Fox Halt Farm
Release Date: 1st November 2017
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.
(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 tell her, ‘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!’
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Designing my cover. The history behind the cover of Fox Halt Farm:
‘I have thoughts about your cover – not sure it does your book any favours…’ Those words came in an unexpected message from my wonderful mentor author Beth Webb in April. She was right of course – and so began a journey.
When Beth’s message appeared on my phone, I was blind to the importance of the design– I didn’t appreciate how vital the cover of a book plays in securing readers. Now of course, I find myself analysing every cover I come across.
‘Give him a very clear brief – two or three paragraphs about the plot – what age group it’s for male/female readers – what emotion you want to get across.’
I wrote a six-page brief (with lots of images) to the recommended designer and he told me ‘Good thorough brief by the way, you’d be amazed how rarely I get as much to work on.’ But despite this all my ideas were lost in translation! He said ‘a hunky man with no shirt holding a woman in a flowing dress seem to be almost universal… At the very least we may have to have a bit of snogging going on.’ This led to an uneasy truce…
I showed the potential cover to people and there was a lot of head shaking – I felt I had to go back to the drawing board – I deliberated long and hard – I wanted something unusual, a thought provoking concept, which was eye-catching.
This was when I decided to make my own oil painting from an imagined scene in my book. But then doubts began to creep in again – it wasn’t startling enough and this was how Version 3 was born.
I liked this cover but having carried out a lot of research amongst many ladies, I discovered this was design was giving a murder mystery message –Fox Halt Farm was a thriller perhaps? – The most critical feedback came from my husband – again unexpected and uninvited – but all the same, 99% of the time he is right! and he said the image looked like a poster for the local amateur dramatic society’s latest production!
And the winner is… Version 4! Just simple and effective… the best feedback for this final version, which is based on my original oil painting was unexpected too – I showed it to one of my friends who read my first draft of Fox Halt Farm and I watched as she wiped away a tear in her eye – and then another reader of my first draft said it brought a lump to her throat – I feel at last, the cover reflects the story I have to tell.
There is a footnote I want to add to this story – this has been a tricky voyage and one I expect that rings true with many other authors – I see so many posts about angst over book covers – many authors of course have little say in the design their publisher uses – it was wonderful to be able to have the ability to choose mine – but I just want to say that there is one person I feel particularly indebted to. He came along when I was probably at my lowest point with this – and this is the testimonial I wrote for him, Harrison is just starting out and I think he can only succeed, ‘I contacted Harrison Pidgeon with my proposed images for my book cover and he carefully and thoughtfully created a stunning cover for me. This was done in a very tight timescale and I can only say I am delighted with everything. I shall definitely be using this talented designer again. I think what impressed me most was the way he listened to what I wanted and made intelligent and clever suggestions to improve the design. I also liked the way that he wrote a clear and concise account of what he had done. Thank you Harrison – it is so nice in a world full of a ‘that’ll do attitude’ to find a person who really cares about doing a job well. You exceeded my expectations!’.
Fox Halt Farm – a powerful romantic saga is £0.99 for a limited time – Available to purchase now from Amazon.
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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