Today we have a very special guest post by lovely Holly Martin, who’s kicking off her Tour for ‘The Guestbook’. Many thanks to the fab girls from GoslingGirlsBookTours for the chance to take part. Now here’s the blurb and read on Holly’s material. Oh, and make sure you visit the other blogs that are taking part. Cheerio!
Welcome to Willow Cottage – throw open the shutters, let in the sea breeze and make yourself completely at home. Oh, and please do leave a comment in the Guestbook.
As landlady of Willow Cottage, the young widow Annie Butterworth is always on hand with tea, sympathy or strong Norfolk cider – whatever her colourful array of guests require. A flick through the messages in the leather-bound cottage guestbook gives a tantalizing glimpse into the lives of everyone who passes through her doors.
This includes Annie herself – especially now celebrity crime writer Oliver Black, is back in town. He might grace the covers of gossip magazines with a different glamorous supermodel draped on his arm every week, but to Annie, he’s always just been Olly, the man who Annie shared her first kiss with.
Through the pages of the Guestbook Annie and Olly, along with all the guests that arrive at the seaside retreat, struggle with love, loss, mystery, joy, happiness, guilt…and the odd spot of naked rambling!
Forget sending postcards saying ‘wish you were here’ – one visit to Willow Cottage and you’ll wish you could stay forever.
Link to buy:
There is a fantastic review today on http://victorialovesbooks.wordpress.com/
Read on for an exclusive extract of The Guestbook, released on Valentine’s Day!
Welcome to Willow Cottage, I hope you enjoy your stay. I’m only next door, so if there is anything at all that you need please don’t hesitate to let me know.
You may wish to use this guestbook to do a diary entry for every day you are here, tell us where you’ve been and what you’ve done. You may wish to leave helpful hints for other guests or you may just want to leave a short comment at the end of your stay telling me what you think of Willow Cottage.
I will come by Tuesdays to drop off fresh towels so if there’s anything else you need you can always write it in the guestbook and I will check on it then.
1st – 8th March
Rosie and Jake Hamilton.
Thanks so much for the flowers and champagne, what a lovely surprise. The cottage is beautiful and Chalk Hill village is so cute. I’m so excited to be here. We’re on our honeymoon, one long delicious week with my beautiful hubby. Yesterday I married my best friend. I really am the luckiest girl alive.
Jake says we can go for long walks along the beach and explore the beauty of the Norfolk Broads. Personally I don’t think we’ll be leaving the house much. We’ve been here six hours already and we’ve only really seen the bedroom! We’re getting a takeaway tonight, another excuse to stay in bed.
Can I just say for the record now, so it is here in black and white, I love my husband soooooo much. He won’t read this so I’m safe.
Mrs Rosie Hamilton. (Mrs!! I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that)
I’m in love, did I mention that. I can’t stop staring at the ring. It just hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m married!! And to the most marvellous man as well. Jake caught me watching him sleep last night, bet he thinks he’s married a right weirdo. Still there’s no escape for him now.
We actually made it to the beach today. The dunes are beautiful. We had a picnic and even had a dip in the sea.
Mrs Rosie Hamilton
WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I WON’T READ THIS? WHAT YOU FAIL TO REALISE IS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU TOO, EVEN THOUGH YOU SNORE.
JAKE HAMILTON. (HUSBAND TO CHIEF SNORER)
I do not snore.
YOU SO DO.
Annie Butterworth, what a shock! With a name like Mrs Annie Butterworth I was honestly expecting some grey haired granny with half-moon glasses who would bring round homemade lemon drizzle cake. I didn’t expect someone so young and pretty. Jake thought you were a ghost at first, seeing you run through the garden with your long white dress and blonde hair flying theatrically behind you. It was quite the entrance.
It was great talking to you today. Where is Mr Butterworth? You both must come round for dinner one night.
AS ROSIE IS USING THIS AS HER OWN PERSONAL MESSAGE BOARD IT’S DOWN TO ME TO SAY THAT TODAY WE HIRED A BOAT. SPEED BOAT WOULD BE TOO MUCH OF A GLAMOROUS TITLE FOR IT. IT WAS A ROW BOAT WITH AN ENGINE STUCK TO THE BACK. THOUGH EVEN CALLING IT AN ENGINE WOULD BE A STRETCH. IT MADE A LOT OF NOISE AND PROPELLED US MARGINALLY FASTER THAN A SNAIL. I HAVEN’T LAUGHED SO MUCH IN AGES.
WE ENDED UP ON SOME BIG LAKE AND FED THE SWANS OUR LEFT OVER PICNIC. THE BOAT THEN FAILED TO START AND WE WERE QUITE LITERALLY UP S**T CREEK WITHOUT A PADDLE.
THANKFULLY SOME LOVELY GERMANS CAME TO OUR RESCUE AND TOWED US BACK TO WHERE WE LEFT THE CAR. THEY DIDN’T SPEAK A WORD OF ENGLISH, OR AT LEAST WERE NOT WILLING TO. THOUGH I DIDN’T NEED TO BE FLUENT IN GERMAN TO KNOW THEY WERE TAKING THE PISS OUT OF US ALL THE WAY BACK.
