Let the countdown to Valentine’s Day commence! It’s time for another Valentine’s Round Robin from Choc Lit, back by popular demand. Five talented Choc Lit authors have been working collaboratively on a super sweet short story – A Valentine’s Wedding Fair – which we will be sharing in five parts in the run-up to Valentine’s Day (with the final part falling on the big day itself!) Come back every day to read a new extract AND enter competitions to win chocolate & book prizes.
Each author taking part has no idea where their part of the story will go, which leads to a few surprises along the way. But you’ll need to read on to find out more
Kirsty Ferry is the author start us off this time! Remember to read right until the end to find details of the competition.
A VALENTINE’S WEDDING FAIR – PART ONE BY KIRSTY FERRY
‘It’s a good location,’ Jess’s boss, Mark, said to her. ‘The name should attract a few people anyway.’ Jess worked at a caterer’s, and was preparing some samples to take along to a Wedding Fair at Valentine Manor, a local stately home that had been turned into a wedding venue.
She’d been in the kitchens mega-early icing some tiny fairy cakes, decorating each pink and white morsel with a red sugar heart and they almost looked too good to eat. She’d also made a gorgeous red-velvet cake in the shape of a heart, and Mark was helping her load the candy-floss coloured van up. As well as the cakes, they’d made little chocolate truffles and neat canapes that melted in the mouth. It all looked very tasty and Jess knew it would look even better when they’d set everything up.
‘Here, don’t forget the cake-stand,’ she said, handing Mark a vintage rose-patterned three-tier china stand. They prided themselves on a shabby chic sort of presentation, and she also had a surfeit of bunting and floral paper plates to decorate their stall with.
‘Our centrepiece,’ he said with a smile. ‘Can’t leave that behind. Okay. Are you ready?’
‘Yep. Who’s driving?’
‘Me. You’ll take a corner too quickly and shatter the cake stand in the back.’
‘Once! Once I did that. And you can barely see the join. Especially with a paper doily on top.’
‘Superglue is a wondrous invention,’ Mark said solemnly. ‘Come on then. Let’s get there before Harriet does.’ His face closed up as he mentioned his ex-wife. She’d taken all the tricks of his trade – and Jess’s to-die-for chocolate cake recipe – and set up a rival company.
It seemed at every Wedding Fair Mark and Jess attended with Buntings, Harriet was there, with her new company, Bobbins, and her new boyfriend, Armand. It seemed as if this fair at Valentine Manor would be no exception. Jess had become something of a website stalker and kept close tabs on Harriet and her up-and-coming events pages. She knew without a doubt Bobbins and all its associated dreadfulness would be there today.
‘Never mind Horrific Harriet. At least I made sure we got the best stall.’ Jess’s best friend’s brother, Jake, was the Events Manager and she’d pulled a few strings to get Buntings centre-stage. She only hoped that Harriet would stay out of their hair. She couldn’t abide the woman – never had been able to. Jess had, in fact, been the world’s most miserable wedding guest. She’d had to bite her tongue to stop herself from screaming in the church: ‘Don’t do it! She’s just vile!’
‘So how did you manage to get us the top spot at Valentine Manor, then?’ Mark gave her a comical, side-long glance and she laughed.
‘I may or may not have agreed to go for a drink with Jake. Note – may or may not I’m not being accused of nepotism.’
‘So you say,’ said Mark and turned his attention to the road.
‘So I say.’ Jess turned her own attention to the scenery as they drove towards Valentine Manor.
She’d had a really good feeling about today for some reason.
And that feeling lasted until they pulled up in front of the manor and began to unpack their nibbles…
We’re loving the way this story has started off! Cake and Valentine’s Day – what a match made in heaven. But we get the feeling that ‘Horrific Harriet’ might have a few tricks up her sleeve. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow when Morton S. Gray takes over to see how this plays out …
If you enjoyed Kirsty’s writing, you can find her books available to purchase from all good online book stockists and retailers. Click on the image below for purchasing options.
Kirsty’s upcoming novel (and second in the Hartsford Mysteries series) will be out on 3rd April but is available to pre-order. Click on the cover image for buying options.
To be in with a chance of winning a Kirsty Ferry paperback and some chocolate simply answer the question below (we hope you’ve been reading carefully!):
What is the name of Harriet’s new boyfriend?
To enter, send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading ‘Round Robin comp 1’ by Thursday 15th February. The winner will be picked at random and announced on Friday 16th February.