Friday, 29 March 2019

Bedlam & Breakfast at a Devon Seaside Guesthouse by Sharley Scott + Excerpt

Bedlam & Breakfast at a Devon Seaside Guesthouse by Sharley Scott
Self published in December 2018.

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Bedlam & Breakfast at a Devon Seaside Guesthouse
Katie is desperate to leave her stressful job, so she doesn’t think too hard about moving to Devon to run a B&B, even if it means uprooting her family. She is certain that she and Jason have a strong and loving relationship which can weather any storm.

Hooked by the beauty of Torringham with its quaint harbour and stunning coastline, they purchase Flotsam Guesthouse which needs more than a lick of paint to keep it afloat. Soon, Katie finds that renovating and running a guesthouse is taking its toll, especially when dealing with challenging guests and madcap neighbours, Shona and Kim. Katie comes to learn that trouble is afoot whenever Shona begs a favour.

However, when her adored daughter moves back to their old hometown, she wonders if they’ve made a huge mistake, especially when cracks begin to show in her marriage.

Her seaside idyll is crumbling along with her relationship. Should she let Flotsam Guesthouse founder while she salvages her marriage? Katie needs to decide where her priorities lie. The only issue is, she doesn’t know.


Katie and Jason’s first guests include Mr & Mrs Marriner who have stayed at Flotsam Guesthouse for years. They are not happy to find the guesthouse under new ownership, especially when things go wrong from the moment they arrive.  

The next morning, Mr and Mrs Marriner walked into the breakfast room three minutes before the end of service, her thick heels clopping over the laminate flooring. They didn’t even glance at me when giving their tea order or when it was brought out. Lips pursed, they stared at the menu before announcing they would have the same as yesterday. While there was no mention of the three bits of bacon Mr Marriner had requested the previous day, a churning undercurrent told me something was up. 
Stupidly, I asked, “Is there anything you need?”
Mr Marriner turned around, his gaze level with my chest. Flushing, he spun back to the menu.
“We’re not happy,” Mrs Marriner said. 
On the neighbouring table, Mr and Mrs Jones’ cutlery hovered motionless over their plates. I could feel them stretching to hear what was being said.
“I’m sorry about that. Is there something wrong with the tea?”
“Not just the tea. Everything.” Mr Marriner took a deep breath as if readying himself for a lengthy tirade. 
“How about we sort your breakfasts and we can talk in private afterwards.” I shot into the kitchen.
Jason didn’t need to ask me what was wrong. He’d heard. Handing him the order slip, I pressed my finger to my lips and shook my head, warning him not to say anything. The silence rolled in ominous waves from the breakfast room, until we heard the screech of a chair being pushed back. It could have been a guest going to get more juice or simply wanting more leg space, but something told me to check. Both Mr and Mrs Marriner were striding from the room.
“We’re leaving,” Mr Marriner said. “This is the worst stay we have ever had and we won’t be paying for it either.”

Meet the author

While 'Bedlam & Breakfast at a Devon Seaside Guesthouse' is fictional, I am a guesthouse owner. Thankfully, we have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the characters featured in this novel and the subsequent books in the series. I would be a lot greyer if they were.

Likewise, Jason is quite different to my husband, who I sometimes nickname Victor Meldrew. He is lovely though and has a fab sense of humour, although some of his dryness has rubbed off on Jason.

Bedlam & Breakfast is set in South Devon, in the fictional town of Torringham, which is loosely based on Brixham. If you've been to Brixham you may recognise some of the local features, including the seals, fishing industry and the fantastic lifeboat crew, but the businesses, people and a number of settings are fictionalised.

The same applies to the B&B owners featured. Many guesthouse owners undertake work when they move into a property and our current B&B was not an exception. While, thankfully, our previous owners were nothing like Jim and Maureen, this also means we don’t get to live next door to the fabulous Shona and Kim. But we do have many lovely B&B friends. B&Bers are a wonderful and hardworking bunch, although the ones we know have a penchant for parties in the low season. That's why I had to end Bedlam & Breakfast at a party.

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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Sharley Scott / Women's fiction / Books from England

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