Saturday, 11 July 2020

New Release Spotlight and Excerpt: A Cornish Daisy's Kiss by Laura Briggs

A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss by Laura Briggs

Weeks after boarding a train to Paris in pursuit of her writing dreams, aspiring novelist Maisie Clark is right back where she started: on the idyllic shores of Port Hewer in Cornwall, luggage in hand and heart filled with anticipation for what lies ahead. Except that nothing seems the same as Maisie left it, from her place among the staff at the hotel Penmarrow to her budding romance with groundskeeper Sidney Daniels, who isn’t quite ready to overlook the painful consequences of her sudden departure.

Losing Sidney would be unbearable, but Maisie can’t help fearing it might be true if the rift between them proves too deep to heal. She knows her feelings for him are unchanged, but whether he feels the same remains to be seen—particularly since she stopped him from expressing them in the first place. And to make matters worse, her position at the Penmarrow has been filled by another, there’s nowhere for her to live in the village, and her savings are finally dwindling to a pathetic number – with her book still unpublished after her startling discovery about the author helping guide her towards success.

But one thing which hasn’t changed is the drama and excitement at the hotel Penmarrow, where the staff is awaiting inspection from the dreaded owner Ms. Claypool. Stirring up trouble in the meantime is the owner’s special guest ‘Mad Ludwig’, an eccentric architect whose demands are definitely driving everyone on the staff a little crazy. And then there’s the hotel’s mysterious new desk manager, whose behavior ignites Maisie’s suspicions and causes her to become entangled in yet another form of intrigue—one that could unwittingly jeopardize the future of the Penmarrow and everyone who works there, unless Maisie can find a way to undo the harm.

With everything that matters to her most at stake this time, Maisie faces her biggest challenges yet...and her deepest question of the heart as she confronts the reason she returned to Cornwall and the Penmarrow in the first place.

Thanks so much to Ellesea for this chance to share a glimpse of book six in my ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’ series with her lovely readers. Titled A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss, it continues the adventures of amateur writer Maisie Clark in the seaside village of Port Hewer. The scene below finds Maisie attempting to help her former co-workers at the hotel Penmarrow deal with a difficult new guest.

The architect was in the thick of this chaos, a grown-up child with a giant connect-the-dots book spread out on the marble floor. Blue pencil lead on his fingers, a fat carpenter's pencil tucked behind one ear of a prematurely-white cloud of hair. Beak-like nose and serious, squinting eyes made him look slightly like an eagle crouched over his prey, one armed with a long measuring stick and a geometry compass.
"Tea on the table," he ordered Riley, who was bringing in a tray as I held the door for him, to make myself useful and sneak a peak at the much-whispered-about hotel guest. "There, by the door. There are no grounds this time? No little bits for my tongue?" His thick accent was easier to understand when his voice rose — the cloud of white hair around his face floated electrically, making me think of the stereotypical 'mad composer.' Maybe that's how Ludwig really earned his nickname.
"I'd swear it on my life," said Riley. "Shall I take away your, er, lunch?" He pointed towards the tray of untidy dishes piled high by the door — half-eaten sandwiches and pastries, coffee cups in need of a wash. I gathered the architect wasn't fond of interruptions.
"Who is that?" Ludwig pointed to me. "The stranger — she is not allowed, understand?"
"Sorry," I said, meekly. "I was just helping." Me not in a staff uniform was a dead giveaway that I was just a curious tourist peering into the creative mind's private work space.
"No outsiders, you understand?" he repeated to Riley, fiercely. "I must protect my work. It is imperative that no one sees it — in Genoa, spies copied my designs, copied my genius, my grand design. I can never forgive that it would happen again, you understand —"
"Okay, okay, out she goes," said Riley, ushering me away and closing the door as the architect returned to his crouching, drawing, and muttering, without giving any attention to the fresh pot of tea beside his pile of dirty dishes.
"I didn't realize he was so sensitive or I wouldn't have offered," I said to Riley. Truthfully, I was eager to help out just to have something to do with myself between bouts with my book, and all my various doubts chasing each other like squirrels in my head.
"He's nutty as me gran's Christmas pudding," snorted Riley. "Always afraid some unknown opponent's stalking him. He goes on and on about some rival ripping off his design for a Russian mansion or the like. If you ask me, he's imagining it. Who wants to steal drawings of a ruddy gold swan, for crying out loud?"
"Maybe the architect Ms. Claypool didn't hire?" I suggested. "Trying to sneak into consideration if Ludwig doesn't finish his design?"
"Then he'd better hurry, because we'll all be old and gray by the time our esteemed guest finishes his version," answered Riley, as we went through to the main foyer again.

Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller 'A Wedding in Cornwall'. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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