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Happy release day to Cass Grafton! Her newest book, The Cottage in a Cornish Cove, is out today, and she is here to share an excerpt and a giveaway. Please give her a warm welcome!

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Thank you so much, Anna (you share a name with my heroine!), for inviting me to be a guest on your blog today!

As you can tell from the book blurb, Anna Redding is making a new home for herself in the Cornish village of Polkerran. She quickly settles into Polkerran life and makes friends with several of her neighbours—other than the distinctly unfriendly and rather irritable man she ran into twice outside her Aunt Meg’s house. Next, she needs to get a job, and she soon hears there’s a typing job going working for a reclusive writer/historian who lives across the cove.

This is what happens when she arrives for an interview and is greeted by the writer’s housekeeper, Mrs Clegg.

~o0o~

Mrs Clegg gestured at the stone staircase rising from the large and lofty hallway. ‘He’s alright. Just has some bad days.’ She lowered her voice. ‘Lovely man, really. Divorced, you know. Nursing a broken ‘eart, we reckons. Never seems to date anyone.’ She shook her head with a sigh.

Anna bit her lip. If he was an elderly, needy, broken-hearted man, he didn’t sound like he’d be much fun to work for. Still, if she didn’t earn a bit of money, she wouldn’t be able to stay in Polkerran.

She looked around full of curiosity as she followed Mrs Clegg across the flag-stoned entrance hall and up the stairs.

‘Ready, dearie?’

They’d come to a halt outside the first door along the landing, and Mrs Clegg rapped firmly on the polished wood and pushed the door aside, gesturing for Anna to enter.

‘Miss Redding, Master Oliver.’

Master Oliver? Anna threw the housekeeper a startled look. Surely she didn’t have to call him that? Mrs Clegg merely smiled warmly at her and then she was gone.

Turning back to face the room, Anna waited. There was no acknowledgement from the man at the large desk under the bay window, which framed a wonderful vista of the sea. As Phoenix had implied, he was formally dressed in a shirt and waistcoat, a suit jacket hanging off the back of his chair. The only sounds were the muted cries of the gulls and the tapping of a keyboard.

Anna looked around the room. It was a good size and had obviously been set up as a home office. Two of the walls were made up of bookcases reaching as high as the cornicing and were stacked with books. How she longed to go and study the spines.

Aside from the desk under the bay window, there was a second, smaller desk and chair by a side window, two armchairs either side of a fireplace containing a roaring log burner, and, to her surprise, a dog and a cat curled up together on the rug. Both raised their heads, but deeming her unworthy of further interest, returned to their dreams.

‘Nice to meet you too,’ Anna muttered under her breath.

‘What did you say?’

Anna’s gaze flew back to the man who’d now risen from his chair to face her and instinctively she took a step backwards.

‘It’s you!’

The grumpy giant raised a derisive brow.

‘Of this I was never in doubt.’

‘I thought you were a gardener. Or a neighbour. Not a…’

The mocking brow rose higher.

‘I, I was simply’—Anna gestured towards the animals—‘admiring your pets.’

The man grunted. ‘The feline isn’t mine.’

Oliver Seymour was as Anna remembered: aside from the grumpiness, good-looking, tall, and broad shouldered, with dark hair and piercing eyes. He wore wire-rimmed glasses today on his Romanesque nose and a sardonic expression.

‘So, you want to work for me.’

Did she? Anna was tempted to say, no thanks. I’ve changed my mind, but then she remembered her wish for a job.

‘You’ll do.’

Anna’s gaze snapped to his. ‘But—but you haven’t asked me anything. Or tested my typing speed or…’ Her voice trailed away under his look.

‘I’m not looking for a conversationalist. You’ll do fine. I can’t imagine you came here for a typing job if you can’t. Mrs Clegg knows better than to suggest it.’ He raised his chin. ‘She said she knew you. Does she?’

‘Yes, of course. She was a friend of my aunt’s. Well, not really my aunt, I just called her that.’ Anna paused. ‘Why does Mrs Clegg call you Master Oliver?’

He didn’t answer for a moment. After all, he’d said he wasn’t looking for a conversationalist.

‘She was in service all her life. I’ve asked her not to, but old habits die hard.’

Anna smiled. ‘I like it. It’s sweet.’

A grunt was the only response to this, and Oliver Seymour turned back and retook his seat.

‘The desk is over there. Go and power up the Mac and I’ll give you the first chapter.’ He didn’t look at her again, merely resumed his tapping on the keyboard. ‘Oh, and there’s no need to dress up. There’s no one here to see whether you look like a typist or not.’

