Good morning everyone and happy Sunday! I’m on the blog tour for The Spirit Of Prophecy by J. J Hughes today and have a great extract to share with you.
Before I share this extract, here’s a little about the book.
A gifted psychic but an emotional wreck, Rosetta Barrett is much more than a simple Detective seconded to a sleepy, rural English constabulary. She’s part of the International psychic CID, and a high-ranking member of EPIS (Elite Paranormal Intelligence Services) a super-secret, Inter-Governmental, global organization, based underground in Dulce, USA.
EPIS is tasked with dealing with the new realities of the twenty-first century – the rise of AI and ensuring robotic, deep-learning doesn’t lead to humanity’s destruction; alien visitation and cracking their telepathic communication codes are also part of the remit. Plus expanding psychic powers including prophecy, in order to automate crime prediction and prevention.
When Juliet Jermaine’s Olympic Champion horse Gothic, and his teenage stable-hand rider are callously murdered, in what appears to be a terrorist-inspired road-rage incident, the police are baffled. Even EPIS are behind the curve, as this doesn’t fit any MO they’ve ever come across before. Plus, with the arrival of some rogue E.T.’s back at the Dulce HQ, the time portal is dangerously malfunctioning. So, Barrett will have to rely on old fashioned door-to-door detective work to try, and unravel the cause and effect buried way back in the past. Linear time is running down, meanwhile can they stop the incidents from speeding up, and the death count inexorably rising?
The murder investigation takes first Rosetta, and then Juliet to Southern Ireland, where they both fall for the devilishly handsome, Irish-traveller, horse dealer, Tommy Rafferty. Does Tommy know more about the road rage deaths than he’s letting on, and ultimately will he betray his soul mate, Juliet, to save his clan?
With Barrett’s ex-husband, a power-obsessed Foreign Office Diplomat to Russia being a prime suspect, and Jermaine not taking the karmic connection seriously, Rosetta is under intense pressure. She knows only too well that Wrongs not Atoned = #HIT-REPEAT.
For all her experience and gifts, has Detective Barrett more than met her match? Is she simply in way too deep this time, with no chance of ESCAPE?
The Spirit Of Prophecy is available in ebook and paperback now. You can purchase your copy using the link below.
The drive to the Dublin airport would take half an hour or so. Not far, but too far considering the effect the celebrations had on Tommy’s brain. He swayed slightly and slurred his words. Juliet sighed as she shoved him into the Jeep on the passenger side. She decided not to mention the strange threat. It was probably one of his jilted lovers who’d had too much to drink. Not the only one, she thought with a shrug.
‘I’m perfectly-perfect capable of driving,’ he insisted, to no avail. ‘An’ you’ll never manage this temperamental old girl.’
She laughed. Although she didn’t find inebriated men particularly attractive, she couldn’t be pissed off with him for long. He looked so like a little-lost-boy. Sure, he had well and truly pickled his liver, but then today his horse had won the local Grand National.
‘I’ll handle it. I’ve got my HGV license and I’m used to driving horse-boxes the size of houses. Now can you just quit bitching and concentrate on where we’re going.’
‘Aye-aye, captain.’ He had the window open and his elbow poked out. The breeze ruffled his hair so that it flapped gently against the collar of his jacket.
‘Why don’t you put your sunglasses on and hide your bloodshot eyes?’ She double-declutched, but the gearshift still jumped, screeching in protest at her attempted change.
‘Charmed, I’m sure. I can’t look as bad as all that.’
‘Worse.’ She laughed. Then she looked up and saw the sign saying two miles to the airport – only two miles until she left Ireland, Espiritus, and Tommy behind. Her laughter disintegrated into the hollow emptiness of her stomach.
Half an hour later, they sat lingering over a cup of coffee in the airport restaurant, which had huge sixties-style windows that overlooked the runway. Her phone pinged as a message came in. She glanced at the screen and read the text from DS Barrett wanting to know Espiritus’ date of birth.
‘Can you tell me when Espiritus was born?’ It was a long shot, she decided, given the alcohol-addled state of his brain, but as usual he surprised her.
‘Of course, I can. It’s 17th February 2017. It was a long night, a long labour, and bloody well freezing. But it turned out grand in the end an’ all.’ Tommy grinned.
