From novel ‘The Gift’ to her own ‘Gift’ @Fab_fiction – (LJ) talks from the heart #guestpost

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As I’m sure a lot of you are aware, Louise Jensen’s latest novel, ‘The Gift’, has made itself known in the Amazon charts (it may have peaked at numero uno…. 😉 ). Quite rightly so! If you still haven’t read this book, you can find my review: #Review of The Gift by Louise Jensen (@Fab_fiction) @Bookouture #psychologicalthriller.

Seeing as the book title is about a gift, I wanted to know what Louise’s own personal thoughts were in regards to her ‘gift’. As always, the talented author delivered; here is her very honest yet incredibly heart-warming guest post, especially for TWG.

Guest post by Louise Jensen.

My new novel, The Gift centres around Jenna, a 30-year-old woman who receives a transplanted heart. She is overcome with gratitude at this chance of a second life but, over time, she starts to experiences flashbacks of things that haven’t happened to her. Jenna learns about cellular memory, the phenomena that the cells of a heart can retain memories, and organ recipients can inherit these memories and she begins to believe that Callie, the donor, didn’t die in an accident as purported. Jenna is convinced Callie was murdered.  Jenna becomes obsessed with Callie’s family, desperate to uncover the truth, and as she alienates her own family and friends, and begins to lose her grip on reality, she questions whether, if she could go back, she would want this gifted heart. 

Writing this novel really gave me food for thought. It is human nature to compartmentalise things as they happen and often the things we think are the greatest things ever can leave us utterly bereft if they don’t work out, and things we class as terrible can sometimes turn out to be the greatest gift of all. 

Becoming disabled in my 30’s left me feeling utterly lost and utterly alone. With a lack of mobility and chronic pain my future felt bleak and in those dark, early days, I thought I would never be happy again. I was always very active and I was at a loss to know how to occupy my time and depression swamped me. A blackness I just couldn’t shift.  As time passed I knew I had to try to piece my life together again, for my children as much as me, and tentatively I began to write. As I wrote I became completely absorbed in the characters I was creating and I momentarily forgot my pain, I momentarily forgot I can’t just get up and go for a walk, and little by little life became brighter. 

My change of health wasn’t a gift as such, but an opportunity, and one I ended up grasping with both hands. 

In the mindfulness courses I teach I often tell the story of The Farmer and the Horse, a lesson that there often isn’t good or bad, some things just are; but if you look, sometimes ever so closely, there is often a silver lining after all.

A farmer had one old horse that he used for tilling his fields. One day the horse escaped into the hills and when all the farmer’s neighbours heard about it, they sympathised with the old man over his bad luck. “Bad luck? Good luck? Who knows?” said the farmer.

A week later, the horse returned with a herd of wild horses from the hills and this time the neighbors congratulated the farmer on his good luck. “Good luck? Bad luck? Who knows?” said the farmer.

Then, when the farmer’s son was attempting to tame one of the wild horses, he fell off its back and broke his leg. Everyone agreed that this was very bad luck. Not the farmer, who replied, “Bad Luck? Good luck? Who knows?”

Some weeks later, the army marched into the village and forced every able-bodied young man to go fight in a bloody war. When they saw that the farmer’s son had a broken leg, they let him stay. Everyone was very happy at the farmer’s good luck.

Louise is an incredible author and such an inspiration, I am in awe of her strength through the good days and bad.
Thank you Louise for your wonderful piece.

Author & book links.

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Website
Amazon UK
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#Review of The Gift by Louise Jensen (@Fab_fiction) @Bookouture #psychologicalthriller

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Blurb.

The perfect daughter. The perfect girlfriend. The perfect murder?

Jenna is given another shot at life when she receives a donor heart from a girl called Callie. Eternally grateful to Callie and her family, Jenna gets closer to them, but she soon discovers that Callie’s perfect family is hiding some very dark secrets …

Callie’s parents are grieving, yet Jenna knows they’re only telling her half the story. Where is Callie’s sister Sophie? She’s been ‘abroad’ since her sister’s death but something about her absence doesn’t add up. And when Jenna meets Callie’s boyfriend Nathan, she makes a shocking discovery.

