A book from another world in my handbag

It is great to challenge ourselves with new genres, and ‘We Other’ is a dark fairy thriller. According to reviewers, ‘We Other’ is a magical novel to inspire the imagination. ‘In the book you will meet faeries you would never want to meet on a dark night,’ explained, the author, Sue Bentley. Intrigued, I asked Sue to address her readers, and tell us more about her novel.

 

 

Dear Readers – I am delighted to present We Other.

In this extract we meet Jess Morgan, a loner who doesn’t fit in and has few friends. Her life is about to change in ways she could never have imagined.

I chose this extract to introduce Jess, whose story this is. She’s feisty, difficult and street-wise – with good reason – but she’s vulnerable too, with a good heart.

The reader should be tempted to place my book in their handbag because it’s a complex and rewarding read, with many twists and turns which will keep them guessing.  I’m rooting for Jess and I hope you will too, once you get to know her.

Best wishes and I hope you enjoy the extract. Happy reading!

Sue Bentley

 

Words from the book…

And then looking through the opening into the final gallery, Jess caught sight of a large painting hanging by itself. Her breath quickening with excitement, she walked rapidly towards it.

There was a small crowd of people in front of the painting. She could only glimpse details through the shifting bodies, but she knew it was the one. She hung back, wanting to prolong the moment when she stood face to face with that figure wrought from shadows. Leave me alone with it, she thought. Go away. All of you.

Oblivious to the air around her tingling and shimmering, in a way that was beginning to feel familiar, she stared at the painting. As she moved forward, time seemed to shift into slow motion. A slew of sound echoed hollow and discordant in her ears as every person standing in front of the painting turned in a single movement. They looked at Jess with glazed eyes, before drifting sideways in a single body, moving as if in the steps of some tightly choreographed dance, and melting from the gallery.

Everyone else had somehow left too, she realised. She could see people strolling around the other galleries through the archways. But here, she was alone. In the sudden stillness Jess caught her breath. The painting was revealed to her in its entirety. Or as she thought oddly, it revealed itself to her.

She was not disappointed by what she saw.

More about the book…

Jess Morgan’s life has always been chaotic. When a startling new reality cannot be denied, it’s clear that everything she believed about herself is a lie. She is linked to a world where humans – ‘hot-bloods’ – are disposable entertainment. Life on a run-down estate – her single mum’s alcoholism and violent boyfriend – become the least of her worries. Drawn into a new world of rich darkness, she finds herself torn between love, family and a growing sense of a new, powerful identity.

Strapline for the book – Fairies you never want to meet on a dark night.

What the reviewers say…

‘Darkly delicious. Lights the blue touch paper and runs away.’ Peter J Goodchild

‘Absolutely magical. Compelling story and gorgeous writing.’  Freda Warrington – award winning author of 21 fantasy novels

‘Give yourself time. You won’t want to put this down.’ Ruth Webster

More about Sue…

Sue Bentley is fascinated by English Folklore, the extraordinary in the everyday and the darkness that hovers at the edges of the light.

Sue says…

Louis Armstrong says it best – ‘the bright blessed day and the dark sacred night’ You can’t have one without the other.

I always enjoyed ‘real’ fairy tales – not the sanitised Disney versions. For example, in some versions of Cinderella – the ugly sisters snip off their toes to be able to cram their feet into the glass slipper.

I was that kid in a class of pink tutus who was dressed as a vampire bat. I never wanted high-heeled dancing shoes, I wanted sturdy boots to go tramping around forests looking for the shapes of goblins in the trees.

As for characters – Goody, Goody is all very well, but it can get boring. We all love the ‘bad’ characters who do doubtful things – they’re much more fun to write about.

I am intrigued by Sue’s exploration of the ‘darkness that hovers on the edge of light’ and wonder what she presents to the reader in ‘We Other’.  The extract evoked my imagination, and I wanted to know why Jess ‘wasn’t disappointed’.  This novel sounds as if it will challenge the boundaries of the imagination, as it has done for the reviewers.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Hilarity in my handbag

Patricia Feinberg Stoner is presenting an extract of her award winning book. ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ is the funniest book I have read this year: I am still recounting her anecdotes at dinner parties. Forget ‘Victoria’, someone should serialise this book for the Sunday night audience – we all need a laugh!

