Anglesey, by the way, is a place. Not a person. It’s a small island off the coast of North Wales, in the United Kingdom. Only twenty-eight miles at its widest point, the population is less than seventy thousand, and the sun always seems to shine. Well, that’s how it felt as a child. I spent most of my summer holidays there, and then returned several times a year as an adult. To me, it feels like my second home.
And now, even though I live twelve thousand miles away, I can re-visit through my books. My latest release, POLE POSITION, is set mostly there, and it’s a key location in the TALISMAN series too.
What is it about our favourite places? Why do we keep going back? For me it was a combination of wild, open countryside, beautiful deserted beaches, and history. So much history. Twelfth century castles, Roman remains, and Stone Age hut circles and burial mounds. It’s mostly a tourist destination now, with caravan parks and camping grounds, but still has its own personality.
One day I’ll go back there and revisit all my favourite places. I know it will have changed, but I’ll take that chance. For now, I’ll have to make do with pictures and memories—and share them through my books.
Where are your favourite places to go? And why?
Here’s a brief excerpt from POLE POSITION
A couple of bends later I saw the sea in front of us, silvery in the night where the headlamps flashed over it. I scanned the area. The bay swept around us in a huge arc, with a handful of houses and a cafe hugging the coastline. She pulled onto a ramp, and nosed the car into a parking space. We were the only vehicle there, the only people awake by the look of it. Sighing, she switched off the lights, turned off the engine, and we sat in total silence. She stared out of the window, her fingers rigid on the wheel.
I waited. Was this somewhere significant? Time passed. She yawned and slumped, leaning back in her seat, but still staring blindly out of the window.
I spoke softly. I wanted to get some dialogue going, get her to break out of this catatonic state. “Where are we?”
Her gaze slid to me, she looked as though she were in a trance. “Red Wharf Bay.”
Okay, that was a start. I tried to remember Red Wharf Bay from a map I looked at days ago. “What happens at Red Wharf Bay? Why did you come here?”
I waited patiently.
“It faces east. This is the best place to watch the sunrise.” She spoke in a low voice. The sunrise? It was barely two in the morning, the sun wouldn’t be up for hours.
With the engine off, the car quickly became cold, and I saw her shiver again. “We’re going to be here a few hours if we’re waiting for the sunrise. Let me hold you, sweetheart. I won’t do anything else, I promise.”
I waited, held my breath, and then sighed in relief as she fumbled with her seat belt and freed herself. I did the same, and we shifted toward each other until I could take her in my arms. She felt perfect, snuggled up to me. “Don’t leave me.”
She made an annoyed sound in her throat. “You don’t need me, Jon. You like me as a distraction, but you don’t need me. Once you get back to your racing, you’ll be fine.”
I tried a different tack. “What happened in my crash is very rare. It’s a really safe sport these days. Probably even safer than horse riding. You’d fallen off Sam when we met.”
She sat up and stared at me with wild eyes. “When horses collide, they don’t burst into flames.” She took a breath. “I see that image whenever I go to sleep. You’re not the only one to have nightmares.”
“Do you want me to give it up? Find something else to do?”
“I won’t ask you to do that. Like I said, you’d resent me forever.”
She was right.
I held her, felt her heart thumping and her breath against my skin. There had to be a way forward, but how?
We sat in a stiff and uncomfortable silence for hours. The first glimmer of dawn came as a distant lightening of the horizon, and then an orange bloom started to creep out, sending tendrils of light across the sky. I watched in awed silence.
She muttered something, but I didn’t catch it. I questioned her with my eyes.
“There’s a Kings of Leon song, a lyric about getting lost in the night. I can’t remember the line. It just seems appropriate.”
I recognized the words. “Yeah I know it, ‘Revelry’. It’s a sad song.”
“Do you have it? On your iPod?”
I shrugged. I knew I did, and I knew the lyrics were too appropriate. All about love and loss. Anita seemed to be softening, and I hugged her closer, relishing the feel of her body against mine. The sun had come fully up now, the entire sky awash with light, the sea blue and inviting. The tide washed halfway up the sand. It sparkled enticingly, and I knew what I had to do.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Jon’s glamorous life as a racecar driver is poles apart from Anita’s job in a bookshop, and he’s drawn to her in a way he never imagined. After one unfaithful, soon-to-be-ex-wife, and a revolving door of models and actresses, Jon finds Anita’s innocence and vulnerability a breath of fresh air.
Anita’s abusive ex-boyfriend left her running scared of any kind of relationship. Picking up the pieces of her life is hard, but her best friend since childhood, Danny Webster, is only too willing to help. And then she meets Jon. He completes her in a way Danny never could.
She doesn’t expect the men to hate each other on sight. Losing Anita isn’t an option for Jon or Danny, but only one man can take pole position for her heart.
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