Today it is my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for The Cornish Village School – Second Chances by Kitty Wilson. I have a great extract to share with you all and would like to thank Ellie Pilcher of Canelo for inviting me to join the tour. Here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
Ex-ballerina and single mum Sylvie is in trouble. Juggling her ballet classes in the nearest town, preparing shy Sam for his first day at Penmenna Village school and trying to finally move out from the farm she shares with her cantankerous Uncle Tom means life is anything but easy.
Television Journalist Alex is facing challenges of his own. Seeking a calmer environment for his newly adopted daughter, Ellie, he’s swapped reporting in war zones for the school PTA in quiet Penmenna, where his best friend Chase has persuaded him to start laying some roots.
Fireworks ignite when Sylvie and Alex meet but as Ellie and Sam become instant best friends, will they be able to keep things strictly platonic for the sake of the children?
The second book in the feel-good and rib-tickling Cornish Village School series. Perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant, Holly Martin and Cathy Bramley.
The Cornish Village School – Second Chances
As the man reached his towel she experienced a jolt of familiarity that made no sense, but was there all the same – quiet and determined and very present. She couldn’t place where she could possibly know him from; he certainly wasn’t from the village, she would have definitely noticed him before. Everyone would have noticed him before!
He exuded an animal magnetism, sleek and dangerous like a jungle cat, and yet she didn’t feel in the slightest bit fearful, just intrigued and certain that she was meant to meet him, here and today. She felt her tummy flip a little with lust. Wow! She had forgotten what instantaneous attraction felt like – the last time her tummy had flipped was after an ex-boyfriend had drunkenly cooked some shellfish in a kind of (failed) rapprochement.
The man pushed his floppy jet hair out of his eyes as the small girl tried to stop him from sitting by divebombing onto the swish towel, her cornrows waving as she did so. Next she starfished out and smiled up at him with a real ner-ner-ner-watcha-gonna-do look on her face, before flipping her own foxy towel out of the way so he had no options left but sand and slate.
Sylvie couldn’t help but smile at her mischief, whereas when she flicked a look over to her son he looked entranced – half horrified by the girl’s behaviour and half enchanted. It would appear that both strangers were capable of weaving a spell.
The man cast a quick glance at Sylvie, a smile teasing the corners of his mouth, a see-what-I-have-to-contend-with look, conspiratorial. Bugger, that made her tingle all the way to her toes, and she had been fairly sure that side of her had died shortly before childbirth, and very definitely after!
For goodness’ sake, she didn’t even feel fizz when Idris Elba was on TV any more. And now she was virtually squirming around in the sand because a stranger to the village had stood within twenty feet of her. Please God, don’t let him speak – Lord knows what she’d do then. Present responses indicated there was a strong chance it would involve forgetting her son was present and hurling her bikini top to the four winds.
She felt herself flush at the mere thought of it. Gah, she had a habit of blushing at the most inopportune moments – she really hoped her body wasn’t about to start this nonsense again. Please don’t look over here again, she mentally begged, forcing on her jolliest tone in an attempt at self-distraction.
‘Let’s build these then, shall we?’ She smiled across at Sam, willing him to collude so she could get her head back into motherhood rather than unexpected lustful thoughts over strange, and presumably married, men.
Sam, apparently unaware that his mother was undergoing some kind of freaky sexual transformation, dragged his eyes from the girl and back to her as he silently nodded.
The minute Sylvie leant forward and watched Sam carefully stack the second slate upon the first one, the girl started shuffling forward on her bottom towards the stream, bringing the towel with her.
‘Whoa, now you need to get up, you’ll soak that. Come on, up you get, and give me the towel back.’ Sylvie didn’t look around when the man spoke, but there was something familiar, again only just, about his voice as well. His tone might have been gentle but it had an underlying steel to it which made Sylvie want to obey immediately. She was intrigued to know if it had as much power on the little girl as it seemed to on her. But there was no way she was going to turn and look.
She didn’t need to – she heard a high-pitched giggle and the sound of a thwack as the towel, she guessed, was hurled into the air and landed.
Sam broke out into a delighted guffaw and despite her best intentions Sylvie felt her head spin around, and there, slightly less imposing now, sat the most tempting man Sylvie had seen in years with a luxury towel draped across his head and shoulders and a shocked expression on his face, whilst two small children stood nearby with tears streaming down their cheeks.
He shrugged and smiled as he removed the towel, catching Sylvie’s eye and sharing a what-can-you-do moment with her as she found herself smiling back.
‘I’m Ellie.’ The girl had taken advantage of the shared mirth to get through the stream and move closer to Sam. ‘What you doing?’ She had a musical lilt to her voice that spoke of another country, perhaps more than one, that Sylvie couldn’t quite identify. Possibly a French accent, maybe a hint of an African dialect, she couldn’t pinpoint it.
‘You can help if you like. I’m just building a tower here. See how many you can build up before it topples.’
‘But you don’t have many.’
‘No, you don’t.’
‘I do. I’ve got one, two… um, lots, haven’t I, Mum?’
‘You’ve got one, two, three, four.’ Sylvie counted them out. ‘Four is lots, you’re four. But you could get more if you wanted. Maybe Ellie—’ she smiled at the girl, including her in their circle ‘—could help you get some.’
‘I could. I’m nearly five. I can count a lot more.’ She nodded violently, about twenty nods, all in quick succession.
‘Hmm.’ Sam didn’t sound particularly impressed. Sylvie wished she could shake off the spell cast quite as easily.
‘Come on. We can do it over there, and then we can build lots, lots and lots, like maybe even…’ She cast around for her biggest number. ‘…maybe even twelveteen.’ She held her hand out, with the openness of the truly confident. ‘Come on.’
Sam looked at her with big eyes as she gave him an even bigger smile, and then checked what his mum thought. Sylvie gave him an encouraging nod and he crossed the stream and allowed himself to be led to the cave mouth where the two of them started to round up slates and build them into towers.
The man smiled across at Sylvie as the children played.
‘Hi, I’m Alex. It’s good for her to have someone her own age to play with.’
‘Hi, Alex. Sylvie. It is. Sam is usually quite shy, so it’s nice to see.’
‘Ha! Ellie is about the absolute opposite of shy. She’s a whirling dervish of a child. I think this is the most I’ve seen her concentrate in ages.’ He couldn’t help but smile as he glanced across at his daughter, her little pink tongue poked just out of her mouth as she piled another slate on top of an already teetering pile.
His indulgent parental smile was contagious, spreading to Sylvie’s lips as well.
Well if that has whetted your appetite and you’d like to read the book for yourself, it is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Kitty Wilson lived in Cornwall for 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. Recently she has moved to Bristol, but only for love and on the understanding that she and her partner will be returning to Cornwall to live very soon. She spends most of her time welded to the keyboard, dreaming of the beach or bombing back down the motorway for a quick visit! She has a penchant for very loud music, equally loud dresses and romantic heroines who speak their mind.
Author Links: Twitter
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