Sunday Serial #6

Here’s the next part of “Leefdale” by Michael Murray. I’m following a well established nineteenth century tradition and publishing some of the novel in weekly instalments.

You can find the links to previous instalments on this page.

So, if you like the Dickensian idea of reading your novels in weekly instalments,

read on …..

Sharon couldn’t believe it, she was actually telling him about the little shit who’d touched her up at Killingholme Grange. And the racehorse owner. She’d never told anyone about that.

He wasn’t saying anything, just listening. She hoped he wasn’t too shocked. His understanding blue eyes and concerned expression were ineffably extracting her intimate secrets. She told herself to be careful.

Finally, he said, ‘It’s obviously affected you. Perhaps you should get some counselling.’

‘I don’t believe in all that stuff.’

They were passing through Leefdale’s main street on their way back to Luffield. On impulse, as they reached the village pond, she indicated right and turned into a side road. The car travelled a short distance and then she parked opposite a terrace of three whitewashed Victorian cottages.

‘The middle cottage is mine,’ said Sharon. ‘I thought you might like to see it.’

They stared at it together.

‘Honeysuckle Cottage,’ said Dylan. ‘Lovely name.’

‘Yes. But as you can see, no honeysuckle.’

‘Even so, it’s charming. Have you lived there long?’

‘All my life.’

She seemed compelled to keep staring at it. He could tell that just the sight of it gave her pleasure.

‘It was my parents’ house. They’re dead now.’

‘I’m sorry. They must have died quite young.’

‘Yes. They were in their late forties. They were killed in a car crash while they were touring Scotland.’

‘That’s awful. How old were you?’

‘Seventeen. I thought my world had ended.’

They both stared at the cottage in silence.

Dylan said, ‘What does your partner do?’

She turned to him, slowly. ‘I don’t have a partner.’

‘I’m sorry. I got the impression you did.’

‘No. I said I didn’t live alone.’

She gazed back at her house. ‘I love it here,’ she said.

She started the car, executed a three-point turn and returned to the main road leading out of the village.

Now why did she show me that? Dylan wondered.

****

Sharon and Dylan parted outside Parker and Lund’s. He took her hand and shook it slowly, holding on to it just beyond the point when it should have been released, so that the formality was protracted into something more intimate. ‘Well, goodbye. Thanks for showing me around.’

‘I can hardly claim to have done that!’ she said, quickly extricating her hand from his. ‘Look, if you’d like someone else to view the rectory I’d be glad to show it to them.’

‘How do you mean?’

‘Your wife or partner?’

‘No. Not necessary. I don’t have one of those.’

‘Oh!’ She looked confused.

‘What?’

‘Well, earlier, you said “we”.’

He laughed. ‘I was thinking of my friends. They’re very interested in my next house purchase.’

‘I see.’ She gave him her closing-the-transaction smile. ‘OK. I look forward to receiving your offer.’

‘Right,’ he said. ‘What about my other offer?’

She stared at him blankly.

‘To paint you. Fully clothed, of course.’

She smiled, shook her head and took a step or two back.

Laughing, Dylan pulled on his black leather gloves and mounted the Ariel Red Hunter. He started it up, gave her a wave, and accelerated off.

Well, that gets you to the end of Chapter Two.

If you want to continue reading click Free Preview below.

Thanks for visiting my blog today and hope you’re having a great weekend. 🙂

Sunday Serial #5

Following a well established nineteenth century tradition, here’s the next instalment of the serialisation of “Leefdale” by Michael Murray.

You can find the links to previous instalments on this page.

Or go here to start reading the novel from the beginning.

But if you like the Dickensian idea of reading your novels in weekly instalments, read on …..

She (Sharon) left him in the dining room, crossed the hall and moved purposely back into the drawing room. Fighting her desire for a cigarette, she sank into one of the overstuffed modern sofas. Her confrontation with Dylan had left her shaken, and now that the adrenalin which had emboldened her to be so recklessly assertive was beginning to recede, she was having misgivings about the wisdom of her behaviour. She’d called him a piss artist to his face! What a stupid thing to have done. Supposing he complained about her? He’d indicated that he was strongly attracted to the house. What if her rudeness had affected his decision to purchase? Her attitude would have lost the firm a cash sale and with it would have gone the new dining room suite. The thought made her almost laugh out loud. Shit! Was she really so abject she was willing to be sexually harassed and humiliated just to protect her commission?

