Last year my novel The Silence was published by Crooked Cat Books. It’s about a dark secret harboured by a Tuscan villa going back to the summer of 1992 that ended in tragedy – a secret about to resurface into the idyllic life Abby has made for herself and her family in England.
But Villa Leonida has more than one story to tell.
The Secret which is published on 1st June is about a different secret guarded by the same villa. A secret that had a devastating impact on the village and which the discovery at the centre of The Silence now threatens to expose.
I love old buildings and am fascinated by their multi-layered history and the different stories they hold. Villa Leonida has had many lives, experienced several reversals in fortune, and witnessed some shocking events.
In the 1930s Villa Leonida is the most prestigious house in the village, owned by the most powerful family and admired by everyone including Irena and Martina, two girls trying to make sense of the world around them as they grow up in Mussolini’s Italy.
When Martina marries Gianni and moves into Villa Leonida she finds she’s been deceived and life there is nothing like the one she expected.
So when war breaks out and Gianni goes off to fight it’s almost a relief.
But she soon has a secret of her own, one that threatens to destroy her friendship with Irena.
People who have read The Silence will understand how secrets in the two stories connect and recognise a couple of characters. But The Secret is a standalone story so can be read on its own.
The Secret is available in paperback now and will be published in digital form on 1st June 2018.
You can preorder at http://mybook.to/thesecretjohnson
I’d like to invite you and your readers to my virtual book launch on Facebook on 1st June.
There will be more information on the book as well as awesome author visits and prizes to be won. You can drop in and out at any time during the day.
Hope you can come!
About the author: Katharine Johnson is a journalist with a passion for reading, old houses and all things Italian (except tiramisu). She grew up in Bristol and has lived in Italy. She currently lives in Berkshire with her husband, three children and madcap spaniel. She plays netball badly and is a National Trust room guide.