#BlogTour! #Review and #QandA – #PuzzleGirl by Rachael Featherstone (@WRITERachael) @DomePress


Massive congratulations to Rachael Featherstone as #PuzzleGirl is published by Dome Press in e-book, TODAY! Huge thank you to Emily for asking me to be involved in the blog tour for the republication of #PuzzleGirl so, to celebrate my kicking off the blog tour, I will be re-sharing my review from the first time around, as well as a Q and A with author, Rachael. Enjoy!

Love is a riddle waiting to be solved… Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes
has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything.
When she finds herself stuck in a doctor s surgery, a cryptic message left in

a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-
man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive

dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin.
Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together
and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

What does TWG think?

Now, I’m not the cleverest person when it comes to completing puzzles, especially as Sudoku reminds me of trying to work out your BMI (awfully frustrating), but I was intrigued to see how puzzles were going to be made into a storyline. I thought that maybe I needed to go on a word search(sorry!) to find out, but I ended up having a few cross words with myself due to the constant brain teasers of the storyline! Sorry, I will stop now!

It all started by Cassy finding a puzzle book in a doctor’s surgery waiting room, working out and adapting a few clues (multiple times), whilst finding a mysterious replying puzzle man in the process. I can’t even get people I know talking to me, never mind a stranger responding to me via a puzzle book!! Cassy had a bee in her bonnet and was adamant that she would find out who her puzzle man was, however, the only way that she could do that was by finding multiple (bizarre) reasons to drop into the clinic to check the puzzle book. The bee in the bonnet became an obsession, and the obsession started taking over her life, her friendships and her work life. Thanks to a smidge of rivalry in the office, Cassy’s workplace was already taken over by a different kind of obsession…

At first, I found Cassy’s obsession with her puzzle man quite funny, especially as she was making herself look like an absolute fool every single time she made an excuse to go to the clinic. She let it rule every part of her life which made me feel like she had taken the whole excuse thing completely overboard, making it more about finding excuses as opposed to finding out who the mystery puzzle person was. Her rivalry with a work colleague was hilarious, even if I did think that she had created a completely different version of her rival in her head! Martin didn’t appear to be as big of an arrogant ogre as Cassy made him out to be, but her reactions to his antics were sometimes OVER dramatic that it was brilliant.

‘Puzzle Girl’ is the type of book that to believe it, you need to read it. There are so many unique, clever and utterly bonkers moments throughout the whole book which need to be ravished by your own imagination. There really is something truly hypnotizing about this book, I can’t even put my finger on exactly what it is but all I know is that it filled a large void. I have never, ever read a book like ‘Puzzle Girl’ and I have read  A LOT of books. Every character had a place in the book (even the grumpy receptionist!), not one of them gave off the vibe that they were just ‘there to fill up the storyline’. Obviously, some of the characters were more memorable than others, but they all brought something completely different to the overall feel of the book. For me, that added even more depth to an already puzzling storyline.

Seeing as I was so excited to read ‘Puzzle Girl’, I had everything crossed that my excitement wasn’t going to be short lived once I had begun reading it. I really had no need to worry as Rachael Featherstone’s book ticked each and every box for me, multiple times. Yes, some parts of the storyline, for me, were over exaggerated at points, but it didn’t ruin the book in any way. I just put those OTT situations down to Cassy’s individual personality. After all, she is definitely a unique cookie!

It’s hard to believe that ‘Puzzle Girl’ is Rachael Featherstone’s debut novel, as to read it you might think that she had a fair few novels under her belt. Instead, she just has puzzle pieces!

Puzzle Girl is a humorous, bonkers and unique story which shows that love can be found in the most unexpected places, as long as you have a bit of  two down and three across (not even a clue btw).

A fantastic, witty debut that resulted in me closing the book with a massive smile on my face. Absolutely loved it.

Buy now from Amazon

Q&A.

TWG – Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began
writing?
I’m a chocoholic and bookaholic who dreams about the invention of books whose
pages turn into chocolate after you’ve read them. I live in Hampshire with my
husband and our beautiful baby girl. Before I was a writer my life was very boring… I
grew up in Essex where I spent most of my time doing mathematical equations. I
went to Oxford to study maths and afterwards took a job in banking in London. Then
in 2012 my mum was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and everything
changed.

TWG – Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes and no… Writing a book was on my “do before you die” list but I’d never thought
I’d be a writer writer. Maths was always my strongest subject at school and so I
naturally studied it at uni. But in my final year there, I opted to do an extended essay
which I focused on 18 th century women mathematicians. It was my favourite part of
my degree and I realised how much I enjoyed writing.

TWG – What made you decide to write your novel?
My mum’s diagnosis made me re-evaluate everything in my life. I quit my job so I
could make the most of the time we had left. My mum never gave up, she lived her
life to the full, travelling, campaigning, and embracing the power of positive thinking.
I was, and still am, in awe of her. It was seeing her bravery that gave me the
confidence to pick up the pen and write a novel.

TWG – How hard was it to find inspiration for Puzzle Girl?
I actually didn’t find it hard; the idea found me! Puzzle Girl’s premise of someone
replying to a message in a magazine at a doctor’s surgery came to me while sat in a
doctor’s waiting room with my mum as we waited to see her consultant. The exact
details of Cassy’s journey came to me more slowly as I worked on the book.

TWG – If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and
why?
Dan. I think everyone needs a friend like Dan in their life. He’s funny, he’s kind, he’s
loyal and excellent eye candy.

TWG – Did you ever regret writing a character in to your story after it was published?
No. But… I did change who Puzzle-man really was during the editing process. Does
that count?

TWG – Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to
succeed and be liked by many?
I’ve always put myself under a lot of pressure to succeed but with Puzzle Girl that
pressure felt even more intense. There were a fair few raised eyebrows when I told 
people I was leaving my job to write a book, before I had a book deal, before I had an
agent, before I had even written the prologue… Having Puzzle Girl published was the
validation that I’d been right to take a risk and follow my dream. Having people
enjoy reading it is the icing on the cake.

