They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose in her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and tapped 999.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?
Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer’s daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child has become moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.
The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.
It’s my turn on the #LoveBookgrouptours and I am delighted to bring you this wonderful extract from Linda Huber’s The Cold Cold Sea.
Jennifer rolled over in her high hospital bed and stared out of the window. Dark rainclouds were hovering, but for the moment it was still dry, and although there was no sign of the sun, the very air was shimmering with beautiful silvery brightness, like the sparklers they used to have on Guy Fawkes night when she was a child. It was a special day, because soon she would see her babies.
‘Morning, Mrs Marshall!’ A nurse came into the room with a rubber ring wrapped in a pillow case. She waved it at Jennifer and grinned. ‘Here you are, your new sitting companion! Let’s get you ready and I’ll take you along to the nursery.’
She bustled around cheerfully as she spoke, and Jennifer found herself sitting at the washbasin – on the rubber ring – clad only in her skimpy hospital gown. Some of the shine had disappeared from her day.
‘If you’d just give me the blue robe and leave me for a few minutes,’ said Jennifer haughtily. ‘I want to look nice for my babies.’
‘Sure,’ said the nurse, pulling Jennifer’s robe from the cupboard.
Alone, Jennifer heaved a sigh of relief. She washed slowly, changing into her own nightdress and dabbing perfume behind her ears. A little face powder too; it was important to look pretty for her darlings. That was better, now she felt human again.
The nurse tucked Jennifer’s arm through her own for their walk down the corridor. Jennifer flinched, but found she was glad of the support.
‘The first walk always feels a bit wobbly,’ said the nurse, grinning. ‘Must be worse after twins, too. Here we are.’
The nursery was a long, bright room, with several little fish-tank cots at the far end and three incubators nearer the doorway. Another nurse led Jennifer over to the two nearest incubators. The babies were lying there, both fast asleep, and Jennifer’s heart pounded in her chest.
‘Such darlings,’ she whispered. ‘How are they? Can I hold them?’
The nurse settled her into an armchair. ‘They’re doing really well. They’ll be in there keeping warm for a day or two, but you can have them out to hold whenever you like. A nice cosy cuddle with Mum will do them the world of good too.’
Jennifer accepted a baby, reading the name band with a proud smile. Daniel John Marshall. She had a son.
‘Do you have a name for this young lady yet?’ asked the nurse, giving Jennifer her daughter and propping them all up with pillows.
Jennifer suddenly remembered Phillip, and realised she hadn’t spared him or Hailey a single thought today.
‘I’m expecting my husband soon, we’ll decide when he comes,’ she said, relaxing into the chair and giving all her attention to the babies in her arms. Her son, and her daughter. Her little girl.
Warmth and happiness surged through her like a bright fire. This was quite the most wonderful moment of her life. It made up for everything. Two darling babies. And one was a girl.
The baby girl squirmed in her arms, and Jennifer held on tightly, humming under her breath, her eyes shining. Her life was complete again.
The Cold Cold Sea was re-released 21 Aug with a wonderful new cover by The Cover Collection – Isn’t it gorgeous? And what about that extract – I love it!
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently, she teaches one day a week and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.
Her writing career began in the nineties when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she turned to psychological suspense fiction, and her seventh novel, Death Wish, was published by Bloodhound Books in August 2017.
Linda’s latest project is a series of feel-good novellas, set on the banks of Lake Constance and just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!
ebook publication on August 21st. Click HERE to view in your local Amazon Store.
(Some sites may still have copies of the old paperback, and the audio version is available as usual.)
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1246 KB
Print Length: 275 pages
Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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