The Umbrella Diaries
A Clementine Springs Novella
Published Literary Crush Publishing 2019; republished Jellyfish Press 2020
The Umbrella Diaries is published in a spring anthology of romantic novellas. This is the story in which it all began ... I invented Clementine Springs and fell so in love with small-town romance, I'm now three novels deep into a series, with SO MANY MORE stories yet to tell :)
Duncan needs a hero. He just isn't expecting her to turn up on his front porch under a tattered red umbrella.
Marianne needs a new venue for her dance school to escape the unwanted attentions of a creepy groundsman, so the For Let advertisement in the newspaper seems like a lucky omen. Enquiries to 241 Hope Street, Clementine Springs, between four and five pm, today only.
She plucks an umbrella from the stand in the hallway and sets off for make her enquiry. Her dance school business means everything to her; since the injury which destroyed her career, it’s the only dream for her future she has left. And today, she’s feeling lucky.
Duncan doesn’t leave his house. Not today, not yesterday, not since he left the hospital all those months ago with steel pins holding his leg together and the words of a dying teenager imprinted forever on his brain.
Turns out, he doesn’t mind living grumpy and alone in his big old house. At least, that’s what he’s been telling himself.
But then one day a young ballet teacher knocks on his door and pirouettes her way straight into his heart. Duncan’s going to have to find the courage to forgive himself if he wants a chance at living in the world again. And now he’s got a reason to try.
On the shore of a lake deep in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Clementine Springs is home to a heartwarming cast of characters. The Umbrella Diaries is Marianne and Duncan’s story.