Title: Christmas at the Contraband Café
Author: Liberty Bell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Chloe Charlesworth has had the week from hell. Not only did she have her dream job as a fashion journalist, snatched away from her, then her aunt breaks her leg. So, Chloe leaves London on a mercy dash to Rum Cove in North Yorkshire to help run her aunt’s businesses, the Contraband Café and trekking centre. Chloe imagines she will be simply popping in to check that her aunt has the right help, but when she accidentally poisons her aunt’s horses and argues with the local vet, she feels obligated to help out with the numerous Rum Cove’s Christmas events, which all centre around the Contraband Café. But, Chloe is desperate to get back to London, move in with her boyfriend, Marcus, and find another journalist’s job, the only trouble being that he doesn’t seem too keen on the idea.
Rum Cove, an old fishing village, is undeniably beautiful and the locals very friendly, except for the local vet Luke, who is appallingly rude and arrogant. Thankfully Marcus decides to visit and Chloe soon realises that she has some serious decisions to make. A sparkling, Christmas romance.
Check out an excerpt from the book
The Contraband Café was situated about halfway up a narrow cobbled street which led down to the bay. As they walked, the scent of the sea was unmistakable along with the sound of seagulls shrieking overhead. Although it was a grey December day and freezing, the main street in Rum Cove looked so quaint that Chloe felt a rush of anticipation. The beach shops, ice cream parlours and Bed and Breakfasts were all closed out of season, but the street was beautifully maintained and Chloe found herself longing to press her nose up against the shop windows and look inside. There was a small grocer’s shop, Post Office and bakery that were open all year round and a chandlery selling fishing and sailing equipment, such as lobster pots and nets for fishermen, whose boats were bobbing up and down in the harbour. Set high on a rocky outpost was The Spyglass Inn, a fabulous imposing stone building. Chloe felt that she was transported back in time as she noticed the little stone passageways which led off the cobbled street. She could almost imagine the sailors, pirates and smugglers who must have lived here. About halfway down the Contraband Cafe’s sign swung slowly in the breeze, showing a pair of swarthy pirate types with long black boots, rolling barrels of liquor, presumably rum, to their secret hiding place.
‘Here we are.’ Lottie expertly unlocked the café door and led Chloe inside. The café was decorated with bunting, mismatched old chairs and tables set with gingham table cloths and mismatched old crockery. The walls were adorned with photos of Rum Cove from a bygone age and the mullioned windows and beams were clearly authentic. There was a box of Christmas decorations waiting to be put up and even a shiny stainless steel coffee machine behind the counter. Chloe nearly jumped out of her skin when she saw a dark swashbuckling figure wearing breeches, boots, a huge overcoat and tricorn hat in one corner.
‘Oh, don’t worry. That’s a model of Black Jack Bates, a local smuggler who used to live here, in this very house. He was hung in nearby Whitby and is said to haunt the place, but I’ve never seen him, so don’t look so worried. Right, I’ll show you round.’
‘Where did you get him?’ Chloe marvelled at the lifelike full size figure. It was extremely realistic.
Lottie shrugged. ‘Sparks made him, actually.’
‘Sparks the goth handyman?’
Lottie nodded. ‘Yes. He has real talent.’
Chloe marvelled at why a man with such a talent for art, insisted on pursuing a musical career for which he clearly had no aptitude whatsoever. She shuddered at the thought of the dreadful music he had played her and winced.
Lottie’s face broke into an understanding smile.
‘It’s a pity the same cannot be said about his singing.’
Chloe grinned back, her spirits lifting.
Liberty Bell is a social worker and teacher. She lives in Lincolnshire with her partner, children and assorted pets. Liberty love reading, writing and walking in beautiful countryside. She also likes baking, eating, more eating, especially chocolate and more than the occasional glass of wine or sloe gin. Liberty has written two other romantic novels; Scotch on the Loch and A Scottish Retreat. Both are available on Amazon.
Scarlett Brodie is a psychologist and lives with her partner and children in rural Derbyshire. She enjoys reading, painting and has an interest in children’s education. She has previously written several children’s books and met Liberty on a writing course where they decided to team up together to write Christmas at The Contraband Café. Scarlett has also written the evocative Friends Reunited, which is also available on Amazon.
All our books are available on www.mycupofteapress.co.uk and Amazon.
Our twitter links are @libertybelli and @suzicress123 for Scarlett Brodie