#BlogTour! #GuestPost from author of ‘Joseph Barnaby’, Susan Roebuck (@sueroebuck) @RaRaResources

It’s the final countdown!! Do do dooo, do do do do dooooo. Okay, it’s not, but it’s the final date of the blog tour and I have the honour of closing the tour with a guest post from the author of ‘Joseph Barnaby’, Susan Roebuck. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite. Before I get to the guest post, here is a little bit more information about Susan’s novel:

Stand by your beliefs – even if it means going to the end of the Earth

By standing up for his principles to save the life of a prize racehorse, farrier Joseph Barnaby loses everything. Now, a personal vendetta has become too deep to fight and he escapes to the island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm at the foot of a cliff, only accessible by boat. The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables and honey make it sound like paradise but, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world. Can the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperança, who have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that fronts the property, help Joseph find his self-worth again? And can he escape the danger that draws ever nearer?

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Joseph-Barnaby-Susan-Roebuck-ebook/dp/B07FMVFLH1/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Joseph-Barnaby-Susan-Roebuck-ebook/dp/B07FMVFLH1/

Guest post.

Setting your Novel in a Foreign Country

 Joseph Barnaby” is the third novel in my Portuguese series. They’re all stand-alone novels but each are set in Portugal: “Rising Tide” takes place in a small fishing village on the Alentejo coast; “Forest Dancer” in the forested hills just outside Lisbon (in Sintra); and now “Joseph Barnaby” on a remote beach on the island of Madeira. 

 One of the challenges of writing a novel in a foreign country is knowing how to keep the Portuguese “atmosphere” without ending up with a language problem. I wanted the Portuguese characters to be well-rounded and relatable, but they couldn’t all speak English that well. Having stilted speech and hesitations throughout would be very tiring for the reader so,to avoid this, in “Forest Dancer” I had some characters speaking excellent English (and I’m lucky that most Portuguese can speak good English). When those whose linguistic abilities weren’t so good I show from the context what they were trying to say, or I had one of the English-speaking characters translate. This had to be done sparingly,otherwise things would’ve become tedious for the reader. To maintain the “sense of place”, though, I kept a few Portuguese expressions or words in but made sure they were obvious from the context what they meant. As my editor told me, “don’t make your reader have to go and look something up, they might not come back again”. 

 In “Joseph Barnaby” I solved the problem by having Joseph (the English main character) managing to learn Portuguese in six months during his time working in a fishermen’s bar. Therefore the other characters all spoke Portuguese. Of course, the book is written in English, but to add authenticity, I added a few Portuguese expressions occasionally.

 Another problem that can arise when setting your novel in a foreign country is that the author should avoid using local people as characters, or even stereotype them. In “Joseph Barnaby” I endeavoured to find variety in the people just as you’d find in any country: there are hospital doctors, a bee-keeper, teachers, and the local fishermen have their unique personalities.

 Weather plays an important role in setting your novel abroad. When most people think of Portugal they imagine the sunny beaches of the Algarve, yet there is so much more to the country than that small region. Madeira is very different. It has a temperate climate and is full of flowers, but subject to some spectacular storms. 

 To conclude, then. My advice to anyone planning their novel abroad is to find aspects of the country that the reader might not expect, but to keep it realistic.

 Thank you for hosting me today! I hope you enjoy “Joseph Barnaby”.

 

About the author.

I was born and educated in the UK (I am British!) but now live in Portugal. I’ve been an English teacher for many years with the British Council and also the Portuguese civil service where I developed e-learning courses.

My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.

My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Mundania Press on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback launched on May 11 2011. It was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-book Awards in the Mainstream Category.

My second novel is a dark thriller/fantasy called “Hewhay Hall”. It won an EPPIE award in the 2013 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) e-Book Awards in the Horror Category.

Next comes “Rising Tide”, published in 2015. Set in Portugal, published by Mundania Press. It is set in a tiny fishing village that the world, and most of Portugal, has forgotten. Read about the wonders of the ocean and see if Piper from Norfolk UK and Leo from Alaska, USA, can find what they’re searching for in the little village of Luminosa.

“Forest Dancer” was published on 20th February 2018 by CrookedCat Books. This is novel number 2 set in Portugal but this time in the forests outside Lisbon, Portugal. Instead of the sea (as in Rising Tide), now find out about the wonders of the forest and whether classical ballerina, Flora, can find what she’s searching for in the small village of Aurora.

