18 Oct 2017

Book Extract / Blog Tour - Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley

Christmas has arrived on the Cornish Isles of Scilly, bringing mistletoe, surprises and more than a sprinkle of romance . . . Fans of Poldark and Carole Matthews will love this brand-new festive read from the author of the bestselling Cornish Café series.

For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?

Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is the perfect book to snuggle up with this Christmas.

Extract Fourteen from Chapter Eight, pp 52-53

‘The thing is, I met Greg while I was at low point. One of the regulars at the Fingle was a volunteer at one of the youth centres where I’d rocked up – forced to by my probation officer. He saw something in me, God knows what, and he told Greg about me. Greg and Judy took me on as a pot washer in the bar. They gave me a chance.’ He smiled. ‘Many, many chances until I finally realised how bloody lucky I was and got my act together and decided to live a pure and sin-free life henceforth.’

‘Pure and sin-free? That sounds boring,’ Maisie joked.

Patrick laughed. ‘Not as boring as staring at four walls for twenty hours a day, or waking up in a pool of your own vomit.’

She winced, then it clicked. ‘Ah. The Coke. You’re teetotal, aren’t you?’

‘I am. Does that put you off taking me on as bar staff?’

‘On the contrary, I consider it an asset.’

Maisie blew out a breath, trying to take in the story she’d heard. Patrick was so blasé about his terrible childhood and youth. Breezing through a tragic tale as if he were talking about an exciting rugby match. Maisie was certain that there was a lot more to discover about Patrick McKinnon, but how much did she want to know? His smiling eyes hid so much, she thought. As did her gobby, sassy façade. ‘Interesting way of trying to impress your new boss,’ she said. ‘“Shitty weather and whingeing moaners”, eh?’

Patrick gave a wry smile. ‘With some exceptions, of course. Gull Island’s not too shabby, when the sun’s out . . .
He left the sentence hanging, tantalisingly. Left her waiting for the line about the Driftwood and its owner: her.

But nothing.

‘You made a reference to “my new boss”,’ he added instead of a compliment to Maisie. She wasn’t sure if she was disappointed or relieved he hadn’t tried to flatter her. She really had no idea how she felt about taking on Patrick McKinnon. ‘So, does that mean you’re not put off by my history?’
‘Well, there’s been nothing I need to know about since your spell in prison, has there?’
‘So I’m hired?’

She had a feeling she might be making the biggest mistake of her life . . . Maisie smiled and held out her hand. Patrick grasped it firmly but without trying to prove some point by mashing her bones. ‘Subject to your references checking out, yes. Congratulations and welcome to the Driftwood. Now, let me show you the staff accommodation.’