It’s Friday and we have a treat today. A lovely big hello to Nicola Avery and the blog tour for her new novel, Within The Silence.
Jon Stone is a revered psychiatrist, doting husband, loving father. But he has many secrets.
Maddy Stone, Jon’s daughter, has her own secrets. But she can’t tell anyone.
Zara, Maddy’s stepsister and best friend, faces a race against time. Can she unearth the family’s dark secrets before a tragic history repeats itself?
Two girls: one living and lost, the other scarred and silent, must join forces to prevent the unspeakable…
I have reviewed the book below but first, Nicola has shared an extract.
***** start of extract*****
‘You’ve been swimming already!’ Pippa scolded.
‘Less of the attitude, missy,’ said Zara, unwrapping her towel just enough to envelop her wriggling, laughing sister.
‘Can we go swimming now?’ Pippa asked, her smiling face lifted towards her sister’s.
‘You can come in with me in a minute,’ answered Zara, acknowledging Jon’s presence on the pool terrace.
‘Morning, Zara,’ Jon said, moving towards her and kissing her on the cheek. ‘Did you sleep well? And where’s Gareth?’
Zara smiled. ‘Last time I looked he was flat on his back, catching flies and snoring loudly.’
‘Some of us don’t have such luck, do we?’ said Jon, pointedly looking at Pippa, who bounced off across the grass towards the pathway leading down to the beach.
‘Have you seen Maddy?’ called Pippa, looking out at the Phoenix.
‘No, I haven’t seen her yet,’ replied Zara, watching Pippa’s shoulders drop in disappointment. ‘Are you sure she’s not still asleep?’
‘Nope,’ said Pippa, returning to the patio. ‘Her bed’s made up, so she must be down on the beach or on her boat. Can I go down and get her? We’re going out to the secret beach today, and she’ll need a good breakfast. And I want to check if my stuff’s already on board.’
Zara laughed as she attempted to hold onto her excited sister. ‘Wait a moment, sweetie, you can’t go down in your PJs.’
‘Oh!’ Pippa exclaimed, laughing as she peeled off her favourite Frozen pyjamas and tossed them under the table before running to get her tiny red swimsuit which was hanging by the showers. ‘I forgot. Nearly ready,’ she shouted, wriggling into the tight costume.
‘Here, let me help you,’ Jon offered, moving towards her.
‘No thank you, Daddy. I can do it myself,’ she answered.
Zara smiled at her sister’s feisty independence – and the fact that her bathing costume straps were all twisted around one armpit. Quickly readjusting the tiny costume, Zara grinned. ‘Why don’t we leave Maddy for a bit? She could be sleeping on the beach; you know how she loves the early mornings down there. She’ll come up when she’s ready.’
‘But it’s late. We’ve got lots to do today. She told me. And I need to make sure she hasn’t forgotten our plans.’
Zara dropped to one knee, pulling Pippa towards her and kissing her on the nose. ‘It’s still early, especially after a party. I’m sure she hasn’t forgotten.’
Pippa moved away from Zara, standing perfectly still as she stared longingly out to sea. Then, turning back towards her sister, she tried again.
‘Please come with me, Zara. I can’t go down there on my own. You know Daddy’s rules …’ Pippa tilted her head in her father’s direction, then gave Zara one of her lopsided grins.by
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.