For my second post of the day I’m delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Come Back to Me by Daniela Sacerdoti. Thank you to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation and to Headline for allowing me to share an extract of this lovely book with you today.
About the book:
Three separate lives. Three broken hearts.
Haunted by his wife’s death, Matt arrives on Seal Island determined to be alone and unable to escape his grief.
In the island’s hospital, a young woman named Rose lies in a coma, trapped by the memories of events leading up to her accident.
Grace, the island’s doctor, is at the heart of the community. Only she knows how much she regrets turning down the chance of love and a family years ago.
For these three people hope seems gone.
But life is about to offer an unexpected new beginning…
About the author:
Daniela Sacerdoti is a phenomenon. Over one million copies of her novels have been sold in eBook, her debut novel Watch Over Me was the eighth bestselling Kindle book of all time in 2015 and she was also ranked as the eleventh top-selling Kindle author.
Daniela writes beautiful, haunting and bestselling fiction for adults (the Glen Avich series), young adults (the Sarah Midnight trilogy) and children. Her novels have been translated in twelve languages.
Daniela was born and raised in Italy. She studied Classics, then lived in Scotland for fourteen years, where she married and taught in a primary school. Daniela’s children’s book Really WeirdRemovals.Com was shortlisted for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards. She has also written for the BBC.
Daniela, her husband and their two sons make their home in a tiny village in the Alps. To discover more about Daniela and her world, visit http://www.danielasacerdoti.com.
Where am I?
What do I remember? I list my memories, like an inventory of all things me. White hands resting on jeans-clad legs. Swings moving in the wind. Rain. Freezing rain. Boots in a puddle, step after step, a place full of mirrors and music. Running down the street, cold air all around me. Branches in the wind, buttered toast, warmth, something pink and gossamer- thin hanging in my room, like a cloud . . . Little girl asleep, little girl lost. Somewhere in this blackness there’s a path, a path that leads back to me. I must find the way. I must take the first step. The first step is a memory. . .
My room. Dolls on a shelf, dancing lights. A magic lantern.
But where am I now? I toss and turn, there are sounds and pain, and something cold is poured inside me. Calm returns. Slowly, slowly. Don’t get upset, remember, it will come.
Dark walls, the floating images of my magic lantern, the warmth of blankets, and a soft voice. My brother’s voice. I can see his face, and every feature of it makes my child’s heart sing with contentment. With him, I am safe. My eyelids fall, and his voice seems to come from far away as sleep claims me slowly, slowly. His words take shape in my memory – dark, danger, lost, monster, thread, safe, daylight, girl.
The words fall onto me like rain, and I piece them together. Jacob is telling me a story, one he’s told me many times before, because I couldn’t have enough of it. Yes, I remember the familiar words cradling me like a lullaby . . . A girl, a labyrinth, a monster. She searches for the right path and leaves the red thread behind her, like a spider spins her silk. The monster is after her and she runs, she runs. The story has an ancient flavour, it fascinates me, and I want to hear it every night, which is why the book sits on my bedside table, the image on the front cover vivid in my memory: a goddess running, a white deer beside her, the full moon in the sky and a little moon on her forehead. Artemis, the goddess of hunting. It’s a book of Greek myths and we love it, Jacob and I.
My brother’s voice is clear in my memory and this moment is limpid, as if it happened yesterday, while the rest of my life is blurry and vague and tangled up like unspun wool. A thin red thread in my mind, root- less and flickering, for a girl with no body and no identity. I grab the thread and follow my brother’s voice. Maybe I’ll find my way out of here . . .
There is a light, a blinding light that interrupts my thoughts. I cry inside, I try to squirm and move, but my body doesn’t comply. I don’t want this light hurting my eyes, I don’t want these black shadows over me. I want to go back to where I was, I want to go back to Jacob. Please, go away . . . and they do, and I can start my work again at last – my work of casting the red thread that will lead me out of the labyrinth, like the girl in the myth.
Here we go.
I remember . . . I was a child listening to a story, lying in a warm bed. I open my eyes and again I find my brother’s face, dark and sweet with his hazelnut eyes and his dark curly hair, and beyond him a magic lantern dancing on the walls, turning, turning; a golden light in the far corner, shaded with cream fab- ric; the dark window with a smattering of raindrops on the glass; a small, fluffy pink thing that seems to be floating in front of the wardrobe. This is my room, white furniture and light blue walls and a duvet decorated with butterflies. My parents gave me the room of my dreams, exactly like I wanted it. This was back when we were all together, my parents, Jacob and I, and I was still the centre of their world. And there, hanging from the wardrobe door, is my tutu – so that’s what the pink fluffy cloud was! Yes. That seems like an important recollection – my tutu.
The happiness I felt when I wore it . . .
The red thread of memory flickers in the darkness, and I follow. The little girl I used to be loved dancing, and I went to a special place to do it, somewhere full of mirrors, where piano music played. I’d just graduated from the white leotard the younger children wore to the pink one with a tulle skirt – a milestone for me. Here comes another memory – oh please, don’t inter- rupt me now, no lights, no voices! I can see myself on a stage with many other girls, and a boy, I think. I am a slight, small girl with hair in a bun, dressed in white. We’re like a line of angels. A young woman plays the piano, and we dance. The sound of applause, and I know my family are there, in the audience, though the lights shine in my eyes and I can’t see them. We bow, and then the lights come on.
On the piano there is a pile of medals painted gold, with red ribbons. The young woman – the teacher – calls us one by one to receive them. Finally it is my turn. She must have spoken my name, but I can only see her lips moving. I run towards her with a smile. She slips the medal around my neck, and a wave of happiness washes over me – then, and now too, as I remember. A golden sphere of light shines inside my brain so lost, so lost. I remember what it’s like to be happy. Happiness, joy, comfort, shelter – yes, that is who I was, that is how my life was. I was a girl enchanted, a girl who had nothing to cry about, nothing to fear.
And then I turn towards the audience, and I see him standing alone. My brother Jacob. My mum and dad are nowhere to be seen, I don’t know why. Jacob is standing against the wall, away from the others. And when we are finally released and run to our families, I run to him. I show him the medal, the red ribbon threaded in his fingers . . .
All of a sudden, behind my closed eyes, things hap- pen. People move, shadows dance, lights appear and move, then disappear again. I hear voices and noises, and from the left of me come words of alarm, together with a beeping voice. And I’m not there any more – for a moment, all is black and I don’t exist. Am I dead? Is this the end of everything? I soar over land and sea, in a sky full of stars. And then one of the stars comes circling me, circling me, and I see her face. I hear her voice.
The star has a face – she’s a woman, long blond hair and blue eyes, just a little older than me. She speaks to me. Please find him. Find him and tell him.
I try to listen, I gather all the words she says in my hands, like grains of sand. She tells me her name, and it burns itself in my memory. And then she says my name – but I’m wrenched away, and the words I gath- ered so carefully and kept close to my breast slip through my fingers – and as I return to the grey, silent place that is my home now, gasping for breath and half dead, all I can remember are two words: her name, my name. The message is lost, but I know I will find it again, I will recall every word, find the man she spoke of and deliver the message she whispered.
I know my name is Rose, and I have a message for him.
End of extract
I hope this extract of Come Back to Me by Daniela Sacerdoti has given you a little taste of just how good this book is! If it has and you’d like to read more, the full book is available to buy here: Amazon UK
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