Today I’m sharing an extract from Within the Silence by Nicola Avery, a little teaser to whet your appetite but first here’s a bit about the book.
Maddy Stone stood beside the wall that offered protection to the manicured native garden looking out across the flat Mediterranean Sea. Below her, a trail of steep steps roughly hewn into the hard rock and framed in part by tall Balearic island plants wound down to the old fisherman’s jetty and the tiny strip of beach. This secluded Majorcan inlet, accessible only by water or determined hikers, accommodated a few small dinghies tonight.
Maddy’s father, Jon Stone, was hosting an engagement party for her stepsister Zara, to which a number of locals and neighbouring summertime visitors had been invited. In the distance, she could hear the music playing – blues and jazz, Zara’s favourite. But Maddy’s heart ached for the sounds ofthe sea back down on the jetty, the slapping of the water against the helm of her boat or the dull squeak of the dinghies rubbing against one another.
She remained perfectly still, enjoying the view. Above her, a lone gull swooped low across the bay calling out for its mate, as she watched a bloodorange sun finally slipping below the horizon, swallowed again for today by a stretch of endless grey-glass sea. Wrapping her arms around her slim body,Maddy shivered, hastily brushing away the solitary tear that slipped silently down her face. The soft evening breeze caught on a tendril of her blonde hair, and she carelessly twisted and tucked it behind her ear, momentarily forgetting her precious diamond studs: an heirloom from her grandmother’s estate and given to her on her twenty-first birthday. She could hear the closing murmurs from the evening’s celebrations now, trickling out through the villa’s open doors. She stood between two such different worlds – both of them hers and both about to collide.
Throughout her life, Maddy had kept her secrets safe: from the ones she loved and for the ones she loved. Only now, it was almost time to stop pretending, forever. She knew she must be patient for just a little while longer. What she was about to do would hurt those she loved the most, and she wanted Zara to enjoy her special evening. Tomorrow, she’d take back control of her own life, whatever the consequences.
On a thin gold chain around her neck hung a gold filigree ring, one of a pair of two entwined dolphins. An inexpensive trinket bought in the Old Town of Ibiza. Rubbing the ring between her fingers, Maddy raised it to her lips, her mouth gently kissing the warm metal. Breathing in slowly anddeeply, she willed her racing heart to calm. It would be time soon enough; the party was winding up.
Unaware that she was being watched, Maddy turned away from the sea, tucking the necklace and ring safely between her breasts. She walked back towards the lights of the villa. Time to play the perfect daughter, the loving sister. After tomorrow, nothing would ever be the same again, for any of them…