It looks as if In The Bleak Midwinter will be joined by Blue Christmas this December. Here are the covers and extracts of both books.
Oh and something really weird. For my story board for In The Bleak Midwinter, I had a photo of the Old Vic in London which I took from the net. Surrounded by trees and lights… which I didn’t send my editor. And it looks just like the theatre in the cover below. We were obviously on the same wavelength when she designed the cover.
Once again Nicola Martinez has done an amazing job.
Flick sighed. Maybe somewhere in the desk was a list of who to call to fix this kind of mess. She headed back to the office with no idea where to look. Twenty minutes later, she’d turned the office into a bombsite, completely upending every file she could find. Nothing.
Seriously considering just calling the first builder in the phone book, Flick reached for the phone.
As she spun around, a huge smile lit her spirit and probably, her face. She couldn’t see it, but she felt it. They might no longer be an item, but her love for Will had never dimmed. Something about seeing him made the darkest of days instantly brighter. “Rogue!”
Will dashed across the room and swung her into his arms. He whirled her around three times before setting her back on her feet. He kissed her cheek in his usual fashion. “I missed you.”
“Missed you back. But maybe if you’d answered your phone or email once in a while, you’d miss me less. It’s been too long.”
“It has.” He dropped into her chair and put his feet on her desk. “I see housekeeping is slacking off around here. Place looks like it took a direct hit from a bomb.”
“Looking for something I can’t find. How did you get here so fast?”
“Fast?” He frowned. “It’s almost three in the afternoon. I spoke to you around five hours ago. Did you work through lunch again?”
“Must have.” She drank in his appearance, not even mad at him for putting his feet on her desk. “I can’t believe you’re really here.”
He pinched her gently. “Yup. Not only am I in your office, live and in person, I hasten to add, I’ve been home, dropped off the dog, and seen my parents. Who incidentally, decided that if I wanted my old room, then I wanted my old duvet set as well. You know, the one with the train?”
She laughed, gathering up her papers from the floor. “You still have it?”
“Apparently so.” His droll tone and sad expression made her laugh even harder.
“Oh, no,” she gasped between giggles. “Please, whatever you do, don’t tell my mother. Or my Billie the Elf quilt might make an appearance.” She scowled as his eyes glinted. “Anyway, I have a shed load of work to do.”
“Looks like it. Let me help you tidy up, whilst you carry on looking for whatever it was you needed. Or we can blow off this disaster and go for coffee.”
Flick raised an eyebrow. “And leave the theatre whilst the matinee is in full swing? April would have my guts for garters for merely thinking of that.”
“May I remind you that April isn’t here? You’re the boss. And I say you need a break because you are no good to anyone if you pass out due to lack of a nutritious meal. And I don’t just mean a doughnut from the bakers on the corner of the road.” He grabbed her hand. “Come on, this chaos will still be here when you get back.”
She dragged her feet. “Let me grab the phone on the off chance April returns my call. She hasn’t called in weeks and tends to text instead. Eventually.”
“Pfffttttt!” he snorted. “Let her eat static and leave messages on answerphones. It won’t kill you to go without your phone for five minutes.” He tugged her to the door, grabbing her coat on the way.
She eyed him. “It might. And then what would you do?”
He smirked, giving the reply she was expecting. “Buy self-raising flowers and throw the biggest, most expensive party the world has ever seen.”
“Planning on inviting me, I hope?”
He chuckled. “Only if you come back and haunt me.”
Two girls had been found dead on the beach at St. Morien in the last two weeks. Neither were Thea, but Jenica couldn’t help but worry.
On a hunch she checked the photo app on her phone that Thea was addicted to. Her breath caught as she realised Thea hadn’t posted since August.
August? How hadn’t she noticed? She barely checked that particular app these days. She checked another social media account, again one she no longer used much, to find the same thing. Thea hadn’t posted anything since mid-August when all her posts were filled with work and this bloke she’d mentioned.
Something was definitely out of kilter.
Trembling fingers vied for attention with her roiling stomach as she looked up the number for the local Cornish police station.
“St. Morien Police. How can I help you?” A bored, young voice answered the phone.
“Hello, could I speak to the officer in charge of the murder cases, please?”
“That would be DI Urquhart.”
“Then could I speak to him, please?”
“One moment…” A click followed by footsteps, then a yell, “Sir, phone. Some woman wanting to talk to you about the murders.”
The sound of a door slamming against the wall came through the phone. “And would this lady have a name?” The broad Scottish accent seemed out of place.
“Well, that was intelligent. Is she a reporter after another exclusive?”
“I have no idea. She asked for the officer in charge.”
Jenica rolled her eyes. Great way to run a police station. Obviously, she was meant to be on hold, but wasn’t. And she was eternally grateful she wasn’t a journalist. If she was, she’d probably be tempted to hang up, even if it was a personal matter.
And if this wasn’t such an important matter, she’d hang up right now.
The phone clicked again. “DI Urquhart. How can I help you, ma’am?” The Scottish voice was clipped, professional, and the sort of voice she could listen to for hours on an audio book. All velvety chocolate smooth and swoon worthy.
He’d also called her ma’am. She’d never been called that before. Ever. She wasn’t sure whether he was being polite or something else.
Only this wasn’t a book, and she needed to talk to him with a level head. “Hello, Inspector. My name is Jenica Zimmerman. I’m worried about my sister. She moved to Cornwall in May and we haven’t heard from her in a while. Actually, make that a long while. Since June. And she hasn’t posted anything online since August the fourteenth. Which is more than a little strange. She normally posts several times a day.”
“I see. Have you filed a missing person’s report?”
“No…it’s complicated. I know she’s not one of the bodies found on the beach, because we’d have been told if she were, but I can’t help but worry.”
“How do you know she’s here?”
“I don’t, exactly. But I had a postcard from St. Morien saying she was staying around there somewhere. She’d taken a job locally and had a boyfriend, but didn’t give me any more information than that, I’m afraid.”
DI Urquhart sighed. “What’s your sister’s name?”
Scribbling noises followed for a second or two. “OK, I’ve made a note. If she shows up, I’ll ask her to call home. Has she done this kind of thing before?”
“Once or twice. She did write a while back and say work was getting busy and she might not be in touch for a bit, that’s why no one has worried until now, but…” Jenica took a deep, supposedly calming breath. “Maybe I should come down there. If there are other missing girls, then—”
“I’m sure it’s not connected at all,” he interrupted. “You can file a missing person’s report with your local station, Miss Zimmerman. They’ll forward it to all the relevant departments down here. Thank you for calling.”
The line went dead.
Really? File a report and forget it?
She couldn’t do that. He might not be worried, but then he didn’t know Thea and her propensity for getting herself into trouble. Right then, Jenica decided she was going to Cornwall to search for Thea. She’d retrace her sister’s steps, find out where she stayed, who she was friends with and so on. She’d read plenty of detective novels, more than enough to know how some of this worked.
Now she had to go and sort out work. Preferably by phone as it was a day off and work was a good half hour drive in the wrong direction. As she’d need a few thicker jumpers for a Cornish winter anyway, she grabbed keys and jacket and headed out to the car. She’d combine sweet talking her boss with emergency shopping, a much-needed cup of tea and some cake at her favourite tea shop.
Once I have release dates and links for the books I will post them.