Hang on, though, wasn’t she overstating it a bit? He’d only offered to paint her. Many women would have taken it as a compliment. And it was she who’d suggested he might want to paint her nude. Now why had she done that? He’d never even mentioned it. Yes, but hadn’t he followed her into the dining room just a little too closely? Hadn’t he invaded her personal space? Wasn’t that why she’d put him in his place? And rightly so!

Immediately she was recalling the many bad experiences she’d had viewing properties with single males. The short, fat one who’d patted her bum as they’d climbed the stairs at Killingholme Grange; the racehorse trainer who’d tried to grope her in the bedroom at The Ridings; the ugly businessman who’d stood in the kitchen of Oxenholme Farm and promised to purchase the property on condition she had sex with him. (Just joking love; just joking). After all those experiences how could she have allowed herself to enter the dining room in front of him? Why hadn’t she said “after you” and let him go on in front of her? But then what exactly was it he’d actually done? Nothing! He hadn’t laid a finger on her. But that was the point: they were so clever, they never did anything that couldn’t be explained away as an accident; and it was the apprehension of what might happen that made the situation so threatening: the way they invaded your space and accidentally brushed their shoulder against your nipple; the way their knuckle came into contact with your thigh, again accidentally, as they bent to inspect something; the unblinking stare as they looked deeper and deeper into you, and then…

She got up suddenly and wandered over to the window. Christ! She was really getting paranoid. Was being with Greg and all the secrecy and everything finally getting to her after all these years?

But such thoughts were instantly forgotten by what she saw through the window. Outside, on the front lawn, a little drama was being enacted. Howard had now been joined by his wife, and they were obviously involved in some kind of row. Isobel was gesticulating angrily and jabbing her finger at the Major, who was on his knees by the border digging out weeds. She bent down, brought her mouth close to Howard’s ear and shouted into it. Howard sprang up bawling savagely. Isobel screamed, kicked out at the wheelbarrow and then, sobbing, fled across the lawn in the direction of Rooks Nest. Sharon turned away: she’d no wish to witness Isobel’s distress.

Up above, through a first floor bedroom window, Dylan too was observing the unpleasant scene taking place on the front lawn. It was obvious that Major Roberts and the woman – who was almost certainly his wife – had marital issues. He hadn’t much liked the Major but he couldn’t help feeling a certain sympathy for him. He knew from experience how draining it was to live with someone who was neurotic. For a moment or two he watched Isobel’s tense back retreating down the drive. He then returned to the centre of the room and flung himself onto the vulgarly draped four poster bed.

Stupid of him to have suggested painting her. But how was he to know she’d react like that? He reflected on various ways in which the situation might be retrieved, and concluded that to follow up on any of them would result only in making matters worse. Still, it was interesting that she’d introduced the notion of posing for him in the nude, although he’d done absolutely nothing to encourage it. Was her professed abhorrence of the idea of being painted nude, real? Or was it being used to mask a fantasy which she secretly cherished?

He tried to think of something else, but Sharon’s image continued to insinuate itself into his mind. Surely it was inconceivable that a woman like that could ever be his type? Had meeting her suddenly released within him a long suppressed fetish for short skirted business suits, dark tights and high heeled shoes? Ludicrous thought. So ludicrous he felt himself smile. Normally he regarded women who power dressed like that as a joke: unthinking subscribers to notions of male stereotypes. Clones of Margaret Thatcher. So why was he finding her so adorable? Why couldn’t he stop thinking about the way her chestnut brown hair framed the perfect symmetry of her face: its locks and tresses so attractively curling and twisting down to flick the shoulders of her jacket with every turn of her lovely head? Why couldn’t he stop seeing her big hazel eyes, that combination of tawny brown and flecks of olive green always so difficult to represent in oils? Why was he obsessing like a frustrated teenager over her voluptuous mouth and her delightful snub nose? Recalling her perfect bow lips and the enticing way they parted ever so slightly when she was thinking? Christ, he could even remember the tiny crater just above her left eyebrow, presumably some relic of a childhood chickenpox attack. And he could still see the almost imperceptible scar on her right cheek, close to her ear.
What was happening to him? OK. So he hadn’t had sex with anyone since Zoe. But surely this infatuation with an obviously hard-nosed Tory estate agent was uncharacteristically excessive? Of course, it was the curse of the artist to absorb and retain a more intense impression than other people. Which was probably why he was falling such an easy victim to nature’s timeless confidence trick: his preoccupation with the gorgeous Sharon was just an atavistic call for him to reproduce.

