Monday, April 29, 2019

Excerpt from Wildflower Park: Rooting for You!

Wildflower Park-Part 4: Rooting for You! by Bella Osborne

Life’s not always a walk in the park…

When Anna is dumped by her fiancé, she moves in to her own place on the edge of the gorgeous Wildflower Park and pledges to stay off men and focus on her career, but a handsome new colleague seems to thwart her attempts at every turn. And when she receives an accidental text from a mystery man, could it be the new start she needs? Or someone she really shouldn't be falling for?

Anna’s neighbour Sophie is a stressed-out mum-of-two with a third on the way. Her husband is a constant frustration, and their children are a regular source of newly-invented swear words and unidentifiable sticky surfaces.

Luckily, Anna and Sophie have each other – and Wildflower Park proves to be a sanctuary as they map out a path to find the happiness they both deserve…

Fantastically funny, this irresistibly heart-warming novel will charm fans of Milly Johnson and Jill Mansell.

Anna watched Sophie hugging her bump as she panted fast. This was it – she was going into labour in Wildflower Park in the middle of a fireworks display. It was dark and cold and the last place you’d want to give birth.

‘Right!’ said Anna and Hudson together, both appearing to want to take charge of the situation. Anna raised an eyebrow. ‘I’ll call Dave. You call an ambulance,’ instructed Anna. Hudson didn’t argue and got straight on his phone.

‘Dave. The baby’s on its way. Where the hell are you?’

‘Crap. I’m stuck in traffic about three miles from home. It’s total gridlock. Tell her to hold on,’ said Dave.

‘You can tell her,’ she said, holding the phone to Sophie’s ear for him to repeat his request.

‘Hold on? You f—’ Thankfully everything Sophie said was drowned out by the stream of fireworks whizzing into the sky.

‘Ambulance is on its way,’ said Hudson. ‘They’ll come to the main entrance. I’m guessing they’ll take her on a stretcher.’ The operator was still on the phone.

‘I don’t want to go on a stretcher,’ wailed Sophie. Anna felt for the ambulance crew; she was a whole lot of person to carry across the park.

Hudson must have been having the same thoughts. He whispered to Anna. ‘Can they manage her all the way from here?’

‘I heard that, you know!’ said Sophie and she started to groan loudly.

Anna swivelled round. ‘There aren’t many other options.’ She surveyed the vast crowd around them as the fireworks continued to crash and bloom above.

Hudson was speaking to the emergency services operator and his expression was grim. He whispered to Anna, ‘Ambulance is stuck in traffic. Gridlock. About three—’

‘Miles away,’ finished Anna. ‘Bugger. Dave’s stuck in the same traffic jam.’ Sophie let out a strangled cry. ‘We have to move her,’ Anna said, turning to Hudson. ‘Either to the main entrance or inside. She can’t stay here.’ Anna pointed to Sophie’s house. ‘That’s her house.’

Hudson thrust his phone at Anna. ‘I’ve got an idea.’ He squeezed his way through the immediate crowd and was swallowed by the darkness.

Anna rubbed Sophie’s back whilst listening to updates from the ambulance service and oohing and ahhing at the fireworks with Petal. It was multitasking at its most extreme.

She wished Hudson hadn’t left her. Every time Sophie winced she felt frightened and helpless. The fireworks display came to an impressive crescendo and the crowd in the park erupted into applause, including the children. With the fireworks over it was dark again and a wind whipped around them. Anna feared for the baby’s safety if it arrived now.

After a few minutes she heard Hudson’s voice over the crowd. The people started to disperse and Hudson emerged pushing a very old wheelbarrow. Sophie looked up. ‘Bloody hell. You have to be joking.’

‘You need to get to hospital,’ said Hudson and he pointed at the wheelbarrow. ‘Cinders, your carriage awaits.’

‘I am not going all the way in that thing.’

‘No, but we might be able to get you closer to the ambulance.’

Sophie’s face registered alarm. ‘I don’t think there’s time. It’s coming.’

Hudson rushed to her with the wheelbarrow, which was full of potato sacks. ‘Come on,’ he said, like it was the most normal thing to hop in a wheelbarrow. Sophie gave him a murderous glare but with a lot of help from him and Anna she clambered on board.

‘If this bollarding thing breaks.’

‘All stops to Birmingham hospital,’ said Hudson, and he set off across the park at an impressive pace.

‘My go next,’ shouted Arlo, clapping his hands.

Anna relayed the plan to the operator and they confirmed the ambulance was making progress and should be at the main gates in a few minutes. ‘Perfect timing,’ said Anna, herding the children after Hudson.

‘Arghhhhhhhhh!’ screamed Sophie.

‘Arghhhhhhhhh!’ hollered Hudson hitting a pothole and almost wrenching the barrow from his fingers. ‘Don’t you dare give birth in the wheelbarrow. I can’t push two of you.’

‘You’re about as funny as haemorrhoids,’ said Sophie, clamping her teeth together and making a strangled screech.

They could hear the approaching siren and it spurred them all on. The gates came into sight and blue lights flooded the entrance.

The paramedics quickly took over and within minutes Sophie was safely in the back of the ambulance. Anna went to get in with Petal in her arms and the paramedic stopped her. ‘Sorry, love, no children allowed in the ambulance.’

‘But they’re her children,’ protested Anna.

‘Doesn’t matter. Sorry.’

Anna watched Hudson who had Arlo by the hand and was showing him round the ambulance. ‘Hudson, you’ll have to go with her.’

‘Me?’ His eyebrows shot up in alarm. ‘I’ll take the kids and you go.’ He held up Arlo’s hand.

Anna was torn. She tried to pass Petal to Hudson but she started to cry and clung to Anna. Anna’s expression conveyed exactly what needed to happen.

‘Okay,’ said Hudson, and he climbed in the back while the paramedics did final checks and started to close the doors.

Anna heard heavy breathing behind her. ‘Wait! I’m here, I’m … here …’ wheezed Dave, dashing towards the ambulance.

‘Plugging hell, Dave, talk about last minute,’ said Sophie, pulling the oxygen mask off her face but the look of relief was evident.

Dave motioned for Hudson to get out but he was already undoing his seatbelt. ‘Good luck, buddy,’ said Hudson, vacating the spot next to Sophie. She gave a weak wave as the doors shut. The siren whooped into life and the ambulance pulled away. Arlo was shouting and clapping excitedly and Petal was copying.

The siren ebbed away and they were left standing together in the dark. Hudson rubbed sweat from his forehead. ‘I had better return this,’ he said, motioning towards the wheelbarrow.

See excerpts from part one: Build Me Up Buttercup, part two: A Budding Romance, and part three: Oopsy Daisy.

Bella Osborne has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel.

In 2016, her debut novel, It Started At Sunset Cottage, was shortlisted for the Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year and RNA Joan Hessayon New Writers Award.

Bella's stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She likes to find the humour in the darker moments of life and weaves these into her stories. Her novels are often serialised in four parts ahead of the full book publication.

Bella believes that writing your own story really is the best fun ever, closely followed by talking, eating chocolate, drinking fizz and planning holidays.

She lives in The Midlands, UK with her lovely husband and wonderful daughter, who thankfully, both accept her as she is (with mad morning hair and a penchant for skipping). (Bio courtesy of Amazon.)

For more about Bella, visit her website or follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Thanks to Avon for sharing the excerpt.

No comments: