Saturday, May 23, 2020

5/23/20 WINTER'S GIFT by Florence Keeling

Winters’ Gift: A heart warming, feel good romantic comedy.

Bea Winters is in desperate need of a fresh start. Being bullied at work is not her idea of fun and she longs to follow her dream of becoming a published author. When an advert appears in her local paper to work in a publishing house in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale, it sounds too good to be true.

She strikes up an instant friendship with gorgeous aspiring author, Eddie Richards and her dashing millionaire boss Scott Summers

But all isn’t as it seems in the sleepy village of Bloomsdale.

How does the local clairvoyant know her name? Who does the little black dog that keeps appearing belong to and why does she keep bumping into the mysterious Charlie?

As she starts to unravel the truth, it seems that everyone in Bea’s life is keeping secrets.

An uplifting romantic comedy that will warm your heart – perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews. 


I had fun reading about Bea Winters and her dream of becoming a published author - her new job in a publishing house - enjoyed this story about a woman who just needed a break.You will find yourself rooting for her as she navigates new friendships and self-discovery. 

I love that it is all that you need in a nice quarantine read to escape from and with great character, a fell good story, and a heart warming read too.

 I enjoyed this quick fun read with elements of fun, mystery and mysticism. 

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About Florence Keeling

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother's name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool's Day. She is married with two teenage chidren. Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton. Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.
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Bea is struggling to find an affordable place to live in Bloomsdale, but with the help of Eddie and Buddy she finds herself the proud owner of a worn out old narrow boat.

“Here we are.” Joe had stopped by an ancient looking narrow boat. The windows were covered in dirt and what little paint was left was peeling and cracked. “She’s not much to look at but she’s got a solid hull.” As if to emphasise this he kicked the steel plate.

“Er…” Bea looked over to Eddie pleading with her eyes to get her out of this situation.

“Uncle Joe, she’s perfect.” This wasn’t what Bea was expecting. “What’s she called?” Bea was looking at the side of the boat where the name should be but all she could make out was an A and R.

“The Wanderer.” Joe had unlocked the door. “Although her wandering days are over.” Before she knew it Bea was being shown around the inside. It was damp and cold even though it was so warm outside. There was no furniture whatsoever except for the partition walls that separated the interior into five rooms. She had to admit it was big, as they walked the boat seemed to go on and on.

“Look at the stove.” They were right in the middle when Eddie exclaimed in excitement and started examining what looked like a wood burner.

“Now this old girl does all your heating.” Joe tapped on the metal. “Runs on coal or wood, either is fine. You’ve got two bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen and this is the living area.” He could see Bea wasn’t impressed. “I know she doesn’t look much but with a bit of hard work she’ll be as good as new.”

“I’ll help you.” It was Eddie’s turn to convince her. “Think how much fun it will be to bring her back to life. We could travel around the country gathering inspiration for our writing.”

“Well…about travelling.” Joe butted in.

“I can fix the engine.” Eddie was full of enthusiasm.

“There is no engine.” Joe said sheepishly. “Most of it I’ve used as spare parts for The Mavis.”

“Oh well.” Eddie shrugged. “It will still be fun.”

“How much?” Bea was sure she wouldn’t be able to afford it. She didn’t have a lot of savings so she wouldn’t be able to buy the narrow boat so this could be her get out of jail card.

“I don’t want nothing for her.” Bea had been about to answer with ‘such a shame I haven’t got that much’ and then didn’t know what to say. “Just look after her and do her up for me. I’ve been meaning to for years but it’s never going to happen now. Charles would turn in his grave if he could see how neglected I’ve let her become.” Joe looked around whimsically.

Bea had the feeling that she was going to end up being the owner of a boat she really didn’t want.

“It’s perfect Bea.” Eddie looked at her earnestly. “It’s the answer to everything.” Bea didn’t agree. “All you need is some coal which is about £10 a week and the mooring fee.”

“Mooring fee?” Bea suddenly had hope. “How much will that be?” She tried to look sad but silently she was praying it was extortionate.

“£1200.” Joe answered. Bea almost squealed in delight.

“That’s amazing.” Eddie was beaming from ear to ear. “You’ve just got to live here Bea, you’ve just got to.”

“Didn’t you here what Joe said?” Bea couldn’t understand why Eddie was smiling so much. “£1200! I only just about earn that a month and that’s before tax, National Insurance and pension.”

“£1200 a year Bea, not a month.” As Eddie’s words sank in Bea started to see a whole different side to living on a narrow boat. The amount of money she’d have left each month would allow her to live comfortably without having to get another job, she’d even be able to save and still have plenty of free time to write.

“I’ll take her.” Bea shook Joe’s hand. It was amazing how quickly she changed her mind when she realised how cheap it would be.

“She’s all yours.” He handed her the key. “I’ll pop some coal round later and show you how to get the stove working.”

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