Returning to the heart of her beloved Cornwall, Kate Ryder weaves another deliciously irresistible tale of desire, jealousy and the search for understanding, set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Lizard Peninsula.
Globally renowned actor Oliver Foxley has made the most difficult decision of all and set the love of his life free, in order to try and bring his family back together. But there’s a magnetic pull back to both Cara and Cornwall that Oliver can neither deny nor resist…
Heartbroken for a second time in her short life, single mother Cara knows she has no choice but to pick up the pieces yet again and carry on. Perhaps a complete change of scenery would help her, and her young family? Yet her mind, spirit and heart yearn for the windswept shores of her Cornish Cove…
Cara and Oliver face the agonising choice between following expectations or following their hearts. How will their story end…?
Guest Post – Kate Ryder: My experiences as a writer
I have been a keen reader since childhood and during my early teens, this evolved into writing poetry and short stories for my own pleasure. In fact, a friend and I – horse mad teenagers at the time – wrote alternate chapters to complete our first novel (surprisingly, never published!). The hero, then, was always a dark, brooding, magnificent stallion…
At school, English Literature was one of the subjects that naturally received my undivided attention. I remember an appointment with a careers advice officer as keenly as if it were yesterday. When asked what I’d like to do when I left school, I replied that I wanted to be an author or a journalist. The careers advisor’s response was to ask me if I’d ever considered becoming a florist! So, my dream of becoming an author was crushed before it ever had a chance to have life breathed into it. I did not follow his advice into floristry but, instead, chose to study acting. However, it soon became apparent that my passion lay more in crafting words than interpreting someone else’s.
Over the years I have enjoyed a variety of careers, mainly within travel, publishing and property. Writing has featured strongly. I have worked in PR and marketing (all those press releases!) and in editorial as a proof-reader, copy editor, assistant editor and writer. It was during a period of employment with a specialist newspaper that I decided to escape news-speak and flex my creative writing muscles by joining a local writers’ group with the intention of writing short stories. However, one particular exercise turned out to be a little longer than intended and I soon had 85,000 words and the semblance of a novel. I self-published that short-story-turned-novel and was thrilled if a little shocked when it was shortlisted for Choc Lit’s 2016 Search for a Star and honoured with a Chill with a Book Book of the Month.
I am a member of the Society of Authors and a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. Cottage on a Cornish Cliff is the second of my books published by UK-based digital publisher Aria Fiction, an imprint of award-winning Head of Zeus. It is the sequel to Summer in a Cornish Cove, which saw me shortlisted for the RNA’s prestigious Joan Hessayon award.
Being traditionally published is a dream come true! Thank you, Aria, for taking a punt on me.
I love the first book in this series and although the ending is poignant there is hope for Oliver and Cara’s future. The sequel sees Cara and Oliver living their lives, Cara with another child to love and Oliver trying to help his youngest son and see if there is anything of his marriage to save apart from staying together for the sake of the children.
Cara is emotionally strong and her family give her a reason to live, even though her heart is broken for the second time. Her artistic talent draws the attention of a New York art critic but are his motives as magnanimous as he portrays them? Or does he have a sinister motive for showcasing Cara’s art to the world? He offers security and success but is the sacrifice Cara will have to make worth it?
Exacerbated by his failing marriage and loss of Cara, Oliver’s depression deepens. Is doing the right thing for his family worth sacrificing his emotional happiness?
This is an intensely romantic, emotional story with two leading characters you can’t help but empathise with. The conflicts are frequent and convincing and the ending is worthy of any romantic film. The writing style is easy to read, full of authentic characters and a breathtaking setting.
Definitely one of my favourite romantic series of the year.
I received a copy of this book from Aria Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Here you go,’ says Janine, placing two mugs of coffee and plates filled with generous portions of chocolate cake on the table. ‘Enjoy!’
Cara picks up a fork. Slicing off a mouthful of cake, she pops it into her mouth. ‘Mmmm… that’s delicious.’
‘My mother’s recipe,’ says Janine. ‘She was a tremendous cook. That’s why all her children have grown to the size we have!’
‘Sorry to interrupt.’ A man’s strong Cornish accent makes them both jump. ‘I’ve come to fix the sign.’ Janine pushes back her chair and rushes over to him.
Toby, who had been falling asleep with his mouth slack around Cara’s right nipple, wakes suddenly and energetically sucks. Cara winces. She looks across at the man who, although talking to Janine, watches her.
‘Well, isn’t that a lovely sight?’ he says, scratching his head. ‘Fair made my day, that has!’
Janine glances over her shoulder at Cara. ‘Probably won’t make your day if you hang around for the nappy-changing part, Jim.’ She bustles the man out of the café.
