Sunday, January 10, 2021

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Beneath Cornish Skies by Kate Ryder - Book Blitz


Beneath Cornish Skies

To an outsider, Cassandra Shaw's life looks perfect. She lives in a beautiful, luxurious house in the English countryside, with a handsome, wealthy boyfriend who insists she needn't do a day’s work in her life. But Cassie knows that something is not right. Her boyfriend has grown colder, treating her more like a housekeeper than a future wife. And her time feels empty and purposeless.

 

Cassandra has always been riddled with insecurities and self-doubt, but, just for once, she decides to take a chance on a new beginning. She answers an advert for a live-in nanny, dog walker, cook and all-round 'Superhuman' for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. The work is hard and tiring, but Cassie has never felt so fulfilled.

 

As Cassie learns to connect with the natural beauty unfolding around her, Cornwall starts to offer up its secrets. Soon, Cassie starts wondering if she was drawn to this isolated part of the coast for a reason. Why was she guided to Foxcombe Manor? What are the flashes of light she sees in the valley? Is it her imagination or does someone brush past her? And who is the mysterious man living deep in the woods?

 

A beautiful romance with a hint of ghostliness, Beneath Cornish Skies is for anyone who has ever longed to start their lives again.

 Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/364FTKy

 Excerpt
Cassandra Shaw has taken a job as live-in 'Superhuman' for a family living in a rambling manor house on the rugged North Cornish coast. She has just learnt the house is reputedly haunted. On a day off, she attends a talk given by a best-selling local author whom she’s met before when his dog jumped out of woodland, making her employers’ son’s pony bolt. The audience is invited to ask questions.

 I take a deep breath. ‘I wondered if you knew of any goings-on at Foxcombe Manor?’

He doesn’t answer immediately and I scrutinise his face. It’s unfathomable.

‘Where’s that?’ asks a man in a plummy voice on the far side of the room.

‘In the parish of Morwenstow. That manor, too, is of Saxon origin and I believe there have been a few sightings.’

Although Hunter Harcourt answers the question, his intelligent gaze never leaves my face and I have the distinct impression he’s gauging me. His previous answers were so full and complete that I’m surprised by his reticence to offer any further information. Suddenly I feel awkward and obvious.

I’m about to sit down when my mouth takes over. ‘Just how many ghosts are there?’

Again, I’m aware of his assessment. ‘I believe there are three, possibly four.’

A gasp comes from the audience but he swiftly closes the session. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve covered a lot tonight and I don’t know about you, but I’m parched! Allow me to grab a glass of something and then I’ll happily chat with you and sign books.’

Clicking the remote, he switches off the projector and makes his way to the rear of the room.

Uncertainly, I sit down. Why didn’t he elaborate? What is there to hide? Ginny hasn’t given me much. In fact, I’ve learnt more from the children.

As the rows of seats empty and people flock to the tables piled high with Hunter Harcourt’s publications, I glance at my watch. The evening has flown by and I’m relieved to find it isn’t too pathetically early to return to Foxcombe. Picking up my jacket and the bag of stationery, I follow the throng of people to the rear of the bistro and decide to treat myself to one of the author’s books. His talk tonight has made me feel less empty and it will be good to have his written words to dip into.

As Hunter Harcourt chats to people and signs copies of his various books, I observe him. It’s obvious he spends a great deal of time outdoors; his tanned skin and dark blond hair laced with sun-kissed streaks testament to the fact. The black-framed glasses suit his pleasant open face, suggesting educated authority. Randomly, I wonder what he’s done with the Great Dane tonight. Suddenly, I find myself face-to-face with the man and a brief, uncomfortable pause ensues before he smiles.

‘So… you decided to give the stupid oaf another chance?’

Amusement flickers in his hazel eyes, and heat rises in my cheeks. I’m flattered he should recognise me – after all, I was wearing a riding hat on our previous encounter – but I feel as awkward as hell.

‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I was concerned about Zac.’

Casting my eyes down in embarrassment, I notice his tanned hands – square, the veins standing proud, with practical fingers and beautifully shaped nails.

‘Yes, but he appeared to be enjoying the speed at which he was travelling when I last saw him. I trust he is all right?’

Despite my nervousness, I laugh. ‘Thankfully, he’s fine. And you’re right, he thought it was cool. Zac says Dylan has never gone that fast before.’

Hunter Harcourt gives a small laugh. ‘So, you have an interest in Foxcombe Manor?’

‘I do. I’m staying there.’

‘I see.’ He hesitates, his eyes searching my face ‘And the reason for your question? Have you experienced anything unusual?’

I shake my head, and then recall the odd sensation of silk trailing across my body.

‘Not really. I haven’t witnessed any apparitions, but the children have.’

‘Your children?’

‘No. The Kinsmans.’

He smiles at me – even, white teeth and kind, sincere hazel eyes – and my stomach does something odd.

‘It’s often youngsters who pick up on these things. They are yet to be tainted by life.’

I glance at him curiously. I can’t imagine Hunter Harcourt knowing anything about being tainted by life.

A long, awkward pause, and another amused look.

‘Would you like one of my books?’

‘Oh yes!’ Suddenly I remember why I’m standing in front of him. ‘A copy of Cornwall’s Old Ways please.’

Sliding off a copy from the top of a rapidly diminishing pile, he picks up a pen and opens the front cover. ‘Would you like it dedicated to anyone in particular?’

I shake my head.

He writes something on the title page and I glance around. Clusters of people are desperate to chat with him but he seems in no hurry to end our conversation.

‘Are you staying at Foxcombe Manor for long?’ he asks casually, as he closes the cover and hands the book to me.

‘I’m not sure. It all depends.’

‘Well, maybe we’ll see each other again.’ His eyes twinkle. ‘And I promise in future my dog and I will do our utmost not to upset the horses.’

I laugh and turn away.

‘And rest assured,’ he adds hurriedly, ‘Foxcombe’s ghosts are benign.’

So he does know more! Immediately I turn back, but several people have surged forward and now demand his attention.

Walking out into the still night air, I pause outside the bistro and gaze across the canal. Floodlights now bathe the hotel’s fa├žade, and sounds of a fun evening drift over from the neighbouring pub. I look up at the ink-black sky, so unpolluted in this part of the country and awash with stars, and then I glance back inside the bistro. Hunter Harcourt, observing me through the window, grants a warm smile before turning to his next customer. Despite the cool night air, I break out into a hot flush. Curious to know what he’s written in the book, I open the front cover.

To the enigmatic young woman who doesn’t mince her words!

Until we meet again…

Hunter H.

Author Bio –

Kate Ryder is an award-winning, Amazon Kindle international best seller who writes timeslip and romantic suspense in a true-to-life narrative. On leaving school she studied drama but soon discovered her preference for writing plays rather than performing them! Since then, she has worked in the publishing, tour operating and property industries, and has travelled widely.

Kate is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors.  In 2017, she signed a 4-book contract with Aria (digital imprint of award-winning independent publisher, Head of Zeus).

Summer in a Cornish Cove, a contemporary romantic suspense set on the Lizard Peninsula, gained her a nomination for the RNA's 2018 Joan Hessayon award, while its standalone sequel, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff, reached the heady heights of #2 in Kindle Literary Sagas.

'Secrets of the Mist', a mysterious timeslip romance, not only achieved #1 Kindle best seller flags in the UK, Canada and Australia, but also reached #49 in Amazon UK Paid Kindle. In the original, self-published version (The Forgotten Promise) it was awarded the first Chill with a Book "Book of the Month".

Originally hailing from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a collection of animals.

 

Social Media Links –

Author website: http://www.kateryder.me
Instagram: @kateryder_author

 

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