Blog, Extract

Something Old, Something New…

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Children grow overnight, like sunflowers…

 

Our children are spreading their wings. Last week, our son was sizing up universities. What happened there? Only two minutes ago, he was starting primary school!  On Tuesday, I took him to look over the University of Gloucestershire’s computing division. He’s got his heart set on going there, but our first two attempts to visit the place were jinxed. We were snowed in on the original date of the University Open Day. A revised date was set for us to visit…and we were snowed in on that day, too! We finally made it, at the third attempt. We had a good look round the campus and halls of residence, and we were impressed. Our son was pretty convinced it was the right place before we went. Now he’s sure it’s the course for him.

109c9-rosegatewayWe’ve got every hope he’ll have as good a time as his sister did at university. She loved life at Reading, where she studied archaeology.  Her choice of course was a surprise—from a toddler she’d been mad keen on animals, and there had been talk of her becoming a vet. And yet, the signs were there. Time Team was our favourite TV programme as a family, and she’s always been as keen as we are to roam around museums and historic sites.  She now works for Oxford Archaeology, and loves it.

She has always felt archaeology to be a bit of a cinderella discipline. They also serve, who only stand and sift spoil heaps! A while ago I thought it was about time DD and the other  “trowel jockeys” got their very own heroine. The Count’s Prize is the story of Josie’s romance. She’s a dedicated academic who gets the chance of a lifetime. You can find how  for only 99 pence.

Josie wants to develop a course based on the beautiful di Sirena estate, but its notorious owner Count Dario is a volatile character. He can’t resist the challenge of a woman so wrapped up in her work that she spends her days in shapeless working clothes, turning pink in the sun and getting covered in dust. Unlike the other women in his life,  Josie is no pushover. She knows what she wants, so when her best friend finally tempts her into attending a glamorous party thrown by Dario she transforms herself. She revives feelings that have remained buried deep within Dario, after a tragedy hardened his heart.

Here’s an extract:

With one hand, Dario lifted a glass of champagne from a nearby tray then stuck the other hand into his trouser pocket and sauntered casually to the edge of her group.
‘Josie…’
He spoke, and she smiled.
Dario took that as his cue to advance and stand beside her. Instead of lifting her fingers to his lips as he had done the first time they’d met, his hand went straight to her waist as he kissed her lightly on the cheek. She didn’t flinch from either gesture, he noticed with a delicious kick of pleasure.
‘How are you enjoying the party?’
‘I didn’t think you’d recognise me,’ she said apprehensively.
‘I would know you anywhere,’ he said, and it was true. She was so lovely, he couldn’t bear to leave her alone for a moment. No one knew more than he did how every single second in the company of a beautiful woman should be cherished. One wrong word, one thoughtless gesture and happiness could be snatched away for ever. Nothing could have persuaded him to risk going through the pain he’d endured in losing Arietta – but he wasn’t prepared to see Josie fall prey to one of his guests. The idea of a treasure like her in the clutches of another man was unthinkable…
…she was looking at the woman he had abandoned when he’d blazed a trail around the room to her.
‘Oh, that’s just Tamara,’ Dario said casually, stepping back.
On the other side of the room, the blonde raised one hand and blew him a kiss.
‘Hmm. It doesn’t look as though she’s saying “Oh, that’s just Dario,” to those other people,’ Josie said stiffly.
Dario felt a surge of purely male satisfaction. She was jealous – tonight she was as good as his.

(Copyright Harlequin Mills and Boon Ltd, 2012).

That’s what Dario thinks – but Josie has very definite ideas about the way she wants to be treated. Loyalty is top of her list. Commitment equals pain for Dario – so when Josie walks away he has to face the past he’s sworn to forget, or face losing her forever…

The Count’s Prize was an absorbing book to write. I could let myself go on the warm, exotic locations I love so much. We’ve been experiencing some dreadful weather here in England over the past couple of months, so distraction is a good thing. The sun’s shining today, so I hope this is the start of better times ahead.

Where’s your favourite destination when you want to get away from it all? It can be real or fictional, and there’s a signed copy of The Count’s Prize for a comment picked at random.

