The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell blogtour book review

 

The Other Miss Bates

The Other Miss Bates written and self-published by Allie Cresswell is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2L2Z8rp

Product Details

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

The Other Miss Bates Full Tour Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the second instalment in the Highbury Trilogy, inspired by Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’: The Other Miss Bates.  I was first introduced to the work of Allie Cresswell in September when I read and reviewed the first instalment in this trilogy.  You can find my review for Mrs Bates of Highbury here.

Once again I was completely entranced by this delightful instalment in the Highbury Trilogy.  As mentioned in my review of book one I haven’t read Emma by Jane Austen but I’ve grown an appreciation of historical romances and I believe the author Allie Cresswell has written a stunning series of stories that befits the style of writing by Jane Austen and I’m sure Jane Austen would have been as equally delighted.

The Other Miss Bates follows on were we left off and we see Jane and her mother travel to Brighton in readiness for Jane to start her occupation working for a Mrs Sealy.  Brighton was to bring new adventures for Jane.  Adventures that would broaden her outlook on life, adventure that would re-light a flame in her heart that had been lit the previous year, adventures that would have her then question her heart’s desire.  The adventures in Brighton would bring danger and tragedy and life would now follow a different course.

A story filled with chivalry, an unassuming hero, a villain you want to banish, the glamorous and sometimes scandalous society circus, grief and tragedy but most of all new friendships and alliances.  My heart broke with the tragic loss of a blossoming love.  Allie Cresswell has included a wealth of characters and storyline to captivate you.

Another absolutely beautiful story that evoked many emotions in me.  I’m eager to read the third and final instalment.

About the Author

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links:

http://www.allie-cresswell.com
https://www.facebook.com/alliescribbler/
@alliescribbler

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The Magical Christmas Do Over by Linda West ’12 Days of Christmas Bonanza’

 

The Magical Christmas Bestcovermagic

The Magical Christmas Do Over written by Linda West, publisher Morningmayan Publishing, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link (amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2Q92oYe

(amazon.com): https://amzn.to/2RwQe8c

Product Details

Thrown together by fate, three women get a second chance to go back in time and change their lives forever. They say once in a blue moon you get the chance of a lifetime, and this was that blue moon.

Three friends. Second chances. One miraculous Christmas.

The Magical Christmas Do Over Full Tour Banner

I am so pleased to be involved in the ’12 Days of Christmas Bonanza’ celebrating and promoting the launch of Linda West’s latest novel: The Magical Christmas Do Over.  I was drawn to this book by the beautiful cover with it’s gorgeous snowy cottage and furry friend and along with the synopsis I’ve purchased a copy and can’t wait to read it tucked up in my reading room with my own reading buddy (aka cat).  Today I have a lovely snippet from author Linda West.

7. Snow Angels

I grew up in Buffalo – its snows all the time. We don’t hate the cold; we get creative in the snow. One of the things we loved to do when there was a fresh snow was just plop down in our parkas and make snow angels in the new fallen snow. It was light and fluffy and soft and after you waved your hands and legs laughing all the while, in the end you had these wonderful ethereal snow angels that would only last so long before disappearing. Like a snow flower of delight.

About the Author

Linda West is the best selling author of the adorable and enchanting “Christmas Kisses and Cookies.” It is a delightful series of holiday romances based around the town of Kissing Bridge and the magical Landers sisters who are the reigning blue ribbon cookie queens thanks to their mothers’ ‘special’ recipe book.
Linda was the owner of Mayberry – a celebrity-filled restaurant in Malibu where many of her recipes enchanted the regulars such as Tom Hanks and Anthony Hopkins to name a few. Her recipes are sprinkled throughout her fiction books much to the delight of her fans.
Her newest venture is in the cozy mystery and humor genre. With – Death by Crockpot – the first in her newest series -Linda takes her favorite known characters from Kissing Bridge and throws them into some side-splitting funny adventures.

