Today we have a pleasure to welcome a lovely lady, Christine Stovell to This Chick Reads. Christine’s third book ‘Follow a Star’ has been published by Choc Lit just two days ago and is part of Little Spitmarsh series. Follow a Star is the sequel to Turning The Tide, but in Christine’s words ‘it can be read as a stand alone’. So, read more about Christine’s book in her post and make sure you visit our blog often since we’ll be reviewing this book soon.
Sometimes your heart’s the only navigator you need
May Starling’s had enough of her demanding career and even more demanding ex. Responding to a ‘crew-wanted’ ad, she follows her dreams of escape only to find herself at sea with red-haired Bill Blythe.
Bill warns May that close-quartered living can create a boiling pot of emotions, but even May is surprised by the heat building up inside the vintage wooden boat. And when May and Bill tie up at Watling’s Boatyard in Little Spitmarsh, May’s determined to test her new-found feelings on dry land.
But May’s dream of escaping her former life is in danger of being swept away when several unwelcome blasts from the past follow her ashore, all seemingly hell-bent on reminding her it’s never that easy to clear the decks.
Second book in the series, follows Turning the Tide.
Follow a Star is set in the present and begins with my heroine, May Starling, running away to sea in a vintage wooden boat bound for Little Spitmarsh, the location for my novel, Turning the Tide. That said, you don’t have to have read Turning the Tide to read Follow a Star as both May and the book’s hero, Bill, are completely new characters.
Here’s a snippet from the scene where they first set eyes on each other …
“Careful what you wish for, wasn’t that the saying? And oh, how she’d wished for her dream to come true. If only she’d realised that shooting for the moon would send her spinning back down to earth. If only someone had warned her about … May gradually became aware that she wasn’t alone any more. So far as an old Land Rover Defender could creep along, this one was. And right beside her. May took a quick sideways glance at a male face turned towards her then stared fixedly ahead.
Ohmigod! A kerb crawler. Here she was out in the middle of bloody nowhere and someone was after her body. He was probably some sex-starved farmer. She’d read about all these lonely men, forced to advertise for ‘housekeepers’, unable to attract girls from the city to their isolated acres. He shouted something. She caught the word ‘darling’ and hurried on. He roared ahead, stopped the car and, before she knew it, was blocking her path, six foot plus of lean muscle and broad-shouldered with it. May was not looking forward to running away from someone who looked as if he spent all his time wrestling bullocks to the ground. Especially not one with that hair colour. She whimpered.
‘I hope I haven’t got this wrong,’ he said, running his fingers through the offending mane. ‘Are you May Starling?’
Having conjured up an image of someone small and wiry, she was taken aback that her prospective skipper was so much taller, more energetic and, frankly, ginger-looking than she’d expected. Somewhere along the line, she’d also overestimated his age. The man in front of her was in his prime and bristled with vitality, like a Rhodesian Ridgeback eyeing up a rabbit. Slap in the middle of two hundred acres he probably wouldn’t look quite so strapping, but most boats would feel pretty confined with him aboard. ‘You must be Cecil Blythe,’ she said, recovering herself.
‘I’m Cecil’s nephew,’ he said, pulling on the Land Rover’s passenger door which opened with ominous groans. ‘We need to talk.’”
Bill’s astrapping red-haired builder trying to do his best for his ailing uncle and all May wants is to escape the smouldering wreckage of her burnt-out career and one very demanding ex. Neither of them needed any complications – which is why I trapped them together on a very small boat! I knew exactly how each of them would set the other off, and had a lot of fun creating sparks and misunderstandings between them.But when the pair of them arrive at the old boatyard in Little Spitmarsh, they quickly discover their troubles have only just begun.
About the Author
I live and write on the west Wales coast. I’m proud to be part of the Choc Lit selection box. I’m also published by Honno Welsh Women’s Press.