3/23/16

Heidi Cieciura Day3



Highlight Don’t Forget Me (Book 1 in the Memories Trilogy)
Title: Don’t Forget Me
Author: Heidi Cieciura
Genres: crime, suspense, romance, thriller
Available as an eBook for Kindle

Synopsis:
HOW DO YOU COMPETE WITH A DEAD MAN, WHEN YOUR WIFE CAN'T EVEN
REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE?

Addison Wright wakes up on a beach, injured and with no recollection of how she got there.
Kelly Durban claims to be her husband, but he can't be. Addison has a boyfriend... at least
she did. Evan Christian died five years ago and the more Addison delves into the events
surrounding his death, the closer she gets to learning what happened to her the night she was
left for dead. Despite advice to stay out of it, Addison, a true crime writer and daughter of a
detective, can't help trying to solve the mystery of what happened to her that night even
though it's clear someone has murder in mind and a past they want to keep hidden.
By the author of the Hunter Paranormal Crime Series, Don’t Forget Me is a gripping tale of
romantic suspense with a kick-ass heroine who knows how to fight for what she knows is
right. It questions to what extent memory creates bonds, and how relationships are shattered
when those memories are taken away.

Buy from Amazon

Excerpt
PART ONE

We loved with a love that was more than love

- Edgar Allan Poe -

ONE
‘Think how much easier it would be if it was just you and me in the world. No evil.’
‘No good.’
‘Nothing to fight. No one to grieve for.’
‘No one to love.’
‘I love you. I don’t need anyone else.’
‘You so do Evan. You need your family, your friends.’
‘I think I made a mistake.’
I think I made a mistake.
I’m aware of a ceaseless pounding in my head as if someone has taken a jackhammer to
my skull, or has positioned one close to my skull and is having fun digging holes despite my
groans of displeasure. I can barely think. The pain is muffling my thoughts.
Addison. I manage to pluck my name from the cotton-ball cloud that is my memory. My
name is Addison.
I was at home. Warm, glowing from the heat of the fire in the hearth and Evan’s finger
lazily tracing a line over my bare stomach. I hear his words: Think how much easier it would
be if it was just you and me in the world, and I wonder what has he done?
I think I made a mistake.
I misread the situation.
No, I didn’t misread the situation. I ignored the gravity of it. I took it light-heartedly
because I didn’t want him to plunge into that darkness. Not with me, not if it meant spoiling
the moment. But Evan’s black musings should never be ignored. Something has happened,
something really, really bad, something we can’t come back from.
My eyes flicker open for the briefest of moments.
I’m outside. It’s dark, the sky above me is black and pebbles bruise my cheek. I don’t
know how I got here or where here is.
My mouth hurts. I want to reach up and touch what must be some kind of damage but I
can’t muster the strength to lift myself up and get my hands out from underneath me.
In the second or two my eyes were open I could see it was the dead of night. All around
me is a chilled lack of light. I am shivering and likely this is because heat has been stripped
out of the day along with the sun but also, I am in pain and quite likely going into shock.
Despite this revelation though, I’m unable to move, unable to claw my way beyond where I
lie like a broken doll, throbbing head and sore mouth and sharp things digging into my skin. I
am unable to cry out, can only make weak clicks from the back of my throat as if whatever I
have experienced has robbed me of my voice.
And what have I experienced? And what if it isn’t Evan’s doing?
I’ve no recollection of how I came to be lying here, can’t piece together the string of
activities which led me to this point. The last thing I remember is being at home with Evan.
It’s March, and he’s been working at The Harbour for exactly twelve months. I made him
shower as soon as he showed up. The smell of fish - even from a guy who’s been promoted
from pot wash to junior chef - is never an appealing one. And I like to watch the water
pummel his fair skin, bouncing off his washboard abs.
I unfold the towel and envelope him in it and he lifts me up and grins as he threatens to
shove me under the showerhead and turn on the spray.
‘Not fair,’ he kisses me instead and places me gently back down on the ground. ‘You get
to see me naked.’
‘All in good time.’
He was happy. At least I think he was happy. How had he seemed really? Distracted?
Something was on his mind. The gaping hole that swallows him up all too suddenly was
circling like a pack of shadowed wolves and I metaphorically closed my eyes to it, to the
darkness, to block it out.
One night; one night to enjoy him, to enjoy us, that’s all I wanted. Now I can see what I
chose to ignore, he was on the brink.
He was asking me, in his usual indirect way, to pull him back from a not too unfamiliar
edge. I failed him.
It should be March, but I don’t get the sense it is early spring cold. I get the sense it’s later
in the year and this disturbs me.
I am injured.
I’m outside when the last thing I remember is being at home. The last thing I remember is
closing the front door on Evan. His smile vanishing as he turns away from me and wanders
out towards the road, and I close the door and turn away, towards the staircase in my
Canterbury home.
The hall light is on and I’m warm and well and feeling loved. I well up with love, and
now, I’m here alone in the night.
I am alone in the night.
I can’t hear voices or footsteps. It is me and the pebbles and the salt-infused wind and the
jackhammer that won’t shut up.
It isn’t a jackhammer. It’s my blood rushing through my head. My brain is a ball of agony,
a pulsing, metallic orb. The pain is silvery and moves about. Behind my closed eyelids I see a
bright light, twin bright lights.