Social Media Links –
http://www.twitter.com/Morningmayan
http://www.morningmayan.com/

 

A Village Affair by Julie Houston book review

 

a village affair

A Village Affair written by Julie Houston, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2FWGjYb

Product Details

Cassie Beresford has recently landed her dream job as deputy head at her local, idyllic village primary school, Little Acorns. So, the last thing she needs is her husband of twenty years being ‘outed’ at a village charity auction – he has been having an affair with one of her closest friends. As if that weren’t enough to cope with, Cassie suddenly finds herself catapulted into the head teacher position, and at the forefront of a fight to ward off developers determined to concrete over the beautiful landscape. But through it all, the irresistible joy of her pupils, the reality of keeping her teenage children on the straight and narrow, her irrepressible family and friends, and the possibility of new love, mean what could have been the worst year ever, actually might be the best yet…

field of wild flowers

I was recently on the blogtour for this fabulous, fun read and you can catch up with my post here  to read an extract from the novel.  I’m now delighted to share my review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this rom-com from author Julie Houston.  Julie Houston has a wonderful warm, witty way with words and I laughed out loud to many of the great scenes in this novel.  A story full of characters with zest, spirit, warm-hearted, fun and very relatable.

From the first chapter that reveals a secret that explodes through many people’s lives you are left with a melodrama and are hooked with wanting to know what happens next.  The author gives you insights into a life before, Cassie’s own mothers life specifically, to when Paula was having her own dramas of the heart.

Cassie is now having to deal with the repercussions of this secret and all on top of her starting her new job as Deputy Head at the local primary school.  However, another announcement was to startle Cassie and her life from hereon was going to be a chaotic juggling act.  An act that would have her go on an emotional journey.

I loved this story from Julie Houston.  It was fun, entertaining, feisty and had a lovely community spirit woven within the pages.  A story of accepting life’s hurdles but embracing new beginnings.

A Village Affair is Julie Houston’s fourth full-length novel.  Julie Houston has also written a festive novella, you can find my review here.

About the Author

Julie Houston is the author of The One Saving Grace, Goodness, Grace and Me and Looking for Lucy, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle Number1 bestseller. She is married, with the two teenage children and a made cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

Social Media links:
Twitter handle: @juliehouston2
Facebook: @JulieHoustonauthor
Website: http://www.juliehouston.co.uk

Gift Horse by Jan Ruth book review

 

gift horse

Gift Horse written and self-published by Jan Ruth is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2FUOPXF

Product Details

Imagine living eighteen years of your life around a mistake…
Caroline Walker’s daughter suffers a horrific riding accident. Her distraught parents wonder if she’ll ever walk again, let alone ride. And when Mollie’s blood group is discovered as rare, her husband offers to donate blood. Except Ian is not a match. In fact, it’s unlikely he’s Mollie’s father.
Eighteen years previously, Caroline had a one-night stand with Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. Caroline fell pregnant. Deeply flawed boyfriend, Ian, was overjoyed. And Caroline’s parents were simply grateful that their daughter was to marry into the rich, influential Walker family.
Caroline turns to Rory’s friend Connor; and although his almost spiritual connection with his horses appears to be the balm she needs, Caroline cannot forget Rory, or her youth – both lost to a man she never loved. Eighteen years on and after surviving cancer Rory lives as a virtual recluse in the Welsh mountains. Through his well-meaning but interfering sister, he is shocked to discover he has a teenage daughter. Or does he? As the truth begins to unravel, Caroline finds herself faced with a complex trail of moral dilemma.

Someone has made a terrible mistake… someone is going to get hurt…

snowdownia

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Gift Horse is the first full-length novel by Jan Ruth that I’ve read, I’ve previously read a novella and collection of short stories.  The author Jan Ruth loves to write stories set in her beloved Wales and especially the rugged area around Snowdownia.  The love for this area shines from the pages and fills the storyline with atmosphere.

I really enjoyed this contemporary romance by Jan Ruth.  Gift Horse is a story that delves into the complexities of people and of relationships.  It was a story of how one decision in your life could ultimately change the course of your future and would put your choice in someone else’s hands.

A young, almost naïve nineteen year old Caroline is being swept off her feet by an older suitor.  Ian has the money to woo Caroline and his gentleness in his character with his courting of her is quite formal but at this moment in time Caroline is enjoying this old fashioned romance.  However, a weekend away brings an opportunity for Caroline and Ian to spend some time together with Niamh, Caroline’s best friend, and a few other friends.  Animosity between Niamh and Ian soon causes conflict and Caroline starts to doubt the direction her life is going but one rash decision of the heart gives her a glimpse into a life full of other possibilities.  Fate however, plays it’s hand and soon closes the door for Caroline.