TWG – Time for a tough one: if you could choose any book that has already been
published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?
That is a tough one! But I think I’d have to say, P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. For
me, everything about this book is perfect, from the concept to prose. It made me
cry, laugh, hope… I loved the letters. I felt like I was part of the story and the
characters lived on in my mind long after I read the final page.

TWG – What does your ‘writing space’ look like?
Whatever space I happen to be in when my little girl is taking a nap. A table in a
coffee shop that has space for a pram, a park bench in the shade, or in bed, with the
baby monitor propped up on the pillow next to me.

TWG – Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child?
J. K. Rowling because she’d seen Hogwarts.

TWG –  If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be
and why?
Good question! I think I’d have to say… Cassy’s calamitous hunt for Puzzle-man. In
fact, Puzzle Girl, is about so much more than just finding the mysterious Puzzle-man,
but – just like my five-word summary – Cassy’s obsession causes her to ignore
everything else that’s going on around her, and if she’s not careful, it could cost her
more than she ever imagined.

TWG – What’s coming next for you? Any exclusives?
I am diving head-first into editing my next novel, another romantic comedy that I
have been working on with my agent. I can’t give too much away just yet, but I can
*exclusively* reveal that the main character is called… Freya. Watch this space!

TWG – One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to get
published? Any words of wisdom?
Meet as many people from the industry as you can, be confident pitching your work
and be open to feedback. Writing festivals with agent/editor ones-to-ones are a
great way to do this.

Huge thank you to Rachael Featherstone for taking the time out from editing her second novel, to answer a few of my questions! I cannot wait to read it!

About the author.

Rachael Featherstone was born and raised in Woodford. Her path to writing was a little
unorthodox. After reading Mathematics at Oxford University, New College, Rachael went
to work in research.

When Rachael’s mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, Rachael decided to
take a chance, quit her job, and fulfill a lifetime ambition to write a novel. She went back to
university and completed a Masters in English Literature and had several short stories
published.

Rachael now lives in Hampshire with her husband and daughter.
Puzzle Girl will be published by the Dome Press in ebook on 2nd August 2018 and in
paperback in January 2019.

Social Media & Links

Twitter: @WRITERachael
Instagram: @rachael_featherstone
Facebook: @RachaelFeatherstoneAuthor
Website: www.writerachael.com

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#BlogBlitz! #Guestpost from author of Chasing Black Gold, Robert Stone (@rstonecbg) @RaRaResources


It is a pleasure to welcome to TWG, author of ‘Chasing Black Gold’, Robert Stone! As part of the one day blog blitz, I have a guest post to share with you all today. But first, here is a little bit more information about Robert’s book, as well as the chance to win a signed copy of Robert’s book!


ROBERT STONE was a serial entrepreneur – an enterprising individual, mostly on the wrong
side of the law, who spent twenty-five years operating all over the world, before being
arrested in Switzerland as a result of an international manhunt led by an Organised Crime
Drug Enforcement Task Force. Over the course of his career, Stone earned and lost several
lifetimes’ worth of fortunes, went to prison on three continents, used dozens of aliases, saw
men die, and masterminded one of the biggest marijuana smuggling operations in criminal
history. Fuel smuggling in Africa, trading fuel with generals, rebels and businessman, was
both his career high and, ultimately, what brought him down.

Purchase from:

The History Press
Amazon UK
Waterstones
Barnes and Noble
Amazon US

Giveaway!

Prize – Win 10 x signed copies of Chasing Black Gold (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of
the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!

Guest post from author, Robert Stone.

I’m currently working on Chasing Deep Gold. It is a nonfiction tale of my career in the Commercial Oil
Field Diving Industry and a prequel to Chasing Black Gold

When I was working The North Sea I ended up being mainly involved in Hyperbaric Welding. There
were only a few of us in the world certified to do it. Taylor Diving and Comex were the leaders in this
field.

Hyperbaric Welding is welding (mainly pipelines) in a dry atmosphere on the ocean floor. The dry
atmosphere was created by lowering a SPAR or Submersible Pipe Alignment Rig with a welding
habitat in the centre. The SPAR was maybe 60 foot long and 20 foot wide weighing in around 80 –
100 tons.

You were either replacing flanged connections, joining newly laid pipelines together or repairing
damaged sections of an existing pipeline.
Because pipe welding was extremely difficult and took years of experience to get it right the bosses
at Taylor decided they would train pipe welders from the lay barges how to dive. The logic was any
monkey could learn how to dive but it took a skilled man to weld pipe.
The first winter they taught the welders how to dive in a 30 foot deep tank in Belle Chase Louisiana.
Clear water- breathe in breathe out – wearing a helmet- easy peasy- what was all the fuss about?
They then were put in saturation at a special hyperbaric facility where the depth and the welding
could be simulated. This was slightly more difficult for them to get used to as living in a 7 foot
diameter 20 foot long chamber with 5 other guys for a couple of weeks takes some getting used to but
they did. Welding arcs behaved differently under pressure as well but they were experienced hands
and adapted to it.

Everything went well, the welding procedures were certified and we mobilized in The North Sea
early Spring to go do some tie-ins in The Ekofisk Field in Norway.
The Offshore Industry and the diving business in general is much different today than it was in the
1970’s. Today personnel work shift of 2 weeks on 2 weeks off or 2 weeks on 3 weeks off. Divers have
to have double time off so two weeks in saturation means four weeks off. Back then our contracts
were for a minimum of 4 months. Ask to leave before that you would lose your 10% bonus.
You went into sat and basically didn’t come out until the year was done. You could opt out if
weather was on or they were doing a crew change if you wanted but I never did. This particular year
I spent 210 days offshore straight with 207 of them in saturation. It was 72 days in (my longest sat) 1
day out, 69 days in, 2 days out and the next 66 in before de-mobilising in Rotterdam.
(In my diving career I spent a total of 2265 days in saturation. That is over 6 years in a small tank
with 8 other guys. No wonder the time I later spent in prison was such a doddle.)
The regular diving crew went into sat and prepared the job for the welder divers. We lined up the
pipes, broke the concrete weight coating off using sledge hammers. Busting concrete for 4 hours on
the ocean floor is hard work. They estimated we burned up 7-8000 calories per dive. We set the
SPAR and lowered the habitat over the pipes and sealed it off then blew it down with a breathable
atmosphere. In this case a mixture of O2 and Helium.

