#Blogtour #Extract: The Little Vineyard in Provence by Ruth Kelly @ruthywriter @TrapezeBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheLittleVineyardInProvence
Release date - 25th July 2019
Book length - 352 pages
Publisher - Trapeze
Worldwide - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
I want to thank Tracy from www.compulsivereaders.com for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for providing me with an extract for you all to enjoy. I cannot wait to read more!
ABOUT THE BOOK
Ava's marriage has been a lie. For the past five years her husband Mark has been squandering their money on gambling and dodgy deals that have amounted to nothing. Mark has left Ava and their daughter, Sophia, to fend for themselves with a mountain of debt and not as much as an explanation as to where he's gone or when he'll be back.
Just when Ava couldn't feel any lower, she receives the news that her grandfather has passed away. When Ava was a child, she used to spend her summers picking grapes on her grandfather's vineyard in Provence, before a rift between his daughters tore the family apart. They hadn't seen each other for years, which is why Ava is shocked to learn her grandfather has left money to her sister, Olivia, but his entire vineyard, Chateau Montrose, to her.
Fresh coffee and croissants for breakfast, a glass of red with the handsome local waiter Jacques; Ava starts to feel quite at home. But it would be madness to walk away from her marriage, to take a chance on a place she fell for as a child - wouldn't it?
Provence, Summer 1985
‘Yuck, that’s bitter !’ Ava spat out the grape.
Grandpapa laughed so loudly he was overwhelmed by a fit of coughing.
‘That’s because it’s not ripe, child !’ He patted his chest. Holding the red grape between his finger and thumb, he angled it to the sky. The bright sunshine streamed through it, turning the purple fruit a transparent shade of lavender.
‘We must catch them at the perfect moment. That is why we have to keep trying them. Tasting them. Checking them for their sweetness. And then when they are ripe, we pick them !’ he exclaimed with his typical French exuberance.
‘But . . .’ he waggled his finger. ‘But there is only a tiny little window for this magic to happen.’ He shrugged. ‘Bouff, maybe two, maybe three days. And if we get it wrong . . .’ he paused.
She stared at him, mouth open like a goldfish, hanging on his every word.
‘It is a disaster !’
He walked on, leaving her glued to the spot, first with shock and then curiosity as her mind began whizzing with questions.
‘The grapes are only ripe for a few days, Grandpapa ?’ she called after him.
‘Oui ! Come along now.’
The chalky dry soil crunched underneath his dusty shoes as he walked ahead. Every now and then, he would reach his hand out and touch the leaves with a soft caressing motion, as if he were stroking a beloved pet dog. Ava followed closely at his heels, lurching from stop to start whenever her grandfather decided to test another grape. Her freckles were developing by the second under the scorching afternoon sun. Suddenly he turned and looked at her intently.
‘I’ll let you into a little secret, my dear Ava.’ His voice lowered to a whisper. Her eyes widened, waiting for him to reveal another nugget of wisdom. ‘These grapes here,’ he motioned his hands across the rows of vines. ‘They are the heart of my vineyard. They are the oldest vines, and do you know what that means ?’
Ava shook her head.
‘It means, they are the strongest. Their roots have buried deep into the terroir so they can reach nutrients no other vines can get to.’
Kneeling down, and groaning slightly at the effort, her grandpapa wrapped his sinewy fingers around the trunk of the vine and placed his other weathered hand on the ground to provide some support. His rugged hands were covered in liver spots.
‘Très forte, very strong,’ he muttered, as he gave it a gentle shake. ‘They drink the minerals and carry them through here.’ He traced his forefinger up the trunk.
‘And along here.’ Ava watched with fascination as he drew a pathway to the fruits. He tugged another grape free, the vine shaking before springing back into place.
‘And when it is ripe, it will add a perfect sweetness to my rosé wine like no other grape can.’ He placed the little red fruit into her palm. His bones creaked as he steadied himself back onto his feet.
She looked up at her grandpapa in awe, but his gaze was now fixed on the horizon. Eyes narrowed, he stared past the vines to her parents’ car, which was speeding along the driveway, trailing a cloud of dust.
‘Is everything okay, Grandpapa ?’
His warm smile had evaporated. His bushy grey eyebrows pinched together with a frown. ‘Grandpapa ?’
He muttered something in French.
‘Come on child, let’s get you back to the house.’
Ruth Kelly is an award-nominated journalist, who has ghosted a string of Sunday Times bestsellers.
Ruth has had over ten years' experience in print journalism and television. She has a background in newspapers, having trained as a news reporter. Ruth then went on to freelance for the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror and The Sun. Her magazine experience includes covering as news features editor for Grazia, deputy features editor for Look magazine and helping More magazine relaunch, as features editor. She also worked in TV as a news producer for Richard and Judy, and a writer for Endemol. Working as a ghostwriter has allowed Ruth to capture the voices of celebrities as well as ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
For more information:
Website - ruthkelly.co.uk
Twitter - twitter.com/ruthywriter
Instagram - www.instagram.com/ruthywriter/
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Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
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