Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Wednesday...Summer Surprise 1!

From Pixaby via Katharine Johnson
Summer Surprises!

Summer Surprises is the name of my new Wednesday theme which I intend to run for the next 14 weeks. 

I'm delighted that the series begins with a guest post by fellow Crooked Cat author, Katharine Johnson. Katharine's not new to the blog but her latest work  -The Silence - is. 

Her nail-biting tale, set in Tuscany, is due to be published on June 8th (2017) but she's come today to give us a sneak peak as my first Wednesday Summer Surprise

Katharine's also here with more surprises because there's an exciting invitation for you and a chance to win some surprises in her 'goodybag'. Make sure to read on to find out about them!
Katharine Johnson

Welcome again, Katharine. It's many years since I was on a Venice, Verona and Florence trip which meant a train ride through the Tuscan countryside. I don't remember all that much about that journey back in 1974 except that it was quite long, very hot, the train was overcrowded and for much of it we stood in the corridor there being no spare seats. But... I do recall being highly impressed by the sight of the hills clad with tall and stately cypress trees. I'm sure, though, that your latest novel The Silence will kick start my memories. That Italian trip was also memorable for me because it was my honeymoon (I'll say no more about that) but please tell us about how your characters find Tuscany... 

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog, Nancy to talk about my new novel The Silence which is published on 8th June. 

The story is about a summer in Tuscany that goes tragically wrong.

Here's the blurb
Can you ever truly escape the past? Doctor Abby Fenton has a rewarding career, a loving family, an enviable lifestyle - and a secret that could destroy everything. When human remains are discovered in the grounds of an idyllic Tuscan holiday home she is forced to confront the memories she has suppressed until now and relive the summer she spent at the villa in 1992. A summer that ended in tragedy. The nearer she gets to the truth the closer she comes to losing her sanity. In order to hold onto the people she loves most, she must make sure they never discover what she did. But the reappearance of someone else from that summer threatens to blow her secret wide open.

Abby is sent to stay with her aunt and uncle in Tuscany while her father and stepmother are on honeymoon. Still traumatised by the death of her mother the previous year, she's a shy, anxious child whose life is transformed by her rebellious, free spirited cousin Philippa who has a theory about everything and a plan for the perfect crime. Abby is intrigued as to why Philippa's family left England so suddenly without telling anyone - but it soon becomes clear that everyone at the villa has something to hide.

From Pixaby via Katharine Johnson
I wrote it because it's the book I wanted to read. I like stories where people are taken out of their comfort zone and where a split-second decision changes the course of someone's life.

I chose Tuscany as a setting because I wanted the past event to take place somewhere that was beautiful, remote and very different from Abby's usual surroundings, a place with a dream-like quality which would make it easier for Abby to convince herself afterwards that none of it had really happened. It had to be somewhere hot so that as the temperature creeps up the tensions between the people at the villa also rises. 

Nancy says: I think the past often comes back to bite you and not always playfully! 

From Pixaby via Katharine Johnson
Here are some teasers...

"It was impossible to imagine now, just as it was impossible to recapture the blinding heat, the clouds of dust that peppered your legs as you walked and the incessant nagging of the cicadas"

"People drinking in the bars below the villa or lazing under the umbrellas around the pool must look up into those forested hills hundreds of times in a day and have no idea what they were concealing."

Special offer
Buy before 8th June at the special preorder price of 99p/99c Amazon - The Silence

Nancy says: It's a done deal, thank you! 

Here are some more Specials for you

Katharine says: "Show me proof of order (pm or email ) and you'll be entered into a goodybag prize draw which includes prosecco and chocolates, Amazon gift card and a signed paperback copy of my first novel Lies, Mistakes and Misunderstandings."

Nancy: Mmm... I'm quite partial to a glass of cool prosecco on a summer afternoon! 
Come to the party!
I'm having an online launch party on Facebook on 8th-9th June and would love you to come along. Discover more about the book, meet some visiting authors and win prizes. More details here: The Silence launch Party

From Pixaby via Katharine Johnson

Thanks Nancy. I hope you have a lovely summer. I'm off to Tuscany to work on the next Villa Leonida story.

Nancy says: Your image of the typical Italian red scooter reminded me of the little yellow 'Vespa' that I brought home last May from a visit to Rome for granddaughter. It has its very own spot on my granddaughter's 'special' bedroom shelf. 

About the author: Katharine Johnson is a journalist with a passion for crime novels, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. She plays netball badly and is a National Trust room guide.

Find Katharine at these places:
 Amazon - The Silence

Thank you for visiting today, Katharine. My best wishes for a great future for The Silence. 

p.s. Maybe some day I'll be visiting a National Trust Property and you'll be the guide, Katharine. You'd probably be saying 'Does this woman's insatiable questions never end?' I love to make use of the guides because I always learn lots of little extras that way. :-) 



  1. Wow. I love that cover and what a tantalizing concept! Yikes. Did she really do something that bad?

  2. It's a good question that's still to be discovered, Crystal.


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