Monday, 12 October 2020

Release Day Spotlight and Extract: The Deptford Girls by Patricia A. McBride

The Deptford Girls by Patricia A. McBride

A country at war. Friends in trouble. A fascist traitor. Stepping up can only lead Lily to danger.

Rescuing friends or spotting spies; Private Lily Baker always gets involved.

While London burns she looks out for workmates and girlfriends but also uncovers a web of deception at the Depot where she works.

When the ruthless suspect knows she’s closing in, she must act fast to unmask the traitor and save her friends, herself, and the brave soldiers overseas whose lives are at risk.

The Deptford Girls is the fourth in the Lily Baker wartime series. This heart-wrenching story features courage, friendship, betrayal, compelling characters, and a captivating plot.

If you like vivid stories that take you right into the world of the characters, you’ll love The Deptford Girls. Cuddle up with a cuppa and enjoy this exciting, warm-hearted read.

Amazon UK                 Amazon US 

  1. Marion, Lily and Wendy are invited by their neighbour Vanessa for an evening’s entertainment. They don’t know in advance what it is, but learn it involves a seance, fortune telling and ghost stories.


Right,Vanessa said, ‘let’s get organised. Who wants their fortune told?

There was a moments silence then Timothy spoke, Oh, go on, Ill do it, theres a first time for everything.

Right, anyone else?

Marion raised her hand a couple of inches, Is that a yes?’ Vanessa asked.

Marion nodded, her cheeks pink, Does it have to be private? Can Lily come in with me?

Catherine smiled, Of course,she turned to me, I would ask you to sit to one side and remain completely silent no matter what you see or hear. Is that all right?

Why dont you go first?Timothy asked, ‘I’m in no hurry.

Marion, Catherine and I went into the dining room. The wallpaper and curtains matched, with a muted amber flower design. They looked very old, even Victorian, and worn through in places. Lighter patches on the walls showed where paintings had been. It was plainer than the front room; a lot plainer. A dining table and six ageing chairs were in the middle of the room, and a battered side table and a plant stand with an aspidistra stood in the corners. Catherine noticed me looking around, They move house quite often so they dont like too many belongings. Too much stuff tends to clutter the mind.

There was a black cloth on the table, and on top of that something covered with a bright purple and pink silk scarf.

Come and sit opposite me,she said to Marion, and Lily, why dont you move one of the chairs over to the corner where you wont be in either of our eye lines. We dont want to get distracted, do we?

She lit a thick white candle and an incense stick on the side table behind her chair and turned off the electric light. The smell of the incense and the dim lighting gave the room an immediate atmosphere, both calming and yet somehow unsettling.

I use a crystal ball for fortune telling,she said, indicating the bump under the scarf, but first I like to hold something belonging to the sitter. Do you have something I can use, Marion?’

Marion hesitated, and looked round as if she was thinking better of the whole thing. Then she gave a small shrug, took off a ring, and passed it to Catherine. Catherine held it for a minute or two with her eyes closed, then she returned it.

Thank you, dear, now lets get on.

She removed the scarf, uncovering the crystal ball. It rested on a low wooden stand with carved elephants on each corner. She said a few words, so low I couldnt hear them, then held the ball in her hands. For two or three minutes she looked steadily into it without saying a word. The only sound was the low hum of the story telling from the next room. Then she placed the ball on the little wooden holder and pulled it closer to herself. She waved her hands in front of it two or three times. She hadnt begun speaking yet, and already my mouth was dry and I heard my pulse pounding in my ears. I wondered if Marion was feeling the same.

The mist is clearing,Catherine said, and her voice, although quiet, made me jump,I can tell security is one of your main aims in life,she looked up at Marion, who nodded.

There is movement. Its not clear if this is to do with where you live, work or relationships. But things will not stay the same for you.

Marion was obviously pregnant so that wasnt a surprising thing to say. And most people wanted security. I was beginning to think this was all a hoax - Id read about fortune tellers who said things that applied to everyone.

I was soon to change my mind.

Catherine went quiet again, looking unblinkingly at the ball which seemed to pulse and glow in the dim candle light.

Your baby will be a girl. Small, but a healthy girl. I see movement again.There was another long pause. The mists are swirling again, but you will have a sorrow that will live with you for the rest of your life. And yet,another pause, there will be a surprise solution to a problem, but I cant tell what it is. But you will find other happiness in life, and good things will happen for you in the future. Many consolations.

She continued to look at the ball, but it gradually dimmed and she looked up. ‘I’m afraid the pictures have gone now. I cant control them. Did any of that make sense to you, Dear?she asked Marion.

Marions bottom lip trembled, I understand the sorrow, but not the rest.

Catherine reached across the table and took her hand, Those things are in the future, so you cannot know what they are yet. But that news is good. You have much to look forward to.

We all stood up, but I noticed that Marion looked a bit shaky, I think Ill go home if you dont mind. Thats enough for one evening.

Do you want me to come with you?I asked.

She shook her head, ‘No, I’ll be fine. Ill have an early night. Thank you for the reading, Catherine.

Catherine walked round the table and hugged Marion, Be of good cheer. Todays unhappiness will gradually fade away. I’ll see you to the door.’

The doorbell rang soon after. ‘Thatll be Madam Loretta come to conduct the seance. By the way if you can afford it, well pay her a shilling each.

Patricia lives in Cambridge, England with her husband Rick. She first wrote non-fiction, mainly self-help books, but became inspired to try her hand at fiction. In addition to writing she volunteers for a local museum and Addenbrookes Hospital.