On 5th October 2018 CrookedCat Books published My newest novel, “Joseph Barnaby”, another romance/suspense which is set on the island of Madeira
.


Social Media Links  

blog and website: http://www.susanroebuck.com

General Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuRoebuck

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanRoebuckauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sueroebuck

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Susan-Roebuck/e/B0050B2O3U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1526385163&sr=8-1

Giveaway

Win:

1. 1st prize an Amazon book token (£10) , 
2. 2nd prize – 2 x signed paperbacks of Joseph Barnaby
3. 3rd prize – 2 x ebooks of Joseph Barnaby

*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 now!

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#BlogTour! #Promo – Take Me, I’m Yours by Lizzie Lamb (@lizzie_lamb) @rararesources

I apologise for the…49 minutes lateness, however I am excited to be promoting Lizzie Lamb’s new novel as part of my stop on the blog tour!

India Buchanan plans to set up an English-Style bed and breakfast establishment in her great-aunt’s home, MacFarlane’s Landing, Wisconsin. But she’s reckoned without opposition from Logan MacFarlane whose family once owned her aunt’s house and now want it back. MacFarlane is in no mood to be denied. His grandfather’s living on borrowed time and Logan has vowed to ensure the old man sees out his days in their former home. India’s great-aunt has other ideas and has threatened to burn the house to the ground before she lets a MacFarlane set foot in it. There’s a story here. One the family elders aren’t prepared to share. When India finds herself in Logan’s debt, her feelings towards him change. However, the past casts a long shadow and events conspire to deny them the love and happiness they both deserve. Can India and Logan’s love overcome all odds? Or is history about to repeat itself?

For the duration of the blog tour – Take Me, I’m Yours will be downloadable for 99p

Purchase now from Amazon

About the author.

After teaching her 1000th pupil and working as a deputy head teacher in a large primary school, Lizzie decided to pursue her first love: writing. She joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, wrote Tall, Dark and Kilted (2012), quickly followed by Boot Camp Bride. She went on to publish Scotch on the Rocks, which achieved Best Seller status within two weeks of appearing on Amazon and her next novel, Girl in the Castle, reached #3 in the Amazon charts. Lizzie is a founder member of indie publishing group – New Romantics Press, and has co-hosted author events at Aspinall, St Pancras and Waterstones, Kensington, talking about the research which underpins her novels. Lizzie latest romance Take Me, I’m Yours is set in Wisconsin, a part of the USA which she adores. She has further Scottish-themed romances planned and has just returned from a tour of the Scottish Highlands in her caravan researching men in kilts. What’s not to like? As for the years she spent as a teacher, they haven’t quite gone to waste. She is building a reputation as a go-to speaker on indie publishing, and how to plan, write, and publish a debut novel. Lizzie lives in Leicestershire (UK) with her husband, David.

She loves to hear from readers, so do get in touch . . .

Lizzie’s Links

Amazon

Facebook

Website

Newsletter

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Pinterest

Twitter

#BlogTour! #GuestPost from the author of ‘The Little Gate-Crasher’ Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer (@GabKaplanMayer) @RaRaResources

I am beginning to catch up with my delayed blog posts from the past week – apologies once again to RaRaResources, and the author, for my delay in posting this, but thank you for having me on the blog tour nonetheless. I have a guest post from author of ‘The Little Gate-Crasher’, Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer. Enjoy.

Mace Bugen might have been an achondroplastic dwarf, 43 inches tall with an average size head and
torso set on small, twisted legs—but that didn’t mean he was an idiot or a pushover. In truth, he was
smarter than most; over the years, he learned to effectively turn what society in those days called a
handicap into a powerful tool he could use to his advantage.

“When I was a kid,” he once said, “I’d ask myself, Why is that guy on the football team? Why can’t I
be on the team? Why didn’t God give me the height so I could be the hero?”
“Then at some point I figured it out: I gotta do something special to let ’em know I’m me.”
In The Little Gate Crasher: The Life And Photos Of Mace Bugen, I remember my amazing great-Uncle
Mace Bugen through his journey as a first-generation Jewish-American kid in working class
Philipsburg, NJ to becoming the first celebrity selfie-artist—way ahead of his time.