Blog, Extract

It’s Not Exactly Champagne Granita Weather, but…

…we can dream! There are times when I need more than comfort food like soup or casserole to lift my spirits. It was the same sort of foul wintry weather we’re suffering at the moment that inspired me to turn up the heating and imagine a holiday in the sun. In my mind I escaped to Greece. Dreaming of  somewhere hot and exotic inspired me to write a book with a hero to match. The result was His Majesty’s Secret Passion, the first book in my Princes of Kharova trilogy for The Wild Rose Press. Here’s an extract…

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Find out more at mybook.to/HisMajestysSecret

…when the waiter arrived with dessert, Leo pushed back his chair and stood up. “You’re a ball of tension, Sara. You’re winding yourself up tighter and tighter. One day you’ll be so wound up, you’ll snap. Addiction, depression, suicide…I’ve seen it all.”
“I suppose you’ve got the ideal prescription?”
He strolled around to stand beside her. “Of course I have. Close your eyes.”
“In a public place?” she gasped, but he was serious.
“Do it. Close your eyes and open your mouth.” His commanding voice made her obey.
When she realized what she had done, her eyes flew open again—at the exact moment the cool kiss of silver touched her bottom lip. Leo had piled a spoon with champagne granita, and was about to put it into her mouth. “Open wide.”
“I’m not a child.”
A bead of sorbet fell from the overloaded spoon. It landed on the smooth pale skin at the base of her throat, trembled, then ran down into the shadowy cleft between her breasts. “I can see that,” he purred.
“People are staring!”


“Let them. Open your mouth, or—”


“Or—” Or what, she had been going to say, but as she started to reply Leo took his chance. She couldn’t talk with her mouth full of sorbet and silver spoon, so she clenched her teeth on it.
“I thought you said you weren’t a child?” he teased.
She released her grip on the spoon. “I did that because I’ve got a chill in my teeth.”
“Excuses.” He scooped up another helping of thedessert in front of her. “I’m including a sample of each different flavor, and if you don’t enjoy it, well, I’m afraid there’s no hope for you.”
“Is that your professional opinion?”
“Maybe. First, I’d need to make a full examination…”
She scowled.
“…of the facts? Or something more interesting?” he added, slicing into another scoop of sorbet.
He was concentrating so intently, it was hard not to crack a smile. To resist the impulse, she opened her mouth like a baby bird, ready for the next spoonful.
“On the other hand, perhaps you’d prefer to seek a second opinion,” he said, at the very last moment diverting the next scoop of dessert into his own mouth. Sara was left sitting with her mouth open.
“Hey!” Reaching out, she retrieved the spoon and dish from him. Their hands connected, and he laughed. For one heart-stopping moment, his warm fingers sandwiched hers against the cold porcelain of her dish.
There was a question framed in his eyes, and she knew what it was. She looked away, unable to let him guess her answer. She had been fighting temptation from the moment he carried her up the beach, and she wasn’t about to stop now.
“You’re on holiday, Sara. Loosen up.”
His brutal words brought that dark, dangerous night on the road back to her in a horrible rush. The shock of waking as her car veered over the studs at the edge of the carriageway, with just enough time to think she might be about to die as her car hurtled down an embankment before coming to rest in a farmer’s field…
Leo’s hand went to her mouth, and she realized she was biting her nails. She stopped before he could tempt her with his touch again. “Oh, I can see danger, all right. It’s standing right next to me, Leo.”
“Fine. At least I’m an honest threat. Everything about you, from your beautiful appearance to your delightful conversation, your charm and intelligence promises everything any one could want. Why are you so dead set against allowing any man to take what you have to offer?”
“Because that’s all they do. Take,” she said.
He refused to be put off. “Not me. Where would be the fun in treating a woman like that? I like to give as well as take. You’ll see.”

To find out more, go to mybook.to/HisMajestysSecret

What’s your idea of the perfect holiday? Have you booked to go anywhere this year?
Blog, Extract, Writing

Summer Sunshine For A Wintry Day

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Find out more at My Dream Guy

How is your weekend going? Will you be going back to work with a smile, or a scowl? If this cold snap makes your next holiday seem a long way off, treat yourself to my short summery romance, My Dream Guy.

It’s only £1.99 ($2.77) and you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Whatever your device, whether it’s desktop, laptop or handheld, Amazon has an app that will let you read My Dream Guy. It doesn’t matter whether you use Windows, Mac, iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone 7 or BlackBerry.

My Dream Guy is a story of lost love, past and present. All the fizz has gone out of Emily’s romance with Jack. Will their holiday at Feinwen Farm save the day? Or will the bronzed farmer who bewitched her there when she was a teenager sweep her off her feet a second time?

