Sunday, December 5, 2021

Book Blitz and Giveaway: What Happened to Coco by V.B. Furlong

Title: What Happened to Coco
Author: V.B. Furlong
Publisher: darkstroke books
Publication Date: December 4th 2021
Print Length: 255 pages
Genre: Young Adult Thriller

When a girl disappears, long-buried secrets resurface…

Coco is missing. Her room’s a mess, and her phone is left behind in her dorm at Lainsbury Hall School.

Ella, Coco’s childhood best friend, is desperate for her to return, although she knows that if she ever sees Coco again, there’ll be a lot of explaining to do.

Bea knows that her new group of friends attracts drama, and she thinks she has the last shred of common sense between them all. Only, if that was true, she would leave Genevieve, her toxic ex, well alone.

Conrad is confident that Coco will return safe and well. Only, the way his secrets are unravelling, he’s worried he won’t be when this is all over.

Harrison and Coco are the perfect couple. Everyone knows that. But looks can be misleading. Even the smartest boy in school can make a terrible mistake.

In order to navigate the web of secrets and lies that Coco leaves behind, her circle of friends needs to unravel a few of their own. But the question remains: What happened to Coco?

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Sat in one of the chairs before Mrs Hardy’s desk was a young policeman. He wore a solemn expression on his square-jawed face. His stubble was not the designer facial hair seen on actors or models. Instead, Ella felt it gave him an unkempt, dirty look. When she moved further into the room, Ella scrunched her nose at the aroma of coffee and stale cigarettes that clung to him.

“This is officer Hobbs,” Hardy said quietly.

“I’ll be having a short chat with you all today to find out anything that could help us. We need to hear an exact account of the last time you had any contact with Cordelia and any leads you think may give an indication of where she could be. Anything you think is relevant, please tell us now so we can find her as soon as we can. Do you understand?”

They all nodded. They were then told that they were to go into an adjoining meeting room separately. Ella was called first, and she felt her friends’ eyes on her back as she shuffled into the office. She was afraid, of what she wasn’t sure, maybe of being yelled at like they did on American cop shows, of slamming the desk and throwing curveballs at her, making her confused and messing up. She’d seen Making a Murderer.

She never really enjoyed true crime documentaries or conspiracy theories, but it was hard to be friends with Coco without being drawn into it and then listen to her ramble on for hours about how she always thought the brother seemed fishy, or maybe it was the maid, or about jet fuel and steel beams as though she was both a scientist and an engineer.

“Ella,” Hobbs said, sending a warm and inviting smile in Ella’s direction as he held the door open for her, but his yellowing teeth did nothing to ease her anxiety. She sat on an old wooden chair and Hobbs swept across the room in three swift strides. He slumped into the far comfier-looking chair across the table from Ella. This was the room that parents were called into, where expulsions and suspensions were issued as last resorts, thrown at students like cannonballs in a battle.

“So today I’m just going to ask you a couple of basic questions about… Coco you call her, yes? I understand you were close.” He produced a notebook and pen from his jacket. Ella nodded.

“How would you describe your relationship with her?” “She’s been my best friend since we were five.” “I see.” He nodded. “And is she known for being a bit...reckless? Does she always follow rules?”

“She’s careful. She wouldn’t go out at night without her phone and tell no one where she was,” Ella said, knowing to keep everything simple. Only answer the question asked, she thought, remembering again all those horrifying documentaries that followed people who were locked up for ten years for a crime they didn’t commit.

“She’s been found running around the school late at night with a Harrison Fletcher, though, hasn’t she?”

“Yeah, in school, accompanied by her boyfriend. Never outside, never alone. Never without her phone. We’d always known when she had done that too. She would tell us or post every second online like usual. She didn’t do that last night though, did she?”

“Did she mention anywhere she would want to go? Any parties? Maybe a secret boyfriend nearby?”

Ella bit back an unwelcome desire to laugh. “She barely keeps her tongue out of Harrison’s mouth for longer than two minutes as it is. She has no time to have a secret boyfriend. She goes to lessons, hangs out with us, or Harrison, and goes to bed. The five of us are nearly always together.”

“Okay…” he said, somewhat distracted as he scribbled away into his official-looking notebook. Ella wondered what she could have said to spur so much movement.
VB Furlong is a trainee lawyer and writer of young adult novels living in Berkshire, UK. She wrote her first “novel” at aged ten and has not stopped since then. Through her writing she aims to explore many of the issues she faced herself growing up, in the hopes that others facing the same issues feel some solidarity. Her friendships are a huge part of her life and consequently is a major theme in her writing, exploring the way in which we interact with each other, especially in difficult times.

Originally from Mumbles, Swansea, VB Furlong enjoys the sun and the sea, and walking her three dogs across the cliffs. These walks have offered her inspiration for many pieces of writing, including What Happened to Coco which she is excited to introduce as a coming of age boarding school thriller.

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Win a $10 Amazon gift card or an eBook of What Happened to Coco by V.B. Furlong!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

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  1. The book What Happened to Coco by V.B. Furlong sounds like a very interesting and engaging story!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  2. beautiful cover, this sounds like a great read

  3. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  4. This sounds like an amazing book

  5. Looks promising, cool blitz. Cheers on the book.

  6. I liked he excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!