I am delighted to be taking part in the blogtour to celebrate the publication of the last in Shari Low’s Winter Trilogy. I loved both the previous books in the series. You can read my reviews if you’d like to by clicking on the titles: One Day in Winter and Another Day in Winter. It’s a little early for me to dip into Christmas and winter books just yet but I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing this book in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I have an extract from the book to share with you.
‘Seb? Seb Lloyd?’ A woman’s voice. Scottish. He’d placed the accent as being from Aberdeen, but softened, perhaps through time spent away from the city. When he’d first left Glasgow in his early twenties, he’d spent a couple of years in the Granite City coaching wealthy oil executives, his first stop on a career that had taken him all over the world. But that was more than thirty years and a heartbreak ago.
He’d turned to see an attractive woman, perhaps also in her fifties, dark hair, wearing the standard expat uniform of floaty top, linen trousers and gold sandals. Beside her, a tanned bloke in a polo shirt and chinos was sporting a bemused expression.
His wine glass had clinked as he laid it on the marble bar top. He’d thought about lying for a moment but had decided it wasn’t worth the effort. ‘Yes.’
‘Wow, it’s a small world.’
‘Is it?’ he’d replied, his tone undoubtedly conveying the conviction that he had absolutely no idea who this lady was.
‘I’ve been sitting over there all night…’ she’d gestured to the restaurant tables to the side of the bar, ‘staring at you, trying to place the face. And it just came to me, didn’t it, Bob?’ she’d gushed to her nodding companion. Enthusiasm and incredulity were oozing from every pore of her skin now. Seb had decided he really needed another drink.
‘Aberdeen Golf Club! 1985!’
The wine had dulled his arithmetic skills, so it took him a moment. ‘Yes, I worked there then.’
‘I knew it!’ the stranger had beamed. ‘I’m Pearl Smith! Well, Pearl McCann, I was back then. I worked behind the bar.’
Nope, he still had nothing. He was saved from admitting that when she went on…
‘You would always chat to me and my sister, Yvonne.’
A synapse in his brain had flashed, made a connection. Yvonne McCann. She’d worked behind the bar too. Long, dark blonde waves. Gorgeous smile. Great fun. They’d been best friends, but for him it was so much more. For a moment in time, he’d thought she felt the same. Thankfully his tan concealed the slight flush of his face as a memory surfaced. One cold evening, Yvonne, him – it was Pearl’s night off so he was helping her clear up the empty bar in the early hours of the morning. Madonna was singing ‘Crazy For You’ – Yvonne’s favourite song – over the speakers, Yvonne was singing along, smiling for the first time since her boyfriend had ditched her and gone off on holiday with his mates. The guy was a fool, Seb had told her a dozen times over the previous few days, meaning every word. He’d been quietly falling in love with her since the moment they’d met about six months before, but now wasn’t the time to make a move. She was hurt, confused and… Her arms were around his neck and she was kissing him, her hips still moving in time to the music.
That night they slept together in his room at the club, and they’d spent the next glorious week sneaking off to be together whenever they could. It was bliss, the first time he’d thought that a fling could be so much more… right up until the moment her ex had sauntered back into the bar and it had been obvious to them all that the person she was crazy for was the one with the newly acquired suntan. There had been an embarrassed apology and a few awkward weeks of watching them fawn over each other, before he’d packed up his bruised heart and dented ego and moved on to a new role down south.
‘Well, isn’t it a small world, right enough?’ he’d said, the sheer unexpectedness of the encounter giving him a genuine cheer that he hadn’t felt in a while. ‘Would you like to join me?’ He hadn’t had to ask twice, before the adjacent bar stools were pulled out and the couple climbed on board.
The barman, Miguel, had served up two glasses and another bottle of Rioja, and they’d passed the first hour in easy chat, discussing what had brought them to the same place at the same time. Pearl and Bob had taken early retirement, having made enough in the Aberdeen boom years to enable them to live a comfortable – if not extravagant – life in the sun. They’d come to this golf club, about twenty miles away from their home, because friends had raved about the food here.
Second bottle opened, they’d moved to the more comfortable armchairs on the terrace, the air thick with the intoxicating scent of bougainvillea, to continue the conversation. Chatting to people had always come easy to him. Skill on the green aside, it’s what made him so good at his job, that ability to make people feel at ease and relax, whether he was talking to a complete beginner or a professional fighting for his career at a top level tournament.
‘How is Yvonne?’ he’d asked, as they sat in the luxuriously upholstered rattan seats.
Pearl’s face had fallen, Bob stared at his moccasins, and the sudden chill wasn’t down to a drop in the evening temperature.
Pearl’s voice went from cheery to choked in an instant. ‘Och, she passed away a couple of years ago now. Early onset dementia. It was a heartbreak.’ She wiped away a solitary tear. ‘For goodness sake, what am I like. All this time has passed and I still fill up when I’m telling anyone for the first time.’
Thanks to Vicky Joss at Aria Fiction for inviting me to take part in the tour and providing an extract to share with you today. The Last Day in Winter is available now as an ebook. If that extract has whetted your appetite, you can order your copy online – buying links are below for various ebook platforms.
Google Play: https://bit.ly/2ZxvpMR
From the back of the book
One December wedding. One runaway bride. One winter’s day to bring everyone together again.
Today is the day Caro and Cammy are due to walk up the aisle. But Caro’s too caught up in the trauma of her past to contemplate their happy ever after.
Stacey’s decision to return from L.A. is fuelled by one thing – telling Cammy how she feels, before it’s too late.
Wedding planner, Josie, needs to sort the whole mess out, but she’s just been dealt some devastating news. Can she get through the day without spilling her secret?
On a chilly winter’s day, they have twenty-four hours to prove that love can lead the way to a brighter future…
Perfect for fans of Isabelle Broom, Sarah Morgan and Amanda Prowse.
About the author
Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You, Another Day In Winter and her latest release, This Is Me. And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So.
Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she’s fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift.
For all the latest news, visit her on Facebook, twitter, or at http://www.sharilow.com
Social media links