In the little taster that follows, Emily has dragged herself into work after a terrible weekend. She’s not looking forward to her working week—but things are going to get a lot worse for Emily before they get better!

…As I talk, Grace looks more and more thoughtful. It’s obvious she wants to say something, so I go quiet. If you ever want someone to spill the beans, try the silent treatment. Most people can’t resist filling the void with the sound of their own voice. Grace is no exception. She picks up a pencil, and twiddles it between her fingers. All the time her brow is wrinkling.
‘Em…I never thought I’d say this about Jack, of all people…but you don’t suppose…’ she looks up at me from under her brows. It’s like she’s trying to get me to join the dots, but she’s the only one with a pencil.
‘What?’
‘You don’t think he’s got…’ she swallows, then purses her lips so her next words sidle out in a whisper, ‘another woman?’
‘Jack?’ I squeak. My Jack? My sweet, funny, gorgeous, guy? But he can’t be carrying on with somebody else-he’s my perfect man!
‘Don’t look like that. You’ll get frown lines.’ She says, as though all her fooling around (especially on Saturday nights) hasn’t been the cause of scars in the past.
If Jack is seeing someone else, that would explain all his recent “business trips”. During the week, if he’s not working late, he’s charging all over the country on site visits. I spend half my time missing him, and the other half wondering where the magic went as he nods off in the back row of the movies yet again. I mean, how can anyone get so tired they sleep straight through Fury Road? And when we’re together and Jack manages to stay awake, there’s the chirrup of his blasted phone coming between us whenever things are about to get interesting, if you know what I mean.
Yes…if Grace is right and Jack has got someone else, it would explain a lot…

Download My Dream Guy now, to find out what happens next!

Beta Readers, Extract, Love Lies Bleeding, The Barrow Wake, work in progress

Extract From My Next Book, Love Lies Bleeding…

This is what Sophia’s looking at, until…

My next book is a romantic suspense, with the working title Love Lies Bleeding. It’s back from my Beta reading team, so it’s now in the final edit stage. Here’s the opening—so this is your chance to tell me what you think about it, in the comments section…

