It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the publication day push for A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores by Laura Briggs, the second in her series A Little Hotel in Cornwall. I thoroughly enjoyed A Little Hotel in Cornwall, the first in the series (you’ll find my review here) and I’m really kicking myself that I couldn’t fit in the reading of this one – but I’m sure I’ll be trying another before the series ends. You can buy this one for your kindle via Amazon in the UK and US – and if it’s anything like the first, I’d highly recommend it for a sunny afternoon in the garden (although I notice it’s now Autumn at Port Hewer…).
It looks like a perfect Cornish autumn, with aspiring novelist Maisie Clark still finding inspiration as a maid at the historic Penmarrow Hotel. Between the staff of quirky co-workers, glamorous and unusual guests, and her growing friendship with the charming but mysterious Sidney Daniels, Maisie is living out adventures instead of just penning them in the pages of her would-be novel’s growing number of chapters.
And then there’s the slight problem of keeping the balance between friendship and ‘something more’ with Sidney, who’s helping introduce her to the village’s version of a Cornish Halloween, and has recently taken an interest in Maisie’s secret that may change things between them. But even Maisie’s imagination can’t conjure the unusual event this Halloween brings to the Penmarrow. An eccentric earl has chosen this site to host his lavish birthday celebration that includes a pretty (and perceptive) young psychic whose predictions seem to have everyone on edge — and, to Maisie’s delight, the elusive novelist Alistair Davies is rumored to be part of the guest list! But with the earl’s bickering relatives and illustrious friends on hand— and more than one ghost of the past waiting to be revealed — it’s anyone’s guess what the festivities will bring before the party is over.
Will the psychic foretell doom for the earl’s gathering—and is her ‘gift’ as genuine as it seems? Will Maisie finally meet her favorite author face to face? And, more importantly, what about the romantic sparks that fly between Maisie and Sidney?
So with apologies, no review this time – but I’m delighted to welcome Laura as my guest to tell us more about Halloween romance, Cornish style…
Thank you so much to Anne for letting me share with her readers a bit about my latest book release, A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores!
This feel-good romantic read is the sequel to A Little Hotel in Cornwall and features the same quirky cast of characters and idyllic Cornish village of Port Hewer. The heroine, an aspiring novelist named Maisie Clark, is still working at an elegant and eclectic hotel by the sea and still penning chapters of her would-be gothic novel in her spare time. She’s also still caught somewhere between friendship and ‘something more’ with Sidney Daniels, the charming and carefree groundskeeper for the local vicarage.
Setting Maisie’s newest adventure in the autumn provided the perfect excuse to learn about Cornish Halloween customs both past and present—and to weave them into the story, of course! I had a tremendous amount of fun exploring the culture’s unique take on this holiday and would love to share with you a few of the fun facts I learned while reading about the history of Cornwall’s Halloween. So here goes!
Allantide: This is one of the several names used for a Cornish celebration that traditionally takes place on 31 October. Other names for the festivities include Saint Allan’s Day and the Feast of Saint Allan, as well as Allan Night and Allan Day. The festival is apparently connected to the legendary figure of St Allan (also called St Allen or St Arlan) who is believed to have been a 6th century bishop…but, sadly, not much else seems to be known about the figure who supposedly inspired this Cornish tradition.
Apples: This fruit plays a crucial part in the celebration of Allantide as a symbol of good luck. Part of the tradition of Allantide is the exchange among family and friends of big, bright red apples. There were even special markets devoted to it, known as Allan markets, apparently. In A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores Maisie and Sidney go shopping for Allantide apples at the local grocers, as well as collecting some from a special spot in the wood.
Games: In addition to being exchanged as gifts, apples were often used in games at Allantide festivals, including that of bobbing for apples. One of the more interesting sounding ones involved suspending the fruit from a cross-shaped wooden frame that had candles lit from each of its corners—meaning those who couldn’t catch an apple quickly enough with their mouth risked being the recipient of a hot wax drip from above! Which is exactly what happens to Maisie when she plays the game at the Halloween village party, a festive event that includes live music, folk dancing—and a raucous outbreak no one expected!
There’s lots more Halloween fun between the pages of A Spirited Girl on Cornish Shores, not to mention romance and humor—I hope readers will be sure to check it out for a fun autumn escape!
Thank you Laura – and with thanks to both Laura and Rachel, I’m delighted to offer the chance to win one of 3 Cornish themed prizes, all open internationally.
1st Prize: One Ross Poldark collectible Knitdark character doll: perfect for fans of all-things Cornwall, this Ross Poldark doll with tricorn hat is made by Angela Blay, whose popular Knitdark creations have been featured on The Graham Norton Show. Since each doll is hand made, the Ross the winner receives may vary slightly in appearance from the one in the picture. Readers can learn more about the Knitdarks at Angela’s Twitter page as well as her Etsy shop.
2nd Prize: One decorative tin T.A.R.D.I.S – similar to the keepsake Maisie is gifted by Sidney in Book 1, A Little Hotel in Cornwall, designed by Etsy artist Kitty Conduitt and perfect for fans of Doctor Who! Being a unique, hand made item, the final design may vary slightly in appearance from the one pictured. Learn about KittyConduittDesigns on Etsy.
3rd Prize: One Kindle/Tablet case featuring cover art from A Little Hotel in Cornwall.
A specially designed case for a Kindle or Tablet featuring the cover art for Book 1 in the series A Little Hotel in Cornwall. The final product’s size, texture, and color will depend on the winner’s device.
All 3 winners will also receive a digital copy of Book 1 in the series, A Little Hotel in Cornwall. Here’s the Rafflecopter for entry:
Terms and Conditions Worldwide entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
About the author
Laura Briggs is the author of several chick lit and romance stories, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller A Wedding in Cornwall. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family, caring for her pets, going to movies and plays, and trying new restaurants.