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A Train from Penzance to Paris by Laura Briggs - Book Blitz

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A Train From Penzance to Paris

When Maisie accepts a celebrated author’s invitation to mentor her, she finds herself leaving Cornwall behind on train tracks bound for the glitter city of Paris. Instead of making beds and serving coffee at the Penmarrow hotel in Cornwall, she’s making notes on her manuscript while sitting in a French cafe, meeting famous writers at private dinner parties, and trying to ferret the secrets behind the author’s unfinished future novel. It’s glamorous, it’s breathtaking … but it’s also an ocean channel away from the place that she loves, and, more importantly, the person to whom she just recently confessed her deepest feelings. Separated from Sidney by distance and circumstances, Maisie fears that their connection will be lost despite her words to him – and maybe because of those words, and the ones she didn’t allow him to say in return.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of things in her new life trying to distract her – the professional editor hired to critique her novel, the eager young literary agent who sees pie-in-the-sky potential for Maisie’s talent, but Maisie finds solace in the eclectic group of amateur writers into whose midst she finds herself by accident. Their critique and advice is fast becoming as important as the editors – maybe even more important than the published author Maisie believed held the keys to refining her skill.

But it’s missing Sidney that fills Maisie’s thoughts the most, along with her life back in Port Hewer, and she can’t stop wondering whether his feelings are the same as her own. His unspoken answer has become one of the most important pieces of her life, even as she struggles to match the pace of her new life and keep her dreams in sight. And when she unwittingly becomes privy to a seeming literary conspiracy, she must decide what to do in light of its truth – and decide what’s most important in her quest to become a professional writer.

Join Maisie in a whirlwind tour across two of the world’s greatest cities, filled with questions, dreams, and a chance for fame that she believed far beyond her grasp, as she discovers herself as a writer, and how to embrace an unexpected future on her own terms.

Purchase Links
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A huge thank you to Jasmine for letting me share an extract of my latest novella with her readers! It is the fifth book in my series about amateur writer Maisie Clark, who works as a chambermaid at an idyllic hotel by the Cornish sea. In this latest installment, though, Maisie is on a whirlwind tour of Paris and London with a famous author who has agreed to become her writing mentor. The scene below finds Maisie longing to hear from Sidney Daniels, the handsome village groundskeeper who stole her heart back in the Cornish village of Port Hewer.

Sidney had no phone, nothing but a post office address for mail. Missing him like crazy made me desperate enough to dial Dean's number, after holding the phone in my hand and debating whether it was a good idea or a bad one. Sidney's friend was temperamental at the best of times, and he and I were hardly close. Would he like receiving a random phone call from me, or would he simply be annoyed? I could always say I called to share what little gossip I had gathered on book number four. He had read Alistair Davies' novels, all three of them as I surmised by his bookshelf. That seemed like a good excuse.
"Hello?" It was Dean's voice on the line and not one of his nurses. He must have answered it using the speakerphone activation designed for his disability. The sound of his voice felt like a little piece of home, though I was no more a native of Port Hewer than he was. It was just the way its familiarity made my heart feel.
"Dean? It's Maisie," I said. "I'm calling you from Paris to say hello."
A pause. I wondered if Dean was thinking how odd it was for me to call him. "I'm flattered," he said at last, though dryly.
"You remember me — the girl with the daisy in her hair, whom Sidney was always dragging over to your cottage?" I asked, jokingly. "I know I'm not the most fascinating person on the planet, but I thought I made a better impression on you than that."
"Of course. That very annoying girl who watched childish Christmas specials on telly," he answered. This was Dean's usual manner of joking, with just a bit of meanness in it. "I presume you planned to do more than remind me you existed?"
"Maybe I just called to be annoying." I waited to see how this joke fared with him.
"I see. And I made the mistake of thinking you called to tell me about life in Paris. Otherwise it seemed hardly to be worth the trouble of dialing my number internationally." I heard the soft whir of his motorized wheelchair.
I told him about Alistair's slow simmer for book four's creation, and about the paintings I had seen in the Musee d'Orsay, the beautiful stained glass at the Brasserie Printemps. Things and places I knew that as an artist he must have seen, too. Maybe he would enjoy explaining their history to someone as ignorant of it as I was.
All the time, I gathered my courage and waited for the right moment to bring up a question that was on the tip of my tongue the whole time.
"Are you alone, or is Sidney there with you?" I asked. I had deliberately chosen an hour when I knew Callum would be out shopping, increasing the chances that Sidney would stop by. "If so, I'd like to say hello to him."
Silence on the other end. I held my breath. I could hear the murmur of a voice talking in the background, which proved Dean was not alone. I couldn't be sure, but I thought it was Sidney's I heard, though my mind could be playing tricks on me. Wanting to hear something that wasn't there.
I heard Dean's breathing, his voice close to the phone again. "I'm afraid you've missed him, Maisie," said Dean. "When I see him, I'll tell him you send your regards, if you like."
I could tell he was feigning his nonchalance — in short, that he was lying. "Of course." I tried not to sound disappointed, though I was. "Tell him I miss him."
"I will." There was nothing more left for either of us to say after that.

Author Bio –
Laura Briggs is the bestselling author of multiple lighthearted romance books, including the Amazon UK Top 100’s LATE TO THE WEDDING and the popular A WEDDING IN CORNWALL series.
Since her debut with Pelican Book Group’s inspirational novella ONLY IN NOVELS, she has worked both with publishers and as an independent author, as well as partnering with others writers, including working under a pen name in other genres.
She loves vintage fashion, classic movies, British melodrama, and spending time with her pets.
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