Twin sisters. One scorching summer. A bucketful of secrets.
Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much. They aren’t identical twins. Perhaps the only things they have in common are agreeing their mother can be a nightmare – and their birthdays. This summer they’ll be thirty-five. Diana has the perfect husband, two talented youngsters, and an adorable dog. She runs a successful business from home, a popular book club, and hosts sparkling parties for her wealthy husband. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one. Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends, and always looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge. She loves Diana, deeply, but each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret. But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she hiding something too? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance. And it all begins with a phone call from their mother.
Publication Date: 31st July
Thank you so much for allowing me to share a little extract from my new book, Summer at my Sister’s.
This is where Josie Parnell is on her way to her twin sister, Diana’s house but stops for a while and meets up with Liam Fulbright – a man she hasn’t seen since he married the most beautiful girl in the world (in Josie’s opinion) when he was just nineteen.
I decided to sit for a while beneath the ancient Oak in the centre of the village, and right in front of the church. From here there was a view directly out to sea and I watched a yacht bob along in the distance and seagulls soar and swoop low over the glass-like, turquoise water. I breathed deeply, pushed my sunglasses onto the top of my head, shoving back the tumbles of wavy red hair and closed my eyes, suddenly remembering long-ago summers. I heard someone walking past but I kept my eyes closed. Until I heard my name.
‘Josie? Is that you?’
My eyes shot open at the sound of a man’s voice. It sounded a lot like Liam Fulbright’s had all those years ago, only deeper, stronger and more commanding somehow. But the man standing in front of me looked nothing like the Liam I remembered. Liam had been tall and gangly and never quite as tanned as everyone else. His hair was always short, as if the scissors had taken fright and cut off far too much. Bits of it stuck out everywhere, a bit like a porcupine. His eyes were dark blue, but nothing to write home about, especially as they appeared more bulbous thanks to the thick glasses he wore. But I had always thought there was something simmering just beneath the surface and that one day, whatever it was, would burst forth and Liam would be transformed.
It seemed I was right. Unless this wasn’t Liam Fulbright.
‘It’s Liam. Liam Fulbright. I don’t suppose you remember me? We spent several summers together, a lifetime ago. Becca told my daughter, Orla you were coming. You haven’t changed a bit. Except, perhaps your hair. I think it was chestnut brown in those days.’ His smile was warm and friendly.
I shaded my eyes from the sun.
‘Liam Fulbright? Really? Wow.’
I put on my sunglasses so that I could see him better and got to my feet. He towered over me. But then so did everyone. Diana and I stopped growing when we reached five foot three.
‘Don’t tell me you’ve walked from the station?’
‘What? Oh. Er. No. I took a taxi but stopped for a quick drink at The Seahorse Inn.’
‘And ended up on the bench here? Just the one drink? Or did you have several?’
I didn’t answer immediately. I was still trying to take in how much he had changed.
‘Er. No. Just one. But I think the jet lag and heat is getting to me.’
‘So you stopped to admire the view.’ He half-turned to look at the sea and then his eyes focussed on me again.
‘Well, it is a rather gorgeous view,’ I said, scanning him from the tips of his black, Converse trainers to the roots of his lustrous chocolate-brown hair.
Gone was the spiky haircut and in its place, soft, natural waves sat around a deeply tanned and exceedingly handsome face. The firm jaw held a hint of stubble, the dark blue eyes, sparkling in the bright sunlight were free of glasses and when he smiled, his sensuous-looking lips parted to reveal perfect, naturally white teeth. He was at least six foot or more and his legs were long in his jeans. His pale blue cotton shirt, although not tight, showed that his chest and shoulders were broad and his forearms, where the sleeves had been rolled back, were certainly toned. Not in a body-builder way, but in a way that made it clear Liam Fulbright was no slouch.
‘I agree with you on that,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but here and seeing that view every day.’
‘No. I could easily get used to a view like this. I mean, like that. The sea. The sea view is gorgeous. Er … I was so sorry to hear about Una. I should’ve sent a card or something. Sorry. I’m a terrible person, I know.’
He reached out and touched my shoulder and I swear to you, my skin seared beneath his hand. Or perhaps my shoulders had got sunburnt. I was wearing a sleeveless blouse and I’m not sure how long I was sitting on that bench in the full midday sun.
‘No you’re not, Josie.’ His voice changed tone. I could detect a hint of anger. ‘To be honest, I wouldn’t have known if you had or not. I was in a bit of a state and didn’t really take in anything at the time. Everything was a bit of a blur.’
Thank you for taking the time to read this extract. I hope you enjoyed it.
And thank you, lovely, for sharing this on your blog. xxx
Thank you Emily Harvale and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart. Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at http://www.emilyharvale.com. Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.