Hi guys! Hope you’re all doing well. Today we have a wonderful spring – finally! – the sun is shining and the sky is blue, and really, this extract that I’m going to post right now is from a book that fits this weather absolutely – it’s my part on Karen Clarke’s blog tour for her new release “The Cafe at Seashell Cove” and it’s a story with a lot of sunshine. Enjoy the extract, guys!
Extract from Chapter 1 of The Café at Seashell Cove
I’d known my early return would come as a surprise to my parents.
What I hadn’t anticipated, on stepping into the brightly lit living room,
was the sight of my mother’s breasts in all their naked glory.
‘Cassie!’ She goggled at me over the back of the sofa, as guilty as a
teenager, while I tried to snap my jaw shut.
‘What… are you… please tell me you’re having a hot flush and
that’s why you’ve taken your top off.’ I clamped a hand over my eyes
to block out the sight of her rumpled hair and fiery cheeks. Not to
mention her naked breasts.
‘I’m not menopausal,’ she huffed, as if I’d just returned from a
longish walk and interrupted her favourite TV programme.
‘Of course you are. You’re fifty-eight,’ I argued. ‘It’s simple biology.’
She gave an exasperated tut, which wasn’t the sound I’d imagined
her making on seeing her beloved daughter return to the fold. On the
journey down, I’d shaped a scene where tears of joy and perhaps a bit
of crying featured, considering she hadn’t seen me for nearly a year.
(Skyping didn’t count.)
‘We weren’t expecting you until tomorrow, love.’ Dad’s voice was
accompanied by the sound of a zipper, and I let out a quiet moan.
Glancing through my fingers, I was treated to an eyeful of his greying
chest hair, as well as his receding head hair.
‘For god’s sake, you two.’ I turned my back, reaching for the dimmer
switch to reduce the overhead glare, listening to them scrabble about
for discarded clothing. It was bad enough that they’d copulated twice
before, to conceive my brother and me, but faced with the evidence that
they were still ‘at it’, nearly thirty years later, was a bit much on an
empty stomach. ‘It’s barely seven thirty,’ I grumbled.
‘You should have phoned.’ Mum sounded reasonable, and I turned,
relieved to see she’d put her top back on. ‘We would have postponed
‘LA-LA-LA-LA-LA LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA,’ I sang, childishly
jamming my fingers in my ears, while my parents exchanged coy smiles,
and Dad pulled on his ancient Garfield T-shirt, flattening his hair to
his scalp. He’d started going grey in his thirties, and at fifty-nine was
a shade that Mum called Silver Fox.
‘You should be pleased your parents still find each other physically
attractive and like a cuddle before dinner,’ he said, when I’d unblocked
my ears, with the merry twinkle that made people instantly warm to
him. ‘Shouldn’t she, Lydia?’
‘I’ve no objection to you cuddling,’ I said. ‘It’s’—I flapped my
hand—‘the groping I can’t cope with.’
In response, Dad lunged for Mum while making kissy noises,
causing her to let out a girlish squeal. ‘Stop it, Ed!’ She pretended to
bat him away, and I wondered whether I’d fallen asleep on the train
from London to Devon and was, in fact, dreaming.
It would explain the slightly surreal feel the day had taken on, which
had begun with me standing on a packed Tube train that morning,
sleep-deprived after another uncomfortable night on Nina’s sofa bed,
reminded of a different morning, two months earlier: the morning I’d
met Adam Conway. Finding myself sardined against a tall, dark-haired
man, who’d smelt like the interior of a leather-seated car, I’d taken the
unusual step of acting on Nina’s advice to ‘be more proactive in the
man department’, by slipping a business card into his jacket pocket
with a pithy ‘Call me, some time’, accompanied by a flirty eye-twinkle
(which might have come across like a nervous tic, because of being tired
and rubbish at flirting). Unfortunately, my watch strap had snagged on
his pocket flap, causing his head to jerk down and his dark-chocolate
eyes to rest on me with a glimmer of amusement.
‘Are you trying to distract me while you steal my wallet?’ he’d
queried, his gaze sweeping over my unremarkable work suit, carefully
made-up face (copied from a popular beauty guru on YouTube), and
strands of hair escaping my never-perfected topknot. ‘Because I don’t
carry a wallet in my pocket.’
‘Only old men carry wallets,’ I’d managed, my cheeks hotter than
molten lava, before freeing myself and leaving the train two stops too
early, wondering why I couldn’t have apologised like a normal person
instead of blurting out something that probably wasn’t true. What did
I know about wallets?
I’d almost fainted when he called to ask me out to dinner, certain I
was punching way above my weight. But although his job in investment
banking was as far as you could get from the frivolous world of event
planning, I felt like I’d managed to impress him. It had been a shame
that our hectic work schedules meant we’d only been on a handful of
dates before I was fired, and that I’d probably never see him again…
If you have enjoyed this extract from Chapter One of Karen Clarke’s A Café at Seashell Cove,
Grab your copy here: myBook.to/TCASCSocial
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