My guest today is women’s fiction author Liz Eeles. Liz is interviewing Lettie Starcross, the main character in her emotional family drama, A Letter To The Last House Before The Sea.
Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
Here’s a bit about the story:
High on the clifftops, Lettie takes a deep breath of salty air and opens the letter. There is no signature, and the old-fashioned handwriting is faint against the yellowed paper. The message, and the tiny gold key inside, will turn her life upside down…
Lettie Starcross makes her way along the cobbled streets of Heaven’s Cove, clutching a little key and searching for answers about her kind, twinkly-eyed Great Aunt Iris, whom she misses terribly. With no job back home, and no-one in her family understanding how adrift she feels, Lettie wonders if her aunt was lonely just like her – is that why she fled this pretty seaside village years ago and never returned?
Staying at Driftwood House where Iris lived, now a cosy B&B, Lettie can almost hear Iris’s laughter on the breeze. And when she locks eyes with brooding fisherman Corey as he’s singing a haunting sea shanty in the local tavern, the sparks that fly between them are a welcome distraction from her grief.
But everything changes when Lettie meets Corey’s grandmother. Hearing the name ‘Iris Starcross’, her wrinkled face turns pale. Then she tells Lettie a devastating secret: seventy years ago, a choice Iris made tore apart this tight-knit community.
Heartbroken, Lettie questions if she ever really understood her beloved aunt – and if Corey knew about this shocking rift all along. So when her sister calls begging her to come home, Lettie is torn. If she stays to find what the key unlocks, can she discover the truth about what Iris did – and fight for her own fresh start? Or will she be the next Starcross woman to run from Heaven’s Cove forever?
It’s getting some lovely reviews:
(5* ‘Wow!… worth every star and more. It’s a long while since I have enjoyed reading a book so much.’ Amazon reviewer
5*’An absolute dream of a read that is adorable from start to finish.’ Goodreads reviewer
Now let’s move onto Liz’s interview with Lottie
Tell us a little about yourself, Lettie.
I’m from London, 29 years old, and single which reflects badly on my mother’s matchmaking skills. She spends a lot of time introducing me to ‘suitable’ men who don’t seem very suitable at all.
You’re a long way from London at the moment, in the Devon coastal village of Heaven’s Cove. Why’s that?
I’m here, in this beautiful little village, in the hopes of unravelling a family mystery. Life is difficult right now because my beloved great-aunt Iris died a few weeks ago at the age of 99. She was brought up in Heaven’s Cove but was always very secretive about her time here. That was strange enough, but her final words to me were even more odd. She handed me the gold filigree key that she always wore around her neck and said: ‘Find out for me, darling girl.’
What did she want you to find out?
What the key unlocks, maybe? I’m not sure, and things have become even more mysterious since I found a cryptic old love letter hidden in the lining of her handbag. None of it makes sense, but I feel that the answers lie here in this village.
Have you had any luck so far in uncovering your great-aunt’s secrets?
Not so far. Florence, an elderly lady in the village, knew Iris when they were both young. But she couldn’t get away from me fast enough when she found out that Iris and I were related. Something happened here a long time ago – something that affected my great-aunt her whole life – but finding out exactly what isn’t going to be easy.
Is there anyone else who can help you?
Florence’s grandson, Corey, and I didn’t get off to the best of starts so I doubt he’ll want to help. There’s Claude, the local eccentric, who apparently has lots of old documents and photos of the village in his cottage. They might shed some light on Iris’s early life, but he’s rather scary so I’m plucking up the courage to knock on his door.
What about your family? Won’t they help?
Definitely not. My sister, Daisy, wants me to go back to London asap, so I can help out with her children – I do tend to feel more like Daisy’s au-pair than her sister. And Mum and Dad want me around to give them a hand. I’ve kind of slipped into the role of family carer and my life has been put on hold. That’s why it’s good to be away in Heaven’s Cove for a little while.
What do you think of Heaven’s Cove?
It’s a wonderful place, with its thatched cottages, cobbled lanes and beautiful beach. I’m staying at Driftwood House which is a guesthouse now but was once Iris’s family home. It stands on a cliff that overlooks the village and has magnificent views of the ocean and also of the countryside that rolls towards Dartmoor. I can’t imagine what happened to Iris to make her stay away from this amazing village for so long, but I’m determined to find out.
What a fascinating interview! If, like me, you want to know what the key unlocks, you can buy the book here:
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3uTarYH
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/34SFvx0
This is the second in Liz’s Heaven’s Cove series – the first is Secrets At The Last House Before The Sea – and it’s a standalone story so you don’t have to have read the first one, but you might want to! If so, you can get a copy here:
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Last-House-Before-Sea-ebook/dp/B08TMCGYKR/
Liz writes heart-warming and uplifting women’s fiction about families and relationships, and romantic comedies full of love and laughs.
She worked as a journalist for years and brought up a family on the south coast of England, all the while writing fiction on the quiet. After being short-listed in a couple of national novel-writing competitions, her dream of being a published author came true when she was signed by Bookouture.
When not writing, Liz likes walking by the sea, catching up with friends and binge-watching box sets.
Lovely to talk to you, Liz. I hope your book flies off the shelves!
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb