Today I’m hosting the book tour for Lorna Cook’s new book called ‘The Forgotten Village’ and I’ve an extract from the book for you to enjoy!
Melissa stepped forward to look closer. The couple in the small black and white photograph looked unremarkable. But, despite the heat, she shivered. Her mum would have said that someone had walked over her grave. Melissa wasn’t sure she believed in that sort of thing.
She pushed the thought away and walked through the wide red-brick entrance into the front drive. She could see holes in the brick walls on both sides where wrought-iron gates would once have been fixed but had long since been removed. She put her hand against the warm brick wall to steady herself for a minute or two as the sun beat down on her head. The heat was making her nauseous and she fanned herself with her leaflet for a few seconds before ploughing on. She wasn’t usually this feeble.
Just a few quick minutes glancing in the windows of the house if they weren’t boarded up, and then she’d head off.
But as she let go of the wall and walked towards the large pale-bricked Elizabethan building in front of her, her vision blurred and her stomach churned. Melissa reached out to grab the wall again, but it was too far behind her and her fingers grabbed pointlessly at the air. She started to stumble forward, her legs gave way and the ground rushed up to meet her. As her eyes flickered shut, she was only vaguely aware that a strong pair of arms had grabbed her, breaking her fall.
Melissa opened her eyes slowly and looked up into a man’s face.
‘Are you all right?’
It was the historian. He was crouched over her; his face full of concern, laced with a hint of panic. He was very attractive up close, but then Melissa wondered why he was so close. And why was she on the ground?
‘Are you all right?’ he repeated. ‘I could see you falling from all the way back there.’ He pointed over her head towards the avenue. ‘I don’t remember the last time I had to run that fast.’
Melissa nodded. ‘I’m fine,’ she said out of good old-fashioned British politeness, although it was clear she wasn’t fine at all. Her head still hurt and her raging thirst hadn’t diminished. And she was still on the ground.
He narrowed his eyes. ‘Hmm. Stay still for a few minutes at least,’ he said. ‘You just passed out. There must be a first-aider here who can take a quick look at you.’
She sat up slowly, ignoring his protestations. ‘How long was I out?’
‘Not long. About thirty seconds or so.’
‘Oh.’ Melissa coughed dryly.
You can buy ‘The Forgotten Village’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.