Rose has a promising future stretching out before her until a cruel twist of fate seizes it. Will she overcome her heartache as she tries to build a new life? Rose returns to the safe haven of Linwood colliery and her warm-hearted family. As she settles into life in the colliery rows, Rose makes an astounding discovery and a long lost family member appears who makes demands on them all..
Chrissie Bradshaw’s emotionally gripping historical reads have a northern Catherine Cookson vibe with a modern attitude. ‘Rose’s Ever After’ follows on from ‘Rose’s Choice’ yet it can be enjoyed as a stand alone novel
Read ‘Rose’s Ever After’ to follow the twists and turns of Rose’s eventful life. Will the rugged path ahead, full of challenges, lead her to a new ‘happily ever after’?
Thank you for promoting my books -this is our third collaboration!
I did a Q and A last time so an extract this time is a great idea. I hope you like the one I’ve chosen. It is the opening extract of ‘Rose’s Ever After’ with a short introduction.
Introduction to a short extract from Rose’s Ever After
Rose has recently given birth and, three days after Christmas, she visits her mother’s grave with her baby daughter. It is the sixth anniversary of her mother’s death and there is something troubling Rose ,something she needs to share with her mother.
December 28th 1955
Rose wheeled Lily’s pram along the bumpy path leading to her mother’s grave, her head filled with the changes there had been in the family since her last visit a few months ago. The tall wych elm had been shedding yellow leaves the last time she saw it, and now its bare branches stood out starkly against the grey winter sky.
She put the brake on the pram, carefully lifted the sleeping baby out of her cocoon of blankets and took a deep breath. Even after six years, it was hard to see her mother’s name on her headstone.
Beloved wife of John Kelly
Mother of Rose Virginia, Stanley, David and Terence
10th June 1909 – 28th Dec 1949
Laid to rest beside David Kelly
26th Oct 1936 – 23rd Jan 1945
She crunched over the frosty grass, crouched level with the inscription and traced over the writing with her free hand.
‘I’ve brought Lily along, Mam. Your granddaughter. She’s come to say hello.’
Rose took a handkerchief from her pocket and wiped her eyes. They were streaming with the icy chill of the air as well as sorrow. ‘It’s been a busy three months since this little one was born, that’s why I haven’t been for a while. I think about you a lot though, and I wish you could have held her. I hope you know that.’
The air was still, but the freezing temperature and the heavy grey sky warned of snow, so Rose carried Lily back to the pram and tucked the blankets snugly around her, before returning to the graveside with an armful of Christmas roses and a few sprigs of holly.
‘I brought these from Dad’s allotment for you and David. You always loved to see the Christmas roses appear.’ Her hands trembled as she arranged her offering and words tumbled from her. ‘So much has happened, Mam. So much! I wonder if you know? I wonder if you understand how I feel?’
Rose knelt on the frost-tipped grass by the grave and clasped her numb hands together. She would love to hear a message or see a sign to show her that her mother was listening; but in her heart, she knew Ginnie Kelly was far beyond this world’s worries, and any upset within the family made little difference to her now. Knowing that still didn’t take away her need to spill the whole tale out to her mother.
‘I’m stunned by the bombshell Dad dropped on Christmas Day. I just wasn’t expecting it.’
Dad’s announcement still hadn’t sunk in, and maybe, if she told her mother, she could make more sense of it herself.
On Christmas day they had a wonderful lunch with Dad, her youngest brother Terry, and Danny’s sister Grace, who looked after Terry and the house for Dad. Grace, who was about forty, had never married, and for the past year she had kept house at number one. She stayed over when Dad was on night shift, so Terry wasn’t alone and Rose didn’t have to worry about either of them. Grace did most of the cooking but Rose helped, and afterwards Dad offered to help Grace clear up. ‘You and Danny go for a bit of air while Lily is asleep. I’ll help Grace with the dishes before all of the others arrive, and then we can settle down and listen to the Queen’s speech.’
Rose had been happy to leave them to it and take a walk with Danny. She was glad to have his heart, and now they had a beautiful daughter, she felt blessed. When flakes of snow started to fall, they ran back to First Row, hand in hand, to be in time for the Christmas message which was due to be broadcast to the nation at three o’clock.
They opened the door to laughter and a full house. For the first time, Rose’s family, the Kellys, and Danny’s family, the Dodds, were all gathering together for Christmas afternoon. The family connections were complicated and it was a bit of a squeeze, but they all wanted to be together, and they didn’t need a good view of the screen because the Queen was to be broadcast in sound only. Queen Elizabeth ended the speech by asking her listeners to resolve to keep the spirit of Christmas with them as they journeyed into the unknown year that lay ahead.
Grace broke the silence after Queen Elizabeth finished by saying what Rose had been thinking. ‘What a lovely message. Though it would’ve been nice to see the Queen at Sandringham and see what she was wearing for Christmas Day.’
‘She couldn’t have looked any nicer than you or Rose,’ Danny answered, giving Grace a hug, and Rose’s heart melted at Grace’s beam. She did look especially nice today in a new dress.
‘You’re right there, Danny. The ladies did us proud with their cooking too.’ Dad stood up, looking flushed and animated. ‘I have something to say to you all in a moment when Grace has handed you a drink.’
Grace, stuck on the low sofa, was pulled to her feet by Danny. ‘Thanks, pet. I’ve got the glasses all ready.’ A moment later she appeared from the scullery with a tray filled with glasses of sherry. She handed one to Dad and two to her own mam and dad before bringing the tray over to Rose and the rest of them.
What was going on? Mr and Mrs Dodd seemed as puzzled as Rose felt. Her heart thudded with apprehension. Sherry? A speech from Dad? Grace standing by him looking rosy cheeked and… and in love. Was Dad going to announce an engagement? No!
‘I’d like to take this opportunity to tell all of those closest to us that Grace and I…’ Dad clasped Grace’s hand and smiled at her. ‘Grace and I, we got married last week. We wanted it to be quiet and to keep the news for today when we’re all together. So now I would like you all to raise your glasses to toast my wife, Grace Kelly.’
Rose tried to paste on a smile. She mustn’t make a show of herself. The room was going out of focus as though she might pass out. Lily, asleep upstairs, let out a cry, and to Rose’s relief the room stopped turning and she had an excuse to leave. She dashed upstairs into the cool bedroom, held Lily to her and took in gulps of air to stop herself from crying.
How could her dad have sprung such news on her like this?
Thank you, Chrissie Bradshaw and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist’s Association Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker who writes contemporary and historical family sagas.
Chrissie has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking her dog on the beach, travelling or spending time with her family and friends. She would love to hear from readers.
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