Thursday, 14 March 2019

Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore + #Giveaway + Excerpt

Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore
Self published on the 1st November 2017.

Fox Halt is on a £1.99 promotion until 12th April 2019!

Add Fox Halt Farm to your Goodreads

Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened. Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.
Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?
Fox Halt Farm is hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start.  If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Fiona Valpy, Lucinda Riley, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this novel too!


Billy is eighteen-years-old in 1986, when the novel Fox Halt Farm opens on a cliff edge. She is alone on a remote Greek island far away from her Devon home, betrayed, believing everyone and everything she loves is threatened. 
At this same time, Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy and her beloved Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.  
The consequences of their unexpected meeting play out over two decades with Billy and Richard’s lives rippling in parallel (sometimes touching) in their contrasting worlds.
But should they be together? Should they trust each other? Or will their secrets tear their lives apart.

Here is the opening chapter:

Chapter 1: Paros, Greece - July 1986 - Richard MarcFenn
Janette stares up at the steep climb to our honeymoon hotel. She doesn’t grumble but I’m sure she wishes she wasn’t still wearing her million-dollar heels never intended for this terrain. I’m exhausted too, the journey here was so much longer than we expected, and leaving straight from our wedding was a mistake.
‘Did you see that?’ I look back at her.
‘No. What, Richard?’ she replies, her focus still on the ground.
‘Something, or someone just fell off that cliff.’ I point to a jagged headland a little distance away. ‘I’ve got to see,’ I say, already charging ahead.
On the cliff edge, I scan the unfamiliar shoreline far below, but all I see is sand and sea. I am sure I saw something fall from here.
A haunting laugh? My eyes search again, desperately hunting the source of the ghostly sound. As I make out an indistinct shape on the beach, my pulse quickens. My heart pumps blood too fast around my body, and then I mouth a horrified question to myself. ‘Is it a child?’
Looking up, I see Janette is now standing on the veranda with two others. She stares back at me, swiping away loose strands of hair from her face. Her companions are either side of my petite wife; one is a much taller European woman with a pregnant bump, and the other a young man, probably an islander. I shout at them, but they don’t hear.
When they do understand me, the man nods towards a steep path leading to the beach. ‘I come with you,’ he barks before yelling at Janette. ‘Get someone with boat there.’
 ‘Okay, Kostas,’ the pregnant woman replies quickly. Her tone making me suspect she is upset with him.
Janette comes towards me. ‘Richard, the path looks precarious,’ she says, her doe eyes widening.
‘Stay,’ I tell her. ‘I’ll be back soon, I just need to see if someone needs help down there.’
 ‘Be careful, love.’
 ‘I’ll be fine.’ I kiss her on the cheek. ‘I love you.’

Billy May
As a girl, my earliest memory is snuggling into the warm, scratchy folds of my grandfather’s worn-out jumper while he told me magical tales about the curious creatures that lived on Fox Halt Farm. He knows so much about nature that he wove strands of truth into the wondrous adventures.
I remember how Grandad explained why the villainous goblin known around the world as the Butterfly Catcher, found it hard to capture his victims. He said it was because insects see things differently to humans. It was all about their time perception. Grandad explained how scientists had a theory called ‘Flicker Frequency,’ which said the eyes of tiny creatures can process more flickers of light than humans so they see in slow motion. The butterflies of Fox Halt Farm always escaped the hobgoblin, no matter how carefully he crept up on them.
As usual, the clever man made his explanation fun. He would have been a brilliant teacher or an artist. Grandad explained using a flick book that he made me, one where he drew on each page, a slightly different image of a horse, its rider and a jump. When he let me flick the book, I saw the horse and rider go over the jump. My grandfather said that if he had made a special flick book for a butterfly then it would have required loads more pages with tinier differences to make the movement realistic for the wary insect.
I have developed Grandad’s theory through eighteen years of experiments; unintentional study because it involves falling off ponies mainly, and have concluded that in times of peril, humans see in slow motion too. We don't realise this because we have such cushy lives these days. I believe humans evolved with this same flickering time perception and this is why Homo sapiens survived. For example, if a starving sabre-toothed tiger pounced on one of our cave-dwelling ancestors they would have had time to dodge its greedy grasp, and this survival instinct is still buried deep in us all today.
I think this because when I have fallen off my horse or accidentally crashed off the top of the hay stacked high in the barn, and for example, when I did a parachute jump with Tom last year, everything slowed down. Each second for an onlooker would be a whole minute for me. I have experienced lots of moments of danger and they’ve all been in slow motion. Time to think and time to plan.
Dad says if I nose-dive off my horse I must try to land in a forward roll, so I won’t hurt myself, and when I fall, I usually have plenty of time to curl up in a ball. I have only injured myself badly a couple of times. The occasion I remember most is nearly winning the open show jumping at Okehampton Show, but I came off after the last fence; just before the timing clock, losing the cup to Tom’s older sister. I broke my collarbone that time. Nonetheless, I’m sure, when your life is threatened, time slows. People say your life flashes before you, don’t they?
This will be my last experiment and it is following my reasoning. Time ticks by as I plummet down the cliff, and my brain processes every detail. I see each piece of gravelly rock pass slowly upwards. I pick out tiny flowers surviving in crevices. Now I imagine the rich summer grass at Fox Halt Farm and my favourite cow, Deidre, wrapping her long pink tongue around the succulent stems. I see my hardworking mother encouraging the greedy animal to stop munching because she needs to get her, and the rest of our black and white Friesian herd, into fresh pasture. Mum will have another twenty jobs to do after this. 
I watch a dark shape on the sand below me grow bigger. The shape morphs into a partial rowing boat, some of its timbers buried in the sand. The half-sunken wreck was once vibrant yellow but now most of the original colour has flaked off and its frame is holey. Inside, I make out a messy tangle of nets and ropes. 
I won't prepare for this landing, content with my flat seagull-like approach. I will land face down on the boat and that will be fine.
Thoughts and senses jam. 
Twisting. Tearing.
Pain screams through my body and bile spews from my mouth.
Torturous pain in my ankle, leg and stomach. 
Overwhelming taste of blood. 
An orange glow fills my vision. I’m happy… but now I realise I am seeing through the skirt of my tangerine coloured dress. I laugh, realising how the bright light they say you see when you are dying is a myth after all, because I’m sure I am about to die.
My eyes shut. 
We are naked in the waves, the two of us laughing together in a sea of flickering diamonds.

Meet the author

Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.

Author links: 
Website ~ FacebookTwitter ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

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(Open Internationally until the 20th March)

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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Celia Moore / Romance fiction / Books from England

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