It gives me great pleasure, thanks to Grace Pilkington, to welcome JM Briscoe to stay in with me today to chat about her latest book and to commence the blog tour. Let’s dive straight in.
Staying in with JM Briscoe
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Jenny and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
And thank you very much for having me!
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
The Child Left in the Dark, book two of my soft sci-fi trilogy Take Her Back. It is officially published on November 5 (and it’s actually my favourite of the three novels, but don’t tell the others!).
Ha! I think book one, The Girl with the Green Eyes might have something to say about that!
What can we expect from an evening in with The Child Left in the Dark?
The Child Left in the Dark is the second part of a soft sci-fi trilogy, Take Her Back. The first novel, The Girl with the Green Eyes, was long-listed for The Bridport Prize in 2020 and became an Amazon bestseller upon its release in 2021.
That’s very impressive. Congratulations.
The story follows a young woman, Bella D’accourt, a ‘designer baby’ who has been genetically engineered for extreme beauty. When, as a child, her parents discover some more sinister traits in the young Bella, her mother takes her back to the scientists behind the designer baby programme and claims she is ‘defective’. Thus begins a dark and twisty tale taking place both in the past and present-day following Bella, her teenage daughter Ariana and some ‘skin-crawling bad guys’ as one reviewer put it!
Wow. That sounds a fantastic premise for a narrative. Would you call it sci-fi?
One of my favourite reader quotes about The Girl with the Green Eyes is ‘it’s sci-fi which doesn’t feel like sci-fi’. While there are plenty of sci-fi elements to the series (human/animal genetic experimentation, people whose humanity has been removed, a little girl who can fly, etc) at its core it’s almost more of a thriller with a strong mother/daughter theme. So I’d advise even those who don’t feel like sci-fi is their thing to give it a go… For a few people, it has changed their minds about the entire genre.
I think you’ve just summed me up completely Jenny. I’ll definitely have to try your series! Do I need to read the books in order?
I’ve had readers enjoy The Child Left in the Dark without first reading The Girl with the Green Eyes, but most strongly advise reading the latter first to fully enjoy the next instalment (and I would tend to agree!)
I’ll take that advice. What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
I’ve brought along a nice bottle of red wine (Bella’s drink of choice), a bag of Kettle Chips and my writing/editing playlist (which has everything from Radiohead to Alexis Ffrench). I’ve also brought the large oak tree from outside my office window, which is what I look at when I’m pondering. It’s resplendent in all its autumnal glory at the moment, which is how I like it best (until the leaves drop and I have to rake them all up, of course!). Oh, and a couple of cats, in case one of them deigns to struggle through their general indifference and sit on my lap.
Cats are always welcome in this house! Whilst I won’t share your wine as it tends to make me ill, I will have a few of those Kettle Chips please! Thank you so much for staying in with me to tell me about The Child Left in the Dark. I think it sounds both brilliant and demanding. I’ll give Linda’s Book Bag readers a few more details and leave you to try to persuade the cats to co-operate…
The Child Left in the Dark
PART TWO OF TAKE HER BACK TRILOGY – The Child Left in the Dark is the follow-up to the stunning, The Girl with the Green Eyes.
There’s something growing in her that’s going beyond us. Some sort of darkness, a confidence… the more it emerges, the more she seems to just… disappear.
It has been six months since Bella and her daughter Ariana were driven into a desperate flight across the country. Six months since the explosive events at the Futura Laboratory changed their lives forever. Bella must live with the impossible decision she made back in the autumn, even if the consequences are monstrous. She will do whatever it takes to keep Ariana safe, even from herself. Especially from herself.
Ariana, meanwhile, cannot escape the nightmares of the terrifying creatures she saw at the lab. Struggling with the reality of a life out of the shadows, Ariana cannot help but feel more alone than ever. Except for the voices, of course. The whispers of a creeping, dark blankness growing within her. Everyone tells her she is normal. Everyone is lying.
Published by Bad Ink Press, The Child Left in the Dark is available for purchase here.
About J M Briscoe
J M Briscoe is a sci-fi author, journalist, SEO editor and mum-of-three based in Berkshire, UK. She writes a strong female lead, bakes a mean birthday cake and has been known to do both simultaneously. Her debut novel, The Girl with the Green Eyes, reached the top 20 of nearly 1600 entrants to The Bridport Prize: Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award in 2020.
Jenny currently works as a freelance SEO editor and also writes a light-hearted parenting blog called Fearless Worrier.
For further information, visit J M Briscoe’s website, find her on Facebook and Instagram and follow her on Twitter @jm_briscoe.
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