I may have shared this before, but as I am busy with my latest Radwinter novel, here is an episode from the first one which I published five years ago. Radwinter is available on Kindle or as a paperback, so if you haven’;t read the story of Thomas Radwinter and his quest to find his family’s history, then here is a little taster.
Thomas has gone to his brother Paul’s party with his wife Rebecca. He’s not comfortable at parties, he always feels ill at ease and self-conscious.
I noticed John standing talking to a woman with red hair; I hadn’t seen him arrive so I went over, and he introduced me to Laura but he didn’t say, ‘girlfriend’ so I didn’t know if she was with him, or maybe was a friend of Ruthie’s.
Of all my brothers, John is the one I felt closest too, and least intimidated by, but somehow things have changed with Paul, and I’m seeing a different side to him.
“Rebecca, I think I’ve met you before,” said Laura pleasantly. “I work at Maple Lodge and some of our team came to visit the Willows to see your good practice. You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you; you gave us an inspirational talk, and we were so impressed with what you do. We’ve tried to implement some of your ideas at Maple.”
John looked politely surprised. I wasn’t; everyone spoke highly of Rebecca in her professional role. Rebecca thawed immediately and began to chat to Laura and I could tell John was even more surprised.
“Rebecca, you haven’t got a drink, let me get you one,” he said; John is always so kind and thoughtful, in a quiet unassuming way.
“It’s alright, Thomas will get me one, white wine, please.” For some reason she wanted me to go, so I trotted off obediently.
Paul stopped me as I was about to go into the kitchen and asked me to find some more peanuts and olives; his boys had disappeared and he had to get some more wine.
I went into the kitchen but there was no obvious sign of nuts and olives and I began to explore the cupboards. There was a pantry by the back door and I guessed I might be successful there. The door was stiff and I yanked it back and somehow as I wrenched it open I lost my balance and sort of fell into the cupboard and the door shut behind me. I was in the utter dark apart from a tiny line of light round the door. I felt for a catch or a light switch feeling very foolish.
There was a burst of laughter and I could hear women’s voices. I knocked gently on the door and was about to call out, feeling really stupid, when I heard them mention Rebecca’s name.
They were standing very near the pantry, no doubt getting drinks from the counter beside it. It would be too embarrassing to knock or call out again now.
“They are such an odd couple, aren’t they?” I think it was Amelia, Tony’s wife.
“They’re so old-fashioned, like an old aunty and uncle from a different generation; anyone would think he was older than Paul!” that was Andrea, Max’s wife. Rebecca would be appalled, she always thinks she’s so fashionable and she spends enough money on clothes!
“I don’t mind her, I suppose” said one of them and I waited, blushing, waited for her to say that she did mind me. “But why on earth Thomas married her I cannot imagine. He is such a sweetheart, he’s gorgeous, why doesn’t he ditch her and get someone who would appreciate him?”
“I know, he’s utterly adorable, I love him! He’s so funny, and when he puts on those sad puppy eyes, well, who could resist him!”
There was a crash as one of them dropped an empty bottle into the box beneath the counter and I jumped, knocking something from the shelf which miraculously I caught. Their voices moved away and I heard a man say something and I banged on the door and called out.
The door opened and I almost fell over Django’s cajón playing friend. I mumbled something and thanked him as he laughed at me and I rushed out of the kitchen which was suddenly full of people.
“Where have you been? And where’s my wine?” it was Rebecca, still with Laura although John had disappeared. “And what have you got those chickpeas for?”
I looked down; I was still holding the bag of chickpeas which I’d knocked off the shelf and caught.
“Hummus,” and I hurried back to get her wine and to see if someone knew where the nuts and olives were. Sweetheart? Adorable? Puppy eyes? Unbelievable…
Here is a link to Radwinter:
If you enjoy it there are five more books in the series, over the course of which Thomas not only finds his family history, but finds himself.