Gosh, I wonder if they’re still talking to me? That was my worry as I prepared to head back to Kearton Bay to write the third book in the series. I was quite stressed about it, in actual fact. After all, it had been a while. What if my friends at the Bay had forgotten about me? What if they’d decided to ignore me, the way I’d ignored them all those months?
I couldn’t really blame them if they had, I suppose. It’s been almost a year since A Kiss from a Rose was published, and since then, I’ve had a short story and a pocket novel published by The People’s Friend, and started a new series of books, set in the Yorkshire Dales. I couldn’t deny I’d had a great time making new fictional friends, while writing This Other Eden. What if my pals in Kearton Bay had decided I’d abandoned them, and refused to share their lives with me?
In the event, it was like coming home. It seemed that they greeted me as warmly as ever, and were all too eager to give me the latest juicy gossip, and bring me up-to-date with what they’ve been up to.
So, Kearton Bay book three is finished. It’s called Once Upon a Long Ago, and it’s available to pre-order right here. It will be published on 26th September, exactly one year to the day that Rose was published. I think Rose would be quite pleased about that! Here’s the blurb:
Lexi Bailey doesn’t do love. Having seen the war zone that was her parents’ marriage, she has no interest in venturing into a relationship, and thinks romance is for fairy tales. As far as she’s concerned, there’s no such thing as happy ever after, and she’s not looking for a handsome prince.
For Will Boden-Kean, that’s probably a good thing. He hardly qualifies as a handsome prince, after all. He may be the son of a baronet, and live in a stately home, but he’s not known for his good looks. What he is known for, among the residents of Kearton Bay, is his kind heart, his determination to fund Kearton Hall — and his unrequited love for Lexi.
While Lexi gazes at the portrait of the Third Earl Kearton, and dreams of finding the treasure that is reputed to be hidden somewhere in the house, Will is working hard to ensure that his home survives. When he goes against Lexi’s wishes and employs the most unpopular man in the village, she begins to wonder if he’s under a spell. Will would never upset her. What could possibly have happened to him?
As plans take shape for a grand ball, Lexi’s life is in turmoil. With a secret from Will’s past revealed, a witch who is far too beautiful for Lexi’s peace of mind, and a new enchantress on the scene, things are changing rapidly at Kearton Hall. Add to that a big, bad wolf of a work colleague, a stepmother in denial, and a father who is most definitely up to no good, and it’s no wonder she decides to make a new start somewhere else.
Then she makes a discovery that changes everything — but time is running out for her. Is it too late to find her happy ending? Will Lexi make it to the ball? Will Buttons save the day? And where on earth did that handsome prince come from?
I had such a great time in Kearton Bay, that it’s quite sad to think that my next visit there will be my last. Still, that’s a good while away yet, as first I’ve got some news about a Christmas release that I’ll share with you soon, and then I’m heading back to Skimmerdale to see what my old friends in the Dales are up to. Gosh, I hope they’re still talking to me…
Have a great week!