Headlights?
Did someone try to run me over?
Did they succeed?
Was I knocked off the road?
Who hurt me? Why would anyone want to hurt me?
I open my eyes again.
My ribs ache as I push my palms into the sea-smoothed pebbles and raise myself up in to a
weak press-up position - knees on the ground.
Stones stab into my knees, stab my palms. Not too far away from me is a large stone – or
small boulder. A dark, viscous substance stains one side. I wince as a lightning streak of pain
flashes behind my eyes. I screw them shut until it dims.
On all fours I peer ahead and see the rippling, moonlit surface of oil-black water. Rough
waves are washing up onto the shore which is not so far away from me; the cold spray hits
my face and wakes me up briefly. It isn’t enough to bring back my memory, my recollection
of how I got here. I am on a shingle beach with wooden groynes stepping into the water.
Behind me is a road and a grassy, tree covered rise on which sits several houses, their
windows dark except for the windows of one house. I catch a flicker of movement behind
glass.
Tankerton Slopes, I think. How did I get to Tankerton Slopes? Who brought me here?
Have I been held somewhere else?
Evan?
We said goodnight. Did he come back and surprise me with a trip to the coast, a romantic,
midnight excursion?
It must have gone horribly wrong.
Evan?
I thought I said his name out loud but now I’m not so sure.
The beach has no end in sight, stretching into impenetrable blackness on either side of me;
it stretches as far as I can see in the dark.
I was wrong. I’m not completely alone. A figure stands at the top of the beach, on the edge
of the Promenade. I watch as whoever it is waves at a car driving towards them, a police
patrol car with flashing blue and red lights, no siren. I hear the slam of the driver’s door, see a
second person, taller than the first, hitch up the waistband of trousers and swagger over to the
first.
My neck is stiff and my ribs and stomach hurt. I can feel an ache between my legs.
Sex, I’ve had sex.
A swell of panic overrides my senses and I begin to pant. I can’t get enough oxygen, or
perhaps I am getting too much. I have to regulate my breathing, suppress the panic before it
becomes a full blown anxiety attack.
But I can’t remember. I can’t remember that happening. Not if I’ve been held somewhere.
Please god, say it was with Evan. Say I haven’t been ra-
‘Addison? Addison?’
It is the driver of the police car – a man – his voice carried to me on the wind. It has a
muffled quality, as if the words are broken up like insubstantial clouds, torn apart and tossed
across the sky. His voice is torn apart and tossed haphazardly about the beach, part of words
reaching me and yet I get enough to put the whole of what he says together.
‘Addison? It’s the police. Constable Brandon Weiss, ma’am. Hold still, help’s coming.’
‘Addison,’ a woman now, the one who caught the attention of Officer Weiss, drops to her
knees beside me. ‘It’s me, Louise.’
I feel a pressure on my back, gentle but insistent. Police Constable Brandon Weiss is
pressing me back down onto the pebbles, helping me to turn over so that I’m lying down. He
removes his jacket and hastily folds it, placing the makeshift pillow under my head. It doesn’t
stop the pebbles and shells digging into my back though.
‘You shouldn’t move too much,’ Louise says.
She sounds like she knows me, but the woman is unfamiliar. She has chin-length wavy
hair, apricot blonde, and a round face and eyes that are too large. Wide, nervous wide as if
she is not used to finding battered women on beaches.
Or maybe she has seen something that has terrified her.
‘You fell down the steps,’ she informs me. ‘I saw you run out your house and trip down
the steps. Someone was chasing you. He chased you out here and hit you, I think with a rock
or something.’
That explains the thumping head.
Fell down the steps.
I came out of a house and fell down the steps, (the house with the lights on? Must be
where I was being kept). I was being held in a house and I escaped. I was chased on to the
beach.
‘Evan?’ I croak, and I watch Weiss turn his head to look up the slope to the property with
it lights blazing.
The house is backed by thick woodland, and I know there are a cluster of pretty painted
beach huts somewhere to the east.
I look back to the house Weiss is staring at. A dark form stands in an open doorway
leading out onto a veranda, a spectator perhaps, or the person who held me captive?
‘Evan,’ my voice is raspy, barely there.
He must be frantic with worry. So frantic he would hurt himself?
My throat is dry. I’m parched. My head thuds and I’m dizzy, to the point I think I’m going
to throw up. I manage to keep whatever is in my stomach down – it helps to close my eyes –
to close my eyes and let the cold, salty wind blow over me.
I can hear the sea as it washes up on to the shore. A soft, sibilant shush sound as if nature
is urging me to be quiet.
I am relaxed, the pain I felt earlier diminishes into a warm fuzz I can cope with because
my mind is floating off up into the star-speckled sky like a helium balloon cut from its string,
floating up and away and with it my image of his face, Evan’s sweet face, features softened
by his beautiful smile until only his words remain, words that are torn up, and scattered
about, in a reversal of Weiss’s wind-tangled words from earlier.
 Think how much easier it would be if it was just you and me in the world.
… I think I made a mistake.

You can check out Heidi Cieciura's official author website
Her blog: Holding up the Mirror
Or contact her on twitter @heidicieciura

You can sign up for Heidi’s mailing list to be alerted of updates and receive a free DI Jesse
Rider novella entitled Butterfly. Just click here

You can email Heidi at heidi.cieciura.author@gmail.com

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