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A Cornish Daisy's Kiss by Laura Briggs - Book Blitz

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A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss

Weeks after boarding a train to Paris in pursuit of her writing dreams, aspiring novelist Maisie Clark is right back where she started: on the idyllic shores of Port Hewer in Cornwall, luggage in hand and heart filled with anticipation for what lies ahead. Except that nothing seems the same as Maisie left it, from her place among the staff at the hotel Penmarrow to her budding romance with groundskeeper Sidney Daniels, who isn’t quite ready to overlook the painful consequences of her sudden departure. 

Losing Sidney would be unbearable, but Maisie can’t help fearing it might be true if the rift between them proves too deep to heal. She knows her feelings for him are unchanged, but whether he feels the same remains to be seen—particularly since she stopped him from expressing them in the first place. And to make matters worse, her position at the Penmarrow has been filled by another, there’s nowhere for her to live in the village, and her savings are finally dwindling to a pathetic number – with her book still unpublished after her startling discovery about the author helping guide her towards success. 

But one thing which hasn’t changed is the drama and excitement at the hotel Penmarrow, where the staff is awaiting inspection from the dreaded owner Ms. Claypool. Stirring up trouble in the meantime is the owner’s special guest ‘Mad Ludwig’, an eccentric architect whose demands are definitely driving everyone on the staff a little crazy. And then there’s the hotel’s mysterious new desk manager, whose behavior ignites Maisie’s suspicions and causes her to become entangled in yet another form of intrigue—one that could unwittingly jeopardize the future of the Penmarrow and everyone who works there, unless Maisie can find a way to undo the harm.

With everything that matters to her most at stake this time, Maisie faces her biggest challenges yet...and her deepest question of the heart as she confronts the reason she returned to Cornwall and the Penmarrow in the first place.

Thanks so much to Jasmine for letting me share this extract of the latest romance installment in my series known as ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’. Picking up where the previous story left off, Maisie finds herself back in idyllic Port Hewer after briefly following another path in pursuit of her writing dreams. Her position on the staff of the hotel Penmarrow has already been filled, though, and Maisie is temporarily staying there as a guest instead—when what she really wants is to have her old job back. But in the scene below, she’s realizing just how many things have changed there in her short absence, and how hard it would be for her to get back what she lost.

The imposing figure of the hotel manager was in the parlor doorway, holding a thick black notebook I had seen the architect hunkered over at one of the terrace tables at lunchtime.
I wished he wouldn't notice me, but he did. I could be mistaken, but I thought a glimmer of surprise rippled his facial expression, but it was hard to say. One eyebrow did lift slightly, that much I was sure of.
"Miss Kinnan," he said. "You've returned to our midst."
I smiled, although the feelings washing over me were similar to humiliation. "I couldn't stay away," I answered, brightly.
"I trust your journey was fruitful?" he asked, mildly.
"Yes," I answered. Meekly. "Very much so."
"And you've chosen to pay us a visit?"
"Sort of." My tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth. Having uttered that heartfelt speech about how much he had helped me by letting me stay in the first place, and how I needed now to pursue my dreams elsewhere — to say I was staying was a case of 'words impossible.'
"I'm glad to hear it." He offered me a polite smile. "Enjoy your stay."
"Thank you," I answered. Still meekly.
"Miss O' Brien, when you have a moment to spare, we should discuss the housekeeping schedule for the week Ms. Claypool will be present," he said to Brigette. "My conference call ends at two, but any time beforehand will be satisfactory."
"Of course," she said. "I'll be there directly."
Realizing I was practically eavesdropping, I turned my attention back to my computer, wistfully thinking back to my first assignment here, when Mr. Trelawney snagged my help for the Randhouser Ball. I almost sighed again, but stopped myself in time.
Maybe Mr. Trelawney was happy with my replacement, especially if he didn't know she was a kleptomaniac. But only today I had heard Katy complaining in a whisper that the new maid Tamara was an 'artful dodger' when it came to covering her tracks. And poor Molly's misery made me feel terrible that Brigette didn't know the truth. Word would be slow in reaching Mr. Trelawney at this rate.
Outside, Ludwig was gesturing towards one of the massive statues posed on the terrace's edge. I saw Riley shake his head vigorously in refusal, and thought this once that Brigette would agree with him.
I turned back to my half-finished letter, deliberately turning my body away from the tempting window view of the gardens, towards the extra-quiet foyer, where only Frank the new desk clerk was present, sneaking a peek at his mobile phone while everyone else was absent.
The desk clerk glanced around, as if looking for something or someone, his eyes sweeping past the sofa without noticing me there. One hand toggled the computer's mouse, brought up a program that looked to me like the guest registry. He angled his body towards it with concentration, briefly, then turned away and pocketed his phone.
Strange. If I didn't think it was ridiculous, I might have said the desk clerk didn't want anybody to notice what he was doing just then. Maybe I was developing a suspicion of everybody in my longing to have my job back, making me every bit as bad as Ludwig's jealous rival.
I searched for job listings in the Port Hewer area on my internet browser, and nothing came up. I hadn't seen any 'help wanted' signs in the local shops, either. I let my disappointment dig itself a little deeper. You better figure something out soon, Maisie, I told myself.

Author Bio –
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller 'A Wedding in Cornwall'. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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