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Shaken And Stirred Book Tour – Extract

Shaken And StirredOn the book tour for the fourth novel in Bella Osborne’s ‘Ottercombe Bay’ series called ’Shaken And Stirred’, enjoy an extract from the tale.

Tamsyn was woken by the sound of Jason’s voice and by the time she’d opened her eyes he was placing a tray on her bed. It was the 22nd of March.

‘Good morning,’ he said ridiculously cheerily.

Tamsyn rubbed her eyes like a small child, yawned and blinked. ‘What’s all this?’

‘Your mum let me in. This is the start of Tamsyn Turvey Day,’ said Jason proudly.

‘Toast and tea and a yellow rose because I know you like those,’ he added pointing to the things on the tray. Tamsyn couldn’t help the beam of a smile spreading across her face. She had a feeling she was going to enjoy today very much.

Their first stop was her absolutely favourite place, the donkey sanctuary, and thanks to Jason knowing the vet’s cousin she was allowed to spend the morning being a keeper. ‘You all right?’ called Jason, from a safe distance as Tamsyn flung manure and straw into a wheelbarrow.

‘Yeah, this is great.’

‘I’ve never seen someone enjoy mucking out before.’

‘It’s ace. I definitely want my own donkey,’ said Tamsyn, her face serious.

Next there was feeding and grooming and before she knew it she was out of her green overalls and borrowed steel cap boots, and sitting with a cup of coffee in the sanctuary café.

‘This has been the best day ever,’ she said. ‘Thank you, Jason.’

‘Drink up,’ he said with a grin. ‘You’re only halfway through.’

He was so kind and thoughtful, she thought. If today was about showing her what things would be like to be his girlfriend he was selling himself well.

‘You know you don’t have to do any of this,’ she said.

‘It’s not a bribe. I’m not expecting you to declare your undying love for me or anything.’ He gave a strangled laugh.

‘You’re my friend and I want you to know how special you are. That’s all.’

The next stop was another favourite of hers. The freshest local fare from the fish and chip van eaten on the sea front with a wooden fork with seagulls swooping above them in the hope of snatching a stray chip. It was a beautifully sunny day and the sea was rolling tamely onto the beach – it didn’t come much better in Tamsyn’s book. When she thought she was too full to eat anything else Jason produced a cake box from his rucksack.

Her eyes were like a bush baby’s. ‘Is it?’

She was too excited to finish the sentence.

‘Scones and clotted cream,’ he announced, flipping open the box lid. Tamsyn was in heaven.

After a delicious fresh scone, which crumbled in her mouth, she licked her fingers and was interested by the mix of chip vinegar and clotted cream. ‘Jason, that was amazing. Thank you.’

‘Uh-uh,’ said Jason with a shake of his head. ‘Not done yet.’ He checked his watch. ‘Come on.’ He held out his hand and Tamsyn took it. His fingers were warm and curled gently around hers. They both looked at their entwined hands and grinned. Something was starting to feel right.

Did you enjoy that taster? Well, good news, you can buy Ottercombe Bay – Part Four: Shaken and Stirred from Amazon for only 95p!

The Joys Of Research By Bella Osborne

Raising The BarToday on the book tour for ‘Raising The Bar’, the third book in Bella Osborne’s ‘Ottercombe Bay’ book series, Bella talks about the joy of research.

As I writer it’s important that I do my research. Sometimes this takes me to odd places and has parental warnings flashing up on my PC but sometimes it is pure bliss. My research for Ottercombe Bay gave me a mix of all three! It is set in a fictional Devon seaside town so obviously I had to spend some time in the area and it really is a beautiful part of the country. We stayed on the Devon/Dorset border not far from Lyme Regis and got to explore the coast in both directions.

We visited the beautiful village of Beer, Devon, and I loved how the river was channelled through the streets to the sea. The beach at Beer is divided: one half filled with small fishing boats and the other side littered with tourists, but everyone seems to get along just fine. Near Budleigh Salterton, Devon, the river Otter meets the sea but unlike Beer there is no village as it’s an area of outstanding natural beauty, which got me thinking. What if there was a village here? Combe means a valley on a hillside or coastline so the town of Ottercombe Bay was born.

