Today I am one of the stops bringing the tour for Escaping from the Shadows to a close.
Anastasia Travess is caring, beautiful and talented, but all her life her abusive father has kept her down. Seeking love wherever she can there has only ever been one man she trusts, one man who makes her complete and he rejected her years ago.
Piers Talbot is an enigma, a charming bachelor with only one woman in his heart. But when offered a choice between fixing his estranged family and obtaining his heart’s desire he makes probably the worst decision of his life.
When Anastasia rekindles her past relationship with Piers’ younger brother, the lines between love and loyalty become blurred. Amid danger, betrayal and deception, Anastasia is forced to question everything she thought she knew.
But will Anastasia have the courage to escape from the shadows?
This is a conversation between Lily & Anastasia at the beginning of their friendship. Lily is desperate to know what is really going on between Anastasia & Piers and is the only person to get Anastasia to confess that Pies rejected her, and no matter how long ago and for what reason Anastasia cannot see past that.
Lily tipped more scotch into her glass, saying with a laugh, “If I’m getting drunk, then so are you!”
Anastasia gave a rueful smile. “Lily, I can keep up with Piers. You’ve got no chance.”
As Anastasia had mentioned his name again, Lily felt she could indulge her curiosity. “I only met Piers at Christmas, but I adore him. You and he are very close. How come?”
Now smiling happily, Anastasia replied, “We’ve always got along. Similar tastes and outlooks, I suppose. Most people think we’re a bad influence on each other.” Bryan had made that observation many times, and she was sure Mark would wholeheartedly agree.
Lily re-filled the glasses again, her head now slightly fuzzy, and, throwing caution to the wind, stated, “You love him, don’t you?”
Anastasia blinked. She downed her drink in one and Lily tipped more in, waiting patiently for a response. “We’re best friends. Of course I love him,” she responded, twisting the truth. “I’d be lost without him.” That much was true.
Lily eyed her carefully. “I think you belong together.” She held Anastasia’s blue eyes, seeing denial there, and then asked the question that intrigued her the most. “Have you two ever… Didn’t you ever want to?”
Anastasia choked on her scotch, completely thrown by such a direct question. Seeing her confusion, Lily took her hand. “You can tell me to back off; mind my own business. I’ll understand.”
“No, Lily, we’ve never been intimate.” She paused. “But nearly, once, a long time ago.” She had never told anyone that before, and she blamed the scotch.
“What stopped you?” Lily asked, delighted her instinct at Guy’s party had been right.
“Why are you asking?” Anastasia was wary.
“Because you two should be together! Surely you must see that?” Lily re-filled the glasses, the bottle emptying fast.
Anastasia looked horrified, and she resorted to dodging the issue, which usually worked. “He rejected me. Not exactly a good indicator for belonging together.” She downed her drink and re-filled it herself.
Despite her vision now being slightly blurry, Lily did not miss the telltale blush spreading across her guest’s face and, for once, she made the decision not to say what was in her head. She merely commented, somewhat cryptically, “We’ll see.”
C L Tustin was born and raised in the East Midlands but spent her teenage years in Sydney, Australia. She has sung twice at the Sydney Opera House and also appeared singing live on Australian national television. Returning to the UK in 1989 via Singapore and the Middle East the travel bug has never left her and she has explored countries and cities across the world.
C L Tustin began writing at the age of 11 when she didn’t see why James Bond had to be a man and created a spy code named The Cat with 10 planned adventures. Her first published novel “Escaping from the Shadows” is a romance with an undertone of threat set in the social media free world of 1990. She is currently working on editing and completing her second romance “Desert Rose” whilst writing a brand new story “Flower of Death”. Future projects already planned include two Regency romances and a sci-fi thriller.
Whilst raising her son C L Tustin continued to balance writing and work with completing a BSc(Hons) in Science and a MSc(Merit) in Earth Science with the Open University. This was a most rewarding experience despite the long hours and hard work involved.
C L Tustin has worked for two major banks, a tool company, the MOD and the NHS. She has completed 3 Thames Bridges walking challenges for charity, volunteers for Butterfly Conservation and passionately supports rescue dogs. C L Tustin lives currently with her rescued 15 year old Jack Russell Terrier and a diverse collection of books and sci-fi memorabilia.