Today I’m pleased to be sharing this extract from Pushing Her Luck which has kindly been provided by the author.
Holly Caulfield has won the Irish National Lottery and sets in motion a plan to save the village of Abbeyglen. But who would have thought that giving money away could be so difficult?
With a resident’s association that’s clamouring for more and more money, an old lady who’s decided that a dream cruise is in her grasp and a couple who may not want that dream wedding after all, Holly’s finding it hard to keep it together!
With a new love interest and an ex-husband hot on her heels, it’s up to Holly to figure out what can truly make her happy.
Emma put her arm around her. ‘You know what they say about thinking outside the box. You need to think about your box and what you’re going to do to fill it with. The world is your cake shop, Holly. Do something level headed and then follow it up with something mental. Get yourself together. I mean it. I’m only going to be at the shop every other weekend soon, I’m going back to college and working hard at my studies so I can have my own kickass vet’s practice. Last year I was top of my class and I’m going to be again this year so that someday I can live in a country mansion I’ve paid for myself. My life is going to be everything I dreamed of as a little girl, but with crazy foreign holidays and an excellent jeep added to all the horses and dogs I’m going to rescue. Just because I have fun and get drunk doesn’t mean I’m not serious about my future.’ She stopped. ‘Your dreams about Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver and the other guy…’
‘Marco Pierre White,’ Holly said quickly, ‘and sometimes Nigella Lawson and Mary Berry are in there too. Oh and the last one had Donal Skeehan in it.’ She’d actually been very proud to see someone Irish rocking up on his bicycle beside all the greats.
It was basically the same dream every time except for the people in it. She couldn’t place where the idea had come from, no doubt from a book or a film, or maybe her imagination was that good. The cooks were always cycling alongside Holly, an expanse of sparkling bright-blue water either side of the strip of yellow shale and sand they traversed. They never slowed or reached their destination. Most of the time the pace was leisurely, although some of her companions found it more difficult than others, and had to work to keep up. All they spoke of was how Caulfield’s needed to be saved. The same conversation every time.
‘Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe they’re not telling you to forget about it. They could be telling you to take it. As in go get Holly’s Bakery.’ Emma rubbed her hands together. ‘I can see from the look on your face that my work here is done. I’ve planted the seed.’ She stood up. ‘You’re so welcome. Oh and any insults weren’t insults. You know you’re my only friend around here. Well, you’re the only girl around here that isn’t wrapped up in kids, not that I wouldn’t be friends with you if you had kids…’
Holly hugged her. ‘Thanks, I think. And if you need anything let me know.’
‘We can get our nails done or something. That’s all I want. Have a great time with it, and my lips are sealed. I won’t tell a soul, even if they try to break me to get to you.’
Holly grinned. ‘I’m not sure you’ll have too many people torturing you to try to get to me, but thanks again, I don’t know what I’d do without you.’
‘You can afford to do plenty now, and you don’t need to worry, I’m always at the end of a phone.’
Holly smiled gratefully then her brow furrowed as she had a thought. ‘By the way, you said something to Mrs Tait about rumours? Something about not worrying? What was that?’
‘Oh, someone was in this morning saying there’s one of those supermarket chains opening in Abbeyglen.’
Holly’s eyes widened. ‘What?! Where’s it going to be? I’ll bet it’s that old service station that closed down. Urgh! I can’t believe it.’
‘None of us can. Least of all Mrs Tait. It’s rattled her. When those places open, the local corner shop is always the first place to go, believe you me.’
Holly felt her stomach drop. ‘But…’
But Emma wasn’t listening. She hiccupped loudly. ‘I really had better go. Best of luck, Holly, have the most fabulous afternoon of your life!’
All talk of the supermarket was momentarily forgotten as Holly hugged her again and watched her trip as she walked out the door. ‘Emma, by any chance, do you need some help getting down the stairs?’
Emma whirled around. ‘Of course! You can’t give me champagne then leave me to navigate those monstrosities. Tsk!’
Holly grinned. ‘Actually, you were walking into the bathroom.’
Emma opened her mouth, then shut it again. ‘Right. Quick question. You don’t know if Mrs T’s ever fired anyone, do you?’
Pushing Her Luck is available from Amazon.