I spent some time talking to the lovely people at the RNLI, both their central office and volunteers from various Lifeboat stations who were so generous in sharing stories and answering my questions. As I was brought up in a seaside town I have also witnessed the lifeboat going out in the most awful storms and am in awe of the crew members who regularly risk their lives to save others.

My favourite research for Ottercombe Bay was the very serious subject of gin. Gin features in the story so I felt I needed to know more about this drink – a lot more! A YouGov poll found that gin is now the most popular spirit in the UK, with 29% of drinkers voting it their favourite and 47m bottles of it were sold in 2017, setting a new record! Gin has become very popular over the last few years since 2009 when Sipsmith, a London based distiller, won a legal battle with HMRC for the right to produce gin in small quantities via smaller stills rather than on an industrial scale. This gave rise to craft distilleries that sprung up all over the country producing their own variations of gin. I was very lucky to be able to attend a special Burleigh’s gin tasting evening at the Seven Stars pub in Rugby, Warwickshire where I learned so much about the history of gin and gin production as well as getting to try out quite a few too!

To ensure I was sufficiently qualified to write about gin I also attended a gin festival in Coventry Cathedral, a very beautiful but unusual venue for such an event, and did my own research on gin cocktails. I must say my friends have been amazingly supportive of the gin research, offering to accompany me and test out my creations over and over again – well, what are friends for?

You can buy Ottercombe Bay – Part Three: Raising the Bar (Ottercombe Bay Series) from Amazon.

Ottercombe Bay Book Tour – Extract

Gin And Trouble‘Today on the book tour for Bella Osborne’s new book ‘Gin and Trouble’ which is the second book in her ‘Ottercombe Bay’ series, sit back and enjoy an extract from the story.

Daisy pushed her salad around her plate aware Aunt Coral was talking about what had happened at the pharmacy that day, but she wasn’t really tuning in.

‘… and then the gorilla stuffed a packet of paracetamol up his nose, jumped onto the counter and demanded I do the tango with him. Daisy are you listening?’

Daisy lifted her head and tried to recall what Aunt Coral was going on about. ‘Not really, sorry.’

‘I thought not. What’s the matter, love?’ She reached a hand across the table and patted Daisy’s wrist.

‘I want to do something useful with the year I’m here. Either get a decent job to have something substantial on my CV or … I don’t know.’ Daisy tailed off and speared a cherry tomato that ceremoniously squirted juice over her pristine white t-shirt. Daisy groaned.

‘A job is definitely a good idea but what was going to come after the “or” in your sentence?’

Daisy was busy sponging off the tomato juice with a cloth. ‘I don’t know,’ she said with a half-hearted shrug.

‘Come on now, yes you do. What was it?’ insisted Aunt Coral who had now put down her cutlery and was looking intently at Daisy.

‘The planning officer basically said I couldn’t do anything to the building apart from change of use and all the suggestions he gave sounded dull, but I was speaking to … someone and they’ve given me an idea.’ Aunt Coral became alert as Daisy seemed to lose interest in her own suggestion. ‘Ahh you know it’s probably a dumb idea anyway and it would take loads of money to make the changes. I should probably just go for the job in the fish and chip van.’

Her shoulders slumped forward and she resumed pushing her lettuce about.

‘Stop being defeatist,’ said Aunt Coral, in an uncharacteristic snap. ‘You’ve always been impulsive so what does your impulse tell you this time?’ She softened a little and fixed her gaze on Daisy.

‘Go for it,’ said Daisy, almost without thinking. In her gut she had a rumble of excitement caused by the thought of a new venture.

‘Great,’ said Aunt Coral enthusiastically. ‘What is the idea exactly?’ She bent forward in anticipation.

A small smile played on Daisy’s lips. ‘A gin bar.’

