Hello Readers! I’m pleased to share excerpt from Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross, as part of blog tour organized by Rachel’s Random Resources. Check out more about this romcom in this post.
Five Wakes and a Wedding by Karen Ross
Publication Date: July 2019
Publisher: Avon / One More Chapter
Genre: Romanic Comedy Noir
Undertaker Nina Sherwood is full of good advice. For example, never wear lip gloss when you’re scattering ashes.
Nina is your average 30-year-old with a steady job, a nice home – and dead bodies in her basement. As an undertaker, she often prefers the company of the dead to the living – they’re obliging, good listeners and take secrets to the grave.
Nina is on a one-woman mission to persuade her peers that passing on is just another part of life. But the residents of Primrose Hill are adamant that a funeral parlour is the last thing they need… and they will stop at nothing to close down her dearly beloved shop.
When Nina’s ‘big break’ funeral turns out to be a prank, it seems like it’s the final nail in the coffin for her new business. That is, until a (tall, dark and) mysterious investor shows up out of the blue, and she decides to take a leap of faith.
Because, after all, it’s her funeral…
The perfect antidote to all those books about weddings, this book will make you laugh until you cry, perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley’s Bridesmaids, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Good Place.
Here’s what’s happened so far: Nina Sherwood’s London funeral parlour, Happy Endings, is struggling, but her love life seems to be in better shape. She’s started dating a charismatic yet enigmatic lawyer called Barclay. Nina’s not sure if she can trust Barclay, but tonight she’s given him the benefit of the doubt, and he’s taken her to a go-kart racing track. Here’s what happens:
‘Do you want to meet the gang first? Or get suited up?’ Barclay enquires.
The look on my face tells its own story.
‘You didn’t think I invited you here just to sit and watch me?’ He looks perplexed. ‘That would be plain rude. Not to mention sexist. I thought you’d enjoy driving something with a bit more oomph than a hearse. But not if you don’t want to. We can go out to dinner instead. Your call.’
I look at Barclay, his Go-Kart Champion T-shirt, and his concerned expression. ‘It’s not dangerous,’ he adds. ‘Not really.’
The fact he’s making no attempt to cajole me onto the ice encourages me to reconsider. I look towards the rink and notice a couple of karts are out on the ice. I watch them negotiate their way safely round the circuit, encouraged by a few cheers from the crowd. ‘They’ve got brakes, and things?’
‘Of course. But sometimes they freeze, so better to accelerate your way out of trouble.’
Barclay’s advice isn’t entirely reassuring. I watch one of the karts slither to a standstill. The driver gets out. A girl. About fourteen years old.
‘Okay.’ I’ve made up my mind. ‘Where do I go to get changed?’
‘Really? You’re sure?’
Barclay leads the way towards the crowd. ‘Everyone,’ he says, ‘this is Nina.’
A couple of his friends nod hello.
Then one says, ‘The Nina?’
Barclay looks embarrassed.
I try to help him out. ‘No, I’m the other Nina,’ I say.
Everyone looks confused, Barclay included.
Barclay squeezes my hand, and introduces me to one of the rink’s staff members. ‘This is Simon. He’ll get you kitted out and walk you through the safety stuff. Then off you go! Wait,’ he adds. ‘Who did you say’s your next-of-kin?’
‘Quit while you’re ahead,’ I retort, and follow Simon towards the changing rooms.
Twenty or so minutes later, I retrace my steps. Dressed in head-to-toe thermal overalls, boots, gloves, goggles and a full-face helmet over a balaclava, I feel like The Stig. Barclay whips out his phone and takes a picture.
‘You on Instagram?’ he enquires. I try to grab the phone from him, but the heavy gloves make it impossible. He presses a few buttons. ‘Hashtag brave. Hashtag beautiful. Do you think we need hashtag blessed as well?’
I pull a face at him – not that he can see me through my helmet visor – turn and walk towards my go-kart and cautiously lower myself into the hot seat.
As a former journalist, broadcaster and advertising copywriter, Karen Ross has followed a fairly traditional path into writing fiction. Five Wakes and a Wedding is her fourth book, and like its predecessors, the novel has two common threads: the setting is London’s Primrose Hill – Karen’s own neighbourhood – and one of the characters is a dog . . . this time he’s called Chopper and he’s almost the same size as a Shetland Pony
Karen has been self-employed for many years, and continues to work as a marketing consultant, in the absence of an offer to manage Tottenham Hotspur. By way of credentials, her other ‘job’ is trading profitably on the world’s first football stockmarket, a platform called Football Index, where you buy and sell players with real money.
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