I usually do more of an interview on Tuesday Author Chats, but, but I so love Helena Fairfax’s latest book, I just wanted to give you a healthy sampling of her words from this book.
FELICITY AT THE CROSS HOTEL, is an incredibly fun read. Mainly because my friend Helena has crafted the most adorable heroine. “Fliss,”as she’s called, is feisty and soft and has a great heart. She stands up for herself and the dialogue is so light and refreshing. I love the way her brain runs on. Below is an excerpt.
‘No use hiding in there.’ Georgia’s voice was slurred and belligerent.
Fliss gave a deep sigh. The perfect end to a trying evening. She glanced at the window. Just her luck. Far too small for her to crawl through. There was nothing for it but to put on a dignified front and to try and persuade Pauline’s by now very drunken friend that they were actually on the same side, and that Fliss was not – and never would be – Johnny’s girlfriend.
Fliss opened the cubicle door, pasting a friendly smile on her face. For the first time Dolly Parton’s advice failed her. Georgia took her smile entirely the wrong way.
‘Do you think this is funny? Pauline’s effing heart-broken.’ Georgia balled her hand into a fist and swung it at Fliss’s face. If Fliss hadn’t been so tired by then she’d have dealt with it more neatly. She’d had lessons in self-defence for years, at her father’s suggestion. When she first began travelling abroad for the Everdene chain, her dad had worried about her travelling alone. He’d thought a set of jiu-jitsu classes would help her look after herself. Fliss had much enjoyed her lessons and continued to practise whenever she could. Although she’d travelled round the world, luckily she’d never been called on to use her skills in real life. Not until confronted by a drunken friend of Pauline’s in a pub in Emmside.
Fliss leaned aside just a little too late, and Georgia’s fist managed a glancing blow along her cheekbone which smarted. Luckily Georgia was the worse for drink. She carried on lunging long after the blow had landed. It was easy enough for Fliss to catch hold of the other woman’s arm, lock it and swing her round until she landed with an ooomph on the tiled floor. Georgia let out a scream, more in anger than in pain, but unfortunately another young woman chose that very moment to walk in. She found Fliss standing over Georgia, holding her arm in a lock, one kitten-heeled foot pressed on her shoulder to keep her down.
It only took Georgia’s cry of, “Get her off me!” for the other woman to start screaming as well. Next minute the ladies was full of people, and someone was phoning the police.
‘So that’s how it all got out of hand,’ Fliss told Patrick. ‘And when Constable Hield arrived in the patrol car, he told me he was only a special constable, not a real policeman, and last time he arrested someone Sergeant Willis was very annoyed. He seemed a bit worried, so I said why don’t we go down to the police station and ask the sergeant what to do? Constable Hield seemed to think that was a great idea, so that’s how I ended up getting in the patrol car with him.’
‘For goodness sake.’ Patrick rolled his eyes. ‘And that’s when Johnny sloped off home, I take it.’
‘It wasn’t exactly sloping,’ Fliss said defensively. ‘I persuaded Georgia it would be better if she set off home with Johnny, before the police turned up.’
‘Don’t tell me. You and Georgia are now fast friends.’
‘Well, she apologised for screaming. Said it hadn’t hurt really, but I’d taken her by surprise. And then we were both quite cross about the other girl bursting in and screaming for no reason, and Georgia explained that this was one of her cousins, and she’d always been a drama queen, ever since she was a baby. After that, we got on quite well. Georgia said she hadn’t thought I’d have it in me to floor her. Then she admired my shoes. She told me she hadn’t noticed them until I stood on her shoulder, and she recognised the designer name on the sole. So I said I’ve got another pair the same, hardly worn, and said she might as well have them if she liked them. And then Georgia said – ’
They were now nearing the hotel. Patrick slowed down to take the turn into the driveway and added in a mutter, ‘Poor old Willy. What a night for him.’
Fliss chuckled. ‘What a nickname for a policeman. It must be hard being a copper in the town you grew up in. Did you call him Willy at school?’
‘At school?’ Patrick was thunderstruck. ‘Of course not. Willy’s way older than I am. He’d left school before I even started.’
‘Oh, of course. He said he’d – ’ Fliss broke off abruptly. They reached the hotel forecourt, and Patrick cut the engine.
‘Said he’d what?’ His eyes met hers.
Here’s the Amazon link. http://amzn.to/2tEWSkQ
This gives you an idea why I find this book so delightful. Besides, it takes me back to the days when I read lots of British Authors. Love the slightly different wording.
Helena draws beautiful pictures of the setting. I can picture where all the shenanigans are going on.
For all the lightheartedness of the words, both Fliss and Patrick deal with tough internal conflicts. She with her father and how he runs the family hotel business. He with guilt over a friend’s death and his poor relationship with his dead father. Seeing how Helena artfully deals with the realities is a treat.
Helena (the accent is on the first syllable) & I met when we were both newish authors at MuseItUp Publishing, the small Canadian e-press that published our first books. She’s gone on to other publishers and as you know I’ve become an Indie publisher with my MRW Press, LLC
There are many reasons I’m grateful to MuseItUp for publishing my first two books. First is that they (and another publisher) liked my book and wanted to publish VERMONT ESCAPE. It’s hard to underestimate the power of that belief.
Equally important are the people I met through the company. Helena is one of those. It was so cool to hear her delightful accent in an interview. Maybe, we’ll never meet in person–she is in Great Britain and I’m in Texas—but through the joys of the Internet, we’ve become friends. Her books aren’t the type I usually read (as you know, I primarily read romantic suspense) but her books are really enjoyable, and I can’t resist them.
Here’s more about her.
Contemporary romance author
Shortlisted Exeter Novel Prize 2014
Runner-up Global E-Book Awards 2014
Shortlisted I Heart Indie Awards 2016
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Hope you’ll sign up for her blog and newsletter and buy a couple of her books. FELICITY AT THE CROS HOTEL, for sure and check out the others, too.
Do you read across genres? Name one of your favorite authors and one title. Love to hear from you.
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