It’s publication day! After what feels like a very long journey indeed, Once Upon a Long Ago is now available to buy. It’s the culmination of five years dreaming and plotting and imagining and rethinking. Yes, five long years! That’s when the idea first hit me for Will and Lexi’s story, but it’s only this year that it felt right to finally tell their tale.
Although Once is the third book in the Kearton Bay series, it’s very much a standalone novel, too. So, what’s it about? Well…Perhaps a sneaky peek at my Pinterest board will give you a flavour of it. You can access the Once Upon a Long Ago board here.
In the meantime, here’s a quick guide: Stately homes, heritage, Civil War, horses, romance, fear, past, history, love, friendship, art, family, castles, lies, jealousy, kindness, goodness, inner beauty, fairy tales, loss, grief, laughter, secrets, treasure, faith, flapjacks, ponies, Labradors, Anne Bronte, Scarborough, hope, desperation, happy endings. Phew! If that’s not enough for you, 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?
The book is currently available for Kindle, but it will also be available as a paperback very soon. I really hope you enjoy my third adventure in Kearton Bay. I had a lovely time writing it, as well as visiting a local stately home, Burton Agnes Hall – which, in my mind, is Kearton Hall – and Scarborough Castle, looking at lovely old paintings, reading up on the Civil War, reminding myself of childhood fairy tales, and immersing myself in some good old fashioned romance. It came as quite a shock to me to realise that the next time I visit Kearton Bay, it will be my last journey there. Book 4 is some way off just yet, though, and I’m not ready to wave goodbye to my lovely friends just yet!
I have lots of books planned for the future, but right now, I’m going to enjoy the fact that Once Upon a Long Ago is finally out there. I’m really fond of Will and Lexi, and I hope you will be too. Enjoy!