I’m thrilled today to share with you an excerpt from Sunshine After the Rain by Daisy James as part of the Weekend Blitz hosted by Neverland Blog Tours. I was so happy to be part of the cover reveal for this book back in May and I’m kicking myself I’ve still not had time to read it, I will soon though.
A summer that changes everything…
Frazzled workaholic Evie Johnson has finally had enough! When she’s blamed for a publicity disaster at the art gallery she loves, she decides to flee the bright lights of London for the sun-drenched shores of Corfu and turn her life upside-down.
Under the shade of the olive trees, she picks up her dusty paintbrushes and begins to chase the dreams she had put aside for so long. But she never expected to bump into drop-dead-gorgeous Sam Bradbury – and certainly not whilst wrapped only in a towel!
A summer fling is the last thing Evie wanted but a few stolen kisses under the stars might just begin to change her mind…
“You should still make time to paint. It’s what you love the most, isn’t it? Why don’t you take a few days off next week? Go home to Cornwall and take your easel with you? Start chasing your own dreams instead of other people’s! You know what Sam says. We all have to be prepared to ‘Carve out the time to coax our passions from their slumber’,” quoted Pippa using her fingers as speech marks. “And don’t forget that ‘Creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised to keep it in tiptop condition.’”
“Yes, well, not all of us are as fortunate as Sam ‘Silver Spoon’ Bradbury. When you have a lucrative career as a newly-qualified barrister to fall back on, you can spend as much time as you want on ‘flexing your creative muscles’!”
Evie hoped the envy in her voice wasn’t as apparent to Pippa’s ears as it was to her own. Everything her friend had said was right of course. She suspected that shelving her dream of becoming a commercially successful artist was the real cause of her recent melancholy and insomnia and not the stress of organising Jaxx Benson’s debut.
When she had taken on the role of manager and curator for one of the hippest independent art galleries in London’s West End two years ago, she had reassured herself every time she surveyed a fresh exhibition with the ‘one day this will be mine’ mantra. But the leather portfolio under her bed had become a comfortable colony for dust buddies that even a ravenous Dyson would struggle to evict. She refused to admit it to anyone but she was now frightened to revisit her canvases in case the unbridled passion she had possessed at university had been shipwrecked on the sea of necessity to pay her rent. Even Pippa, the most positive person she had ever encountered, had downgraded her constant barrage of encouragement to weekly instead of daily. It was just the evening’s events that seemed to have reawakened her friend’s indignation that Evie was concealing her ambitions under a veil of workaholic mist.
“And, whilst we’re on the subject of self-interested creatives, what’s happening with you and Dylan?” asked Pippa, holding Evie’s eyes so that she wasn’t tempted to avoid the subject. “Why isn’t he gracing us with his presence tonight? What can be more important than being here to support his girlfriend?”
“I told you, his band’s got a gig. It’s been such a long time since the last one, I couldn’t expect him to turn it down. This could be the breakthrough he needs to get his career back on track.” Evie hoped her optimism wasn’t as misplaced as it had been many times before and that his refusal to come to the exhibition before the gig was not yet another symptom of the fizzling out of her relationship with would-be rock guitarist Dylan.
“You can’t keep defending him, Evie. You deserve better.”
Evie flashed Pippa a grateful smile but before she was able to respond, her colleague erupted into a volley of excitable squeals.
“Look! Look! Oh my God, I don’t believe it! The paparazzi have arrived!”
Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. Her husband and young son were willing samplers of her baking creations which were triple-tested for her debut novel, The Runaway Bridesmaid. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.
Daisy would love to hear from readers via her Facebook page or you can follow her on Twitter @daisyjamesbooks,