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Buried Treasure by Gilli Allan - Book Tour

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Buried Treasure

Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even want to connect again. But they have more in common than they could ever have imagined. Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve. Their stories intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems.

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Buried Treasure is told in alternate, dedicated chapters from the points of view of Jane Smith, who left school at fifteen, and Dr Theo Tyler, a lecturer on Early Medieval and Archaeology.   Jane has been over-seeing a conference of Urban Planners at Lancaster College.  After a very sticky start, and some miss-steps along the way, Jane and Theo have become friends. Theo even stepped in and delivered a paper, and at the end of her conference, accompanied those interested to a dig on a site he has been researching since the beginning of the story. They have had supper together and now have returned to her room, so Theo can look again at the artefact suspected of being a part of the Viking Hoard found on her great uncle’s farm.  One thing leads to another and Theo leaves her temporarily alone.

What on earth is she doing, Jane asks herself?  She doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Her vow of celibacy, made almost two years ago, was always likely to be a hostage to fortune. That’s if she is still intending to go through with this. If anything is guaranteed to kill the moment, the man leaving in search of condoms has to be near the top!
She knows that he is clever - too clever for her - and he’s a bit stuffy and self-righteous, and short-tempered. And he has a convoluted way of talking. But behind the brain-on-legs is a kind man. And although he has given little away about his personal life, she’s convinced that he’s a man with a past  -  a past that has marked him. She’s convinced too, from his comments about his living arrangements and the rejection of his credit card earlier this evening, that he struggles to make a living in academia.
What was it Emma had said about him? That he was fit, that she “wouldn’t kick him out of bed”! Until now Jane has consciously shut off any reflection on Theo’s appearance, but the angles and planes of his face tick all the right boxes. And those eyes.... that mouth... But no, he’s not her type. She is drawn to powerful men, men with dark hair and blue eyes. Envisaging that combination brings Lew Chapman to mind, and she shudders at the thought. After their first night together, even though he’d planned it, Lew had given her money for the morning-after pill, and told her to make sure she depilated before the next time and arranged her own contraception. She curls onto her side, clamping her knees together in disgust at the memory.
Making love to her was clearly never on Theo’s agenda; he appeared as surprised as she was by the strength of passion that had erupted between them. So the fact he’s done the responsible thing is commendable. But when he returns. If he returns....?
He’ll have had time to cool off, to think better of it, but Jane is at a loss to know which scenario scares her most  -  the prospect of him coming back from his mission, or of him not coming back.

Chapter 46

It is just before eleven. Theo orders a whisky, before making for the toilet. Now, he jogs back across Bridge Road and through the side gate to the college. The prophylactics obtained from the machine in the gents are safely tucked into his wallet  -  on impulse he’d bought a packet of Tic Tacs as well and, after downing the drink in one gulp, had popped several into his mouth. But his earlier certainty grows increasingly fragile as the physical imperative subsides. Turning left towards Beaumont House, Theo rehearses what he’s going to say, and how he is going to say it, excruciatingly aware that however he puts it, his words might come over as tactless, or even worse, humiliating for her.
He’s buzzed in and ascends the stairs two at a time. The door to her rooms stands slightly ajar onto the landing. Knocking before entering, Theo almost expects to find her fully dressed and composed on one of the armchairs in the study room. She will tell him she has changed her mind, unburdening him from the responsibility to offer her a get-out. They will agree to forget it, draw a line and move on. Even, maybe, laugh about it. But the sitting room is empty; she must be in the bedroom. Relief tempered by anxiety surges through him. Inconsequentially he notices the knot of material in the litter bin he passes on his way.  Her torn leggings.
Sitting up in the bed, Jane is turned to the wall; the edge of the duvet is gripped in her hands, and pulled up to her chin. The clothes she was wearing are folded beside the open case on the other bed, as if in preparation for packing them. The back of her glossy hair and the curve of her back is all that is visible to him. She is wearing what looks like a loose, pale green T-shirt.
Forgetting his script, he blurts, ‘Jane? Are you all right?’
Her head twists towards him, but the half-smile she flashes in his direction does nothing to reassure. He moves towards her and stoops to kiss the nape of her neck. A small sigh escapes her and she rolls away onto her knees, pushing back the duvet. Face buried in the pillow, she lifts her hips towards him, and moves her legs apart. The night-shirt come T-shirt is thigh length, but it lifts and he can see the pale curve of her buttocks.
‘Jane? Jane, what are you doing? What on earth...? What do you think I want from you?’


Author Bio –  Gilli Allan began to write in childhood - a hobby pursued throughout her teenage. Writing was only abandoned when she left home, and real life supplanted the fiction.

After a few false starts she worked longest and most happily as a commercial artist, and only began writing again when she became a mother. 

Living in Gloucestershire with her husband Geoff, Gilli is still a keen artist. She draws and paints and has now moved into book illustration.

Currently published by Accent Press, each of her books, TORN, LIFE CLASS and FLY or FALL has won a ‘Chill with a Book’ award.

Following in the family tradition, her son, historian Thomas Williams, is also a writer. His most recent work, published by William Collins, is ‘Viking Britain’.

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  1. Thank you so much for allowing me to post an excerpt on your blog, Jasmine. I very much appreciate you taking part in the blog blitz. gx


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