Perhaps the quickest way to exorcise her disturbing effect on him would be to sketch her. He took out a pen from his inside pocket and turned the property details for The Old Rectory over, so that the blank side was uppermost. From memory, he began drawing a full length portrait of estate agent Sharon Makepiece, starting with her black business suit.

****

‘But we know Mrs Brand won’t go any lower… I agree… but if Morrison won’t budge, I think we should look for another purchaser…’

Dylan was descending the last flight of stairs. Realising that Sharon was in the hall speaking on her mobile, he halted halfway down and waited. She was partially turned away from him, standing with her weight thrown back on one leg. The other leg was slowly pivoting back and forth on the ball of her foot. Christ! He’d never imagined a woman in a business suit could be so sexy. But it wasn’t just the suit or the way she was standing: it was the combination of beauty and assured competence that was so compelling. Her voice was attractively low, yet full of warm ripples and little cadences like a clear, fast running stream. Her accent was Yorkshire but softly rural, like others he’d heard in the Wolds. As she issued instructions confidently into the phone she exuded certainty of purpose. For him, who’d never truly been certain of anything, this was a potent aphrodisiac.

She changed weight from one leg to the other, and, in turning, became aware of Dylan standing on the stairs.

Now that was a detail he’d forgotten. The single string of creamy pearls enhancing her graceful neck and complementing the silky smoothness of her white top.

‘Just a minute Tracey…’ Sharon took the phone away from her ear and called up to Dylan,

‘Have you seen all you need?’

‘More than enough.’

She returned to the phone. ‘I’ve got to go. I’ll be with you in half an hour.’

Dylan continued down the stairs. Sharon was standing by the front door waiting for him.

‘The house is perfect. Just what we’re looking for,’ he said, as he approached her. ‘I’ve decided to make an offer.’

‘Good.’

‘I haven’t fixed on a figure yet. I’ll call you about that tomorrow.’

‘Fine.’

Sharon went over to set the alarm. Almost immediately she stopped and turned back to him. ‘Oh, you haven’t seen the rear garden.’

‘That’s OK. I saw it from the window upstairs. It’s the size of a small park. Mr Corbridge must have employed an army of gardeners.’

‘No. Amazingly he and his wife did it all themselves.’

They stood around awkwardly.

‘Well, I’m ready to go if you are,’ said Dylan. ‘Are you confident that I’m safe enough to travel in your car without molesting you or shall you call me up a cab?’

Sharon smiled. ‘Don’t be silly!’

‘I’m serious,’ he said. ‘I don’t want to cause you any unnecessary stress.’

‘It’s all right. I over-reacted, I’m sorry.’

Continue reading with the free preview (link below).

Sunday Serial #4

This is the fourth instalment of the serialisation of Leefdale by Michael Murray.

If you missed the earlier posts click here for links.

Now read on ….

CHAPTER TWO

‘You’ll have to wait here until I’ve switched off the security device,’ said Sharon. She unlocked the front door of the rectory and pushed it open. At once the alarming sound of a siren reverberated around the hall. Sharon darted inside. A few moments later the din stopped and she called out, ‘It’s all right. You can come in now.’

Dylan entered and found himself standing in a spacious hallway.

‘Sorry about that,’ said Sharon. ‘Once the alarm goes off you only have fifteen seconds to stop it before it alerts the Luffield police.’

‘How do you de-activate it?’

She regarded him suspiciously. ‘With a number code. That’s why I had to ask you to stay outside. Mr Corbridge is paranoid about anyone finding out what it is.’

‘Understandably.’

Sharon indicated the interior with a turn of her head. ‘Well, this is the hall. The staircase is original by the way.’

Dylan approached the staircase for a closer inspection. It rose up the wall to his left and was thickly carpeted. He noted the mahogany handrail which terminated at the bottom in a spiral of balusters.

‘No sign of woodworm yet,’ he said, lightly.

Sharon frowned. ‘I should hope not. The property’s received extensive anti-woodworm treatment. Certificates are available, if you require them.’

