Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore
Release Date: 1st November 2017
Genres: Romance


FOX HALT FARM is a compelling love story set over two decades with a backdrop of atmospheric Dartmoor, Devon. Perfect for fans of ROMANCE - this is a powerful and CAPTIVATING READ.

Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened.

Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.

Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?

Fox Halt Farm is going to be hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start. If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this too!

Billy and Richard's story will tug on your heart-strings.  This novel is emotive, enthralling and so real - this is what could happen when two very different worlds collide.

EXTRACT
PART ONE
CHAPTER 1
RICHARD MARCFENN
(SATURDAY 12 JULY 1986)

There must be at least twenty irregular steps to negotiate before we reach our honeymoon hotel. I can see that my petite wife is wishing that she hadn’t worn her million dollar heels, which were never fashioned for this unforgiving terrain.
I catch something in the edge of my vision. I screw my head towards Janette,
‘Did you see that? Darling! Did you see?’
‘No. What?’ She is still focused on the steps.
‘I thought I saw something falling,’ I point at the jagged headland and I tellher, ‘I must check it out!’
Straightaway, I abandon my wife and charge ahead to the edge of the cliff.
My eyes are scrutinising the white beach far below. Nothing…I search harder. I feel exhausted. The journey to this remote Greek island was so much longer than we expected and leaving straight from our wedding was definitely a mistake.
Concentrate! My straining eyes pick up the tiniest movement, or maybe my ears sense the faintest noise. I am aware of something, a laugh maybe?
As I make out a small indistinct shape at the bottom of the cliff, my heart pumps my blood too fast. A vein throbs in the middle of my forehead and I mouth horrified questions to no-one, ‘A child? Did they fall?’
I think I hear the haunting noise again, the ghost of another laugh?
*
Janette is watching me from the verandah of the hotel. She is with a tall woman, whose white skin is shadowed by a straw hat. My wife swipes a wayward strand of her hair away from her face, while her companion links her fingers over a pregnant bump. As I run back, I see a young man approaching them - a native islander with a confident swagger. I shout but they can't hear me.When they do understand, the man straightaway nods towards a steep path leading to the beach below, ‘I come with you,’ He barks before yelling back at the pregnant woman, ‘Get someone with boat there!’
‘Okay.’ From the tone of her reply it is difficult to know if she is willing, or bored?
Janette's doe eyes look frightened, she tells me, ‘Sorry Rich, that path is too precarious. I can’t come with you. Be careful luvva.’
I kiss her, ‘I’ll be fine, please don't worry. I love you!’
 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36514113-fox-halt-farm?from_search=true



Fox Halt Farm is set across many years spanning the 80's and 90's and right up to 2008 and opens with Richard MarcFenn on his honeymoon. Not long after arriving at the beautiful Greek island of Paros with his new wife, Richard thinks he sees someone fall off a cliff. Upon investigation he discovers its an English girl and he sets off down the cliff to see if he can help. By doing so he sets off a chain of events that span decades. Billy, the girl from the cliff somehow becomes an integral part of Richard's life, both professionally and personally. Richard and Billy's mother Daniella write to each other regularly, unbeknownst to Billy and between them they conspire to ensure that Billy is well looked after with a job in Richard's business. Daniella knows that Billy has not been happy since the incident in Greece but just can't find a way to help Billy unless its through Richard. Richard and Daniella become pen pals of sorts and begin a friendship that spans the years. Through her letters, Daniella tells Richard about Fox Halt Farm where she lives and where Billy grew up. Richard, through these letters becomes completely fascinated by the Farm and becomes immersed in the life Daniella describes.

Despite saving her life in more ways than one, Billy doesn't initially like Richard much and actually despises him for saving her life. A life she no longer wanted to be part of. However, as the years pass the pair come to rely on one another far more than they would admit. There are some other back stories interwoven throughout with other characters coming into play.

Fox Halt Farm is a bit of a saga. I love a good saga! Through Billy and Richard's eyes we get the story from their perspectives. We find out about their loves and fears and how important they eventually become to one another. We learn about the importance of family ties and a need to belong. The book moves between the different perspectives and now and again it was a little difficult to follow but worth persevering with. There was a lot of descriptive writing and at times felt a little too wordy. In the process of writing a novel myself that spans a number of years I know how difficult it is to do! There's so much information and story to include. That said, this book is a great read for those who love stories that explore relationship and family dynamics and enduring friendships.

 I was particularly fascinated by Richard and Daniella's friendship given their very different backgrounds and at times I felt sorry for Richard who didn't seem to fit into the life he was living just as Billy had felt when they'd first encountered one another in Greece. There were some interesting parallels between the pair. For me, Daniella, Billy's mother was the lynch pin that seemed to hold everyone together both outside and inside Fox Halt Farm. She seems like such a downtrodden character at first but actually when you explore her more deeply she is central to everyone in the book and is instrumental in ensuring that Richard's involvement with Billy goes beyond what happened in Greece. I enjoyed watching Billy grow and mature throughout the course of the novel as did the other main characters. Billy was a complex but really interesting character and I loved her thought processes. Celia did an excellent job exploring the complexities of enduring love and family relationships. A good first novel from Celia Moore and I'd be interested in catching up with these characters again.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/FOX-HALT-FARM-Fields-Secrets-ebook/dp/B076HSP36C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510607084&sr=8-1&keywords=fox+halt+farm https://www.amazon.com/FOX-HALT-FARM-Fields-Secrets/dp/1549990772/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510609087&sr=8-1&keywords=fox+halt+farm 
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ABOUT CELIA MOORE

 
Celia Moore was born in Devon, England, and grew up on a farm. Celia left the farm to have a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City district of London.

In 2000 she left the office life behind to start a new adventure of becoming an outdoor instructor and taught rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing and even skiing, archery, rifle shooting and mountain biking. She managed an outdoor residential centre until she met her husband and now she is concentrating on gardening for a few lovely customers, running and writing.

Born fifty years ago this year, Celia has been creative ever since - from explaining why there are no chocolate biscuits left when visitors arrive, to writing glowing particulars for ugly properties; from encouraging people to have a go at a scary abseil, oil painting and writing. Celia loves it all but especially the gardening, running and the writing!






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