First, Roseanne, 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, Leah Shaw has an uncomfortable encounter with one of her fellow guests, the charming but unscrupulous Marcus Armitage.
urled in the arbor, Leah attempted to lose herself in her book. She stumbled across this spot during her first tour of the grounds. It struck her then that this would be the perfect place to come when she wished to be alone to think or to read, luxuries her home life permitted little time for.
Her attention kept drifting to that morning’s episode. How could she have let her guard down like that? The combination of the sunrise and Will’s drawing must have bewitched her. Yet, however talented Will might be, it made him no more trustworthy than any other man. She couldn’t afford to make that mistake again.
Lost in her own thoughts, she only became aware someone had approached when a voice murmured in her ear. “That book must be particularly riveting if it causes my presence to go unnoticed.”
Alarmed, Leah dropped her book to the grass and stared around.
Marcus chuckled. “I’m flattered. I’m used to having a certain effect on women, but as far as I know, I’ve never been responsible for making one drop anything before. Allow me.” Bending, he retrieved the book and held it out to her.
Leah took it from him and sagged against the bench, flushing at her foolishness. For one terrible moment she’d thought… But no, the very idea was ridiculous. And yet, that caressing tone had seemed so familiar.
“Angel, are you all right?” Marcus asked, sounding concerned. “You’ve gone almost as white as my teeth.”
Leah gathered her composure. “I’m fine. Sorry, I was miles away. You startled me, that’s all.”
“My fault entirely. I should have made myself known to you sooner. Do you mind if I join you?”
“Of course not,” Leah lied. In truth, she would have liked some time alone to recover, but she could hardly refuse.
Marcus draped himself over the far end of the bench, and for a while they sat in a silence Leah found rather discomforting. Gradually, as she breathed in the rose-scented air, her shock receded. She picked up her book again, though more for the solid comfort of it than from a desire to read.
“A pleasant spot this,” Marcus said at length. “Don’t you think?”
“Hmmm, so peaceful and secluded. When Tiffany and I came across it a couple of days ago, it struck me how it seems to have been built purely with lovers in mind. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“I … I really wouldn’t know.”
“Come now, Leah, surely you’re not immune to the aura of the place? Can you not feel the magic in the air, the tingle of romance all around us?”
Leah grew hot with embarrassment. Without needing to look, she was conscious of Marcus’s gaze on her. She buried her face in her book to conceal her blush. What was she supposed to say? At that moment, the sound of hurried footsteps saved Leah the trouble of answering. As Tiffany walked towards them, Leah didn’t think she’d ever been so relieved to see anyone in her life.
“This looks cozy.” Tiffany threw herself into Marcus’s lap and kissed him. “Didn’t expect to find you here.”
“No, well, I was looking for you.” Marcus tugged playfully at an auburn curl. “But instead I came across young Leah here. Don’t worry, she’s been taking good care of me in your absence.”
“Not too much care, I hope. I don’t want competition.”
“A little competition might do you good. Keep you on your toes. So what did you want me for?”
“Who says it was you I was after, Mr. Vain? Actually, I came to borrow Leah.”
“Me?” Leah looked up in surprise. “How come?”
“You have to help me choose an outfit for tonight. Marcus is taking me out for this really posh meal and I ain’t got a clue what to wear.”
“I’m not sure I’m the right person to ask. I’m no expert on fashion.”
“You’ll do.” Dismissing Leah’s words with a wave, Tiffany stood. “Come on, we’d better get started if I’m going to look my best.”
“Angel, you’d look lovely in an old sack,” Marcus said.
Tiffany colored prettily.
Gathering up her book, Leah allowed Tiffany to link her arm through hers and lead her towards the house. She hadn’t gone far when the feeling of being watched made her glance back. She met Marcus’s eyes for an instant, and something about their speculative gleam filled her with unease.
Buy Voices ON The Waves now from Red Rose Publishing
Thank you again for having me, Roseanne, 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
Tomorrow, the Voices On The Waves Blog Tour continues over at the home of Franny Armstrong’s character blog, where Leah will be telling her story. Hope to see you there!