Saturday, 19 March 2011


This week, my six comes from Fragile Dreams

“How? How did you know?”
“It wasn’t difficult.” Expression neutral, he laid his book face-down on the table. “You wear your emotions so flagrantly. You were too happy. I sensed someone was rocking your world and it wasn’t me.”

Fragile Dreams holds a special place in my heart. It is probably the one work in which I have injected so much of myself. Continuing my love affair with all things Greek, and following the success of Dreamweek, it seemed a logical step to create another tale set on the enchanting imaginary Greek island of Kuros.
Re-introducing some of Dream’s main characters, I have, once again, leaned on my experiences working within the travel industry to provide much of the backdrop. But the love story is all brand new. This is a tale that touches on many issues; psychological bullying, culture clash, controlling spouses – all mixed in with a young woman’s battle to recover her self-esteem after struggling with Breast Cancer {based on my personal experience. I am hoping to donate any future royalties to cancer research. I believe Fragile is a tale that goes beyond a simple romance and will touch something in all of us. Here is a short blurb and excerpt:

Introducing Elysiana Rouva and the young Michael. Drawn together by an inexplicable bond, they share so much more than mere physical attraction. Ellie is at the point where she is questioning her life. Recently overcoming a long, hard battle with breast cancer, she is vulnerable and depressed. Her husband Pavlos, although outwardly supportive, provides her with no real comfort. Their marriage is a farce. She no longer loves him and is not threatened by his numerous affairs or his obsession with his work. Her friends say all the right words but she cannot make them understand.
Enter Michael. Michael becomes Ellie’s salvation. The young man Pavlos sends to tend their garden turns Ellie’s world on its head. As for Michael, Ellie provides escape from a past clouded with bad memories. Can she rid his heart of so much betrayal?