It is an honour to hand over to, the wordsmith, Patricia Feinberg Stoner. 

 

Dear readers,

I’m so pleased to be able to share At Home In the Pays d’Oc with you.  In this extract I’ve chosen the moment when, after a long search, my husband and I first set eyes on what was to become our home in the Languedoc.  It’s my abiding memory, even after 30 years, and I still feel the lift of excitement I felt that day.  I was sure then, and I am sure now, that when I first walked into the dusty, red-flagged kitchen, the house opened one eye and said ‘Well, you took your time getting here.’

Why read At Home in the Pays d’Oc?  Look at the state of the world!  If we are all going to hell in a handbag, then wouldn’t it be nice to have something light-hearted to offset the doom and gloom?   I hope this book will encourage everyone to follow their dream and see where it takes them.

I hope you enjoy this tale of our adventures, and that the book brings you something of the sunshine and fun and laughter that our sojourn in the Languedoc brought to us.

With all good wishes

Patricia Feinberg Stoner.

Extract:

Jean-Jacques, the estate agent, turned right, drove up a narrow street between ancient houses, turned the corner and stopped. We got out of the car. On the corner of the church square and a road so narrow you could have spanned it with outstretched arms, stood the ugliest house I had ever seen.

It was clearly old, very old. It was clearly cobbled together out of what had been two houses. It rose slab-fronted from the street, acres of decaying, yellowish crépis (plaster) bisected by sundry phone and electricity cables. A ridiculous stone staircase flanked by a stunted tree rose ungracefully to a pocket-handkerchief front terrace littered with debris and encrusted with cat droppings.

I stopped dead in my tracks. ‘Ohmigawd’ thought Himself to himself (as he told me later), ‘we’ve just bought a house.’

Why?  There were prettier houses. There were certainly prettier villages – Morbignan in those days was, to put it politely, a little run-down. What made me fall so immediately, so irrevocably in love with this house in this village?

Did I see possibilities in the tree?  In years to come it would grow so high that it could be seen on Google Earth.

Was I enchanted by the steps, crumbling and lichen-dappled though they were? Did I foresee their future when, cleaned and decorated with pots of scarlet geraniums, they would prompt visitors to exclaim ‘What a lovely house!’?

Who can tell?  All I can say is, the heart wants what the heart wants.

More about this ‘tale of accidental expatriates’…

This is the story of how a small brown and white spaniel turned the lives of two English holidaymakers upside down.

Patricia and her husband Patrick are spending the summer in their holiday home in the Languedoc village of Morbignan la Crèbe. One hot Friday afternoon Patrick walks in with the little dog, thinking she is a stray. They have no intention of keeping her.

‘Just for tonight,’ says Patrick. ‘We will take her to the animal shelter tomorrow.’ It never happens. They spend the weekend getting to know and love the little creature, who looks at them appealingly with big brown eyes, and wags her absurd stump of a tail every time they speak to her.

On the Monday her owner turns up, alerted by the Mairie. They could have handed her over. Instead Patricia finds herself saying: ‘We like your dog, Monsieur. May we keep her?’

It is the start of what will be four years as Morbignanglais, as they settle into life as permanent residents of the village. “At Home in the Pays d’Oc” is about their lives in Morbignan, the neighbours who soon become friends, the parties and the vendanges and the battles with French bureaucracy.

It is the story of some of their bizarre and sometimes hilarious encounters:  the Velcro bird, the builder in carpet slippers, the neighbour who cuts the phone wires, the clock that clacks, the elusive carpenter who really did have to go to a funeral.

At Home in the Pays d’Oc‘ has won a Five Star Book Award from One Stop Fiction.  Here is a flavour of the other reviews:

Part memoir, part travel book, wittily written and engaging, At Home in the Pays d’Oc is so much more than ‘how to live in a foreign country’.  Despite being penned anecdotally, it flows with the rhythm of a good novel. Ingenue Magazine

The author, Patricia, in this captivating book, takes the reader on a voyage of discovery, a celebration of the years she and her husband spent enjoying their French home.  Susan Keefe, Living in France

What I most admire about the couple’s story is their attitude to life in another country. (While Many expats are the “Little Englanders,” the Stoners make a real attempt to integrate into the social system of their adopted village.  Kathleen Lance, One Stop Fiction

Patricia is passionate about humour, food and writing; she loves all dogs and some people.  She has written: ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’, ‘Paw Prints in the Butter: A Clowder of Comical Cats’ and ‘The Little Book of Rude Limericks’. Her writing is witty, entertaining and a joy to read.

