If you’ve been following along with me for a while you know that 2 things I really love in the book world are heartwarming summer romances and UK authors. Well lookie what I have to share with you today…..
A brand new summer romance by Emily Harvale called SUMMER IN THE CITY. I am in complete heaven!
But here’s were this gets even better, not only do I have excerpts from the book (not 1, not 2, but 4 excerpts that are so tempting and tie together so well that there is no way I could possibly just choose one for you to read, and I know there is no way you will pass this up after reading them) BUT I have a special note/update straight from Emily about this book, its series, and follow up novels!!!
(There is a Christmas one people, YES I SAID CHRISTMAS)!
So keep reading and check out this fun story from one of my repeat authors who I highly recommend, and to find out what the residents of Seahorse Harbour will be up to next. I can’t wait!
SUMMER AT MY SISTERS published today 7/31 and is available now.
About Summer at my Sisters
Twin sisters. One scorching summer.
A bucketful of secrets.
Diana’s life is perfect. Her twin sister, Josie’s – not so much.
Diana has a rich and successful husband, two talented youngsters and an adorable dog. She always looks as if she’s stepped from the cover of a magazine. Her immaculate second home by the sea, for idyllic summers with her perfect family, was actually featured in one.
Josie has a messy, compact flat, dates, but not relationships, and she can’t even keep a houseplant alive. She moves from job to job, goes clubbing with her friends and often looks as if she’s fallen through a hedge.
Although Josie loves Diana deeply, each year she declines the invitation to spend the summer with her sister. Or any other family holiday. Because Josie has a secret.
But is Diana’s life so perfect? Or is she also hiding something? When secrets are revealed this summer, everything will change. Josie could finally have the life she’s always wanted … if she’s brave enough to take a chance.
Excerpts from Summer at my Sisters
Thank you so much for allowing me to share a little extract from my new book, Summer at my Sister’s. I hope you enjoy reading this.
This is from Chapter One and is part of a video call that Josie Parnell is having with her twin sister, Diana Dunn. Their mum has told Josie to go and visit Diana because, “something isn’t quite right”, so Josie is calling Diana in the hope of finding out what could possibly be wrong in her sister’s perfect life.
When she sees Diana’s face and hears that Diana’s husband, Alex isn’t driving the family down to Seahorse Harbour and won’t be joining them there for a while because he’s, “too busy”, Josie realizes their mum was right. Perhaps Diana’s perfect life isn’t quite so perfect at the moment.
‘Are you okay, Di?’ I asked, peering at her face. ‘I mean, are you ill? You said you haven’t been feeling well lately. Is it something to worry about?’
‘No, no.’ She shook her head. Almost violently. ‘It’s nothing like that. Honestly. I’d tell you if it was. I think I’m just … a little out of sorts. A bit run down maybe. Nothing a sea breeze won’t cure.’
‘Cocktails always make me feel better so I’m with you on that.’
Now she did laugh. ‘I meant the sea air, not the drink. You know I don’t drink … anymore.’
‘And I don’t drink any less.’ I sniggered. I love those old jokes. ‘So it’s just you and the kids then?’
She looked anxious. ‘Me and the kids?’
‘Going to Seahorse Harbour.’ This conversation was definitely weird.
‘Oh yes. For now. And Henry of course.’
‘Ah yes. Henry. Who could forget that lovable hound?’
‘You could. Obviously.’
‘Yeah well. Dogs aren’t my thing. You know I don’t do well with living beings. With living anything, really. Which reminds me. I’m really sorry but that gorgeous plant you bought me a few weeks ago seems to have … er … decided it didn’t like living in the City.’
‘Josie, no!’ She shook her head and laughed, although it wasn’t a particularly happy sound. ‘Please don’t tell me you’ve killed it already.’
‘Okay. I won’t tell you that.’
‘But you have?’
‘I think it took its own life. I didn’t do anything, honestly.’
‘But you watered it, didn’t you?’
‘Er. I think I did. Once or twice. Possibly not. I meant to.’
She sighed and shook her head again. ‘Oh, Josie. What am I going to do with you?’
Don’t ask me why I said it. I had no intention of doing so. None whatsoever. But I did.
‘You could ask me to come and stay with you for the summer. Or at least until Alex is free to come and join you.’
She blinked a few times and stared at the screen, her perfectly arched and shaped brows raised skywards.
‘In Seahorse Harbour?’
‘No. Mars. Of course in Seahorse Harbour. That’s where you’re spending the summer, isn’t it?’
‘It’s where we spend every summer,’ she said, somewhat wistfully I thought.
I gave a little cough and she smiled wanly.
‘Do I have to ask twice?’
‘What? Are you serious? Are … are you actually asking if you can come and stay? You never come and stay with us.’
