Today is my stop on the A Wedding in the Olive Gardenblog tour and I am here today with an extract for you all.
Title: The Wedding in the Olive Garden Author: Leah Flemming Publisher: Head of Zeus Published: 7th May 2020 Format: eBook Source:: N/A Add It:Amazon. Goodreads. Summary: Sara Loveday ditches her cheating fiancé at the altar and flees with her best friend to the beautiful island of Santaniki. Here, amid the olive groves, the sun-drenched fishing villages and the glittering Mediterranean sea, Sara vows to change her life. Spotting a gap in the local tourist market, she sets up a wedding planning business specializing in “second time around” couples. Griff becomes manager of an artist’s retreat owned by a famous novelist. After the failure of his business back in London he is determined to make this new venture a success. But when Griff loans the retreat’s olive garden to Sara for her first big wedding, things do not go to plan: family feuds, rowdy guests and resentful locals derail her carefully prepared event. When a stranger from Sara’s past arrives on the island spreading vicious lies, will Griff and Sara’s new found closeness survive? This gorgeous, warm-hearted and uplifting novel conjures the local color, traditions and close bonds of island life.
In the cool of the late afternoon, he roused the tutor from his usual lie-in and insisted they went for a walk while it was still light. Don groaned, ‘Do I have to?’
Griff was in no mood after a sharp encounter with the new occupant of Ariadne villa and did not mince his words. ‘If you’re going to be here through the summer, we need to get some of that flab off you. I don’t want any more incidents in the pool.’ Griff was already packed and ready for the off. He insisted Don wore shorts, a sun hat and decent trainers. He would not overdo the first trek as Don was so unfit but he needed to stretch him a little and the view from the plateau was worth the effort.
Don puffed and panted, wiped the sweat off his brow and demanded to sit down under a carob tree. ‘Easy does it, old chap. Give me five minutes to enjoy the view.’
‘It’ll be better when we get to the top, I promise. It’s not far and then we can have a drink.’
Don was having none of it, getting out his cigarettes. ‘Here I stay, enough for one session.’ He lay back with his hat over his face.
‘Watch out… there may be snakes or scorpions waiting to pounce on you,’ Griff laughed and Don shot up.
‘I’m not going any further. You go on, you slave driver.’ It was then they heard a strange sound, a mewing. ‘What’s that?’
Griff looked round but found nothing. There was a louder whimper. ‘It’s a sheep or lamb somewhere, I expect. I’ll take a look.’
‘I’m coming with you. It may need help.’ Don rose slowly as Griff climbed ahead.
‘Over here!’ Griff shouted by the rock. Don puffed his way to join him. ‘Look at that!’ Griff pointed to a little creature huddled under the shade of the rock, a matted, unrecognisable animal like a tiny lamb, but it was not a lamb but a dog, mangey, hairless, bone-thin, that gazed up at them. It looked close to death. ‘My God, the poor thing.’ Griff could hardly speak. ‘It’s trying to wag its tail. Fetch the water. There’s a towel in the bottom of the bag.’
Don watched as Griff dribbled water onto its lips and it drank. ‘We must wrap it in the towel and lift it. It may be too late but I’ll not have it die alone in this state.’ The dog offered no resistance and looked up at them with crusted eyes in gratitude.
They carried it in turn close to their chests, wondering if it would survive the journey. ‘How on earth did it land up here? Was it dumped?’ Griff said.
‘No idea. What can you do?’ Don replied. ‘Is there a vet on the island?’
‘Not that I know of. I’ll take him to Dr Makaris. If it’s too late he will know what to do. This animal has suffered enough. If it survives the night, I’ll take him over to the mainland for treatment. Just look at the state of him.’
‘It was a good job I sat down for a breather, otherwise…’ Don shook his head.
Griff turned to him and smiled. ‘If there’s a spark of life left in it, don’t worry, you will take the credit but I wouldn’t hold your breath.’ They walked down the path in silence while Griff prayed the warmth of his body would keep the little creature alive.
About the Author
After careers in teaching, catering, running a market stall, stress management courses in the NHS as well as being a mother of four, Leah Fleming found her true calling as a storyteller. She lives in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales but spends part of the year marinating her next tale from an olive grove on her favourite island of Crete.