She Came To Stay by Eleni Kyriacou -Extract

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Published: March 5th, 2020
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audiobook
Genre: Historical Fiction

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing an extract from a exciting new author and her historical fiction debut.


London, 1952…

Dina Demetriou has travelled from Cyprus for a better life. She’s certain that excitement and adventure are out there, waiting – if only she knew where to look. At the seedy Pelican Revue bar, she meets stylish, mysterious Bebba and the two become firm friends. With her bleached-blonde hair and an appetite for mischief, Bebba is like no Greek Dina has ever met before and the two women take on Soho. But Bebba has a secret. And as thick smog brings the city to a standstill, the truth emerges with devastating results.


After bolting the door behind her, Bebba slipped out of her pointed-toe shoes and placed them neatly against the wall. Then she walked to the battered wardrobe, put her finger under the metal filigree handle and pulled. There it was. She leaned over the grey suitcase and let her fingertips stroke the sturdy, hard shell. Suddenly she was aware of a gnawing sensation in her stomach. Maybe she should eat? But she looked at the loaf of bread on the counter and couldn’t bring herself to start cutting and toasting now. And anyway, the baklava and kaffe had left her jittery and a little nauseous.

Grabbing the crocheted blanket, she lay down and wrapped herself tight in its multi-coloured squares. God, being Bebba exhausted her; all that perkiness, all that sparkle. She could never go back, she knew that. As sleep pulled her in tightly, she heard a soft, long wheeze. She sat up with a start. The wardrobe door had swung open and there sat the suitcase, watchful. She slid back down.



Eleni Kyriacou is an award-winning editor and journalist. She has worked in various roles across publishing and her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the ObserverMarie ClaireGraziaYou, Stella and Red, among others. Eleni was the Editor of national magazines New Woman and Looks and has also worked in digital media.

The daughter of Greek Cypriot immigrant parents, Eleni has never felt completely British nor Cypriot, but has always felt a Londoner. She was born and grew up in Camden, then Elephant & Castle, Finsbury Park, Tottenham and now lives in Ealing. She has lived north, south and west. East London is another country to her. Every year, she has long conversations with friends and family about leaving London but probably never will.

Eleni is now freelance so knows where all the plug points are in London cafés. She Came to Stay is her first novel.


Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @elenikwriter



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