A Paranormal Thriller for those who dare to believe that there is something else out there…
At the age of four, Amy was taken…She survived.
A week later, another little girl was taken…She didn’t.
Angry that a bad man has gotten away with murder, feisty young Amy Fox makes a deal with God. When she dies, if she’s been a good girl, would God let her sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, to get bad people who slip through his fingers?
Her deal and God long forgotten, career girl Amy mysteriously dies. Her lifeless body is found beneath a London underground commuter train.
She awakens in the afterlife to discover an international network of like-minded souls who’ve all made the same deal. A sophisticated MI5-esque justice machine sits in the skies, protecting, righting wrongs, tracking criminals, and working within strict rules of play…all against time.
Each country’s Unit shares intelligence, surveillance, and resources to deactivate dangerous situations. The only evidence they leave behind during their earthly visits is a small white feather sashaying to the ground.
In a chaotic world, powerful adversaries try to close her Unit down. A complex SAS vigilante has been assigned to work as her partner, but with his jealous violent ex-girlfriend on her heels and with her own vendetta to settle, Amy has never worked so hard in her entire earthly life. She has to wonder if making a deal with God was a mistake.
After a lively office party, Amy Fox wakes up in a strange bed. Stretching out, her toes brush the leg of an unknown lying beside her. Is it a client? Please not Velma, her very nice but over-keen receptionist.
Amy tried again to lift her head off the pillow, but it pounded from dehydration. She needed water.
Slinking snakelike from under the duvet, she slid silently to the floor. Naked, on all fours, arse in the air, she crawled around the king-size bed, her knees burning on lush, thick-piled carpet. Praying the leg wouldn’t wake and peer over the bed. This is SO not a good look.
Creeping towards the door, she gathered her belongings: underwear, dress, bag, and shoes.
Strangely, she could see only her clothes strewn across the floor with no sign of the leg owner’s clothing. Weird, unless they were very tidy, but who puts away clothes in the heat of passion? Has there been any passion?
She couldn’t feel any discomfort in her body, any sign of a passionate workout. She put her hand between her legs to check for tell-tale wetness. She was dry. No sex…unless they wore a condom and I didn’t come. How bloody selfish…effing typical.
Sitting on her knees, she peered over the bed, trying to make out the leg owner’s identity, but whoever the stranger was, they lay on their stomach, covered in the duvet’s blue and white striped sea, their head tucked under pillows as if blocking out sound. Was I snoring? Shit, I was snoring, wasn’t I? Urrgh…embarrassing and I haven’t waxed, cut my toenails, or worn matching underwear…bloody typical.
Nervously, she braved getting to her feet and tiptoed the last few steps to her exit. Painstakingly, she quietly eased the door handle and heaved it ajar just enough to creep out. As she pulled the door shut behind her, she heard a loud fart blast unceremoniously from the bed. She giggled. That must be a man…although…vegan Velma does have a penchant for beans.
As she turned away from the door, the apartment’s bright light slapped her in the face, stinging her eyes. She recoiled behind her hand. Urrgh…shit.
The cheery morning sun shone through a wall of balcony windows. Squinting, toppling, and struggling to keep her balance, she held onto furniture and stepped into last night’s clothing, which stank of stale perfume, acrid cigar smoke, and alcohol. Why do I smell of smoke? Does the leg smoke? Yuck, ashtray-breath kisses…I must’ve been drunk.
Her head throbbing, she braved the sun’s glare and looked around the sumptuous open plan room, decked in creams and gold. They were up high, overlooking a glistening London skyline. She ran to the window, peered down, and gratefully recognised the bustling Knightsbridge street below. The sign for Brompton Court Train Station twinkled back at her. Checking her watch, she deduced she had 25 minutes to be sitting at her desk; no time to return home for freshening up or a wardrobe change.
Stilettos in hand and bag over her shoulder, she crept through the room in search of an exit, scanning the sideboard and coffee table, trying to work out who owned the apartment. But nothing, no pictures, no ornaments, no sign of life. The expensive, glamourous, tasteful, and very tidy pad was possibly a rental.
