Will her secret destroy everything? Her Father's Daughter by Cathy Mansell @cathymansell3

Blurb: Her Father’s Daughter
Set in the 1950s Ireland, twenty-year-old Sarah Nolan leaves her home in Dublin aftera series of arguments. She has taken a job in Cork city with the Gazette, a move her parents’strongly oppose. With her limited budget, she is forced to take unsavoury lodgings where the property owner cannot be trusted.  Soon after she settles in, Sarah befriends sixteen-year-old Lucy, who has been left abandoned and pregnant.

Dan Madden is a charming and flirtatious journalist who wins Sarah’s heart.  He promises to end his relationship with Ruth, but can Sarah trust him to keep his word?
It is when her editor asks to see her birth certificate that she discovers some long-hidden secrets.  Her parents’ behaviour continues to baffle her and her problems with Dan and Lucy multiply.
Will Dan stand by Sarah in her time of need?  Will Sarah be able to help Lucy keep her baby? Or, will the secrets destroy Sarah and everything she dreams of for her future.

Her Father’s Daughter
That evening, Sarah had mixed feelings as she dressed for her date with Dan.  Wearing her new black fishtail skirt and apple green jumper, she sprayed eau de Cologne on the insides of her wrists and behind her ears.
       ‘Why are ye getting’ all dolled up, Sarah? Sure we’re only going to the flicks.’ Lucy asked, framing the doorway
       ‘I’m going somewhere afterwards, Lucy.’
       ‘Oh, is it an assignment?’ 
       ‘Well, sort of, Lucy.’ Sarah hated having to lie, but she couldn’t risk saying anything until she was sure that Dan had spoken to Ruth. ‘Look at the time,’ she said, glancing at her watch.  ‘If we don’t get a move on we’ll be late.  Have you decided which film you’d like to see Lucy?’
“The Vikings,” with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. I love Tony Curtis, he’s
gorgeous, isn’t he, Sarah?’
       ‘Yes, he is, Lucy.’
       They joined the queue and Sarah purchased their tickets.  They were just in time to catch the last ten minutes of Fred Bridgman on the organ.  This was the usual treat
before the main feature film. Sarah smiled as Lucy struggled to read the words of the song that came up on the screen. 
       The film was a full-blooded romance that left Sarah wishing Dan was sitting next to her instead of Lucy, who munched her way through treats of crisps, sweets, and ice cream.  When Lucy beamed her grateful thanks, Sarah was pleased.
       After the film, Sarah walked Lucy home. ‘I could watch it all over again.’ Lucy said, dreamily.
        ‘I’m glad you enjoyed it, Lucy.  I’ll try not to be too late back,’ she said before leaving the house.  She walked down Sydney Parade where she spotted Dan’s car just pulling up by the kerb. He saw her approach through his rear-view mirror, and swung open the passenger door.  Sarah jumped in, and smiling she turned her head toward him.  His smouldering look made her heart lurch.
       ‘How was the movie?’
       ‘Okay,’ she shrugged.
       ‘I’ve been counting the hours to being alone with you, Sarah.’ He reached for her hand. 
       ‘Dan, we can’t stay here.  Neil could come along at any moment.’ 
       ‘Of course, I wasn’t thinking. I’m sorry.’  He put the car into gear and drove away from the city towards his flat.  As they went by Sarah’s old lodging house, she wondered what unsuspecting lodgers Mr. Patterson was squeezing rent money from now. 
      The loss of her identity was more than she could bear right now, and she needed Dan to dispel her fears by telling her what she wanted to hear.         
       ‘Penny for them.’ Dan broke her thoughts.
        She laughed. ‘How long have you got?’
       ‘I’ve got all weekend, Sarah.  There are things I need to explain.’ His words did nothing to dismiss her worries. He parked his car, and they walked in silence to the front door. He gestured for her to go upstairs, and he followed behind. Unlocking the door to his flat they went inside.  Dan emptied his pockets of keys and loose change placed it on the mantle shelf, and switched on the gas fire.  Sarah recalled her father doing the same thing, once he had retired for the evening. 
       ‘I’ll take your coat.’ It slipped from her shoulders and he placed it over the back of the sofa. ‘Make yourself at home and I’ll get us a drink. White wine okay? I’m afraid I don’t have much else.’
       ‘White is grand, Dan.’ Sarah walked across the room nervously chewing her bottom lip. Tension was making her edgy. She wanted to scream at him, ‘For God’s sake put me out of my misery,’ but not wanting to appear too eager, said instead,       ‘You’re lucky, having a place like this all to yourself.’  He was uncorking the bottle in the corner of the room.
       ‘We can have a place like this, Sarah, if you want.’ He smiled, placing the drinks down on the coffee table.
       ‘You seem pretty sure of yourself, Dan Madden,’ she said, sitting down on the sofa.       
       ‘You’re the most desirable woman I’ve ever met, and one day, I’m going to ask you to marry me.’ He sat down next to her and reached for her hand.
       ‘No, Dan.’ Her heart raced. ‘You know what I want to hear.’
       He clasped his hands together in front of him.
       Sarah felt her heart sink.
       ‘Promise me that you’ll at least hear me out, and not jump to conclusions like you did at JoeMax,’ he said.
       ‘This sounds ominous.’ She searched his face. ‘I’m not sure I want to hear it.’   
       ‘Sarah, will you listen.’ He took a sip of his wine before continuing.  ‘I went to see Ruth as planned, but when I arrived at the house, Mr. Milford was rushing about packing cases.  His brother was dangerously ill after a road accident in Dublin. Ruth was finishing a letter, which she intended to pop through my letterbox on the way.’  He took another sip from his glass.  ‘Sure I could hardly tell her about us under such circumstances, now, could I?’
       ‘I’m sorry … .no... of course not.’ Her stomach tightened. ‘Why didn’t you tell me this on the way here?’
       ‘I couldn’t bear to see the disappointment on your face, like now.’ He sighed. ‘There’s nothing I want more than for us to be together.’
       ‘Have you heard from Ruth since?’    
       ‘No, George rang me earlier to say that his brother has since died.’
       ‘But, that’s terrible, Dan. Shouldn’t you be with them at a time like this?’
       ‘Ruth didn’t invite me. I’m glad now because it’s given me this opportunity to explain things to you. Besides, the Milfords are a big family, and it wouldn’t help me being there.’  He frowned.  ‘I don’t want to be involved anymore.’
       Sarah’s mind was in turmoil. ‘Does Neil know about this?  Surely he’ll want to report it in the newspaper?’
       ‘The fact is that Paddy Milford was found drunk at the wheel. What do you think, Sarah?  George Milford won’t want that printed in the newspaper.’
       ‘Why does that not surprise me? I still find it strange that Ruth didn’t ask you to go with her,’ Sarah said and sighed.
       ‘Strange as it may seem, Sarah. I’ve seen very little of Ruth this past month. But, when she gets back I’ll call off the wedding.  I promise.’  He moved closer, placing his arm around her. ‘I love you, Sarah Nolan.’
       ‘Let’s wait and see what happens, Dan.’  This whole business with the Milfords left her confused, and being here alone with Dan before he’d spoken to Ruth, didn’t ease her conscience one little bit. She glanced at her watch. ‘Is that the time?  I hadn’t planned on staying so late. Can you give me a lift home, please, Dan?’ His closeness was giving her goose bumps, and with all the will power she could muster, she removed his arm from around her shoulder and stood up.
       ‘Don’t go, Sarah.  My mother’s expecting me tomorrow. Come with me.’ He smiled. 
       ‘Are you mad, Dan?  I can’t go with you to Kinsale.  What would people say.’    
       ‘I can’t help how I feel. I love you and I want to be with you.’ He pulled her toward him and kissed her passionately.  She felt her head swim.  
       ‘Oh Dan!’ she cried when she could breathe again. ‘You can’t be serious about me going with you to your mothers.’ 
       ‘Shush! It’ll all work out, you’ll see. We belong together, Sarah.’ He was holding her tightly. ‘To my mother you are a colleague from the newspaper office.  She won’t be at all suspicious.’ He kissed her again, and Sarah, unable to resist his charms, found herself responding to sweeping sensations rushing through her body.  
       ‘Dan, let go of me,’ she pleaded.  ‘You know how I feel about you.  Do I have to prove it?’ She squared her chin to look at him. 
       ‘No, of course not.  I’m sorry if you thought...’ He paused.  ‘But … please stay.   I’ll sleep here on the sofa.’
       ‘But, Dan, we shouldn’t be in this situation until you’ve spoken to Ruth,’ she murmured.
       ‘I love you too much to let anything spoil our relationship.’ He hooked a lock of her hair behind her ear.  Their eyes met, and for the first time since falling for Dan, Sarah felt sure that his feelings for her were as sincere as her own were for him, so she agreed to stay.

