(¸.•´ (¸.•`NEW RELEASE
Jan Turnbull’s life takes a sharp turn towards chaos the instant her eldest son, Simon takes a tumble in the surf and loses his life.
Blame competes with grief and Jan’s husband turns against her. She finds herself ousted from the family home and separated from their remaining son, Andy.
As Jan tries to cope with her grief and prepares to build a new life, it soon becomes known that Simon has left behind a bombshell, and her younger son seeks ways of compensating for his loss, leading to further issues for her to deal with.
Can Jan hold it all together and save her marriage and her family?
A story of loss, grief and the struggle to survive against adversity.
The strident ring of a mobile breaks into the soft music playing in the background of the family kitchen. The bread knife slides from Anna’s fingers onto the wooden board. She dusts breadcrumbs from her hands and snatches up her phone. Marcus pauses in putting down his Scrabble letters and frowns. She mouths a silent sorry to her husband and her stepson Jon, the noisy distraction coming at a crucial point in their game.
Anna sees her sister’s face on the screen. ‘Hi Jan. ‘Her greeting falls into a void.
‘Jan, are you there?’ A familiar wrench in her gut tells her this is bad news. She reaches out to grasp Marcus’ hand, knowing instinctively all is not well.
‘Is it Dad?’ Her first thought is of her father whose health has caused them to worry in the previous year.
‘It’s Simon,’ Jan’s voice breaks on the name of her eldest son.
‘Simon? What’s he been up to now?’
‘He’s… he’s…’ A torrent of sobs comes through the line. ‘I can’t…’
‘Jan! What is it?’ Anna’s voice trembles with alarm. Jon looks up, surprise etched on his young face. ‘What’s happened…?’
‘He’s gone, Anna. Simon’s dead.’ Her voice dies away, and the sobbing resumes.
‘Simon?’ Anna feels the blood drain from her face. Her knees sag, and she throws a quick glance towards Jon. Her stepson idolises his older cousin. How will he cope with this news? She squeezes Marcus’s hand. From a distance she hears Marcus telling Jon to go wash his hands.
Jan speaks again, so quietly Anna can barely hear the words, almost drowned out by the sounds of wheels rumbling and quick footsteps.
‘We were at the beach. Graham was playing golf. He always does on a Saturday. The boys could have gone on their own, but it was a great day, so we all went to Manly. We planned to take in a movie later.’
Anna realises her sister is babbling out of grief and nerves, so allows her to talk without interruption. Marcus has his arm around Anna’s shoulders and is leading her to sit down in the family room. She sinks onto a sofa and presses speaker so Marcus can hear too.
Jan’s breaking voice continues, ‘Simon…’ she gulps, ‘he was lying there. I wanted to tell him to get up, to stop fooling around, but he was still. He was surrounded by surf lifesavers. One was kneeling beside him, trying …’ her voice breaks again, then Anna hears her sister take a deep breath. ‘Andy was there too. He was kneeling beside Simon crying and yelling at him to wake up. I ran. When I reached them, I could hear the sirens coming closer. My beautiful boy was lying there – so still. Now he’s gone. Oh, Anna, what am I going to do? I…’ Jan breaks down in a flood of tears.
‘Royal North Shore?’ Anna doesn’t wait for a reply. ‘I’m on my way.’
After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her frequent visits to family in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them.
From her native Glasgow, Scotland, Maggie was lured by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’ to Australia, where she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!
She continues her love of books as a volunteer with her local library where she chairs meetings, helps organise author talks and selects and delivers books to the housebound.
A member of Queensland Writer’s Centre, RWA, ALLi, and a local critique group, Maggie enjoys meeting her readers at book signings and library talks. In 2014 she self-published Band of Gold and The Sand Dollar, Book One in the Oregon Coast Series and in 2015, The Dreamcatcher, Book Two in the Oregon Coast Series. and Broken Threads.