About the Author
Faith Mortimer was born in Manchester and was educated in Singapore, Malaya and Hampshire, England. She qualified as a Registered nurse and after some years changed careers to oversee a number of travel and sport related companies. She is happily married to Chris and together they have four children. Once the children began to attend University, Faith decided to join them in reading for a Science degree. Faith obtained her Honours Science degree with The Open University in 2005 and says that the dedication and stamina needed to sit for a degree gave her the confidence to finish writing her first novel. She achieved this and January 2009 saw the publication of The Crossing. This novel is based on a true incident and Faith thoroughly enjoyed the six months or so research that went into the book and the later 18 months writing and editing. The Crossing is available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon.

In 2010 Faith finished writing her second novel; a murder mystery set in the Troodos mountains of Cyprus where Faith spends the majority of her time.

This 93,000 word novel was posted on the Harper Collins Authonomy site and out of over 8000 books was chosen in November 2010 to be the Number 1 book! Faith is waiting her review for The Assassins Village from Harper Collins and once she has sorted out an agent and publisher hopes to have this book in print and Kindle in 2011.

Where can you find me?





THE CROSSING by Faith Mortimer
Richard William Barker was hoisted a dizzy fifty-nine feet up in the air. A climbing harness cruelly encircled his loins, threatening to severely limit any last minute plans for fatherhood, whereas his chest felt decidedly crushed by the extra security rope looped tightly under his armpits.

‘Up a bit more, more, more, that’s it. Hold it!’ He shouted down to Toby on the deck below. Toby was manning the electric winches. He took an extra turn of the rope round the winch and made it fast in the jammer. Then taking up the slack on the second security line he secured it snugly onto a substantial looking cleat.

Richard could now change the tricolour bulb at the top of the mast and check the radio antenna at the same time. Toby gazed up at Richard and couldn’t repress a slight prickle of fear remembering the one and only time he had gone up the mast himself when they were anchored off the Isle of Wight. It had been a beautiful, hot sunny summer’s day in the Solent for once, with little breeze and subsequently very little movement on the water in the anchorage. That was, until the inequitable jet-ski roared past only thirty feet from the yacht, its wash creating a roll to the boat from side to side. The offending jet-ski owner laughed and jeered at his puerile jest, as in panic Toby clung to the mast, his eyes tightly closed. Toby wasn’t a coward but he vowed never to willingly volunteer to go up the mast again. Not if he could help it.

Right now he was perfectly happy to sit in the cockpit, take Richard’s shouted down orders and maintain a watch on the safety lines. Soon as this job is done it will be too late to start anything else with a bit of luck, he mused. It would be time to stop for a nice cold beer and decide where to go for dinner.

He stretched out lazily along the teak seating in the cockpit and looked around the Santa Cruz marina in Tenerife, the other sleek boats tied up alongside the pontoons. It was a large harbour and motorboats and other yachts surrounded Ellentari. They were   bobbing on the slight swell. Although it had been a perfect day for a sail around the Canary Islands the majority of boats were snugly secured in their berths. The light breeze of about 8 knots ruffled the oily marina water and set the gaily coloured flags a flutter. Loose halyards tinkled against metal masts and gulls swooped noisily down to inspect debris floating in the water.

If you added up the value of all the moored boats it would run into many millions. Toby’s accountant brain thought, what a waste.  At least Richard was utilising his boat to the full. Ellentari was a beautiful yacht and clearly a sound investment. Toby knew good well-built solid boats kept their value and this 45-footer was no exception. He leant back and looked up at Richard, still aloft. With a bit of luck it was only a bulb that required replacing now and the radio antenna just needed to be more securely screwed in place. Better to check it here now in the relative calm of the marina than being tossed around 60 feet up aloft when at sea.

 ‘OK. Can you turn on the tricolour now please?’ called down Richard. Toby’s reverie was broken as he climbed down from the cockpit into the boats saloon. The instrument panel was on the starboard side bulkhead and he reached over and pushed the appropriate labelled switch. A glowing red light indicated it was on.

‘Great! That appears to be fine now. Turn if off and then you can slowly lower me down.’

Toby climbed the companionway ladder back into the cockpit. He adjusted the two lines holding Richard’s life in his hands and slowly paid out the rope.

