Fox Halt Farm
Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened. Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.
Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?
Fox Halt Farm is hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start. If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Fiona Valpy, Lucinda Riley, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this novel too!
Today, I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore and I am sharing an extract from her novel.
Book Description: This debut novel by Celia Moore is a sweeping saga set over two decades – a story of love, families, heartbreak, and dreams.
Fox Halt Farm is a small dairy farm nestled under the Dartmoor hills, but there are two contrasting worlds in this novel; the struggling farm with its warm beating heart, and the unsympathetic money-spinning corporate regime – This fast-paced novel is located mainly in Devon and London, but other places feature too, including Paris and the mountains of North Wales.
The novel starts on a cliff edge, when Billy is eighteen-years-old in 1986. She is alone on a remote Greek island far away from her Devon home, betrayed, believing everyone and everything she loves is threatened.
Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy and her beloved Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.
The consequences of their unexpected meeting play out over two decades with Billy and Richard’s lives rippling in parallel and sometimes touching. But should they be together? Should they trust each other? Or will their secrets tear their lives apart.
‘Flying Buttress’ the Llanberis Pass in North Wales: Billy is cajoled into a risky quest by her new and madcap friend Jessie.
… I am warm now from the sunshine reflecting off the rock. It seems like Jessie has bewitched the weather too.
‘You weren’t joking, were you? You said you were too chubby to do this.’ I can’t believe she has just said that to me. She may have run out of ideas, I suppose. I have been here for forty minutes trying to get more than two feet off the ground.
Jessie has given me everything; climbing shoes, helmet, harness, and I am tied by a long rope to Martin who I can see twenty feet above me. She has given me top tips on how to make it easy for myself, along with demonstrations and encouragement. What else could she do?
Her derogatory comment sounded jokey, but she is right. The climbing harness makes my rolls of fat seem even bigger and just the scramble up to the start of this climb was hard. It was all loose rock; steep and scary. I am seriously out of shape. I won’t admit this to Jessie though; I will show her. I wasn’t the bravest and fastest rider around the hunter trial at Powderham Castle for nothing. I am brave and I will get up this if it kills me. I may die in a horrific car crash on the way home, anyway.
I am next to Martin, relieved he is here, ‘making me safe,’ as he calls it, which means he is tethering me to a rock. Jessie is climbing up the part I took nearly an hour to do, in seconds, just like Martin did.
‘Only five more pitches to go.’ Jessie sounds so happy. She is delighted I managed to get up here. I love all her energy and joy, even if she did beguile me into this.
Finally, we are at the top. It was a struggle but as my arms got weaker, my mind grew stronger and I am thrilled with myself. I could get hooked on this sport, the adrenaline, the beauty and drama of our surroundings and my sense of achievement. The clear air and the camaraderie are exhilarating.
Martin is further along the ridge, sorting out an abseil so we can get back down. Abseiling sounds appalling but I don’t have much choice. I think I am up for anything now anyway. I turn to Jessie. ‘Why won’t Michael do this with you? He would love it, I am sure.’
Jessie’s demeanour changes. Her beautiful face was red from the wind and the exertion but now she looks pale and serious. Have I said something stupid?
‘I’ll explain, Billy,’ she replies, ‘but you mustn’t tell Michael, I told you. He has never said more than a couple of sentences about it to me.’
‘I won’t say anything,’ I assure her, ‘but you don’t have to explain. I am sorry, I asked you.’
‘No, I’ll tell you – Michael talked to me about this the first day we met and he has never mentioned it again.’ Jessie is so close to me on the ledge that I feel uneasy. If she moves quickly, she could knock me off but she doesn’t notice the danger…
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About the author
Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.