Gift Horse is a story that holds you captive in the emotional upheavals in Caroline’s life.  A life that now eighteen years on starts unravelling following a terrible accident involving her daughter.

The proverb ‘never look a gift horse in the mouth’ is the perfect title for this story.  Caroline, Ian, daughter Mollie and even a few of the sub-characters had all been given gifts in the past and the present, gifts that could change their lives for the good and also for the bad.  The proverb’s meaning; don’t question or criticize the value of a gift or benefit, even if you don’t like it very much.

Jan Ruth knows how to spin a tale about real people and their tangled lives.  I loved the landscape it sounded beautiful and raw, very much like people themselves.  I will certainly check out more of Jan Ruth’s novels.

About the Author

Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, a mountainous area of North Wales, UK. Jan writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic, often blending life in rural Wales with a touch of city business. Her style is best described as fast-paced and realistic, with a sprinkling of dry humour.
Jan is also an active member of her local RDA group (Riding for the disabled) and is an Assistant Equine Facilitated Learning Practitioner for the Welsh Institute of Therapeutic Horsemanship. In her spare time she enjoys riding and walking the Welsh hills; a constant source of inspiration.
Jan’s books are available globally via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle; and locally, you’ll find them in North Wales libraries and Hinton’s bookshop of Conwy.

Website: https://janruth.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

 

Callie’s Christmas Wish by Jessica Redland blogtour book review

 

Callie's Christmas Wish Final Cover

Callie’s Christmas Wish written by Jessica Redland, publisher Little Bear Books, is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link: https://amzn.to/2RihuXX

Product Details

Christmas is approaching and love is in the air at Bay View Care Home. Supervising carer, Callie Derbyshire, is blissfully happy with new boyfriend, Rhys. The tree’s up, the lights are twinkling, and, with the Christmas Eve wedding of one of the residents, Iris, to look forward to, everything is perfect.

Well, almost.

Rhys’s ex has him at her beck and call, yet refuses to let Callie meet their baby daughter. Callie’s ex is intent on stirring up trouble. And Callie’s favourite resident, Rhys’s nanna, Ruby, hasn’t been her usual self since Iris announced her engagement.

Convinced that Ruby’s lonely, especially after discovering the truth about her lost love, Callie’s determined to give Ruby’s romantic story the happy ending it deserves. Ruby might be adamant that the past should be left in the past. But, when it comes to true love, surely a little well-meaning meddling and a Christmas wish or two can’t do any harm. After all, it’s never to late to let love in again. Or is it?

A heartwarming Christmas story of finding new love, and the courage to revisit a love that was lost long ago.

Callie's Christmas Wish Full Tour Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the sequel to the highly rated romcom Raving About Rhys: Callie’s Christmas Wish.

Raving About Rhys was a novella the author Jessica Redland wrote back in 2015 (2nd edition published 2017) and readers and the author herself fell in love with the characters, especially Ruby one of the dear residents of Bay View Care Home, we all were eager to know more about these well-loved characters we’d learned about.  I highly recommend you read Raving about Rhys prior to reading Callie’s Christmas Wish to fully appreciate and enjoy the characters and storyline.  You can find my review for Raving About Rhys here.

It was such a welcomed return to Callie and Bay View Care Home.  I don’t want to reveal too much about the back-story to Callie’s Christmas Wish as there will be some new readers who haven’t had the chance to read any of Jessica Redland’s novels yet.  All I can say is that once again Jessica Redland’s writing style is full of warmth and humour and Yorkshire charm oozes from the pages.  I love the interaction between the staff of the care home and the residents, at times it felt like there was no age gap and it was so lovely to read and enjoy the banter between them.  I particularly enjoyed learning about the history surrounding a lost love it was heartbreakingly tragic and romantic.  Lots of emotions are riding high with the onset of the Christmas celebrations at the care home and also relationship woes are high on Callie’s agenda.

A gorgeous festive read that was heart-warming, entertaining and beautifully romantic.

