Lou Presents an #Extract of The Farmhouse – A Southern Gothic Ghost Tale By L.B. Stimpson  @zooloo2008 @stimsonink @QuestionPress #TheFarmhouseOfPeaceandPlenty

Today on day 1 of this blog tour, I present an extract from The Farmhouse by L.B. Stimpson. Thanks to the author for providing the extract and Zooloo Blogtours for inviting me onto this.
Follow onto the Blurb and Extract and take a peek at a bit of this interesting, evocative, atmospheric book, that may well have your spines tingling, to see who lives in a house like this – an ageing, spooky farmhouse that just may put you in the mood early for Halloween!

The Farmhouse Book Cover

Blurb

The house, for all of its solitude, seemed incredibly noisy

The Farmhouse, having stood against time and history for nearly 160 years in the Virginia countryside, was forgotten and abandoned until Kyle and Jenny Dowling moved in during the summer of 1972.

The Dowlings, married just a year, were struggling to repair their broken marriage. It was to be the perfect place, away from it all, to heal their relationship. Jenny would write and Kyle would tend to minor renovations. The rent was cheap.

The realtor warned them, however, against staying beyond the final days of fall.

Extract

Late Spring 1972

Jenny Dowling bit her lower lip in a failed attempt to keep her opinion to herself. She had promised her husband she would keep an open mind, but she didn’t expect the house to be so dilapidated. She swallowed her doubt and concern as they traveled down the gravel road, it was so worn and lonely and if she had to admit, the surrounding fields appeared frozen in time and she and Kyle were emerging through a portal, far from modern society, disturbing the past. Haunted. Yes, haunted was the perfect description. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine the past, when wagons rolled and seclusion was necessary for survival at times.

“Oh, Kyle, you can’t be serious,” she finally blurted out as her eyes wandered along the overgrown driveway beyond the padlocked cattle guard gate which appeared to be holding in the decay spilling forth from the broken windows lining the front of the house. Empty, hollow eyes. Oh, he can’t be serious, but yet, he was.

Kyle reached over and grasped his wife’s hand. “Look, I know it doesn’t, well it might not be the secluded getaway you said you wanted, but it has some charm and it’s cheap and near enough to the city if I need to get back to the university, but I doubt that anyone will be calling. Besides, it has electricity and the realtor said she would cut us a break on the rent if we fixed up a few things.”

Jenny pulled her hand away and cranked open the window. The air was still. It was as though it was holding its breath lest a breeze break through the last shards of broken windows protecting the house against the elements. The house, this house, was exactly what Kyle had always wanted. Of course he would have chosen such a place–lonely and secluded.

The Farmhouse Book Tour Poster

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#BookReview of A Taste of Home By Heidi Swain @Heidi_Swain @harriett_col @simonschusteruk @TeamBATC #Fiction #Wynbridge

A Taste of Home
By Heidi Swain

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour for the delicious – A Taste of Home, the latest book by Heidi Swain. It’s a wonderful summer read down on the farm in Wynbridge.  Check out the blurb and review.

Available Now

A Taste of Home cover

Blurb

The delicious new novel from Sunday Times bestseller Heidi Swain:

Fliss Brown has grown up living with her mother on the Rossi family’s Italian fruit farm. But when her mother dies, Fliss finds out she has a family of her own, and heads back to England with Nonna Rossi’s recipe for cherry and almond tart and a piece of advice: connect with your family before it is too late…

Fliss discovers that her estranged grandfather owns a fruit farm himself, on the outskirts of Wynbridge, and she arrives to find a farm that has fallen into disrepair. Using her knowledge gleaned from working on the Rossi farm and her desire to find out more about her past, Fliss rolls her sleeves up and gets stuck in. But what will she discover, and can she resurrect the farm’s glory days and find a taste of home…?

Review

wp-1620377891927.jpgBeautifully written from the start, begins at a funeral in Italy. Through a short series of lovely composed letters by her mum, Fliss starts to learn a bit about Fenview Farm in Wynbridge and the significance.
There’s an air of excitement and intrigue to know more and to see how the next chapter in her life can begin. The book links past and present, exquisitely as Fliss goes on a journey of discovery. It sounds whimsical, but steers away from this. All isn’t completely well when she is in Wynbridge, starting with her grandfather, who she needs to connect with, but he is in a state of ill-health and until now, doesn’t know of her existance and the farm that is in desperate need of attention. The farm also bridges her Italian life and life in England as farms in both countries link as she draws upon her experiences for Fenview. Food is plays quite a significant part in this, from the fruit in the orchard to delights like cherry and almond tart.

Fliss also ends up acquainted to Eliot and Louise Randall, who her mother had written to and has to take her to the farm, where her mother had grown up.

There is a cosyness as life bumbles along and sparks of romance start to ignite. There is much flirtation and the subtleness is beautiful.
A Taste of Home has a feel-good atmosphere, that wraps around the challenges of life, a bit like a hug. There’s also the comfort of food here and there, so perhaps graze as you read or don’t read when feeling ravenous. There is a lovely tart and exquisite fruit to be found within the pages. Between that and the romance, it is sure to set people up for summer. It has a soft warmth in the middle of its complex, harder times. It’s easy to imagine it to be like the fruit tart within the book with harder edges and soft middle.

I thank Harriett Collins at Simon & Schuster publishers for gifting me the book, a packet of strawberry seeds, recipe and sweets. Please note, my review is purely based on the book and not been influenced by anything.

About the Author


Heidi Swain is the Sunday Times bestselling author of twelve novels. Heidi lives in beautiful
south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about
gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading.
To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain
or visit her website: www.heidiswain.co.uk