‘…and I love TV, but I don’t want to watch it every day!’ Sophia put on a spurt. 
If only Alan would take the hint.  Moving to Gloucestershire was supposed to be the start of her blame-free existence. He should have vanished from her new life months ago. Instead here he was, still tagging along behind and refusing every command, kind word and firm refusal. Despite all the danger and her obvious lack of interest, nothing could squash his puppyish adoration. What was wrong with the man? He stuck like human chewing gum.
I’m running out of options. The only thing left is for me to get nasty. Really nasty. 
The track ahead was a bony limestone spine, rising almost vertically. Kicking on, scrabbling forward, clawing at the path in a fever of excitement she left her unwanted minder for dead. For dead…
The cold, clean air burned her face. She dragged it in like vodka.
‘I’m serious!’ Alan’s voice rose, a long way below her now, and insubstantial as cigarette smoke.
Sophia stopped, stuck her hands on her hips and screwed round to face him. 
Every day, he held her back somehow. Today, he was stopping her from sprinting for the summit. He was still ten yards behind, and wheezing like an asthmatic ferret. It was too irritating to watch him labour up the slope, so she scanned the horizon instead. On this perfect morning the atmosphere was gin-clear all the way to Hay Bluff, sixty miles away. 
A snail could get there and back before Alan’s caught his breath. 
This was a day to feel the lust for life powering through your veins. Life was too short for promises. Sophia wanted to make the break, and get on. 
She tensed and dropped her gaze. It caught on Gloucester, down in the vale of the Severn. From here, the city’s confusion of buildings was a dark smudge on the countryside. It was a necessary evil—as vital, ugly and inescapable as the feelings Sophia kept locked away inside. She pivoted, her trainers scribing perfect circles in the damp, grey grit. Down in the city, the heaving mass of humanity would soon climb onto the treadmill of a new day, running around in the same old circles, in the same old way. Digging her toes into the ground she scuffed hard, destroying the neat marks.
‘I’m serious,’ Alan repeated, his voice struggling up to her. ‘You’re beautiful.’
‘I’m trouble, you mean,’ she ground away at the divots, guiltily wishing it was his face. ‘Especially for a man like you. If you think I’m falling for that old line, forget it. It’s only the thrill of the forbidden you’re after.’
‘How many times do I have to tell you?’ He caught her by the arm. She narrowed her eyes in silent threat.  Releasing her, he flung up his hands in a gesture of peace.
‘Nobody,’ the pulse pounded in her voice, ‘does that to me anymore.’ 
‘All right… all right….’ He backed off, his voice oily with understanding. ‘I just want you to know I don’t care about…all that. Your past, I mean. This is a new start. For both of us.’
  Sophia felt sick. It should be easy to storm away, and end all this. Instead, she rubbed her hand up and down over the place where his fingers bit her skin.  A breeze rippled through the trees, high on the viewpoint above them. Drops of water suspended from the twigs after the previous night’s storm came pattering down, with the sound of a million footsteps giving chase.
‘…and I’m going to start by improving my personal best,’ a stranger’s voice growled out of Sophia’s mouth, ‘Race you to the top!’
Gone in a flurry of wet grit, she reached the viewpoint in time to watch Gloucester cathedral blanch with a blow from the rising sun. Then Alan’s pale face bobbed into sight, and her view was eclipsed.
She checked her watch. ‘Now I’m ready to go home.’
‘You don’t want to run any more?’ He sounded half-dead.
Home was one of those words like ‘mother’ and ‘loyalty’ that never felt good any more. ‘Nope. I’ve done my time. All I’m heading for now is a shower.’
‘Can I play?’
It was hard not to groan, and almost as hard just to give his shoulder a playful punch rather than aim a haymaker at his jaw. ‘No.’
He usually begged, but this time he looked distracted. His gaze went over her shoulder, across to the far side of the lookout point. 
‘There’s a car parked over there.’ 
There was no point in looking round. ‘This is the County’s dogging hotspot. Of course there’s a car parked over there.’
‘But it’s obviously been here overnight, Soph. Who in their right mind leaves a motor like that, in a place like this?’
‘Nobody in their right minds comes here at all, except in broad daylight,’ How could a guy in Alan’s profession be so innocent?
He wasn’t listening. He was heading for the vehicle, and gaining speed as he got closer.
‘You don’t abandon a class vehicle like this in a place like the Barrow Wake, Soph. It must be hot.’
There was nothing for it but to follow him, closing the distance between them as fast as possible. 
‘It looks pretty cold to me.’ This place seemed deserted, but only an idiot would shout. For the last eighteen months, she’d been more alert than ever to the fact there were always eyes to see, and ears to hear. 
‘It’s unlocked,’ he called, already opening the driver’s door. He was all enthusiasm and movement until he leaned over the back of the driver’s seat. Then he went rigid.
‘What is it?’
‘You don’t want to know, Soph.’ 
Pulling the sleeve of his new tracksuit top over his hand, he ran it across every surface he might have touched. That meant only one thing. Big trouble.
‘It’s a body.’  
Alan’s face was corrugated cardboard, but there was no point worrying about details if he was going to be caught in the act. Sophia saw her chance to scare him off for good. Taking him by the arm, she pulled him away from the car. ‘Okay. I’ll take it from here. Go.’
‘I can’t leave you on your own—not with this!’
‘I’ll be fine. You know that. You’ve got to go. What would it look like, you reporting this before you’ve clocked in at Brackenridge Central for the first time? They’ll think you’re a right smart-arse, trying to show them up. And being found with me….get going. Don’t look back.’ 
She swung him around, and sent him on his way downslope with a satisfying thump between the shoulder blades.

Once past the bland gatekeeper who answered her emergency call, the police were very…nice. Sophia wasn’t used to applying that four letter word to the law. She didn’t like to spoil the novelty. 
When they arrived to fill the viewpoint with their noise, they wrapped her in a foil sheet and tried to put her in an ambulance. To be shut in something like that was a step too far for Sophia. She agreed to sit on the vehicle’s tailboard, but being surrounded by all those chemical smells was horrible. It got worse. A pretty Police Community Service Officer was put on empathy detail. Sophia’s brightest smile couldn’t shut her up. Then the radio fixed to the woman’s shoulder burst into life.  
Sophia exploded with a curse that thinned the officer’s lips. 
‘Sorry…but that thing frightened me to death!”
‘It’s all right, Miss Hope! Don’t worry! You’re safe!’ When the girl patted her kindly instead of reaching for a charge sheet, Sophia relaxed a fraction.
‘And you’re in luck, too,.’ The PCSO tried a diversion. ‘Detective Inspector Joshua Miller is going to be doing your interview. He’s gorgeous.’
Sophia’s smile almost turned genuine. This was going to be easy, after all. She knew what handsome men were like. They always kept one eye on their reflection, and the other on their watch. They never let anything get in the way of their next hot date, least of all their work. A few snuffly, indistinct comments to this DI Miller, and she’d be off the hook. 
Again.

