Last month, I featured an extract from Fox Halt Farm, and today I am one of the stops on the blog tour of its newly published sequel, Culmfield Cuckoo by Celia Moore. I am sharing an extract, the opening of this new novel, which can be read as a standalone. **There is also an international giveaway going on!**
Celia Moore’s initial novel in this series, Fox Halt Farm is an emotional drama set over twenty years, contrasting two very different ways of life; small dairy farmers struggling to keep their beautiful home nestled on the edge of Dartmoor, with the money-spinning world of London.
The consequences of the unexpected meeting between Billy, her roots on the Devon family farm, and Richard with his thriving London business ripple in parallel and sometimes touch. Fox Halt Farm is a story of hopes, fears, love and secrets. The Culmfield Cuckoo takes Billy and Richard lives on, into a new chapter.
When Billy reaches out to help, her kindness brings many changes which threaten hopes, homes, and even the people she loves the most.
Who is the Culmfield Cuckoo?
Will they help Billy get her life back? Or is the Cuckoo the cause of everything that is going wrong?
Who is telling the truth?
FOX HALT FARM, the first book in the series, is FREE from Tuesday 2nd April 12am PDT to Saturday 6th April 11.59pm PDT.
Charing Cross Police Station, England
Monday 11 August 2008
My thoughts are so chaotic, I struggle to breathe. If I’m sent to jail, will Fox Halt Farm need to be sold?
‘Richard, I’m sorry,’ I whisper to the stark walls of this police interview room.
But inside, I’m not sorry about Michael, I won’t regret the death of the man who has cast a shadow over my world for so long.
I think back over the events that brought me here, and a song starts to resonate through my mind.
Fox Halt Farm, Devon, England
Saturday 26 July (16 Days Before)
‘My undying, death-defying love for you.’ These song lyrics still evoke the man who stole my breath away when I was just eighteen. A naive girl who believed she couldn’t survive without him, but I did.
Twenty-two years later, and this anthem has a new place in my heart. ‘The Power of Love’ blasts through Richard’s new home. It’s our song now. The whole village must know there is a party tonight; the music is far too loud. Freddy insisted it was fine but how can anyone talk?
People squash into every nook of the cottage pushing us ever closer in the pocket-sized entrance hall; ‘Love with tongues of fire–’
‘Billy, will you be my wife?’ Richard asks, but it is hard to hear. I frown at him, while delight fires through my body. A tinge of annoyance too – after all this time, he asks me here? Surely, he could have chosen somewhere romantic?
I will let the song finish before I accept. I want to be certain he hears my answer. Lead my wonderful man outside into the farmyard first; I will say yes under the stars on this balmy hot night.
The front door swings against my back, making me turn from Richard’s expectant face to see who has shoved the door so hard. The two latecomers hold hands. One is a striking young girl with long red curls but it’s her mother who blasts away the joy I felt just seconds ago.
Jessica O’Rowde’s dull eyes well up but there is no greeting, not even a smile. Instead, her fragile frame looks like it will give way. Instinctively I step forward to hold her, and Jessie’s familiar smell of jasmine and roses catches in my throat.
I see the contrast of my toned and tanned arms against her snow-white skin. She is wrapped head to toe in magenta; her silk shirt contours each protruding rib and her matching bell-bottomed trousers emphasise her stick waist.
‘Auntie Billy, can we stay tonight, please?’ The girl lets go of Jessie’s hand to grab my wrist. I remember Mary snatching at me like this when she was a toddler, and I picture herund freckled face looking up at me. I was her honorary aunt; her mother’s best friend. Tonight though, our eyes are level; Mary is as tall as me, she must be thirteen years old.
‘Darling girl, of course you can stay,’ I reply…”
About the Author:
Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.
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