Bristling, Anna resisted the temptation to tell him he didn’t dress much like a successful social historian either, but then she realised she didn’t know what one was supposed to look like. Did they all wear business suits and ties? Surely he approved of formal dress? Then, she brushed it aside. He was right. If this is where she would work, and only he and the housekeeper would see her, she may as well turn up in her pyjamas.

She put her coat and bag on one of the armchairs and took a seat at the smaller desk, adjusting the chair to the right height before turning her attention to the Mac. Thankfully, she was used to using one.

He reeled off the password, and Anna tapped it in quickly before grabbing a pencil and writing it down.

‘Here.’ He had risen from his desk and pulled a stack of papers from a tray. ‘The first draft was typed up by the last girl. I’ve made several notes and changes to the first few chapters. You’ll find it stored under Haunting History.’

Anna scribbled down the details, took the papers without a word and began to peruse them, conscious he still lingered. She bent her head, relieved when he walked back to his desk, then raised her eyes to peer at his back. Several notes and changes were an understatement. Every page was covered in pencil, with arrows and annotations and goodness only knew what else.

‘Why did she leave?’ Anna bit her lip. She hadn’t really meant to ask.

Oliver didn’t turn around. ‘Because I told her to.’

Sensing conversation, if it could be called that, was over, Anna turned her attention to the papers and before long was completely engrossed. Though unaware of his writing until now, she found herself gripped by the topic—the run-up to the Battle of Sedgemoor—and although she made a perfunctory attempt at starting the edits, she was soon turning page after page, unable to stop herself.

‘I was wrong then.’

Anna started and looked up. Oliver Seymour towered above her once more.

‘Sorry?’

‘I see no evidence you can actually type.’

Warmth rushed into her cheeks. ‘Yes, I can. I mean, I will. Now. Sorry. I got wrapped up in reading ahead.’

‘I’m flattered,’ he said dryly. ‘I’m going out. There’s a front door key in the desk drawer you can have. Leave me a note of your hours and let yourself out when you’re done for today.’

~o0o~

I hope you enjoyed this excerpt The Cottage in a Cornish Cove, which is out today in both paperback and eBook formats!

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About The Cottage in a Cornish Cove

A heart-warming tale of discovering all you never wanted is exactly what you need.

Orphaned as a baby and raised by uncaring relatives, much of Anna Redding’s happiness as a child came from the long summer holidays spent with an elderly family friend, Aunt Meg, in the charming village of Polkerran.

With Aunt Meg’s passing, Anna is drawn back to the West Country, relocating to the Cornish cove where she was once so happy. Filled with memories, she hopes to perhaps open a B&B—and perhaps cross paths with Alex Tremayne again, a local boy she used to have a major crush on and who only had to walk past Anna to make her heart flutter.

Settling into her new life, and enjoying her work for the older, reclusive and—to be honest—often exasperating Oliver Seymour, Anna is delighted when Alex reappears in Polkerran and sweeps her off her feet.

The stars finally seem to be aligned, but just as Anna thinks all she’s ever wished for is within reach, a shock discovery brings everything under threat, and she realises she’s living a dream that isn’t hers.

Can Anna rescue the new life she has made for herself and, when the testing moment comes, will anyone be there to hold her hand?

The Cottage in a Cornish Cove is the first in a series of uplifting romances from Cass Grafton. Get to know the warm and funny locals of Polkerran, wallow in the quaintness of a Cornish fishing village and fall in love with romance all over again.

Buy links: Amazon (U.S.) | Amazon U.K. | Kobo | Barnes & Noble (Nook) | Smashwords | Apple iBooks | Google Play

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About the Author

Cass Grafton

An avid bookworm since childhood, Cass Grafton writes the sort of stories she loves to read — heart-warming, character-driven and strong on location. Having moved around extensively and lived in three countries, she finds places inspiring and the setting of her novels often becomes as much a part of her stories as her characters.

She leans heavily towards the upbeat and insists on a happy ever after. As one of her favorite authors, Jane Austen, once wrote, ‘let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.’

Cass loves travelling, words, cats and wine but never in the same glass. She has two grown up children and currently splits her time between Switzerland, where she lives with her husband and imaginary cats, and England, where she lives with her characters.

Connect with Cass on her Blogs (Cass Grafton – Writer) (Tabby Cow) | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway

Cass is generously offering one winner a choice of a paperback or ebook, open worldwide. To enter, please leave a comment with your email address. This giveaway will be open through February 15, 2020. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced in the comments section of this post. Good luck!

Thank you, Cass, for being my guest today, and congratulations on your new release!

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