Hi Rosie, it was lovely to meet you too. I’m more than happy to come round with homemade lemon drizzle cake if that’s what you were expecting. I don’t have half-moon glasses but I can wear my reading glasses if that will work. As for the ghost, I was always cast as the angel in the school plays, being a ghost would have been much more exciting.
Mr Butterworth – Ha, Nick would have hated been called that – died two years ago so he won’t be joining us for dinner. If the weather stays fine how about you two join me for a barbeque tomorrow night?
Let me know if you want some eggs, Suzie and Doris, the chickens, are laying them faster than I can collect them.
Annie, I’m so sorry, I really need to engage my brain before I speak. I’m such a nosy cow. I just assumed that as you were Mrs Butterworth that he was still around. I’m sorry.
Rosie, I just saw Jake, he said you wanted some eggs so I’m just popping them in the fridge. Please don’t worry. I’m not in the least bit upset or offended by you asking where Nick is. It’s been two years and though I miss him terribly, I really don’t mind talking about him.
ANNIE, A BARBEQUE WILL BE LOVELY. WE ARE TAKING A BOAT OUT TO BLAKENEY POINT TO SEE THE SEALS TOMORROW AND THEN GOING FOR A DRIVE DOWN THE COAST. I IMAGINE WE’LL BE BACK AROUND SEVEN. I’LL BRING BURGERS AND CHICKEN, THAT’S IF SUZIE AND DORIS WON’T MIND.
We went out to see the seals today. It was amazing; we got so close to them. Jake took some fantastic pictures, but he was always good with a camera. Many of them were swimming around the boat as curious about us as we were about them. Off to a barbeque round Annie’s now, hopefully I won’t put my foot in my mouth again.
WATCHING ROSIE GET SO EXCITED ABOUT THE SEALS TODAY, I THINK I FELL IN LOVE WITH HER A LITTLE BIT MORE.
My head hurts.
Annie is quite possibly one of the loveliest people I have ever met in my entire life. I didn’t stop laughing all night. She looks so sweet and innocent in her pretty flowery dress and huge Jesus sandals, looks like she goes to church every Sunday and probably sings in the choir. So it comes as a bit of a shock when the stories she comes out with are so funny and sometimes even filthy.
We must have polished off at least two bottles of wine and too many bottles of cider to count between us. That cider was potent, some obscure local variety I think. By the end of the night Jake was a mess and I was even messier. Annie, however, looked as fresh as a daisy.
Did I put my foot in it? Yes probably about a hundred times. I felt like John Cleese in Fawlty Towers when the Germans came; ‘Whatever you do, don’t mention the war.’ I just couldn’t stop mentioning her husband, death or funerals. Luckily Annie saw the funny side.
I WAS NOT A MESS, AT LEAST I DIDN’T THROW UP IN MY SHOE THIS MORNING. GREAT NIGHT ANNIE, THANKS FOR THE AMAZING CIDER, WE NEED TO GET HOLD OF A FEW BOTTLES BEFORE WE LEAVE.
Just popped in to change the light bulb in the bathroom. I’m definitely getting a change of wardrobe after that lacklustre description ;-). I don’t go to church apart from weddings, christenings and funerals. Oh no, I mentioned the funeral word!!! I can assure you I wasn’t feeling as fresh as a daisy this morning, my tongue felt drier than Ghandi’s flip-flop. I’ll get you some of the cider to take back with you.
After recovering from our excessive hangover yesterday we spent the day in the garden reading. Jake wears his big glasses when he reads, he thinks it makes him look clever, but he looks more like a nerd. A loveable nerd though. He was reading some big tome on codes used in WW2. Geek! Another day on the beach today. Wells-next-the-Sea really is the loveliest place in the world, the beaches are spectacular.
GEEK? NERD? HOW DARE YOU. BESIDES I DON’T THINK I LOOK CLEVER I KNOW I AM CLEVER. NEVER MIND THE FACT THAT I FELL ASLEEP FOUR TIMES READING THE CODE BOOK. IT WAS THE HANGOVER THAT WAS HAVING AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON ME. ANYWAY, WHAT WERE YOU READING, THE THIRD BOOK IN THE FIFTY SHADES OF GREY TRILOGY WASN’T IT? PERVERT.
I’ll have you know the Fifty Shades Trilogy has a very good storyline. And yes you are a complete geek and a nerd but I still love you.
Annie we have had the best time. We are going to come again soon. We don’t live that far away so we’re going to drive down when you have some free weekends.
YES, I CAME HERE FOR A QUIET WEEK AFTER ALL THE STRESS OF THE WEDDING, BUT WE’RE DEFINITELY GOING TO BE COMING BACK ON A REGULAR BASIS. WILLOW COTTAGE IS BEAUTIFUL. THANKS SO MUCH FOR MAKING US SO WELCOME.