Extract · Helena Fairfax · Spotlight

#Spotlight on Author @HelenaFairfax #AYearOfLightAndShadows

Today I am more than delighted to hand the blog reigns over to Helena Fairfax, author of A Year of Light and Shadows who is sharing details on her latest collection . . .

What do you do when nothing is what it seems…even the man you love?

A Year of Light and Shadows is a collection of two novellas and a short story which combine to tell the story of a year in actress Lizzie Smith’s life – a year which begins with her arrival in the Mediterranean country of Montverrier, where she meets bodyguard Léon Bressac.

Here is the blurb for the collection:

Three mysterious and spell-binding stories in one

Book One: Palace of Deception

From the heat of the Mediterranean….

When the Princess of Montverrier goes missing, Lizzie Smith takes on the acting job of her life. Isolated in the Royal Palace, and surrounded by intrigue, she is forced to rely on her bodyguard, Léon. But when danger strikes, do Léon’s loyalties lie with the royal family or with Lizzie?

Book Two: The Scottish Diamond  

To the heart of Scotland…

After Léon takes on the job of guarding a priceless diamond in Edinburgh Castle, Lizzie discovers she’s being stalked through the city’s streets. Danger draws ever closer, until the net tightens – and Lizzie is left wondering if Léon is a man she can really trust…

Book Three: A Question by Torchlight

A story of mystery and romance…

The approach of Hogmanay in Edinburgh means a new year and new resolutions. Lizzie and Léon have put their year of danger behind them…so why is Léon still hiding something?


…And so we sat there in silence, the two of us, and this escape into the night, sitting side by side with Léon, listening to the faint heartbeat of the city and the murmur of the sea – this brief escape was one of the happiest moments of my entire life.

I brought my knees up and rested my hands on top of them, leaning back against the stone wall of the balcony. I don’t know how long we sat there. Neither of us felt the need to speak. Occasionally Léon shifted position, stretching his legs out in front of him. I heard his steady breathing, and the flap of a bird’s wings overhead, and time seemed to stand still. Perhaps I even began to drift into sleep. I had the impression we were riding in the basket of a balloon in the night sky, far above the world, away from all tension and stress. For the first time since I’d arrived in Montverrier, my mind was completely relaxed.

And then a new noise drifted upwards from the city. A staccato splutter, repeated three or four times. Léon shot bolt upright.

‘Oh, fireworks,’ I said. ‘How lovely. Such a shame we can’t stand and watch – ’

He hauled me to my feet in a flash, pressing his hand on my back so that I remained crouching. ‘Get inside.’

There was the distant whir of an engine approaching. Léon bundled me over the sill of the balcony and pushed me into the sitting-room, closing the thick plate door after him. Then he dragged me by the hand and forced me down on one of the sofas, with its back to the windows. I could see nothing except the silk cushions.

‘Stay there.’ His eyes were wide and fixed on the sky outside.

The engine’s rumble grew louder, and I recognised the clatter of a helicopter’s blades. My heart began to race, thumping in hard, tiny beats against my rib-cage.

‘What’s happening?’ I kept my voice to a whisper, even though the doors were shut. Léon didn’t answer, and so I tried to sit, to lift my head over the back of the sofa, but he pressed down again on my shoulders.

‘Stay where you are,’ he said.

As he spoke, the roar of the helicopter grew nearer, and then the room was filled with a harsh white light. The noise of the whirling blades grew so loud, it seemed the helicopter must be hovering right outside our window, over the very place where we’d been sitting. I gripped the cushions. Léon’s hand continued to squeeze my shoulder, steady and reassuring.

And then, as quickly as it had come, the helicopter vanished, the sound of its engine drifting away over the sea. The sitting-room was plunged into darkness again, and the only sound was my own rapid breathing and my pulse thrumming in my ears. Léon released his grip on my shoulder and stood, his eyes still fixed on the window.

‘What was that?’ I asked. My voice was breathless with fear.

WOWSERS! This sounds awesome!

If you think so too, you can pre-order your copy over here and here !

About the author . . .

Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes she’s secretly in love with. Her first novel, The Silk Romance, was a contender for the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme Award and a runner-up in the Global EBook Awards. Her novella The Scottish Diamond was a finalist in the I Heart Indie Awards. Helena Fairfax was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize in 2014.

If you’d like to get in touch, or find out more about my books, writing, and photos of my settings or the Yorkshire moors where I live, please follow my newsletter by subscribing here: http://eepurl.com/bRQtsT

All new subscribers to my newsletter will receive a FREE copy of Palace of Deception – the first in the A Year of Light and Shadows collection.

You can also visit me on my website at www.helenafairfax.com, or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HelenaFairfax/, or Twitter https://twitter.com/HelenaFairfax

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :-)

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