I am delighted to be a part of the blog tour for Summer Showers at Elder Fell Farm by Liz Taylorson. I am thrilled to welcome Liz to the blog who will be sharing her insightful guest post; Swallows and Amazons Forever.

Summer Showers at Elder Fell Farm

A simple holiday just got complicated …

Single mum Amy has been struggling since her mother’s death and now her son, Harry, has been accused of bullying schoolmate Oliver — giving Amy’s dictatorial ex-husband yet another reason to criticise her parenting.

All Amy wants is the chance to spend time with her son. Where better to escape all her troubles than camping at the remote but beautiful Lake District farm where she spent idyllic summers with her mother when she was a little girl?

Her tranquil escape seems doomed when Oliver, and his widowed dad, Matt, turn up on the neighbouring pitch — but at Elder Fell Farm, unlikely friendships can be forged. Are Matt and Amy ready to fall in love again? And will their boys bring them together – or drive them apart?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Showers-Elder-Fell-Farm-ebook/dp/B0B57F8V4V

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Showers-Elder-Fell-Farm-ebook/dp/B0B57F8V4V

Guest Post

Swallows and Amazons Forever!

In Summer Showers at Elder Fell Farm Amy sees the long summer evenings under canvas as a great opportunity to read with her son, Harry. There was only one logical choice of reading material for a mother and son camping in the Lake District, and that was one of my own childhood favourites, Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.

Lake District view of Ullswater

If you’ve never read it, Swallows and Amazons is a classic children’s book, first published in 1930. It’s an idyllic tale of children on a carefree holiday in the Lakes, camping, sailing, exploring and playing pirates. My father first read the book to me, just as, in Summer Showers … Amy’s mother had read it to her.

At first Harry isn’t impressed with the idea of reading a story together:

‘I’ll read you a story before bed.’ Amy said. ‘It’s all about the Lake District, where we’re staying.’

‘It’s not blummin’ Peter Rabbit again, is it?’ Harry had been monumentally unimpressed with Peter Rabbit when [his stepmum] had tried to introduce him to the wonders of Beatrix Potter before they came to the Lake District. ‘I hate Peter Rabbit. It’s for babies.

‘No, it’s a story about some boys and girls who go camping on an island. It might be too grown up for you, of course.’ […]

‘It’s not too grown-up,’ he said with the light of a challenge in his eyes.

Once Harry begins to read it, he’s hooked, but not initially because of the story or the characters. Oh no, Harry finds something else about the book monumentally entertaining – and I’m sorry to admit that it’s something that I drew from my experience of trying to read Swallows and Amazons to my own children. One of the characters has a name that was, no doubt, quite normal in 1930, but it really isn’t quite normal in 2022 to call your daughter ‘Titty’. My two found it quite hilarious, and so does Harry.

‘Where was I … oh yes, Titty has said she’s going to make the flag —’

There was a giggle from beside her. ‘You said Titty!

‘But that means something different these days, doesn’t it? So I thought [we might call her Tatty] —’

‘Titty, Titty, Titty!’ He laughed. ‘Titty, Titty, Titty!’

‘Please don’t shout, Harry.’ […]

‘You said Titty!’

‘I know I did. I won’t say it again. I’ll stick to Tatty.’

‘No way! Read it properly. I want some more now, tell me some more. What happens to Titty?’

Lured in by the rather unfortunate name of the leading character, Harry goes on to finish listening to the story with enthusiasm. I don’t think my children managed to get past the giggling stage when I read it to them! Reading Swallows and Amazons brings Amy and Harry closer together, and for Amy, opening the book brings back memories of Amy’s mother, just as my copy of Swallows and Amazons makes me think of my dad:

©️Liz Taylorson

She pulled out the battered old green hardback which had been her mother’s as a child, and then hers. It had long ago lost the green-and-white paper slip covers she remembered, but […] if she sniffed very carefully, she could detect a whiff of the woodsmoke from the fire in the old cottage beside which they’d sat to read this book more than twenty years before.

It’s ironic because the whole book is about the Walker children becoming independent and learning to stand on their own two feet – they literally sail off into the distance, away from their own mother at the beginning of the story. However, for Amy, her mother, and her son, three generations are brought together by one book.

Author Bio

Liz has always surrounded herself with books.

As a child, she was always to be found with her head in one and she still has a bookcase full of her childhood favourites to this day. She went on to work in a library cataloguing early printed books – but as most of the books turned out to be volumes of sermons, she wasn’t tempted to read them all!

Children interrupted her bibliographic career, and Liz started writing fiction and hasn’t stopped since, joining the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme in 2015 to try to learn how to write novels properly. This led to publication of her first romantic novel, The Little Church by the Sea in late 2017, followed by The Manor on the Moors in 2019.

When Covid struck, Liz was working on a novel set in the 1990s, but sadly research proved difficult when she could no longer access the microfilm readers at the reference library. Instead, she wrote Summer Showers at Elder Fell Farm which relied largely on her own experiences of campervans, campsites and noisy children.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taylorson_liz

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TaylorsonLiz

Website: https://liztaylorson.com/

One thought on “#BlogTour; Summer Showers at Elder Fell Farm by Liz Taylorson. #GuestPost #SummerShowersAtElderFellFarm @rararesources @taylorson_liz

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