Saturday 10 April 2021

Read A Sneak Preview Of Don't Turn Around By Jessica Barry

Today, I'm sharing an exclusive sneak preview of one of the chapters from Don't Turn Around by Jessica Barry, an exciting new thriller hitting the market in paperback on April 15th! Carry on reading, if you are interested in checking out an exclusive chapter of this new thriller and stay tuned for my review coming next week!

What Is Don't Turn Around About:

Two strangers, Cait and Rebecca, are driving across America.

Cait's job is to transport women to safety. Out of respect, she never asks any questions. Like most of the women, Rebecca is trying to escape something.

But what if Rebecca's secrets put them both in danger? There's a reason Cait chooses to keep on the road, helping strangers. She has a past of her own, and knows what it's like to be followed.

And there is someone right behind them, watching their every move...

Before reading this chapter make sure you check out Novel Deelights who is sharing the chapter before this one and if you missed the first chapter then make sure head over to A little book problem to give it a read. 

Here are the rest of the bloggers who are sharing exclusive chapters for you to read and a giveaway for you to take part in on the last day.

Exclusive chapter preview:


It was supposed to be a tongue- in- cheek personal essay: nothing more. It was a little clickbaity, maybe, but that’s how Internet journalism worked. You wrote a piece about something, your editor stuck a controversial headline on it, and you got eyeballs. Eyeballs meant advertiser money, and advertiser money meant the website could pay their writers. Not much, obviously. Five hundred dollars was the most she’d ever gotten for a story, and that was a spon- con thing for a hotel chain. The stuff she’d cared about got much less— sometimes nothing. She got a hundred dollars for this one. She typed up the story as soon as the Lyft dropped her back at her apartment, the alcohol wearing off after a strong cup of coffee, leaving her buzzing and jittery. She wrote the whole thing in an hour and sent it to her editor— well, the woman she hoped would be her editor— at a website that specialized in confessional essays and gossip.

“Thought you’d like this,” she wrote, and after she hit send, she took a long, hot shower and went to bed. She didn’t have high hopes for it— Jake was well known in Austin, but he was only starting to break out nationally, and country music was generally considered pretty niche. But the timing worked in her favor, and editors were clamoring for Me Too content, especially when it involved a famous (or even semifamous) man and salacious sexual details. In the morning, there was an email waiting in her inbox: “Loved this,” the editor wrote, “but I think we should publish anonymously. I spoke to our legal team and we can’t cover your liability. We’ll pay you two hundred for your trouble. Sound okay?” She said it would go live later that day. Cait was a little bummed that she wouldn’t get the byline, but she was still getting paid to be published, so she took herself for fancy coffee to celebrate. She sat in the cafĂ© texting Alyssa and swapping stories with her about their night. Alyssa had ended up ditching the tech bro at Cedar Street and then gotten in a limo with a bunch of Israelis who were about to ship back to their home country and start their stints in the national army. “Those guys can really party,” Alyssa typed, along with a long string of emojis. “What happened to you?” she added. “You disappeared! *poof of smoke emoji*”

Cait filled Alyssa in on the details of her evening and told her to look out for the article later that day. At two p.m., the piece went live under the headline “WORST. DATE. EVER.” The thumbnail was a photograph of Jake’s brooding face with a pair of devil horns Photoshopped on the top of his head. Cait clicked on the link with a fizz of nerves. The website wasn’t in the big leagues, but it was gaining some cultural traction, and she was hoping that the article could put her on the ground floor of the new Jezebel or Man Repeller. She skim- read it, making note of what the editor had changed and what she hadn’t. She thought it held up— it was funny and caustic and, yeah, maybe a little brutal, but the guy was a total asshole. He deserved to get it with both barrels. She read it again, sent it to Alyssa, put on her uniform, and went to work at the bar. When she checked her phone, after the bar was shut and the bottles had been married up and the back mirrors wiped as clean as she could get them, she realized that the piece had blown up.

It was what every writer wanted, right? As many eyes on the work as possible. But not in this way, not like this. The comment section was filled with his fans calling her worse than he had. A lot of them were women. There were men on there, too, telling her that she was a whore, that she deserved to be raped in order to be taught a lesson, that women like her were dirt, that women like her deserved to die. The word “skullfuck” was used in more ways than Cait had previously thought possible. She felt sick to her stomach. Who were these people, and why did they hate her so much? Okay, so maybe she’d played it up a little in the article, but everything she’d written was fundamentally true. He had choked her when they were having sex. She had been scared, though maybe not quite as scared as she’d made herself out to be. 

Though that was only because she knew how these things usually played out. Jake hadn’t wanted to kill her or even hurt her. He’d just wanted to show her he could,
because he got off on the power. He wasn’t exactly a rarity in that respect. Still, a wave of shame washed over her, hot and thick. She must have done something wrong for people to hate her like this. It must somehow be her fault. She was asking for it. She read that line over and over. She had pursued Jake, it was true. She’d known what she was doing when she was dancing in front of him, had known the kind of promises she was making with her body. She had gone home with him willingly, had sex with him without asking any questions. Did she really have a right to complain just because his version of pleasure was different from her own?

Hadn’t she always known something like this would happen to her one day? Wasn’t she lucky that it wasn’t worse? There was an email from the editor waiting in her inbox. The subject line was “Holy Shit.” “Your story has had more clicks in the past eight hours than anything we’ve published before!” And a text from Alyssa. “No one knows you wrote that piece, right? You need to keep it that way, because people are going CRAZY.” Cait pulled a glass off the stack, poured herself a few fingers of bourbon, sank it in a few swift swallows. Poured herself another. She’d have to write it off as wastage so JB wouldn’t get pissy when he did the stock take. She felt the liquor slide down into her stomach, warming her fingers and toes, loosening the knot at the base of her throat. Alyssa was right: she was lucky no one knew she was the one who’d written that article. Because right now, it was looking like a huge mistake.

Does this chapter spark your interest in Don't Turn Around? Then, make sure you check out Chocolate en waffles who is hosting the next chapter for you to read. 

Pre-order a copy of Don't Turn Around HERE

My blog tour review is coming on the 15th April, so stay tuned! 

Thanks for reading, as always X 
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