile and say everything was fine. But, she knew he was lying because his face went even paler, making his freckles stand out as if they'd been drawn in by a kid with a coloured pencil. She never pushed it, maybe because deep down she was worried that he’d tell her he’d met someone else.
The No.76 bus was empty when they clambered onboard - one of the benefits of working until 11 at night in a call centre, was that there was no need to scoot past a sea of legs and become a contortionist to get on and off a bus.
Their cold breath filled the air with ghosts as they walked towards Waterstone’s, Shelley pausing to take a peek at the new crime fiction releases showcased in the illuminated windows, whilst Stuart fidgeted with his watch. He was always footering about with something since he’d given up cigarettes and it drove her mad, but at least it didn’t fill his lungs with tar and make the house smell like an overflowing ashtray.
“I need to have a pee,” he announced, as they came to the dimly lit lane off Mitchell Street that reeked of eau de Glasgow: decomposing takeaway, urine and other bodily fluids.
She groaned. “Can't you wait until we get home, Stuart?” She knew she’d pronounced his name “Stew-art” as she always did when she was annoyed with him, but she couldn’t help it. What made men think it was okay to urinate in public?
Stuart looked pained. “Sorry, I can’t. Too much coffee tonight.”
She let him walk on ahead of her and whilst he scooted down the alley, she stood outside the amusement arcade, pretending to look in so she wouldn’t be mistaken as a prostitute. Around here, at this time of night, unaccompanied women were likely to be mistaken for prostitutes. It'd happened to her once when she'd got off the bus alone. Stuart hadn't been working that night.
Five minutes later, she was so cold she couldn't feel her nose and Stuart still wasn’t back.
She turned the corner to look for him, fully expecting to see him ambling back towards her with that jaunty walk that always made her smile. But, he wasn't there.
Where was he?
Anger welled up in her chest. Had he started smoking again? He swore he wouldn't.
There was one way to find out.
She headed down the alley. The sole light was provided from some nearby buildings so visibility was poor.
She’d walked a few steps when she spotted a bundle of rags on the ground. Was someone sleeping there?
She moved closer. Squinting into the dim light, she realised it was Stuart. He was lying motionless on the ground. He must have tripped and knocked himself out after hitting the concrete.
She ran over to him, calling out his name, the squeezing in her chest waning slightly when she knelt down and heard him groan.
She pulled her mobile phone from her bag to call for an ambulance.
She didn’t make it to the third digit. A gloved hand clamped across her mouth and nose, cutting off her airways and the phone fell from her grasp, clattering onto the cobbles. Terror gripped her and she couldn’t breathe.
As she struggled, her assailant pressed his mouth to her ear. He was so close that it occurred to her that if anyone saw them they would think he was her boyfriend whispering sweet nothings in her ear.
“Your man’s been given a strong sedative. He’ll wake up with a sore head and nothing more. But, if you scream, I’ll kick him several times in the head and he’ll never get up again. Do you understand?”
She didn’t recognise the voice, but there was an accent. Not from around here. His voice was cold and emotionless.
She nodded under his hand. Then she did something he didn't expect: she back-heeled him in the groin.
There was a satisfying yelp as he released her.
She ran, arms pumping away like Usain Bolt’s, down towards the cafĂ© at the end of the alley and safety.
She'd almost made it when he grabbed her arm and hauled her back. An electric shock shot from her elbow to her shoulder as she pulled herself free. He was too strong.
She could offer little resistance as he dragged her towards him.
Before she could scream, he punched her fully in the face and she went down with a thud jarring every bone in her body, momentarily stunning her.
As she fought to get up, he punched her in the back and she fell again.
The last thing she saw was the pavement rushing towards her before she blacked out...

Out now at Amazon.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Thanks to everyone who bought Living Cruelty Free I've donated to Network for Animals

Thanks to everyone who bought Living Cruelty Free I've donated to Network for Animals who help neglected and abused animals around the world.

You can read more about this amazing organization here via @network4animals

Give yourself a hand, folks.

So, give yourself a hand, folks. Together WE can help change the world by doing it one little bit at a time.

About the book
Living Cruelty Free Live a More Compassionate life is available in paperback and on Kindle. The book offers tips and advice on how we can be kinder to animals and each other and live an all round kinder life.


Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Cannibal City DI Waddell book 2 coming soon from Jennifer Lee Thomson

Delighted to announce that Caffeine Nights will be publishing CANNIBAL CITY book 2 in the DI WADDELL crime series.

Publication date tbd.

The series started with VILE CITY.

Here's a wee taster -
A killer's stalking male victims on Glasgow's streets. Men are being abducted, kept tied up for weeks then strangled and their livers are being removed.

Detective Inspector Duncan Waddell has enough problems not least of all that his best friend and colleague Stevie who's meant to be comatose is talking to him and only him. Now he faces his most bizarre case yet.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

What happens after abducted Shelley Craig wakes up in Vile City

What happens after Shelley Craig wakes up in Vile City after she's been abducted and her boyfriend left for dead

Here's an extract -

When Shelley came to, her throat was raw. Water. She needed water. With one hand, she groped for the glass she always kept on the bedside table.
Damn, it wasn’t there. Must have moved it.
She pulled herself into a sitting position. When she moved her head it was as though a part had broken off inside. She flopped back down. What had she done last night to get into this state? She hadn’t changed out of her work clothes; she was wearing her work trousers that pinched at her calves because Stuart hadn’t noticed the ‘dry clean only’ label and they’d shrunk in the wash.
Trying to dredge up the last thing she remembered made her head hurt. Her disorientation wasn’t helped by being unable to see properly because her eyes were stuck together by the glue of sleep. She must have forgotten to take her contact lenses out.
Wherever she was, it wasn’t at home. She was lying too low down and the place smelt of unwashed laundry and mould.
Maybe she was sleeping on some pal’s floor after one cocktail too many. That had to be it. Think, damn it, think.
When some light permeated the darkness, the jolt it gave her was a bolt of electricity to her brain.
Stuart. He’d been attacked. Was he okay?
A sob wracked her body as she forced herself to sit up. This wasn’t the time to get hysterical. She could do that later when she was safely at home.
She rubbed her eyes with her fingers, picking away the sleep until she could see clearly. She was on a bare mattress on top of a rusty old bed frame, in a strange room with torn wallpaper and flaking paint on the wall. The bed creaked whenever she moved and she wanted to tell it to shut the hell up. She didn’t want him to hear.
She remembered his voice in her ear, saying he’d kill Stuart unless she cooperated. Had he hurt him? That thought made her sob.
He’d know she was awake and then what would he do – rape her? She didn’t think he’d done it already. Surely, she’d be able to tell, wouldn’t she?
Vile City is available now both in paperback and eBook -