‘Cheers,’ she said, texting the detective back with the details. ‘Can you let me have a copy of her passport? I’ll need it for the import paperwork.’
He nodded. ‘I’ll email it as soon as I get home.’
‘Thanks.’ Juliet sighed. Then, she stared out the window. The light had faded, and the runway was lit up, so she could just make out a plane about to take off. The announcement system called the gate number for the Aer Lingus flight to Heathrow, and her heart sank. She glanced at her watch, willing the second hand to stop. In less than half an hour, she would be boarding a plane back to England.
‘It’s almost time,’ she said, unable to meet his eye. ‘What gate was it again?’
‘Seven?’ He seemed better after the injection of caffeine, but his voice still sounded dull and listless. ‘So, what are we going to do?’ He looked her straight in the eye, his meaning direct and personal.
‘I don’t know,’ she said, turning away. She had been dreading this moment.
‘Stay,’ he said as he reached over and held her hands. ‘I mean it. Oh, I’ve never been one for settling down, and I can’t make any promises about the future, but I think this time it could be different.’
She hesitated. Her doubts came not from the tremendous strength of her feelings for him but from a more practical and mundane level. Ireland was an inconvenient platform to underpin her eventing career, and she’d come too far, worked too hard not to maximize her chances of success.
‘The timing’s not right. I need to focus on securing a ride for Badminton. There might not even be enough time left for that, so it might be Burghley for the next big outing.’ She paused. ‘I need to get a string of four-star horses in order to qualify for the next Olympics.’
‘But after that, surely you can move your horses and make your base here with me?’ His eyes blazed with passionate intensity.
She gulped, not trusting herself to speak. Right now, her ambition to win another gold medal transcended everything. She had to go back home to Matt, at least until she had the horse, and yet she wanted Tommy so badly.
‘Maybe. It’s a way off. Let’s see.’
‘Matt will never understand you like I do. Never in a thousand years.’
‘Please.’ She pulled herself free. ‘It’s all happening so quickly. Don’t you think we ought to wait a while?’
‘I know it’s what you really want. Damn it. Just say yes.’
‘Oh,’ she whispered, and her answer rose from her heart. ‘Of course, I want us to be together. It’s just that… well. Maybe you could move to England?’
Tommy shrugged. ‘I’m an Irishman born and bred. No offence intended, but I don’t set much store by England and most of the English. Some o’ them look down their noses as if we’re only fit for tarmacking driveways and the like. But for you, since you’re an American and they love the Irish, I’ll think about it.’
At that moment, the sound of a phone ringing came shrill and insistent from the depths of her purse. Juliet jumped. She looked down and snatched up her cell phone.
‘Don’t answer it.’ Tommy leaned over the table and grabbed her arm with an unexpected roughness. As his face moved closer, she could smell the whiskey on his breath.
‘Tommy, please…’ He loosened his grip and watched every move as she picked up the phone and took the call. ‘Hello?’
‘Juliet, good news,’ Matt said without any hint of animosity or anger. ‘We got full planning permission and Land Development Ltd. have just improved their offer by half a million. I think I can increase that to three-quarters of a million more. It’s the chance of a lifetime.’
‘Oh, that’s great,’ came her flat reply.
‘And that’s not all. Chi-Chi Charlie’s in the bag.’ He paused. ‘They’ll get him moved to our yard next week, but with one proviso. Soon, we’ll need to find a base near the M1. When are you coming home?’
Juliet bit her lip. ‘I’m at the airport.’ She looked at Tommy and registered the pain and confusion in his face. She screwed her eyes tight shut.
‘Hello, did you hear me?’
Juliet took a deep breath. ‘Yes, I heard you.’
She turned the phone off and replaced it in her purse. ‘Matt found me a four-star horse that’s entered for Badminton. I have to go back. It’s my last chance to qualify.’
‘Right you are, then,’ Tommy said, his tone even, but the look of desolation on his face told a different story. She felt his pain as sharp and keen as if she owned it.
‘Tommy, please. Right now, I have to do this, but we can work something out. We can –’ she started, but he raised a finger to her lips.
‘Shush. You know that we’re meant to be together now. Don’t you?’
They both stood up and took a few steps. He drew her in his arms and held her close. ‘Well then,’ he said at last. ‘It’s time to be making tracks. Now, you have my mobile number?’
‘Yes.’ She forced herself to walk slowly towards the departure gate.
