I adore Venice, I’ve visited more than once and each time I go I feel like I’m going home. The city speaks to me in a way that no other city ever has but for some reason I’ve never read a book that’s been set there. Having this one pop up in my emails changed that, it sounded light and bright and has the exploration of Venice from someone who is visiting it for the first time. How could I possibly turn down the chance of being involved in this blog tour……clearly I didn’t so read on and get a taste of the book from the extract that I have for you.
Synopsis: Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice.
Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.
It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfillment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.
But can dreams come true?
Penny studied the woman more closely. She was probably four or five years older than her, maybe thirty or so. She was well-groomed and looked affluent. Penny suppressed a sigh of jealousy.
‘Is there somewhere we could talk for a moment?’ The woman was looking around warily.
‘Er, yes. Are you a journalist or something?’ Penny led the woman across to a table in the far corner and ran a cloth over a seat before indicating she should sit down.
‘No, nothing like that, Penny.’ The woman, Caroline, sat down tentatively, but avoided putting her arms on the table top. Penny nodded to herself. Although she knew that Spiro kept the Apocalypse spotlessly clean, the battered appearance of the furniture could be off-putting, especially to somebody wearing an expensive light-coloured coat. Caroline waited until Penny had sat down opposite her before starting to explain. ‘No, I came to see you to ask if you might be interested in a job.’ Seeing the surprise on Penny’s face, she was quick to expand. ‘Not a full-time job. You could still carry on working here most of the time, if that’s what you want.’
Working at the Apocalypse certainly wasn’t what Penny wanted, but a job was a job, and she had grown close to the boys, Jimmy in particular, over the months she had been here. She looked across the table. ‘What sort of job?’ She saw the other woman hesitate, shooting a wary glance around the room before replying. Her voice dropped to little more than a whisper.
‘How would you feel about meeting me somewhere we can talk more freely?’
Penny began to get a bad feeling about this. Was this some sort of attempt to recruit her to the secret service? Or maybe the woman was some sort of pimp, trying to sign her up for a life of prostitution just like Jimmy and Piotr had suggested. Caroline must have seen the suspicion on her face as she was quick to reassure her.
‘It’s nothing underhand. Please don’t worry. It’s just that my employer is a very private person and I’ve been given strict instructions that what I have to say must be strictly between the two of us.’
Penny nodded. Although several tables separated them from the counter, Spiro was leaning forward nonchalantly, his good ear trained on their corner. Not a lot escaped him. She took another good look at Caroline. She looked trustworthy enough and she was very well spoken. Maybe if they were to meet in a public place there would be no harm in it. She nodded again and the other woman made a suggestion. ‘Do you know the JC coffee shop below the Metropole Hotel halfway along Piccadilly?’
Penny nodded again. She knew it from having walked past it a good few times, but she had never dared go inside. The place had expensive written all over it, from the tropical fish in the massive aquarium by the window to the liveried doorman whose only job appeared to be to open the door for patrons of the establishment and to keep riff-raff out. Riff-raff would no doubt include Penny, the way things were at the moment. She dismissed the thought and brightened up. Assuming they let her in, at least she was unlikely to be mugged, raped or kidnapped in a classy establishment like that.
My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.
I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.