Genre: Romantic Suspense
Date of Publication: November 24, 2015
Number of pages: 254
On the rooftops of London, you can be anyone.
A year ago, Lanie Briers escaped a serial killer. She grew up in a theatre family and her act was mediumship, but not anymore. Life, now, is a hidden retreat above a quirky Bloomsbury museum, where she waits and watches.
Nick Tawes is an unexpected intrusion. He's a landscape architect filming a television series on roof gardens, and he intends to build one in Lanie's aerial territory. He has his own demons, old family troubles, that lure Lanie out of her refuge and into living again.
But as summer progresses and the sky garden grows, Lanie's enemy is closing in--because some secrets must go to the grave.
Stories fed identity—and changed it.
Lanie had used stories to shock and survive. She’d used them carefully, crafting her old stage act of mediumship to draw out people’s stories and reflect them, eliciting gasps of awe at her insight. Magic, went the murmur. But it wasn’t magic. They were the same tricks conmen used.
And she’d used those tricks brutally, as the one weapon left to her. Survival had cost her the joy of performing.
But that was the past. She forced the memories away. Here was safe harbor, the library that was a sea captain’s final berth. A fantasy, but a comforting one.
She was searching for a spy glass to add to the photos she’d take when the electronic beep from the front door signaled the entrance of a visitor.
A tug at her jacket and a pat to her hair—Good, the chignon doesn’t wobble—and she was ready to perform.
The title of Sky Garden is a celebration of the roof garden where the heroine, Lanie, lives—or rather, the roof garden that she resists being built, but which ultimately seduces her.
Roof gardens are amazing, and for good reason. As Nick, the hero of the novel, says:
“Roof gardens are increasingly popular,” he said into the silence. “People are beginning to accept that if the future for most of us is city living, then for food security, mental health benefits and air quality control, we need to green our cities. I specialize in designing and installing green spaces, generally rooftop gardens, but also green walls and reclamation projects.” He sought for a concrete example, one where she might be interested. “Do you know some people are even growing mushrooms in old tunnels below London?”
Landscape architecture, which is what Nick practises, is about opening up opportunities for health, beauty, relaxation and food security. It’s about dealing with storm water, maximising light and/or shade, controlling temperature, and so many other things. Most people now live in cities, so we must make them work. The urban environment has to nurture us body, mind and soul.
People love the sense of freedom rooftops given in a crowded city. Look at all the rooftop bars in London. Or more seriously, in my home city, on the other side of the world from London, our new, mega hospital has an outstanding roof garden to help heal people. We have to bring nature to us.
Rooftop gardens are about finding opportunities to be free—which is one of the themes of Sky Garden. Where, and with whom, can we be truly ourselves? Gardens have always been a way of expressing our creativity. They also remind us that we can’t control everything—not the weather, not pests, not even the plants we plant that then ramble out of control!
If you’re on Facebook, I find the Landscape Architects Network inspiring.
Do you have a favourite rooftop garden? Have you created one?
Jenny Schwartz is a hopeful romantic with a degree in Sociology and History — people watching and digging into the past. She lives in Western Australia and is working towards her dream of living by the sea. Jenny writes romantic suspense, as well as contemporary and paranormal romance.
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