Today I am excited to join the blog tour for the new psychological thriller, I Never Lie by Jody Sabral. I am a big fan of this genre and always happy to be introduced to new authors, so I am happy to be able to share an excerpt from the book with you, and hope you are as intrigued as I am.
Enjoy this excerpt of I Never Lie by Jody Sabral!
There’s a man in my bed. Shit. It’s not what I was expecting. They have usually gone by now, but this one, well, he’s different. He stayed the night, probably in the hope of securing a second shag. A mix of sweat and pine-fresh-infused sheets hovers in the hot, dry air between us. The heating came on an hour ago. It’s too high but I haven’t figured out how to change the settings yet. I keep meaning to, but, well, it’s one of those small things I don’t seem to get round to, you know what I mean? I wish I had, though. I literally feel like I’m baking in my own skin this morning.
My initial concerns about coming face to face with a stranger in the cold light of day are concealed by the darkness. The blackout blind I bought online last month to help with my poor sleep patterns was a savvy investment. There’s a lot to be said for good lighting or no lighting at my age – 39 today. Shit, that’s right, it’s my birthday. Not that he knows. I don’t give away personal details to men I shag casually or who I meet online.
His arm reaches around my waist as he snuggles up close, spooning me, which spikes my body temperature further. Moments later, his nose lightly brushes my cheek like a playful, affectionate puppy. Then comes the money move. He’s running his fingers along my shoulder, down my back, around my tummy to where the sun shines. A tender kiss caresses the back of my neck at the same time, and bingo! My head is throbbing and my body aches, but this is helping to stir some energy within.
I want to reach my hand around his back to pull him closer – that’s about all I can muster this morning after the big night out – but I soon realise that I can’t, because it’s tied to something. Tied to something? What the…? Panic starts to rise inside me and I try to vocalise it, but I can’t because the fear is so real and I have no energy, not even for that. My body is spent on the booze I packed away last night. The darkness feels like my own worst enemy now. Sensing my fear, he puts a hand over my mouth and shushes me. He’s got me where he wants me. I can’t see what is around my wrist, but it’s keeping me from any escape I might have wanted to make. I struggle for a moment, which seems to turn him on. Once he is sure I won’t talk, he goes down between my legs, and I hate to say it but this scenario is turning me on. I’ve never been tied up before, but it is oddly erotic. I let the initial fear go and submit to the unknown. Maybe today will be the day.
It doesn’t take long before he’s building up to an orgasm. I must have told him last night that I was on the pill, my usual line, so he’s going for it, completely oblivious to my real motives. Moments later, he’s holding me down by my throat, telling me how much he wants to fuck my brains out. I was enjoying it until this bit, but now his grip is a little too tight for comfort. I struggle, but he’s strong and I can’t move under his weight. He is thoroughly enjoying dominating me, but I’m unsure now because he seems to have crossed a line. Is this where it goes horribly wrong and my body is found in the park? I’m finding it difficult to breathe. Is he strangling me?
To my relief, he lets out a sigh and his body shudders before relaxing into the zone of true contentment that only comes from releasing his two million swimmers into my body. His grip releases and I’m left gasping for air. That was close. I thought he was going to hurt me, but it was just a play. The things I’ll put myself through to become pregnant have reached epic proportions. I can’t afford fertility treatment, so I’m stuck with shagging strangers. I focus on the result, not the means, but I wonder if I really want the child of a man into domination sex.
On average, only one million sperm go the 15 centimetre distance to a woman’s uterus and reach the egg, which is okay. It only takes one. He’s lying on his back, as am I, staring at the ceiling with his hands behind his head, breathing like he’s just un a marathon. I hope his sperm do. I feel the sweat on my chest and can only imagine what my hair looks like, but I am content that the race to my uterus is on.
‘That was great, Alex. You’re a real woman, you know that.’
Next thing I know, he’s untying my wrists. I feel like I’ve crossed a line too, but am not really sure what line it is or what it means. I’ve got what I wanted: the possibility of conceiving my own little critter. At my age, I haven’t got the time not to be doing this. Once I’m free, he stands and stretches his broad shoulders before searching on the floor for his underwear, which is a relief. I thought he might want to do breakfast.
In the dim light, an angel spreads its wings across his back. A tattoo. It’s sexy. Tough, yet gentle. An indication of the qualities his offspring might have? I realise in this moment that I have little recollection about last night and how I got into such a position. I must have been completely wasted, to the point where I blacked out. That happens more often than I’d like to admit, and the scary part is I can still walk, talk and do stuff.
He pulls the blind up to look for his clothes, and I can see his reflection out of the corner of my eye in the mirrored wardrobe that runs the width of the room. He is a good-looking man, but not in a clichéd way. He has character. He runs his hands through his messy dark brown hair, attempting to tame it, but the effort is futile. He has a round face, a warm and friendly face. In fact, he’s a babe. Suddenly self-conscious, I wrap the crumpled white cotton sheet around my naked body to protect myself from his gaze.
‘Jesus. Did we drink this?’ He has a half-empty bottle of vodka in his right hand. ‘It was under the end of the bed.’
I honestly can’t remember. ‘I guess we might have done…’
‘Wow, that was some night, Alex.’
Greg, my ex-fiancé, used to find bottles. We split up last year after he kicked me out, which was tough. He said I had a drink problem, but I don’t. I like a drink, but then so do millions of people every day. I have a good job. That’s not how people with drink problems live. I haven’t seen Greg since I came to London nine months ago. It’s been hard moving on, because I really loved him, more than I’ve ever loved anyone, but he was unable to get past what happened.
I’m trying my best to move forward. To heal. It’s not easy. I’m sure you know how that feels.
I like this guy’s style. He’s wearing a black and yellow checked shirt over a white T-shirt, and has just slipped his feet into a pair of black and white striped Converse. I might not have taken so much notice of his footwear, but Greg had exactly the same ones. They came out two years ago, and I bought them for his birthday the same week. It’s funny how objects can become reminders of the past and take on an almost spiritual sentimentality.
He’s leaning over to kiss my forehead, which is awkward, but only for the simple reason that I really just want him to go.
‘I had a great time, Alex. Here, shall I give you my number?’ His phone is in his hand.
I pull myself up slowly to deliver the bad news.
‘I had a great time too. It was lovely. But I’m not really looking for a relationship right now’
‘Right. Yeah, of course. I mean, me neither. I just… I’d like to see you again, if only like this.’
‘That’s nice, but seriously, you really don’t need to.’
‘Right.’ He’s hovering by the bed awkwardly. I’m trying my best to remember his name.
‘Nigel… do you have the Uber app? It’s still quite early, isn’t it?’
He looks away and clears his throat, then looks back and I think for a brief moment that I’ve got his name wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.
‘Don’t worry. I don’t live very far. I’ll get going, shall I?’
I smile softly and feel a bit guilty momentarily. But when the front door slams, I feel relieved. Free from another person’s expectations, quite literally. I’m prepared to have my mind changed on this should I meet the right man, but he hasn’t come along since I left Greg. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that he may never come along, which is why I’m just getting on with my own baby plans. I think being a mother would be the making of me. It would help me sort my shit out.
Is she the next victim? Or is she the culprit…?
Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?
This gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton, B A Paris and Clare Mackintosh.
Get your copy:
Release Date: 11th June 2018
About Jody Sabral:
Jody Sabral is based between the South Coast and London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement. In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post, Al–Monitor and Brics Post.
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