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Blackmail by AL Simpson

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Blurb

Avery was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Is she doomed to suffer for the rest of her life at the hands of an unscrupulous club owner?
Destitute, in debt and on the brink of giving up, it’s the death of a friend who brings her hope.
Can Gabe help her turn her life around or, will she insist on solving a murder which could place her in grave danger?
Plot used is from a Lacey Roberts book which has been unpublished.

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Excerpt

Present Day Avery’s shoulders slumped as she trudged up the front steps of the small, run-down apartment block. She clutched a small shopping bag and her purse in one hand, a wad of unopened envelopes in the other. Her apartment was on the ground floor, to the right of the filthy glass entrance doors. There were only six apartments in the building and four were empty. This is the sleazy side of town. Nobody would voluntarily live there but she had no choice. The rent was cheap and it didn't seem to matter whether she paid on time or not. The block had been built in the fifties and had been badly maintained, bricks crumbled from the fa├žade every time it rained. The interiors were as filthy as the entrance, damp oozed from the ceilings. Peeled and chipped paint decorated the walls, the carpet was threadbare and curtains non-existent. The rancid odor of decay permeated the building. She dumped the bag onto the ground and rummaged in her purse for the key to the door. “Come on. I'm not in the fucking mood for this.” Avery had been searching for work for almost a week but, no-one in this town, or the next town over, would even grant her an interview. Vince, the sleazy bastard, had alerted her boss to her pictures plastered all over the internet. Her disgusted boss hadn’t hesitated to spread the word amongst his colleagues. Her career as a Personal Assistant was finished. She would never be able to get a job in her field now. She was behind in the rent and, if her guess was accurate, the wad of envelopes clutched in her hand were bills she had no way of paying. Finally, her fingers wrapped around the single key and she withdrew it, inserted it into the door and let herself in. She flipped the switch on the wall. Nothing. Her power had been disconnected. “Shit, shit, shit,” she shouted while moving to the tiny kitchen table. Apart from her bed, it was the only remaining furniture she had. She couldn't really blame the power company. The check she’d written for the deposit had bounced and they had been asking her to pay the overdue account since she’d moved in four weeks ago. After slamming the shopping bag, envelopes and her purse down on the table, she dropped into a chair. The envelopes now appeared to taunt her. Avery lowered her head into her hands and indulged in self-pity by crying. How much lower would she be forced to sink? Not low enough to be forced back to the club. She would rather live on the streets and starve. She blotted out the pain of her hellish lifestyle by closing her eyes and letting her mind drift to happier times when life was beautiful – with her mom and dad.
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About the Author

ALSimpson 

 I have always loved to write and have a vivid and overactive imagination. In my spare time, when I’m not writing, I love to walk, read and shop. I believe no mountain is too hard to climb, no river is too wide to span and no journey is too difficult to complete. I follow my dreams and I urge and encourage others to do the same. With a positive attitude, the impossible can become possible.
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