Friday, February 6, 2015

Flame Promo/Excerpt with Toya Richardson

Amberley Masterson is being stalked by Steve Jackson – her ex-partner – who is violent and almost strangled her. Suffering from a nervous breakdown due to work and Steve’s abuse, she reports him to police. She recuperates at her holiday home in Cornwall and after seventeen years of not seeing him, she’s is reunited with her childhood sweetheart, sexy artist, Greg Winters. Their attraction for one another is instant.


Amberley’s brother Simon contacts her to inform her that Steve has disappeared. Steve continues to threaten her via mobile. She remembers a warning given to her by his ex-girlfriend about his violent tendencies and wishes she had listened.


Despite threats from Steve, she begins to relax and helps Greg with his new business venture of an art gallery/studio. The sexual tension between them escalates. And after they share a passionate kiss, she pushes him away, telling him she cannot become involved. They agree to maintain a friend’s only relationship.


Whilst visiting the location of his business venture, she spots a man standing by a flash sports car in the distance, she immediately thinks it’s Steve. Breaking down, she tells Greg her about her violent relationship with him. He promises to protect her. One night at her cottage, they kiss once more and are on the verge of making love, when a brick crashes through the cottage window, with one of her favourite flowers tied to it – almost hitting them. Her mobile goes off, it’s Steve, he threatens to hurt both Greg and her.


Greg looks after her and calls the police and her brother, who comes down with his wife, Sarah, to stay for a while. Sarah teases Amberley about the obvious attraction between Greg and she, which she denies.


Amberley and Simon agree to sell their advertising agency in London. She has to go to London as the buyers want to see her in person. After the meeting Simon tells her Sarah is pregnant. She leaves the couple alone and visits an art exhibition to view one of Greg’s paintings. She sees Steve’s reflection in the glass of the painting she’s looking at. Terrified she turns around, but he has vanished.


Amberley decides not to fly back to Cornwall and Simon drops her half way between London and Cornwall, Greg picks her up in his car. The sexual tension reaches and all-time high in the car. He pulls over in a layby and they kiss passionately once more. When they reach the cottage, she pushes him away once more.


Greg takes her to a beach party to meet some of his friends. She becomes upset at the closeness he has with one of the women. Making her excuses, she walks back along the village to her home feeling deeply upset. Steve appears out of nowhere and attacks her, attempting to drag her away. Greg sees what is happening and comes to her rescue and takes her back to the cottage. Amberley finds an envelope on the floor and there are pictures of Greg with her and glass shards on which she cuts herself. An enclosed note says Steve will kill them both.


Greg calls the police and decides to stay with her for a few days, to ensure she’s safe. She asks about the woman at the party and discovers that they really just are friends and she’s getting married soon.


Greg starts to paint a portrait of Amberley at their special place up on the cliffs – two boulders they used to sit on when they were younger. She feels happy and at peace there. As Greg finishes up for the day, Amberley has the sensation of being watched, although she puts it down to paranoia.


Because of Amberley’s business expertise, Greg asks if she’ll help him regarding his gallery/studio, which she does with the help of Greg’s best friend, Keith. When the bank advise him he’s secured the loan, they kiss and again Amberley pushes him away, so confused about all her feelings. Greg agrees to move back to his mum’s to give them some space.


When he leaves, she notices her car tyres have been slashed and obscenities are scrawled all over the paintwork. She is furious and screams out loud for Steve to show himself. Greg comes back at the sound of her shouting and she tells him she must go back to London, so his mother and he will not be in danger. Greg assures her that running away will do no good – and reminds her that Sarah is now pregnant and could get hurt if she moves back, so she agrees to stay in Cornwall.


Greg gets the unit he wants at the Craft Centre and starts to plan for the opening. Amberley is called back for another meeting in London. Whilst there, she receives a call from Greg telling her he wants more than just friendship with her. While pondering the phone call, she sees an envelope by the door – inside are pictures of Greg and she and a warning that she’s dead.


