Memories of the Cottage by the Sea by Rebecca Alexander / #Spotlight #PublicationDay @bookouture

The Island Cottage Book 2

As she inhales the salty sea air, Charlotte glimpses the island on the horizon. Seeing it after all these years still sends a shiver down her spine. Should she be returning to this place?

When teacher Charlotte Kingston is sent to close a school on an isolated Scilly Isle, it is her first time on the island since summer holidays spent there with her grandparents. But with a newly broken heart, she’s desperate to travel as far from her life on the mainland as possible.

Not long after she arrives, two visiting children find themselves in need of a place to stay when their grandmother falls ill. When Charlotte agrees to take care of the boys, she suddenly has a reason to keep the school open a little longer. With a renewed sense of purpose, Charlotte begins to connect with the local islanders who tell her more about her family.

Intrigued, Charlotte decides to decode her grandmother’s old letters from the Second World War. They reveal a story of a forbidden love that defied the darkness of war, and of a beautiful, brave young man who would risk everything for his country, even if meant losing the woman he loved…

Just as Charlotte realises the secret will change her life forever, the children’s handsome, enigmatic stepfather, Ash, arrives to take care of them. But Charlotte doesn’t trust him – he left the boys once before, why wouldn’t he do it again? But as the tension grows between them, Charlotte feels an attraction developing, too. And although she can’t stop thinking about Ash, and his soft, full lips, she’s afraid to open her heart again.

But rereading her grandmother’s story, Charlotte realises there is courage and redemption among the pages. Is this a sign that everyone deserves a second chance, maybe even Ash? And, if she is brave enough to let him in, will she be able to put her fractured heart back together once and for all?



About the Author

I write crime and fantasy, with an interest in folk and superstitious beliefs. A Baby’s Bones (out in 2018) asks the reader: is a dark house haunted by the dreadful violence committed there in the past, or is there a scientific explanation that triggers the darkness in the people who are working there?

I’m fascinated with the psychology that creates crime, how someone overcomes a lifetime of societal pressure not to harm someone. What kind of people find that possible (or, even, easy?). A Shroud of Leaves (out July 2019) asks that question, why a young girl would be buried in a pile of leaves on an estate that seems haunted by the disappearance of another young girl in the past. But she isn’t the first young person to go missing there… the story explores a family that seems haunted by psychopathy.

I’ve been interested in fantasy since being read my first fairy tale. When I started writing seriously, as part of an MA in creative writing, fantasy crept into what was going to be a crime story. It’s since crept into everything I’ve written – historical, mystery, romance. I think it’s because I keep finding references to magic everywhere. It’s our first belief system: a fat man will come down the chimney at Christmas, tooth fairies steal teeth and exchange them for money, black cats are lucky. When I was a psychologist, people came up with superstitions and beliefs that made no empirical sense yet made a good story. Living on the Isle of Wight then Devon I couldn’t get away from superstitions and our magical history.

I wrote The Secrets of Life and Death series out of that love of magic and fantasy. I tried to bring a single element of fantasy into the real world and it seeped in all directions. Dr John Dee believed sorcery was possible – it was his idea of technology. I just wondered … what if he was right? What if a child’s life could be saved by magic when medicine fails? Then I had to go back and follow Dee and his sidekick, Kelley, as they did their experiments and worked out how magic works in the castle of Elizabeth Bathory, the sadistic ‘Blood Countess’.


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