Her coat lay strewn across the floor, obviously dumped in a hurry. She snatched it up to pull it on, jamming her arms into the sleeves. As she tiptoed past a sideboard, she peered down and noticed a piece of paper sticking out from beneath it. She checked the bedroom door and found it still snuggly closed.
Curiosity getting the better of her, she popped her bare big toe onto the paper and dragged it out along the carpet into view.
A beautiful young woman’s fresh face stared up at her with sparkling cheeky eyes, high cheekbones, and soft, pale pink hair curling about her shoulders. Her head tilted to the side, giving the camera a bright trusting smile.
She didn’t recognise the girl. Maybe it’s the leg owner’s girlfriend?…sister?.
No time to delve further, she couldn’t risk having the leg wake at any moment; she slid the image back under the sideboard and made her way to the front door.
Heaving it open with a quick, final glance over her shoulder, she exited and pulled it gently shut behind her.
Relieved to have escaped unnoticed, she snuck across the opulent communal hallway to an awaiting elevator, choosing it over using the large circular stairway. She stepped inside and pressed the ground floor button. The doors closed with a gentle chime. A shiny gold panel indicated she occupied the fifth floor, the arrow pointing down.
With a sigh of relief, she turned and fell back against the doors. Her dishevelled image stared back at her from mirrored walls. Good God, I look rough!
Licking fingers, she rapidly wiped tell-tale mascara smudges from beneath her eyes and across her cheeks. She smoothed down her dress and finger-combed her hair. Rummaging through her bag, she found a lipstick tube and skilfully covered her red-wine-stained lips. Disgusting…I’ve got to stick to white.
The elevator hit the ground with a soft thump, depositing her in a lobby where she stepped into her shoes and strode into the lavish silk, marble, and granite concierge area, sauntering as nonchalantly and carefree as possible. She held her head high and blagged it, as if born to be there.
Taking it all in, she gawked at the building that reeked of money, but whom did she know lived here. Oh god, please don’t let it be a client…or Velma.
Her heart began to speed up again. Not again! Shut up and breathe.
Her heels clicked cheaply on the marble floor. The uniformed concierge looked up. She bet he’d grown accustomed to witnessing beautiful young women leaving the building in the early hours, his ready smile and slight nod confirming her suspicions.
She didn’t have time, or the balls, to stop and talk to him, to find out who the hell she’d been with last night. Would he even know? She scampered on, giving him a weak smile and a hasty wave of her hand.
As she reached the entrance doorway, four burly men wearing police uniforms barged past her.
“Excuse me, miss.” One of them turned to look over his shoulder, taking in the view of her long legs and tight-fitting dress.
She pulled her coat smartly around her body, hiding her thighs.
The officers hurried as their radios barked instructions and surrounded an alarmed concierge. The taller officer waved an official looking document at him.
Not waiting to see the fuss unfold, she pushed through the doors, skipped down the pillared entrance steps, skirted around the badly parked police cars with their flashing lights, and marched off into the London sunshine. Coffee…now!
About the Author
Author of The Penance List, Unfinished Business and The Deal, Siobhan C Cunningham (S C Cunningham) creates Paranormal Romance and Psychological Crime Thrillers with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.
Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Deal, the first in The Fallen Angel series. Twenty years later Cunningham crossed paths with a violent serial attacker, sowing the seed for her mind-bending thriller, The David Trilogy; The Penance List, Unfinished Business, For My Sins.
An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports, celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).
Her first novel, The Penance List has been adapted to film screenplay.
She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and owned by three dogs.
Social Media Links –
Website – http://www.sccunningham.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/SCCunningham8
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pg/sccunningham8/
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/siobhancunningham8/
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sccunningham/
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/S-C-Cunningham/e/B002L3ZC2U/
Q&A with the Author
- Tell us a little about you
I am a Crime Investigator, I write steamy rom thrillers and paranormal crime romance. Divorced twice (got drunk, married in Vegas), have a wonderful artist daughter and am owned by three dogs.
I’m old, so I’ve managed to work in and draw from a few exciting industries over the years; modelling, fashion, rock n’roll, music to film production, football, horse racing, sport celebrity management and crime.
