Where the Gulls Fall Silent by Lelita Baldock
Blog Tour - Read an Excerpt

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Publication Date: 28th October 2021
Publisher: Independently Published
Page Length: 231 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


A small fishing village, a shunned healer, her daughter, tradition, superstition and a world set to change.

Kerensa lives with her mother, the healer Meliora, on the edge of a small fishing community on the Cornish Coast.

The townsfolk, who work the fish runs of pilchard and mackerel that make their way up the Atlantic coast, call on her mother for help with their ailments, but never for her company.

Kerensa does not know why.

Curses and superstitions whisper around her as she grows into a competent young woman, fighting for her place amongst the people of Porth Gwynn.

But what has caused the rift between her and the town?

And can their traditional way of life survive in the face of changing winds?

Where the Gulls Fall Silent is an historical fiction that explores the lives of the fishermen and women who made their living from the rough Atlantic Ocean; the hardship they faced; the secrets that divided them; and the community spirit that pulled them through.

A story of love, loss, hope and second chances.

Trigger Warnings:
Adult themes, mentioned sexual assault


Where the Gulls Fall Silent

The sky was heavy with gathering clouds, the air thick with the promise of storm. Sleet fell from high, melting onto the earth in pools of icy mud as the town gathered together for the walk to Sunday Service at St Endellion Church. Weather like this, a harbinger of snow, would usually keep some indoors to pray in private. But after the failure of the last two seasons’ fish run and the coming winter winds, being on God’s good side seemed prudent.

Even Peren had come out, swinging from the wooden crutches Kenver had made him the winter before, finally using them to leave his home with his family.

Kerensa smiled at him and Emblyn as they joined the rest of the town on the bayside ready to leave. Lately they’d taken to walking together, as though their act of unison could hold the town together. Their numbers had dwindled further since last winter.

Braneh and Meraud started towards the town. Cardor behind them talking with Eseld. It would not be long before they wed, Kerensa thought with an all too rare flash of joy. Their mutual adoration was obvious and strong. Next came Derwa, arms full of baby, her fourth, a boy once again. Kenver beside her wrangled their third boy, while Breock dutifully held Bobbie’s small hand and guided his brother. Beside her Rewan offered Kerensa his arm and they turned to follow.

A cry, clear and bright pierced the air. As one the town turned back towards the bay. High atop the cliff stood the Huer, bushels raised and swinging in the morning gloom. “Hevva! Hevva!” he cried, pointing his Semaphore bushes out over the sea. Unconsciously, Rewan stepped forward, muscles tense. The bay’s curve hid the waters beyond, but the call of the gulls as they flew out over the cliffs echoed back to Kerensa’s ears.


Her breath caught in her throat. It had been weeks since the Huer last cried. The town all but resigned to an early end of a trying and unprofitable run. And now, pilchards. But it was the Sabbath.

Silence fell like a blanket over the group.

Everyone waited, tense. A silent and collective decision that it was Rewan’s call.

She watched the side of Rewan’s face as he looked out over the bay. His eyes scanned, the muscle of his jaw pulsing as he fought an inner battle no one could hear, nor fully understand. Only Rewan knew the deal he’d made with God last winter.

The world seemed to stop, as if the waves themselves held back in wait.

“We go,” Rewan announced firmly, turning back to the town. “It is a big haul, the gulls prove it. This, this is what we’ve waited for!”

No one moved.

Kerensa gripped his arm, whispered into his ear. “It smells of snow, of storm.”

He looked down into her eyes, “This is it my flower,” he said. “The run to bring us through the winter, the run to save our home.”

“You are my home,” she insisted.

His lopsided grin broke out across his face, a genuine light of mirth shining from his eyes, all too rare these last months. “Do you think I won’t come back for you?” he whispered, then winked at her and kissed her quickly on the mouth.

“We go!” he cried again, raising his fist to the sky, “To fill our barrels and our stomachs, to prepare for winter, for ourselves. For Porth Gwynn!”

“For Porth Gwynn,” Cardor took up the call and stepped forward.

“For us all,” Kenver said, joining his crewmate.

A ripple of energy surged through the crowd as all the men stepped forward at once, eyes eager, bodies tense, ready.

“Pray for us, wives, mothers, daughters,” Rewan said solemnly, “and prepare for a long night in the sheds! There will be feasting tonight! Come men, the fish won’t wait.”

With a cry of hope and determination the men raced forward as one, heading for their boats resting on the beach. The women, children and older men watched as their fishermen pulled woollen jumpers over their Sunday shirts, hefted their vessels from the sand and carried them to the rising tide. Arms straining, they rowed against the heavy currents, the waves in the bay already high with the promise of storm, out towards the open ocean.

Kerensa became aware of a presence beside her. She looked up into Braneh’s weathered face, lines deepened by worry. “It smells of storm,” she repeated to the old fisherman.

“Yes,” he said simply, watching the boat that held his remaining two sons as it streaked for the sea beyond. He said no more, there was nothing to say.

Unable to contain the anxious swirling in her gut, Kerensa rushed for the cliff. Hobbling up the steep incline she climbed until she reached the Huer’s hut and walked out to the edge. Down below the waves surged, tipped with white foam. Overhead the gulls flew, circling a spot far out over the waters, on the edge of her vision. She watched as the white canvas of the sailboats bloomed out from the vessels and the boats surged forward, crashing through the heavy swell. Fog was gathering in the north, rolling down the coast across the waves, but the boats sailed on. Hugging herself against the vicious winds that lashed the cliff face and against her own sense of doom, Kerensa watched until the boats disappeared beyond the fog, until the sun tipped over the top of the sky, until the rain began to pelt the earth, until darkness, moonless and deep, fell over the town.

Where to Purchase

Available on #KindleUnlimited

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Meet the Author

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Lelita Baldock is an author of historical fiction and crime fiction. She has a passion for dark stories, with an unexpected twist.

It was during her years studying English Literature at University that Lelita discovered her love of all things reading and writing. But it would be another 15 years before she would take up the challenge and write her own novel.

Her debut novel, the historical fiction Widow's Lace, is an Amazon best-seller.

Her follow up, The Unsound Sister, saw her take a different direction in her writing, trying her hand at crime fiction and has been warmly received globally.

Her third novel, Where the Gulls Fall Silent, a traditional historical fiction set in mid-1800s Cornwall, is out now.

Lelita also runs a blog and newsletter featuring fellow authors and other creatives.

Connect with Lelita:
Website : Twitter : Facebook : Instagram : Amazon Author Page

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  1. Thank you so much for hosting the blog tour for Where the Gulls Fall Silent.
    All the best,
    Mary Anne
    The Coffee Pot Book Club