Patricia is releasing her ‘Little Book of Rude Limericks’, on 15th November.

Read my review of ‘At Home in the Pays d’Oc’ or visit Patricia in my Chat Room.

Join Patricia’s blog for her latest news and mewsings.

paw-prints-in-the-butter.com

 

Please see all my  Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahahlin.com.

 

Find out why the book in my handbag is waiting for the weekend…

As it is almost the weekend, I have asked Jan Brigden to present an extract from her romance novel, ‘As Weekends Go’.  Grab yourself a coffee, take a break and let Jan chat to you about her novel.

 

 

 

 

What if your entire life changed in the space of a weekend?

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present ‘As Weekends Go’. The extract I have chosen is fairly early on in the book.  I think it perfectly portrays how Alex (principal male character) feels after his memorable first encounter with Rebecca (principal female character) at Hawksley Manor, the plush hotel in which they are both staying as guests, little knowing the drama that lay ahead of them.

I’d love you keep ‘As Weekends Go’ in your handbag so you can dip in and out of the story. Open the book as you move from place to place, and flit from one dilemma to the next over the course of their eventful weekend and beyond.

Enjoy!

Best Wishes,

Jan X

Words from the book…

Alex took the scenic route to the car park to try and fathom the effect she’d had on him. Those eyes, so rich in colour, like a tiger’s eyes, sparkling back at him.

As much as he hated how big-headed it sounded, even to himself, he was used to people staring at him. Fact. He also knew that what had happened back there was in no way premeditated on her part; the deep blush and dip of her head when he’d first spoken to her had told him that. How small she’d tried to make herself appear during the ensuing chaos in reception, standing there nervously pulling on the bottom of her ponytail, looking so desperately sorry.

He’d felt like an ogre deliberately holding on to her mobile, but if he’d given it straight back to her she might have fled before he’d had a chance to find out her name.

Rebecca.

He’d certainly never seen her at the hotel before.

What was it his granddad had told him during their precious heart-to-heart the day before he’d died?

‘Believe me, Alex, you’ll know when you’ve met “the one”’

Trouble is, Granddad … What do I do if she’s already married?

More about the book…

When Rebecca’s friend Abi convinces her to get away from it all at the fabulous Hawksley Manor hotel in York, it seems too good to be true. Pampering and relaxation is just what Rebecca needs to distract herself from the creeping suspicion that her husband, Greg, is hiding something from her.

She never imagined that by the end of the weekend she would have dined with celebrities or danced the night away in exclusive clubs. Nor could she have predicted she would meet famous footballer, Alex Heath, or that he would be the one to show her that she deserved so much more …

But no matter how amazing a weekend is, it’s always back to reality come Monday morning – isn’t it?

What the reviewers say…

“I loved this gorgeous love story, written with a sure touch and a big heart.” Bestselling author, Lisa Jewell.

“Alex isn’t your stereotypical celeb footballer (or rather stereotypically portrayed in the media).  His ethics and morals had me swooning as much as his physique!” Shaz Goodwin – Jera’s Jamboree

“Those lovely people at Choc Lit and their reading panel do have a bit of a talent for spotting something special that their readers will enjoy, and they’ve done it again with this lovely book.”  Anne Williams of Being Anne

More about Jan…

Jan is a South London-dwelling all-round book devotee, married to Dave, and one eighth of online-writing group The Romaniacs

As Weekends Go tested as many of my emotions as I put my characters through, so when it was published by Choc Lit UK after winning their Search for a Star Competition 2014/2015, I was elated. I missed the characters terribly, especially Rebecca and Alex, so much so, that I’m currently writing the sequel where I get to spend more time with a few of the ‘As Weekends Go’ crew, plus some new faces who are creating a whole fresh mixture of predicaments for everyone.

