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Unlocked short story collection in aid of Trussell Trust (excerpt)


The Blurb


From murder to magic, loss to love, Berlin to Bologna and everything in between, this brilliant anthology showcases 16 unique short stories from the D20 Authors, a best-selling group of writers whose debuts were published during the COVID 2020 lockdowns.

Meet the cleaner who won’t let anything stand between her and her job; the ocean diver with a mysterious mission; the pyromaniac driven by a painful compulsion; and the politician struggling to balance it all….

Compiled by best-selling author Philippa East, and covering everything from crime to romance, mystery to uplit, this multi-genre collection has a story for everyone. Contributors to UnLocked have been longlisted, shortlisted and winners of a variety of awards, including The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, The McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Book, The Guardian’s Not-The-Booker Prize, The People’s Book Prize for Fiction, and the CWA New Dagger Award for best debut of the year.

With this superb anthology, the D20 Authors are delighted to be raising funds for the Trussell Trust, a charity who supports a nationwide network of food banks, and together they provide emergency food and support to people facing hardship, and campaign to end the need for food banks in the UK.


Debra Barnes

Tom Benjamin

Caroline Bishop

Emma Christie

Catherine Cooper

Polly Crosby

Victoria Dowd

Philippa East

Tim Ewins

Gillian Harvey

Nydia Hetherington

Anna Jefferson

Penny Jenkins

Louise Mumford

Holly Race

Rosie Walker

Get to know some of the best fiction writers publishing today, support the Trussell Trust and treat yourself to some great entertainment by reading this exceptional collection.

Trussell Trust 

We support a nationwide network of food banks and together we provide emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK.

In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children. We support more than 1,200 food bank centres in the UK to provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, as well as support to help people resolve the crises they face. Between April 2019 and March 2020, food banks in our network provided a record 1.9 million food supplies to people in crisis, an 18% increase on the previous year and during the coronavirus pandemic food banks have seen need rise even further. You can find out more about the impact of our work during the pandemic in our latest report, available here.

We know it takes more than food to end hunger. That’s why we recently launched our five year strategic plan. We know our goal to end the need for food banks is ambitious, but by working Together for Change, we believe it is achievable.

THE REEF excerpt


Now, her breath was everything.

She pictured her lungs, fat with life. The muffled whisper of each inhale and exhale was amplified by the snorkel tube, made her feel bigger than she was.

But more guilty.

She sighed then swam through the sound of it, repeating one phrase in her head.

Alan made me do this.

She headed back to the boat, grunting as she pulled herself onto the narrow metal steps hung over the side. She wanted to reach for Alan’s chaffed hands, feel them grip her freezing, slippery fingers. She wanted him to haul her over the side of the boat like a prize catch, to wrap her in an oversized towel and bring her the last of the whisky. Not this. Never this.

She had one foot on the top rung when the boat lurched to her side, throwing her back into the water. She tried again, fell again, then gave up. She’d swim for a while instead, watch life.

The sea was calm today. A few fish inspected the sandy floor, bellies flashing green and blue and silver when they turned and caught the light. Some swam alone, hunting and hunted. But mostly they moved together, stayed low and headed towards the reef. Towards Alan.

She started swimming after them, then hesitated and checked her watch. Grief clogged her throat. The worst part – the watching part – wouldn’t be over yet. There would still be movement, traces of loss. No, she’d stay well away until Alan was definitely gone. She turned around and kicked hard, one arm stretched ahead of her as she powered through the water. She kept the other arm by her side, hand gripping the smooth handle of the harpoon gun.


Published by Books’n’banter

Hi and welcome to my new blog. I’m reading and reviewing the books I read, after a long break I realised just how much I missed reviewing. I’ve been a voracious reader since childhood and I don’t imagine that changing. 
If you would like me to read and review a book you’re bringing out, please feel free to contact me. If it’s not my type of book I won’t waste your time by agreeing. I don’t promise 5 star reviews, and I know authors do appreciate feedback , but I can only promise an honest review. 
 Genres I love include crime, thriller, tartan noir is a stand out favourite. I do also enjoy horror, and other fiction/non fiction as they take my fancy. 
Please feel free to tell me if you have any recommendations for books to read whether they are already out or just about to. Reviews will be published on Twitter and Goodreads. Contact me here on the blog or email me at 
Many thanks 
for visiting! Angi 

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