Mulberry Lane Babies by Rosie Clarke

It’s my stop on the #blogtour for Mulberry Lane Babies today and I have been lucky enough to bag an extract to share with you all!

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Synopsis

1941, Mulberry Lane, London. War rages but new arrivals bring new hope. Perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Cathy Sharp.

Life is hard for all on Mulberry Lane as the war rages into yet another year. Desperate times push people into dangerous situations.

Menacing shadows lurk on dark street corners, threatening the safety of those who are alone and vulnerable.

When Peggy’s twins are born early, Maureen and Nellie are there to lend a helping hand. The mothers of Mulberry Lane stick together despite the grim conditions of war-torn London and a shadowy fear that stalks their lives. Neighbours and friends look out for each other and new life brings hope and joy to the Lane.

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Extract

Anne wasn’t sure why she’d put on her best grey box-pleated skirt with a pretty white blouse that evening; at least, she wasn’t willing to admit that she’d worn them in the hope that Kirk Ross would come in. However, she was glad that she had and that she’d chosen a wide red leather belt and her newest red suede shoes – they were her only smart ones and she wore her old ones until she changed them in the pub. She wore her hair fluffed out and waved on her collar when she didn’t pull it into a severe bun at her nape. She was lucky enough to have a natural bend in her hair and only needed to get it trimmed occasionally. She’d worn lipstick and a little powder on her nose, which she didn’t bother with too often, preferring a plain no-nonsense look for work since it was almost impossible to purchase her favourite Coty face powder these days.

As the evening wore on, Anne felt her sense of anticipation ebbing as customers
came and went and there was no sign of the man she’d hoped might visit. They’d
been busy all evening but trade was just slowing down when the door opened and two soldiers walked in, laughing and talking as they made their way to the bar. Anne was clearing tables and Peggy went to serve them, but Kirk turned and noticed her as she brought a tray filled with used glasses back to the bar.
‘Ah, Miss Riley,’ he said and those piercing blue eyes went over her, registering
approval. ‘Uncle Bob told me you sometimes worked here in the evenings…’
‘Yes, I help Peggy out when I can. We’ve all had to do our bit for the war effort. It
isn’t easy to find staff these days – everyone has at least one job and sometimes two.’
‘Like you?’ He raised his brows. His friend touched his arm, indicating that he had
their drinks. ‘Take them to the table, Mac. I’ll be with you in a minute…’
The other soldier carried the tray to the only empty table. He set the tray down and
looked about him, and then noticed the girl sitting alone at the next table. In an
instant, he moved across, glass in hand, and sat next to her, leaving Kirk’s drink
behind.
‘That’s Mac for you,’ Kirk said and laughed. ‘No pretty girl is safe when he’s
around.’
‘And are they when you are?’ Anne asked, smiling as she teased him. It wasn’t her
nature to be so forward when she hardly knew someone, but she’d taken to Kirk the moment she’d seen him.  ‘Depends,’ he replied and winked. ‘I prefer my ladies to be ladies – and I like a
little bit of intelligent conversation. Bob said you were a teacher before the war?’
‘I still am, but I’ve had to do all sorts of things recently. I had a go at driving an
ambulance part-time, but I didn’t want to join the volunteer services and be sent off
goodness knows where. At least with my job, I’m free to come and go as I please…
and I like working here with my friends.’
‘It’s a nice place, warm and friendly…’ His eyes dwelled on her face. ‘Can I buy
you a drink?’
‘Thank you for the offer, but I don’t drink while I’m working – I’d soon start
spilling the beer,’ she said and laughed, but the look in his eyes was making her heart beat faster. What was it about him that had appealed so swiftly?
‘I suppose you get half the customers asking?’ He arched his brows knowingly.
‘Quite a few, but most know I don’t accept. Everyone knows everyone in the
lanes, of course.’
‘I’m sure you’ve got lots of friends?’
‘Some…’ she said, realising that he was fishing and then she turned away as another soldier asked for a pint of bitter.

About the author

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Rosie is happily married and lives in a quiet village in East Anglia. Writing books is a
passion for Rosie, she also likes to read, watch good films and enjoys holidays in the
sunshine. She loves shoes and adores animals, especially squirrels and dogs.

Follow Rosie on Twitter: @AnneHerries

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If you enjoyed the extract, please do check out the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).  Mulberry Lane Babies is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone novel.  It is out now in both paperback and ebook format and you can buy it here.

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My thanks go to Vicky Joss, Aria Fiction and Head of Zeus for my invitation to the tour and my proof copy.

Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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Published by Mrs Cooke

👩🏽‍💻📚I read and shout 📣 about books 👯‍♀️owner of 2 book-loving Littles 🌳village dweller ✍️stationery fiend 🍸gin enthusiast 📩DM for reviews etc 💌

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