I suggest you go shopping, stock up on your favourite treats and pamper yourself with a great read.  Now your weekend is organised, and you can sit back and read about someone else’s dilemmas, as you visit York, Spain and Brighton. I’ll see you in Brighton – happy reading! 

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

Alchemy in my Handbag

As if by magic, I am presenting ‘Stone Circle’ by Kate Murdoch.  The novel is a rich historical fantasy about a young man’s coming of age, as he learns about magic rituals and alchemy. I have asked Kate to present and extract of her debut novel.  She has written to her readers about the book and her chosen extract.

Dear Readers,

I would like to present you with an extract from my debut novel, ‘Stone Circle’.  

It’s a story of magic rituals and rivalry in a 16th century Italian town.

The extract, selected from the middle of the book, is a scene where my protagonist, Antonius, is being initiated as a seer. It describes the ritual he must go through. 

It is a key scene in my book, because Antonius’s life is undergoing enormous change, and the ritual is a symbol of that. 

Romance, thrilling escapes and alchemy – what’s not to love?

Best Wishes,

Kate x

 

Extract

Antonius watched the blue and amber flames as they crackled upwards, repeating the same patterns into infinity. He felt his body move to the rhythms, and realised they all moved in tandem around the fire. The music, the flames, and the night were as much a part of them as the blood coursing through their veins. The pace quickened and they followed, twisting and turning with fluidity.

Antonius’s mind was clear and untroubled. At the same time, he watched Giulia’s russet hair swing across her back and the long line of her slender white arm as she moved with perfect grace. He felt the eyes of many upon him, but he was not afraid. It was a sense of being held in the embrace of the observation, as if he were returning to the home of a friend that was as familiar as it was strange. Glancing at Giulia, he saw she scattered herbs into the flames. His nose twitched as their combined scent wafted towards him—sage, elderflower, cloves, and others. Three crystals were then released into the fire—purple, white, and gold. Several loud cracks erupted into the air and multi-coloured sparks flew, with a hiss and a whine. In a low voice Savinus chanted. It was a mellifluous language he had heard during the rituals at the blue cave. He spread his arms in an outward motion, as if clearing away smoke.

More About the Novel

Stone Circle explores themes of class, rivalry and spiritual growth. It is a historical fantasy novel.

Is the ability to read minds a blessing or a curse?

Kate Murdoch

When Antonius’s father dies, he must work to support his family. He finds employment as a servant in the Palazzo Ducal, home of Conte Valperga. Sixteenth-century Pesaro is a society governed by status, and Antonius has limited opportunities. When a competition is announced, Antonius seizes his chance. The winner will be apprenticed to the town seer. Antonius shares first place with his employer’s son. The two men compete for their mentor’s approval. As their knowledge of magic and alchemy grows, so does the rivalry and animosity between them. When the love of a beautiful woman is at stake, Antonius must find a way to follow his heart and navigate his future.

Reviewers’ Opinions

‘Murdoch presents a delightful romance, feathered with light touches of fantasy. The development of her love triangle is gratifying, and even secondary characters offer stark dramatic moments…’ Kirkus Reviews ‘

‘Her characters’ interactions with each other and their individualities helped shape the book into something wonderful; at the same time she excels at pacing the story with her characters, all within a framework designed to help readers understand the world of seers and alchemy she has created.’ Readers’ Favorite

‘Kate Murdoch’s fabulous writing is full of vivid sounds, sights and scents that pull us into the scene, expressed in inspired word combinations that are a joy to read. A wonderful, entertaining book.’ Gail Cleare, USA Today bestselling author

Words about Kate:

Kate is a painter turned author who enjoys writing flash fiction and short stories when she’s not writing historical fiction. Her debut novel is a romance with an element of fantasy.  Kate became completely immersed in her Renaissance town and characters when writing the novel.  Kate found it difficult to depart from the world in her novel and this bodes well for a reader intent on escape. The best of luck to Kate with her debut novel.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.

