Thursday, March 28, 2013

Anne Allen - Dangerous Waters is featured in HBS Mystery Reader's Circle

Anne Allen is in the HBS Mystery Book Reader's Circle.

Author Genre: Romance Mystery Author

Website: Anne Allen
Twitter: @AnneAllen21
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Author Description:
Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and 2 small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for twelve years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London - ideal for City breaks. By profession Anne is a psychotherapist but had long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters is her first novel.

Dangerous Waters

Mystery, loss and love on the island of Guernsey

Author: Anne Allen
Book Trailer: Dangerous Waters
Barnes and Noble

'Oh my God, what's happening to me? After all this time, please, not again!' Jeanne Le Page, gripped by fear and panic, struggles to breathe as the ferry arrives in Guernsey, the island she had fled 15 years before, traumatised by a family tragedy.

Now she has to return after her grandmother's death. Jeanne has inherited her cottage and she plans to sell it before returning to the UK. Deeply unhappy after the recent end of a long-term relationship, she has no desire to pick up her old life on the island.

Suffering traumatic amnesia after being involved in the accident that killed her family, Jeanne has experienced nightmares for years.

The return to Guernsey triggers frightening flashbacks and Jeanne undergoes hypnosis to recover her memory, reliving the tragedy as the ghosts continue to haunt her.

But someone on the island does not want her to remember, and she faces danger from an unexpected source… A contemporary story of love and loss that will capture the reader's imagination, Dangerous Waters will appeal to fans of female fiction. Anne is inspired by a number of authors, including Robert?Goddard, Katie Fforde and Mary Higgins Clark. A comparison can be drawn to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

'The island of Guernsey is so vividly evoked one feels as if one is walking its byways. An atmospheric and tantalising read as the vulnerable Jeanne uncovers the mystery of her family's long buried secrets.'
Elizabeth Bailey, author of The Gilded Shroud

A thoroughly enjoyable book that I couldn't put down.

Jeanne Le Page, arrives in Guernsey on a ferry and has a panic attack. She hasn't been back for fifteen years, since she was the only survivor of a boating accident which involved her parents. Her grandmother has also now died and she has returned to the island because she has inherited her cottage.

Jeanne has to make a decision as to whether she should sell the cottage, do it up and sell it, or do it up and live in it herself. It is the latter that she decides and as she has just come out of a relationship along with its associated memories, she makes new friends and meets up with old friends in her efforts to build a new life in the place that she grew up in.
Kim Nash's review


Chapter 1
Jeanne went out on deck as the spring sun broke through the clouds. A warm glow spread over green and gold jewel-like Herm and its larger neighbour, grey and white building encrusted Guernsey.

The salt-laden air enveloped her like an old and trusty coat. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and was a child again, playing on the beach with her parents. The image was so powerful that tears formed and she blundered, unseeing, towards the railings.

As her vision cleared she found herself staring at Herm and, without warning, was overwhelmed by such a strong feeling of fear that she had to hold onto the rail. Jeanne’s heart began to race, blood pounded in her head and her breathing came in short, painful gasps. Oh my God, what’s happening to me? After all this time, please, not again! Struggling to breathe she was on the verge of passing out. Letting go of the rail she stumbled, crashing into a man who was walking past.

‘Hey, steady on! Look where you’re going!’ he said angrily, grabbing hold of her to stop them falling. ‘Overdid the duty frees, did you?’

Stung by his accusation, she took a deep breath before replying. ‘No . . .no. I. I just lost my balance.’
v The man’s hands were gripping her arms so hard that she could already imagine the bruises. ‘Hey, that hurts!’

He loosened his grip and guided her back to the rail where she clung on, filling her lungs with the sea air.

‘Sorry, didn’t mean to hurt you. OK now?’

Jeanne nodded. As the man stepped back she took in, through still blurred eyes; dark brown hair, deep blue eyes and the muscled arms of a man unlikely to be a pen-pusher. Responding to his slightly warmer tone, she managed a tight smile before straightening up and walking, unsteadily, to the starboard side.

What on earth was that? Is this what I can expect now? Perhaps I shouldn’t have come back though I didn’t have much choice . . . The thoughts whirled around her pounding head. She shuddered as she leant against the railings and Guernsey came into full view. While the ferry headed towards St Peter Port harbour, she felt as if she were approaching a strange, unknown country rather than the land of her birth. The whole of the northern sea front, from Les Banques into St Peter Port, had been transformed. Towering edifices of granite and glass had replaced the old, tired mish-mash of warehouses, scruffy hotels and shops. With a gasp, she realised that even the elegant landmark of the Royal Hotel had been supplanted.

Wow! What’s happened here? It was if a natural disaster had occurred, flattening the old front and replacing it by buildings more reminiscent of London than of the parochial island she remembered.

She’d never have thought that Guernsey would move into the twenty first century with such a bang.

The dramatic transformation which lay before her seemed to Jeanne to be an echo of all the change in her own life and she felt a stranger here. She wished that she had stayed in the familiar, dull Midlands town which had been her home these past fifteen years. For a moment the urge to remain on the ferry and return to England, without setting foot on the island, was overwhelming. Her face must have mirrored her inner turmoil as a middle-aged lady standing nearby asked, ‘Are you all right, dear? Only you’ve gone very white.’

‘I’m fine, thanks. Just not very good on boats.’

The older lady nodded sympathetically. ‘My Tom gets seasick too. Has to fill himself up with beer or the odd whisky or two before he’ll set foot on a boat. Just as well I can drive or we’d be marooned on the ferry till he’s sobered up!’ She laughed.

‘Aren’t these waters supposed to be dangerous?’

‘Yes, they can be, if you don’t know where all the rocks are,’ Jeanne replied. Yet again, her heart hammered against her chest and her breathing quickened. She fought down the feelings of panic to add, ‘but these big boats are perfectly safe,’ wondering who she was really trying to reassure.

Jeanne now joined the throng of eager passengers heading towards the car deck, found her car and sat there feeling sick and trapped in the echoing bowel of the ship. She would just do what had to be done here and then go back – but where? Her body arched with pain at the memory of her loss.

Going back would be as painful as going on, she realised. The sound of car horns blaring behind her brought her back to the present. She started the engine and joined the queue towards the gangway and whatever lay ahead.

Chapter 6
The next morning, burdened with an armful of flowers, Jeanne picked her way through the graves at St Saviours Church. It was completely still and peaceful. As the church was quite high up there were far-reaching views over the fields to the sea. Jeanne sighed as she trod carefully past ancient stones, thinking what an idyllic place to be buried, a true quintessence of ‘Rest In Peace’.

Some of the more recent graves displayed splashes of colour from newly-placed fresh flowers and others the dying sticks of blooms brought weeks or even months ago. Jeanne vowed that while she was on the island she would bring fresh flowers weekly. The sight of the dried-up, colourless skeletons was so depressing.

It took a while for her to find her parents’ grave with its beautifully polished black granite headstone standing proudly and protectively at the head. The grave had been unmarked when she had left the island in such a hurry fifteen years before. Reading the gold-lettered inscription brought tears to her eyes.

In Loving Memory


Owen Le Page


A much loved Son and Father

And His Beloved Wife

Janet Le Page

1947 – 1990

A Much loved Mother

Died tragically together at sea

Forever in Our Hearts

God Bless

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