Now it was time for the welders to come in and go to work. 3 divers went into the decompression
lock and the 6 welder divers came in. I was in the first bell run. The outside bell lights had fused and
were not working so when we got to the bottom and equalised all these divers saw in the mist was a
cold black hole and told me no F’n way and refused to go out. We ended up going up and changing
out the team. Next guys said the same thing. What we had was a barge costing $500,000 USD / day
doing nothing.

We ended up going down, running a line over to the habitat and taking the guys one by one by hand
over to the habitat. Wouldn’t be allowed today as we had to leave the bell unattended. They
managed to get the welds done but that winter the company taught a few of us divers how to weld
pipe!

#BlogTour! #CharacterReview of ‘Ellie’ from #TheSecretsofVillaRosso by Linn.B.Halton (@LinnBHalton) @HarperImpulse @RaRaResources


I have something a little bit different for you all today, as I have already had the pleasure of reviewing ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’, I will be doing a character review of main character, Ellie, instead! Thank you to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite, and to both her and the author for allowing me to do something different for my tour stop today. Enjoy!


Some places stay with you forever…

When Ellie Maddison is sent on a business trip to Southern Italy, she’s reminded why she loves her
job – set amongst rolling vineyards and rich olive groves, the beautiful Villa Rosso is the perfect
escape from her life back home. But what Ellie isn’t prepared for is the instant connection she feels
to the estate’s director Max Jackson, or the secrets they share that are as intertwined as the
rambling vines that cover Villa Rosso.

It’s not long before Ellie finds herself entangled in the history of the place, trying to understand the
undeniable effect Max is having on her. As their relationship grows, what will Ellie discover about
this idyllic villa and those who have walked through its doors?

What started as a simple work trip will change Ellie’s life forever.

Character review – Ellie

So, Ellie, a character who is bound to get readers talking for various reasons, but just how far can I delve into those reasons without giving anything away? Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Ellie has been asked to go on a business trip to Italy, and of course she agreed. Who wouldn’t? What Ellie didn’t bargain for was a connection to local man, Max Jackson. Ellie is someone who doesn’t quite know her true worth, especially when she has a husband at home who seems to want to knock his wife’s confidence, instead of being the cheerleader she so desperately needs. Personally, I had everything crossed that Ellie would see sense where her husband was concerned, by telling him where to go so that she can live the life she unknowingly wants.

I loved how bubbly and warm-hearted Ellie’s personality was; it was really difficult not to fall under her spell! No wonder Max Jackson was awfully taken with her! Although to be fair to him, Ellie is an extremely determined woman, so I can’t exactly put all of the blame onto him. I don’t think that Ellie is one of the strongest characters Linn B Halton has written, but she is definitely one that will leave a mark for a lot of readers. I’m all for independence, so when Ellie chose to go to Italy, I felt a different side of her personality come alive. It’s just a shame that she hadn’t felt comfortable to dust the cobwebs from that particular side around her husband.

All in all, I thought that Ellie was a fun character to read about, but one who also showed signs of low self-esteem towards herself, and nervousness towards her future.

Buy ‘The Secrets of Villa Rosso’ – now!

About the author.

From interior designer to author, Linn – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says
‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both
Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus); she’s represented by Sara Keane of
the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working
in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have
been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy,
she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about
life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/
Twitter: @LinnBHalton and @LucyColemanAuth
Facebook: LinnBHaltonAuthor

#BlogTour! #QandA with #author of #TheFlowerpotWitch, Wendy Steele (@Wendywooauthor) @RaRaResources

The Flowerpot Witch Full Banner
Last up this evening is an interview with the author of a book cover with amazeball tights on it! I so want! Wendy Steele, author of ‘The Flowerpot Witch, answers a few questions for me as part of the blog tour organised by RaRaResources – thank you for having me involved!

Before I get to the interview, is a little bit more about the book, as well as information about how YOU could win a copy of Wendy’s novel:

The Flowerpot cover 2 front
Lizzie Martin has chosen pottery to be her new career…

But the teacher from hell threatens to thwart her ambitions before she starts.
She has support from her best friend Louise and Evan, another pottery tutor, but Rowan, her fifteen year old daughter is restless, Josh, her ex-husband is colluding with her aunt and though her mother is alive, access to her is forbidden. When The Morrigan appears in her sacred circle, Lizzie knows she has a battle on her hands.

There is hope though. Stardust the chicken brings a new creature into Lizzie’s life and a long awaited meeting with her Aunt Matilda brings Lizzie’s past into perspective.

Lizzie’s magic ventures beyond The Sanctuary, into the Welsh landscape and the realms of the fae.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Giveaway!

To be in with a chance of winning  one of 3 x Paperback copies of The Flowerpot Witch (Open Internationally), please read the T&C’s, and then click the link to enter!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the
Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all
valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received
within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all
entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!!

Author interview!

TWG- Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began writing?
BC (Before Children) I ran an Offshore Fund Settlements department in the City but I’ve always come home from days out and holidays and written about my experiences. I dabbled with children’s stories and poetry in my twenties, was inspired by a writing workshop in my thirties and spent three years writing my first novel, Hubble Bubble, 100k words which sit in a box under my bed.

I was born in Essex but now live in mid Wales with my partner and cats. I am a member of the Cwrtnewydd Scribblers who meet fortnightly in the next village to me. I teach tribal style belly dance and perform with Tribal Unity Wales.

TWG – Have you always wanted to become a published writer?
Storytelling is what drives me, the process of sharing a story, so publishing is a necessity.

TWG – What made you decide to write your new novel?
The Flowerpot Witch is the third book in my first Witch Lit series. In the first two, Lizzie Martin, the protagonist, experiences many changes to her environment. I wanted the third book to be a true reflection of the way Lizzie herself has changed due to the changes around her.

TWG – How hard was it to find the inspiration for your book?
Not hard at all. I write about women, giving me the opportunity to write about a different kind of protagonist. My women don’t need to behave like men to succeed and they don’t need a man to define them. Their power, their strength, grows through the books as they learn to connect with both the feminine and masculine energy inside themselves, standing up for what they believe in and facing adversity with courage.