Jenna knows that Callie didn’t die in an accident. But how did she die? Jenna is determined to discover the truth but it could cost her everything; her loved ones, her sanity, even her life.

What does TWG think?

Number 1 best selling author, Louise Jensen, is BACK! Earlier this year (July to be precise), Louise wowed readers and critics alike with her debut novel, The Sister, accumulating a whopping 702 5* reviews on Amazon UK (figure correct as of 14/12/16)! After the incredible success of ‘The Sister’, readers (including myself) were eagerly awaiting publication of her second novel, ‘The Gift’. Well ladies and gentleman, fear not as publication day is a mere TWO DAYS AWAY! Bookouture and Louise Jensen are all set to release our Christmas present this year on the 16th December, ‘The Gift’. Luckily for me, I was able to get my hands on this highly anticipated second novel before publication day, and wow what a book it is.
If you have ever had a book in your hand that you were rather eager to read, you will probably be able to resonate with what I am going to say next…
I cursed, well, as much as I could with a three year old. I’m just thankful she isn’t a mind-reader put it that way. I didn’t curse at the book. I cursed at the fact I had to be a grown up and do ADULT things, how unfair is that? I cursed at every day life being a pain in the, ahem, as all I wanted to do was READ THIS BLOOMIN BOOK!!!! Every spare moment I had (or had made spare on purpose), my nose was buried in Louise’s gripping and heart pounding words. I’m sure you have worked it out by now; yes, I was absolutely hooked…from the very first page too, no lie. Every word on the page was laced with hidden truths, secrets and copious amounts of fear. Never have I ever experience a storyline to pull me in, make me sweat and have me jumping around my house as though I was on a pogo stick, like ‘The Gift’.

Usually in my reviews I summarise the book in a very basic way; I’m not going to this time as you need to read it all yourself without anyone feeding you anything. Why? Well, why not? ‘The Gift’ has such a jam packed storyline with such prickly characters; it was exceptionally difficult to work out who was being genuine and who was not.  I read through the book feeling all smug with a ‘hah, I know what’s going to happen’ type attitude thinking that I KNEW. Put it this way, I didn’t know. Every single character took turns in wiping the smug look off my face, leaving me completely powerless to their actions, and the actions of the storyline. I surrendered to ‘The Gift’. I surrendered to Jenna’s beliefs. I surrendered to Louise Jensen’s trapping words. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t think about anything else except the storyline in front of me. Just, wow.

As well as the hair raising aspects of the novel, Louise Jensen has covered such an interesting subject within the storyline. that makes for excellent and mind-blowing reading. I had no idea that that particular topic even existed and I was absolutely fascinated by it. Top marks to Louise for incorporating that into the book as I am positive it’ll be a talking point fairly soon.

I am truly amazed at the work of art that is ‘The Gift’, as it is very cleverly written and completely exceeded my expectations; times ten. I could go on and on about how brilliant I think this book is, but there is only so many times that I can say ‘OMG I LOVE IT’, because I do. You just need to trust me on what I’ve said and go and pre-order it right now, you really do.

‘The Gift’ is literally a head-funk in a book, mixed with betrayal, skin prickling moments and enough intensity to leave you questioning everything; even your own name. It is definitely a book NOT to be missed.
Louise has outdone herself with this AMAZING book, it truly is outstanding on so many levels.
So outstanding in fact I would like to say that:

Louise Jensen’s ‘The Gift’ blew me away so much, it is officially…..

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Yep! ‘The Gift’ has jumped over A LOT of books and is sitting pretty at my most favourite psychological thriller of all time. Wow, just….wow.
(Louise, you can take the pic fyi).

Thank you Bookouture for giving me the opportunity.

‘The Gift’ by Louise Jensen will be released on the 16th December 2016. However, you can pre-order it right now from: Amazon UK