Today on my blog I am featuring an extract of Island of Secrets by Diane Demetre.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Two love stories separated in time. Two women following their dreams. In a paradise littered with painful secrets, will love turn the tide?
1973. Cecilia “CiCi” Freemont has a restless soul and the voice of an angel. Leaving her privileged upbringing behind, she chases her dreams to the sandy beaches of an unspoiled Hawaiian paradise, Harbor Island. But life takes an unexpected turn when she falls for the island’s young heir-apparent and her newfound adventure becomes too much to bear…
2017. Investigative journalist Tina Templeton has dedicated herself to the pursuit of truth. But when she inherits Harbor Island, her career plans take a confusing twist. Managing the sprawling island estate is tough business even with the help of aging cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont. Especially when a massive ecological disaster threatens to destroy her beautiful beaches—and the responding coast guard captain steals her heart.
As the investigation into the disaster reveals a 40-year-old mystery that could change their lives forever, will Tina find love among the secrets, or will CiCi’s painful past dash her dreams on the rocks?
Island of Secrets is an epic love story. If you like generations-spanning drama, characters with hidden pasts, heart-warming romance and intrigue, then you’ll love Diane Demetre’s powerful romantic mystery in paradise.
Diane began her career as a school teacher before moving into the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions.
Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.
When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016.
Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist. Her works are packed with emotional punch and feature empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.
In 1973, Cecilia Freemont finds herself onboard the cruiser, Harbor Island, on her way to a new adventure.
Tucked between the dozens of crates stacked high in the back of the boat, Cecilia settled in for the journey, relieved that she was not obliged to make conversation. While Smith stood at the helm, she held firm to her wide-brimmed straw hat and lifted her face to the sun, soaking up its morning glow. Yesterday’s sunburn still tinged her upper body in a rosy hue, but today’s choice of a long-sleeved cheesecloth top and drawstring pants protected her without being stifling. Squawking seagulls circled overhead on the lookout for possible snacks, and she wished she had some bread to help them on their own journey from island to island. Harbor Island chugged further into open seas, riding the rolling waves.
Today was magnificent — still and clear. It was a perfect boating day, but Cecilia’s stomach begged to differ. What with the big, black plumes of diesel smoke coughing out from the old engine and the increasing pitch of the waves, she began to feel decidedly green. The further the vessel ventured into the deep blue ocean, the more she thought her breakfast would make a reappearance. She closed her eyes briefly and then thought better of it.
“Come into the cabin with me!” yelled Smith, waving her from the back deck.
Grabbing whatever was steady and in reach, she hauled herself up next to the skipper.
“I’m not feeling so good, Smith.” The taste of saliva slime coated her mouth.
“Have you not been on the ocean before?”
“No. This is my first time.” With her stomach churning, she understood what the saying “all at sea” meant.
“Stand up, keep your eyes on the horizon and hold on.” Smith tapped the dashboard in front of them. “If you need to be sick, here use this.” He passed her a brown paper bag. “Keep it open in your hand, just in case.”
She took the bag with meek thanks, determined not to use it.
“Today is a good, smooth day on the sea. You will get used to it, if you come back and forth to the island a lot.”
Smith’s upbeat attitude didn’t help. Instead, it intensified her sea sickness until she was no longer able to swallow her breakfast, and she launched her face into the bag. “Argh!”
“Good, you will feel better now,” assured Smith, who waited until she’d finished. “Here, give me the bag.” Extending his sinewy arm, he clasped the bag and disposed of it in a bin.
“How embarrassing.” She wiped an unsteady hand across her mouth, thankful for Smith’s preparedness. Lifting her long hair, she let the sea breeze cool her clammy neck.
“It takes time to get your sea legs. Have a sip of water. Not too much.” He handed her a tin cup of water, and she took a tentative sip. “Good. Eyes on the horizon. We will be there soon.”
“Thank you. I feel better now,” she said, although she wasn’t too sure. She hoped he had more paper bags — just in case.
Please do go and check out all the other blogs that are contributing to this blog tour, their names and dates are all listed below.