On a map, the Barrow Wake was barely a mile away from Josh Miller’s new home. He would have walked, but the last time he tried that there was trouble.  The press suggested his reluctance to drive was a comment on policing cuts, and Josh was hauled before a committee convened by the Chief Constable.
Today he took his Ducati, just to annoy them all. It wasn’t as though the man found dead at the beauty spot would care.
‘And neither will any witnesses,’ he told his dog. Lucky watched the ritual of Josh strapping on his body armour without comment. 
Leaving Lucky to sleep off his breakfast, Josh rode down into the valley, then powered his motorbike up the torture of Crickley Hill. Sweeping around The Air Balloon pub, he rode the tail of the Cotswold ridge to the Cowley roundabout. Then he took the return stretch as far as the viewpoint, and all at an average speed of exactly seventy mph.
It was as satisfying as walking a Derby winner around the Epsom course. Josh was still scowling as he trickled the Ducati along the lane and into the Barrow Wake parking area. Three police cars, a cat’s cradle of incident tape and an ambulance were already in place. With a grimace of distaste he brought the bike to a halt beside the nearest police car. A uniformed officer walked up to meet him. 
‘Loey? Shouldn’t your shift have finished by now?’ 
‘I’ll be off home in a minute.  I got a lift up here in case I could add anything useful. Fact is, Ratty and I clipped a guy with the patrol car last night.’
Josh took off his crash helmet and dug his fingers through his hair. ‘Tell me it wasn’t our dead body.’
Loey shrugged. ‘Not unless he goes dogging disguised as a Welsh rugby fan.’
That was a relief. Police involvement had a snowball effect on tragedy.  Josh stripped off his gloves, and dropped them into the helmet. ‘Is your Welshman going to sue?’
‘Dunno. The speed he got away from us, across the road and over the fence opposite, I don’t reckon there was much wrong with him.’
‘Didn’t you stop to find out?’
‘Course we did. But on a miserable night, and with us being on call, there was only so much we could do.’
‘Write it up as an incident. In full.’ Josh gazed pointedly at the sergeant. 
‘Already done. Chapter and verse, sir.’
Josh gave a nod of acknowledgement while scanning the confusion of people milling around the parking spot. Some were in uniforms, others in white coveralls. 
‘Any witnesses?’
‘One. They’ve got her in the ambulance, sir. ‘
Josh guessed what was going on back there. The crew were probably still bringing the witness down from hysteria. It was marvellous stuff, that happy gas. 
He lodged his helmet on the Ducati’s handlebars, and strolled over to the abandoned Mercedes. 
‘Nice car,’ he said to the photographer. She moved aside to let him see the nasty secret hidden inside.  
Josh braced himself to see the type of corpse found in places where nothing worse than the thrill of illicit sex took its toll on those old enough to know better. He got a shock. The dead man was fully dressed. He lay on his right side, across the back seat. His knees were drawn up, and he might have been asleep–if it hadn’t been for the big and bloody mass where his head should have been. 
This was a shabby, sad discovery, unworthy of a place where Victorian quarry workers once uncovered a priceless Roman burial hoard.
Josh dug his hands into his pockets and stared out over the Severn vale. There were plenty of people here to take notes, measurements and pictures for him. They recorded the facts, in the expectation Josh would find the solution. 
He knew he’d come up with an answer eventually. That was his job. But how anyone could actually bring themselves to take that final, irrevocable decision to strike the killer blow…it was something Josh would never understand.
‘Miss Hope says she’s okay for questions, sir.’ Loey announced. 
His voice brought Josh back to the present. ‘Who?’
‘The witness, sir. She’s waiting for you.’
‘Okay. I’m on it.’ 
Josh stopped at the side of the ambulance to get his thoughts in order. Bodies, he could handle. The first ones he saw made such a hole in his heart, all the ones since then slipped straight through. 
Witnesses were a different matter. Every one he interviewed after an unexplained death left an indelible mark. The tears, the confusion, the incoherent, ever-changing stories. He gritted his teeth and prepared to meet a blotchy-faced dimwit. When he rounded the ambulance, he was ready to trowel on the sympathy. 

