False Lights by KJ Whittaker | Blog Tour Extract

September 14, 2017 Tours and Events 1

Hey everyone!
Today I’m delighted to take part in the blog tour for a fab new book FALSE LIGHTS by
KJ Whittaker.

Scroll down for a lovely extract!

‘Crow!’ Kitto spoke with such sharp urgency that he reined in.
‘What?’ He turned in the saddle to face his brother and instead saw a dead rifleman
looking back at him, his jaw nothing but bare white bone and half his face bloodied and
blackened by the cannon blast that had killed him. Crow stared at the black embroidered
frogging on the rifleman’s dark green jacket, the three rows of pale buttons: every detail
stood out with terrifying clarity.
‘Crow?’ The rifleman had gone, and in his place Kitto stared at him as though the head
had just been blown clear from his shoulders. He slid from the saddle, running to the
cliff-edge. ‘There’s someone drowned on the beach.’
‘For Christ’s sake.’ With great effort, Crow forced himself to breathe steadily, to
remember that he was in Cornwall, not Spain or France, and dismounted, following his
brother to a cliff-edge fringed with seagrass tossing in the wind. Kitto was right. Down
where sand met the black, seaweed-covered rocks littering Lamorna Cove, a sodden
heap of pale cloth lay in the shallows: an unmistakably human form. It was all they
needed, but this was his land, and whoever had washed up dead on it was now his
concern, adding to the limitless weight of responsibilities already borne. ‘Arkwright, let’s
get down there.’
‘She’s moving, milord.’

Only Arkwright could readily obey an order and still make one feel like some idiot of a
subaltern. Shoving past him, Crow ran the rest of the way, skidding down the steep,
root-strewn path that led to the beach. By the time he reached the girl she had struggled
to her feet, perhaps at the sound of their voices, most assuredly not dead. She was tall
and statuesque, her skin a rich, deep golden-brown. Sodden muslin and linen petticoats
clung to the strong curves of her body; the fine curls of her hair had started to dry, to
spring away from her shoulders, the colour of wet sand. Staggering against cold waves,
she swayed. She could hardly stand, clearly at the limit of her endurance. Frigid water
plunged over the top of Crow’s boots; he had walked in to meet the girl without thinking
of it. Her breasts heaved with the sheer exhausted effort of moving, her skin speckled
with goosebumps.
‘Let me help you,’ he heard himself say. ‘Has there been a wreck?’ Crow’s gaze flickered
across the bay but he saw nothing save cresting waves and the looming ships of the
blockade. How had this girl survived the sea? How had she not drowned? Was she a
servant, a runaway slave, even? The trade might be forbidden on English soil, but not
slavery itself. And rogue traders still took on water and supplies at Bristol even though
their business was technically forbidden. It was possible. Or perhaps she was just one of
the sailmaker’s daughters from St Endellion. Whoever she was, she should not have
been walking out of the sea. It took every last scrap of resolve to keep his eyes on her
face, away from her body.
‘I wrecked them. They’re dead.’ Her chest heaved, breasts straining against her bodice.
Each word that fell from her lips was polished and glasslike. This was no sailmaker’s
daughter. ‘They killed my father.’


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