‘Well, I’d rather stay with that sexy hunk who now owns The Seahorse Inn but as I don’t know him, I’ll have to stay with you until he asks me. What did you say his name was again?’
‘Mikkel. Mikkel Meloy.’ She lowered her gaze.
‘I still think that sounds more Irish than it does Norwegian. But he does look like a Viking and he could ravage me anytime he likes.’
‘You’ve only seen him once, Josie and that was via my webcam at Easter.’
‘Okay. Don’t get snippy. You sounded just like mum.’ I laughed. ‘You only have to see a man like that once for him to make an impression. Is he still single?’
She looked away into the distance. ‘As far as I know he is.’
‘Hi, Josie!’ My niece Becca appeared in the background, waving frantically. ‘You two talking about Mikkel? He’s sooooo gorgeous. Everyone’s in love with him you know. Even though he’s old.
‘Hey you! He’s only a couple of years older than me and your mum, you cheeky minx.’
Becca giggled. ‘Yeah. Old. But not as old as Orla’s dad. He used to be the heartthrob in Seahorse Harbour until Mikkel moved there. He’s still hot, although Orla hates it when I say her dad is sexy – but he is. Not quite as hot as Mikkel though. Orla’s crushing on him too. We’ve been reading Georgette Heyer books. One of the women in Mum’s book club loves them. Most of the heroines marry guys much older, so we’re sort of getting into the whole, older men thing, even though it still seems a bit gross. They’re sexy to look at sometimes but to have actual sex with them.’ She shivered dramatically. ‘Makes me want to heave just a bit.’
‘You’re not having sex with anyone, young lady. You’re only fifteen.’ I tried to sound stern but I think I failed because I was laughing.
I tried to picture Liam’s face. That’s Orla’s dad. He’d love to know that the thought of having sex with him made someone want to heave. Personally, when I was younger, I quite liked the thought of having sex with Liam Fulbright. Mainly because he was such a nerd, especially with his huge glasses, and I wondered if, like a super hero, he had a far, far sexier alter ego. I definitely got the impression there was something bubbling just beneath his lightly tanned skin and that long, lean body. But I hadn’t seen Liam for years. The last time I saw him was when he was nineteen. He was getting married to Una Cole – the most beautiful girl in the world.
This is from Chapter Three. Josie Parnell asked her taxi driver called Jonno, to drop her at The Seahorse Inn. Jonno is friends with the deliciously handsome owner, Mikkel Meloy, and they’ve just leaned into one another and slapped each other on the back. Now Mikkel turns to Josie.
‘Hi. I’m Mikkel. Mikkel Meloy. My friends call me Mik.’
He held out his hand to me and I eyed it nervously, unsure whether or not to take it.
‘You’re not going to pull me into a hug and slap me on the back, are you?’
His dark blond brows shot up and then he gave a roar of laughter as he shook his mane of golden blond hair.
‘I promise not to slap you on the back.’ His voice was strong and gravelly with just a slight trace of a Nordic accent. ‘And if you’d rather I didn’t hug you, I understand. But we’re very friendly people.’
The gorgeous smile lit up the deepest blue eyes I’ve ever seen.
‘I meant in Seahorse Harbour, but yes, I’m originally from Norway and we’re very friendly there also.’
‘I’m from London, and lately, New York. We carry pepper spray in our handbags.’
He must’ve seen I was joking because he laughed and raised both hands in the air.
‘I’ll wait until you’re ready to hug me then. Do you want a drink?’
‘No. I’d like a pound of sausages.’
A crease formed between his brows but he soon laughed again.
‘Ah. Pretty and funny. I like that in a woman.’
‘I’m off then,’ Jonno said, grinning. ‘If you decide you want a lift to your sister’s give me a call.’ He handed me a card. ‘It’s almost lunchtime so I’m popping home for a sarnie. I’ll be out and about again by the time you’ve had your wine.’
‘Thanks, Jonno, but I’ll be fine. I will give you a call if I need a taxi while I’m here though.’
He waved goodbye to me, gave Mikkel a friendly slap on the arm and was gone in a matter of seconds. Mikkel slung one of my bags on his shoulder and grabbed my cases, wheeling them into the pub.
‘They’re not mine,’ I said.
He stopped for a second, tutted and shook his head.
‘You like to play games,’ he said. ‘I like to play games too.’
From the look he was giving me I had a pretty good idea of the sort of games Mikkel Meloy liked to play. And most of them would involve getting naked, I suspected.
I coughed to clear the images popping into my head and followed him inside. The change from bright sunlight to the dark interior soothed my eyes and meant I had to remove my sunglasses. He deposited my cases right in front of the bar and was behind it in three strides. Long, well-defined, tanned legs, gorgeous-looking bottom hidden beneath khaki shorts, manly waist and a black T-shirt stretched tight across those broad shoulders, kissed at his neck by the curled tips of that golden blond hair, made me drop onto the nearest stool, feeling a little overcome.
