Thank you so much to Gina for this chance to share an extract of my new romance book with her lovely readers! Titled The Cornish Key to Happiness, it’s the final book in my series about Maisie Clark, a budding young novelist who took a job as a chambermaid at a charming seaside hotel. The following scene finds Maisie stopping overnight in London on her way to find her boyfriend, the handsome village groundskeeper Sidney Daniels, who left their tiny Cornish village in order to confront the ghosts from his past. (My pleasure!)
I switched on the lamp in my sparse little room, slipped off my shoes, and rummaged for my pajamas underneath Mr. Bubbles and my copy of Davies' A Dark and Glorious House. Perched on the edge of the bed, I set my alarm for tomorrow, then laid down and tried to fall asleep. Which wasn't working at all, given the state of drawn-out anxiety in my heart and my head.
Rolling on my side, I tried again to slip away by telling myself it truly would be all right. Tomorrow would bring answers regarding the only blight on my existence, just as it brought Sidney back into my life, if just for a moment. From there, everything else would fall into place however it was supposed to be.
I know that he loves me. It is not past tense. Even if it never ends the way we hope, even if it changes from what we've known, it was still love. That's why he'll talk to me, and talking will make it all make sense.
On impulse, I opened my eyes and pushed back the covers. I drew open the curtain covering the window, and looked out on the city in the nighttime. By day, it wasn't a great view, but nighttime cloaked it in a midnight-violet cape, with lampposts and windows turned to stars in the distance at this height.
It was a little bit like the stargazer's view on the hotel Penmarrow's beach, if I used my imagination strongly. The view that had mesmerized me the night I shared it with Sidney, before our first 'half kiss.'
Hope stirred within me, struggling its way to the top of my emotional heap I was carrying inside. The promise that had seemed so far away had come closer to me when I sat and talked with him under that celestial canopy — the same promise that was now realizing itself with Arnold's negotiations. But Sidney had stirred more than the sparks of that beach fire in that darkness, and more than just the artistic dreams of a disillusioned young writer.
When I closed the curtain again, I found it easier to curl up beneath the sheets, and drifted off in no time at all.