Hello fellow readers, I have a sweet, short story for you as part of the Blog Tour for Ellen Berry’s latest book The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane. The book published on 7 September, 2017 by AvonBooksUK and the story sounds perfectly cost and delicious. Also, follow the other blogs to catch up on the reviews, guest posts and other short stories. Happy Reading.
This September comes a gorgeous, heart-warming read, guaranteed to get rid of those blues. While the autumn weather begins to get us down, prepare to fall in love with the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a new arrival is going to shake things up.
If you want to move forward, sometimes you have to go back …
Growing up in a Yorkshire village, Roxanne Cartwright couldn’t wait to escape and make her place in the world. Now, thirty years later, she’s a fashion editor living a glamorous life of perennial singlehood in London – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne finds her career under threat, she feels herself pulled back to the quiet village she’d been so desperate to leave.
As Roxanne reacquaints herself with life on Rosemary Lane, she slowly makes a surprising discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a single dad trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into an unexpected friendship.
Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent years trying to escape.
This book has everything you could want – food, family, friends and feuds, and is the perfect read for fans of Trisha Ashley, Katie Fforde and Carole Matthews.
Home Alone (Part One) by Ellen Berry
“Wow,” Tom said as he opened the hotel room door. “This is perfect, isn’t it?”
Jo glanced around, taking in the deep pile carpet, the vast bed adorned with satin cushions and the breathtaking view of Edinburgh Castle. “It’s amazing,” she said, hoping she sounded convincing.
Tom looked at her. “Are you okay, love?”
“I’m fine,” she said briskly. “Shall we unpack now or head straight out and do some exploring?”
“Oh, let’s go out,” Tom said, placing his bag on the floor. “We don’t have long, do we? Only one night. Let’s make the most of it.”
“Yes, good idea.”
He smiled and kissed her lightly on the lips. “I know what it is,” he added gently. “You feel weird about leaving Hannah, don’t you?”
“No, it’s fine. I’m sure she’ll be okay…”
“She’s seventeen, darling,” Tom said. “Old enough to be left alone for one night. How long is it since we went away together?”
Jo forced a laugh. “It’s been so long,I can’t even remember.”
“Come on then,” he said, squeezing her hand. “There’s a whole city out there, waiting for us. Let’s go.”
Get a grip, Jo thought as they headed out into the crisp early evening. Hannah was a sensible girl who’d assured them that she didn’t mind them going away for their wedding anniversary. “It’s a great idea,” she’d said, virtually pushing them out of the door. “I’m not a baby any more, Mum. I’ll be fine.”
Jo believed and trusted her daughter. Yet now, as she and Tom climbed the Mound to the Royal Mile, a myriad of worries swirled in her head. What if Hannah left a gas ring on and started a fire? That was ridiculous, Jo chided herself. Hannah was perfectly capable of rustling up a meal. She was bright and mature for her age – and in less than a year she’d be starting her new life at university. Of course she was capable of looking after herself for twenty-four hours.
Yet what if something happened beyond Hannah’s control? Say a lunatic came to the door, or she fell asleep in the bath, or the washing machine exploded or… “What d’youfancy eating tonight?” Tom asked.
He stopped on the pavement, exasperation clouding his kind brown eyes. “Indian or Thai?”
“Either. I don’t mind.”
“Darling, could you at least try and relax and enjoy yourself?”
“I am enjoying myself!” she said firmly. “I… I’m just not very hungry so I don’t know what I want to eat tonight.”
Tom frowned and pointed to a French Bistro. “Well, that looks nice, and I’m starving. Shall we see what it’s like?”
“Good idea,” Jo said, mustering a wide smile. “It looks lovely.”
It was lovely: cosy and intimate with flickering candles on each table. Jo’s fingers curled around the mobile phone in her trouser pocket. “I think I’ll just phone Hannah,” she said.
“Do you need to?” Tom asked, perusing the menu. “We’ve only been gone two hours, love. She’ll think we’re checking up on her.”
“No, she’ll think we care,” Jo snapped, regretting it instantly.
Tom sighed and reached for her hand across the table. “Okay. Call her if it’ll make you feel better. Now, what d’you fancy? I like the sound of this lamb…”
“I’ll have chicken,” she said, even though there wasn’t a hungry cell in her body. As Tom gave the waitress their orders, she tried to call home. “No signal,” she murmured. “I’ll just pop outside and phone her, okay?”
“All right, love,” Tom said. Jo felt gusts of disapproval coming from her husband as she headed for the door and stepped outside.
It was dark now, and her spirits rose as she gazed down the Royal Mile. What a beautiful city, she thought as she waited for Hannah to pick up the phone. How thoughtful of Tom to book the hotel as a surprise. She’d have preferred a bit more warning, and perhaps not to stay overnight but just to pop out for a meal at the local Indian. Yet maybe he was right; a whole night together was long overdue, and it was their anniversary, after all. Jo knew she was over-protective of Hannah, and that they had to show they trusted her. After all, she was a good, studious girl who’d never caused them any bother. She hadn’t even had a boyfriend yet.
Where was she now, Jo wondered, and why wasn’t she picking up the phone? The falling-asleep-in-the-bath scenario flashed into her mind, and she quickly shooed it away. Maybe she’d gone out to a friend’s. Yet she hadn’t mentioned seeing anyone. “I’ll probably just have quiet night in,” Hannah had said as they’d loaded an overnight bag into the car. “I might even start that English essay.” Jo inhaled deeply, trying to quell the anxiety that was fluttering in her stomach. She tried Hannah’s mobile which went straight to voicemail. “Hannah?” she said. “It me, just wanted to make sure you’re okay.” No – she shouldn’t have said that. She was seventeen, for goodness’ sake. Of course she was okay. “Give me a quick call,” she added, “just to say goodnight.”
“Feel better now?” Tom asked as Jo stepped back into the restaurant and took her seat at the table.
“Fine,” Jo said firmly. “I couldn’t get hold of her, she didn’t pick up the phone but…” She took a big, nerve-calming drink of wine. “Anyway,” she added with a smile. “Thanks for arranging this, darling. I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit tense.”
He reached for her hand across the table. “I know it’s only because you care,” he said softly. “You’re a great mum, you know that?”
A lump formed in her throat as the waitress brought their meals. “Thanks,” she said. As she looked at her handsome husband in the candlelight, she vowed to appreciate every second of their trip.
Ellen Berry is an author and magazine journalist. Originally from rural West Yorkshire, she has three teenage children and lives with her husband and their daughter in Glasgow. When she’s not writing, she loves to cook and browse her vast collection of cookbooks, which is how the idea for this story came about. However, she remains the world’s worst baker but tends to blame her failures on ‘the oven’.
Blogger ~ Bee