Today is my stop on the No Smoke Without Fireblog tour and I am here today with an extract for you all.
Title: No Smoke Without Fire Author: Claire S. Lewis Publisher: Aria Fiction Published: 7th May 2020 Format: ebook Source:: N/A Add It:Amazon. Goodreads. Summary: You can’t run forever…
Celeste has been running from her past for seven years. But now her past has found her.
For seven years, Celeste has battled her guilt and shame over the tragic events that led to her little brother’s death. But when her high-school boyfriend comes back into her life just as she gains a stalker, she wonders if there’s more to the story than she realized.
Celeste is determined to discover the truth – but she’s about to find out that when you play with fire, you get burned…
Eventually she heard the diesel rumble of a taxi approaching. Now fully awake, she sat bolt upright on the sofa, listening to the sound of tyres on wet tarmac as it pulled up outside the house, car doors opening and closing, and Jessi and Anya, their voices loud and shrill, talking to someone on the driveway. As the girls pushed open the communal entrance to the building, Celeste heard someone’s footsteps crossing the road, followed by a motorbike engine starting up and then moving away. Right then, she heard the key turning in the lock and at last her friends stumbled through the door, shrieking at Celeste.
‘Oh my God! Celeste, thank God you’re here. We were worried sick about you. I was going to call the police if you weren’t here.’ Celeste noticed that they were completely drunk and thought cynically that however worried they had been, it hadn’t stopped them enjoying another two hours at Heavana without her.
‘Why did you go off like that without telling us? We sent you about a hundred texts. Look…’ said Anya, holding out Celeste’s mobile phone.
‘Oh! Thank God! Thank you, thank you – you found it!’ It was Celeste’s turn to express relief. ‘I thought it was gone for good. It would have been a nightmare to lose my phone.’
‘It’s not me you should thank,’ said Anya. ‘Some guy brought it back here for you. He was standing by the doorstep and recognised us from the club.’
‘Did he tell you his name? What did he look like?’ asked Celeste suspiciously.
‘He was wearing a motorcycle helmet so I couldn’t see his face properly,’ said Anya. ‘Don’t look so alarmed!’ She laughed. ‘He seemed nice enough.’
Celeste wasn’t reassured. If her ‘white knight’ had found her phone at the club, then why didn’t he just hand it in to the staff or to one of her friends? Most importantly, how did he know where she lived? He must have been through her social media accounts to work that one out. And why did he wait two hours before giving the phone back? She felt violated. Who knows what he had been looking at during all that time? What’s more, Anya said he was wearing a motorcycle helmet and Celeste had heard the engine of his motorbike clearly as he rode away. But the odd thing was, she hadn’t heard him riding up to the house when he arrived… She had been listening out for ages for Anya and Jessi’s return in the taxi and was sure that in her state of hypervigilance she would have heard a motorbike pulling up outside the window. Now, as she threw herself back on the cushions, she had an uncomfortable thought: that rustling outside the window… he must have been hanging about outside for quite some time…
‘Average height, a bit lanky, ordinary – not your usual type I would say.’ Jessi dropped down on the sofa next to Celeste and ripped a slice off the leftover pizza she had retrieved from the oven.
‘So, what is my type exactly?’ asked Celeste, trying to shake off her anxiety.
‘Why don’t you check your Tinder?’ said Jessi a little sheepishly. ‘When you were busy flirting with Brett, well we had a bit of fun matchmaking for you.’
It turned out that while they were all at the bar drinking shots, Anya and Jessi had sneakily got their hands on to Celeste’s mobile and had been through her Tinder account, swiping right and left in a giggling, giddy alcoholic huddle.
About the Author
Claire Simone Lewis studied philosophy, French literature and international relations at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge before starting her career in aviation law with a City law firm and later as an in-house lawyer at Virgin Atlantic Airways. More recently, she turned to writing psychological suspense, taking courses at the Faber Academy. She’s Mine is her first novel. Born in Paris, she’s bilingual and lives in Surrey with her family.