Ta-da...isn't it glorious? I am very happy indeed. The picture shows the dramatic rocks on the Algarve coast in southern Portugal, where the novel is set - and I hope it makes you want to plunge into the book as well as that sea.
The scratchy, scuffed effect and the lettering reminiscent of the 1950s is perfectly in tune with the story, too. Central to the action is a book published in 1954, written by a young American woman married to a foreign correspondent, based on her experience of wartime Lisbon, her travels in the south, and the aftermath of a time when the Allies and the Nazis faced each other across the casino tables and restaurants of supposedly neutral Portugal.
It's a story about borders and the transforming effects of crossing them, either willingly or unwillingly; the way altered geography and shifts of power change our lives. As I wrote, the story took on a thriller-ish feel, which made it exciting to write. Above all, there's a strong sense of place and atmosphere, with an evocation of a dangerous yet fascinating era.
Before publication - which is not until April 2016 - I will post up the start and various extracts, but for now I will leave you with the HarperCollins catalogue introduction. Fingers crossed it leaves you enticed.
Combining the atmosphere of Jess Walters’ Beautiful Ruins with the intriguing historical backstory of Christina Baker Kline’s The Orphan Train, Deborah Lawrenson’s mesmerizing novel transports readers to a sunny Portuguese town with a shadowy past—where two women, decades apart, are drawn into a dark game of truth and lies that still haunts the shifting sea marshes.
Traveling to Faro, Portugal, journalist Joanna Millard hopes to escape an unsatisfying relationship and a stalled career. Faro is an enchanting town, and the seaside views are enhanced by the company of Nathan Emberlin, a charismatic younger man. But beneath the crumbling façade of Moorish buildings, Joanna soon realizes, Faro has a seedy underbelly. And Nathan has an ulterior motive for seeking her company: he is determined to discover the truth involving a child’s kidnapping that may have taken place on this dramatic coastline over two decades ago.
Joanna’s subsequent search leads her to Ian Rylands, an English expat who cryptically insists she will find answers in The Alliance, a novel written by American Esta Hartford. The book recounts an American couple’s experience in Portugal during World War II, and their entanglements both personal and professional with their German enemies. Only Rylands insists the book isn’t fiction, and as Joanna reads deeper into The Alliance, she begins to suspect that Esta Hartford’s story and Nathan Emberlin’s may indeed converge in Faro -- where the past not only casts a long shadow but still exerts a very present danger.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1VQotDY