The final edit of book four -The Mini-Break- has just gone off to the clever people at Avon Harper Collins. The e book will be published on March 21st and is now available for pre-order. The paperback comes out May 30th. All I need now is to see the final cover. I’m sure it will be more exciting than the temporary one! I can’t wait! It’s the story of a famous romance writer who has never actually found romance. Here’s the link.
It’s been a busy year since my last post, I’ve visited the beautiful state of Maine and seen the Niagara Falls which are more incredible than any picture or film can convey. I’ve also been hard at work on book 5, another romantic comedy set in the lovely villages near Exeter in Devon.
Anyway in the meantime, here’s an extract from The Mini-Break.
“I heard his tractor coming up the lane a long time before I saw him. I sat up in my chair, like a dog hearing the rattle of a biscuit tin and, realising what it was, I made a dash for the door.
I stood in the middle of the lane, waving my arms above my head, almost weeping with relief at the thought of speaking to someone other than Jassy.
He slowed to a muddy halt, opened the tractor door and shouted down from the height of his seat.
‘Are you okay?’
‘Yes, yes, no actually,’ I gabbled. It was still raining and in seconds my newly washed hair was plastered to my head, not an attractive look and he – the tractor person – was rather eye-catching.
‘Do you need help?’ he said, and he climbed down from his cab. My first close-up view was of his Hunter wellington boots, which were reassuringly large.
Did I need help? Well yes I did. He looked a capable sort too, and very tall, at least six feet four I would guess, and wrapped up in a big waxed jacket. He was rather broad, with bright blue eyes in a tanned face, actually quite yummy under different circumstances.
‘Yes,’ I shouted, ‘yes I do!’ By now I was so excited I was hopping from foot to foot.
‘Well?’ He raised his eyebrows, waiting for me to go on.
‘Have you got a charging cable for a MacBook Air?’
He looked puzzled.
‘It’s my sister. Jassy. Her laptop has run out of charge and she’s forgotten …’
My voice tailed off as I realised the idiocy of my question. Of course he didn’t have a bloody charging cable for my sister’s laptop. I’d be surprised if he’d ever heard of a MacBook Air or broadband or electricity for that matter.
He grinned at me, a big sort of Olympic-standard grin that would have been lovely if it hadn’t been directed towards my daftness.
‘Have you tried putting a new elastic band in it?’ he said.
I stopped to process this idea with my mouth open and then realised he was almost laughing at me.
‘No, but thank you for the suggestion,’ I said with more than a touch of acidity, wiping the rain out of my eyes. This was perhaps a mistake as I had been messing about with flicky eyeliner that morning; anything to postpone the evil hour when I would have to get on with some writing.
‘Well, have you considered putting some shoes on?’ he said.
We both looked down at my feet, which were encased in blue cashmere socks and mud. I’d been so keen to dash out and stop him I’d forgotten about putting on wellingtons.
‘I came over because my mother said she saw lights on the other day. Wanted to make sure there weren’t squatters or burglars. You’re not from round here are you?’ he said, and now he really was laughing.
‘No, I’m not,’ I said, almost tearful. ‘I’m from a place with proper roads and shops and phone reception. I need to somehow get in touch with a garage or the AA so they can fix my flat tyre and my sister and I can get back home!’
‘Got a puncture, have you?’ he said.
No, I just let the air out of my tyre for the fun of it.
I took a deep breath. ‘Yes, I have.’
It’s the only thing keeping me here in this bloody place.
‘Well, perhaps I could help?’ he said.
‘What? What? Really?’ I spluttered, my heart lifting.
‘Have you got a spare tyre?’
I had no idea. How should I know?
Surely they had to give you a spare tyre when you bought a car? Wasn’t it the law? But if he wanted to know where it was I was scuppered. I’d only had the car for three months. I didn’t actually know how to open the bonnet either.
‘Of course,’ I said at last, in a confident voice.
The rain was now lashing down and my feet were frozen. It was getting dark too, which made the whole thing even more depressing.
‘I’ll pop back then,’ he said and he climbed back into his tractor.
He started up the engine with a throaty roar, turned round in a nearby gateway and drove back the way he had come, leaving me sopping wet and muddy.
‘When?’ I yelled after him as he passed me. ‘When will you pop back?’ but all I got was a jaunty wave.
I went back into the house and stood peeling off my muddy socks.
‘God, shut the bloody door!’ Jassy shouted.
I did so with feeling and went to get a towel to dry my hair.
‘Who was that?’ she said. ‘And why are you so wet? You’ve got black splodges all over your face.’
‘I don’t know and because it’s pissing down,’ I replied, glancing in a mirror and realising I looked like sad clown. I scrubbed at the black streaks with a tissue. ‘He was passing because someone had noticed there were lights on and he was checking we weren’t squatters.’
‘Who in their right mind would squat here?’ Jassy grumbled.
‘He’s offered to do the spare tyre.’
Jassy brightened up. ‘Oh my godfathers! When?’
‘Don’t know, he says he’s going to pop back.’
‘Pop?Pop back? Oh FFS! It took ages for him to notice we were here in the first place so I won’t hold my breath!’ Jassy said. ‘Why didn’t you grab him, Lulu? Make him do it now?’
‘Because it’s getting dark and it’s bloody raining!’ I said, furious with myself for not doing exactly that.
‘Jeez,’ Jassy said, sending me a dirty look, ‘we could have been out of here in the morning. We could have made it to Kirsten’s book launch. Now I expect we’ll be stuck here for another fortnight. We’re going to die here, starve to death. Sally will eventually realise I still haven’t delivered Evil Has a Price and then she’ll come looking for me with a bread knife. By then it will be too late and all because you didn’t ask some filthy old farmer to change a tyre.’‘Actually he wasn’t filthy or old. He was rather attractive,’ I said, but Jassy wasn’t listening, she was too busy refilling her wine glass.