Aunt Coral’s eyes widened. ‘Oh my, now that is something new. Would it only sell gin?’

‘Not exactly. Different types of gin would be the main theme. Gin is quite big right now.’

‘I’ve always liked a gin and tonic and your Great Aunt Ruby was a big fan. Do you think it would make money?’

‘Yeah, I do. They’re very popular. I think it would pull people in and if we stock good quality craft gins they should keep coming back.’

Daisy could see Aunt Coral was thinking. ‘I do like the idea and I can see the tourists lapping it up but what about in the winter months when it’s just the locals?’

They both sat back in their chairs a little and looked to the ceiling for inspiration. Aunt Coral had a good point. Daisy knew the seasonal change in seaside resorts was dramatic.

Aunt Coral jumped in her seat as if someone had stuck a pin in her. ‘Lantern parade!’ she shouted.

Daisy blinked. ‘What?’

‘Oh, sorry you’ve not been here for the lantern parade yet. Each December the children make paper lanterns, pop a battery light inside and walk from the church to the prom and they give out prizes and hot chocolate. If you were shut for the winter it would be a good thing to open up for. I bet the adults would like a shot of gin before they set off. It’s usually a bit chilly.

You can buy Ottercombe Bay – Part Two: Gin and Trouble from Amazon (Ottercombe Bay Series)

Escape To Willow Cottage Book Tour – Extract

Escape To Willow CottageOn the tour for the Bella Osborne’s latest book, ‘Escape To Willow Cottage’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the sweet story.

Chapter 11

‘Carly!’ said Beth, her voice sharp.

Carly spun in Beth’s direction with an exaggerated movement. With slow blinks she looked at Beth until something registered. ‘Beth! This is … um … what was your name again?’ She swung precariously back towards Jack who stopped her falling on him with one hand whilst holding the pub table steady with the other.

‘I know who it is.’ Beth was trying to suppress the annoyance that was rapidly developing within her.

‘He’s lov-erly,’ cooed Carly whilst she stroked his arm in a deliberate action.

‘I’d like to know what he’s planning on doing with my drunk friend?’ Beth retorted. Jack let go of Carly as if she were a lit firework.

As the accusation slowly registered, Carly looked hurt. ‘I’m not dunk!’ she protested as she slowly slid towards the floor.

Jack was looking blindly from one woman to the other as if he’d just been teleported there. ‘I was just …’

‘For someone that wasn’t looking for a relationship a few hours ago you’ve sure as hell come round to the idea quick!’ Beth stepped forward and grabbed Carly by one arm and hauled her into a standing position.

‘Come on! We’re leaving now.’

Carly wobbled on unsteady legs, grinned inanely at Jack and was towed away.

If you enjoyed that short sample from the book, you can buy Escape to Willow Cottage from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Cover Reveal – Willow Cottage – Christmas Cheer By Bella Osborne

Willow Cottage‘Willow Cottage – Christmas Cheer’ is Bella’s Osborne second book from her cosy, heartwarming seasonal romance series and is perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley.

The story of ‘Willow Cottage – Christmas Cheer’ is –

Beth is running away. With her young son Leo to protect, Willow Cottage is the lifeline she so desperately needs. Overlooking the village green in a beautiful Cotswolds idyll, Beth sees a warm, caring and safe place for little Leo.

When she finally uncovers the cottage from underneath the boughs of a weeping willow tree, Beth realises this is far more of a project than she bargained for and the locals are more than a little eccentric! A chance encounter with gruff Jack, who appears to be the only male in the village under thirty, leaves the two of them at odds but it’s not long before Beth realises that Jack has hidden talents that could help her repair more than just Willow Cottage.

Over the course of four seasons, Beth realises that broken hearts can be mended, and sometimes love can be right under your nose…

A lovely story to curl up with a cup of cocoa and at only 99p this seasonal story is a must read!

You can pre-order Willow Cottage – Part Two: Christmas Cheer from Amazon and will be available to buy from 20th October 2016.