- Can you summarize your new/most recent book
When I was little, 3/4 yrs, I was taken, I survived. Coming from an Irish Catholic family, I remember praying every night to God, offering him a deal; if I was a good girl, when I died could I sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, and help him get the baddies who slip through his fingers? I heard later in life that another little girl was taken in the next street, and she didn’t survive.
Like many others, I’ve found myself surviving a few unexplained dodgy situations where afterwards I’ve thought “Gosh, I must’ve had someone/something looking over me there…” I tend to like looking out for the underdog, getting justice. I’ve taken a few jobs which have enabled me to do that; child charity work, intelligence analyst and police crime investigator.
I’m not religious, but I feel that there is something out there, an energy. Maybe it’s just quantum physics we don’t understand yet. And with the world going a tad crazy at the moment, we need a little empowering escapism, so I adapted my childhood deal with God into a fictional series. I love romance and laughter, so of course sex and cheeky banter gets added to the mix.
The Deal is the story of feisty Amy Fox who was taken at 4 yrs. She survived and did a deal with god. At 30, her deal and God long forgotten she mysteriously dies. She awakens to find MI5’esque Units in the skies, where vigilante angels dish out tough karma on those below. We follow her work, her revenge, her turbulent love life and attacks from competing forces. She has to wonder if her deal with God was a good thing?
- Where do you get your character inspiration from?
From people I meet and experiences I have had…
I’d better not say any more, I’ve signed the Official Secrets Act and a few Confidentiality Agreements in my time.
- What are your 3 desert island books?
The latest Jack Reacher, Lee Child book, the latest Martina Cole and an Agatha Christie.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read, dog walk on a beach, sit around a wine-food-ladened table in the sun with my girlfriends and no deadlines. Chill with my daughter – we manage to talk about absolute rubbish for hours!
- Chocolate or sweets?
Chocolate and sweets… I’m greedy… and I’ll only live once.
- You have a free flight and accommodation to anywhere in the world where would you go?
Would grab a delicious lover and fly to the Maldives, it’s heavenly. Second choice would be Hawaii, I’ve never been and it sounds wonderful. Although the Greek Islands are fab and closer to home. The lucky Greeks have it all; 2,500 islands, beautiful blue sea, sun, stunning beaches and good food. Shirley Valentine all the way… go girl!
- What is your favourite season?
Definitely Summer. I’m a bleached, trashy, flip-flops, sun, sea, beach, beach-bar-dancing, margarita and frites kinda girl.
- Who is your favourite author? Why?
I have a passion for Jack Reacher, so first on my list is Lee Child. Although if I ever met him I’d give him a bollocking, I can’t forgive for selling out to Tom Cruise. Tom is wonderful, am sure, but he is no Jack Reacher. Gutted.
Close second are; Martina Cole, Michael Connelly, James Patterson, Agatha Christie, Harlan Coben, John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Karin Slaughter… (I’d better shut up now!)
10. Have they influenced the way you write?
Yes, everything I read influences me, whether its trashy news or gifted authors, I’m always on the lookout for the way words are played out, I love their power.
- What do you love about writing?
From a young age I enjoyed engaging people with stories that allowed them to escape, dragged them into a different world and encouraged them to look at things differently. I find it easier to write what I know, feel. My writing is loosely based on things I’ve experienced or observed, charged up a few notches with cheeky imagination, sex, murder and laughter.
In The Deal, I get to work with a few sexy, kick-ass characters and dish karma on the injustices I see around me in day to day life. It’s fun.
- Is there anything you hate about writing?
Yes, the solitude. I’m naturally a chatty, social being, but my writing locks me away to live like a mushroom in the dark. I become a reclusive, batty, scruffy old lady who spends all day talking to herself. Thank god for my dogs (and understanding friends).
- Do you have a favourite childhood/teen story/novel?
I grew up on Enid Blyton books; I think they were banned in the convent boarding school I went to, which is crazy. I loved the Secret Seven until I read a crumpled copy of The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins – now that was definitely banned!
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