I’m delighted to welcome Siobhan Cunningham with her guest post
What do you write and why?
My job is to entertain. I’ve had a crazy accidental life which offers lots of fodder to work from; fashion modelling, marrying a rock musician, working with musicians, film producers, footballers, golfers, tennis players, jockeys, oil moguls, royalty, charity workers, prison wardens, forensic teams, intel analysts, crown prosecutors, prisoners, victims and as a Police Crime Investigator. I’ve been married and divorced twice (got drunk and married in Vegas), brought up a wonderful (Contemporary Artist) daughter and am owned by three dogs.
The end product of my journey thus far is that I write steamy Psychological Thrillers and gritty Paranormal Romance… and prefer dogs to humans, mostly (smile).
The Deal, book I of The Fallen Angel Series, is paranormal romance based on a kidnap incident that happened to me as a child. At 3 or 4 years old I was taken, I got away and survived. The following week another little girl was taken, she didn’t.
Coming from an Irish Catholic family; I remember saying my prayers every night, asking God for a deal — If I was a good girl, when I die, would he let me sit on a cloud for a while, invisible, and help him get the baddies that slip through his fingers? This wish has stayed with me throughout life, I tend to find myself supporting the underdog, and looking for justice.
Like most people, there’ve been unexplained moments in my life where I seem to have dodged a bullet and found myself saying “Gosh, someone must have been looking out for me there…”
I’m not religious, but I’d like to think that there’s something else out there, I don’t know what it is, an energy or quantum physics we don’t understand yet. Whatever it is, I’ve learned that if my gut says something, I follow it.
The Deal takes my childhood wish, mixes it with the empowering thought that we’re not alone and creates a fictional fantasy where vigilante Angels dish out tough karma from the skies, protecting the underdog and sorting out the baddies.
I’m a romantic old bird, who loves a bit of drama. So my books have to have a few oh-so-sexy lead characters with complicated love-lives, evil exes, edge of seat fear, steamy romance and cheeky banter (I keep expecting the heavens to lightning strike me down for the sex scenes and swearing, but so far so good!.
I love writing this series, it’s fun, the angels are feisty, naughty and brave. And their work is contemporary and thought provoking.
I tend to write what I know. My Psychological Thrillers are also based on an incident that happened to me. In my twenties I crossed paths with a prolific serial attacker who was haunting London at the time. He targeted girls living on their own in basement flats in Notting Hill and Olympia.
I got away unscathed (…those angels again!) and helped Police with ID. I remember looking at him wondering why? What makes someone so evil? What happened to him? The seed for David Howard, the protagonist in my David Trilogy was sown. The misuse of power, passion, religion and the carnage it can cause. The trilogy is a little sexy, think Psycho meets 50 Shades and hold on to your hats. It may not be for everyone. Be warned! Just saying….
Thank you for taking the time to visit me. I hope my works make you hold your breath, shiver, laugh out loud, feel inspired and punch the air with a resounding “Yesss!”
Keep safe and follow that intuitive gut of yours, it’s the best weapon you have in your tool box.
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.
Fulham Road, Chelsea, London
Clutching a black briefcase and holding his raincoat tightly closed at the neck, Jack stood still in the cold, dark torrential rain outside his home. A streetlamp lit up his pained face as he stared into windows, watching the beautiful woman he felt nothing for excitedly preparing for his arrival. Becoming soaked, he felt numb. He simply didn’t care. He wondered if he ever really had.
He watched Mara move from one room to the next, setting the table for supper. He knew what she would be doing; repeatedly realigning objects into perfect position. Knives, forks, flowers, candles, chairs: everything had to be just so. Everything had to be flawless. To the outside world, she mimicked the perfect wife.
His eyes closed with sadness. He didn’t want to go home. He didn’t love this woman. He lived a lie.
With a heavy heart, he trudged to the front door, inserted the key into the lock, and forced himself to cross the threshold. Perfect Mara rushed towards him: stunning, willowy, immaculate. Her long brown hair in a loose Rapunzel plait flowed down her back. She wrapped her tanned, jewel-laden arms around his neck and draped herself across his chest.
“Hey, I’ve missed you, lover boy.” Her heady, cloying perfume hit the back of his throat. The scent used to turn him on, before he knew the truth, before the shedding of the first layer of snakelike skin.
Jack gently pushed her away; she smarted at his reaction, but pretended not to notice.
“I’m soaking wet. I don’t want to ruin your outfit. let me go and change.” He stepped away from her, avoiding eye contact.
He dropped his briefcase to the floor, slipped out of his raincoat, hung the damp garment over the banister, and lumbered up the stairs, his head low, his shoulders hunched with resigned acceptance.
With Cleopatra arrogance, Mara stood at the bottom of the stairs and held her head high. Eyes sly, she watched him ascend, knowing the truth but refusing to accept it. He will love me…he will.
She lifted his briefcase and placed it on the hallway table, exactly in the centre of its highly polished mahogany surface. She took time to nudge it backwards and forwards until all four sides sat equidistant to the table’s edge.
It was important that everything she touched, everything she had control over, was always in its place, in an exact place for no particular reason. It was just so.
The obsession was exhausting and time-consuming, but for a few moments, whilst making things perfect, her fears took a back seat and the blissful escapism relaxed her.
Her peace was short-lived. Staring down at the shiny brown leather, she placed her hands either side of the briefcase, spreading her fingers wide across the glossy table top.
Slowly at first, then building in speed, she absentmindedly drummed her fingers, over and over, as if playing piano keys. Long red talons rhythmically rose and fell, repeatedly pounding the wood, getting louder and louder, until she abruptly stopped. She lifted her hands to the top of the case.
She gently stroked her fingertips across it, methodically and erotically, backwards and forwards, tracing the leather’s cool softness, enticing it to open for her, to reveal its secrets.
Suddenly impatient, she gripped the sides of the case and ran her thumbs across the numbered locks, willing them to open, but she didn’t know the combination.
Time stood still as she accepted defeat. She would have to wait.
Her glazed eyes wandered up the wall, to look at her reflection in the hallway mirror.
The briefcase forgotten, she tilted her head, admired her ethereal beauty and smiled.
“OK, darling,” she trilled. “I’ll pour you a drink.”
Seeing the raincoat behind her in the mirror, she closed her eyes, lowered her head as if in prayer, and slammed the fingertips of both hands against her temples, pressing, kneading, and dragging the skin of her face to ease the anger building inside.
Then, with the flick of a switch, she stopped, dropped her hands to her side, straightened up, poised her head high, and feigned a fake smile. Mara, calm and in control.
She turned her attention to the raincoat and sauntered to the banister. Fussing with its material, she flicked rainwater from the lapels.
“And don’t be too long, darling,” she shouted up the stairs. “I have your favourite for supper. We don’t want it to get ruined.” The ever attentive, perfect housewife.
“Did you see her today?” she asked sweetly, slipping a searching hand into the raincoat’s pockets. “Did you see the bitch today?”
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.
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