#Extract The Blame Game by Terri Reynolds @terriBreynolds

Best friends they may be, but Molly and Kate are very different individuals. Molly, a spoilt child and then an indulged wife, not only gets whatever she wants, she takes things that don't belong to her, including other women’s husbands. Kate, fiercely loyal, has, until now, always defended and protected her friend, at the same time offering refuge to Molly’s traumatised son. Against her better judgement, Kate is forced to revisit the deaths of two men; men who had affairs with Molly. Considered tragic and accidental at the time, fresh scrutiny and new revelations trigger a disturbing chain of events that have sickening consequences. Molly either can’t or won’t mend her ways, and Kate, caught up in her own personal tragedy, is forced to draw a line in the sand. Their friendship is at breaking point; Molly has gone too far this time. But all is not what it seems.

I'm delighted to welcome Terri Reynolds to Hair Past A Freckle today. Terri contacted me recently to ask if I'd be interested in reviewing her novel, The Blame Game. It looks brilliant and I'm really looking forward to reading it in 2018. In the meantime I have an extract to whet our appetites. Terri explained to me that it's about an historic attack on Molly but what led to this brutal assault? Is Molly all she seems...?

Fortunately, there had only ever been one nasty altercation. No matter how hard she tried, she would never forget the screaming, the physical assault, the taste of blood mingled with mud in her mouth and the overwhelming relief when several strangers had, thankfully, dragged Fiona off her. She shuddered now at the memory of that day. She’d been called in to see the headmaster at Seth’s school, he was worried about her son’s uncharacteristic, bad behaviour. The cooperative, quiet, well-mannered young boy had been replaced, almost overnight, by a mono-syllabic, churlish and slightly malicious adolescent, who was causing trouble at school. The obsequious headmaster had wanted to make her aware of the situation but Molly was well ahead of him. She knew exactly what had caused the change in Seth’s behaviour, she just wasn't equipped to deal with it. More than a little flustered by the avalanche of well-intended advice the headmaster had bestowed on her, Molly hadn’t realised just how late she was running or, once at the cemetery, how long she’d spent sitting by Will’s grave, thoughts of Seth, not her recently departed lover, uppermost in her mind. She was, consequently, an easy target for Fiona who, furious at finding Molly sitting by her husband’s grave, had launched herself at her nemesis and pushed her face down into the recently dug, soft mud. Molly’s tongue, badly bitten by the impact, bled profusely. Winded and caught off guard, she remained prone until Fiona flipped her over and straddled her. Such was the imbalance of physical strength, Molly had been like a rag doll in Fiona’s hands. Incandescent with rage, Fiona had screamed a torrent of incoherent abuse into Molly’s face, at the same time lifting her head and, repeatedly, smashing it back to the ground.
Subconsciously, Molly put her gloved hand to her face, as if to wipe away the spittle that had flown from Fiona’s mouth that day. The attack, although ferocious, had only lasted a few seconds. Three young women visiting a nearby grave, had heard the commotion and dragged Fiona away but not before a well-aimed kick had connected with Molly’s jaw and smashed two of her lower, front teeth. Molly ran her tongue over the implants that now replaced the teeth in question, remembering, with some guilt, that she had never thanked the young women who had come to her aid that day, she simply hadn't had time. Terrified of a fresh onslaught, she had crawled across the mud like an injured animal and escaped from the scene, she’d been too frightened to look back.

If you'd like to read The Blame Game it can be purchased here. Many thanks to Terri for providing the extract, I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing her every success with the book.

About the author

Terri Reynolds lives on the outskirts of Derby with her very tolerant husband and two energetic chocolate labradors.

She's always written but seldom finished what she started; life always got in the way. When she was made redundant in 2016 from a project management role that she didn't even like, her husband bought me a new Mac and told her to get started. At last the stars seemed to align; the time was right.

She describes her writing as observational with a twist. She covers subjects she knows well; relationships, kids, divorce, dogs, grief, mental health and even long distance running. She then embellishes the truth and creates surprises. She often gasps, at the end of a day’s writing, to see what has appeared on the page. It’s magical, cathartic and exciting.

You can follow Terri on Facebook and Twitter.