The Orchid

The Orchid

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Free Festival for Lovers of Romance

A fan of reading or writing romance? The Festival of Romance will take place online this weekend with popular publishers Crimson Romance, Avon, Harlequin and Mills & Boon amongst an impressive line up. Top authors Jill Mansell, Barbra Freethy and Sheila O'Flanagan will also be attending to talk about their books, offer advice to new authors and host giveaways.  

I'm delighted to have been included in the line up with my Cornish romance, Winter Storms. Set in the world of international sailing, it is a novel about second chance love and learning forgiveness. It is being offered as a giveaway, so if you fancy a copy, just register FREE  here to get your tickets for the festival! 

The second exciting news this week is the acceptance of my Victorian theatre novel, The Orchid, by My Weekly for release as a Pocket Novel. I love this story, and my main character Ava Miller who is a theatre manageress. This was a rare position for a woman during these times and she has to battle to keep her reputation, whilst trying to save her failing theatre from bankruptcy. 

Beneath I have put an extract of Winter Storms, so happy reading!

Winter Storms - Lucy Oliver

The powerful sea wind hit Daniel Edwards with the force of a gybing boom. Hissing between his teeth, he yanked the wet dinghy painter and cursed as it scraped red burns across his hands. It was tempting to toss the rope away and watch the hated boat bob off into the ocean, but his teammates would never forgive him; the Olympic racing craft was worth a fortune. He never should have brought it out in this weather. Seeing the lifeboat bobbing beside a fishing trawler, waves exploding over the deck, made him realise how stupid and how lucky he’d been.

The mast had snapped when he reached the jetty, another expense he’d have to pay for. Not that he cared very much, when his sponsors discovered he’d risked the boat in a storm, they’d cancel his contract anyway. They already had what they wanted—double Olympic gold medals—now he was superfluous to requirements. 

Hauling on the rope, Daniel tied it fast and straightened. Pulling down his waterproof hood, he stared across the harbour at the cluster of shops glowing with Christmas lights; it hadn’t changed much in two years. Turning to look at the black cliffs standing like gateposts either side of the harbour entrance, he recalled her scream and shuddered.

Should he have come back?

But Haven Bay was where he grew up and he couldn’t stay away forever, paying expensive hotel bills for his family to visit him. And after the Olympics, his urge to visit had grown stronger, pictures flashing through his mind like an old-fashioned projector, images of places and people, of a girl he had known.

Imogen, his ex-fiancĂ©e, said she’d suspected for months that something wasn’t right. Standing in the hallway of their luxury flat, suitcases at her feet, she looked at him, not in anger, but with something akin to pity.
“There’s a part of you I can’t reach,” she said.

Daniel opened his mouth to protest, but she held her left hand up, showing a white ring of pale skin around her suntanned finger.
“I hoped our relationship would improve after you got the Olympic golds, but it’s worse, I never know what’s going through your mind. I keep expecting to come home to find the wardrobe half-empty and a note on the table telling me you’ve gone.” Putting hands on her hips, she stared at him. “I’m not the person you’re looking for.”
Daniel gazed now at the lights of Haven Bay. Had Imogen been right? A face, pushed for years into the back of his mind, was emerging, growing stronger and less blurry each day.
Two years ago, Carly had broken off their relationship with five hard words.
“I do not love you,” she said.
And, refusing to beg, he left town on the next train. Only later did he wish he’d demanded an explanation, but it was too late by then, his pride wouldn’t let him return. So what if Carly didn’t want to know him? Many other girls did. Until Imogen showed him the truth: that he couldn’t love anyone else.

Slinging a rucksack over his shoulder, he stepped across the floating jetty to the sea wall. A rank odour of dead fish, salt water, and rust hit him, scents he remembered from his childhood. Boats creaked at their moorings and faint music drifted over from a pub.

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