Member of Leicester Writers’ Club, Just Write workshop, Life President of Lutterworth Writers’ Group, Member NAWG, Member Romantic Novelist Association and past president of Riverside Speakers club.

Cathy is an experienced writer of romantic fiction. Her early work was competition short stories and articles published in national magazines. She was Editor in Chief of the Leicestershire Anthology, ‘Taking Off’, a book promoted and supported by Arts Council UK.

In recent times, Cathy has turned to writing full-length novels that are set in Ireland/England. Her debut book, Shadow Across the Liffey, a 2013 contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon award was published in February 2013 by Tirgearr Publishing.  Her Father’s Daughter, Cathy’s second book, has been contracted by the same publisher.  Coming soon Galway Girl.
Cathy was a recent contestant on the TV show Food Glorious Food.

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  1. Hi Kay,
    Just like to say thanks for hosting me here today.
    I love your site. It has a fresh approach and very inspiring.

    I hope your readers will enjoy my post and maybe leave a short comment.

    Cathy x

    1. Thank you, Cathy. Your book looks great and I enjoyed the excerpt.


  2. Her Father's Daughter is a great read, Cathy and as you say, what a lovely site this is. I know you have other novels coming out shortly, and I am already looking forward to reading them.

  3. Thanks for stopping by Margaret. So pleased to enjoy my work as I'm a great admirer of
    yours. Have a good day.

    Cathy x

  4. Had a great time on here today. Thanks for having me Kay.

  5. I love this look of this one and I enjoyed the excerpt. Will check this out.

    1. Thank you for liking and leaving a comment.
      Much appreciated.

      Cathy x


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