Blog Tour - Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne
I'm delighted to be the first stop on the blog tour for Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne. I'll be sharing my review in September and posting a Bookstagram image of the book soon so watch this space!
Today I have an exclusive extract for you that really intrigues me and leaves me wanting more, so why not grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy...
Escape to Willow Cottage was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package.
Publication Date: 10 August 2017
"Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.
When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.
Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…"
Chapter 1 p.6-8
The clanging bell sounded their entry to the small dark store, which was crammed full of stock. Beth thought she saw movement at the back so she led Leo in that direction down the narrow aisles. A cheery round-faced woman beamed into view. ‘Hello there, what can I get you? We’ve got lots of offers on.’
‘Thanks but I’m hoping you can help me.’ The woman’s face looked decidedly less cheery. ‘I’m looking for Willow Cottage.’
The woman’s eyebrows shot up and she tilted her head like an alert spaniel, her wavy brown hair adding to the comparison. ‘Willow Cottage?’
Beth nodded. She was starting to get that uncomfortable feeling again.
‘Willow Cottage,’ repeated the woman. ‘Oh, you mean Wilf ’s place?’
Leo looked at his mother and she looked at the woman behind the counter. ‘I don’t know who lived there before but it’s ours now.’
The woman’s eyebrows went a fraction higher and something akin to sympathy passed across her face. ‘Down the side of the pub next door.’
‘Right. Thanks.’ Beth was pleased that they were definitely in the right place but how they had missed the cottage she wasn’t sure. She didn’t remember seeing anything next to the pub other than a driveway to what she’d assumed was the pub car park.
‘Sure I can’t interest you in …’ the woman searched the shelves frantically with her eyes. ‘Some discounted noodles? They’re only recently out of date.’
‘No, we’re fine, thanks. But I’m sure we’ll become regulars in here very soon.’
‘Lovely,’ said the woman instantly cheering up. ‘Oh and good luck.’ There was that sympathetic spaniel look again. Beth and Leo left the shop to the clang of the bell and walked purposefully past the pub next door. Leo stared open-mouthed at the pub sign – a frightening looking chained bear that was bleeding from a number of wounds. At the other side of the pub was the gravel track. Looking up the driveway she could see a rickety picket fence behind which was a sea of tall straw-like grass and a willow tree.
‘We’ve found it,’ said Beth, almost dragging Leo up the track. The closer they got the more of the willow they could see. But that was all they could see. It was a willow tree of mammoth proportions. Beth and Leo stood in front of it and gazed at the mass of gently swaying greenery as the summer breeze lightly fanned it.
‘Wow, that’s the biggest tree I’ve ever seen!’ said Leo, his eyes darting over it as if taking in every pale green leaf. It was impressive but Beth was rather keen to see the cottage. She opened the gate that was held on by string and the rest of the rotting structure fell into the grass.
They stared at the remains. ‘Oh well, never mind,’ said Beth, her hopes still high as she and Leo stepped over the broken gate and skirted around the willow tree. And there was Willow Cottage, their new home. They both stood and gaped at the sight before them. Beth swallowed hard; this wasn’t exactly what she had been expecting.
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