Today, I am happy to be welcoming Ellen Berry and the blog tour for her new novel, The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane which was released on 7th September 2017.
Growing up in a Yorkshire village, Roxanne Cartwright couldn’t wait to escape and make her place in the world. Now, thirty years later, she’s a fashion editor living a glamorous life of perennial singlehood in London – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne finds her career under threat, she feels herself pulled back to the quiet village she’d been so desperate to leave.
As Roxanne reacquaints herself with life on Rosemary Lane, she slowly makes a surprising discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a single dad trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into an unexpected friendship.
Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent years trying to escape?
I’ve reviewed The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane below but first, to celebrate the release of her new book, Ellen has written an exclusive short story. Enjoy.
Home Alone (Part 2) by Ellen Berry
The rest of the evening was lovely. The wine helped Jo to relax, and by the time they stepped back into the sleek, modern hotel, she had convinced herself that Hannah hadn’t noticed the missed call on her mobile. Maybe it was out of charge, she thought as they took the lift to their room. She’d try again in the morning, before they left. She was sure everything was okay.
Jo woke early with sunlight streaming in through the window. She felt silly now, being so worried last night. She looked fondly at Tom, who was still asleep, and gently kissed his cheek. As she slipped out of bed and pulled on a soft white robe, she wished their own home was neat and understated like this room. With Hannah’s friends constantly dropping by and strewing their coats and shoes about, their house was perpetually messy. What was Hannah doing now, she wondered? Having a lie in? Or getting stuck into that essay? She called home, then Hannah’s mobile – still no reply – and curled up on the bed beside Tom. “Morning, darling,” he murmured. “Have fun last night?”
“It was lovely,” she said.
“Fancy going to gallery or something after breakfast? Or we could go to the castle…”
“I’d rather head back,” she said.
Tom sat up and frowned at her. “We don’t need to you know. There’s loads to see and it seems a shame to waste the opportunity. I told Han we’d be back later afternoon…”
“Oh, I know,” Jo said, “but I’ve got a bit of a headache after all that wine last night. D’you mind if we just head back?”
“You’re joking,” Tom snapped.
“I’m not, Tom. It’s been lovely coming away with you but I really want to get back.”
Shaking his head, Tom climbed out of bed and headed for the bathroom, banging the door behind him. Hearing the shower surge into life, Jo perched on the edge of the bed. She didn’t want to be a killjoy, but she was ready to go home now. She showered as Tom dressed, and they were both subdued over breakfast.
“Want to let Hannah know we’re on our way?” Tom asked as they sped down the A1.
“Oh, let’s surprise her,” Jo said, wonder if she might start decluttering that very day. She thought of their beautiful hotel room and decided that it was time to pare things back at home. She smiled, feeling a surge of motivation. Perhaps the night away had done her good after all.
Tom’s mood lightened too, and by the time they arrived at the village, he was humming along to a jazz song on the radio. As he parked in front of their house, he turned and smiled at his wife. “Sorry I was a bit grumpy this morning,” he said. “I just felt as if you didn’t want to spend time with me.”by