‘Wow!’ I said out loud, not realising I had done so.
‘Like it?’ he asked, beaming at me.
For a moment I wondered how to respond and then I realised he thought I was commenting on the inside of the pub as he glanced around and held out his hands as if offering me the entire room.
I quickly took in the white-washed walls, the ropes and nets and other fishing paraphernalia hanging from the black beams and the low, white-washed ceiling. The walls bore photographs of Seahorse Harbour through the ages, some sepia, some in colour, together with paintings of the sea, seahorses, or ships. And there were several ceramic seahorses on the large window sills. I’m not sure what effect he was going for but it somehow worked.
‘Very nice,’ I said, nodding my approval.
The only things that hadn’t changed since I was last in The Seahorse Inn were the name, the black beams and the large fireplace in the far wall. I sat in front of that during a very cold October, many years ago with the man I loved and he told me his decision. A decision that would change my life.
This is where Josie Parnell is on her way to her twin sister, Diana’s house but stops for a while and meets up with Liam Fulbright – a man she hasn’t seen since he married the most beautiful girl in the world (in Josie’s opinion) when he was just nineteen.
I decided to sit for a while beneath the ancient Oak in the centre of the village, and right in front of the church. From here there was a view directly out to sea and I watched a yacht bob along in the distance and seagulls soar and swoop low over the glass-like, turquoise water. I breathed deeply, pushed my sunglasses onto the top of my head, shoving back the tumbles of wavy red hair and closed my eyes, suddenly remembering long-ago summers. I heard someone walking past but I kept my eyes closed. Until I heard my name.
‘Josie? Is that you?’
My eyes shot open at the sound of a man’s voice. It sounded a lot like Liam Fulbright’s had all those years ago, only deeper, stronger and more commanding somehow. But the man standing in front of me looked nothing like the Liam I remembered. Liam had been tall and gangly and never quite as tanned as everyone else. His hair was always short, as if the scissors had taken fright and cut off far too much. Bits of it stuck out everywhere, a bit like a porcupine. His eyes were dark blue, but nothing to write home about, especially as they appeared more bulbous thanks to the thick glasses he wore. But I had always thought there was something simmering just beneath the surface and that one day, whatever it was, would burst forth and Liam would be transformed.
It seemed I was right. Unless this wasn’t Liam Fulbright.
‘It’s Liam. Liam Fulbright. I don’t suppose you remember me? We spent several summers together, a lifetime ago. Becca told my daughter, Orla you were coming. You haven’t changed a bit. Except, perhaps your hair. I think it was chestnut brown in those days.’ His smile was warm and friendly.
I shaded my eyes from the sun.
‘Liam Fulbright? Really? Wow.’
I put on my sunglasses so that I could see him better and got to my feet. He towered over me. But then so did everyone. Diana and I stopped growing when we reached five foot three.
‘Don’t tell me you’ve walked from the station?’
‘What? Oh. Er. No. I took a taxi but stopped for a quick drink at The Seahorse Inn.’
‘And ended up on the bench here? Just the one drink? Or did you have several?’
I didn’t answer immediately. I was still trying to take in how much he had changed.
‘Er. No. Just one. But I think the jet lag and heat is getting to me.’
‘So you stopped to admire the view.’ He half-turned to look at the sea and then his eyes focussed on me again.
‘Well, it is a rather gorgeous view,’ I said, scanning him from the tips of his black, Converse trainers to the roots of his lustrous chocolate-brown hair.
Gone was the spiky haircut and in its place, soft, natural waves sat around a deeply tanned and exceedingly handsome face. The firm jaw held a hint of stubble, the dark blue eyes, sparkling in the bright sunlight were free of glasses and when he smiled, his sensuous-looking lips parted to reveal perfect, naturally white teeth. He was at least six foot or more and his legs were long in his jeans. His pale blue cotton shirt, although not tight, showed that his chest and shoulders were broad and his forearms, where the sleeves had been rolled back, were certainly toned. Not in a body-builder way, but in a way that made it clear Liam Fulbright was no slouch.
‘I agree with you on that,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t imagine living anywhere but here and seeing that view every day.’
‘No. I could easily get used to a view like this. I mean, like that. The sea. The sea view is gorgeous. Er … I was so sorry to hear about Una. I should’ve sent a card or something. Sorry. I’m a terrible person, I know.’
He reached out and touched my shoulder and I swear to you, my skin seared beneath his hand. Or perhaps my shoulders had got sunburnt. I was wearing a sleeveless blouse and I’m not sure how long I was sitting on that bench in the full midday sun.
‘No you’re not, Josie.’ His voice changed tone. I could detect a hint of anger. ‘To be honest, I wouldn’t have known if you had or not. I was in a bit of a state and didn’t really take in anything at the time. Everything was a bit of a blur.’
