After finding her dream cottage in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, Edel Marston, a fifty-year-old retired teacher, makes the life-changing decision to relocate back to Northern Ireland after the death of her husband Ben.
A rocky start with the neighbours and the knowledge of her past is a little too close for comfort, leaves Edel full of self-doubt. Her emotions have become a law unto themselves and she keeps wondering if she’s made the right decision.
After giving herself a good talking to, she decides to join a local over 50’s club, in a bid to embrace her new life. However, after meeting the friendly ladies of the self-proclaimed Stitch & Bitch group, she’s left with further feelings of uncertainty.
Realising quickly how gossipy these ladies can be, Edel finds herself keeping more and more secrets, especially when her relationship with one particular friend develops into something much more.
Ultimately, Edel has to decide whether to trust again and let all of these new people into her life, warts and all or go back to being lonely but safe and with her secrets intact.
A sudden disturbance awakens me when I hear a man’s voice shouting and hammering noisily on the front door. I come to my senses, smelling smoke, and harsh coughs kick into place. My eyes begin to stream with tears – loud, popping noises turn into a roaring sound coming from the chimney to match the intense hot smell. The room is full of smoke; I am dashing to open the front door. A stranger stands there shouting my address into his mobile, presumably to the fire brigade – his facial expression changes, when he turns around to notice me.
“What the hell are you doing, woman? Your chimney is on fire, get outside quickly. Is anyone else in the house?” He shouts, carrying a fire extinguisher ready for action.
“No, it’s only me,” I say, rubbing my stinging eyes.
Outside the night air is bitter, finding its way through my thin knit cardigan, making me shiver. I stare at the burning flames leaping from the chimney stack – the thick smoke billowing into the night sky polluting the air with a tar smell. From the corner of my eye, I see the same car that almost knocked me down earlier today.
“Bloody hell – it’s you; Martin Crawford.” Thankfully he ignores me, and I follow him back into the house to check the damage.
Both of us start coughing from the smoke and vapours of steam rising into the air. The room becomes unbearable to breathe to the point of coming close to fainting. I sense Martin is next to me; his arm slips around my waist, holding onto me tight.
“Quickly go towards the front door,” he says whilst opening the windows with his free hand.
The sound of the siren deafens us – the blue flashing lights of the fire engine take on an image of an outdoor discotheque. I lift my head to gaze at this rude man, who, with his quick thinking, not only saved my home but rescued me from a fate worse than death.
Thank you, Pauline Morgan and Zooloo’s Book Tours
About the author
The call to Pauline Morgan’s native Northern Ireland was too strong and, after a fascinating stint overseas, she recently relocated there. Pauline had some unique mystical experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. She has been a member of the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers’ Scheme. She attended a day course in Editing, tutored by author/mentor Morgen Bailey.
Pauline is a member of Writers Ink, a multi-award winning http://www.writing.ie
She has written short stories; published in Woman’s Way and Irelands Own iconic magazine. Pauline enjoyed entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed at Kanturk Arts Festival.
Her first poem Airborne, published on Pendemic.ie website March 2020
Pauline has completed a women’s ‘fiction book called The Ballynoon Friendship Circle, her debut novel to be published by SpellBound Books in early 2021. Pauline is working on a standalone book Christmas novel.
She engages with an extensive network of social writing groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Pauline turns her incredible imagination into words to create beautiful stories in different genres. She has a relaxed style of writing, and her mentor describes it as heart-warming and cosy. Pauline never shies away from any given written tasks.
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ballynoon-Friendship-Circle-charming-beginnings-ebook/dp/B0949S21FF/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2PDXQLXTZ3ZPE&dchild=1&keywords=the+ballynoon+friendship+circle&qid=1620548121&sprefix=the+bally%2Caps%2C179&sr=8-1