Today I’m delighted to revisit my Five on Friday interview with Linda Huber which was first posted in June 2018. It’s been brought up to date to reflect Linda’s latest publications. Linda writes psychological suspense novels under her own name, and feel-good fiction as Melinda Huber.
Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. She now lives by a Swiss lake.
Over to Linda:
Which piece of music/song would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Ride a White Swan, T. Rex. This was a hit right at the start of my teenage disco days. I would cuddle in the corner of the sofa to watch Top of the Pops, a cushion clutched to my heart, and oh, the joy if Marc Bolan and T. Rex were on…
Careless Whisper, George Michael – I just love that saxophone! It’s a lovely song, too, and best of all it lasts exactly five minutes. A few years ago I did the Couch to 5K programme, and I used Careless Whisper for timing when I eventually arrived at the stage where I could run for 5 minutes.
Who Wants To Live Forever? Queen. Freddy Mercury was one of the first celebrities to die of AIDS. I remember it well – news broke first that he had AIDS, which was a huge shock in those days, then just a day or two afterwards he was gone. Later, I used a lot of Queen songs in my English classes – very clever lyrics, some of them.
Dances with Wolves, theme music. This is one of my all-time favourite films, and the music is everything you want in a film – stirring, uplifting, sad, hopeful, happy… just like life, I guess.
This Blue World, Elbow. A year or two ago when I was in Scotland for my father’s 90th, my brother had an Elbow CD playing in his car. Dad had terminal cancer at the time and this melancholy track mirrored my feelings exactly.
What (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
My shopping trolley. I’ve had it for over a year now, and it’s transported everything from groceries to standing lamps to rose bushes to microwaves…
My mum’s engagement ring. It was my paternal grandmother’s first, but she died well before my parents married. Family history on my finger.
My books. I don’t care now if I read them on kindle or in a ‘real’ book. It’s the story that’s important, and the escape into another world while you’re reading.
The woods, just metres from my flat. They provide us with an ever-changing and permanently beautiful view.
Photos. Pictures of moments gone by with those no longer here – my husband, parents, some friends, the dog. Memories are one thing, but a photo is something to have in your hand, whether it’s on a screen or a piece of paper.
Can you offer a piece of advice for your younger self?
Don’t worry so much – you’ll be fine.
Stop trying to fit into size 10 clothes.
Learn to touch-type NOW. (I was in my 40s before I did)
Get out of the city more. Nature is healing.
Talk to your older relatives, listen to their stories.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I collect china sheep.
I cut my own hair – haven’t been to the hairdresser for over twenty years.
No-one has ever called me ‘Mum’ – I’m not sure why, it wasn’t a deliberate decision on our part, but the kids called us by our Christian names right from the start.
I kill plants. I love having them in my flat, but oh, dear, my fingers are as green as ripe tomatoes.
My weekly shopping list, which I scribble over several days, is always a mixture of English and German, depending on what I’m thinking and who I’m with at the time.
Tell us something you’d still like to do or achieve.
Spend a summer travelling on the west coast of Scotland.
Go to an antiques auction and find something amazing and beautiful for my flat at a price I can afford, and bid for it. Successfully, of course.
Visit Rome. Ridiculous I’ve never been there; it isn’t even far away from here.
Get together with my five oldest friends from school. We’re still in touch and have managed various four and occasionally five-way combinations, but the six of us all together in one room hasn’t happened since the late seventies. Geography and busy lives have a lot to answer for.
A Mediterranean cruise. So many interesting places to stop off at. We could maybe swing by a dig at some point, and see the archaeologists at work – it must be amazing, uncovering pieces of history. Imagine finding a vase or a bracelet someone used thousands of years ago…
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Pact of Silence
A fresh start for a new life
Newly pregnant, Emma is startled when her husband Luke announces they’re swapping homes with his parents, but the rural idyll where Luke grew up is a great place to start their family. Yet Luke’s manner suggests something odd is afoot, something that Emma can’t quite fathom.
Too many secrets, not enough truths
Emma works hard to settle into her new life in the Yorkshire countryside, but a chance discovery increases her suspicions. She decides to dig a little deeper…
Be careful what you uncover
Will Emma find out why the locals are behaving so oddly? Can she discover the truth behind Luke’s disturbing behaviour? Will the pact of silence ever be broken?
A baby. It wasn’t too much to ask for – was it?
Caro and Jeff Horne have it all – or do they? Caro’s greatest wish is to be a mother, and a baby is the one thing Jeff can’t give her. Unless, of course, he begs, borrows or steals one…
Across town, Sharon isn’t sure she’s cut out to be a mother. Problem is, she’s eight months pregnant… With her friend Julie’s support, Sharon is coming to terms with impending motherhood when she meets Jeff – and the nightmare begins.
Will Sharon’s new-found happiness last?
What lengths will Jeff go to in his quest to find a baby for Caro?
And does Sharon’s baby mean the end of Julie’s hopes for the future?
A mother and daughter torn apart
An explosive accident on the way to Glasgow airport leaves Daria hurt, bereaved and confused. Her daughter has vanished without a trace and nobody is telling her what happened. Evie’s gone. That’s all. Gone. What does Daria have left to live for?
