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Blog Tour Stop with Extract - The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson!





What They Say:

When Holly breaks up with her boyfriend Dean, she’s at a loss as to what to do next. But things go from bad to worse when her beloved grandmother Ivy dies – and Holly is left in charge of sorting out Ivy’s house and garden. As she sorts through her grandmother’s belongings and makes her way through the wilderness outside, Holly soon finds that there is more to Ivy than meets the eye, and uncovers a surprising family secret that changes everything…

This is a heart-warming and hilarious story from Catherine Ferguson about starting over, learning to garden and most of all learning to love.

Read an Exclusive Extract of The Secret of Ivy Garden

We stood on the dusty railway platform, Ivy and I, saying our goodbyes.
The August sun burned down, making my hangover worse. (It turned out that Ivy’s home-made rhubarb and ginger wine was rather more potent than even she had realised.) I thought longingly of the cool interior of the train, imagining myself sinking into a seat and closing my eyes to ease the ache that was pulsing at my temples. My journey from the Cotswolds up to Manchester involved several changes with a long wait between connections, but it had to be done. I was due back at work in the café next day. Not to mention the fact that I was keen, as usual, to escape the countryside and get back to my home in the city, even though I hated leaving Ivy.
‘Will you get a taxi at the other end?’ Ivy looked worriedly at my weekend bag, which was stuffed so full, the zip was in danger of bursting. ‘That looks really heavy.’
I nudged her affectionately, hoisting the bag further up my shoulder. ‘I’ll survive. Don’t worry. I’m a big girl now.’
She smiled, forget-me-not blue eyes crinkling at the corners, her face tanned golden brown and etched with lines from a summer spent in the garden. ‘You might have just turned the ripe old age of thirty, but I’m always going to worry. Show me a grandma who doesn’t.’
‘Especially one who’s a mum and dad to me as well.’ I pulled her into a hug, which was a little awkward because of the bag.
‘I’ll phone you when I get back to Manchester,’ I added when she didn’t reply.
Pulling back, I realised she hadn’t even heard me. She was staring directly over my shoulder at the opposite platform, and I turned, wondering what had caught her attention. Around a dozen people with bags and suitcases – some in little groups – were standing waiting for their train to arrive.
‘What is it?’ I asked, not recognising anyone.
The intensity in her eyes took me by surprise. ‘There’s some­thing I need to tell you, Holly,’ she murmured.
I felt a twinge of apprehension but disguised it with a laugh. ‘That your rhubarb and ginger wine is at least thirty per cent proof? It’s all right. I already know that, to my cost!’
She gripped my forearms. ‘Can you take a later train?’
I shook my head. ‘This is the last one of the day.’
‘So go back tomorrow.’
The Manchester train appeared round the bend. We watched as it glided to a halt and passengers began alighting on to the platform. Panic fluttered in my chest. Ivy and I didn’t have secrets. We knew everything there was to know about each other.
What was it she needed to tell me?
My heart fought with my head. ‘I’d love to stay another night, but I’m back at the café tomorrow morning, remember? And Patty’s already short-staffed as it is, with people off on holiday.’
Ivy nodded, seeming to recollect herself. ‘Of course. I’m being silly.’ She forced a smile and let go of my arms. ‘You have to get back.’
People were climbing aboard the train now, and the guard was walking along the platform, getting ready to blow his whistle.
I took her hand and squeezed it gently. ‘I’ll phone later and we can talk then?’
She kissed me on the cheek and shooed me into the carriage. ‘Quick, quick, or it’ll leave without you.’
I found a seat and sat on the edge of it, still gripping my bag, full of uncertainty. Ivy had held my arms so tightly when she asked me to stay. Perhaps I should slip off the train and phone in sick tomorrow?
But when I looked out on to the platform, she was smiling and waving, back to her normal self, and I thought maybe I’d imagined the flash of despair in her eyes when she begged me to change my plans. Ivy was forever saying the times we saw each other went by far too quickly. Perhaps she simply wanted to prolong our precious weekend together
At the exact same moment, we both realised she was waving with a paper bag full of chocolate orange cupcakes that were meant for me. A speciality of the village bakery in Appleton, where Ivy now lived, they were our all-time favourite cakes and Ivy brought some for me whenever she came to visit me in Manchester. So then, of course, I had to rush to the door and grab the bag before the guard blew his whistle and all the doors closed.
As the train drew out of the station, we were both laughing – me flopped back in my seat, breathless and giggling, and Ivy on the platform covering her face with her hands in mock horror.
She blew me a kiss as the train drew out of the station.
I never saw her again.
I haven't read the book yet but I am very much looking forward to it as I loved Four Weddings and a Fiasco!
Thanks to Helena Sheffield at Harper Collins for allowing me to share this extract with you!


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