As with all the other incidents, Amberley reports this to the police and on her return to Cornwall, Greg takes her to the police station. They had been approached by a private detective, who was concerned about his recent employer’s behaviour – the employer turns out to be Steve.


Amberley and Greg celebrate the progression of his business venture and end up making love for the very first time. A few weeks later, she discovers that she’s pregnant. Now she is terrified to tell him. On his way out to the gallery one morning, he tells her that he loves her and she tells him she feels the same way about him too. She says she wants to have a picnic with him on the beach the following day – there she plans to tell him she’s pregnant.


As Greg takes the rest of the painting for his gallery out of his mum’s garage and indoors – his makeshift studio – he thinks he hears a noise, but then hears cats fighting.


But there was someone there. Steve enters the garage and tears all remaining pictures to shreds. He spots Amberley’s portrait in the corner of the room, looking so happy and contented. Rage fills him and he utterly destroys it and them scrawls more obscenities on the walls in red paint.


 She makes her way down to his mother’s shop the following day and sees police outside and thinks it’s been a burglary. His mother – Kath – tells her what’s happened to his work. She sees Greg so upset and cannot stand it, as the guilt washes over her. She runs to their special place and sobs. Steve is there and she is so angry and tells him she’s pregnant. He is filled with rage and pulls her to the ground, he places several kicks to her unborn child and she miscarries as a result. Fortunately, a couple happen upon the scene and reach her before he can kill her too – she begs them to save her baby.


Greg sees a man racing towards the village. He tells Greg what’s happened, he knows it’s Amberley. As the man calls for an ambulance, Greg races to Amberley’s side. The woman says it looks as if the baby has died – this leaves Greg in shock. As he waits for her to regain consciousness at the hospital, the surgeon informs Greg that the baby has died. When she wakes, he tells her Steve had been captured on the way to the Craft Centre with enough equipment to make several petrol bombs.


Amberley is so filled with guilt that she pushes Greg away from her and goes back to London to work as a consultant and to bury herself in her work. She tells him that she still loves him, but needs some space. When in London, she reflected on a police officer advising her to make out a Victim Personal Statement and she decides the time is now right to do so.


A date for trial is set just before Christmas. Amberley is at her office working when Steve’s ex walks in. She shows Amberley her arm, which is covered in cigarette burns – courtesy of Steve. She says because of Amberley she now has the courage to testify against him.



Greg appears in the doorway of her office. He’s attending a two day exhibition, she sees another portrait of her hanging up and when a couple ask about it, he says it’s already sold. Amberley is upset because he obviously didn’t think that much of her any more if he got rid of it. She invites him to stay and at one point she tries to kiss him and he pushes her away, saying the time is not right.


He leaves before she’s up the next morning and she finds a parcel in his room – it’s her portrait. There’s a note telling her how hard it was to resist her kiss and it also says that if she still feels the happiness and love that she did when the portrait was done…she’d know what to do.


Amberley decides to relocate to Cornwall as she now has a niece and wants to be near to her family – the city no longer holds any excitement for her. The trial is also put back until after Christmas. Greg calls to see Simon and Sarah, Amberley answers to door cradling her niece to her, a look of sadness and longing pass between them.


The trial is a harrowing one and in the end, especially with his ex-girlfriend Katrina’s, testimony, Steve is found guilty on all charges. He is sentenced. He will never be released due to his violence and mental conditions. Now, finally, Amberley can have closure.


They become close and decide to set up a charity to help male and female victims of domestic abuse. Katrina also tells her that she can see how in love Greg and she are with each other, she tells her not to let happiness with him slip through her fingers.


A charity auction is held at the Craft Centre just before it opens to the public – Greg donates a painting. He tells Amberley how proud he is of her. Before she loses her nerve she tells him to meet her at their special place at dawn the following morning. She tells him that she loves him and wants to be part of his life. He gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him and she says yes. And with the sun heralding a new day, they kiss and seal their love forever.


She came back from the kitchen holding a bottle of the local sparkling wine they’d had before and two champagne flutes.