TWG – If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and why?
Louise, Lizzie’s best friend, is a great character to write. In this third book I give her the
opportunity to reveal more about herself. She’s loyal, honest, strong and funny. What’s not to like?

TWG – Did you ever regret writing a character into your story after it was published?
No, they’re all there for a reason.

TWG – Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to succeed and be liked by many?
Of course! I thought my first novel, Destiny of Angels, was brilliant. When I published in 2012 I was convinced that vampires and werewolves had had their day and readers were ready for real magic, the witches Qabalah and magical pathworkings and confrontations with demons and angels on the astral plane.

TWG – Time for a tough one, if you could choose any book that has already been published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?
Wyrd Sisters by Sir Terry Pratchett. It’s pure magic.

TWG – What does your ‘writing space’ look like?
I write in my bedroom, either propped up in bed or in a wicker chair, or on our riverbank, if the weather allows.

TWG – Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child?
I loved Agatha Christie stories. I’ve seen the Mousetrap in London three times!

TWG – If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be and why?
Unique, thought-provoking, revealing, humorous, compelling.
Witch Lit is a new genre. Borrowing the basis from the genre Chick Lit, the stories are heroine-centred narratives that focus on the trials and tribulations of their individual protagonists within a modern world, coping with work and home life and with a soupçon of humour. Substitute ‘witch’ for ‘chick’.

TWG -What’s coming up next for you? Any exclusives?
The fourth Witchlit book is at the planning stage and while on holiday with my daughter in Ibiza, I was kept awake for a whole night by a new idea for my first novel (yes, the one under the bed!) so I’m going to give that serious consideration and maybe run with it for a few weeks.

TWG – One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to be published? Any words of wisdom?
For me, I’m compelled to write. It’s the story. Ideas gain momentum and pictures form in my mind. I’m a visual writer so once a character arrives in the scene in my head, I let it play out. If a good story emerges, I want to share it. Storytelling is what drives me, not the desire or acclaim of being a published author.

Huge thank you to, Wendy Steele, for stopping by! Don’t forget, if you wish to purchase ‘The Flowerpot Witch’, you can do so now via Amazon UK & Amazon US

#BlogBlitz! #GuestPost from #author of #TheHandOfAnAngel, Mark Brownless (@MarkBrownless) @SamAtLounge

LB - Image - Ad - Mark Brownless Blog Bliz Ad v2
I am delighted to welcome to TWG, the author of ‘The Hand Of An Angel’, Mark Brownless. Thank you to Sam Missingham, founder of Lounge Books, for asking me to be involved in this blog blitz.

markb
Whilst reading science fiction novels isn’t really my ‘thing’, I couldn’t help but be curious about the thought behind this particular medical thriller. So, just because my nosiness got the better of me, I asked Mark Brownless to tell me how he researched his novel. Here’s what he had to say:

Thanks very much, Kaisha, for asking me to write a blog post on how I went about researching my debut novel, The Hand of an Angel, a medical thriller about near death experience. The story revolves around a cardiologist who becomes so obsessed with seeing what’s on the other side that he has his heart stopped and re-started again a short time later. But when he is brought back, he isn’t the same person and believes he may have brought something back with him.

The first thing is to say is that no matter how fantastical your premise, it must be grounded in reality. For me, some science fiction and fantasy can fall down if it isn’t eminently believable. It has to feel familiar, and therefore real, so your audience will allow you artistic license and not think too hard about how plausible what you’re saying is. I’m thinking here of Bruce Willis falling down a lift shaft in Die Hard and stopping himself with one hand, when the fall would quite happily have torn his arm off.

Before I go any further, I should just put my hands up and say that the research process for me was more straight-forward because I’m a clinician in my ‘day job.’ So I was sticking to what I know and a lot of the anatomy and physiology was fairly common knowledge. That said, I still needed to make sure I got everything right.

One of the pivotal scenes in the book is where the main character has his heart stopped in the ‘near death experience’ experiment. Typically, when the heart stops, there are only minutes before major organs like the brain will start to suffer from a lack of oxygen and become damaged. There are reports, however, of people being successfully resuscitated after much longer if they are cooled – such as being immersed in a body of very cold water. Needing to design something different, I took some of the latest cooling technology used in sports injuries, where cold water is pumped around a joint like the knee, for example, and upscaled it to the whole body. I called this the ‘cold suit’. In contrast to the move, Flatliners, where there is a lot of shiny technology, the experiment is set in the research wing of a newly built hospital that is running out of money, and so a lot of equipment is second hand, borrowed, or in this case home-made by students at the university. The cold suit was therefore very Heath Robinson, made up from plastic heating pipes attached to mesh from a garden centre. In the subsequent resuscitation scene, the protocols used are standard ones used by the ambulance service. A good friend of mine is a senior paramedic and we went through the protocols, defibrillator settings and drugs used, to ensure the accuracy of the story.

Early on in the story, a character is developing a new drug, ‘Zol’, that would boost the likelihood of a patient being resuscitated successfully. It’s perhaps no surprise that the drug becomes quite pivotal later on. In this day and age, with sophisticated, knowledgeable audiences, you can’t just make up a drug that does this or that. That would get a collective ‘really?’ from your readers, and lose a lot credibility. So I looked at the biochemical structure of adrenalin, a common drug used in emergency medicine, and will be familiar to anyone who’s seen a medical drama on TV. I theorised that it would be possible to ‘bolt on’ another chemical to the structure, and, in the book at least, it is this that turbocharges Zol. At the time of writing, some genuine research was published casting doubt on the efficacy of adrenalin. This was incredibly timely for the book, because it would add further justification to the development and use of Zol, despite it being untested (and made up!). Would it be possible to strap this additional part to the adrenaline molecule, and would it actually change how the drug worked? I don’t know – probably not – but it doesn’t matter, because there’s enough plausibility in the science to make it believable.

