Extract: Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Comfort food

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson, I’m delighted to be part of the paperback launch celebrations. Published in e-book by Harper Impulse on 29th April 2016 Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe is now available in paperback as of 16th June 2016. It can be found with all Debbie’s books here.

You’ll find my review here, but I also have an extract for you today so you can judge for yourself!

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe

Comfort food

The Comfort Food Cafe is perched on a windswept clifftop at what feels like the edge of the world, serving up the most delicious cream teas; beautifully baked breads, and carefully crafted cupcakes. For tourists and locals alike, the ramshackle cafe overlooking the beach is a beacon of laughter, companionship, and security – a place like no other; a place that offers friendship as a daily special, and where a hearty welcome is always on the menu.

For widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker, the decision to uproot her teenaged children and make the trek from Manchester to Dorset for the summer isn’t one she takes lightly, and it’s certainly not winning her any awards from her kids, Nate and Lizzie. Even her own parents think she’s gone mad.

But following the death of her beloved husband David two years earlier, Laura knows that it’s time to move on. To find a way to live without him, instead of just surviving. To find her new place in the world, and to fill the gap that he’s left in all their lives.

Her new job at the cafe, and the hilarious people she meets there, give Laura the chance she needs to make new friends; to learn to be herself again, and – just possibly – to learn to love again as well.

For her, the Comfort Food Cafe doesn’t just serve food – it serves a second chance to live her life to the full…

Comfort food

An extract from Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe


We are looking for a summer-season cook for our busy seaside café. The job will also involve taking orders and waiting on tables. The successful applicant will be naturally friendly, be able to boil an egg, enjoy a chat and have a well-developed sense of empathy with other human beings. Good sense of humour absolutely vital. The only experience required is experience of life, along with decent cooking skills. Pay is pitiful, but the position comes with six weeks’ free use of a luxury holiday cottage in a family-friendly setting near the Jurassic Coast, with use of a swimming pool, games room and playground. Children, dogs, cats, guinea pigs and stray maiden aunts all welcome. No application form needed – if you’re interested, send us your heart and soul in letter form, telling us why you think you’re right for the job. Post your essays to Cherie Moon, The Comfort Food Café, Willington Hill, near Budbury, Dorset.

Dear Cherie,

I’m writing to you about the job you advertised for a cook at the Comfort Food Café in Dorset.

This is about my sixth attempt at composing this letter, and all the rest have ended up as soggy, crumpled balls lying on the floor around the bin – my aim seems to be as off as my writing skills. I’ve promised myself that this time, no matter how long it gets, or how many mistakes I might make, this will be the final version. From the heart, like you asked for, even if it takes me the rest of the day. If nothing else it’s pretty good therapy.

This is probably not the most professional or brilliant way to make a first impression, and you’re most likely thinking about filing this under ‘N for nutter’ – or possibly ‘B for bin’. I can only apologise – my hand’s a bit cramped now and I have a blister coming up on my ring finger. I haven’t written this much since my A levels, so please forgive me if it gets a bit messy.

To be honest, everything in my life is a bit messy. It got that way just over two years ago, when my husband, David, died. He was the same age as me – I’m thirty-five now – and he was the love of my life. I can’t give you a romantic story about how we met at a wedding or got set up on a blind date by friends, or how our eyes met across a crowded nightclub – mainly because our eyes actually met across a crowded playground when we were seven years old.

He’d joined our school a few years in and appeared like a space alien at the start of term one in September. He was really good at football, was impossible to catch in a game of tag and liked drawing cartoons about his dogs, Jimbo and Jambo. We sat next to each other on the Turquoise Table in Miss Hennessey’s class, and that was that – my fate was sealed…

So. There we go. I think that’s everything. Probably more than everything. I’m not sure this is what you meant when you said send your heart and soul in letter form, but that serves you right for being so vague! I bet you got some really strange replies – this one being possibly the strangest of all.

I won’t hold it against you, Cherie, if I never hear from you. But if you want to talk to me, or find out anything more, then let me know. Whatever happens, good luck to you.

All the best,

Laura Walker

Want to read more? Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson is just 99p on Amazon!

About Debbie Johnson

debbie johnson

Debbie Johnson is a best-selling author who lives and works in Liverpool, where she divides her time between writing, caring for a small tribe of children and animals, and not doing the housework. She writes romance, fantasy and crime – which is as confusing as it sounds!

You can follow Debbie on Twitter, visit her website and find her on Facebook.

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