Monday, 18 July 2016

The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

**Take a trip to the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a very special little cookbook shop is about to open its doors…**

In the beginning…

Kitty Cartwright has always solved her problems in the kitchen. Her cookbooks are her life, and there isn’t an issue that ‘Cooking with Aspic’ can’t fix. Her only wish is that she had a book entitled ‘Rustling Up Dinner When Your Husband Has Left You’.

Forty years later…

On Rosemary Lane, Della Cartwright plans to open a very special little bookshop. Not knowing what to do with the hundreds of cookbooks her mother left her, she now wants to share their recipes with the world – and no amount of aspic will stand in her way.

But with her family convinced it’s a hare-brained scheme, Della starts to wonder if she’s made a terrible decision. One thing’s for sure: she’s about to find out…

Lose yourself in Della’s world of food, family and friends. The perfect read for fans of Trisha Ashley and Carole Matthews.

I'm delighted to be part of the blog tour for Ellen Berry's new book The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane. This mysterious new author is really Fiona Gibson who's books have had me in stitches.

Rosemary Lane is the first in a trio of books which is exciting as I'm always left wanting more after reading a good story.

I haven't read this yet but I'm hoping to shortly and then I will post my review. In the meantime to wet your appetite the publisher has provided me with an extract from the book. Enjoy! 

Leo looked at his mother and she looked at the woman behind the counter. ‘I don’t know who lived there before but it’s ours now.’

The woman’s eyebrows went a fraction higher and something akin to sympathy passed across her face. ‘Down the side of the pub next door.’

‘Right. Thanks.’ Beth was pleased that they were definitely in the right place but how they had missed the cottage she wasn’t sure. She didn’t remember seeing anything next to the pub other than a driveway to what she’d assumed was the pub car park.

‘Sure I can’t interest you in…’ the woman searched the shelves frantically with her eyes. ‘Some discounted noodles? They’re only recently out of date.’

‘No, we’re fine thanks. But I’m sure we’ll become regulars in here very soon.’

‘Lovely,’ said the woman instantly cheering up. ‘Oh and good luck.’ There was that sympathetic spaniel look again. Beth and Leo left the shop to the clang of the bell and walked purposefully past the pub next door. Leo stared open mouthed at the pub sign of a frightening looking chained bear that was bleeding from a number of wounds. At the other side of the pub was the gravel track. Looking up the driveway she could see a rickety picket fence behind which was a sea of tall straw-like grass and a willow tree.

‘We’ve found it,’ said Beth, almost dragging Leo up the track. The closer they got the more of the willow they could see. But that was all they could see. It was a willow tree of mammoth proportions. Beth and Leo stood in front of it and gazed at the mass of gently swaying greenery as the summer breeze lightly fanned it.

‘Wow, that’s the biggest tree I’ve ever seen!’ said Leo, his eyes darting over it as if taking in every pale green leaf. It was impressive but Beth was rather keen to see the cottage. She opened the gate that was held on by string and the rest of the rotting structure fell into the grass.

They stared at the remains. ‘Oh well, never mind,’ said Beth, her hopes still high as she and Leo stepped over the broken gate and skirted around the willow tree. And there was Willow Cottage, their new home. They both stood and gaped at the sight before them. Beth swallowed hard; this wasn’t exactly what she had been expecting.

Carly stood in the kitchen of her small flat and read the text again. It was spread over three messages because her ancient mobile phone couldn’t cope with long texts and she had an unnatural hatred of technology, which was why she had only now switched it on.

Hi Carly I bought a cottage at the auction – yay! It’s a bit further away than I’d planned – it’s in The Cotswolds. Please don’t say anything to anyone in case it gets back to Nick. Completion should be in a few days as I’m paying cash and using same solicitor as seller but I can’t wait so we’re going to take a look at it in the morning. I’ll call once we’ve found somewhere to stay. Missing you already. Beth & Leo xx

A bit further away? The Cotswolds was up north somewhere wasn’t it?! Carly wasn’t sure but she did know it was a very long way from Kentish Town, London. She blew out a sigh and it made her lips flap together like a child blowing a raspberry. She missed Leo already and she’d only seen him three days ago. Carly loved her godson and, with little to give her hope that she would be having any of her own anytime soon, he was her kiddy fix. But however she was feeling about not seeing Leo she could multiple it a thousand times for Beth. She understood why Beth had had to leave but it didn’t make it any easier to face.

‘The Cotswolds?’ she muttered to herself. It wasn’t even a city. What was it? A giant chunk of countryside in the middle of nowhere? She’d get the map out later and look it up.

Carly poured herself a large glass of Chablis and another for Fergus. She had a quick look at the veggie pasta bake turning golden and bubbling happily in the oven.

She pushed open the door to the spare room. ‘Dinner.’

A harassed Fergus stuck his bristly face round the door. ‘Give me ten minutes. Okay?’ He blew her a kiss and disappeared.

‘The pasta bake won’t give you ten minutes. Eejit,’ she muttered and she took a large mouthful of wine. She was fed up. She loved Fergus but they had been bobbing along together for nearly three years now and there was still no flicker of likelihood that he was going to propose. She’d tried dropping hints and staring longingly in jeweller’s shop windows but he had the hide of a pickled armadillo and nothing was getting through. Carly wished she could forget about weddings and marriage and enjoy being a couple because they were happy together, but having been brought up by her grandmother, she was a traditional soul at heart. She wanted to have children and knew Fergus did too, but she wanted to be married before they considered it. And more than anything she wanted to be a bride. Well, who didn’t fantasise about having their perfect wedding?

An unpleasant aroma wafted in Carly’s direction and she puzzled for a second as to what it was. Then, remembering the pasta bake, she grabbed the oven gloves and dived towards the oven. ‘Sod it!


  1. I'm reading this at the moment and I absolutely love it! My favourite of hers so far!

    1. I'm still waiting for the positive to bring mine.


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