‘I thought you’d like this,’ she said handing him the bottle.

‘The glasses were made locally too,’ she added.

‘You really have put a lot of thought into things, thank you. I take it you want me to open the bottle.’

She laughed nervously. ‘As long as you promise me not to take your eye out, or mine… don’t forget, I know your track record.’

The air was heavy with tension. She felt heady, almost breathless with anticipation. The way he was looking at her made her feel extremely feminine and sexy. She wondered what the coming night would bring.

Greg could feel it too; his hand shook a little as he attempted to open the bottle. This time, the cork did not come out as expertly as it had before when he’d opened a bottle. It sprayed from the bottle like an erupting volcano, most of it going over him.

Amberley laughed. He looked so comical, with the bottle still in his hand and the liquid dripping off him. He stood up and placed the bottle down on the table. Amberley stood up too. She bent forward and held her knees trying to regain her breath. It had been such a long time since she’d laughed that much.

‘Oh that was so funny. I wished I’d recorded it on my phone. Your face is a picture, Greg.’

She could feel the mirth bubbling up inside her again. Raising her head to look at him once more, she could see he had a twinkle in his eye. A deliciously wicked smile crossed his face.

‘So, Miss Masterson, you think that was funny do you?’

‘It’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.’ She laughed loudly again.

‘Come here,’ he said, a trace of authority in his voice.

‘And why should I?’ she replied, placing her hands on her hips, a look of challenge in her eyes.

‘Because you need to take your punishment for laughing at me.’
‘I will not come quietly, so I guess you’ll have to try and catch me.’

‘Right, you asked for it,’ he said, edging slowly towards her.

She backed further away and stood near to the dining table.

‘Well, come on then, I’m only a helpless female after all… so what are you waiting for?’

He leapt towards her, quicker than she expected. He grabbed her hand but she managed to wriggle free, squealing with laughter as she did so.

‘You’ll have to be quicker than that,’ she said with laughter in her voice.

She made a dash for the other side of the sofa, shrieking as he chased after her. Her toe caught on the mat; she tripped and fell onto the sofa. She turned and attempted to get up. Greg was too fast; he pounced on her, pinning her down on the cushions.

‘Gotcha,’ he said panting.

‘Okay,’ she replied, still trying to control her breathing.

‘Now you’ve got me… what are you going to do with me?’

‘And what if I don’t?’ she asked, raising her eyebrows.

‘If you don’t, then I will just have to come and get you. So what’s it to be?’

Slowly Amberley backed away from him, putting the sofa between them.

 Book Blurb


Amberley Masterson has it all, successful business, lots of money and a plush London apartment. She also has a jealous, abusive, ex-lover, who won’t take no for an answer – even when the police are involved.


With the stress of his persistent harassment and her busy work life, she has a nervous breakdown and goes to her Cornish holiday home to recuperate. She meets up with her childhood sweetheart a sexy artist, Greg Winters, and they embark on a passionate love affair. She falls pregnant, but hasn’t the courage to tell Greg.


Steve tracks her down and becomes increasingly violent. Eventually he catches her alone on a cliff top, where he assaults her and causes her to lose her unborn child. Can Amberley and Greg overcome all the traumatic events they’ve been through so they can be together, or will their love be lost forever?


Author Bio

Although writing has always been a big part of my life it’s since 2009 that I’ve written seriously. I lost my wonderful mum that year; she’d always wanted to see my work published. It’s why Flame is very important to me because she loved it. I have works published in three different genres – Fantasy (Self published), Contemporary Romance/Thriller (Flame, published with Little Bird Publishing House) and Paranormal Romance (The Atlantean Birthright - book 1 of The Eternal Love of the Seekers series - published with Red Sage).

I grew up in Essex, but now live in Suffolk – with my husband, grown up son and Masai the cat – and work part time as an admin assistant. My other hobbies include reading, Formula One, darts, listening to music – mostly rock, cinema, live concerts, partying with my friends, keeping fit and gardening.
Twitter:            @ToyaRichardson1


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