Featuring vintage photos of Mace with his exploits, The Little Gate Crasher captures three decades of
American pop culture, seen through the unique lens of Mace and his gate-crashing exploits.
Underneath his antics, we meet a complex man who continually defies others expectations and
meets life on his own terms. Mace becomes a successful businessman and devoted son to his aging
parents. But in his gate-crashing antics, we best get to see Mace’s unique combination of guile,
cunning and sense of entitlement, which he used to engineer photos of himself with some of the
biggest celebrities of his day. If people were going to stare at him all of his life, he would give them
something to see.

The Little Gate Crasher features over 50 vintage photos of Mace with celebrities, athletes and
politicians, including Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Muhammed Ali, Richard Nixon, Jane Russel, Joe
DiMaggio and more.

Buy: Amazon US  // Amazon UK

 Guest Post.

Understanding Through Memoir
By Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

1 in 5 human beings has some kind of disability – including learning,
developmental, physical, emotional or a combination of disabilities. And yet,
while disability is such a common part of the human experience, some people are
uncomfortable and even afraid around people with disabilities. As a mom raising
a teenage son whose autism is very visible, I have reflected since his early
childhood on why disability can trigger this kind of reaction. I think it’s in part a
natural human fear of the unknown experience. Disability pushes our buttons
around vulnerability – it makes us wonder how would we react if someone in our
family – or we ourselves – needed supports or accommodations for daily living?
Society has largely allowed us to keep people with disabilities at arms length –
it’s only in the last generation or two that public schools have been mandated to
provide public education for all. Many adults with disabilities in the US don’t live
in community settings or work in places where the public gets to interact and
know them – they remain set apart.

This separation is changing – but it’s slow and requires all of us to move out of
our comfort zone to know about and respect the lives of human beings we may
have never seen as a natural part of our community. I believe that as educators,
we have a responsibility to nurture in our students a willingness and curiosity to
learn about life experiences that are different from their own and engage in
conversations and activities that help them to understand more about what living
with a disability is like.

My new memoir The Little Gate-Crasher  shares the story of another family
member who has a disability—and the incredible life that he lived.
The Little Gate-Crasher features the amazing story of my Great-Uncle Mace
Bugen – an unstoppable spirit, first generation Jewish American, self-made
millionaire, celebrity gate-crasher – who was 43 inches tall. Mace’s unstoppable
spirit defied the challenges of his own physical limitations and society’s
prejudices towards people with dwarfism. The book features Mace’s photos of
himself with the greatest celebrities of his era, including Muhammad Ali, Joe
DiMaggio, Sammy David, Jr. and more.

Books are powerful tools to help us understand lives that are very different from
our own—and in many ways, also very similar. I encourage you to use The Little
Gate-Crasher  to inspire conversation in your community through:
 Parent/Teen Dialogue: If a family isn’t personally touched by disability, parents
and kids may have never had an opportunity to discuss their feelings, fears and insights about Invite them to read together and use my discussion guide to
create interactive conversations for parents and teens.

 Partner with your Adult Book Club: are you part of a a book group or club? If so,
suggest reading The Little Gate-Crasher and I’ll be happy to Skype into your book
club to do a reading and lead a discussion with you! It’s lots of fun for us and
makes your job easy. Contact me to schedule.

My hope is that memoir can make life with disability feel not as far away or scary
from most of our lives, so that when we encounter disability personally, we can
be present with friendship, kindness and caring.

Many thanks to the author for the guest post. Purchase links are above.

About the author.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer is an experienced educator, author and speaker. At
Jewish Learning Venture, she works as Director of Whole Community Inclusion and
leads disability awareness programs for the Philadelphia Jewish community. Her most
recent book The Little Gate Crasher, a memoir of her Great-Uncle, who overcame
society’s prejudices about dwarfism to lead a remarkable life, was one of the national
book selections for 2017 Jewish Disability Awareness & Inclusion Month. Gabby writes
for and edits The New York Jewish Week’s The New Normal: Blogging Disability and is
also a featured Philly parenting blogger for WHYY’s newsworks. Gabby holds a B.F.A. in
theatre and creative writing from Emerson College and an M.A. in Jewish Studies from
the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College.

Website

 

#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

#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

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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.

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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)

BLOG-TOUR
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