I am delighted to share an extract with you today on blog tour for The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan. Which is out on the 21st May
Book Blurb :- After finding her dream cottage in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, Edel Marston, a fifty-year-old retired teacher, makes the life-changing decision to relocate back to Northern Ireland after the death of her husband Ben.
A rocky start with the neighbours and the knowledge of her past is a little too close for comfort, leaves Edel full of self-doubt. Her emotions have become a law unto themselves and she keeps wondering if she’s made the right decision.
After giving herself a good talking to, she decides to join a local over 50’s club, in a bid to embrace her new life. However, after meeting the friendly ladies of the self-proclaimed Stitch & Bitch group, she’s left with further feelings of uncertainty.
Realising quickly how gossipy these ladies can be, Edel finds herself keeping more and more secrets, especially when her relationship with one particular friend develops into something much more.
Ultimately, Edel has to decide whether to trust again and let all of these new people into her life, warts and all or go back to being lonely but safe and with her secrets intact.
The following day, I wake up happy to be in my own comfortable bed, kicking back the duvet after a brilliant night’s sleep. I’m ready to start the task of unpacking boxes to make the place more like mine, and less like a stranger’s home.
Later on in the kitchen, stretching up, I hang the last of my new copper pan set. How shiny they are dangling from the metal hooks on the rail in their arrangement of sizes. After unpacking a few more kitchen items, I open the final packing case to reveal my vintage drinking tumblers. I spy slim size cupboard with a glass door that’s just perfect. Happy days: I arrange them around the large jug as part of the set, and I give the glass door a final wipe before closing it tight. The next task, of collapsing the boxes and gathering the packing material, is going to take a while; I’ll require a skip to take the rubbish away. Suddenly, the ringing tone of the newly installed landline telephone in hallway freaks me out. The engineer did mention he would test the line; it had obviously slipped my mind! I tick it off the list to say another job is complete when a butterfly enters via the open kitchen window. After taking a few minutes to coax it to return to the radiant heat outside, I stand and admire how tempting the sun rays are, beaming through my now sparkling clean windows.
“Okay, sunshine I can’t resist. You’re luring me to leave the housework and do some jobs in the front garden.” I take the rubbish with me as I escape to the outside world.
From the potting shed, I fetch some gardening tools and start to pull up the dandelions and clumps of grass from the gravel driveway. I wipe the sweat from my forehead and decide to arrange pots of deep red geraniums underneath the front windows on either side of the front porch, when some brute comes from nowhere, breaking the silence, in a vehicle with music blasting out; to charge up the lane at a rate of knots towards the big house. Mix thoughts enter my head. Sucking on my lower lip I start to wonder what if joy riders use this lane to go chasing up and down? Or even worse, what if there are teenagers who live up at the big house? If I complain, would it lead to unpleasantness?
“For goodness’ sake,” I cry out loud. “Stop thinking negative thoughts. Be a grown-up instead of a child.” All the same, anxiously, I collect the tools to take them back to the potting shed. I decide to finish off some jobs inside the property.
What a relief; the coolness of the house calms me down. I enter the small front room and step over a stack of books I’ve collected from years of teaching history and English. Staring at the piles reminds me I did sell some, but I kept my rare collection of first editions. The shelves either side of the fireplace are the perfect place for my reading material. I start to stack and continue until I pop the last volume onto the ledge. I take a step to the side to admire the colourful book covers that give the impression that a knowledgeable person resides in these premises. The urge to nip outside and fetch some sprigs of lilac to fill another smaller vase overtakes me and provides the room with even more of a homely touch.
Idly, my thoughts go back to the person speeding on the lane. A voice in my head tries to calm the nerves by convincing me there will be a good reason for the person’s actions. I shrug the shoulders and get on with the next task in hand, replacing the drab old curtains in the living room with a brighter pattern. What a difference something so small can make to a place. I secretly hope for a transformation in my life too; having invested so much in relocating. Will, this house be the lifesaver I need? Could I cope if someone in the future ever betrays me in the same way Ben did?
The call to Pauline Morgan’s native Northern Ireland was too strong and, after a fascinating stint overseas, she recently relocated there. Pauline had some unique mystical experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. She has been a member of the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers’ Scheme. She attended a day course in Editing, tutored by author/mentor Morgen Bailey.
Pauline is a member of Writers Ink, a multi-award winning http://www.writing.ie
She has written short stories; published in Woman’s Way and Irelands Own iconic magazine. Pauline enjoyed entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed at Kanturk Arts Festival.
Her first poem Airborne, published on Pendemic.ie website March 2020
Pauline has completed a women’s ‘fiction book called The Ballynoon Friendship Circle, her debut novel to be published by SpellBound Books in early 2021. Pauline is working on a standalone book Christmas novel.
She engages with an extensive network of social writing groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Pauline turns her incredible imagination into words to create beautiful stories in different genres. She has a relaxed style of writing, and her mentor describes it as heart-warming and cosy. Pauline never shies away from any given written tasks.