Out tomorrow (21st May) is the novel The Ballynoon Friendship Circle. This is Pauline Morgan’s debut novel, and is women’s fiction set in Northern Island. It is published by Spellbound Books.
Below is the Book Blurb, an Extract and some information About the Author. Plus the absolutely stunning book cover!
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.
Driving at a crawl, in front of me is an impressive entrance, double iron gates towering between massive stone pillars, an endless wall that marks the boundary of Ballynoon House. My mouth opens, but no words come out. I’ve only seen it in photographs, and now, after two days of driving, and a ferry crossing over the Irish Sea, I’m here, and at the end of a wooded drive, is the Gate Lodge that will be my new home. A confusion of panic mixed with the feeling of butterflies in my stomach. What have I done? I turn off the car engine as reality hits me; this is my new home.
My new life begins today. No more worries of betrayal. I wipe away the flood of tears. I study my new home; set on an angle, some ivy around the windows, the gutters filled with leaf moss, and the gardens needing attention. Cosmetic jobs, I convince myself, my chocolate-box type property, windows either side of the post-box red front door. There’s even a stone plaque above the door, dating the property to 1860.
“Wow,” I whisper in disbelief.
Nervously I release the seatbelt and snatch my handbag from the passenger’s seat to retrieve the set of house keys. I clutch them close to my breast, approaching the front door. A cool breeze washes over me; a reminder we are in May. Starting with the first key, I test each one until the right one turns to unlock the door, only to find it hard to open. Using both hands to give a mighty push, it opens. Behind the door is a pile of junk mail left on the floor. My eager eye spots a few buff-coloured envelopes stamped with the significant capital red letters FINAL DEMAND. Intriguing to see if there’re any clues about the previous occupant. Full of motivation I collect the junk mail, dusting off the envelopes addressed to Martin Crawford. I recognise his name from the sale of purchase. I wonder why he sold the property via the internet property auction and not the local estate agent. What’s the reason for sending his post here and not his new home? No problem, I can hand them back to the postman I think, placing the letters on the dusty windowsill.
Cautiously I hold my breath to step inside the porch. How weird that I sense a warm, loving feeling coming from this property. My arm automatically goes into a waving action to remove many of the hanging cobwebs obstructing my path, to see the sunshine struggling to get through the filthy windows. A small hallway with two doors leading off; curiosity gets the better of me. I reach for the Bakelite door handle to enter a square living room. In full view is a beautiful rustic stone fireplace; looking up I see a timber ceiling, typical feature of an Irish home. Happy to see the double window aspect allows lots of natural light to enhance this charming room. On the floor are the outlines of where large rugs covered the scratches on the oak floorboards. I can polish the wooden floors and put my sizeable Chinese style rug in the centre of the room, it will be fantastic. How quickly I imagine the place full of my lovely furnishings. A pang of sadness hits me; I did sell some of the larger items; shrugging my shoulders to release a sigh.
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.
Follow Pauline Morgan at:
Big thanks to Zooloo Book Tours @zooloo2008 for inviting me onto this book tour
For more of my book reviews, divided by genre, see EmmabBooks.com
All the best, Emma
Thank you so much Emma for your post and for being part of the tour.
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