Whispers From The East
by Eleanor Lloyd Jones & Katie Fox
Loneliness is a desolate feeling that claws its way into the very fabric of your life, dragging you to despair. It is an isolation of your heart and soul and a rejection of everything you are, and everything you try to be, by the very people who should be showering you with love and acceptance…
A life of solitude becomes the norm for Charlotte Whittaker. An emptiness fills her with a void so big that she finds herself running to escape it—running to be alone… It takes a new country and a new outlook on friendship for her to begin to build up her trust in others again.
Easton James wraps his heart in tissue paper, locking it away and hiding the key, as he tries to put distance between it and the life he thought was already paved for him. He walks a lonely man—a band of patient friends by his side—searching for answers that will reunite him with the man he knows hides deep inside of himself. Travelling roads of uncertainty that push and pull them like magnets, the pair discover a middle ground on uncharted territory that gives them hope for a chance at a new kind of love.
Her eyes meet mine again, and I clench my jaw as I see them change ever so slightly, as if her walls are building back up again, as if she is desperate to hide away whatever it is that is hurting her.
“You’re welcome.” I lean back on my elbows and stare up at the sky. It’s clear tonight, not a single cloud obstructing the beautiful canvas of brightly lit stars. “Did you also know… that stars don’t actually twinkle?”
She sits cross-legged, her head hanging down and her finger drawing patterns in the patch of soil in front of her. Turning to look at me again, she eyes me suspiciously. “Are you just making this shit up for something to say?” I am gifted a lopsided smile before she lifts her head so that she is looking at the sky. “Go on then. Enlighten me.”
Dropping back completely, I lie on the ground and stretch my legs out in front of me, linking my fingers behind my head as my gaze returns to the sky. “Yeah, so stars just appear to twinkle. The twinkle that we see isn’t a property of the star whatsoever. It’s actually caused by the earth’s turbulent atmosphere.”
Charlie stares at me, looking genuinely interested in the words spewing from my lips.
“As light from a star passes through the atmosphere, especially when it appears near the horizon, it must also pass through several layers of rapidly differing density, which in turn deflects the light.”
I look over at her again, but this time, her brows narrow, confusion painting itself across her pretty face. Not wanting to lose her in scientific jargon, I attempt to explain it differently. “Think of it as a ball in a pinball machine. The light eventually gets to your eyes, but every deflection causes it to change in color and intensity. The result is what we commonly refer to as ‘twinkling’.”
Charlie mimics my position, lying back on the ground beside me, her hands folding loosely over her stomach, and she turns her head in my direction. Her eyes dance across my face, and her voice drops, curiosity seeping into her tone. “So what happens above the earth’s atmosphere?”
“Nothing.” I give a gentle shake of my head, pretending to not notice the way her eyes have stopped moving, her gaze now lingering on my mouth. “Stars don’t twinkle. Not from up there anyway.”
She looks back up at the inky blackness. “Then I think I’d prefer to stay down here where at least there is an illusion of twinkling.” She lifts her arms up and reaches toward the sky, stretching them. “You really are full of random facts, aren’t you?”
“Yeah.” My lips pull tight, and even though I have no desire to think of Bethany, especially with Charlie lying beside me, my thoughts lead right to her.
Eleanor Lloyd Jones
Raised in a little village in North Wales, a fierce love of books and reading was instilled in her by her parents from a very early age, and she has vivid memories of reading secretly under the blankets with a torch for hours after lights out, often getting caught! She was blown away by The Borribles Trilogy – Michael De Larrabeiti at nine years old, and it was then that Eleanor Lloyd-Jones fell head over heels with the idea of imaginary worlds.
A persistent and professional daydreamer, something she still prides herself on being, she spent most of her early childhood inside her own head making up stories or scenarios, climbing trees, building dens or doing anything arts and crafty. Music also played a huge part of her young life. Growing up on The Beatles, U2 and Status Quo, her obsession with Top of the Pops and vinyl twelve inches grew into a love affair with music that has only grown and expanded over time: there is rarely a moment where music is not playing in her life, and in turn, rarely a time when she is not singing, even if it is in her head!
She had always thought she would write a book some day – it has been an ambition for as long as she can remember – and has always been told that she ‘has a way with words’. Over the years, she’s dabbled in the odd piece of prose, helped friends to write letters and résumés and prides herself on her hilarious lyrical genius when composing poems for friends’ birthdays! Life, however, got in the way and her dream was stored on the back burner as she put herself through university and started a family. It was only when she was nearing the ‘forty’ milestone that she decided it was time she got some of the ramblings and chatterings in her head down on paper.
A creative, guitar-playing mum of one boisterous, but pretty damn cool boy, she classes herself as a Yorkshire gal now after moving to Leeds when she was eleven. Eleanor works full time as a teacher, but grabs every spare minute she can to write; be it on the train, lunchtimes at work or foregoing sleep for an extra hour or two in the evenings. Her hope for the future is for people to fall in love with her characters as much as she does. Not a big ask really!
Katie Fox was born in Florida and raised in Pennsylvania, where she still resides with her gamer husband and four-year-old son. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is a sucker for a good love story. When she isn’t found spending time with her family, she typically has her nose buried in a book or is in her writing cave, giving life to the voices in her head. Since a very young age, writing has been her passion. Her works include, Moment of Weakness, World of Darkness, and Whispers From The East, which is co-written with Author Eleanor Lloyd-Jones.
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