Wednesday 4 November 2020

Number 10 by C J Daugherty @CJ_Daugherty #Excerpt @MoonflowerBooks @MidasPR


One of the UK’s most critically acclaimed teen authors returns with a new novel set in the world of her hugely popular Night School series.

Number 10 tells the spinetingling story of 16-year-old Gray Langtry, the daughter of the UK’s female prime minister, who is about to get in way over her head.

After a wild night with friends is splashed across the tabloids, Gray is grounded for two weeks at Number 10 Downing Street, no ifs no buts.

Left alone one night, with her mother at an important meeting, Gray discovers a secret network of government tunnels leading from 10 Downing Street to the Houses of Parliament and beyond.  What starts as a bit of fun, suddenly gets serious, when Gray stumbles across a secret late night cabinet meeting and overhears what sounds like a Russian-led plot to kill her mother.

Wasting no time, she rushes back to inform her mother’s security detail, but with no proof of what she heard, no-one will believe a wayward teenager. Now, it’s up to Gray to break out of Number 10 and warn her mother before it’s too late.

With the help of her best friend Chloe and love interest Jake McIntyre – who just happens to be the son of the leader of the opposition – will she make it in time to save her mother?  And what will she have to sacrifice in the process?

Number 10 is a Night School spin off series that sees CJ Daugherty back at her spine tingling best.  Gripping, thrilling, and filled with intrigue, Number 10 explores the nexus of power in the UK from a teenager’s point of view. 

Number 10 by C J Daugherty is published on 10 November 2020 by Moonflower Books. My thanks to Midas PR who invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.
I am delighted to share an extract from Number 10 with you today.

Extract from Number 10 by CJ Daugherty

Chapter Two 

Clutching each other’s hands, the two girls ran into the darkness. 
Gray was still blinded by the flashes – through the spots swimming in front of her eyes, she saw four burly men clutching cameras. They stretched across the pavement, shoulder-to shoulder, a human roadblock. 
They were laughing, firing off shots like bullets. 
Using her elbows, she slammed between them, pulling Chloe with her. It was like pushing past boulders. 
The men kept laughing, but they gave way, letting the girls through. 
Heads down, hands covering their faces, the two of them raced down the street, their heels. Behind them, Gray could hear the heavy thud of the men’s footsteps as they followed, cameras flashing like tiny bomb blasts. 
‘Come on, Gray!’ one of them shouted. ‘Give us a smile.’ 
Neither of the girls was smiling. 
Even in heels, they were faster than out-of-shape, middle-aged photographers and, gradually, the voices faded in the distance. 
The men were still laughing as they dropped behind. 
‘It doesn’t matter,’ one of them taunted. ‘We got what we need.’ 
Finally, the noise of the city rose around them and Gray couldn’t hear them anymore. 
She kept running, hurtling down Park Lane, its trendy hotels and restaurants blurring at the side of her vision, until Chloe tripped on an uneven paving stone and fell to one knee, her hand slipping free of Gray’s. 

‘Chloe!’ Gray spun around, breathless and scared. ‘Are you Ok?’ 
Chloe didn’t answer. She stayed on her hands and knees, their jackets pooled around her. Gray knelt beside her. ‘Are you hurt?’ 
‘I’m fine.’ When Chloe looked up, though, her cheeks were damp. Eyeliner was smudged under her eyes. She looked scared. 
Chloe held out her hand. ‘Help me up.’ 
Gray pulled her to her feet with too much force and the two of them stumbled, clutching each other. A well-dressed couple walking by stared at them with open disapproval. 
Feeling raw and exposed, Gray turned her face away. 
She should have expected all of this. Bijou – popular with young royals and television celebrities – was often in the tabloids. Besides, this wasn’t the first time Gray had been targeted by the paparazzi. Things had been pretty bad right after the election. Back then, photographers showed up everywhere – outside her school, at the coffeeshop where the kids from her school went after class. 
After a tabloid posted a picture of her walking into school with the headline, ‘PM’s Teen Rocks Uber Short Skirt’ her mother had filed a formal press complaint. 
There’d been tense meetings with newspaper publishers and, for a while, they’d backed off. She’d believed the worst was over. She’d let her guard down. 
Let her mother down. 
The alcohol buzz had completely evaporated now. Gray felt clear-headed, tired and bone cold. Scooping her jacket off the pavement, she handed Chloe hers. 
‘We have to get going,’ she said. ‘They might follow us.’ 
‘We can’t run in these heels.’ Chloe’s teeth chattered and she pulled the jacket tightly across her chest. ‘We need a cab or something.’ 

But there were no free cabs. It was midnight on a Thursday night. All the central London pubs were emptying. Gray couldn’t stand on a street corner a few blocks from Bijou waiting for the photographers to find them while she tried to flag down a cab. 
A block away, a red, double-decker bus rumbled up to a stop. The interior looked safe. And warm. She made an instant decision. 
‘Let’s get on that bus,’ she said, pointing. ‘Then we’ll figure it out.’ 

C.J. Daugherty was 22 when she saw her first dead body. Although she’s now left the world of crime
reporting she has never lost her fascination with what it is that drives some people to do awful things as well as the kind of people who will try to stop them. While working as a civil servant she visited No. 10 Downing Street and saw people disappearing into a small door with her own eyes – this became the inspiration for the novel Number 10. 

A former crime reporter and accidental civil servant, C.J. Daugherty began writing the Night School series while working as a communications consultant for the Home Office. The young adult series was published by Little Brown and went on to sell over a million and a half copies worldwide. A web series inspired by the books clocked up well over a million views. In 2020, the books were optioned for television. She later wrote The Echo Killing series, published by St Martin's Press, and co-wrote the fantasy series, The Secret Fire, with French author Carina Rosenfeld.

While working as a civil servant, she had meetings at Number 10 Downing Street, and saw people disappearing through a small door leading to a staircase heading below ground level. This visit became the inspiration for Number 10.  FYI: She still doesn’t know if there are tunnels below Number 10. But she hopes there are. 

Her books have been translated into 25 languages and been bestsellers in multiple countries. She lives with her husband, the BAFTA nominated filmmaker, Jack Jewers.  


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