Holding On by Mel Morton
Title: Holding On
Author: Mel Morton
Publication: September 25, 2013
Goodreads: Holding On
‘There were certain events, things that happened to you in life that were best forgotten about. If you didn’t think or talk about them then they didn’t have power over you, did they?’
Set in the village of Heatherton, the entwined lives of Beth and Peter Scott and Charlotte Gardner are disrupted by changes beyond their control. When their pasts catch up with them, their lives and relationships begin to unravel…
Beth has boxed and buried away her childhood secret. When award-winning war photographer Don Meadon returns to the area to promote his autobiography, Beth has to confront the damaging effects of her abused past.
Since the death of his mum, Peter and his dad, Edward, have been exceptionally close, working together at the family carpentry business. When Edward retires to Spain and meets Fiona, Peter struggles to cope with his dad leaving him.
When Robert Armstrong arrives in the village as her temporary deputy, Charlie, head teacher of Heatherton Junior School, finds herself attracted to him. But she’s been hurt badly in the past, so when Robert tries to pursue a relationship, she is reluctant to take a chance.
**Warning** This book is intended for a mature audiences, ages 17+**
Chapter One – Beth
It was the first committee meeting of 2012 and the Harrises’ dining room buzzed like a beehive as they waited for their chairman, Mike Harris, to formally open the meeting and the year.
During the previous months they had set initial dates and plans for the Heatherton Jubilee Fête and Olympic celebrations. But now that the village’s Christmas decorations had been stored and the New Year empties recycled, the Heatherton Events Committee were free to focus on the momentous occasions of the coming year.
Sat in front of patio doors furnished with sweeping, red velvet curtains, Mike settled in the carver chair at the head of the table and studied his agenda.
Beside him Beth Scott sipped overly strong filter coffee and eyed the plate of biscuits, wondering if there was time to ask Tom to pass them to her.
‘Welcome and, once again, Happy New Year,’ Mike said, glancing around the table.
Beth returned his smile and looked back at the assortment of chocolate biscuits, no doubt leftovers from Christmas; knowing she was too late, and would now have to wait for a suitable pause in the proceedings.
Chapter 3 – Peter
Peter Scott locked the back door of Rose Cottage and headed along the driveway to the high street, boots crunching against the gravel. It was brisker out than he’d expected and he considered going back to grab his scarf, hat and gloves, but decided against it. It wasn’t far to the Scott and Son workshop at the edge of the village, just under a mile.
He also didn’t trust himself. If he’d gone back inside, he might not have left a second time. After waking this morning he’d felt his good mood plummet like a brick in water at the prospect of going into work, and had taken far longer than necessary polishing the family shoes, then sorting the recycling and cleaning the bins.
But a week ago today, he’d made a private New Year’s resolution to face the workshop paperwork: the quotes to raise and send out, outstanding invoices to chase, and the bills that needed paying. And he never liked going back on a promise.
It was still only 10:00 and the empty hours stretched ahead. He knew Jen and Beth wouldn’t be back for a while so he didn’t need to be home any time soon. But what about lunch? And milk? Was there any left in the workshop fridge for a coffee even?
Peter looked along the curved high street ahead of him, to the village shop in the distance, squeezed between the surgery and the White Hart Pub. He’d pop in and grab a sandwich and some milk just in case.
Chapter 4 – Charlie
In her office at Heatherton Junior School, head teacher, Charlotte Gardner, studied the coming term’s timetable, circling in her favourite pink pen the days and classes in which there would be a shortfall of available staff.
She felt the tic beneath her eye begin to flutter at the thought of another stressful term. She’d barely managed to recover from the last one. After flopping gratefully into the Christmas holidays, she’d spent the first week in pajamas refusing to go out.
How she had ever coped before online shopping and next day delivery, she didn’t know.
Christmas itself had come and gone with little ceremony. She’d not had the energy to bother with her Christmas tree, and had declined all holiday invites, even Beth. Instead, she’d snuggled beneath a blanket on the sofa, content to watch the village from her window enjoying Christmas without her.
Her only excitement had been on Christmas Eve when she’d had to dismantle her Dyson to rescue a field mouse, which one of the cats had brought in and dropped long enough for it to escape.
About Mel Morton:
Mel Morton was born in the 70s’ and raised in Wiltshire, England. Her childhood inspiration came from the 80s’ Brat Pack movies: St Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club and, later on, Top Gun.
When reality hit and she realized that real life would never be like the movies, Mel turned to books, relying on authors such as Jilly Cooper, Nora Roberts and Jackie Collins for both her education and a welcome distraction from the realities of life.
In hindsight, Mel now sees that if she’d revised for exams rather than reading fiction, her grades may have been better. That said, without the down-to-earth, emotional education of Maeve Binchy and Joanna Trollope novels, she’s not sure how she would have got through the growing up years and beyond.
Today, as an author, Mel strives to offer the same emotional exploration in her own writing, choosing to peek beyond the still, smooth façade and get knee-deep in the emotional grunge, picking at the bones of a situation or relationship.
Perspective, a collection of short stories, does just that. As does Unravelled, Mel’s first novel, which will be available on Amazon Kindle later this year.
If you’d like more information about Mel Morton, you can visit her website at www.melmorton.com or find her on Goodreads.
However, due to her irrational dislike of social media (yes, she says she has tried it,) you won’t find her on Twitter or Facebook.
Contact Mel Morton at:
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