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Francesca - Book Excerpt

Book Title: Francesca

Author: Gillian Godden

Thank you to Love Books Tours for allowing me to be part of the tour of Francesca, I'm very excited to bring you the exclusive excerpt below.


Single mother Francesca is struggling to get by when an act of desperation leads to her owing a debt to notorious gangland boss, Tony Lambrianu. Tony has his own troubles – a change of image from playboy to respectable married man is needed to further his criminal career. He has women falling at his feet, but none he wants to make his wife. As Francesca is drawn deeper into the dark underworld dealings of Tony and his associates, she has to make alliances of her own to survive. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her small son. This is a roller coaster ride of high stakes, dirty tricks, loyalty and love. Strap in – it’s a hell of a trip!


Getting out of the black cab, I handed over the fare and put my coat over my arm. It was getting warmer than I had presumed it would earlier. Although the skies had looked dull this morning, it had surprised everyone when the sun had shone and the clouds had disappeared.
Walking towards the huge building in front of me and reaching my hand up to the door handle, I was just about to pull it open when, through the glass pane in the centre of the door, I saw the man I loved standing at the bar. Standing on either side of him were two beautiful leggy young blonde women, each with her arm around his waist, laughing and joking without a care in the world.
I instantly pulled my hand away from the handle, and although the sun was blocking my view slightly, I surveyed the happy scene before me. How I had once dreaded walking in on such a cosy scene like this, and how all my insecurities had risen at the thought of it.
Looking at my watch, I noticed it was another half an hour before I was due to meet him. The journey into the West End of London hadn’t taken as long as I had thought. Deciding to leave them all to it I looked around and spotted a coffee shop with people sitting outside under umbrellas enjoying the sunshine and watching the crowds passing by.
The West End of London was in all of its glory on a sunny day. Tourists were walking along the footpaths, while would-be artists drew chalk drawings of famous celebrities on the pavements, people watching in awe at their talent. Buskers with their guitars sang away, hoping for tips from the crowds of people passing by.
Taking a seat at a table, I ordered a coffee from the smiling waitress who came out to meet me, notepad in hand waiting for my order. Pointless really—I only wanted a black coffee, not one of the fancy ones advertised on the windows of the café. I looked across at the huge building with its flags heralding the owner’s name and remembered the happy scene I had left behind me. The waitress put my coffee on the table before and asked if I wanted anything else.
Shaking my head to indicate no, I lifted the cup to my lips to take a sip and thanked her and then put the cup down back on its saucer. My mind wandered off again. I had been thinking a lot about the past lately. I didn’t know why. But sometimes in quiet moments, things you haven’t thought about for years suddenly pop into your mind at the oddest moments, and you just wander off into the past to the person you once were. You know what I mean, don’t you?

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Author Biography:

My name is Gillian Godden an Indie author and a full time NHS Key worker at a local inner city medical centre in East Hull, East Yorkshire, England. My patients come from all sectors of society and no two days are ever the same. My duty of care is to my patients and during the recent pandemic a lot of frightened and lonely people have relied upon us at the medical centre to offer guidance and support. This year is the 72nd anniversary of the NHS and we do everything we can to support out patients when they need us.

When I come home I like to wind down and writing is my escape from the mental stresses of my day. My job is not a 9 to 5 job and I work to support my patients when they need me so my days can be long.

The medical team at the surgery work together to support all our patients during their time of worry and need.

On a more personal note , I grew up in a large family and am the youngest of 7 siblings. Over the years we have lost touch as life moves on. I lived in London for over 30 years and during this time I worked in various London stripper pubs and venues. I have a grown up son who now lives and works in London as a hematology lab technician. He has been working on the Covid 19 testing and this has been a worrying time for us as a family.

Once he left for University 5 years ago I had more time on my hands I was encouraged to write a short story by a local library book competition. First prize was a P&O cruise and 2nd prize was £50, I lost to a pigeon fancier and an addicted crocheter.

My NHS colleagues supported my writing and encouraged me to continue to write, however being a little green and naive I went with a Vanity publisher, much to my cost. This experience did give me a platform to showcase my first book Francesca on Amazon and in the online book clubs. I was totally over whelmed by the response and people messaged me via social media wanting to know more about the characters and how Tony Lambrianu grew up and became so successful in the London Gangland crime world.

To answer their questions I went backwards in time and wrote Dangerous games and Nasty business. These also were successfully received by my now increasing readership, so in order to complete the series I wrote Dirty Dealings.

My readers are still interested in the characters throughout my books and asked for more information on the lives of Julie and Ralph Gold, so as I do everything I can to support my patients in my NHS job I wanted to do the same for my readers, so I am now writing Gold, the story of Julie and Ralph. Although this is a standalone book readers who have read all my other books will soon be able to find out more about Julie and Ralphs life and how they met


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