I’m thrilled to be joining in the blog tour for Phillipa Ashley’s next installment of her series Little Cornish Isles. You may remember that last year I had just discovered Phillipa Ashley and her page turning books. So I was really excited when I was asked to host an extract of her forthcoming book Spring on the Little Cornish Isles – The Flower Farm. The book will be released on 19th April 2018 but to wet your appetite here is an extract:
She unpacked the one small case that she’d been allowed to take on the tiny plane here. If she wanted any more of her stuff, it would have to be shipped over on the ferry. For now, her clothes took all of five minutes to put away and she’d miraculously managed to compress a whole cupboard’s worth of make-up and toiletries into one bag. Judging by the state of Len’s fingernails, she thought the varnish was going to be superfluous, but even if there were no clubs, there had to be some opportunity for glamming up, even if it was only to watch an episode of Countryfile.
At the bottom of the case, wrapped inside a jumper, she found her two most precious treasures. She set one on the table: it was a photo of her with her parents, her older sister Carly and Steven – Stevie – her younger brother. The three siblings had all squeezed onto an old garden swing behind the cottage, with their parents piled in behind. A friend of Gaby’s had taken the photo on Stevie’s twenty-first birthday not long after he’d taken delivery of his motorbike. He’d always been a daredevil, spending all his spare time climbing, or mountain biking, surfing and trying out extreme sports. He was working as a courier while he saved enough to travel the world, and unlike Gaby had no desire to go to uni or to join the rat race like Carly. He lived for the moment …
Since his death, every photo with the bike in had been deleted or destroyed, but the memory of his special birthday would be treasured forever. Besides, everyone had been smiling in the photo, no one had their eyes closed or ‘looked fat’, so it had been deemed a suitable memento of the occasion, printed off multiple times and framed before being given as gifts to numerous members of the Carter clan.
Shortly after that photo took place, Stevie had taken a corner too fast, been thrown off the bike and struck an oak tree at the entrance to the village. He’d survived, technically, but the brain damage had been so extensive that he hadn’t been able to breathe on his own. Even worse, all the tests had shown no brain activity at all and they had been told there was no prospect of recovery. A month after the accident, the Carters had made the most heartbreaking decision any family could ever face and in March, Stevie was taken off life support.
Gaby stared at the photo. That dreadful moment had been almost half a year ago now. How could that be? How fast time flew, even though recently, some days had felt as if she was walking uphill in the darkness against a wind so strong and merciless she thought she might be blown off her feet and never get up again.
The late afternoon sun streamed through her window. Gaby pushed it open and let the cool breeze air the room. Could she smell the sea on it? Possibly not but she could imagine it. She’d made it here and Stevie would be proud of her. He’d be cheering now, just as he would have at her PhD graduation in June
If you enjoyed this extract why not pop over to some of the other blogs taking part in the tour and have a read of the extracts they have to share. I know I will be and I have my copy of the book on pre-order too.