A captivating volume of over forty short stories, the tales in 'Encounters' illustrate the author’s extraordinary talent for capturing the spirit of a place and drawing us into the hearts and minds of her characters. Some are humorous, some thrilling, while others are unashamedly sentimental.
|Publisher||Harper Collins; 2017|
THE DARKEST HOUR
Summer 1940, most eyes are on the skies. But young Evie Lucas spends hours sketching endless portraits of a dashing young pilot called Tony. His parents want something to remember him by if it all goes wrong… Seventy years later, art historian Lucy is uncovering the mystery surrounding a painting. But as she stirs up a hornet’s nest of history, Lucy finds that some stories are buried in the darkness forever, while some are just waiting to be told…
A collection of over thirty short stories from contemporary to historical, romantic to humorous or even spooky, but all told by a gifted storyteller.
THE GHOST TREE
Ruth has returned to Edinburgh after the death of her estranged father, and she is faced with the daunting task of sorting through his possessions. Amidst the dust of her old life, Ruth discovers a hidden diary from the eighteenth century, written by her ancestor, Thomas Erskine. As she sifts through the ancient pages of the past, Ruth is pulled into a story that she can’t escape.
HIDING FROM THE LIGHT
In 1644 Liza, the herbalist, and Sarah, daughter of the manor, were among scores of women tortured by the Witchfinder General in the parish of Manningtree and Mistley. Emma now lives in Liza's cottage, where she experiences visions of the terrible past. She turns to the young rector for help, but he is also troubled.
LADY OF HAY
In London, journalist Jo Clifford plans to debunk the belief in past-lives in a magazine piece. But her scepticism is shaken when a hypnotist forces her to relive the experiences of Matilda, Lady of Hay, a noblewoman during the reign of King John. She learns of Matilda's unhappy marriage, her love for the handsome Richard de Clare, and the death threats handed out by King John, before it becomes clear that Jo’s past and present are inevitably entwined. She realises that Matilda’s story of secret passion and unspeakable treachery is about to repeat itself…
ON THE EDGE OF DARKNESS
When 14 year old Adam Craig met Brid he was fascinated by her exotic dress and behaviour. They became friends, and eventually lovers, and she gradually led him into her life as a Druid priestess in the sixth century! Brid became jealous as Adam made a life in his own century, and haunted him like an evil shadow for over fifty years.
RIVER OF DESTINY
On the banks of the River Deben in Suffolk lies a set of barn conversions dating back to the Anglo Saxons. Zoe and Ken have just moved into one of the barns, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. But the strange presence Zoe feels within their home and the ghostly shapes she sees through the cloying mists on the river are getting harder to ignore. Are they linked to the Victorian tragedy the locals whisper about?
Following the death of her mother, Abi Rutherford receives a mysterious bequest – a misshapen crystal sphere known as the Serpent’s Stone, which gives her glimpses into mysteries long concealed by the church. Abi questions what connects these ancient events and her gift. Why do so many people seem desperate to hide the truth?
WHISPERS IN THE SAND
Recently divorced Anna Fox decides to cheer herself up by retracing a journey her great grandmother Louisa made in the mid-19th century - a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan. Anna carries with her two of Louisa’s possessions: an ancient Egyptian scent bottle and an illustrated diary. But when two men from the tour party develop an unfriendly rivalry for her attention, while showing a disturbing interest in Louisa’s mementoes, Anna becomes worried. And most frightening of all, she finds herself the victim of a spectral presence that grows in strength and threat as the dramatic stories from three different eras intertwine in a terrifying climax.