Hmm. No sense of humour, thought Dylan. He observed the five white doors which led off the hall and the numerous examples of eighteenth century portraiture which adorned its walls. He admired the high ceiling and its elaborate plasterwork. He noted the oak parquet floor showing in the spaces between the opulent oriental rugs. He was amused by the eighteenth century carriage clock and the tastefully positioned spinet. All this, and they’d only got as far as the hall. Someone had obviously gone to great lengths to create a definite period “look”. He felt as though he’d stepped into a play by Sheridan.

‘Very Georgian, don’t you think?’ said Sharon.

Dylan could do little else but agree.

‘Mr Corbridge was so thrilled to own an eighteenth century house. He was determined to recreate the Georgian style.’

‘Oh. Which one?’

‘Which one?’

‘There are examples here of early, middle and late.’

‘Really?’

Sharon wondered if he was a bull shitter. Bruce Corbridge had assured her that the house had been authentically restored.

‘Shall we go on?’ she said.

She opened a door to her left and showed Dylan into the first reception room, which she referred to as the drawing room. It was at the front of the house and overlooked the lawn. The room struck Dylan as ideal for his purposes: it was high ceilinged, spacious and brilliantly lit by the natural light pouring in through two huge sash windows that seemed to rise almost from floor to ceiling. But the furnishings! They were so oppressively vulgar: heavy, red, silk wall coverings finished with a gold fillet; sumptuous, red curtains held back by gilt acanthus leaf embrasses and topped by a pagoda style pelmet; obtrusive, coarse mouldings on the cornice and fireplace; ugly, squat bronzes adorning the mantelshelf; even the chandelier chain disguised with red silk and fringing. The furniture was mainly eighteenth century repro with a couple of genuine antiques, and, incongruously, two enormous, contemporary sofas that were so padded and comfortable they were obviously the property of affluent couch potatoes. There were far too many pictures in hideously elaborate frames, and the original wooden floor was all but obscured by modern oriental rugs.

‘All the furniture is going to be removed and shipped out to Capri in a few days,’ said Sharon, who’d observed Dylan’s disapproval. ‘Mr Corbridge and his wife are retiring there.’

Thank God the furniture’s not included in the sale, Dylan thought. He was beginning to suspect that the whole house had been designed to create some loose, contemporary notion of a holistic Georgian “style”, which had resulted in a travesty of anything Georgian or stylish. It was a bourgeois shrine to self-indulgence, ostentation and the comfort of excess.

‘Is Mr Corbridge an American?’ Dylan asked.

‘No. He’s Australian. A film producer.’

‘Of course!’ exclaimed Dylan. ‘It’s a film set!’

‘Mr Corbridge and his wife are both very nice,’ said Sharon. Her tone had become chilly.

‘Is there anything that you do like about the room?’

‘Oh yes. The light. It’s magnificent. It would make a wonderful studio.’ He regarded her for a moment. ‘You didn’t say you lived in Leefdale.’

‘I didn’t think it was relevant.’

‘Well, it could be a recommendation. If you’re personally happy here.’ Something in her expression made him feel reckless. ‘Are you happy here?’

She seemed surprised. ‘Of course.’

‘Do you live alone?’

‘No.’ Sharon moved towards the door. ‘I’ll show you the other reception rooms. But I warn you, they’re all in the same style.’

‘That’s all right,’ said Dylan. ‘I can’t say that I admire Mr Corbridge’s furniture or his fittings but his taste in houses is perfect.’

Sharon moved through the doorway and back into the hall.

‘All the carpets are included in the sale but not the curtains or rugs.’

‘Has anybody ever painted you?’ Dylan asked, following her.

She stopped, surprised. ‘No. Why?’

‘Because I think you’d make a wonderful subject.’

She took an involuntary step away from him. ‘Oh, come on!’

‘What?’

She turned back, wary, sceptical. ‘Not that corny old pitch!’

‘I’m serious. I’d like to paint you.’

‘You said you only do abstracts.’

Dylan started to feel foolish. ‘I started off doing conventional portraits. Seeing you has given me the urge to do one again.’

You’ve got the urge all right but it’s got nothing to do with painting, Sharon thought. She said, ‘Well, I’m terribly flattered, of course. Let me see, how does the next bit go? I ask you if I’d have to pose nude. That’s right, isn’t it? And you say, “Only if you want to” and then I say “but I’d be embarrassed” and you say, “Don’t worry, I won’t get aroused by your naked body, as far as I’m concerned it’ll just be an object.” That’s about it, isn’t it?’