In doing the research, I used a lot of internet searching and reading through medical journals from numerous disciplines, which was fine, but you can’t beat talking to experts. For a scene involving a character who has a strange fracture, and an even stranger way in which his body heals afterwards, I turned to an orthopaedic surgeon friend. We discussed normal fracture healing at a cellular level, but also what the response might be if the body healed itself in a different way. Speculative medical research you might call it! Sorry I can’t reveal more, but, you know, spoilers.

So, The Hand of an Angel has a basis in research, is plausible but speculative, is grounded in reality but is… and I want to say science fiction, but then you’ll think of space ships and Iain M Banks, and it’s a million miles away from that. Let’s just call it fictional science then!

Is it just me who now wants to read ‘The Hand of an Angel’ after reading Mark’s guest post? I don’t usually like those sorts of books! I may need to give it a go. If you’re anything like me and want to grab a copy, you can do so via this little link here! Don’t forget to leave a review if you do grab a copy, I’m eager to find out what you guys think!

Thank you to, Mark Brownless, for the informative guest post!

About the author.

Mark Brownless lives and works in Carmarthen, West Wales. He has been putting ideas on paper for some years now but only when the idea for The Hand of an Angel came to him in the autumn of 2015 did he know he might be able to write a book. Mark likes to write about ordinary people being placed in extraordinary circumstances, is fascinated by unexplained phenomena, and enjoys merging thriller, science fiction and horror.
Mark is also fascinated by myths and legends such as those of Robin Hood and King Arthur. This has culminated in the release of his short story series, Locksley, a Robin Hood story, which will have new volumes added each month.

Book links:

http://hyperurl.co/handofanangel

http://smarturl.it/locksley1

Social medial links

https://www.facebook.com/markbrownlessauthor/

https://twitter.com/MarkBrownless

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of #TheSummerHolidaysSurvivalGuide, Jon Rance (@JRance75)

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Happy publication day to Jon Dance and ‘The Summer Holidays Survival Guide’! To kick off the first day of the blog tour, I have a guest post from the man himself. Hope you enjoy!

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A comedy for every parent who has survived the school summer holidays

Two parents. Three children. One senile grandad. Six weeks. How bad could it possibly be?

For teacher, Ben Robinson, the school summer holidays mean one thing – spending six weeks with his kids. This year, however, he also has his father and one very angry wife to contend with. The name of the game is simple: survive.

Ben embarks on a summer of self-discovery that includes, amongst other things, becoming besotted by a beautiful Australian backpacker, an accidental Brexit march and a road rage attack. There’s also the matter of saving his marriage, which is proving harder than he imagined, mainly due to an unfortunate pyramid scheme and one quite large bottom.

But when Ben learns his father has a secret, it takes the whole family on a trip to Scotland that will make or break their summer – and perhaps Ben’s life.

From Jon Rance, bestselling author of Dan And Nat Got Married and About Us, comes a comedy about one man, one family, trying to survive the hardest six weeks of the year together.

**Featuring an exclusive extract from the Christmas special, The Family Christmas Survival Guide, out later this year!**

Guest post.

Hello! Firstly, a huge thank you to Kaisha for having me on her
wonderful blog. Secondly, thank you for taking the time to read this.
So, my new novel, The Summer Holidays Survival Guide, is out today! I’m
very excited. If you don’t know anything about it, it’s a comedy about one
family trying to survive the hardest six weeks of the year together. If you’re a
parent, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. As kids we love the
school summer holidays. Six weeks off school! Brilliant! As parents, it can be
difficult. So, in an effort to make some sense of it, I’ve written this book. It’s a
funny, heart-warming story about love, relationships, family, parenting, death,
and growing up, all set over the six weeks of the school summer holidays.

Rather than just plug the book, I’m going to give you my guide to
surviving the school summer holidays. These are my top survival tips when six
weeks with the kids seems like the end. Because trust me, it isn’t.

1. Planning is everything. You definitely can’t, as Ben tries to do in the book
– more than once – just get in the car, drive, and see where you end up!
This seems like quite a romantic notion. A spontaneous road trip with
the kids! To goodness knows where! As parents we often have these
ideas that children will love things as much as we do. They don’t. They
don’t enjoy road trips and will complain often, and you’ll need to stop at
every service station for toilet breaks, food, drinks, and you’ll end up
regretting the whole thing. And they never appreciate scenery. Plan
everything! It isn’t always about the journey.

2. The summer holidays aren’t just for the kids. Take time out for yourself
too. Date time with partners is key to staying sane. Although unlike Ben
in the book, don’t use important adult time to have a full-blown midlife
crisis and become besotted with a much younger Australian backpacker.
The summer holidays are a time to bond and reconnect with loved ones
NOT to bond and connect with young, attractive people who aren’t your
partner.

3. Old people. You may or may not have parents or grandparents in your
life. Remember the school summer holidays are a good time to spend
quality time with older people. They don’t get summer holidays because their whole life is a summer holiday. Include them while you can. Even if
it’s just watching repeats of Homes Under the Hammer together.

4. Don’t forget the most important part of the summer holidays. No, not
afternoon drinking, it’s spending time together as a family. Although
don’t pretend that technology doesn’t make it easier for everyone. So, if
you’re thinking about one of those no technology days, DON’T! Let
technology bond you instead of tearing you apart.

5. Lastly, your children will grow up much faster than you’ll want them to.
One day the summer holidays will be you and your partner, and you’ll
look back and remember all of those times with a fond nostalgia and
you’ll wish you could go back. So instead of having regrets later in life,
enjoy them now. You don’t get these days back. So as annoying as they
can be, embrace your kids, hold onto them for dear life and don’t let go
because when you do, they’ll be all grown up.

Sorry If I ended on a bit of a sad one, but it’s a big part of the book. As I
wrote, The Summer Holidays Survival Guide, it became clear that a lot of the
book was about something I was feeling in my own life. My children are
growing up so fast, and with the summer holidays approaching, I want to enjoy
them as much as I can while I can because one day they’ll be gone, and I won’t
have this time again. I think it’s the main message of the book because the
summer holidays can be tough, exhausting, and full of drama, but it’s also time
to remember how much you love and need each other.

