Winter Storms

Winter Storms by Lucy Oliver

Book: Winter Storms by Lucy Oliver Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lucy Oliver
Tags: Romance, Contemporary
watched them stride off. She’d spent ages planning this gala and it was embarrassing that Daniel had to keep rescuing it. She didn’t like looking incompetent. Sighing, she looked at the stalls; as long as the lifeboat station got the money, did it matter who helped to raise it? Daniel was connected to the teams anyway, he volunteered in Padstow. Staring out at the ocean, green with choppy waves, she shivered at the thought of him out there in the tiny lifeboat, it was a dangerous job that required strong nerves.
    Turning her head away from the sea, she felt in her pocket for her small notebook and pencil. They didn’t need her help with the sailing boats anymore, but she knew how to sell goods, and some of the stalls hadn’t set their stock up very well. Look at the Bainbridges on the angling stall — fishing rods at the back so no one could examine them and a large jar of maggots on the counter. True, the creatures would sell, but it might put off the tourists, especially so close to the sweet stand.
    She’d have to be polite though, the Bainbridges were keen supporters of the fundraising — with both father and son volunteering at the station, they had a vested interest in getting the new, safer, lifeboat. Wrapping her coat closer to her shoulders, she stepped slowly across the icy cobbles and smiled at them, glancing down at the maggots.
    “How it’s going?” she said.
    “Trade is slow,” Ian Bainbridge said, leaning on the counter. “I thought we’d do better than this, the sweet stall has queues outside.”
    She glanced over, with its hanging bags of pink cotton candy and the rich, sweet smell of hot chocolate from the small machine in the back; it was a far more attractive place to visit then the fishing stall. This was a seaside town though, and anglers would be around. It was just a matter of pointing them in the right direction.
    “You’re a bit hidden here,” she said. “And dark; the stalls have power, could you get some lighting from the fishing shop?”
    “I could pop back, Dad,” Luke Bainbridge said. Bright eyed and smiling, he leant his elbows on the counter. “We’ve got to do something, letting the side down today.”
    “Is there anywhere else that jar of maggots could go?” she said.
    Ian frowned. “Best sellers those.”
    “Yes, but a sign would be sufficient, in fact it would work even better because you could make it larger.” She glanced at the pot. “I grew up fishing, and that squirming thing is creeping even me out.”
    Luke laughed. “You’re right, it is a bit gross. I’ll stick it in the back and put up a sign instead, all the locals know we sell them anyway.”
    “Bring some of those coloured floats and silk flies near to the front, maybe even hang some bits outside so people can see what you’re selling here.”
    “I suppose we’re used to our usual customers,” Ian said. “They know what we stock and aren’t too fussed about the presentation.”
    “It’s a different market here, you want to get the tourists, who might be tempted to head home with a new fishing rod for summer. If it gets hard to shift stuff, you could also drop the prices a little and put up a large notice advertising a winter sale.”
    “ All right, Carly, we’ll set to work; have to do our bit to get that lifeboat.”
    She nodded, glancing at the young face of Luke Bainbridge. His mother must have sleepless nights when both her husband and son were out on the same rescue.
    “Good luck,” she said. “Let me know if I can help at all.”
    “We could drape some of your expensive scarves over the rods, light a few candles,” Luke said, grinning.
    “I’m not sure you’ll attract the right type of customer,” she said, smiling back. “But borrow anything you like from my stall, Liam’s in charge of it for the day.”
    “Not Linda?”
    “She’s watching my shop.”
    “So you’re not going to shut down for the day?” Ian said. “Hard business woman you are, Carly.”

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