Thursday 25 October 2018

Blog Tour: Extract From The Cornish Village School-Second Chances by Kitty Wilson

I am very lucky to be part of the blog tour for The Cornish Village School-Second Chances today. I even have the first chapter to share with you! The book came out on October 4th in the UK and you can click here to order your copy. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for more exclusive content and reviews!

Here's what it's all about:

Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.

Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.

Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?

The second book in the feel-good and rib-tickling Cornish Village School series. Perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley.

Chapter One

Sylvie felt Sam’s little hand grasp hers even tighter as they rounded the corner by the pub and turned down past the butcher’s. The sand was spilling out onto the pavement as they approached the beach, the golden grains signalling their arrival long before they set foot on the beach proper. She knew, if she glanced at him, his little teeth would be clenched with excitement. 

They had been here every sunny day throughout summer and most of spring, and if truth be told they’d been here on the odd rainy one too. Sylvie had a feeling they could come every day forever and neither she nor Sam would ever get bored. In fact, that was her plan. 

The beach opened up wide in front of them, and as they reached the bit where pavement ended and beach began, they kicked off their flip-flops in a tradition they had built ever since Sam could walk. A quickly embedded ritual meant that the two of them bent over at the same time to pick their shoes up and glanced at each other and smiled. It was a shared signal that their beach day had started and that the next couple of hours would be nothing but heavenly. 

The two of them had developed the perfect day over the last couple of months. Chores in the morning, when Sylvie would help her uncle out with the day-to-day running of the farm and Sam would be expected to get on with his work too. Work that largely involved his action figures and a city he would construct out of blocks, carefully colour coding each bit. And then as the sun began to fade from its midday high the two of them would grab their beach stuff, piled by the door next to the wellies and walking sticks, and make their way into the village.

Sylvie knew the sting of sunburn – as a child she merely had had to look out of the window and she’d fry. With Sam sharing her freckles, red (really red) hair and the pale skin that came with it she made sure that there was no way her child would experience blisters raised on his ears as her uncle used to out on the farm all day, or toss and turn at night – too burnt to sleep. 

The spades, body-boards and buckets would be grabbed, the swim shoes and the rash vest dried out by the Aga from the day before, and the two of them would slather each other in factor fifty, with special attention paid to the neck and the ears. Fruit and water would be thrown into a bag along with a book each and then the two would race to the car, spades dropped to the floor as they put seat belts on and turned the music up loud, singing all of Sam’s favourite songs on the short journey from Lovage Farm into Penmenna. Sometimes as they belted it out together she thought she might love ‘Wheels on the Bus’ more now than she ever did at four. Other times she suspected she might hit saturation point Very Soon Indeed.

Back on the beach now, they felt the sand squidge between their toes as they headed to their favourite spot, getting damper and squidgier the closer they came to the water. She raised a hand to a group of mums from the village who were just leaving, and again to Alice, who was sitting at the foot of the cliff, engrossed in her book. Her heart melted as Sam saw their little spot – tucked away next to a natural stream running from the cliff straight down to the sea, perfect for keeping their water cool in the sun – and ran towards it. He was more confident here than anywhere else, the shadow recently cast over the farm still failing to shift completely.

Happy to let go of her hand to shake his towel out and claim his spot, he stopped short as she watched and turned back around to face her, perplexion written all across his little freckled face. 

For the whole of summer that spot had been theirs. At no point, even at the peak of Regatta week, had they turned up to find the crime of all crimes committed – someone else’s towel. But today there was. Two to be precise. One great big luxurious one that looked like it should be rolled into a glamorous curl on some chichi hotel bed and one covered with little foxes’ faces, next to a small matching bag. Cute. But not theirs. 

Sam looked at her for answers, and she was tempted to pick them up and place them just over there, a couple of feet away. Or perhaps she could chuck them behind the cluster of boulders piled up near the entrance to the cave. Or, if she could persuade Sam to close his eyes, she could peg it down to the shoreline super-fast, throw them out to sea and then come back and pretend she didn’t know what had happened. Although, of course, she would not do either. Instead she would use it as time to educate Sam about public spaces and the need to share them, no matter how personal they felt, how much you saw them as yours. 

‘It’s OK, Mum. We can just go the other side of the stream.’

‘Plan, Sam. Like the way you’re thinking.’ OK, so the four-year-old didn’t need the lesson, that would just be her. 

Author Bio

Kitty Wilson lived in Cornwall for twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. Recently she has moved to Bristol, but only for love and on the understanding that she and her partner will be returning to Cornwall to live very soon. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard, dreaming of the beach or bombing back down the motorway for a quick visit! She has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.

Twitter: @KittyWilson23

Thank you so much to Kitty for stopping by the blog today and sharing the first chapter with us. Remember to check out the other stops on the blog tour and of course follow Kitty on Twitter!

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