I hope you all have a wonderful summer and enjoy the book. And from
one parent to another – best of British luck!
Jon – x

How many points do you agree with? What else would you add to Jon’s mini survival guide? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you again to, Jon, for joining me on publication day, and for those who wish to grab a copy of ‘The Summer Holidays Survival Guide’, you can do so right now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of #WartimeAtWoolworths, Elaine Everest (@@ElaineEverest) @ed_pr @Panmacmillan

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Oh I miss Woolworths!! Author of ‘Wartime at Woolworths’, Elaine Everest, has kindly written a guest post for my stop on her blog tour today! Thank you to Bethan for asking me to be involved in the blog tour, and I hope you all enjoy the guest post!

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The Woolworths girls have come a long way together . . .

Fun loving Maisie, is devoted to her young family and her work at Woolworths. But her happy life with her RAF officer husband, their baby daughter leads her to think of the family she left behind . . . With the war now into its fourth year, what will she find when she sets about searching for them?

Sarah and her husband, Alan, are blissfully happy and long for a sibling for their daughter. But dark days lay ahead for this close family.

Freda heads home to Birmingham, to go in search of her family, back to the life she fled – far from the safety of Woolworths and her new friends.

With families’ separated by war, will the Woolworths girls be able to pull together?

Wartime at Woolworths is the third moving installment in the much-loved Woolworths series by bestselling author Elaine Everest.

Guest Post.

A Day in the Life of a Woolworths Girl
Elaine Everest

When researching the working life of Woolworths workers in World War Two I was
surprised to find little had changed from when I joined the company as a Saturday girl
in 1969 at the age of fifteen and three months which was then the legal age for
youngsters to start work.

My memories of those Saturdays are tinged with the excitement of youth and earning
my own money – the princely sum of one pound before thruppence (old money) was
deducted for National Insurance. That day in March, when I proudly took home my
brown pay packet with the thin strip of paper showing deductions was also the day my
pocket money stopped; but that’s a story for another time.

My day started early when I caught the train from Slade Green for the short one stop
journey to Dartford. We had to be in our uniforms and on the shop floor for the bell
that sounded throughout the store announcing the doors were opening to the public at
8.30 am. As a Saturday girl I could be moved around to where I was needed most and
I often found myself in the windowless basement on the toilet roll dpartment. Toilet
rolls had their own department? Yes, and as soft tissues were still fairly new there
were also boxes of the excruciatingly rough paper with the ‘medicated’ smell that we
used as tracing paper when kids. When not busy you would find all assistants dusting
the stock. I have fond memories of dusting boxes of toilet paper using a feather
duster.

At the beginning of our working day we would be informed whether we were first,
second or third lunch and tea breaks – there was never a chance to slip off to the
bathrooms in between breaks or head outside for a cigarette as workers seem to think
is their rights these days. First lunch break started at 11.30 am and meant the
afternoon would drag whereas third lunch meant we had a short afternoon but had a
long wait for that first tea break of the day. Yes, my favourite was third break as I
could make myself busy until 10.45 as I waited to hear the bell that told me I could
down tools and head up to the staff canteen.

The canteen was always a welcoming place and the staff supplied with freshly baked
goods for tea breaks as well as a cooked lunch. We were well looked after. We would
sign a book showing what we’d had for our meals and this was deducted from our
pay.

The bells ruled our lives and they rung for the start and ends of breaks as well as
lunch. Five minutes before the store closed that bell rang again before the doors were
locked. Until then we were not allowed to leave our counters and had to ensure that
everything was tidy and counters covered for the night. If we tried to slip away early
the supervisors who roamed the store would have had our guts for garters.

A quick dash upstairs to change out of our sludgy green overalls and then we queued
to sign and collect our pay packet – minus anything spent in the canteen that day.
Heading for the station we would stop to look in the window of a boutique or perhaps
pop into the record shop to look at the charts and buy a 45 rpm single then head to the
chip shop for a portion of chips, liberally sprinkled with salt and vinegar, to eat on the
train going home.

Life was good when we were fifteen and even better when we escaped the sound of
those bells! Such was my memory of my life at the Dartford store that many years
later I set my books in the iconic Woolies and had Maisie moaning about those bells
whilst Sarah’s mother-in- law, Maureen, was feeding the staff up in the canteen.
Happy days!

Wartime at Woolworths by Elaine Everest is published on 3 rd May by Pan Mac
(available in paperback and ebook, price £6.99)
Buy now from Amazon

 

#BlogTour! #WBP2018 #Extract – Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ @midaspr @wellcomebkprize

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It is an honour to be taking part in the blog tour for the WellComeBookPrize. For those  that aren’t aware of this, here is some more information about the book prize and the collection featured in the long list:

About the Wellcome Book Prize

Worth £30,000, the Wellcome Book Prize celebrates the best new books that engage with an aspect of medicine, health or illness, showcasing the breadth and depth of our encounters with medicine through exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction.

Previous winners of the Prize include Maylis de Kerangal (author) and Jessica Moore (translator) for Mend the Living in 2017, Suzanne O’Sullivan for It’s All in Your Head in 2016, Marion Coutts for The Iceberg in 2015, Andrew Solomon for Far from the Tree in 2014, Thomas Wright for Circulation in 2012, Alice LaPlante for Turn of Mind in 2011, Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in 2010 and Andrea Gillies for Keeper: Living with Nancy – a journey into Alzheimer’s in 2009.

 About Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection is the free museum and library for the incurably curious. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Through its exhibitions, live programming, and digital and publishing activity, it makes thought-provoking content which aims to challenge how we think and feel about health.

Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Both politically and financially independent, it supports scientists and researchers, takes on big problems, fuels imaginations and sparks debate.

The book I am featuring for the blog tour is ‘Stay With Me’ by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀. Here is an extract, as well as more information about the book itself:

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear.

Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me is a story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the power of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about the desperate attempts we make to save ourselves, and those we love, from heartbreak.

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (30, Nigeria) stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. She has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Hedgebrook, Sinthian Cultural Institute, Ebedi Hills, Ox-Bow School of Arts and Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2017 ‘Stay With Me’, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Extract

My parents-in-law lived in Ayeso, an old section of town that still had a few mud houses. Their house was a brick building, with a front yard partially enclosed by a low cement fence. When I arrived at the house, Moomi was sitting on a low stool in the front yard shelling groundnuts into a rusty tray that sat on her lap. She looked up as I approached and looked down again. I swallowed and my steps slowed. There was something wrong.