Ellie awoke, refreshed and feeling alive. For the first time in months, she’d slept like a baby. But now, a new day dawned, Pavlos had gone and….who was she trying to kid? Tomorrow was here. He was coming.
I’m only excited, she told herself as she showered, because finally the rose garden will be sorted. No other reason. Nothing whatsoever to do with captivating grey eyes and a tender smile. Genuine. That was the word scurrying around in her head. She sensed his interest in her. It felt good.
Ignoring Maria’s disapproving stone expression as she washed up a wine glass, Ellie poured out a cup of coffee. Good, strong Columbian. None of the decaf rubbish Pavlos tried to make her drink.
“Maria,” leaning against the worktop, she sipped at the fragrant brew, “It was one friggin glass, not a bottle. But I am sure you will report back how you see fit. Either way, Kyria Rouva will be delighted I have transgressed yet again. Just make sure you tell her I opened one of dear, departed’s finest cava red.”
Maria didn’t respond but the crashing of wet dishes told Ellie she’d got in her first serve. Her mother-in-law thought she was so clever by hiring her cousin to ‘help’ around the home. It had taken Ellie all of one day to suss that the sour-faced women was there in capacity as a spy. A staunch tee-totaler, her mother-in-law didn’t approve of women drinking but then she didn’t approve of much, least of all loose-moral foreign girls running off with her beloved first born. Ten years had passed and Ellie was over it. She didn’t care what Pavlos’ mother thought of her. With the benefit of hindsight, she was only surprised he’d found the guts to stand up to the Gorgon matriarch and marry her at all. Glancing at the brass clock above the ornate china cabinet, Ellie drained her mug. Time to hit the pool.
The bikini was new. Still bandeau style, it kept the prosthesis in place and — more importantly — hid the scars but the bottoms were definitely sexy. Pavlos hadn’t seen it yet but then, she hadn’t bought it with the purpose of enticing him. Actually, she didn’t know why she’d bought it. When she’d laid it out on her bed, it had taunted her, clearly screaming what were you thinking? And to think she’d nearly given it to Lisa. Well now she needed it because….. Oh God, she was acting daft; plain teenage, immature daft.
“I’m a married woman,” she chanted as she rubbed Piz Buin into her skin. “Old enough to be his mother.” Ok, so that was stretching it a bit. She’d settle on big sister. Besides, he wasn’t even that good looking. For a start, his nose was too long and how the hell had she noticed that?
“I am insane.” She addressed the Red Arrow team of house-martins skimming the pool’s surface. Yesterday she acted like a gauche schoolgirl. Today she would be in control; professional and short to the point. He knew what to do so there would be no need to hang around. She would call Lisa and go into town.
So why, three hours on, did she lay on the sun-bed, morose, with all earlier sense of well-being evaporating up into a cloud of doom? Maybe she had that bi-polar thing. Ok, reality check. Disappointment raked at her soul. Tears sprung; hot, grit tears of rejection — which was silly because how could one reject someone one barely knew? Could Pavlos be right? She should call up Dr. Balis. It wasn’t possible to continue in this way. Her emotions were out of control, a cartwheel spinning too fast and furious.
“Good morning”
A dazzling shower exploded in her heart. And God said let there be light…
“I’m sorry for coming so late but I was on airport duty last night. There was a major delay. I didn’t get to bed until—”
“Late?” Aiming for casual, Ellie sat up. “Is it? I didn’t notice. I was reading….” Too late. No book in sight. She left it on the kitchen table.
He smiled his understanding, obviously too kind to point out this tiny discrepancy. The glasses were perched on his head which didn’t do a lot to bridge the troubled waters between her sanity and downright lunacy. Today, he’d dressed in shorts. On Pavlos, the gaudy Aussie-style floral print of blue and orange would have looked ridiculous but Michael made them look good. He wore no shirt and fine beads of sweat lined his broad shoulders along with a faint smattering of freckles. They also dusted his face. Funny, she hadn’t noticed yesterday but then his eyes did tend to hog the limelight.
“I hope you don’t mind but I drove the van right down to the steps…only until I unload the stuff.”
“No...It’s fine.” Ellie cleared her throat and reined in her emotions.
An awkward lull unfolded, pierced only by the persistent buzz of plump nectar-drunk bees.
“Mrs. Rouva, forgive me for being forward but are you ok? You look a little flushed.”
“I do?” As if with a will of their own, Ellie’s palms pressed against her cheeks. They burned to the touch. “Too much sun, I expect.”
“You should swim.” He spoke carefully.
More deep, {meaningful?}silence.
“Well….” This time it was he who averted his gaze. “I’ll get on.”
“Yes.” Fascinated, she watched a red hue creep up to his throat. He felt it too. This thread, so fine and yet strong, like spun silk, drawing them together. Before she could mentally expand on this theory, he turned on his heels and left as quietly as he’s arrived, his gait long, fluid. Ellie jumped into her favorite mind game; matching people to dogs. Michael was pure sight-hound, a Saluki, tall, elegant, cautious — sensitive. The glittering azure of the pool beckoned and she dived in before her remaining brain cells disintegrated.

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  1. Great six. I love books that come from the heart. This one sounds like a winner.

  2. Great 6. So who has been rocking her world? :)

  3. A pivotal moment in their relationship when the cards are laid on the table. Great dynamics between them!

  4. Very brave of you to inject so much of your own life in this story. It sounds fascinating.

  5. Thanks for all the context. I love a good perceptive hero!

  6. Poignant moment captured precisely.

    Great six!


  7. Hmmmm. "Too happy?" Is he jealous?

  8. Uh Oh, looks like she's been found out! Hope it works out for her. Nice 6!

  9. Lines have a kinda sadly affectionate tone that I found compelling.

  10. There is something so wonderful about writing in a Greek setting. I have a Regency story based in Greece and I love the ambiance. This six was engaging and emotive.

  11. The rhythm in that six was lovely. I didn't need any additional text to picture it vividly. Excellent dialogue.