Sunday, August 31, 2014

On The Road With Secret Craving Publishing - A Tangled Web


Serena Burton is a shy and disillusioned young English woman holidaying on the Mediterranean island of Malta finds romance with the hotel manager, Luigi Coletti. She also finds herself deeply involved in the life of an elderly writer, Louisa Weston.
As Serena gradually discovers Louisa’s strange past she is drawn into a tangled web of hidden mysteries which are slowly uncovered, but at a high price…

A Tangled Web – Extract 1
“Not a very nice evening” said Mr. Coletti the hotel manager, when Serena approached the desk to leave her keys.
“I’m just going for a short walk before dinner,” she replied shyly.
“Better take an umbrella then.”
“I don’t think I’ll bother,” she laughed. “I won’t be too long anyway.”
She stepped outside and cautiously looked right and left before crossing the road onto the sea side promenade. Ominous dark clouds were gathering fast in the horizon and grayish blue waves splashed angrily against the white rocks, spraying her lips with salty droplets.
Serena was no stranger to this small Mediterranean island, but she had always come at the peak of hot and dry summers when the blinding brightness of the sky merged with the staggering azure blue of the sea. She never expected in a million years to find this sort of unremitting British drizzle soaking her hair through and through, nor an icy wind blowing on her face and making her eyes watery.
She looked in disbelief at the threatening sky and hoped the drizzle would not worsen. Forcibly she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, and then walked briskly with her head down. She stopped abruptly out of breath and leaned against the silvery railings that ran all along in a wide bend. What on earth possessed her to come over here in the middle of this bleak and unusually cold winter? It was less than three weeks since she had that terrible row with Harry after catching him cheating with her best friend Susan. Seething with anger she broke off their engagement, but was so wretched and miserable that she felt like crawling in a dark corner or disappearing from the face of the earth.
A few days later, a stupid argument at work exploded into a major crisis. Full of hurt pride, she rebuffed any words of sympathy offered by her boss, and promptly resigned from her position as private secretary with a reputable industrial firm. She immediately moved out of her cozy little apartment in Putney and grabbed one of those last minute holiday deals to the island of Malta, where they offered travelers four weeks for the price of three. Perhaps the change of scenery would help her get over the emotional roller-coaster ride she was on. A relaxing getaway may lead to a fresh start. She had to try.
The promenade was almost deserted and the vast expanse of turbulent water was swelling under the blustery wind. Serena was so dejected and full of self-pity that her eyes filled with tears, but no matter where or when, the sea had always a soothing effect on her. Unlike a desert where its vastness and desolate emptiness exudes fear and wonder, the sea with its interchangeable moods of calm and rough had a mysticism of its own which for some unknown reason Serena was the most comfortable near it. And this kind of weather perfectly suited her present frame of mind.
Her tears were washed away by the rain and she tightly gripped the metal railing that ran the length of the promenade until her fingers hurt. She inhaled the fresh, revitalizing ozone bringing her back to life. Serena was about to turn back, when at a distance she glimpsed the shape of a man sitting on one of the rocks protruding into the sea at the base of the low cliffs beneath where she was standing. Against the darkening sky he looked more like a gray shadow, yet she could still notice a sort of naval cap pulled down below his forehead and a few shiny buttons glittering on a dark reefer coat.
Normally her first reaction would be to run in the opposite direction, but a compelling urge pushed her forward to that blurred figure, and her imagination started to run wild. Was he a seaman home on leave after a long exotic voyage? Or, was he simply a stranger who, like her, was taking a stroll, indifferent to the elements? The man seemed totally unaware of her presence and was focusing only on the foaming sea. The incandescent light of a pale moon came peeping through the thick clouds, and for an instant, two very dark eyes stared blankly back at Serena.
A gust of wind forced her to turn away and, when she looked back, the man seemed to have vanished. Had he gone down the other side of the rocks, or was her imagination playing tricks?

With a deep sigh, she tied her white woolen scarf firmly under her chin and resumed her brisk walk to the hotel just in time to change for dinner.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Favorite Places

Ah Scotland! Beautiful and unspoiled. History almost speaks to you. Yes, it's the location of the wildly popular Outlander books and now Starz series, but if your ancestors came from here, you can feel it in your bones. It gives me chills to wander the Isle of Skye knowing that people long ago related to me walked this land.  No book or small screen show can do that.

Pictured above - the Cuillin Hills on the Isle of Skye.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Summer-time Means Vacations

Summer-time means vacations, beaches, island getaways, cool mountain retreats.
What's your ideal vacation?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I don't have a lot of personal photos scanned onto my computer, and I should do that. I do have this oldie. . .
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, in a suburb of Seattle (Bellevue). My parents had some good friends, the Robertsons. Their daughter Betsy and I stay in contact to this day. The way our parents met is unique: both our mothers were in the hospital at the same time giving birth. My mother (Shirley) giving birth to my brother Fred, and Betsy's mother (also Shirley) giving birth to her.

The picture below I believe was taken at Betsy's parent's home - late 50s (my youngest brother was either not born yet or was an infant and inside the house).

Left to right: Me, my sister Marjorie (aka Mardi), Betsy and my brother Fred. Yes, my mother was a fanatic about hair - she braided both my hair and my sister Mardi's every morning (though Mardi did get some short hair cuts because she was such a tomboy)

What are your early childhood memories (by the way I have no memory of this day)???

Monday, August 11, 2014

Choice Matters - Release Day!!!

Finally! After a year of waiting, Apolo Choice is available for all the world in Choice Matters. This is book #1 of my new Southern Heat series through Secret Cravings Publishing.

It's available exclusively at Secret Cravings Publishing - other fine booksellers to follow!