Sophia Hope’s unbelievable smile made him drop that idea like a clumsy plasterer.

What do you think? To find out more, sign up for my newsletter by joining my mailing list. In the meant time, why not try my current release?

Extract, fiction, short story

Creative Writing: Work In Progress—Cup Cakes And Champagne…

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misscreativecakes by Beria

Right now, I’m working on the final edit of the third book in my Princes Of Kharova series for the Wild Rose Press. Heart of A Hostage lands rebel leader Mihail, and his enemy Princess Maia, in a whole load of trouble. He’s the fighter and she’s the diplomat—but rules, like promises, are made to be broken. Aren’t they?

Heart of A Hostage follows on from Leo and Sara’s romance in His Majesty’s Secret Passion and Athan and Krisia’s fireworks in Her Royal Risk. Editing this latest draft is pretty intense work, and as the weather was so great this weekend, I took a break. Sitting in the garden I wrote the first draft of a new short story called Cup Cakes and Champagne, just for fun.

The style of this story is a bit different from my usual writing, and I’d love to know what you think of it. My heroine Emmy starts off a bit immature and self-centred, but she soon discovers that while love means taking the rough with the smooth, the smooth can be pretty spectacular!

Here’s the opening—

‘Oh, Emmy, you look like it’s your first day back after the holiday, not your last day at work for two whole weeks!’ Grace giggles as she meets me off the bus. We usually start laughing  the minute we set eyes on each other and don’t stop until we leave work (or Sniffy Sonia gives us one of her looks). Today is different, but I try and put a brave face on it. 
‘I know, a whole fourteen days alone with the man of my dreams. It’ll be heaven. But camping in Wales? Why couldn’t he take us off to sun ourselves on a beach somewhere? Mud’s really not my thing.’
‘Oh, stop your moaning!’ Grace gives me a little shove. ‘Camping’s not like it used to be. And at least you’re going to a place you already know.”
‘A place I haven’t been since I was twelve years old. What if it’s changed?’
‘Look on the bright side. You’re always saying how chilled out the place was. It might be even better these days!”
That’s Grace, the eternal optimist. 
‘And…don’t forget, you’re the one who let slip about your first crush, when we were playing truth or dare at the Christmas party. If the gorgeous Harri still lives at this Feinwen Farm camp site, you’ll be able to ogle him, while cuddling up with gorgeous Jack at the same time. That’s what I call multi-tasking. Right now—last one into the office buys the coffee!’ 
She puts on a sprint, but I know when I’m beaten and let her win. Paying out insurance claims isn’t a bad job, as office work goes. I like helping people find some sort of happy-ever-after, but it still means getting up while sparrows are yawning for forty-six weeks of every year. The decent coffee  they give us helps a bit. Friday cake-breaks are another reason to struggle in on time.  
‘Seeing Harri again wasn’t the only reason I agreed to this holiday,’ I say, putting Grace’s cup down in the most inconvenient spot on her desk, ‘Jack’s so lovely, but…’ my voice trails away, because there isn’t really any “but” I can put my finger on. It’s just…
‘I thought the divine Jack Wright really was your Mr Right?’
‘He is…’
Grace looks at me in the way she does when she’s about to save me from myself by taking the last cupcake. Doing me a favour, she calls it. And whatever second thoughts I’ve got about this holiday, I love Jack. He’s a real sweetie—when he’s around. I don’t want my best friend thinking I want her to take him off my hands.
‘…but he’s changed, Grace! When we first met it was champagne, flowers, and dinner with every date. But  lately, he’s been all work, and no play.’
‘And that makes Jack a dull boy,’ she nods, doing her best Judge Judy impersonation. ‘There’s no need to draw pictures.  That’s why you’ve got to throw yourself into the holiday lark. Use this break to liven him up.’ 

‘If we were going somewhere tropical, I could. But I know what Feinwen Farm is like. We’re going to be stuck out in a field, miles from the nearest takeaway, and in the coldest, wettest summer since records began!’

Emmy’s about to get not one, but TWO big shocks. Harri is twice the man she remembers, but Jack springs some surprises, too. For the first time in her life, Emmy is lost for words!

What do you think of Cup Cakes and Champagne so far? I’ll be posting more of the story in my next newsletter, which is due out in a couple of weeks.  You can sign up for it here.