28 October 2015
Blog Tour: Extract from A Christmas Cracker by Trisha Ashley
Available to buy now.
This extract is from near the beginning of the book, so enjoy!
"I was on tenterhooks, wondering how Pye was and hoping for good news, but Emma sounded troubled when we spoke again.
‘Jeremy wasn’t pleased to see me at all, and didn’t even invite me and Marco into the house. And I’m afraid Pye wasn’t there, Tabby – Jeremy said that he couldn’t cope with the constant yowling after you’d gone, so he’d found him a good home, but he wouldn’t tell me where, or who with.’
Cold dread seized my heart, for not only did I adore Pye, but he was the last living link to my mother, who had also loved him.
‘You don’t think he’s just saying that and he’s had him put to sleep?’
‘No, I’m sure he hasn’t,’ she reassured me. ‘When I told him he shouldn’t have rehomed Pye without your permission, he said you’d abandoned him by committing a crime, so it was your own fault, but I was to assure you the cat was perfectly all right.’
‘I hope so . . . and thank you for trying to find where he was,’ I said, but inwardly I was thinking of Pye – my awkward, demanding, adorable Pye – out there somewhere living with strangers . . . Was he happy and safe? A slow tear slid coldly down my face.
‘The other thing is, Tabby, that your belongings weren’t in the flat any more, but in boxes piled at the back of the garage. Jeremy said since obviously you and he didn’t have any kind of future together and your rent had run out, he was going to let the flat again. I can’t believe how mean and horrible he’s turned out to be!’
I didn’t feel that surprised after our final argument . . . and anyway, it paled into insignificance compared with his arbitrary rehoming of Pye.
‘He let me go and rummage through the boxes and I found most of the things you wanted. He says he’d be grateful if you’d have them removed at the first opportunity,’ she added.
‘He’ll have to wait then, because I can’t do anything till I get out – and even then I’ll have nowhere to live, no job and a criminal record.’
‘Jeremy’s such a pompous, self-satisfied prig, though I couldn’t say so when you were in love with him. And I should know, because I married one myself,’ she said wearily.
‘Is Des being just as difficult?’ I asked sympathetically.
‘He gets worse every time he gets back from a contract and wants every second of my time accounted for. And the least thing that isn’t quite the way he likes it, or the way his mother used to do it, and he flies right off the handle. Even when Marco was a toddler, he didn’t have tantrums like that!’
‘He isn’t violent, is he?’
‘No, it’s all verbal bullying. I’d be straight out of there if he tried anything else. And I know I should stand up to him more, but I don’t want Marco to hear us arguing all the time. I could do with your sharp tongue to cut him down to size occasionally.’
‘My sarcastic tongue frequently gets me into trouble,’ I said ruefully. ‘I don’t think one or two of my smart answers to stupid questions went down well in court.’
Emma was still following her own thoughts. ‘Sometimes he’s really sweet, just like he was when we were first going out. It’s since he started working away on longer contracts that he’s really changed.’ She sighed. ‘It seems to me we’re both in prison, in a way.’"
Thanks so much to Trisha and Avon for letting me host this extract!