First of all, I'd love to thank the beautiful and absolutely wonderful Faye Rogers for asking me to be a part of this blog tour. It's amazing to even be considered for blog tours, so I hope that I do this book justice.
Chasing Shadows by T.A. Williams
Ebook published 16th January 2017 by Canelo
Amy had it all - money, brains and beauty. And then the accident happened.
The Present Day: Left blind and without her family, Amy feels she needs to get away. On a trip along the Camino, she is accompanied by the mysterious and troubled Luke. Having been set up to help Amy by a mutual friend, Luke finds he is also running from his past...
1314: A Templar Knight, Luc, is also running. He meets the wife of a former comrade, now blinded in a terrifying attack: Aimee. Taking her under his wing, they must journey together through a dangerous world.
As they travel through the stunning scenery of Northern Spain, this couple, so very like Luke and Amy, emerge from the shadows of time carrying a treasure of inestimable value.
I've been drawn to this book for various reasons, and not because one of the characters is called Aimee. I love the whole idea that past and present intertwine, where secrets unfold in parallel periods. Yet, I can totally relate the whole "needs to get away" feeling and hiding from the past as there are some things that I'd rather leave buried. For some things are better left unsaid as you can never be sure who to really trust.
I can't wait to get around to reading this to see how T.A. Williams tackles the issues surrounding blindness as well as the loss of a family. I'm also eager to learn what secrets Luke could be hiding and what it is that he's running from. This is one book that will be getting boosted up my TBR pile as soon as possible.
For you lovely lot, I'm quite excited to be able to share with you an excerpt from Chasing Shadows. This particular excerpt resonated with me in a way which I never expected it to. So here it is:
'Is it you?' The voice was less than a foot from her ear. 'Aimee, is it truly you?'
She started, casting around for the source of the voice, recognising it, but unwilling to believe her ears. It was as if she had drifted back in time, and none of the horrors of the past months had happened.
'Luc? It is you Luc, isn't it?' Instinctively she kept her voice to a hoarse whisper. Indeed, she could hardly remember a time when she had been able to address him in any but hushed tones.
'It's me, Aimee. It's really me.' His voice was as charged with emotion as hers. 'I'm up here. Can you see me?'
See him? The overwhelming tragedy of her consequences struck her like a mallet. In the space of a few seconds, she totally lost the precarious control she had gradually been able to establish over her emotions. A wave of misery washed up and over her, drowning rational thought and reducing her to a sobbing wreck. The carriage creaked and then she felt herself enveloped in a bear hug. There was no mistaking the broad shoulders and powerful arms. It was truly Luc. She abandoned herself to her sorrow and wept uncontrollably.
'Aimee, Aimee, oh Aimee.' She felt him tighten his grip on her as he was overcome in his turn. There was nothing either of them could or needed to say. They stayed like that for an age, while she sobbed out her desperation. Finally she came to her senses. She shook herself back to the dangerous reality of their present situation.
She hissed violently into his ear until he relaxed his grip. She reached up to his face with her hands, There were tears on his cheeks. Maybe they were hers. She fought hard to keep control of her emotions.
'Listen to me, Luc. Listen. Can you hear me Luc? Luc?' Her insistent tone finally got through and she knew that she had his attention.
'Bertrand's dead, Luc. Do you hear me? He's dead. He was kiled this winter and I was the only survivor. Do you hear me? Do you?'
She felt, rather than saw, his eyes studying her from close range. A sharp intake of breath told her he had realised.
'That's right, Luc. I'm blind. I'm blind, but it doesn't matter. Do you understand? It doesn't matter. We're going to get out of here and carry out Bertrand's mission, your mission, our mission. Do you understand? Do you...? Speak to me, Luc.' Her voice tailed off despairingly, but he was back with her now.
'Oh dear sweet Jesus. Oh dear Lord God Almighty. Is there no end to it?' His voice was bitterly saddened, but rational once more. 'Tell me about it.'
So she told him. She told him more than she had told anybody up till then. She told him about the laughter, the taunts, the obscenities and the searing pain of it all. She told him about the deep sensation of disgust and defilement that had made her, and still often made her, want to end her life, in the hope of a cleaner, purer future. She told him about the cuts, bruises and the blows that had finally brought blessed oblivion. And from oblivion she had awoken into a colourless world of loneliness. She told him all this without once breaking down. It was as if another was recounting her experiences, and she a mere spectator. When she finally came to a halt, she felt his hand against her cheek and heard his voice, little more than a whisper.
'I'm here now, Aimee. I'll take care of you. I promise.'
Such a heartbreaking excerpt, and it's definitely made me want to read more.
About the author:
My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T.A. Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, "Dirty Minds" one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn't possibly comment. Ask my wife...
My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.
I've written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I'm enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens... series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows. I'm originally from Exeter, and I've lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in South West England. I love the place.