Saturday, 27 June 2020

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger
Published in the UK by HQ Digital on the 24th June 2020.

Grab your strawberries and cream and get ready to return to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!

Summer is in full swing and the locals are getting excited for the launch of the Swallowtail Bay strawberry food festival. But will all run smoothly when festival organiser Hetty’s heart is torn between lord of the manor John Thornhill and successful bakery owner Ben?


Context: This excerpt is from Chapter Four. Even though Hetty has tried her hardest, she just can’t get stuffy lord of the manor, John Thornhill to agree to her hosting the food festival at Thornhill Hall! Luckily, Hetty is nothing if not determined!

‘There isn’t anywhere else,’ Hetty exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air as her patience ran out. ‘And I can’t get people on board if I can’t tell them where they’re going to be. Urgh, I’m actually getting cross now at how stubborn John-bloody-Thornhill was in saying no. It’s the perfect spot. He’s being such an idiot. I mean, what will it take to convince that man? Do I need to show him projected profit? Detailed health and safety plans? My colour-coded spreadsheets? I don’t understand how someone who runs a successful antiques business doesn’t have enough business sense to see this is an excellent idea. And he didn’t shake my hand. Did I tell you that?’
Down the other end of the phone, Macie giggled. ‘Yes, you did. Twice. He’s really got under your skin, hasn’t he?’
Hetty’s free hand rested on her hip as she paced around her living room. ‘I just don’t understand how he hasn’t leapt at this chance. This is the most brilliant idea ever to walk up to his enormous, crumbly old house and fall into his lap.’
‘Wait, did you fall into his lap? You didn’t mention that before.’
‘You know what I mean,’ Hetty said, refusing to think about what that might be like. She flopped onto the sofa, then curled a leg underneath her. 
With all the windows open, birdsong filled the late afternoon air and mixed with the constant hum of the sea. A wonderful breeze rustled the leaves of nearby trees, cooling the warm day. Her home had originally been part of a pair of fisherman’s cottages, complete with flowering window baskets giving huge pops of colour against the bright white canvas of the walls. Across the road from her, the beach was so full she couldn’t see anything except for a mass of heads and sunhats.
Though Hetty had originally called Macie to ensure everything was in place for the retirement party they were running that night, she hadn’t been able to stop herself talking about the food festival and John’s refusal to support it. After much research she hadn’t come up with anywhere else that was suitable and had even made a tentative call to a contact in the council who’d confirmed everything she’d expected about the chances of getting the road closures to hold it in town. He’d actually laughed at her before giving a kinder answer of slim to none. The whole situation was frustrating and Hetty could feel it knotting her shoulders.
‘So, what’s the plan?’ asked Macie. ‘Oh, hang on a second.’ In the background Hetty heard Macie telling someone where a balloon display was supposed to go. ‘I’m back,’ she said, cheerfully. ‘I take it we’re not giving up.’
‘Of course we’re not,’ Hetty replied. ‘I’ll keep researching and find somewhere else. There must a local farmer who’ll let us have a field. I’m not letting this opportunity go, even if it means I work day and night between now and the bank holiday to get it done.’
‘This is why I love you,’ said Macie, sweetly. ‘You’re my hero.’
‘Are you just saying that because they’ve got those mini spring rolls at this buffet tonight and you want me to turn a blind eye to you eating them all?’
‘Something like that.’

Meet the author 

KATIE GINGER lives in the South East of England, by the sea, and she really wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay is her fifth novel. The first, Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay is available now. Her debut novel The Little Theatre on the Seafront was shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and her stand- alone Christmas novel Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage was a US Amazon bestseller.

When she's not writing, Katie spends her time drinking gin, or with her husband, trying to keep alive their two children, Ellie and Sam. And there's also their adorable King Charles Spaniel, Wotsit (yes, he is named after the crisps!).

Author links: 
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