My novel, The Madness of Celia Summers, is a romantic comedy revolving around the titular Celia and her job as an art therapist at an old people’s home (or an elderly independents home, as Celia prefers to refer to her old folk). The book features a cast of eccentric and colourful characters from the home and explores Celia’s romance with a police constable, the shy and delectable Alex, who is a single father and comes with excess baggage, as they do! Of course, she has to boot her current beau’s bottom in the stratosphere first, who turns out to be not quite the gentleman he seems.
Celia Summers, intrepid mother of two, loves her work as an art therapist. She’s proud that she gives her elderly independents something to look forward to each day, even if her partner, Martin, is disparaging of her efforts.
But then Martin has a secret agenda Celia knows nothing about. Meanwhile she defends her geriatric charges, fights to secure gallery space for their artwork, and fights to keep The Harbour, a home the residents can truly call home, from being closed.
She takes on the might of the town council; to the point of leaping from a church steeple to bring attention to the plight of her independents, no matter that she might fall and end up splattered all over the pavement. When she does fall, however, it’s much more painfully.
Police Constable Alex Burrows, the son of long time Harbour resident, Colonel Burrows, whose sense of humour has made her laugh, whose tragic personal circumstances have made her cry, whose smile has stolen her heart; turns out to be just as much a liar as Martin.
Can Celia ever trust again? Can Alex get past her protective cadre of friends, forgotten by most of the people in their own lives, and convince her to trust him, to love him, as he does her?
EXCERPT: - The Madness
“You’re nuts,” Alex said as they gazed heavenward.
“I know. I’ll just, ahem, ring Martin,” Celia said, her voice rather high-pitched. Tell him to dig out her last Will and Testament should she die before she was wed.
Oh, Lord, get a grip, woman, she told herself firmly, aware that Alex was watching her, amusement dancing in his eyes. She could do this. Of course she could. She had to do it, for her old people. Saga Radio were on site to promote the Faith in Action Fun Day. The Birmingham Mail, too, poised for a photo opportunity. And what better opportunity for they themselves than front-page news?
She pictured the headline--Elderly Independents Take Housing Battle to the Top.
Yes, more like Deranged Do-Gooder Air-Rescued from Church Steeple.
Oh, God, she couldn’t. Absolutely couldn’t. She’d be paralysed with fear before she’d climbed the steps to the roof. Or be drawn irresistibly to the edge, vertigo driving an urge to throw herself off.
Yes, well, that was the aim, wasn’t it, though preferably after they’d attached the rope?
She took a calming deep breath, forgot to breathe out and tripped over a tombstone. “Sorry,” she mumbled to the inhabitant therein.
“Okay?” Alex asked behind her.
“Wonderful. Never better. “Um, no signal.” Celia waved her mobile by way of explanation for dilly-dallying on the flagstones--where it was nice and flat.
“Wait until you get to the top,” Alex suggested. “You should get a pretty clear signal up there. Direct line to God, in fact.”
“Good idea.” Celia nodded enthusiastically. Bad idea, she thought. The worst she’d had in her life. She wasn’t ready for a one-to-one with God, for pity’s sake.
“I’m not so sure it is.” Alex glanced up at the church, standing tall in its monolithic splendour, extremely tall, and shook his head. Then shook it again as Eleanor sailed past in an olive green kimono and glass beaded slippers. “She’s going to abseil in that?” He looked at Celia, bemused.
Eleanor ground to a halt. “Do you have a problem with it?”
“No. No,” Alex said quickly. “It’s very fetching. Just a bit, er…”
Eleanor folded her arms and tapped her foot.
“Exotic.” He looked this way and that as she looked him frostily up and down. “For abseiling, I mean.”
“It may interest you to know, Mr. Burrows, that your thoughts on my dress-sense interest me not one iota. It may also interest you to know that I am not the cat’s mother.”
“Come again?” Alex cast confused eyes in Celia’s direction. Celia shrugged and hoped he hadn’t noticed the two legs she’d stuffed into one of her outdoor trousers. Oh, sh…ugar. He had. She hopped around, her back to him, smiled wanly at a child regarding her coolly over his ice cream, then hopped full circle. Better he think her a pupating caterpillar than get another birds-eye view of her bum.
Sheryl writing as Charlotte Chalmers
The Madness of Celia Summers
The Wild Rose Press www.charlottechalmers.com
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Hello, I'm Bert Martinez, I'm looking to network with success minded authors. If you would like my free report 30 Strategies for Selling More Books just fill out the form below. I look forward to networking with you and if there is anything that I can help you with please do not hesitate to contact me.
I thought you might feel the way I did on losing my two babies. they were like children to me after the break up of my previous marriage. They did so much for me, and I can never forget them, as I'm sure you won't forget Sandie.
Its funny, our little JR Penny pees herself too when she gets scared. Must be a JR thing. I'm so glad Snoops copes so well. I'm sending you the poem below that I wrote in memory of my tow beautiful dachshunds who both dies within a few months of each other. It's for anyone who, like you with Sandie, has lost a dear doggie friend. Hope you like it.
(For Sophie and Candy)
Don't think me dead, for I'm only sleeping.
So please don't cry, I can't bear you weeping.
I know you loved me oh so much,
I felt it in your every touch.
You gave me all a dog could need,
And I tried my best your thoughts to read.
I loved to walk, I loved to play,
As every dog does, every day.
But now the time has come I fear,
When I must leave those I love so dear.
For all dogs have a special place,
Where there's no cars or noise, just open space.
A space to play for evermore,
To bark and run to shake a paw.
We never know just when to go
Sometimes you have to help you know.
So it's grateful thanks and love I send
That you were with me at the end.
Don't be afraid for me my friends,
Where I sleep now, playtime never ends.
I'll always be there in a way,
Close your eyes, see me at play.
And as you walk along the street
Look back now and then, guess who's at your feet?
So don't think me dead, for I'm only sleeping,
And I know in your heart, my love you're keeping!