Island of Secrets
A captivating story of love, mystery and hope
Two love stories separated in time. Two women following their dreams. In a paradise littered with painful secrets, will love turn the tide?
1973. Cecilia “CiCi” Freemont has a restless soul and the voice of an angel. Leaving her privileged upbringing behind, she chases her dreams to the sandy beaches of an unspoiled Hawaiian paradise, Harbor Island. But life takes an unexpected turn when she falls for the island’s young heir-apparent and her newfound adventure becomes too much to bear…
2017. Investigative journalist Tina Templeton has dedicated herself to the pursuit of truth. But when she inherits Harbor Island, her career plans take a confusing twist. Managing the sprawling island estate is tough business even with the help of aging cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont. Especially when a massive ecological disaster threatens to destroy her beautiful beaches—and the responding coast guard captain steals her heart.
As the investigation into the disaster reveals a 40-year-old mystery that could change their lives forever, will Tina find love among the secrets, or will CiCi’s painful past dash her dreams on the rocks?
Island of Secrets is an epic love story. If you like generations-spanning drama, characters with hidden pasts, heart-warming romance and intrigue, then you’ll love Diane Demetre’s powerful romantic mystery in paradise.
2017 – After attending a welcome home party the night before, Tina goes to town to assess how business is faring on the island.
On rising the following morning, Tina was surprised not to see any of the staff anywhere. Deducing they were all hungover, she requisitioned the truck and escaped the property so as not to face Sebastien. That showdown she wanted to keep for later. When she arrived in town, planning to have breakfast in the diner, it was closed. In fact, even now, one hour after their advertised opening hour of seven o’clock, the diner, the Local Store, and mechanics’ shop were still shut. Harbor Island’s esplanade felt more like a ghost town than a thriving visitor destination. Disappointed, she shook her head, and her jaw clenched tight. These people need to muscle up. Like most journalists, she’d hauled her sorry ass out of bed while nursing a blinding hangover when on assignment. But that’s what you did. You had a job to do, and if you were dumb enough to wipe yourself out the night before, you still had to front up and get the job done. Harbor Island will not succeed if these people don’t take responsibility.
By the time Suzie Lin opened her souvenir shop, Tina had paced the length of The Esplanade’s pavement three times, her frustration growing. When the door cracked open, and its owner peered out, Tina huffed. Behind a pair of fine gold-rimmed round glasses, Suzie’s dark eyes blinked, obviously startled to see a customer. A diminutive woman of about fifty, she wore ankle-length black silk trousers, topped with a blue mandarin-collared silk blouse printed in a delicate oriental design. Pinned with chopsticks, her glossy black hair coiled tight on top of her head, while her make-up free face shone in an even honey tone.
Tilting her head, she studied Tina closely. “Hello. Do I know you?”
“Good morning, Suzie. It’s me, Tina Templeton. Dickie’s niece.”
Joy blossomed on Suzie’s face, and she threw open the door. “Tina Templeton. I thought it was you, but you’ve cut your hair so short. Come in. Come in.”
Diane began her career as a school teacher before moving into the entertainment industry as a choreographer, director, event manager, dancer and actress, working in television and live theatre, and managing multi-million dollar productions.
Following her onstage career, she spent many years as a stress & life skills therapist, keynote speaker and presenter, appearing on national radio and television.
When she launched into a writing career, Diane’s debut erotic romance series, the Dance of Love was voted Luminosity Publishing Readers’ Choice Best Books and Best Covers for 2015 and 2016.
Her romantic suspense, Retribution won the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Pro Award 2017 for Best Unpublished Manuscript. Diane loves to write genre-busting stories with a twist. Her works are packed with emotional punch and feature empowered heroines who live life to the fullest, much like the author herself.
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Behind the Scenes
In this moving tale of love lost, love found and love eternal, award-winning author Diane Demetre makes us believe in the power of love — a love that is timeless and ageless.
In 1973, when wild child, Cecilia Freemont flees her privileged upbringing in San Francisco for sex, drugs, and adventure, she finds herself embroiled in the local superstition and secrets of Harbor Island, an unspoiled paradise off the coast of Maui. Against her better judgment, she falls in love with the island’s young heir-apparent, Dickie Reginald. But the odds are stacked against them, and Cecilia must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change her future forever.
Forty years later and under the saddest of circumstances, investigative journalist Tina Templeton and successful cabaret singer, CiCi Freemont find themselves involved in another of the island’s secrets. Despite being strangers, Tina, now the new owner of Harbor Island must work with CiCi to solve the mystery of Origin Beach which threatens to devastate the island. But when the US Coast Guard is called in, past and present collide with the arrival of Captain Jack Holmes. He brings with him a new mystery. One which may unearth the island’s deepest secrets.
Will Harbor Island’s legacy topple or will love triumph and transcend time?
If you love stories rich in emotion and fueled by intrigue, Island of Secrets will make you laugh, cry and capture your heart. An epic love story not to be missed.
I remember vividly when the idea for this book came to me. My husband and I were out in our boat on the Broadwater on the Gold Coast in Australia. It was one of those magnificent boating days—calm, sultry and cloudless. Having just completed Retribution, I’d been waiting on the inspiration for my next book. Nothing yet had beamed in. As someone who is willing to wait for inspiration rather than forcing my creativity, I was enjoying a couple weeks off from my writing schedule.
While we were relaxing on the Broadwater and lapping up the beautiful weather, an old Huon pine cruiser drove past us. Like a bolt out of the blue, Island of Secrets landed in my consciousness. The story arrived well-formed, with characters I immediately visualized.
I’d visited Hawaii a couple of years earlier, and Maui, with its volcanic geography, lush vegetation and captivating sea life lived up to its name of the Magic Isle. It was the ideal location for Island of Secrets.
Immersing myself in the island’s history, I grabbed a copy of James A. Michener’s epic tale, Hawaii. In discovering how the missionaries came to the islands and their impact on the indigenous population and culture, I gained a deeper insight into this special place. An insight I’ve woven into Part One of Island of Secrets.
Told across forty years, the story begins in the heady 1970’s. Having been a teenager during this time, I drew on my experience, as well as researching this amazing decade. The early 1970s saw the world undergo exponential change. With a sense of freedom coursing through our veins, we viewed the planet’s evolution with passionate optimism, seeking out opportunities to make the world a better place. It was an empowering time of enthusiasm, peace protests and free love; all bubbling forth from the post-civil and equal-rights era and the women’s liberation movement. With this as her backdrop, Cecilia launches into her big adventure. And like many young women of that time, she is fired in the kiln of life.
In Part Two, we meet her again. Now in her late sixties, she is matured and polished, but her essence and loyalties remain the same. She becomes the reflection character for Tina, who must deal with her own personal and environmental issues to save the legacy of Harbor Island.
At its heart, Island of Secrets examines the lives of not just Cecilia and Tina, but all the empowered women—Leilani, Victoria, Beatrice, Loretta, Silly Suzie et al. Women from different times and cultures who face similar challenges and find the courage and strength to overcome them. It is an exploration of how we view the fundamentals of life. Is it love or money that motivates us? Where does loyalty lie in the equation? What moves us to make the decisions we do? And no matter the dilemma we face, there comes a time when we must acknowledge that love is the ultimate answer.
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