Thursday, May 03, 2007

Return to Winter releases tomorrow!

My romantic suspense, novel, Return to Winter, is published in e-format tomorrow. It will be released in print on June 29th.

The story behind the book:

Return to Winter is the follow up to It Happened One Summer, also a romantic suspense. The proceeds from both books will go to Cancer Aid in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales. I went to school in a castle very similar to the one on the cover, but took it for granted at that the time. I have worked as a cancer counsellor for the organisation for the past couple of years and thought it would be a nice idea to 'give something back' to the charity by donating the proceeds. Last year, we sold hundreds of books. I hope to continue in the same fashion this year.

The new cancer centre is almost finished and it's a privilege to know that my efforts helped to buy some of those bricks! We still need funds however, as we are a charity, so by purchasing Return to Winter, or It Happened One Summer, when that releases, you will be helping our cancer clients to have therapies or transport.

Here is a short excerpt that I hope will give you a flavour of the book:

It was biting cold as Stephanie got out of the taxi and paid the driver. She would normally have given him a generous tip, but all her small change was in Italian currency. She turned up the collar on her jacket, not at all prepared for the British weather. Glancing across at Lawrence’s apartment, she held her breath, then let it out again. All appeared to be in darkness. With any luck he might be away, visiting family in London or even out of the country. His cyber cafe and two nightclubs in Cardiff and Newport kept him busy.

She found her key, tapped in a security code and let herself into the well-lit building. Immediately, she switched on the lights. Lawrence could be there waiting for her right now. But how could he possibly know she would turn up at this very moment? He had probably been as baffled as Dylan had been about her sudden disappearance. The apartment felt icy cold and smelled a little musty. After all, it had been without an occupant for the past nine months; she had managed to keep up the payments by Visa card from Italy.

Putting down her suitcase she scooped up a stack of mail, bills and junk mail mostly, intending to go through them later. Then she went into the kitchen. The cupboards were bare except for a few tins and a stale packet of sponge fingers, the only thing she had forgotten to throw out when she had got rid of all perishable goods before leaving the country. There were still a few things in the freezer. She filled the electric kettle and put it on to boil. At least she could have a cup of black instant coffee. There was some frozen bread, she could have a couple of pieces of toast and there was an unopened jar of marmalade on the counter. She’d have to do without the butter for time being. If she was holed up here over Christmas, she could at least have some food to keep her going. There were a few other things in the freezer she could make good use of.

If she was careful, and kept the place in darkness, Lawrence need never know she was here at all, and then when she got herself fixed up with a hotel, she could leave.

She whirled as a voice came over the intercom. Holding her breath, she thought for a moment it might be Lawrence. “Steph, let me in…” This was not Lawrence’s husky smoker’s voice. Mildly irritated, she realised it was Dylan. What did he want? She ignored it.

“Steph, are you going to leave me here all night? I know you’re in there.”

Sighing, she pressed a button to allow him access. “Come up,” she requested.

As he entered the apartment, a look of concern swept over his face. “Are you okay?”

“Yes…” She hesitated. For a moment, she thought she might cry.

He put his hands on her shoulders and looked directly into her eyes. “Why did you leave so suddenly, again? You have a habit of doing that.”

His grey-green eyes darkened as he spoke and she wanted to melt in his arms, for him to kiss her one more time…

“I…I thought it was for the best,” she managed to reply.

“Best? Best for whom?” He furrowed his brow.

“For you and Cassandra.”

“Well it certainly wouldn’t be best for me, I can assure you.”

Why was he saying this to her? It sounded as if he really wanted her in his life. Perhaps he was just a typical bloke, wanting his cake and eating it, to have two women on the go at the same time? Exactly like her father had been with that mistress of his. She’d never forgiven him for abandoning her and her mother. Can a seven year old really understand why a parent leaves?

“You’re not going to need me around if you have her, are you?” She gritted her teeth and clenched her fists into balls at her side.

“Of course I need you. You mean so much to me. When you were away…” He didn’t finish his sentence. What had he been about to tell her? His eyes were fixed on something behind her.

“What’s the matter?” Something was wrong. She could see it reflected in his eyes.

“The mirror behind you…” was all he managed to say.

She turned around quickly. Scrawled on the mirror in lipstick were the words, “YOU’RE DEAD!”

Nausea rose to her throat and she took in a sharp breath. How hadn’t she noticed it before? But she hadn’t really looked around the room, had she? She’d dropped her suitcase and gone straight out to the kitchen to make coffee.

“He’s been here, Dylan. Lawrence has broken into my apartment. He wants me dead!” The room spun and her vision blurred.

“Steph, are you okay?” She heard Dylan’s voice, but couldn’t focus…then the room faded to black.


Lyn said...

Congratulations on your release3 - Hope you have lots of sales and do really well with it. It looks great and the cover is lovely.

Lynette said...

Thanks, Lyn. I really enjoyed writing the book. :)

Yes, the cover artist did a great job, didn't she? When is your book out by the way?