This is where Josie Parnell arrives at her twin sister, Diana’s house. Liam Fulbright, who Josie has bumped into after last seeing him on his wedding day when he was nineteen, has helped her with her cases and Diana has just opened the front door of Sea View Cottage.
I wasn’t sure who was the most pleased to see me: Diana, Becca, or Henry the crazy, mixed up dog. I say ‘mixed up’ because Henry isn’t just a cross-breed. I think there must be at least four different breeds in his make-up. He’s brown and white and tan and there’s a big autumn-red shape over one of his eyes. He’s got the face and wiry brows of an Irish Wolfhound, the long fur coat of a Briard, the legs of a Great Dane and the tail of a Golden Retriever. That tail can clear a coffee table in seconds. Judging by the size of him I think there may also be a little bit of horse. He comes up to my waist when he’s got all four paws on the ground. When he’s got two of them on my shoulders, almost knocking me over, he’s about seven feet tall. You’d have thought I would have known that this is how he would greet me. He’s done it every time I’ve seen him, although thankfully, Diana doesn’t always bring him with her when we meet up.
Diana and Becca attempted to pull him off as he started to eat me. They said he was just being friendly and trying to lick my face but I wasn’t completely convinced. I tried to push him off me with both hands and he wasn’t budging an inch.
I shot a look at Liam, who seemed to find it rather amusing.
‘A little help … would … be nice,’ I said between mouthfuls of fur and trying to avoid dog drool.
‘Henry. Down boy.’ My nephew Toby wandered into the hall and with three little words, did what Diana, Becca and I couldn’t, using all our strength.
Henry launched himself off me and trotted over to his master without a backward glance while the force of his retreating paws shoved me backwards, sending me tumbling ungainly towards the floor. Luckily, Liam caught me in his arms before I landed on my arse.
‘Thanks,’ I said, scowling up at him. ‘You were no help at all.’
He was laughing but as he stood me upright, one hand cupped my right breast. I’m not sure who was more surprised but he quickly rectified the situation almost dropping me flat on my back in the process. Somehow he managed to save me – again, and this time was extra careful as he helped me straighten up.
The strange thing was, the feel of his hand on my breast sent all sorts of odd sensations darting through me and I was a bit embarrassed. But whenever I feel like that I overcompensate.
‘Blimey, Liam,’ I said, shaking my head and tutting. ‘I’ve only been back in Seahorse Harbour for an hour or two and you’re already trying it on.’
I swear I could see red beneath that tan. Was the man actually blushing?
‘I … er … sorry. It was an accident. I wouldn’t dream of … er.’
‘I was teasing you, Liam.’ I grinned at him and after giving me another very odd look, he grinned back.
About Emily Harvale
Emily writes novels, novellas and short stories about friendship, family and falling in love. She loves a happy ending but knows that life doesn’t always go to plan. Her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Emily loves to connect with her readers and has a readers’ group in which many have become good friends. To catch up with Emily, find out about the group, or connect with her on social media, go to her website at www.emilyharvale.com.
Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now writes full-time. She’s a member of the SoA, an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. When not writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats that like to sprawl across her keyboard, regardless of whether Emily is typing on it, or not.
An exciting update from Emily Harvale
I apologise if you haven’t seen me on social media very much recently but I’ve been exceptionally busy working on lots of exciting stuff (technical term) 😂🤩 for my new book, my website … and a map for my new series of standalone stories set in the tiny village of Seahorse Harbour.
The map will ‘go live’ on July 31st, publication day for the first in the series, which is … yep, you guessed it, Summer at my sister’s. Let me explain a bit more.
Summer at my sister’s was originally a standalone, but then I had an idea for a Christmas book, so it became a two-book series, with Book 2 featuring a couple of new characters and most of the characters from Summer at my sister’s (with me so far?) ……
Then …. I had an idea for another completely separate story set in the same village (which I’m writing at the mo.) This one has new characters.
So now, each story in this series will be a standalone with new characters … but as each book is set in Seahorse Harbour, you’ll be able to ‘see’ what’s going on with the characters from the previous books, because you can’t help but bump into people in a tiny village, can you?
I have to say, I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!!😍🤩💖🥰 I’ve got so many story ideas, although I’ve only written 2 of the books so far, Summer at my sister’s and the Christmas book, which is called …..
Wait for it……(no, that’s not the title)
Christmas at Aunt Elsie’s
This Christmas book will be available for pre-order from early August. 💖🤩🥰😍
Did I mention that I love this series? And yes – I’m just a little bit over-excited. I can’t wait to share these fabulously feel-good stories with you. I hope you’re a little bit excited too. 🤩💖 xxx
Happy Reading and Be Nice!