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Blog tour Stop with Extract - The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin

Hello and welcome to another gorgeous blog tour stop!


The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse

Cressida McLaughlin

29th June 2017 | £7.99 | PB

What They Say:

‘Warm and wonderful’ Miranda Dickinson
The prefect summer romance from the number one bestselling author of The Canal Boat Cafe. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Holly Martin.
Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse. Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. 
Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London. As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever? 
Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

About Cressida McLaughlin:

Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David. Cressy’s favourite things include terrifying ghost stories, lava lamps and romantic heroes, though not necessarily at the same time. She doesn’t (yet) have a dog of her own, but feeds her love vicariously through friends’ pets, and was once chased around a field by a soaking wet, very mischievous Border Collie called Wags. When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline.

Today I'm super thrilled to bring you an extract from The Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse by the fabulous Cressida McLaughlin!


 Chapter 1

Even with its cloak of December grey, Campion Bay was beautiful. Robin Brennan tucked her gloved hand through her mother’s arm and slowed her pace. The sand was compact beneath their feet, and Robin wanted to take her boots off and feel it against her bare soles, despite the blistering cold.

 She had been back here for three months; back in her childhood town, with its quaint teashops and Skull Island crazy golf course and the sea stretching out alongside them, never the same, today a dark, gunmetal grey with barely a hint of blue. It was the last day of the year, a time to think about starting afresh and promised resolutions, but Robin felt in some respects like she’d gone backwards.

 ‘It’s encouraging that we’ve got a full house for the New Year,’ she said to her mum. ‘We can celebrate properly tonight.’

 ‘Yes, darling.’ Sylvie Brennan patted her arm. She was trying to inject enthusiasm into her voice, but Robin could tell her mind was elsewhere. ‘No empty rooms for the first time in. . . well, months.’ She gave Robin a quick, unconvincing smile.

 ‘Maybe things will improve now.’ Robin bent to pick up a pebble polished smooth by the sea, the thin sliver of quartz running through it glinting in the weak sun. ‘I know there are going to be fireworks later, but it’s not exactly an extra- vaganza. Most people like to spend New Year’s Eve in big cities or at house parties, not the Dorset seaside, so the fact that people have booked to spend it here means that . . . that they want to come here.’ It was a pathetically obvious state- ment, but Robin was finding positivity as hard to come by as her mum was.

 The Campion Bay Guesthouse, Sylvie and Ian Brennan’s pride and joy since the family had moved to the area when Robin was four, was in trouble. Robin had returned from London because of her own problems, feeling like she had nowhere else to turn, and had discovered that she wasn’t the only one who was suffering. She’d thrown herself into helping out, managing the changeovers, baking fresh bread for the breakfasts, setting up Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. She’d used her experience to try and give the guest- house a boost, and it had taken her mind off her own struggles for a time, but then her parents’ worries about the business – the worries they had obviously been trying to keep from her – had become her own. Now it was New Year’s Eve, they were hosting a party for their guests and for a few friends in the bay, and if her mum and dad were feeling anything like she was, it would be hard to muster up enough celebratory spirit to pop a single champagne cork.

 Sylvie steered her daughter left, angling them towards the water, and the icy December wind met them head on. Robin felt her dark, shoulder-length curls tugging out behind her, her cheeks burning from the cold. She squinted against the assault, wondering why her mum had brought her out for an impromptu walk when the weather was so hostile, and whether she could encourage her back home, or perhaps to the Campion Bay Teashop. It was a few doors down from the guesthouse along Goldcrest Road, the seafront street of houses with an unimpeded view of the English Channel.

 The seafront was colourful despite the December gloom. Most of the three- and four-storey buildings had, over the years, been converted to guesthouses, or businesses on the ground floor and accommodation above. As well as the Campion Bay Guesthouse and the teashop there was an Italian taverna, its fa├žade in sunny greens and yellows, the candyfloss-pink door of Molly’s beauty parlour, and the cornflower trim and net-curtained windows of the Seaview Hotel, run by Coral Harris.

 A couple of the buildings had remained single dwellings, and Robin could just make out the gleam of blue glaze on the clay plaque next to number four’s front door. Tabitha Thomas had lived there, observing everything that had happened on Goldcrest Road with a quiet watchfulness, until her death earlier that year. Robin felt the familiar twinge of regret when she thought of Tabitha, who she’d known so well growing up, but who had become a distant memory after Robin’s move to London.

‘Robin,’ Sylvie said, raising her voice to compete with the whistle of the wind, ‘I wanted to have a chat with you about something.’

 ‘Righto,’ Robin said warily, her shoulders tensing. ‘Fire away.’ Her mother was the more serious of her parents, but this tone was especially solemn, and Robin felt that whatever was coming was the reason Sylvie had brought her out here.

It wasn’t likely to be about the fireworks. She tried to inter- pret the expression on Sylvie’s face but found that it was unreadable, her features scrunched up against the wind. Her mum was a couple of inches shorter than she was, her frame more fragile. She’d always said that Robin was lucky to have been gifted her delicate features and her dad’s long, lithe limbs in equal measure.

 ‘Your dad and I have had a talk,’ she said now. ‘To be honest, we’ve had thousands, on a daily basis, and long before you came back to Campion Bay in September.’

 ‘You are married,’ Robin said. ‘It would be strange if you didn’t.’ She smiled, but the joke remained unanswered. Robin bit her lip, dreading what was coming next.

 ‘We can’t run the guesthouse any more,’ Sylvie said bluntly. ‘Bookings are down too much, with no sign – despite your optimism about tonight – of picking up. Our advanced book- ings for the spring are paltry, and by now we’d usually have a few full weeks in May and June. We’re both getting on and the truth is, darling,’ she turned towards Robin, grasping her hands and looking her square in the face, ‘we’ve made an offer on a house in Montpellier, and it’s been accepted.’


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