Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Blog Tour: Excerpt of Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Join us for an excerpt tour, followed up by a review and Instagram tour beginning at release, March 5th for BEAUTIFUL BAD

Author: Annie Ward

Publisher: Park Row; Original edition 
Date of pubication: March 5, 2019

A devoted wife, a loving husband and a chilling murder that no one saw coming.

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry… That something is really, really wrong with me.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

Excerpt #3:
The light seeped through the shutters of the back windows, and Diane crouched close to the house as she made her way across the patio toward the door. She saw the barking dog. There were actually two of them; small, black-and-white Boston terriers. Anxious but sweet creatures, they looked baffled at having been locked out of the house. Their eyes were wide and wet, and both were panting and pacing, completely beside themselves.

Diane turned the handle on the door. “Back door’s unlocked,” she said into her mic.
Nick was the first to respond. “EMS has been notified. They know you’re waiting on a second officer to enter the residence. I’ve told them to stage at 2218 Lincoln and wait for update.”
“Copy,” Diane answered. Nick knew the routine. She was, without question, supposed to wait on a second officer to enter. If she went in, she was going against procedure. She’d get in trouble. Diane glanced over her shoulder at the sandbox. The water table. Then she decided. She’d rather lose her job than lose a child.
Diane pushed the door inward and held out her foot to stop the dogs from following her inside. She closed it softly behind her. As she crept into the house, she glanced back. The front paws of both Boston terriers were against the glass, flexing and pleading, coaxing her to return, to come let them in.
The back door opened into a far corner of the lower level next to a round glass breakfast table and four chairs. An empty wine bottle appeared to have rolled to a rest against the wall. On the table was another bottle of wine, and underneath on the floor was an elegant cylinder of Stolichnaya Elit vodka.
Diane was not much of a food snob, but noted that this was no chips-and-dip poker party. In the center of the table was a thick wooden cutting board covered in a semi-eaten array of olives, salami, crackers, cheese and grapes.
Though she tried to focus on the entirety of the scene, the bloodstain was hard to ignore. If she glanced up and across the great room, there it was again. Mesmerizing. Sickening.
Despite the fact that the room was open concept, it was dotted with chairs and a sofa as well as bookcases, end tables and floor lamps. Hiding places everywhere. She moved stealthily, her pistol ready and her eyes flitting back and forth from one quiet corner to another.
As she inched past the breakfast table she had to watch her step. The shattered remains of several glasses were scattered about, big and little shards everywhere. Of the four yellow upholstered chairs surrounding the breakfast table, one was overturned and one was stained a shade darker where there had been a spill. Next to the fallen chair was a wet photograph.
Diane leaned down to get a better look. It pictured two brunette women. That much Diane could tell from all the windswept hair. They were standing in front of an unusual building. The design was vaguely Middle Eastern, almost like a mosque with no minaret. Whatever had pooled on the floor had seeped through the paper and the women’s features now bled into one another. Diane imagined someone sitting at this table holding it shortly before. Reminiscing? Do you remember when we...? Yes, let me just go grab the photo...
Separating the living area from the kitchen was an island in the shape of a crescent. Several tall chairs ran the length. It was not until Diane passed the breakfast table that she could see over the kitchen bar.
The little puddles varied in size and looked like something left on the sidewalk after a big rain. Except they were crimson. The droplets leading away resembled a beaded necklace, almost like a thin strand of bloody pearls.
The slaughter had happened between the refrigerator and the inside of the bar, where the sink and dishwasher were located. The surrounding walls and appliances were splattered. Diane felt a tightening in the back of her throat. The front of the refrigerator was papered in finger paintings now artistically spotted with tiny red flecks; a nightmarish rain slanting over neat box houses, a stick family of three, fluffy clouds and a happy-face sun.
The trail of beadlike blood moved from the kitchen puddles to the big slick in the middle of the room. It was messy, almost as if mopped, and Diane imagined someone crawling on hands and knees before managing to haul up on his or her feet for one more staggering go at life. She had an irrational urge to start running through the house calling out for the child, but she’d already broken one rule just by entering.
On the wall across the room, an oval wooden African mask with holes carved for the eyes and mouth stared at her with an expression of horror.
Diane looked anxiously over her shoulder at the table laid out as if for an indulgent wine-and-cheese feast among friends. Then she looked ahead, at the nightmarish slop of a human spill beckoning her to come see; come see what unspeakable thing has happened here.

Purchase Links

About Annie Ward

Annie Ward has a BA in English literature from UCLA and an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Her first short screenplay, Strange Habit, starred Adam Scott and won awards at the Aspen and Sundance Film Festivals. She lives in Kansas with her two sons and British husband, whom she met in the Balkans. She was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship and An Escape to Create artist’s residency.

Connect with Annie

Excerpt Tour:
Monday, February 18th: The Lit Bitch
Tuesday, February 19th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Wednesday, February 20th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, February 21st: Helen’s Book Blog
Friday, February 22nd: She Reads With Cats
Monday, February 25th: Books and Spoons
Tuesday, February 26th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Wednesday, February 27th: Jessicamap Reviews
Thursday, February 28th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, March 1st: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Tuesday, March 5th: Lori’s Reading Corner

Instagram Tour:
Monday, March 4th: @whatmeganreads
Tuesday, March 5th: @jennblogsbooks
Wednesday, March 6th: @bookstackedblonde
Thursday, March 7th: @bookclubwithbite
Thursday, March 7th: @dropandgivemenerdy
Friday, March 8th: @girlsinbooks
Saturday, March 9th: @createexploreread
Sunday, March 10th: @cristiinareads
Monday, March 11th: @bookishwinterwitch

Review Tour:
Monday, March 4th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, March 5th: Helen’s Book Blog
Wednesday, March 6th: Novel Gossip and @novelgossip
Thursday, March 7th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, March 8th: Books & Bindings
Monday, March 11th: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Tuesday, March 12th: Tar Heel Reader
Wednesday, March 13th: Where the Reader Grows and @wherethereadergrows
Monday, March 18th: The Baking Bookworm
Tuesday, March 19th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy
Wednesday, March 20th: She Reads with Cats and @shereadswithcats
Thursday, March 21st: The Pages In-Between and @thepagesinbetween
Friday, March 22nd: Audio Killed the Bookmark
Monday, March 25th: @bookishconnoisseur
Tuesday, March 26th: Write Read Life
Wednesday, March 27th: @tbretc
Thursday, March 28th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Monday, April 1st: @love_my_dane_dolly_
Tuesday, April 2nd: Jathan & Heather
Wednesday, April 3rd: Girl Who Reads
Friday, April 5th: Thoughts on This ‘n That

1 comment:

Sara Strand said...

Thanks for being on the tour!

Sara @ TLC Book Tours