About the Author

Jessica - Author PhotoJessica had never considered writing as a career until a former manager kept telling her that her business reports read more like stories and she should write a book. She loved writing but had no plot ideas. Then something happened to her that prompted the premise for her debut novel, Searching for Steven. She put fingers to keyboard and soon realised she had a trilogy and a novella.
She lives on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast — the inspiration for the settings in her books — with her husband, daughter, cat, Sprocker Spaniel, and an ever-growing collection of collectible teddy bears. Although if the dog has her way, the collection will be reduced to a pile of stuffing and chewed limbs!
Her passion for North Yorkshire is shared by fellow-writer and great friend, Sharon Booth and, together, they are the Yorkshire Rose Writers.
Jessica tries to balance her time — often unsuccessfully — between being an HR tutor, trying to re-learn how to play the piano, studying towards a Masters in Creative Writing, and writing itself. Who needs sleep?

Social Media Links
Twitter: @JessicaRedland
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandWriter/
Website and blog: http://www.jessicaredland.com

The Swooping Magpie by Liza Perrat book excerpt/promo

 

TSMEbook Cover MEDIUM WEB

The Swooping Magpie written and self-published by Liza Perrat is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is available to download at a special introductory price of 99p (price correct at date of post publication).

To buy link: ebook – https://amzn.to/2OZHo0t

To buy link:  paperback – https://amzn.to/2FThoF5

Product Details

The thunderclap of sexual revolution collides with the black cloud of illegitimacy.
Sixteen-year-old Lindsay Townsend is pretty and popular at school. At home, it’s a different story. Dad belts her and Mum’s either busy or battling a migraine. So when sexy school-teacher Jon Halliwell finds her irresistible, Lindsay believes life is about to change.
She’s not wrong.
Lindsay and Jon pursue their affair in secret, because if the school finds out, Jon will lose his job. If Lindsay’s dad finds out, there will be hell to pay. But when a dramatic accident turns her life upside down, Lindsay is separated from the man she loves.
Events spiral beyond her control, emotions conflicting with doubt, loneliness and fear, and Lindsay becomes enmeshed in a shocking true-life Australian scandal. The schoolyard beauty will discover the dangerous games of the adult world. Games that destroy lives.
Lindsay is forced into the toughest choice of her young life. The resulting trauma will forever burden her heart.
Reflecting the social changes of 1970s Australia, The Swooping Magpie is a chilling psychological tale of love, loss and grief, and, through collective memory, finding we are not alone.

TSMMediaImage4

I am so pleased to be able to share with you all today an extract from Liza Perrat’s novel: The Swooping Magpie, which is the second (standalone) novel in Liza Perrat’s 1970’s Australian Family Drama series.

Excerpt From Chapter 1:
I wrinkle my nostrils against the caustic smell of cat piss as we pick our way across the filthy footpath to the black gate.
My mother steps aside as the high gate creaks open, nods at me to go through. I scowl, don’t move.
‘You heard what your father said, Lindsay.’
With a sigh, I push past her.
The storm flushed away, the humidity has seeped back into the air at this tail-end of another scalding Australian summer. There’s no warmth in me though, only ice-blocks freezing my insides so that I become so cold I can’t stop shivering.
It’s not just the fear that sets me quaking, but the helplessness too. Like when I was a kid about to launch myself down the slippery dip. I’d hesitate, knowing that once I slid off there was no turning back, even if the metal burned my bum raw, or that once I reached the bottom I’d tumble forwards and scrape my knees.
My mother nudges me ahead of her. I don’t realise it yet, and I won’t speak of the whole sorry tale for years to come, since every time I thought about it, the memories would leave me frustrated, sad and angry, but I would recall walking through those black iron gates as crossing the threshold into the darkest hell.

About the Author

LizaPerratAuthorLiza grew up in Australia, working as a general nurse and midwife. She has now been living in France for over twenty years, where she works as a part-time medical translator and a novelist. She is the author of the historical The Bone Angel series. The first, Spirit of Lost Angels, is set in 18th century revolutionary France. The second, Wolfsangel, is set during the WW2 Nazi Occupation and the French Resistance, and the third novel – Blood Rose Angel –– is set during the 14th century Black Plague years.
The first book in Liza’s new Australian series, The Silent Kookaburra, published in November, 2016, is a psychological suspense set in 1970s Australia.

