Villa of Secrets
I'm so pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Villa of Secrets by Patricia Wilson. Her previous novel, Island of Secrets is one of my favourite books and I really can't wait to read this one (am hoping to get a copy for when I am lying on a sunbed somewhere hot!). Enjoy an extract and I hope it takes you away to somewhere other than the snowy, cold UK!
Naomi caught Bubba’s whimper and rushed into the room. Her grandmother cowered against the pillow, her eyes wide, glazed, afraid.
‘They’re going to hang me! Help me, please. I have to escape,’ she slurred. ‘Papa! I can’t see him. Where is he? Don’t let them kill my Papa, I’m begging you!’
Naomi held her grandmother. ‘Come on, Bubba. It’s just a bad dream. You’re safe with me.’ She found it heartbreaking to see the old lady like this. Whatever was going on in her mind was very real to her grandmother.
Bubba thumped herself in the chest. ‘I loved her, and because of me she’s dead too. Please, bring her back!’
‘Who, Bubba? Who did you love?’ Naomi asked, cooling her grandmother’s forehead with a damp facecloth, but Bubba had purged herself of the memory. Exhausted, she returned to sleep. Naomi watched her eyes flutter behind thin lids, and the occasional twitch of her body with a half-started word on her lips.
Dragged away from her thoughts by more movement across the road, Naomi saw Papas Yiannis in his striped pyjamas ambling onto his front porch. He pushed his fingers behind his glasses and rubbed his eyes. Above him, Marina’s bedroom light went out. The priest placed his tiny coffee cup on the tin table and pulled out a rickety chair.
Reluctant to break the peace of the hour, Naomi gave him a wave.
He nodded before sucking the froth off his drink.
Naomi returned indoors and tried to block thoughts of the gun by concentrating on a fresh batch of hand cream. She gathered the ingredients from memory, no longer needing Bubba’s recipe.
2 cups of olive oil.
1 cup of coconut oil.
1 cup of beeswax.
8 drops of lemon essential oil
She’d forgotten something . . . honey, that was it. She pulled the kitchen cupboard open and reached for the jar. The cruise calendar and a photo of Costa and her boys were taped inside the cream-painted door.
Uplifted by thoughts of her husband, she placed a hand on her cheek the way he did when he said, ‘I love you, Naomi.’
Costa would be prepping breakfast for the rich and lonely, before they disembarked at the port of Kos.
Naomi recalled the time she had sailed to that island on the fast-cat ferry and met Costa at the port. They dashed about the town where he showed her the ancient plane-tree under which Hippocrates had taught his disciples of medicine. Like tourists, they scrambled through the town’s archaeological site in the blazing sun, and admired antique mosaics underfoot. Eating cheap ice cream from McDonald’s, they wandered about in Freedom Square, taking in the mosque, the museum, the spice market, and then the castle.
Naomi kissed her finger and touched Costa’s photo.
She scooped ingredients into a jar that stood in a pan of hot water. The fragrant tang of lemon flooded the room. In a short time, the components would meld together, ready to be whipped, potted, and labelled.
If only life were that simple.
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To order a copy of Island of Secrets click here