A mother and daughter reunited
Margie can’t believe it. Bridie is hurt. Bridie needs her. They manage to escape the smoke, the noise and the confusion. They are together, that’s all that matters. Everything will be better in the morning, Margie tells Bridie. And it will.
The bonds that never break
Will Daria ever be able to put the pieces of her tattered life back together after the loss of her daughter? Is it possible that things aren’t quite as they seem? Can the unimaginable turn out to be the truth?
Secrets. Lies. Murder?
Eight-year-old Joya has a difficult life. Her parents are always fighting, and Grandma Vee is sick. Joya badly wants to help, but it’s hard to know what’s best.
Next door, Ashley loves the new house she and Leo move into, but sparks fly when Leo goes into business with Ashley’s mother Eleanor. Ashley hates her mother… with good reason.
Meanwhile, Joya’s mum Martine juggles looking after terminally-ill Vee while battling the terror that she and Joya could have inherited Vee’s disease too. There’s a test – but do they really want to know?
Then a woman is found dead, and Martine’s world falls apart. What has her little girl done?
Keep your secrets close to home…
Bad things happen in threes – or so it seems to Nicola. The death of her mother-in-law coincides with husband Ed losing his job and daughter Kelly getting into trouble with the police. Time to abandon their London lifestyle and start again by the sea in far-away Cornwall.
It should be the answer to everything – a new home, a new job for Ed and a smaller, more personal school for fifteen-year-old Kelly. But the teenager hates her new life, and it doesn’t take long before events spiral out of control and the second set of bad things starts for Nicola.
Some secrets can’t be buried.
Or… can they?
What happens when a baby goes missing?
Twenty-two years ago, Erin and Vicky’s parents were killed in an explosion.
Now grown up, Erin and Vicky—who have been separated—are unaware they are siblings. But when Vicky is called to her great-aunt’s deathbed, she learns that she isn’t alone after all.
But where is Erin? Vicky’s search begins . . .
Elsewhere, Christine has problems of her own. In the first week of her new job, she makes a disturbing discovery and is struggling to come to terms with impending motherhood.
Vicky is almost ready to give up her search when an old foster mother calls with shocking news.
What links Vicky and Christine?
Will Vicky ever find her sister?
And can Christine’s baby escape the past that befell her mother?
The Cold Cold sea
Maggie stared across the beach. The tide was coming in. But where was her daughter?
When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?
Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer’s daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child has become moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.
The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.
The Paradise Trees
He had found exactly the right spot in the woods. A little clearing, green and dim, encircled by tall trees. He would bring his lovely Helen here… This time, it was going to be perfect.
When Alicia Bryson returns to her childhood home in a tiny Yorkshire village, she finds her estranged father frail and unable to care for himself. Her daughter Jenny is delighted at the prospect of a whole summer playing in the woods at the bottom of the garden, but as soon as Alicia sets foot in Lower Banford, strange and disturbing memories begin to plague her. What happened in her father’s house, all those years ago?
But coping with the uncertainty and arranging Bob’s care plan aren’t Alicia’s only problems. Unknown to her, she has a stalker. Someone is watching, waiting, making plans of his own. To him, Alicia and Jenny are his beautiful Helens… and they should be in Paradise.
Horror swept through her. Had she been buried alive?
On Sarah’s first visit to see her foster mother, Mim, in Brockburn General Hospital, she is sucked into a world that isn’t what it should be.
Someone is lying, someone is stealing. And someone is killing – but who? With a grieving child to take care of, as well as Mim, Sarah has to put family first. She doesn’t see where danger lies – until it’s too late.
If you think you’re safe in a hospital… think again.
A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.
Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. Her husband Rick has a secret, but Ella doesn’t want to know…
Across town, Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. The search begins, but nothing prepares Amanda for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…
How well do you know your own family? And who can you trust?
The Attic Room
A father’s secret… a mother’s lie… a family mystery.
An unexpected phone call – and Nina’s life takes a disturbing twist. Who is John Moore? And how does he know her name?
Nina travels south to see the house she inherited, but sinister letters arrive and she finds herself in the middle of a police investigation. With her identity called into question, Nina uncovers a shocking crime. But what, exactly, happened in the attic room, all those years ago? The answer could lie close to home.
The Saturday Secret
A Fabrian Books feel-good collection. Fifteen tales of life, love, and family – perfect for a coffee-break! Previously published in UK national magazines, the stories are about relationships within the family and without – some are humorous, some bittersweet; all are upbeat and emotional.
The Party Partners Belinda and Phillip have fun at weddings, engagement parties and all sorts of celebrations. But anything more personal was out of the question – or was it?
Family Matters Gary shares Sharon’s dream of having children – but as far as he’s concerned, it’s something for the future.
Corinna’s Big Day It was the most important day in baby Corinna’s life, but for Madge, it was one of the saddest…
Lucky for Some You might say drawing number 13 in the cycle rally was bad luck. You might say falling off was bad luck, too. But Hilary knew better!
Patiently Waiting Mike woke up after his operation and saw the girl of his dreams. The problem was the engagement ring she wore on a chain round her neck…
The Saturday Secret What was she up to? The whole family wanted to know! But Gran wasn’t telling…
And many more…