Liza is a co-founder and member of the writers’ collective Triskele Books and also reviews books for Bookmuse

Website: http://www.lizaperrat.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizaPerrat

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Liza-Perrat

A Village Affair by Julie Houston blogtour extract

 

a village affair

A Village Affair written by Julie Houston, publisher Aria, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy links:

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2MF22BW
iBooks: https://apple.co/2PEjcCb
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MFTI4T
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2yFfGjA

Product Details

Cassie Beresford has recently landed her dream job as deputy head teacher at her local, idyllic village primary school, Little Acorns. So, the last thing she needs is her husband of twenty years being ‘outed’ at a village charity auction – he has been having an affair with one of her closest friends.

As if it weren’t enough to cope with, Cassie suddenly finds herself catapulted into the head teacher position, and at the front of a fight to ward off developers determined to concrete over the beautiful landscape.

But through it all, the irresistible joy of her pupils, the reality of keeping her teenage children on the straight and narrow, her irrepressible family and friends, and the possibility of new love, mean what could have been the worst year ever, actually might be the best yet…

 

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Julie Houston’s novel: A Village Affair.

I am currently reading this novel by Julie Houston and I’m already loving it, it has quite an exploding first chapter that makes you eager to find out what happens next.  I’ll be sharing my review of the novel soon on my blog but today I’d like to share an extract from the novel:

She’s Right Off My Christmas Card List…
At 1 a.m. on the Monday morning – the morning when I was apparently supposed to breeze into Little Acorns and take over at the helm, steering both staff and pupils in the direction demanded by the local authority, the governors and, more pertinently, bloody Ofsted, my husband slunk back home. I say ‘slunk’ but to be honest I didn’t have a clue as to the speed or mode of his arrival, being dead to the world as a result of a couple of Fiona’s little helpers.
Totally shattered from lack of sleep and the shock, as well as the bombshell of my sudden promotion, I was in a pretty catatonic state by the time Fiona and Clare left, late in the afternoon, to sort out their weeks ahead.
Clare, who was in the process of expanding her rather successful stag do business, Last Stagger, to incorporate hen dos, had been given a lift by Fiona to get her own car and laptop and, on her return, set herself up at my breakfast bar dealing with emails and the many enquiries for new business. Fiona, who believed any problem could be solved through food, and lots of it, found my pinny, ingredients in the fridge and freezer and set to rustling up a meal in order to have some semblance of normality for the kids. At least when Freya and Tom finally got around to realising this particular Sunday was shaping up to be rather different from the usual Sunday in the Beresford household, I had the excuse of being in shock and terror at suddenly finding myself head teacher instead of deputy. Having said that, while there might be a shepherd’s pie in the oven, I still didn’t know how I was going to explain Mark’s absence.
Before Fiona left to feed her own brood, she’d nipped down to Sainsbury’s, returning with an enormous chocolate cake, concealer and a pack of Nytol.
‘The cake’s for pud to stop your two talking,’ she announced drily. ‘If their mouths are full, they can’t be asking too many questions. You’ll need the concealer to cover up those red eyes in the morning and the Nytol…’
‘I’m not taking sleeping tablets,’ I protested. ‘I don’t believe in them…’
‘They’re just antihistamine,’ Fiona said calmly. ‘Far better that you actually get some sleep to face tomorrow than have another night like last night. You probably won’t need them, you’ll be so exhausted. I usually drop a couple when Matthew is snoring horrendously and doesn’t respond to my clapping.’
‘Clapping?’ Clare looked up from her laptop, bemused. ‘You applaud him for bloody snoring. God, I’d be kicking him, not encouraging him. Clapping?’
Fiona laughed. ‘Honestly, it works. Try it next time one of your men happens to be a snorer. You just gently clap two or three times and they turn over and sleep without another sound. It doesn’t always work.’ Fiona started giggling. ‘The other night I was so fed up with him I clapped really angrily – staccato – in his left ear, and he shot out of bed shouting, “What is it, what is it, wassamatter…?” fell over his bloody great size-fifteen boots – that I’m always telling him to shift from the bedroom – and landed in a naked heap on the carpet.’ Fiona carried on chortling. ‘Great entertainment,’ she added.
‘I think you need to get out more,’ Clare said. ‘Why don’t you go into the spare room when the snorer from hell kicks off?’
‘Haven’t got one any more. Now that the girls are horrible adolescents and can’t stand sharing a bedroom – or each other, come to that – Bea has purloined the spare room for herself. Moved all her stuff in there a couple of months ago and refuses to move.’
‘I’d smack her bottom,’ Clare said.
‘Not when she’s almost six foot and her hockey stick’s a constant accessory, you wouldn’t,’ Fiona said mildly. ‘Anyway, enough of my lot. How are you feeling now, Cassie?’
‘Like I’m in a dream,’ I shrugged. ‘Totally not with it. Even if Mark hadn’t done what he’d done, if he was here now with me instead of you two, I’d still be in a state about tomorrow.’
‘But why?’ Clare looked up again. ‘I thought you wanted to be in charge?’
I took a deep breath, trying to calm myself as terrifying thoughts of the next day replaced incredulous thoughts of Mark’s recalcitrant behaviour. ‘I know you two – particularly you, Clare, not having any kids in the system – don’t know much about what’s going on in education at the moment, but being a deputy head in a primary school is totally different from being the head. I have a class of my own to teach, albeit on a slightly, and I emphasise the word slightly, reduced timetable. I’m given two afternoons off to perform my deputy’s role.’
‘Sounds much better now then,’ Clare said, draining her cup of coffee. ‘As head, you won’t have a class to teach and you can shut yourself away in your office and swivel round on your chair, pressing those red and green lights that say, “Come In” or “Bugger Off”.’
I actually laughed at that. ‘You don’t know the half. I’m still going to have to deal with my new class tomorrow; someone will have to teach them and I can’t see David Henderson having sorted out any supply.’
‘David Henderson.’ Fiona whistled. ‘I’m still amazed that the man they call “the Richard Branson of the North” is actually your Chair of Governors. What’s he like? Rather attractive, isn’t he?’
‘Rather?’ Clare snorted. ‘Very, you mean. He’s gorgeous…’
‘With a very attractive wife,’ I smiled.
‘Since when’s that stopped Clare?’ Fiona sniffed, giving me an anxious look. ‘Look, Cassie, you can’t do everything. You can’t be expected to teach a class of thirty ten-year-olds and be deputy head and now head as well. What did David Henderson say? What’s likely to happen?’
‘Well, in cases like this, where the head is suddenly no more, if the deputy has been in situ for years then they will be acting head and another member of staff will be acting deputy until the post of head is advertised and filled. In my case, where I’m brand new, a new acting head is usually brought in from the authority. You know, someone who’s been a deputy for years in their own school and is actively looking for a headship. They’ll ship them in to take over temporarily.’
Clare looked disappointed. ‘Oh, so you’re not going to be head after all? Well, that’s all your problems halved in one fell swoop. You just need to sort Mark out and you’ll be back to square one, job done.’
‘Clare!’ Fiona frowned as she saw my face. ‘I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that. You get back to sorting your rampant stags and don’t be so damned flippant.’
I smiled at Fiona but realised my stomach was churning and I wanted to throw up. ‘I’m sure they will bring someone in to take over as head but, according to David Henderson, it won’t be tomorrow. He said he’d be on hand in the morning to help me. Shit,’ I said, suddenly realising. ‘I’m going to have to do a new-term, new-year, new-beginning assembly and I’ll have to explain to the children that Mrs Theobold is dead. Or do I say she’s with Jesus? No, I can’t; what about the Muslim children? OK, Mrs Theobold is with Jesus or Mohammed – take your pick, kids.’
‘Calm down,’ Clare said as she realised panic was mounting in every fibre of my being once more. ‘Sit yourself down, pen and paper in front of you, and we’ll help you compose your very first assembly as head. How hard can it be?’

About the Author

Julie Houston author picJulie Houston is the author of The One Saving Grace, Goodness, Grace and Me and Looking for Lucy, a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle Number1 bestseller. She is married, with the two teenage children and a made cockerpoo and, like her heroine, livs in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.

Follow Julie
Twitter handle: @juliehouston2
Facebook: @JulieHoustonauthor
Website: http://www.juliehouston.co.uk