Moomi always greeted me by shouting Yejide, my wife. The words were as warm as the embrace that usually followed them.

‘Good evening, Moomi.’ My knees trembled as they touched the concrete floor.

‘Are you pregnant now?’ She said without looking up from the tray of groundnuts.

I scratched my head.

‘Are you barren and deaf too? I say, are you pregnant? The answer is either, yes, I am pregnant or no, I still haven’t been pregnant for a single day in my life.’

‘I don’t know.’ I stood up and backed away until she was not within the reach of my clenched fist.

‘Why won’t you allow my son to have a child?’ She slapped the tray of groundnuts on the floor and stood up.

‘I don’t manufacture children. God does.’

She marched towards me and spoke when her toes were touching the tips of my shoes.

‘Have you ever seen God in a labour room giving birth to a child? Tell me, Yejide, have you ever seen God in the labour ward? Women manufacture children and if you can’t you are just a man. Nobody should call you a woman.’ She gripped my wrists and lowered her voice to a whisper. ‘This life is not diffi­cult, Yejide. If you cannot have children, allow my son to have some with Funmi. See, we are not asking you to stand up from

your place in his life, we are just saying you should shift so that someone else can sit down.’

‘I am not stopping him, Moomi,’ I said. ‘I have accepted her. She even spends the weekends in our house now.’

She held her thick waist and laughed. ‘I am a woman too. Do you think I was born last night? Tell me, why has Akin never touched Funmi? He has been married to her for over two months. Tell me why he has not removed her wrapper once. Tell me, Yejide.’

I stifled a smile. ‘It is not my business what Akin does with his wife.’

Moomi lifted my blouse and laid a wrinkled palm on my stomach.

‘Flat as the side of a wall,’ she said. ‘You have had my son between your legs for two more months and still your stomach is flat. Close your thighs to him, I beg you. We all know how he feels about you. If you don’t chase him away, he won’t touch Funmi. If you don’t, he will die childless. I beg you, don’t spoil my life. He is my first son, Yejide. I beg you in the name of God.’

 

#BlogTour! Author of ‘Last Letter Home’ Rachel Hore (@RachelHore) joins #TWG for a chat! #AuthorInterview @simonschusteruk @HaysMcMullan

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It gives me great pleasure to welcome author of ‘Last Letter Home’, Rachel Hore, to TWG today as I put her in the hot seat by asking her a few questions! Before we begin, here is a little bit about Rachel’s new book, as well as the all important ‘buy now’ link should you want it!

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From the bestselling author of A Week in Paris, and the Richard & Judy Bookclub pick A Place of Secrets, comes a gripping and moving story spanning 70 years, set in Italy and in Norfolk.

On holiday with friends, young historian Briony Andrews becomes fascinated with a wartime story of a ruined villa in the hills behind Naples. There is a family connection: her grandfather had been a British soldier during the Italian campaign of 1943 in that very area. Handed a bundle of letters that were found after the war, Briony sets off to trace the fate of their sender, Sarah Bailey.

In 1939, Sarah returns with her mother and sister from India, in mourning, to take up residence in the Norfolk village of Westbury. There she forms a firm friendship with Paul Hartmann, a young German who has found sanctuary in the local manor house, Westbury Hall. With the outbreak of war, conflicts of loyalty in Westbury deepen.

When, 70 years later, Briony begins to uncover Sarah and Paul’s story, she encounters resentments and secrets still tightly guarded. What happened long ago in the villa in the shadow of Vesuvius, she suspects, still has the power to give terrible pain …

‘Last Letter Home’ will be published by Simon & Schuster on the 22nd March. You can pre-order your copy in all formats, right now, from Amazon UK.

TWG – Hi Rachel, thank you so much for joining me today! Could you tell us a bit about you and your background before you began writing?
If you’d asked me when I was very young whether I wanted to become a published writer I’d have been bemused. It would never have occurred to me. I didn’t know any authors or anyone who aspired to be one. I’ve always read endlessly, though. I studied History at university, and got into publishing after taking a secretarial course. Later, as an editor, working with novelists such as Barbara Erskine and Jenny Colgan, I learned a great deal about the techniques of writing fiction. Actually doing it was much more challenging. After nine books I still feel I’m learning.

TWG – What made you decide to write your new novel?
I love walking round old walled gardens where flowers, fruit and vegetables used to be grown for the Big House. They feel safe and secret, and the perfect place to set a love story. During World War II many were destroyed or abandoned. In LAST LETTER HOME, my pair of lovers, the gardener and the land girl, are separated by the war, but the garden re-mains a symbol of their relationship.

TWG – How hard was it to find the inspiration for your book?
Ideas for stories are everywhere if you start looking – in a newspaper, a nonfiction book, a pub-sign, a real-life situation that you hear about. The atmosphere of an interesting place often gets me started. I begin to brood about the people who might have lived there. The problem I have is one of focus. It can be hard to decide who will be the central characters and what their backgrounds should be. Deceptively small details such as a parent’s occupation can affect aspects of the plot later on. When I actually start writing scenes these things tend to iron themselves out because the characters come to life – it’s the planning stage I’m bad at.

TWG – If you could pick a favourite character from your novel, who would it be and why?
I am very fond of Sarah Bailey, the focus of my past story. She’s a sensible type, but has to manage her icy and manipulative widowed mother and a vulnerable young sister. All the time I was writing I was wondering what had originally happened to this family to make them this way, and why it was that Sarah was able to be the strong one.

TWG – Did you ever regret writing a character into your story after it was published?
What an interesting question! Not a character as such, but the name of a character in THE HOUSE ON BELLEVUE GARDENS. After it was published a woman I met at my Pilates class came up to me and told me I’d called a central character by her name and it had upset her. She thought I’d done it deliberately, yet I hadn’t met her until the book was written and still didn’t know her surname. We avoided each other for a while after that!
(TWG – omg! what are the chances of that!!)

