Title: Finding Gina
Author: Lizzie Chantree
Genre: Contemporary Romance
A laugh out loud romance read with a magical twist! Can a sprinkling of stardust overcome a past full of demons? Gina had traversed the breadth of the country in her little campervan to try and find everyone on her grandmother’s list, before her father drunk himself into an early grave. She leant down and pulled the battered and worn journal from her bag and opened it to the latest page. The neatly written names were etched onto her heart and she was determined to visit every single one and compensate them in some way. Her family’s debt had to be repaid. Lewis read another provincial story about a ‘guardian angel’ who had been helping families across the country and his reporters nose began to itch. He was sure that if he could track down the girl they were talking about, he would unearth an even bigger story. He just had to work out how to locate her and then find out what it was that she was running from!
Gina hugged her knees to her chest as she sat on her little bed and gazed adoringly round at her beautiful, tiny home. People would think she was crazy, if she actually let anyone see where she lived.
She had dainty curtains adorning her windows, in the palest tones of blue, with little starbursts sewn all over them by her own hand. Next to the windows was a miniature kitchen area with a seat whose softly padded cushion was the colour of a stormy sea. With fabric paints, she had painstakingly drawn on the edges of white waves splashing gently on the shore. That alone had taken a week. Then the waves were covered in glitter, to add sparkle in the moonlight and make her heart soar and soothe her troubled mind, before she drifted off to sleep. She could see her whole home easily from where she sat, perched on the bed.
She turned her head and sighed at the view outside. The sun dropped behind the trees and the evening rolled in. Her shimmering little camper van sat quietly nestled in a bed of bluebells beneath a canopy of majestic trees. It had been so kind of Tobias, the new heir to the Manor, to let her stay in one of his fields next to the river, for the three or four months she’d be here.
She thought back to her first sighting of him when she had taken a wrong turn down a lane. She had been distracted by the sudden appearance of a rambling old house that sat in the middle of acres and acres of vibrant wild flowers, to the left of the road she was travelling. She really should have turned right onto a new road, but instead she followed the lane that led to the house. As she had drawn near, the front door opened and out had ambled two tiny terriers. Gina hadn’t been able to help but laugh at the sight of the huge hulk of a man that had followed them. In one arm he’d had a wicker basket full of apples, so fresh and juicy-looking they must have just fallen from a tree, while with his free arm he was trying to fend off the jumping little chaps or chapesses that were trying to climb up his trousers. She would at least have expected a couple of golden retrievers and some wellies.
She’d stepped out of her van as he approached and apologised for trespassing on his land, while offering him her best sunny grin. Tobias had faltered in his step when he saw her, before seeming to realise that, if he didn’t keep moving towards the woman looking at him expectantly, he would probably trip over the dogs and land in a messy heap at her feet.
‘Blasted dogs! I’m Tobias,’ he’d said, offering her his spare hand for a firm handshake while batting down the rattiest-looking of the two dogs. ‘Most people call me Toby,’ he’d added. ‘I apologise for these two,’ he’d sighed affectionately, ruffling their fur. ‘They came with the house when my aunt left it to me, but I’m quite attached to them now.’
Taking in Gina’s shapely legs encased in fraying jean shorts, topped with a simple, slouchy T-shirt, her red hair swirling loosely around her sun-kissed face, he’d straightened his back and stood a bit taller. Gina grinned at the memory. Toby was already a giant compared to her. He must be well over six feet tall. Why did men always stand straighter and puff out their chests when they met girls? It reminded her of a peacock she’d seen once, which shook out its tail and showed off when it met a peahen.
‘And… what can I do for you?’ he’d asked.
‘It seems I took a wrong turn…’ she’d begun, then laughed as one of the dogs had launched itself at her legs. It was surprisingly strong for such a small animal.
‘Rudie!’ Toby had admonished, grabbing the dog’s collar, obviously forgetting that he was still carrying the apples from the orchard and almost tipping them over. He quickly placed them on the ground by his feet. ‘I’m not usually this clumsy, my dogs are a menace.’
‘He’s fine,’ Gina had giggled, scooping the small dog up into her arms, receiving lashings of sloppy kisses and a wet nose on the side of her face for her trouble. ‘Why’s he called Rudie?’
‘Well, my aunt called him Rudolph, as one of her many admirers gave him to her as a Christmas present, but he’s just so rude! He keeps sticking his nose up ladies’ skirts and he’s always stealing my underpants.’ He’d held out his arms to Rudie and the dog had jumped happily over and stuck his nose under Toby’s armpit.
‘Get off, you naughty dog,’ Toby had laughed, hastily putting the dog on the ground. ‘See what I mean?’
‘Yes, I do rather,’ said Gina. ‘What a character.’
‘That is a polite way of putting it.’ Toby had replied. ‘Are you looking for a hotel to stay in? There are plenty of good ones I could recommend locally.’ He’d eyed Gina’s camper van, commenting on how sparkling clean it was and how pretty the stars dotted all over the wheel arches were.
‘Is that a custom-made van?’ he’d asked, sounding genuinely interested.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Universal book buy link: viewbook.at/FindingGina
Why is your featured book a must-read?
Finding Gina is full of sweet magical romance and it’s about following your dreams, finding new friendships and discovering true love.
‘This book has it all: romance, mystery, intrigue, the quintessential Lizzie Chantree quirky backdrop which sets her fiction apart from so many others in this genre, some fascinating and contrasting characters. There's even a side of decadent biscuits and cake! Add to that some great writing and you have the perfect book to read on (and off) the beach.’ 5 star customer review.
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International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree.
Social Media Links:
Author page: viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree
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