Today it’s my absolute pleasure to be joining the tour for the latest romantic comedy from Carol Wyer and Canelo, Suddenly Single. I have an extract from the book to share with you all just as soon as we’ve taken a look at what it’s all about.
The Bookish Bits
When bestselling romance author Chloe Piper’s marriage implodes a week before Christmas, she flees her cheating ex and the village gossips for the solitude of the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm and the company of her hapless dog, Ronnie.
But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…
This enthralling romantic comedy of self-discovery and new beginnings is perfect for fans of Kirsty Greenwood, Colleen Coleman and Marian Keyes.
by Carol Wyer
The snow was beginning to ease. They took a left turn, passed a riding school and three identical terraced cottages, joined by twinkling Christmas lights that hung across all three, before reaching a sign marked Sunny Meadow.
They turned into the drive flanked by tall hawthorn hedges that concealed any views and followed it up a steep tarmac drive until the development came into sight. There the drive branched off towards the completed buildings: the first path in the direction of a one-storey barn with an arched porch and large arched windows; the second towards a renovated barn resplendent in size with an impressive timbered conservatory that dominated one side of the building. A massive wooden duck gazed out of the glass-fronted door.
‘Looks like I have neighbours,’ said Chloe. ‘There was no one living in either property when I last visited.’
‘When was that?’
‘I came up a month ago but I haven’t seen the place since then. Thomas Collins, the site developer, took delivery of the furniture I ordered online. He’s been so helpful. I don’t know how I would have managed without him. He emails me almost every day to let me know how it’s getting on.’
‘Wow! Who’s that?’ she added as a slim young man wearing a dark jumper and a beanie hat, balancing a plank of wood on his shoulder, waved in their direction.
‘Jack,’ replied Chloe, lifting her hand slightly in acknowledgement. ‘He’s the carpenter.’
‘Never seen a carpenter that good-looking.’
‘You can forget those thoughts,’ said Chloe. She knew her friend’s penchant for athletic looking men. ‘He’s married and has a new baby. His iPhone is stuffed with photos of his wife and kid. He showed them to me when I was here last time.’
Her voice took on the same wistful tone it always did when talking about babies. William had decided his career was more important than children and refused to have them. ‘There isn’t anything he can’t craft from wood. He constructed all the beams for the barns, window frames and doors. He designed and built all my wardrobes. He says wood is a living thing and we should talk to it and look after it for it to look its best.’
‘Oh, he’s some sort of wood-whisperer, then,’ said Faith, making Chloe chuckle.
Jack disappeared into one of the outbuildings. Faith craned her neck to check out the other two builders working on a half-timbered roof of another outbuilding and then whistled under her breath.
‘Maybe you will have plenty of inspiration for a new bonkbuster novel here,’ she mumbled as a lithe figure in fitted jeans and a leather jacket, sporting stubble and a golden suntan turned towards the Audi and gave a white-toothed smile at the two women before leaping into a grey Land Rover and heading off down the hill.
‘Okay, who’s the Adonis?’
‘No idea who he is. He’s probably here to deliver some stuff for the builders. There’s loads of comings and goings. I don’t think it’s going to be too quiet for a while, at least until all the development is completed. Here we are. There’s Thomas waiting at the door.’
A man in his sixties, ruddy-faced from years of working outside, stood by the front door. His Barbour jacket was open to reveal his frayed sweater and dark, well-worn corduroy trousers. He raised his hand in greeting. Chloe leapt from her seat and darted to the back door where she leant across the back seat to collect Ronnie now struggling to see where he was. She snapped his lead onto the collar and he jumped out, shook himself causing his identity tag to rattle, and relieved himself against the Audi’s back tyre.
‘Wretched dog,’ said Faith with little conviction, patting him on the head. She took three steps forward and stood open-mouthed at the stupendous two-hundred-and-seventy-degree view over fields, woods and into the distance. Ahead of them, the reservoir shimmered like a silver lake.
At last Faith spoke. ‘Oh, my goodness! What an incredible house. It’s so pretty!’
The building constructed of rich, russet bricks and gleaming, reclaimed slate grey tiles was two-storeys high with skylights set in the roof, allowing space downstairs for the several huge arched windows, fitted where the old barn entrance archways had once stood. They afforded formidable views of the grounds surrounding the house – most of which was yet to be laid to lawn and was currently little more than flattened earth. Below the roof, detailed brickwork added to the character of the house, a reminder of what it had once been: a tractor and grain store.
Thomas strode towards the women, his rough, large hand extended in greeting.
‘Congratulations!’ he boomed, handing Chloe the keys to her new home. ‘You are now the proud owner of Sunny Meadow Barn.’
Faith wrapped her Max Mara black suede coat tightly around her and sighed. ‘It’s beautiful. I can see why Chloe fell in love with it and wanted to come here.’
Ronnie strained at his lead, eager to check out the new smells, his stubby tail wagging in excitement.
‘Nice dog. What breed is it?’
‘Pure mongrel,’ replied Chloe shyly. Although she’d met Thomas on a few occasions before, she still felt awkward. That was one of the problems of her disorder, together with the fact she had no idea how her body might react. On this occasion it seemed to be holding up. ‘It’s more a case of what breed isn’t in him.’ Ronnie’s tongue flopped out of his mouth giving the impression he was grinning in agreement. His tail continued to thrash from side to side threatening to send him into a chaotic spin.
‘The barn looks superb. You’ve even managed to slab around the place so I won’t be trailing in mud. I wasn’t expecting that. You’ve worked so hard on it.’
‘It wasn’t me. It was my men. I told them if they didn’t finish the place for you on time, I wasn’t letting them have any Christmas holiday this year and I was cancelling the boys’ night out at the pub. That got them working. They finished all the little fiddly bits on Friday and the cleaner came in and scoured it yesterday to prepare it for your big day. We’re working seven days a week up until the Christmas holidays to try and stay on target. The site will shut down then until the new year, so we’re finishing what we can now. That’s why we’re all here today. Normally on a Sunday, I’ve got my feet up, watching telly. So, are you ready and eager to get into your new home? Hope we put the furniture in the right place for you. We weren’t too sure what to do with it but if you need it moving elsewhere, the lads will sort it.’ His eyes twinkled with pride as he led the women to the back door and waited for their reaction after he opened the door that led into the kitchen. He wasn’t disappointed.
Faith was the first to comment. ‘Chloe, it’s perfect. So you.’
Sounds good, doesn’t it. Can’t wait to sit and read it. You can grab your own copy from any of the retailers listed above.
About the Author
As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published and journalism in many magazines.
Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.
Author Links: Twitter
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