C. H. Little is the author of “Escape”, a gripping thriller novella set on the exotic island of Menorca, Spain. “Gripping” is not a random promo word; I’ve read “Escape”, thoroughly enjoyed it, and that was my review’s key word. I am, therefore, very pleased that C. H. Little has agreed to be featured in my interview column, as we’d like to know more about herself and her work process.
If you’d like to get to know this author better, read her WIP interview on MM Jaye writes.
Excerpt from Escape
She led the way back to the stairwell and Penny was momentarily blinded by the sharp sunlight as it speared into the cabin below through the open door. Pausing to retrieve her sunglasses from her bag, she climbed the ladder and emerged after Anna, glancing around her. Again she was struck by the infinite expanse of sea which surrounded them. There was literally no land in sight, and she found she didn’t like it at all. Her head had begun to swim again and she felt dizzy for the second time that day. She only managed to focus herself by fixing her vision on to the loungers at the rear of The Munroe and looking nowhere else. Unsteadily, she weaved a path towards where Anna was already settling herself down. Lowering herself heavily on to another lounger, she removed her top and shorts and stretched herself out along the length of the comfortably cushioned sun-bed.
“Heaven isn’t it?” Anna seemed to have recovered her usual calm and good cheer.
“Oh yes!” Penny replied, squeezing her eyes shut as if she could force the fear of the open sea out of her head altogether if she tried hard enough. “I might have another snooze if that’s alright with you. Don’t know what’s the matter with me – I wasn’t that late to bed last night, but I can’t seem to fight off the fatigue!”
“You go ahead,” Anna crooned, “I may have forty winks myself. If you wake up and I’m not here, I may have gone for a nap in my bedroom.”
Penny stretched out on the lounger, angling the parasol above so as not to put her entire body in direct sunlight. Anna nodded in approval and settled in her own chair, closing her eyes and sighing softly.
At first she found it difficult to calm her nerves, the constant sound of the sea swishing against the yacht as it carved a path through the waves. Taking deep slow breaths, she began to count backwards from a hundred, a trick she had learned in a yoga class a few years ago. Eventually the sound of the water became more soothing and Penny began to calm enough to collect her thoughts. Yachting was not what she had expected and she wasn’t at all sure she was cut out for it. She was much happier admiring the yacht from the shore, or merely sitting aboard while still within full view of dry land. Imagining the snorts of derision she would encounter from Grant if she admitted to this, she steeled herself for another couple of hours aboard the boat. Perhaps after lunch she could steer the conversation towards travelling back to dry land, explain how much she wanted to see admiring eyes watching her as she sailed into a port aboard The Munroe in all its magnificence and stepped out on to the dock. Anything to get her back within sight of something more solid than the slate-grey waters that now swirled and frothed on all sides of the yacht.
Her decision made and a plan of action in place, Penny began to feel better. She glanced across at Anna, who appeared to have fallen immediately asleep next to her. Penny was envious; although much calmer now, she had begun to feel almost sick with the constant shifting of the waves. She closed her eyes again and let the drowsiness take her. Perhaps she would feel less queasy once she had rested.
When she awoke she couldn’t work out why she didn’t feel any better. Coming around slowly, she realised that it must be after noon, as the sun had centred itself at the highest point in the sky and was blazing down on her fiercely from above: she had clearly slept for a while longer than she had expected to. Moving her lounger under the now-meagre shade cast by the parasol, she glanced around her. Anna had disappeared, perhaps being sensible she had retreated indoors to avoid the midday glare of the sun. She could just make out Grant, still at the helm of the boat, his broad back braced as he steered the yacht on its mysterious course.
Where were they taking her, she wondered? Surely there had to be a goal, a destination for the day out? If their aim was simply to escape civilisation for the day they could have just dropped anchor an hour ago and Grant would no longer need to be sailing and could just relax with Anna and Penny, but still they were travelling. There must be some sort of destination, and they had to get there soon to make it worth a single-day trip which had to travel back the same distance to drop Penny off back in Punta Prima.
Realising her mouth felt parched, she saw that Anna had thoughtfully refilled her glass of orange and took a long drink, before deciding to go in search of her hostess. Feeling a little vulnerable in only her bikini, she located her shorts and pulled them on. As she stood up slowly, she found she still felt very unsteady. She negotiated the steps into the cabin cautiously and stood in the lower deck area for a moment, removing her sunglasses and stowing them away in her bag as her eyes adjusted to the dimness. There was no sign of Anna, but the door to her cabin was shut, and Penny didn’t want to disturb her. Instead she decided to seize the opportunity to have a look around the yacht without supervision.
Author and Book Links
Escape on Amazon US
Escape on Amazon UK