Today I have the pleasure of being one of three stops on LK Chapman’s The Stories She Tells blog tour! 🙂
Make sure you check out the other posts on the tour, if you haven’t already…..
Emily and her husband Andy lived in an old Victorian terrace, which they’d stripped back to the brick and then done most of the renovations themselves. In fact, Michael and Sadie had helped out a few times with the decorating in exchange for as much beer and takeaway pizza as they could manage. Personally, Michael hated the cutesy country cottage look that they’d replaced the peeling wallpaper and woodchip with, but he liked Emily and Andy well enough, even though they were really Sadie’s friends, not his. Emily had been Sadie’s closest friend at university, and he knew that made it even more painful that Emily had recently had the news Sadie was so desperately hoping for. It was late by the time they finished eating and Sadie went off to help Emily clear up in the kitchen, so Michael found himself left at the dining table with Andy. A small, quiet man with a mop of dense, dark hair and thick eyebrows, Andy had never been somebody Michael found it easy to talk to. In fact, most of the time Andy seemed quite content to be in the shadow of Emily, who was far more personable and sometimes even spoke for him. However, they managed to keep up some small talk for a minute or so, and then Michael found himself asking the question he probably least wanted to hear the answer to. ‘So,’ he said, ‘you looking forward to being a dad?’ Andy looked a little unsure. ‘Yeah,’ he said, ‘I mean, kind of scared too. I don’t really know what to expect.’ Michael was about to speak but he noticed Andy was giving him an odd look. ‘What?’ Michael said. ‘What is it?’ ‘I just remembered… you must already have a bit of experience of it.’ Michael laughed. ‘I never have anything to do with kids,’ he said. ‘I have a little nephew, but I don’t see very much of him – my sister doesn’t live round here.’ Andy frowned, ‘I… uh, sorry, I must have got mixed up,’ he said. Michael began to feel uneasy. He wished he could drop the whole conversation, but he knew he’d feel troubled until he understood what Andy was talking about. ‘Mixed up about what?’ Andy began to look intensely uncomfortable, but he must have realised he couldn’t get away without some sort of explanation so he tried his best to give one. ‘Emily said something about you having a baby with an ex-girlfriend,’ he said, ‘but I must have heard her wrong.’ He quickly got up and started clearing the remaining glasses from the dining table while Michael watched him in astonishment, his skin beginning to prickle. Rae, he thought to himself, remembering his ex-girlfriend for the first time in years. He’s talking about Rae.
When Michael decides to track down ex-girlfriend Rae who disappeared ten years ago while pregnant with his baby, he knows it could change his life forever. His search for her takes unexpected turns as he unearths multiple changes of identity and a childhood she tried to pretend never happened, but nothing could prepare him for what awaits when he finally finds her.
Appearing to be happily married with a brand-new baby daughter, Rae is cagey about what happened to Michael’s child and starts to say alarming things- that her husband is trying to force her to give up her new baby for adoption, that he’s attempting to undermine the bond between her and her child, and deliberately making her doubt her own sanity.
As Michael is drawn in deeper to her disturbing claims he begins to doubt the truth of what she is saying. But is she really making it all up, or is there a shocking and heartbreaking secret at the root of the stories she tells?
About the author…..
Louise Katherine Chapman was born in Somerset, UK, in 1986. She studied psychology at the University of Southampton and has worked as a psychologist creating personality questionnaires for a consultancy company. She has also spent some time volunteering for mental health charity Mind.
Chapman loves to write because she loves learning about people and she loves stories. A major turning point in her life was the day she realised that no matter how strange, cruel or unfathomable the actions of other people can sometimes be, there is always a reason for it, some sequence of events to be unravelled. Since then she is always asking “why” and “what if” and she is fascinated by real life stories capturing the strength, peculiarities or extremes of human nature.
LK Chapman’s first novel, Networked, was a sci-fi thriller but now she’s turned her attention to writing psychological suspense. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and young family, and enjoys walks in the woods, video games, and spending time with family and friends.