Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Hidden by Alison Knight - Book Tour

The Hidden

Secrets, nightmares, and a big black dog…

Montana, 1973.

Faye has found sanctuary in a simple cabin in the wilds of the Crazy Mountains in Montana with a dog called Bear. She’s a long way from her old life in England. But she knows that one day her peaceful life could be invaded by her enemies, and she keeps her guard up at all times.

Jeff returns home from Vietnam, a wounded, damaged hero, just weeks after his father’s sudden death. He finds hostile, secretive Faye living in his cabin and refusing to leave. The reading of his father’s will adds another layer of mystery to this woman’s presence.

The tension between them grows as Jeff tries to overcome his nightmares and expose Faye’s scars and secrets. The more he learns about her, the more enigmatic she seems.

When her enemies come calling, she needs Jeff to protect her. Can they learn to trust each other? And will Faye ever be safe?

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Background: Jeff has returned from Vietnam to find a mysterious English woman called Faye has taken up residence in his cabin and refuses to leave, claiming she made an agreement with his recently deceased father. Jeff has just spoken to Julian Grainger, a man that Jeff’s father knew from his time in Europe during the Second World War, trying to find out who Faye is and why she is in Montana. Oh, and by the way, Bear is a dog!

          “He seems to know a lot about you. I called him yesterday.” His tone was mild, but when her startled gaze met his, she knew he was playing with her, fishing for information.

          She didn’t know how he’d made the connection between her and Grainger, but that didn’t mean she was going to give him any more ammunition to use against her. She didn’t for a minute believe that Grainger would have told Jeff much at all. He was a man of secrets, and she knew she could rely on him to keep hers.

          “So what?” she asked, refusing to give anything away.

          He turned away to fix himself a cup of coffee from the pot on the counter. She moved out of his way and headed towards the back door.

          “Don’t go anywhere,” he said.

          She halted and looked back over her shoulder. “I beg your pardon?”

          “We need to talk.”

          “I can’t think why,” she said. “But if you’re that desperate for my company, I’ll be outside. The smell of that coffee is giving me a headache.”

          She shut the door behind her and crossed the porch to sit in her favourite spot on the steps. From here she could see her garden, the chicken coop, the forest beyond and the mountains in the distance. She sighed. She could never get enough of this view. When she’d first arrived here, she’d been sure she would go mad in the silence, but it had soon worked its magic on her troubled soul.

          The door opened behind her and Jeff came and sat beside her. Bear pushed his way in between them, but not before Faye had felt the warmth of Jeff’s big body against her shoulder. She shuffled her bottom over towards the post to create more space between them as Bear ambled down the steps and lay down in a patch of warm sunlight.

          “He assured me you weren’t an axe murderer,” said Jeff, watching the dog as it scratched itself with its back paw.

          “Huh. Not yet, anyway,” she said, her tone dry.

          He laughed. “Thanks for the warning.”

          She smiled, though it didn’t reach her eyes. “You’re welcome.”

          “Don’t you want to know what else he said?”

          She shook her head. “Nothing to do with me.” She put down her cup and stood up. “I’ve got things to do.”

          “Sit down, Faye. We’re not done yet.”

          She raised her eyebrows, her eyes cool. “I’m not interested in hearing about your conversation with a man I hardly know.”

          “He said you’re safe.”

          She frowned. “What do you mean?”

          “He said no one was after you and you’re safe here.”

          She shook her head. Of course she wasn’t safe. Hadn’t this bloody man invaded her sanctuary just a few days ago? If Bear had co-operated, she’d have been in the truck and out of there before Jeff had had the chance to register what was happening. She’d have driven as far as she could and then started all over again, because one day it wouldn’t be a good guy who turned up at three in the morning, and she would have to either run or die. She had thought she wanted to die, but now she knew she wanted to live. So she had to keep running.


          She blinked and looked at him. She’d been so deep inside her head that she’d ignored him.


          “Who did you think was after you?”

          She whirled around and walked away without answering him. She knew that he was watching her as she went into the barn, and he was still watching when she came out a few moments later with a bucket and headed for the chicken coop. She didn’t look in his direction, but she could feel his gaze on her as she entered the enclosure and fed the chickens. They gathered around her, clucking and pecking, and she concentrated on making sure each of the dozen birds got their fair share.

          When the bucket was empty, she walked around the henhouse, opening hatches and collecting the eggs.

          “Faye.” Jeff stood outside the coop, looking at her through the chicken wire.

          “Shouldn’t you be on your way to town?” she asked.

          He looked at his watch and swore. “Damn. Yeah. I’d better go.”

          “See you later then,” she smiled.

          He scowled at her before he turned and limped away. She stayed in the chicken coop until she heard his car drive away.

          She took the eggs into the kitchen and packed them into egg boxes. She needed to take most them over to the ranch. Sally fed them to the ranch hands with their morning bacon. But Faye didn’t feel like facing anyone at the moment, so she left them there and called Bear.

          She needed to think. She didn’t know what Grainger had actually said to Jeff. But it was clear that Jeff wasn’t likely to give up trying to get her to spill her secrets. If she wanted him to stop, she needed to give him something. But what? She didn’t know how far she could trust him. He was an unknown, and that frightened her.

          With Bear at her side, she headed towards the forest. A good, long hike would help her clear her head. At least, she hoped so.

Author Bio –

Alison Knight has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

Alison currently has a trio of novels published by Darkstroke. The first, Mine, is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

The Legacy, a drama set in London in 1969, was inspired by a scene in Mine, and explores how an unexpected legacy can be both a blessing and a curse. The Legacy looks at themes of greed and expectations, and the lengths people will go to when they are desperate.

The Hidden, available from September 2021, is a romantic suspense that picks up the story of one of the characters in The Legacy. Set in Montana in 1973, two wounded, damaged people are forced together, each guarding their secrets. Can they learn to trust each other? And will their nightmares ever end?

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops( as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.

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