Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for The Cornish Village School: Breaking the Rules, the brand new romantic comedy from author Kitty Wilson. My thanks to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for inviting me to join the tour. I’ll be sharing an extract with you all just as soon as we’ve taken a look at the all important book stuff.
About the Book
Rosy Winter is definitely not looking for love
Following heartbreak, Rosy has rebuilt her life in the beautiful Cornish village of Penmenna. Now, headmistress of the local school, she is living by The Rule: no dating anyone in the village. Easy right? But Rosy Winter has a new neighbour, handsome gardener Matt.
In Penmenna for his new gardening TV show, this guy next door will do everything he can to persuade her to break her rule and win her heart. Meanwhile, Penmenna Village School is threatened with closure and it’s up to Rosy to rally the local community and #SaveOurSchool. Can she bring her worlds together and accept help from the most unlikely of sources? One thing’s for sure… she won’t be giving up without a fight.
This heartwarming romance is perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and A. L. Michael.
Rosy jumped into her car and sped through the village as quickly as she could without knocking over small children, trying to maintain as professional a look as possible in case she was seen. Headteachers were not allowed to scowl in public, and vehicular manslaughter was obviously a no-no. She whizzed past the last stragglers from school and the thirteenth-century church on the corner, its Grade One listing and historical importance ignored by the teenagers getting off the secondary school bus and sneaking into the graveyard to have one last cigarette before reaching home.
The rows of cottages all jumbled together and daubed with the pastel colours of sage green, baby pink and ice-cream yellow – colours of Cornwall in the summer – receded into the distance as she passed the central hub of the village. The local shop, recently revamped, was now a pale slate grey and stocked with halloumi, hummus and miso paste, a nod to the gentrification of the village as Cornwall had become fashionable again and property prices had shot through the roof. It was at complete odds with its tatty neighbour, the butcher’s, which hadn’t been repainted since the nineties and had a window chock-full of community posters, yellowing and curled at the edges, inviting residents to events long since passed.
She careered past the pub and then the beach, heaving in the summer months but empty at this time of year, and the ice-cream shop, boarded up until Easter when hordes of barefooted families would suddenly appear, snaking all the way back to the sands.
Nearly home and with minutes to spare, she just had to get past the final row of fishermen’s cottages and she could pull up in her driveway and grab the one book she had forgotten this morning.
Her cottage came into sight, the late winter sun bouncing off the granite, lending warmth and making the quartz deep in the stone sparkle. The exposed walls were different from many homes in the village, most of which were prettily painted and as fresh as gin and tonic as the sun sets. Rosy’s cottage was more of a well-loved local ale, one with bits bobbing in it. Its neighbour was the same, both boldly joined together in their rebellion.
As she turned into her drive, Rosy caught sight of the higgledy-piggledyness of the roof, all uneven tiling and indents, and the stunted, windblown cherry tree in the front that exuded character and never, ever failed to make her smile. She had spent many hours wondering how the tree had become windblown, protected as it was by walls all around the front garden. There was just a little space that had been taken out to make way for a drive, and a small gate embedded in the front with its promise of a secret garden.
For her the cottage summed up Cornwall; sometimes wild and grim and grey but, in the right light, welcoming, quirky and warm. The cottage seemed honest, somehow, more in keeping with Cornwall’s past. Rosy was fairly sure that the fishermen and smugglers of yesteryear weren’t big on sage green or baby pink.
Today, though, was one of those rare days where Rosy didn’t have the time to smile at her cottage’s eccentricities and meander slowly up the drive, drinking them all in. Indeed, this time she ran from her car, falling over her feet and then through the door, hallway and into the kitchen, her heart pounding, slowing only as she spied Rufus Marksharp’s writing book on the kitchen table.
The day had already been difficult, filled with staff absences, glitter-dough vomit, hijacked lunch boxes and World War Three breaking out over the school hamster, but at least she would no longer be mauled into itty-bitty pieces by Rufus’s mother at the after-school meeting she had recently demanded. She was a woman who never failed to make Rosy think of a velociraptor, stalking the playgrounds, hunting in the hallways and watching, always watching. That woman could drape herself in as much Cath Kidston as she liked; she was fooling no one.
Rosy now had only ten minutes to get back to the school so she could listen to just how gifted Rufus was. She was going to have to keep herself in check, be professional and a little bit less of a grouch. She knew that her mood today had been tetchy – she had even scowled at four-year-old Billy during maths when she had to firmly remind him, twice, that in school one kept one’s trousers on.
Heading towards the kitchen door, book in hand, Rosy spied a small metal tin on the worktop. Her smile returned. That was just what she needed. A nutty millionaire’s slice. She flipped the lid and snatched a piece, ramming it into her mouth before it crumbled into nothingness and the caramel wrapped around her fingers. Perhaps one more bit, maybe two.
Now she really did have to move! She raced to her car, hopped in and started to reverse down the drive.
Screech! She was forced to jam the brakes on, a peanut falling from her mouth onto her dress as she was jolted forward. Where on earth had that come from? Blocking her drive was a removal lorry, big enough to house a circus and not showing any signs of moving. That had definitely not been here when she had arrived. With only a few minutes left before she was due to sit in a teeny-tiny chair with a woman reputed to down entire careers with one glance – rumour had it she could take out small island nations in less than three minutes – she was going to need to move fast.
She blared her horn as hard as she could. No movement. She needed to get out of the car and track the removal men down. Up until now she had been curious as to who her new neighbours were going to be, but now, at this moment, she wasn’t fussed about finding out. She just wanted them to move their truck so she could get back to school. The last thing she needed was Mrs pain-in-the-arse Marksharp kicking off about her reliability. Oh, for goodness’ sake! Where was that lorry driver? Beep! Beep!
With the truck clearly empty and no patter of removal men’s feet, she jumped back out of the car, dark hair flipping up and down against her shoulders, and stalked down the drive towards the cottage attached to hers. What were they playing at? Honestly, upsetting your new neighbour before you had even unpacked was a stupid thing to do.
As is shouting at your neighbour on their moving day, her sensible voice pointed out from the back of her mind. No one is doing this on purpose. It’s just life. Be nice. Get the lorry out of the way and then be on yours. Do not cause a scene with people you have to live alongside for years. Imagine if someone drove past and witnessed her screeching like a banshee. The embarrassment may kill her. The village would be agog to hear that Rosy Winter had lost the plot.
If that has manage to whet your appetite the you can buy a copy of the book from the following links:
About the Author
Kitty Wilson has lived in Cornwall for the last twenty-five years having been dragged there, against her will, as a stroppy teen. She is now remarkably grateful to her parents for their foresight and wisdom – and that her own children aren’t as hideous. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard or hiding out at the beach and has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.
Follow Kitty on Twitter.
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