Blog Blitz Extract: A Hotel in Cornwall by Laura Briggs

I am very happy to be welcoming Laura Briggs to Novel Kicks today. She’s here to celebrate her anthology series, A Little Hotel in Cornwall. 

Here’s the information for the series, A Hotel in Cornwall.

All eight novellas in the UK bestselling series A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL are now available in one collection!

Follow aspiring young author Maisie Clark as she stumbles into a role as a maid in the idyllic hotel by the sea, where there’s never a dull moment, from her quest to track down a reclusive English novelist, to her brush with jewel thieves and a whirlwind trip through Paris and London to name a few.

All the while, she finds herself falling for the handsome and enigmatic groundskeeper Sidney Daniels. Could the key to unlocking her dreams be right in front of her?

This collection contains A Little Hotel in Cornwall, A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores, Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise, A Train from Penzance to Paris, A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss, A Stargazy NightSky, and The Cornish Key to Happiness.

 

We have an extract to share with you today so, without further ado, over to you, Laura. 

 

*****

Thanks so much to Laura at Novel Kicks for letting me share with her readers about the books in my series anthology A Little Hotel in Cornwall (Books 1-8).

Set at a quirky seaside hotel with an ‘anything can happen’ atmosphere, the series follows the adventures of amateur novelist Maisie Clark, who stumbles into secrets, surprises, and romance while working as a chambermaid at the hotel.

The following extract is from the second book in the series, A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores.

It finds the hotel hosting an earl’s elaborate (and eccentric) birthday celebration at All Hallows’ Eve, with a guest list that might be at home in an Agatha Christie mystery—including the supposed psychic whose spooky predictions have the other guests on edge.

 

*****beginning of extract*****

 

“I’m looking forward to seeing your power in practice, Miss Norridge,” said the sculptor Ofong to the psychic. “When did you discover you had the gift?”

“I’ve always known,” she answered. “It was just … with me.” She smiled.

She was seated closest to the earl, except for his assistant, who was helping cut the lamb chops into bite-size pieces. Next to her, the worried daughter, who was fussing about the food and the room’s drafts.

“You knew since childhood, I read somewhere,” said Kate the ghost hunter. “Did anyone besides you recognize it? Family, teacher, school counselor?”

“My mother,” said Natalie. “In truth, the gift belongs to my family. My mother shared it, and so did my grandmother. You could say that I come from a long line of spirit whisperers.”

“Or con artists,” muttered Bill. There was no discreet way to cut him off from the dinnertime wine, and he was definitely suffering its effects.

“It’s rather fascinating. The paranormal, I mean,” said the playwright Sir Nigel. “When I was young, and first working in the theater, I was an actor. My first role was in a production of Hamlet, you know. Shakespeare’s ultimate ghost story.” A smattering of laughter followed his little joke.

“I’m sure you were positively brilliant,” said Kay, with an ingratiating smile. “Father reminisces often about seeing you in your prime. The great legend of the theater in his humble beginnings. I’m a devotee of the theater myself, so I quite understand the magnitude of that first great role.”

“If I were to confess the truth, I am rather hoping that my last play will be about ghosts,” said Sir Nigel. “It seems rather fitting to me. Perhaps I’ll write about a haunted house, with a séance thrown in for good measure.”

“A haunted hotel, Sir Nigel,” corrected Minerva. “And a psychic in the fashion of Miss Norridge, of course.” A few more laughs rippled through the dining room.

“Perhaps,” said Sir Nigel. “One can never tell. I believe that our friend Frederick may have stumbled upon a brilliant idea regarding one’s last great party in life. Perhaps I’ll use that in the play — with his permission.”

“Do you believe in spirits, Sir Nigel?” asked Natalie. The psychic had been generally quiet this evening, though she didn’t seem shy. Molly had whispered to me before dinner that the medium entered her famous ‘quiet mode’ just before channeling the other side. Maybe a quiet meal was the first stage.

For a moment, the playwright’s lighthearted expression dimmed. “That is the great question with which we all struggle,” he said. “For my part, I’ve seen enough strange things in the world to believe such things are possible. Odd experiences happen to one in the theater, you see.”

“As much as I’ve hoped for it, I’ve never had a truly paranormal experience documented with confidence,” said Kate the ghost hunter. “I traveled last month to a haunted castle in northern Scotland trying to collect hard evidence to confirm the existence of one outside of the human mind or the senses, but no joy.”

“Tonight could be your fortunate evening, then,” pointed out the sculptor. “Miss Norridge, how does your gift work? I apologize, for I have never seen your appearances on the television, or heard you interviewed on the radio. It is nothing like the shaman I observed when I was traveling in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, I’m sure. African tradition — English psychics — it is not the same practice.”

“Have you really never watched a psychic on telly?” said Kate. “Miss Norridge reads people like an open book. She — supposedly — can tell us almost anything about ourselves that nobody else here knows, via spiritual communication and telepathic connections — shared with the unseen forces of the universe, that is.”

“Then tell me something about myself,” said Ofong, smiling. “Give us a demonstration.”

The young psychic studied him intently for a moment. “Red bird,” she said, after a moment of silence. “That phrase comes to me. Does it mean something to you?”

Ofong looked surprised. “That is the name of my next sculpture, actually,” he said. “I am very impressed, Miss Norridge.”

“You mentioned it to no one before now, I take it?” said Budgy, with a dry snort of contempt.

“No one in this room, that I am aware of,” answered the sculptor.

“Tell me something about me,” said Kate. She leaned forward, watching the medium intently. Natalie studied the ghost hunter with a wide, innocent gaze.

“Who is Jerry?” she asked. At the look on Kate’s face, a murmur of surprised astonishment rose from several guests, for it was clear that this question touched a nerve for the paranormal investigator.

“Nobody,” said Kate. “Whom I want to discuss in public, anyway,” she added, with a wry smile. Still more murmurs of impressed reaction, and a chuckle or two.

“Tell us something about our host,” said Kate, turning the tables now. “Something nobody else knows, not even his family.”

I temporarily slowed in my job of passing out dessert plates, because I was curious to know what was going to follow this challenge. Did Natalie really know a secret, or merely things which she could have easily learned from the earl or his friends?

 

***** end of extract*****

 

About Laura Briggs:

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.

Say hello to Laura via her Facebook page and Twitter.

All eight novellas are now available in one collection. Click here to buy at Amazon UK.

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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