Dylan smiled. ‘I thought you said you didn’t know any artists?’

‘I don’t. But I’ve met plenty of piss artists!’ She opened another door leading off the hall.

‘This is the dining room!’

She entered the room and Dylan followed closely behind her. He immediately saw that she was right: the Corbridges’ execrable taste was as much in evidence in this room as the previous one.

Sharon stopped and turned to face him. She’d obviously made up her mind about something. ‘Look,’ she said, ‘why don’t you wander round the rest of the house by yourself? You can take your time and have a think about it.’

The strength of her hostility disconcerted him. ‘It’s all right. I’m quite happy to have you show me around.’

Sharon was adamant. ‘No. I’d rather you went round on your own.’

‘What I said about wanting to paint you. It’s disturbed you, hasn’t it?’

‘Frankly, yes. We’re on our own here and I’ve had some very unpleasant experiences with male clients.’

‘I assure you I’ve no intention of coming on to you.’

Sharon went silent. She stared at Dylan grimly. ‘Take as long as you want. I’ll wait for you down here.’

Can’t wait for the next instalment? 

Continue reading with this free previewer ….

 

Sunday Serial #3

This is the third instalment of the serialisation of Leefdale by Michael Murray.

If you missed the earlier posts click here for part one and here for part two.

Now read on ….

‘Well, here we are,’ said Sharon.

As they drove into Leefdale, Dylan was struck by the village’s all-pervading atmosphere of peace. He knew instinctively that the inhabitants respected tradition and continuity, yet despite having a strong attachment to the past they were not entirely resistant to change. This was evident from the eclectic pageant of charming dwellings that lined Leefdale’s main street: Elizabethan timber frame buildings stood cheek by jowl with imperiously symmetrical Georgian houses; converted seventeenth century barns were neighbours to respectable Victorian villas. Yet the occasional presence of modern cottages built in the vernacular style suggested that, even here, in this most conservative of communities, some modest degree of innovation was accepted.

Although he was cautioning himself to be detached and objective, Dylan couldn’t help but be seduced. Leefdale was so picturesque: the quintessential image of an English village in bloom that is carried nostalgically in the heart of every English exile. It seemed that the front garden of each house, no matter how small, burgeoned with leafy shrubs and masses of flowers in all the glorious colours of April; climbing plants colonised all available walls, their advancing green tendrils complementing perfectly the bricks, chalk and other materials to which they clung; the roadside verges trembled with white, gold and purple crocuses, petals agape and open to the sun like the hungry mouths of young fledglings; and there were yellow daffodils and creamy narcissi too, nodding in the gentle breeze. Spring had startled itself out of the earth and dressed in its many hues was delighting in its own existence, promising hope and renewal. The artist in Dylan was deeply moved.

‘It’s lovely,’ he said.

‘You should see it in summer.’

In some of the front gardens keen gardeners were already at work, scrupulously maintaining that high standard of horticultural perfection which seemed to characterise most of the village. What Dylan couldn’t know, of course, was that some villagers thought there was something rather sinister about the way their neighbours pursued this pleasant outdoor pastime with such competitive industry, uncompromising will and obsessive perfectionism.

‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’ said Sharon, sounding almost proprietorial.

‘Superb!’

‘It’s won the prize for best kept village four years running.’

‘Best kept village in Yorkshire?’

‘No. In the whole country!’

‘So that’s why they’re all so hard at it. I thought we’d blundered into a recording of Gardening Club.’

****

Despite his wife’s objections, indeed, precisely because of them, Major Roberts was now on his hands and knees vigorously weeding The Old Rectory’s borders, flinging the weeds angrily into the wheelbarrow at his side.

The tyres of Sharon’s Passat crunching over the white gravel of the Corbridge’s extensive drive halted Howard in his labours. Somewhat shakily, he got to his feet and stared at the vehicle with a look of pleasurable recognition.

The car stopped close to the house and Sharon and Dylan got out. Sharon gave Howard a smile and a quick wave. She then joined Dylan who was taking in the rectory’s impressive Georgian frontage. Howard watched as she gave Dylan information about the exterior. At one stage she became quite animated and pointed out the date above the spider’s web fanlight: 1780.

Sharon touched Dylan lightly on the arm. She said something to him and then, with a gesture, indicated Howard. Together, they set off across the lawn towards him.