Richard landed safely on the deck, deftly untied the safety line bowline and eased himself out of the climbing harness, wincing as he did so.

‘Thank God I’ve got that off, it’s not exactly pleasant being trussed up like a chicken! Anyway that’s a job well done and for a change relatively simple. Thanks for your help,’ Richard said laughing, coiling and stowing the ropes away.

 His thin angular face was creased in good humour. Straightening up he was a good six-foot three inches, slim build with a tanned muscular body. His straight hair was from a sun-washed blonde to light brown, flecked through with grey and cut fairly short. The tan looked good on him giving him a more youthful appearance than his forty-nine years. Women from sixteen to seventy often gave him a second glance.

Good-looking bastard, Toby thought, although he was himself attractive in his own smaller and darker way. Richard’s got the money, the time, the boat and a kitten of a wife whom he doesn’t appear to appreciate as much as he should. Aside from that though, he and Richard had been friends for 15 years now and he really didn’t begrudge him his current good fortune.

‘I think a beer or two onboard and then off to the Plaza to find a restaurant, don’t you?’ said Richard.

‘My thoughts entirely old boy, the sun must be well over by now. I expect Connie would like one too,’ he agreed raising his voice.

As expected, a tousled head appeared in the aft cabin hatch. ‘I most certainly would. Just let me finish changing and I’ll be right with you.’ She ducked down and both men grinned at each other.

‘Never misses out does she?’

‘Only when there’s dirty work to be done,’ replied Richard dryly.

‘You relax a bit. I’ll go below and get the drinks.’ Toby clattered down the companionway into the shady saloon. He was really looking forward to the sailing trip. Like the others this was his first Atlantic crossing. He was relishing the thought of blue waters, starry nights and glorious sunsets. Of course once across and established in the Caribbean he was sure that rum punches, bikini-clad beauties and reggae ‘jump ups’ would take precedence. No tedious commuting to town from his house in Esher and a break from the machinations of daily office parlance.

Richard had always had a lifelong dream of skippering his own yacht across one of the great oceans of the world and meeting all the personal challenges that would be thrown at him. He didn’t know where this deep-seated yearning came from, but for most of his life he had felt an almost overwhelming pull to go out, buy a boat and explore. Now the dream was just beginning, coming to fruition, as Richard and Connie finalised their preparations for their planned sail across the Atlantic. The huge golden orb of the sun was sinking fast, casting long deep-mauve shadows on the surrounding hills. It had been ‘another perfect day in paradise’ using the yachties’ much hackneyed but true cliché. The temperatures had been in the high seventies, with a cooling breeze and a cloudless cerulean blue sky.

Toby reappeared in the cockpit with their drinks accompanied by Connie. Richard studied Connie with a familiar deep affection. Small, dark-haired and neat, described her outward appearance. She stood about five-foot four inches in her bare feet with a slim build. Her legs were nicely shaped, rising to a firm little bottom, nipped in waist and medium-sized breasts. Handful sized Richard would say, anything bigger would be a waste. She had recently had her hair cut short, as she knew long hair would be too hot and a pain in a tropical climate, besides, water on a yacht had to be managed. Her newly shorn hair was slightly curly from the salty air and not unattractive as it framed her violet-blue eyes. Connie enjoyed a refreshing Campari and orange juice; the ice cubes tinkling against her glass when she lifted it for a sip, relishing the slight bitterness of the fortified spirit against the sweetness of the fruit. Richard preferred a long cool local beer. He sat quietly contemplating the condensation as it slowly ran down the outside of his glass forming a small wet ring onto the coaster. He wiped it away with his hand. He was both excited and yet a little bothered at the same time. His excitement was caused by their almost imminent departure from Tenerife. In a day or so – all being well – they would have completed their tasks and boat preparations they had set themselves in getting ready for a long extended cruise. They planned to leave the comparative safety of the Canary Island waters and sail across ‘The Pond.’ In other words, they had two thousand, eight hundred miles to sail across the Atlantic in a small boat. It was well known to be a vast, lonely and sometimes inhospitable sea, but it was an adventure that many an amateur sailor had undertaken without mishap, thoroughly enjoying the challenge and eventual achievement.
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