When downtrodden checkout assistant Bonnie Green receives a letter from a mysterious uncle, she can hardly believe her eyes.
Gifted a hundred-year lease on a famous cafe situated in the middle of a mythical theme park, Bonnie sets off with her best friend Debbie on an adventure to a hidden valley in the Lake District where they will find new friendship, love, and happiness, all set against the magic of Christmas … and more marshmallows than they can possibly eat….
CP Ward has shared an extract today. Hot drink? Check. Comfortable chair? Check. Festive Lights? Check. Enjoy.
***** beginning of extract *****
Bonnie & Debbie
Bonnie hasn’t had the easiest of lives, as Debbie has a tendency to point out. However, things are about to change …
The DVD had loaded up its start screen, a little dog icon hovering over START MOVIE. Debbie swigged from her can of Guinness and sighed.
‘Honestly, sometimes I’m envious of you,’ she said, swinging her head to look at Bonnie, who hadn’t yet opened her can. ‘I mean, you’re what? Fifty-five, single, a homeowner, your kids leave you alone—’
Bonnie lifted a hand. ‘Just to make a couple of clarifications there … I’m fifty-two. Yes, I’m single, but I’m also divorced, which is like having a medal around your neck with “worthless” written on it. My husband ran off with a hat saleswoman he met when he was buying me a hat for Christmas because he didn’t like my hair and wanted something to cover it on the rare occasions we ever went out. I’m a homeowner only because he took all our savings in the divorce in exchange for letting me keep the house … and the mortgage I can barely pay on my pathetic Morrico salary. And both my kids took his side. Said I should have dressed better. I’m lucky if I get a card for my birthday now.’
‘Thanks. Can’t you paraphrase my age downwards in future?’
‘Fifty-five can be anything in the fifties, but if I say you’re forty-nine that’s an outright lie.’
Bonnie shrugged. Lifting the can of Guinness, she swallowed as much as she could in a single gulp. It was only about a quarter of the can, but it took her so long that Debbie gave a respectful nod.
‘We need more booze,’ she said. ‘I’ll go.’
‘I’ll come with you.’
At the door, Debbie kicked the cluster of circulars into a pile and scooped them up. ‘Shall I dump them into next door’s dustbin on the way out? You know clutter just bugs me. I think it’s my OCD.’
‘Next door’s is your mother’s.’
‘On the other side.’
Debbie gave the letters a quick shuffle as though looking for any coupons. She frowned and lifted an official letter which had been hidden at the bottom.
‘Oooh. Franklin & Sons. A letter from a lawyer. Perhaps you’re being repossessed.’
***** end of extract *****
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