‘And you’ll be sure to phone me about the arrangements for Espiritus, and anything else? You won’t hesitate to call me, anytime, if there are any problems?’
Juliet turned. She wanted to speak but she couldn’t. She said no with a shake of her head and tried to swallow the lump in her throat. She stopped. Neither of them moved. She didn’t want to let him out of her sight.
A loudspeaker announcement called for the last passengers on her flight to board immediately. Reluctantly, she set off, wondering how it would feel without him. But right now, she had to be tough. She had to make sure that she brought home another Olympic gold.
Aim straight and keep your focus. She gave herself an internal pep talk.
‘Juliet,’ he called, sprinting after her. ‘There’s something that I must tell you. I –’
Juliet waved. ‘I’ll call you when I land.’
And she continued briskly to the gate, wondering what he had to say that was so important.
About The Author:
J.J Hughes was born in Cottingley, a quaint little village in West Yorkshire, UK. Her grandfather Arthur Shackleton [was related to Sir Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer – but the furthest grand-dad travelled perhaps was up the road to the men -only social club, but then he rose early and worked long and hard and filled the house with the amazing aromas of freshly baked cakes and bread..so could not be kneading dough and adventuring at the same time. Mouths always have to be fed, don’t they and baking is hard, hot, thirsty work] J.J. Hughes parents Margaret and Arnold Simpson lived with her grandfather above the shop, the house was large, old and rambling with a proliferation of attics and spider filled cellars, if you cared to look closely- generally the author did not, preferring to spend her time playing catch, hop-scotch and the like in the cobbled streets, catching minnows in the beck [a small stream] or swimming beneath the waterfall which is famous for fairies, after two local girls [Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths] photographed them in 1917 [Or did they?]. Subsequently the photo’s proved to be fake, and this inspired a movie called ‘Fairy Tale: A True Story’ which starred Peter O’Toole playing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [the creator/author of Sherlock Holmes.] He was taken in by the hoax, but then again to this day J.J.Hughes believes in elves/fairies/mermaids/unicorns and all things Elemental and Other Worldly. Nearby to Cottingley is the author’s Favourite Place: think Hovis ad’s , steam trains, cobbled streets, try Tetleys real ale in Haworth, which is famous for the wild moors and the Bronte sisters – who wrote ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Jane Eyre’ which are two of her Favourite Novels , along with ‘Pride and Prejudice’ [Jane Austen] and ‘Gone with the Wind’ [Margaret Mitchell]. Feisty heroines and fill-their-boots heroes, win hands down every time? J.J.Hughes was blessed and inspired by two incredible English teachers, Paddy and Vanda. Thanks to Paddy, a brilliant photographer [a passionate, Irish man with big beard, bowler hat and rather eccentric black flowing cape] she developed a life long love of film as a medium. Later, after leaving school, she studied English/American Literature with Film Studies at the University of East Anglia [U.E.A.] Norwich, and subsequently an MA in Creative Writing at Surrey University. Career wise, after a year or so teaching English abroad she accidentally landed a job in the City of London in an Investment Bank. After three amazing children came along, she quit the City and headed for the Surrey Hills, trained as a Life Coach and Passion Test Facilitator, and went on to co-author a No 1 Best Selling Spiritual self help book called ‘Inspired by the Passion Test’. J.J Hughes is passionate about horses, the paranormal, New Age spirituality, self-development, travel, karma and reincarnation, crime…justice….. in no particular order. She has had numerous prophetic premonitions – usually about death, which so far despite a few close shaves she has escaped. She came to believe in reincarnation in her mid-twenties when her old horse Red made a re-appearance, this time as a palomino called Hooray Henry. Now, she’s an experienced Coach/Mentor, Passion Test Facilitator and Soul Re-alignment specialist. Topics currently piquing her interest are Spirituality and Science, where she’s hoping to see more inter-disciplinary co-operation, to solve the great remaining mysteries of life including man’s origins. On that note she’s keen on Panspermia – the theory of life being seeded from outer space. She’s mighty curious about Aliens- when will they come out of the closets – and what are the ethical, moral and other massive implications of A.I. and Robots? Will the FANGS [Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google..sorts] colonise Mars- will we get all the plastic out of the seas? Will humanity swap hugs and harmony for mass destruction? Love and Light from J.J.Hughes x