The Secrets of Hawthorn Place written by Jenni Keer, publisher Headline Accent, is available NOW in ebook, audiobook and paperback format.
Love will always find a way… Discover the intriguing secrets of Hawthorn Place in this heartfelt dual-time novel, filled with warmth and charm, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Cecelia Ahern.
Two houses, hundreds of miles apart…yet connected always.When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever…
Purchase Link – https://bit.ly/HawthornSecrets
I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Jenni Keer’s latest novel: The Secret of Hawthorne Place. I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post from the author herself.
Thanks for so kindly being part of my blog tour for The Secrets of Hawthorn Place. I’m so excited to finally be sharing this dual timeline story with the world. Here is an extract from the contemporary story, when Molly first arrives in Dorset to take care of her bereaved granddad, and we get to see some of this strange house through her eyes, as Granddad hints that there are secrets.
After politely declining Granddad’s offer of draughts, I stood in the square hall of Hawthorn Place and realised how little things had changed in the eight months since Grandma’s death. Her possessions were still dotted about, as if she was going to walk past at any minute, pick up a pair of abandoned spectacles and wander into the living room. But beneath the accumulated jumble, I was reminded yet again what a mishmash of styles it was. It had odd windows, none of which seemed to match, under a higgledy-piggledy assortment of high-pitched roofs. There was even a circular window in the front living room, which reminded me of cartoon submarines from my childhood. And then there was the round tower, like you might find on a castle, with a fairy-tale spiral staircase inside, and another, more formal staircase off the main entrance hall. When I was younger, I would run up one and down the other, in a never-ending loop.
There were other peculiar features that I’d not seen elsewhere: an upstairs window that was practically on the floor, mysterious Latin phrases over the fireplaces, and the inside really belonged outside – all exposed brick and wood. Everywhere I looked there were flower motifs. Five rounded petals of something I didn’t recognise, carved into door panels and on various ceramic tiles on the floors and walls. It was a quirky house, full of history, and probably the sort of thing a more motivated person might have researched – beautiful in its way and yet somehow lost, as if the person who built it was ashamed of it – which I could never understand.
For a silent moment, I absorbed the curious atmosphere. It wasn’t, and had never been, unsettling, despite being strange, really old and possibly haunted. But there was a sense of something undefinable about the place, almost as if Hawthorn House had a heart and it was still beating.
On a whim, I climbed the main stairs in twos, and ran along the long corridor and down the curly stairs in the tower, like I’d done as a child. After this sudden burst of energy, I tipped my head back and looked at the disappearing spiral of steps that led up to the attic, reminding me of the fossilised ammonite shells found in the nearby hills. During the eighties and nineties Grandma rented it out as it was largely self-contained, but now it was full of clutter and cobwebs.
Sighing, I stood up and walked to the kitchen. Granddad was buttering a piece of toast, an opened jar of homemade jam next to the plate. In Grandma’s lifetime, this room had always been immaculate and smelled of baking cakes and stewing soups. The food smells were absent now, apart from the slightly bitter aroma of burnt bread, and the work surfaces were untidy and dusty. ‘You can’t cook in a cluttered kitchen,’ Grandma used to say. No one was doing any cooking, so perhaps it didn’t matter. After all, you only needed twenty square centimetres of table to sort out a ready meal.
‘You all right, love?’ Granddad asked.
‘I was thinking about Grandma. The house seems lost without her.’ In my heart, I suspected the absence of her hustle and bustle meant the silence was playing a part in the atmosphere. She wasn’t shooing me off the worktop to stop me sneaking freshly baked cookies, or persuading me to flick her ancient feather duster around rather than lying across the battered sofa waiting for my purple nail varnish to dry.
‘Briggie loved this house but she was always convinced it held secrets.’ He munched on a jam-laden triangle of toast.
‘Oh? What sort of secrets?’ That might explain its aura. I knew nothing about the place, except that it was Victorian. And really, really peculiar.
‘Not rightly sure, but she often felt the house was trying to tell her something. The ghost of the little boy, the incongruity of the building materials, and all the messages and motifs. She even found something scribbled in the cupboard under the stairs that convinced her there was a love story at the heart of it all…’
I hope people are encouraged to read Hawthorn Place, and to discover the truth about the Arts and Crafts architect, Percy Gladwell, who designed the house over a century before. There is indeed a love story at the centre of everything, and Molly is about to stumble on the most unbelievable secret tucked away in the tiny under-stairs cupboard.
Thank you again for sharing my book.
Author Bio –
Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.
Jenni is also the author of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unexpected Life of Maisie Meadows.
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