With a good deal of displeasure, Howard assumed that the young man accompanying Sharon had come to view the house. This was not good news. Hopefully he would find it unsuitable. Howard had always regarded young men who wore tight black leather as profoundly suspicious; but he was courtesy itself when he wished them both good morning.

‘Hello, Howard,’ said Sharon. She turned to Dylan. ‘This is Major Howard Roberts.’

‘Dylan Bourne!’ Dylan offered his hand to the Major and was surprised by the limpness of the hand that gripped his in return. ‘You’re a soldier?’

‘Retired,’ said Howard. He quickly changed the drift. ‘Here for a look round?’

‘Yes.’

‘Well you won’t do better than this. It’s a magnificent property. Finest in the village!’

‘Are you the gardener?’

Sharon laughed loudly. Just long enough for Howard to convert his affrontedness into jovial good humour.

‘Good heavens, no! I’m just keeping everything neat and trim. I promised Bruce, that’s the owner, I’d look after the gardens for him until the place was sold.’

‘I see,’ said Dylan. ‘Sorry.’

‘The Major’s chairman of the Magnificent Britain Sub-Committee,’ said Sharon.

Dylan looked bewildered. ‘Magnificent Britain?’

‘The best village contest.’

‘Ah, yes,’ said Dylan. ‘I hear Leefdale’s won first prize four times.’

‘That’s right,’ said Howard. ‘All down to this place, of course.’

‘You shouldn’t overlook everyone else’s modest contribution,’ said Sharon.

Dylan thought she sounded a little miffed.

‘I don’t,’ said Howard. Realising he’d been tactless, his hand lightly touched her arm. ‘And I would never overlook your contribution, my dear. But you’ve got to admit that the gardens of this house are the jewel in the crown.’

Dylan turned and surveyed the lawn. ‘It’s certainly very well kept. Certainly… um… very tidy.’

‘That’s because the Major’s a fantastic gardener,’ gushed Sharon.

‘Not at all,’ said Howard. ‘It was Bruce who transformed the place. Spent a lot of money on it.’ He fixed Dylan with a searching glance. ‘You keen on gardening?’

Dylan grinned. ‘No, my flat in London doesn’t even have a window box.’

The Major looked concerned. ‘You’d be taking on a lot here. There’s an even bigger rear garden.’

Dylan shrugged, non-committedly.

‘From London, are you?’

Dylan nodded.

There was a long pause. Howard, who believed strongly in first impressions, was finding Dylan intensely irritating. The Major had an aversion to blonde, slack jawed young men who, in his experience, invariably turned out to be mummy’s boys. And what kind of a name was Dylan for Christ’s sake? Welsh background, was it? Named after the poet?

Fortunately, he didn’t seem to have a wife or family in tow: and he looked in his very early thirties, so hopefully wasn’t old enough to have teenage children.

Howard nodded towards The Old Rectory. ‘It’s a very big house you know. Got seven bedrooms.’

Sensing that he was being probed, Dylan became guarded. He saw no need to divulge any more than was necessary. ‘I know. I like a lot of space.’

Now that’s ominous, Howard thought.

‘Mr Bourne’s an artist,’ Sharon explained, and immediately shot Dylan an apologetic look. ‘Sorry, I hope that wasn’t confidential.’

‘Not at all,’ said Dylan, wondering if he’d given too much away.

Howard said, ‘An artist? Really? I like Constable and Joshua Reynolds. And, of course, military art. I’ve got a couple of good prints of “The Death of Nelson” and “The Death of General Wolfe”. Do you do that sort of thing?’

‘No. I paint abstracts.’

‘Ah.’

Major Roberts seemed at a loss. He pointed towards Rooks Nest. ‘That’s my house over there. Finest rose garden in the village, even if I’m the only one who thinks so.’

Sharon touched him on the arm. ‘Now you know everyone agrees with you. Stop fishing.’

The Major grinned back at her urbanely.

‘Well, time’s getting on,’ said Sharon. She looked to Dylan. ‘I’d better show you around.’

‘And I must get back to my weeds.’

‘See you later, Howard.’

Dylan gave Howard a nod, and then he and Sharon walked off towards the house.

The Major stared long at their retreating backs, his greying moustache accentuating his disappointed moué. ‘Oh dear! I don’t think you’ll do! I don’t think you’ll do at all!’

