Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books are part of the blog 'road' tour for Asia Mackay's debut book "Killing It :Bad Guys Can Wait. Bedtime Can't". This was a runner-up in the Richard and Judy's Search for a Bestseller competition in 2017. Recently, it has been published by Zaffre (12 July 2018) and has since gathered momentum.
This book depicts real-life parenting intertwined with being a covert government agent "MUM". It's a new breed of hero: clutching a nappy bag in one hand and the latest gadgets in the other. The plot is thrilling and is laced with witty adult humour, fast-paced action WHILST BEING very observant about everyday life. Here is a small extract to pique your interest in picking up a copy.
Every working mum has had to face it.
The guilt-fuelled, anxiety-filled first day back in the office after maternity leave.
But this working mum is one of a kind.
Meet Alexis Tyler.
An elite covert agent within Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Her first project back is a high-stakes hit of global significance and the old boys network of government espionage is far from ready for the return of an operational mother. But woe betide anyone who ever tells Alexis Tyler 'you can't'.
She will have it all. Or she'll die trying . . .
Packed into a full eastbound commuter train, I deeply missed the VIP status of Transport for London’s tacky ‘Baby on Board’ badge. I stood rammed up against the doors and looked around the carriage. It was all dark clothes and solemn faces. The only splash of bright colour came from a woman in a party dress with panda eyes and bed hair. She kept tugging down at the short frayed hem as suited men watched her over the top of their newspapers.
I had forgotten how miserable the morning commute was. I pulled out my phone and clicked on my ‘GigiCam’ app. Up popped a live feed of Gigi, now indulging in a strawberry yogurt facial. I stroked the screen. I missed her already. But having access to an arsenal of government-issue surveillance equipment was definitely helping.
Thanks to motion-activated cameras hidden all over the house and the GPS tracker in the pram I could not only keep an eye on what Beata was pureeing for Gigi’s lunch, but track their movements all over Chiswick. I had also tasked Bryan in R & D to work on a prototype tiny camera that could be hidden inside Gigi’s amber teething necklace. He had been making good progress although he had warned it was unlikely the image quality would be the requested HD. To make up for this disappointment he had added a sound sensor notification to the app – if Gigi’s crying reached a certain decibel I would immediately get an alert to my phone allowing me to check the cause of her tears and assess Beata’s reaction to them. Hands-free parenting made easy.
Gigi was currently staring transfixed at Beata, who was balancing a
bright pink plastic cup on her head and wobbling around the kitchen with more grace than I expected from someone of her build. Gigi had thankfully taken to the no-nonsense mother-of-four immediately. My own confidence in Beata was undoubtedly helped by the office undertaking several exhaustive background checks, a month of surveillance and even arranging for a local agent to visit her small hometown in Eastern Poland.
The cup fell from Beata’s head and Gigi squealed with laughter.
The worries I had quietened, the tight knot in my chest loosened. Gigi was being well looked after, I was getting back to work, this is what I always wanted. To have it all. And, one day, it would prove to my daughter that she could, too.
But hopefully with a job that didn’t involve quite so much bloodshed.
I looked around the carriage and saw nothing but glazed eyes and stifled yawns. Not me. I felt more awake than I had been since I entered the baby haze of sleep-deprivation. I felt ready. Fully prepared for my first day back. Excited, even. I could do this. I was an Assassa-Mum.
I definitely needed to work more on the name.