TWG – Did you find yourself under any personal pressure for your debut novel to succeed and be liked by many?
Yes, definitely. For my publisher (I wanted them to commission more books) but also for myself, to feel that I’d succeeded. When I was actually writing it my ambitions were much more modest. I’d be pleased if I could finish the book, I’d be pleased if I could find an agent, then a publisher. The trouble is that the more you get the more you want. It’s im-portant to stand back occasionally and be pleased simply to be yourself.

TWG – Time for a tough one, if you could choose any book that has already been published to be the author of, which one would you choose and why?
Ah, that negates what I’ve just said about being yourself! That said, I’d love to write as delicately and powerfully as Tracy Chevalier. My favourite book of hers is The Lady and the Unicorn, which conveys such a convincing sense of being an ordinary mediaeval woman.

TWG – What does your ‘writing space’ look like?
Very messy, I’m afraid! I have an Edwardian attic that has never been done up and is only heated by a portable electric fire. Books that I’m consulting lie in piles everywhere and I also have a lot of postcards and pictures from magazines pinned up on a board to inspire my charac-ters and settings. Were there any authors you wanted to be like, when you were a child? No authors, but I desperately wanted to go to boarding school like Enid Blyton’s Twins at St Clare’s. What I wanted, of course, was the fun bits and once I’d read Tom Brown’s Schooldays I changed my mind.

TWG – If you had to sum up your book to a stranger in five words, what would they be and why?
Love, war, family and relationships. All my books are about love, family and relationships and the conflict that separates us from one another.

TWG – What’s coming up next for you?
I’m in the middle of writing the next novel, which is set in the interwar period and doesn’t yet have a title.

TWG – One final question. What advice would you give to a writer that wants to be published? Any words of wisdom?
Make the work as polished as you can before you show it to a professional (such as an agent or publisher). Research literary agencies and publishers to make sure that you approach one who publishes work in your chosen genre. Check their websites to make sure that you are sending your work in the way that they ask. Some agents want a synopsis, for instance, others only want the first three chapters.

Big thank you to Rachel Hore for answering my questions like a pro! I am actually cringing for her about regretting a character! My goodness!!!

Don’t forget that Rachel’s novel, ‘Last Letter Home’ will be published on the 22nd March and is available to pre-order right now from Amazon.

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of #TheLastDay, Claire Dyer – ‘If Tomorrow Were My Last Day’ @ClaireDyer1 @DomePress

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What would you do if you knew your last day was imminent? Would you spend the day with your loved ones? Eat all of your favourite food until the point of being sick? Binge watch all the DVD’s you’ve been meaning to watch for goodness knows how long? For my stop on the blog tour today, I had asked author of ‘The Last Day’, Claire Dyer, what she would do if tomorrow was her ‘last day’ and thankfully, the author took the theme and has written such an emotive piece for us here at TWG. Just to make you aware, I have actually read the book, but my review will follow later on so please do keep your eyes peeled for that. In the mean time, grab a Kleenex and sit back to read Claire Dyer’s ‘Last Day’.

If tomorrow were my last day
by
Claire Dyer, author of ‘The Last Day’.

I’m assuming if I was facing my last day I would have made peace both with myself and with those I love and so would be free to spend the day how I wished.

I’ve thought about this a lot since being asked to write this blog and send my thoughts and prayers to all those who are really facing heartbreak of this sort.

However, when thinking about my novel and what happens to my characters in it I think, if I knew I could never do it again, I would like to go to Kalkan in Turkey and watch the sun track its path across the bay one last time.

According to one website Kalkan is ‘an enchanting place and one of the most beautiful
locations along Turkey’s gorgeous Lycian Coast. With the absence of mass tourism, Kalkan remains a charming and unspoiled haven of lush nature, brilliant blue crystal-clear sea, historic architecture, ancient history and warm traditional Turkish hospitality.’
I have spent fifteen happy holidays in Kalkan and can say that every statement of this quote is true. But what is more significant for me is the fact that when I’m there I can live a simple life, can sit and watch the boats in the bay, watch the sun sparkle on the water, eat delicious fresh food, swim and breathe a type of air I just can’t find in England.

What I’ve also done is track the sun’s path across the sky on each and every last day I’ve
been there; I’ve watched the sun set and turn the sky peach and pink and orange. I’ve heard the cicadas thrum their legs and seen bats flitter in and out of the eaves.
And then, after the sunset, come the stars – brilliant and sharp in amongst the black.
Another website tells me that ‘Herodotus: the best of the Greek historians said, ‘Kalkan is the closest place on Earth to the stars’. So, if you want to touch the stars, Kalkan is the best place you have even seen.’ Therefore, I’ve sat on the roof terrace of the villa where we stay and have stared in awe at the ever-changing night.

So far there has always been a next day when I’ve got up, packed my bag and started the
journey home, looking over my shoulder at the bay as the car climbs the hill out of town and turns the corner, leaving Kalkan behind me for a time.

I hope I am never faced with a final goodbye, I hope like in The Last Day, there will be a next day but if I am and there isn’t then this is where I would like to spend my last day.

For those of you who have already read Claire Dyer’s novel, a lump will probably be forming in your throat whilst you read the last sentence of the authors guest post – it did mine! Huge thanks to Claire Dyer for agreeing to write such a beautifully written guest post, and a big thank you to Dome Press for the blog tour invite and the ARC of the book. Don’t forget that my review WILL follow at a later day – I’m not missing the chance to share my views on this thought-provoking novel.

For those of you who haven’t read the book and wish to find out more, and maybe even grab yourself a copy, here are all of the details of ‘The Last Day’:

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They say three’s a crowd but when Boyd moves back into the family home with his now amicably estranged wife, Vita, accompanied by his impossibly beautiful twenty-seven-year-old girlfriend, Honey, it seems the perfect solution: Boyd can get his finances back on track while he deals with his difficult, ailing mother; Honey can keep herself safe from her secret, troubled past; and Vita can carry on painting portraits of the pets she dislikes and telling herself she no longer minds her marriage is over. But the house in Albert Terrace is small and full of memories, and living together is unsettling. For Vita, Boyd and Honey love proves to be a surprising, dangerous thing and, one year on, their lives are changed forever.

Buy now from Amazon UK