First, Kristy, let me say a huge thank you for inviting me on your blog today to talk about my debut release. Now available from Red Rose Publishing , Voices On The Waves is a sweet women’s fiction novel set against the stunning backdrop of rural Cornwall. When nine individuals from all walks of life win a two-week stay at a beautiful farmhouse retreat, they’re each hoping for some rest and relaxation away from the outside world. In fact, what they get is a holiday that will change their lives forever.
In this scene, Faye Wakefield, owner of the retreat, is falling under the spell of one of her guests, the handsome and unscrupulous Marcus Armitage.
Reaching the pool, Faye paused to watch Marcus’s graceful progress through the water. God, he’s magnificent, she reflected, marveling at the tanned leanness of his body. As handsome as the legendary Matthew Trewhella, who had ensnared the Mermaid Morveren with his singing. There was no doubt that Marcus had ensnared her, and Tiffany, too.
She continued to gaze at him, assailed by long-suppressed memories of a time before love and pain had become forever entangled in her mind, until he paused to catch his breath and saw her.
He awarded her a lazy smile, stopping Faye’s heart mid-beat. “Is this a vision I behold, or could this be my gorgeous hostess come to join me?”
She blushed. “If you’re sure you don’t mind.”
“Not at all. As you see, I’m all on my lonesome here just waiting for a charming lady companion.”
“I just saw Tiffany on the terrace. I would have thought she’d be happy to do you the honor.”
“Alas, it seems a tumble in the pool with me was not sufficient reward for her to dampen her lustrous locks.”
She laughed, feeling awkward. Marcus’s gray eyes roving over her made Faye acutely aware of her body on display, and of her face flushed from cleaning the kitchen. To hide her embarrassment, she discarded her sarong and lowered herself into the pool. Cool water enveloped her, welcome against her skin. She swam a couple of self-conscious lengths before coming to rest by the wall a short distance from where Marcus was floating on his back.
“You look very relaxed,” she said.
“Hmmm, I could get used to this, that’s for sure. You’ve got a really nice set up here, Faye. I’m considering following you into the business.”
“What? You’d exchange your position as owner of a successful company for frying bacon and making beds?”
“Well, obviously I’d employ people to do the more menial tasks.” Marcus rolled onto his front and came to rest his arms on the wall beside her. “Seriously, though, I just don’t seem to be getting the same satisfaction out of my work as I used to. In fact, my whole life feels stale at the moment: my job, my marriage, my kids, everything. I love my kids, don’t get me wrong, but they’re always making demands on me to watch their hockey matches or help them with their algebra, and I never seem to have any time to myself.”
“So is that why you entered the competition? You needed to get away for a while?”
“Exactly. Ever since I turned forty earlier this year, I’ve had this urge to forget all my responsibilities and do what I want for a change.”
He certainly hadn’t wasted any time there, Faye mused. Barely had he set foot over the threshold before he was indulging in a little flirtation. Faye couldn’t blame him. Few men could remain immune to such vivacious beauty, and in Tiffany’s place, she knew she would have received this man with open arms.
She drank him in out of the corner of her eye. His shoulders glistened with water and his fair hair lay flat against his head, accentuating its arrogant tilt. A yearning such as she had not encountered for longer than she cared to recall welled up inside her, catching her off guard.
Briefly Faye imagined how it would feel to have his arms around her, pressing her against that streamlined body. She almost laughed out loud at herself. It was hopeless even to think such things. She was only eight years Marcus’s senior, and there was a time when she could have held her own against many women half her age, but not anymore. Her recent strain and the loss of a considerable amount of weight had left her looking haggard and older than her years. No, Marcus might tease her but he would never view her as an object of desire.
Pushing the thought aside, Faye adopted a bright tone. “Does your wife know you’re here?”
“Lord no,” Marcus said, clearly horrified. “If I’d mentioned I’d won this competition, Alison would have expected to come with me. As far as my family is concerned, I’m attending a conference on the future of the property market, among other things.”
“But aren’t you worried she’ll find out?”
“Oh, no, Alison trusts me too much to doubt my word. I called her last night to let her know I’d arrived safely in Leeds, and she never suspected a thing.” He gave a self-congratulatory shrug. “And in the unlikely event of her questioning me too deeply about the conference, I’ve sent my most trusted associate to check it out on my behalf so he can fill me in on the details.”
“You,” Faye said, splashing him playfully, “are an extremely naughty boy.”
Marcus grinned. “And don’t you just love it?”
Laughing, Faye turned onto her back to hide her blush. The sun’s earlier intensity had lessened, and it felt pleasantly warm on her outstretched limbs. The breeze carried the hum of male voices to her ears, and in the distance she made out the figures of Will and Anjum playing tennis.
Suddenly the beauty of the scene overwhelmed her: the clouds sketching patterns against the sky, the walls of the old farmhouse glazed a soft apricot in the afternoon light, the shrubs and trees in every shade of green. It was all so picturesque, the colors so vivid and full of life, Faye found it painful to look at.
“Faye, what is it?” Marcus’s voice broke into her thoughts, full of concern. “You’re crying.”
“Don’t be daft.” She wiped a hand across her cheeks. “I got water in my eye, that’s all.”
Buy Voices On The Waves now from Red Rose Publishing
Thank you again, Kristy, for inviting me on your blog, and to all of you for stopping by. Anyone kind enough to leave a comment here, or at any point during my blog tour, will automatically be entered into the draw to win a $15 gift voucher for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, so don’t forget to provide an email address in case I need to contact you. I’ll be announcing the five winners at the end of my tour on October 31st over at my blog
so good luck!
Tomorrow, the Voices On The Waves Blog Tour continues with an interview over at the home of Molly Ringle. She’ll be posing some really interesting questions, so I do hope you’ll join us.