Sunday 13 September 2020

Blog Tour: Extract From Francesca by Gillian Godden @GGodden @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Today is my stop on the tour for Francesca by Gillian Godden. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

Single mother Francesca is struggling to get by when an act of desperation leads to her owing a debt to notorious gangland boss, Tony Lambrianu. Tony has his own troubles – a change of image from playboy to respectable married man is needed to further his criminal career. He has women falling at his feet, but none he wants to make his wife. As Francesca is drawn deeper into the dark underworld dealings of Tony and his associates, she has to make alliances of her own to survive. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her small son. This is a roller coaster ride of high stakes, dirty tricks, loyalty and love. Strap in – it’s a hell of a trip! Please note: this is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Are you ready to read that extract?

Candy and the others pulled me to their side of the bar and frogmarched me to the little changing room. They opened their ‘work bags’ full of costumes. One by one, out came glamorous exotic garments they thought would suit me. Just the thought of going through with this made me squirm, but I did as I was told. (Old habits die hard!)

I was wearing stockings and suspenders. All of the shoes were too high and too big, so they stuffed the fronts with toilet paper! Then Raquel, a petite blonde stripper, handed me a white PVC nurse’s outfit. I felt ridiculous. I looked like I was going to a fancy-dress party—or something?

‘Right. Next some lipstick. Let’s put some make-up on that face of yours. Here, take this and go and collect some money.’ They were fully in charge of the situation.

‘I can’t. I feel silly,’ I said,’ and they won’t give me any money.’

They could see my dwindling confidence and knew I was going to back out and run for it, back to the safe haven behind the bar.

Raquel took my arm and opened the changing room door to the pub. I still wasn’t sure if they were using me as an object of ridicule. She walked me towards the customers and said, ‘Come on, guys, fresh meat. And no auditions for free.’ She pushed the glass towards them.

Fresh meat! That was how she described me? I lowered my eyes to the floor and was expecting rejection, which would end this drama. To my surprise, the guys started putting money in the glass. She walked with me to each one and joked and bantered with them, encouraging them to put more money in.

‘Right, Fran. We’re done. The DJ has picked out some music for you. The agents are at the bar. All you have to do is the same as you have seen us do a million times. Dance slowly, and most of all, take that worried look off your face and smile.’

It was a weak smile as I stumbled in those high court shoes stuffed with toilet roll. But after all the effort everyone had put in, including the men and their money, I didn’t want to let them down.

About the Author

My name is Gillian Godden an Indie author and a full time NHS Key worker at a local inner city medical centre in East Hull, East Yorkshire, England. My patients come from all sectors of society and no two days are ever the same. My duty of care is to my patients and during the recent pandemic a lot of frightened and lonely people have relied upon us at the medical centre to offer guidance and support. This year is the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and we do everything we can to support out patients when they need us.

When I come home I like to wind down and writing is my escape from the mental stresses of my day. My job is not a 9 to 5 job and I work to support my patients when they need me so my days can be long.
The medical team at the surgery work together to support all our patients during their time of worry and need.
On a more personal note , I grew up in a large family and am the youngest of 7 siblings. Over the years we have lost touch as life moves on. I lived in London for over 30 years and during this time I worked in various London stripper pubs and venues. I have a grown up son who now lives and works in London as a hematology lab technician. He has been working on the Covid 19 testing and this has been a worrying time for us as a family.

Once he left for University 5 years ago I had more time on my hands I was encouraged to write a short story by a local library book competition. First prize was a P&O cruise and 2nd prize was £50, I lost to a pigeon fancier and an addicted crocheter.

My NHS colleagues supported my writing and encouraged me to continue to write, however being a little green and naive I went with a Vanity publisher, much to my cost. This experience did give me a platform to showcase my first book Francesca on Amazon and in the online book clubs. I was totally over whelmed by the response and people messaged me via social media wanting to know more about the characters and how Tony Lambrianu grew up and became so successful in the London Gangland crime world.

To answer their questions I went backwards in time and wrote Dangerous games and Nasty business. These also were successfully received by my now increasing readership, so in order to complete the series I wrote Dirty Dealings.
My readers are still interested in the characters throughout my books and asked for more information on the lives of Julie and Ralph Gold, so as I do everything I can to support my patients in my NHS job I wanted to do the same for my readers, so I am now writing Gold, the story of Julie and Ralph. Although this is a standalone book readers who have read all my other books will soon be able to find out more about Julie and Ralphs life and how they met.

Thanks so much to Gillian for stopping by the blog today!

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