Continue reading Leefdale with the Look Inside feature at http://amzn.eu/hdGUjB4

Leefdale
More details and a free sample to read at http://amzn.eu/hXgGQ6b

 

Leefdale #Kindle #KindleUnlimited

Today I’m writing a promotion for Michael Murray’s novel, Leefdale.

As well as being the author of Magnificent Britain, Julia’s Room, and the best-selling detective novel, A Single to Filey, Michael has been my other half for over forty years.

Leefdale was published as a Kindle ebook earlier this year. The novel explores how both individuals and a community respond to change. Its themes are concord and discord, inclusion and exclusion, the liberating power of Art and the complex nature of Love.

You can read a free sample of Leefdale on the Amazon site.

It’s a long free sample because Leefdale is a long novel, over 300,000 words. My iPad estimates that Leefdale has twelve hours of reading time. Great for readers who like to get lost in a book for a good few hours.

You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle books.

Leefdale is busily preparing for the 2001 Magnificent Britain Gardening Competition. Major Howard Roberts is obsessed with gaining the fifth consecutive gold medal for the village. Unfortunately, the sale of The Old Rectory and its exemplary gardens threatens his hopes and those of many of Leefdale’s residents.

house-for-sale-2166844_1280

Sleepy, picturesque Leefdale soon becomes a place of petty, bitter conflict which attracts the attention of a boorish political reporter and the national media who are, coincidentally, in pursuit of a much bigger story.

man-2102454_1920

 

An estate agent with unconventional domestic arrangements; the taken-for-granted wife of a Tory politician; an emotionally traumatised drama therapist and an overworked and frustrated artist are just some of the diverse characters whose lives become entangled and dramatically changed following the sale of The Old Rectory.

Leefdale

I hope you’ll have time to visit the Leefdale book-page, read some of the free sample and hopefully find yourself hooked. You might need to know that there is a little strong language in the novel but nothing that you won’t have heard before!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like my book of the day.

 

How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Today I’m doing a book promotion for Michael Murray’s new novel, Leefdale.

Leefdale
Leefdale by Michael Murray http://amzn.eu/dhYOHmW

As well as being the author of Magnificent Britain, Julia’s Room, and the best-selling detective novel, A Single to Filey, Michael has been my other half for over forty years. He’s been writing Leefdale and its companion novel, Magnificent Britain for over twenty years. Yes, I did say twenty! Magnificent Britain was published as a Kindle ebook in 2012 and is also available as an Amazon print-on-demand paperback.

Leefdale was published a couple of days ago and can be downloaded for a special launch price of 99p / $0.99. Magnificent Britain is £5.99 and both novels are in KindleUnlimited.

You don’t need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks.

Leefdale is busily preparing for the 2001 Magnificent Britain Gardening Competition. Major Howard Roberts is obsessed with gaining the fifth consecutive gold medal for the village.

Unfortunately, the sale of The Old Rectory and its exemplary gardens threatens his hopes and those of many of Leefdale’s residents.

Sleepy, picturesque Leefdale soon becomes a place of petty, bitter conflict which attracts the attention of a boorish political reporter and the national media who are, coincidentally, in pursuit of a much bigger story.

An estate agent with unconventional domestic arrangements; the taken-for-granted wife of a Tory politician; an emotionally traumatised drama therapist and an overworked and frustrated artist are just some of the diverse characters whose lives become entangled and dramatically changed following the sale of The Old Rectory.

Leefdale explores how both individuals and a community respond to change. Its themes touch upon concord and discord, inclusion and exclusion, the liberating power of Art and the complex nature of love.

You can read a free sample of Leefdale on the Amazon site. It’s a long free sample because Leefdale is a long novel, over 300,000 words. Great for readers who like to get lost in a book for a good few hours. My iPad gives Leefdale 12 hours of reading time. That’s good value for 99p / $0.99, isn’t it?

I hope you’ll have time to visit the Leefdale book-page and read some of the free sample. And if the novel appeals to you, take advantage of the special launch price and download a copy. You might need to know that there is a little strong language in the novel but nothing that you won’t have heard before!

Leefdale by Michael Murray

How shall we find the concord of this discord?

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Hope you’re having a good weekend despite the weather. 🙂

Leefdale
Leefdale by Michael Murray http://amzn.eu/dhYOHmW