I never need an excuse to head off for a few days to wind up in glorious South Devon.
This latest outing had a purpose though, not just a jolly. I was on a mission to see if guests staying in various lodgings along the South Devon coast (a location within the book) would be interested in Dance with Fireflies.
Armed with boxes of books and my new dinky flyers, a two hour drive found us in the heart of the English Riviera, Torquay. Husband and wife team, Nicola and Steve always offer us such a warm welcome at The Buckingham Lodge Guest House. Nicola was happy to display my novels in a cabinet for her guests to see on arrival. The leaflets will be placed in all of the 8 guest rooms. So after a hearty breakfast (best in Torquay), and a great nights sleep, we pack up the car and head off into the misty morning (it was supposed to be sunny!).
A short drive along the coast to the sheltered haven of Babbacombe Bay finds The Cary Arms and Spa. It nestles snuggly into this charming cove with amazing views out to sea. I have high hopes for my book in this beautiful boutique hotel and happily picture their clientele enjoying the story of Phyllis living in Devon during WW2.
After a bracing walk along Babbacombe’s pretty harbour wall. We make our way to Shaldon. I love this cute little seaside village with its red sand river beach and jaunty rock called The Ness. I always picture Phyllis (my grandmother and protagonist of Dance with Fireflies) and the family living here, pushing the piano along the pavement to get it home, the bomb falling near the green and the telegram boy arriving on the doorstep with news of my grandfather’s death.
Lunch at The Ness (fish and chips) was delicious as we peered out through large windows to the lovely view of Teignmouth over the water. The Ness is a handsome pub with lovely rooms that have the most charming balconies. Rachel, the manager, was thrilled to hear that her pub actually features in my book.
The last of the day’s sunshine found us in The Langstone Cliff Hotel, Dawlish Warren. This traditional family run hotel overlooks the Exe estuary with amazing sea views from their expansive lawn dotted with tables and chairs. This is a proper hotel with Jazz and dance weekends, afternoon tea in The Lincoln bar and two swimming pools. I am very excited to have signed copies of my book on sale here….thanks to Louise… the granddaughter of its founders Stanley and Marjorie.
So a great weekend. Dance with Fireflies has 4 more stockists, from a B&B, boutique hotel and spa, traditional pub to a long-established hotel.