Jessica was born in the UK in 1982, and currently lives with her family and crazy Staffordshire bull terrier in the English town of Windsor, most famous for its castle and nearby Eton College. At the age of five, she was diagnosed with Retinitis Pitmentosa, a degenerative eye condition that has left her almost totally blind.
Jessica has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. As a shy person, she loves
being able to escape into another world, and the sense of power that comes with controlling everything that goes on in that world. She especially loves writing women’s fiction centred around memorable characters that leap off the page, and her debut novel, a sweet holiday read called Voices On The Waves, is now available from Red Rose Publishing.
Blurb for Voices on the Waves:
When Faye Wakefield runs a competition offering nine lucky winners a two-week holiday at her beautiful farmhouse retreat in Cornwall, she promises an experience they will never forget. However, even Faye could not have imagined how bringing these people together would change their lives forever.
Just as she hoped, the competition yields a diverse mixture of characters. Among them are Leah Shaw, a shy young woman with troubled eyes, the womanising business tycoon Marcus Armitage, Karenza Jackson, ruled by her deep-rooted need for independence, retired nurse Bronwyn Davis, and Patrick O’Leary, an Irishman with an affiliation for the whisky bottle.
So begins a gently unfolding story of love and illicit affairs, heartbreak and self-discovery. Yet, as sparks fly and the guests share their long-suppressed secrets, only Faye knows of her ulterior motive for inviting them all under her roof.
Marcus’s mood did not improve the next day when he awoke to another leaden sky. Yet, it seemed destiny was on his side. Returning downstairs, having showered and put on his best trousers, he found Leah alone in the kitchen brewing coffee.
“Hmmm, that smells good.”
Leah glanced up, blushing. “Marcus, I didn’t hear you coming. Would you like a cup?”
“Thanks, angel.” With his most dashing smile, he settled at the table where he could best admire her slender figure at work. He noticed a glow about her that hadn’t been there before. Perhaps she wasn’t quite as unaware of his interest as he’d believed.
“Where are the others?” he asked casually.
“Anjum dragged Will off for a walk and Faye’s cleaning her flat. I assume everyone else is in the sitting room.”
Perfect, Marcus mused. He smiled at Leah as she placed a mug in front of him. “Won’t you join me?”
“Oh, I’m sure you’d rather be left in peace. I’d only bore you.”
“Please, have a seat. I promise you won’t bore me in the slightest. Far from it, in fact.”
“I’m not sure about that.” Leah laughed, but nevertheless sat down opposite him.
A few more well chosen compliments and he’d have her falling at his feet. Feeling the time had come to carry out his plan, Marcus heaved a deep sigh and sunk his head in his hands.
At once, Leah looked concerned. “Is everything all right?”
“Well, no, actually.” He pretended to struggle with himself before continuing. “You see, it’s my wife. Things haven’t been going too well between us for some time now.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.”
“Thanks, angel. It’s always sad when a relationship breaks down. I suppose we’ve both changed as we’ve grown older. We just don’t share the same interests anymore.” He shook his head with a grimace. “Then, a month ago, I discovered she’d been having an affair for the past year.”
“How … how awful.”
“I was pretty cut up, I can tell you. That was the main reason I came on this holiday. I had to get away for a bit.”
Marcus experienced only a twinge of guilt at falsifying his wife’s character. It was worth it to gain the sympathy of this innocent young thing. Leah seemed too choked up to speak.
“It’s okay,” he said bravely. “I was devastated at first, but once I’d got over the initial shock, I saw how void our marriage really was. I haven’t truly loved Alison for years, and the hurt I suffered was actually nothing more than injured pride. Of course, once I accepted this, I was able to recognize the feelings I was beginning to have for someone else.”
Leah appeared startled. “Tiffany, you mean?”
“Tiffany?” He suppressed a smirk. “Lord no! She’s a sweet girl, don’t get me wrong, and I’ve grown very fond of her, but she was the one who came on to me, not the other way around. I admit I may have encouraged her more than I should have, but I suppose I was still upset over Alison. I’m certainly not proud of it.” He smiled across at her. “So have another guess.”
“You don’t have to tell me,” Leah said. “It’s none of my business.”
Marcus laughed, really enjoying himself. “But don’t you see? What would be the point my telling anyone else when it’s you I’m interested in?”
Leah set down her mug with a clunk. Barely seeming to notice the spilled coffee pooling on the table, she stared at him, speechless.
“I know this must seem a bit sudden,” Marcus said, earnest now as he leaned towards her, “but ever since our conversation in the arbor, I haven’t stopped thinking about you. I’m not suggesting we rush into anything. All I ask is the opportunity to get to know you better.”
Finishing his declaration, which he felt had contained just the right mixture of flattery and sincerity, he sat back to study Leah’s reaction.
“Marcus, I … I don’t know what to say.”
“You don’t have to say anything just yet. The last thing I want is to pressurize you into committing yourself or to tell me how you feel. Your attitude towards me these last couple of days has told me that plainly enough. All I want is for us to take things slowly and see how it goes.”
“But, Marcus, I…”
“Hush.” Touched by her confusion, he went around the table to drape his arm over the back of her chair. “Don’t get yourself in a state. I know I’m quite a bit older than you—old enough to be your father, some might argue—but that doesn’t mean it can’t be good between us.” He reached for her. “Let me show you.”
Tomorrow, The Voices On The Waves Blog Tour continues when I join J.J. Devine for an interview over at her blog. Hope to see you there!
More Jessica Links:
For the duration of my October blog tour for Voices On The Waves, everyone who comments on any of my posts along the way is automatically entered into the draw to win a $15 gift voucher for Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The five winners will be announced on my blog on October 31st.