Toby closes his eyes. Cara carefully removes him from her breast and pulls her sweatshirt down. Her son has incredibly thick black eyelashes and she wonders if Oliver had at that age too. NO! She has to stop doing this. Oliver Foxley does not exist. He is a world and a lifetime away…
‘Sorry about that,’ Janine says, returning to the table.
‘No worries, Janine. Breastfeeding’s only natural.’
‘Yes, but you don’t want any old Tom, Dick or Harry watching you while you do it,’ Janine says.
Janine laughs. ‘He’s a good guy. I’ve known him for years. He’s got eight grandchildren, so I guess he’s used to it. How’s the latte?’
‘Scrumptious. If I get into the habit of this indulgence I’ll have to start running again.’
‘I should take up running as well,’ comments Janine. ‘I don’t suppose customers want to be served by a large, sweaty lump of a woman.’
‘Oh, Janine! Your weight’s perfectly fine for your height.’
‘Yeah, guess so. Anyway, hubby never complains when he’s home from the rigs. Puts slighter men off though,’ Janine says with a laugh, ‘like that American friend of yours. When I first met him he actually cowered!’
Cara raises her eyebrows. She thinks back to the day when Greg visited her at The Lookout and Janine brought Beth and Sky home after school. It’s true! He backed off in Janine’s presence. However, Cara suspects it was not so much to do with her friend’s size and powerful charisma but more to do with keeping himself at a distance from the locals.
‘Why poor?’ Janine asks, loading her fork with cake. ‘When I look at him the word “poor” doesn’t spring to mind!’
‘His wife’s just died. She had cancer. That’s why they visited the cove in the first place, for her recuperation… or so they’d hoped.’
‘Oh, that’s tough.’ Janine pops the cake into her mouth.
‘I wonder what he’ll do now,’ Cara says quietly, a small frown settling on her brow.
Janine considers her neighbour. She witnessed the devastating effect Christo’s tragic death had on her dear friend, and then the all-consuming love affair with Oliver that ended so suddenly, followed by the birth of their love child without the actor being there. She also knows Greg would find any excuse to hang around Cara whenever he was in the cove.
‘He is very attractive, in an older man sort of way,’ she says cautiously.
Cara nods her head.
‘And he has plenty of money.’
Cara gives her friend a questioning look. ‘What exactly are you suggesting, Janine?’
‘Nothing really,’ Janine says airily, ‘just… Well, you know, life’s short and he inhabits the same world as you. He could provide you and your family with a wonderful life.’
‘Janine! He’s only just lost his wife!’ Cara scolds.
‘I know. I’m just saying.’ Janine gives a small smile before adding, ‘You know he’s really keen on you.’
‘I do not!’ Cara exclaims.
‘Oh, I think you do, Cara Penhaligon. The fuss he’s made of you ever since he first discovered your talent, and the way he guided you through all the press nonsense surrounding that prize you won. He wouldn’t let you out of his sight!’
Cara frowns again.
‘And, let’s face it, Cara. Most men would run a mile from a woman who had a baby by another man, but Toby doesn’t seem to have made a bit of difference.’
Cara considers Janine’s words. She’s right. Having supported her through the excitement of winning the Threadneedle Prize, Greg kept in touch throughout her pregnancy and beyond. His attention never waned. She remembers the first day she saw him, walking a dog on the beach in the most atrocious weather. He clocked her watching him from her studio window and acknowledged her. Her first impressions were that he was not only attractive – in an older man, Richard Gere sort of way – but also sophisticated and a league away. However, through their professional relationship, the distance between them has lessened. He has pointed her in the right direction and introduced her to influential people in the art world, and she now considers him a true mentor.
‘What are you thinking?’ asks Janine.
‘Nothing of importance,’ Cara says a little too quickly.
‘Well, I think nothing of importance could grow into something very much of importance if that’s what you want,’ says Janine, rising from her chair as the entrance door opens.
Jim walks in. ‘I’m ready to hang those signs now,’ he says, looking over at Cara and Toby, asleep in her lap. He smiles.
‘Here they are,’ says Janine, picking up the signs off a neighbouring table. ‘I’ll hold the ladder for you.’
As Janine disappears with Jim, Cara contemplates what her friend has said. She’s never really considered Greg in that light. Oh, yes, he kisses her at every given opportunity, but it doesn’t mean a thing. It’s just his way. But now, after Janine’s comments, she wonders if there is something to the way Greg handles her. And then she remembers the way he looked at her – in this very café – the first time they officially met. So much has happened since she had forgotten the look that suggested a different time and place.
Cara’s face flushes and her frown deepens.’
After pursuing a career in publishing and acting, Kate found her passion in writing. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her self-published debut novel received a Chill with a Book, “Book of the Month” Award. She currently lives with her husband in the Tamar Valley in a renovated 200-year-old Cornish sawmill. She finds the Cornish landscape a great source of inspiration. When she is not writing she enjoys reading, art, theatre and travel. Facebook Twitter Website