 

An Innocent Abroad

Tuscany – a novel, inspired by where I live and the tourists I’ve observed

Tuscany – a novel, Fay Henson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by a life in Tuscany and fuelled by her tourist gazing hobby, Fay Henson has written her debut novel.  The glow of a Tuscan summer is hidden in the pages of ‘Tuscany – a novel’. Become a teenager again, run away with Caylin and banish the winter chill. 

The author is very keen to invite you into the pages of the book. Get ready to receive some text messages.  Meanwhile, here is a message from the author.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present Tuscany – a novel. This extract was chosen because the reader can sympathise with the parents whilst also supporting Caylin teenage quest to reach Siena.

Caylin has stopped to rest a while from hitchhiking and opens her concerned parents’ text messages. Her parents discover she’s left the hotel in search for people her own age in the city of Siena. The messages aren’t a huge surprise to the determined seventeen year-old.

I believe that you will be tempted to pop Tuscany – a novel, a New Adult Romance into your handbags to support Caylin in times of need.  You will need to be right behind her as the reunion between daughter and parents approaches.  Add to that of course, the sun, Italian culture and first love to warm you up.

I hope you love Caylin and the city of Siena as much as I do.

Best wishes,

Fay.

Extract

Caylin opens her concerned parents’ text messages

I dug around in my bag to find my phone amongst all my stuff and the unravelled twenty-euro notes; found it. Both Mum and Dad had tried to call me. Well I hadn’t heard my phone ringing, probably because of the traffic along the road. I’d also received some text messages too which I had better open.

What do you think you’re doing, Caylin?! You should turn round and come back to the hotel right now. If that’s difficult, let me know where you are and I’ll get someone to come and pick you up. I don’t know what’s got into you! Dad

I supposed that text was only to be expected. I opened Mum’s next.

Dear Caylin, I don’t suppose you’d understand how worried we are about you, you’re alone in a country you know little about, and what about the language? Please come back, we can do different things together, we can make it more fun. And PLEASE contact us as soon as poss. We love you very much Mum xxx

That one too.

I decided it was best not to call them because I was sure it’d be really difficult to get a word in edgeways and really, if I was honest, I was afraid they’d talk me into going back or I’d accidentally let on where I was exactly, not that I really knew anyway.

About the Book

First love in Tuscany

Caylin is desperate to find fun on holiday with people her own age.  During her daring and turbulent stay in Siena, Caylin experiences amongst many emotions, jealousy, hate, fear and her first real love.  All the while, her two best friends back in Bristol wait for her message updates, albeit sometimes shocking.

What Reviewers Say

‘I really enjoyed it! I’m sure that the character of Caylin is one that a lot of teenagers will be able to relate to. I found the descriptions of the Italian landscape and Siena itself to be very accurate. I hope there’s going to be a sequel. I’d recommend it to everyone, particularly teenagers.’

‘It really bought the sights and sounds of Tuscany to life together with the underlying story of Caylin’s adventures – having to learn quickly about herself, love and life. A good story whether at home or as a holiday read.’

Fay Henson

About Fay….

A few years ago, myself and my husband made the ‘now or never’ decision to relocate with our three children from the south west of England to Tuscany, Italy. I soon discovered that I was in the perfect place for writing travel articles and commenced with writing for an online website and a monthly insert for an Italian magazine, all the while I was harbouring a passion for novel writing.

When I can, I like to take my Fox Terrier Bobby for walks and to think over a story.  I don’t live far from Siena and says that it’s an amazing place, filled with pizza, coffee, ice-cream, shops, university students, tourists and of course, sunshine and history.  A perfect setting for Tuscany – a novel.

Now I’ve completed my first book, Tuscany – a novel, inspired by where I live and the tourists I’ve observed.

Once the book was completed, I felt elated, it was to be my first novel, and when I was shown the cover design I was the luckiest person on earth.  I adored being inside Caylin’s mind, her thoughts about Joe and the guts she showed in various situations.  But it’s not possible to stop writing about Caylin, so now she’s currently developing on the pages in a new story.

I am very partial to a Tuscan escape, and I am sure this will be a fabulous read.  The best of luck to Fay with the debut novel.  Happy people watching!

 

Please see all my extracts and excerpts at Book Extracts and my website and blog at JessieCahalin.com

 

Eric Seagull, storyteller, landed on my handbag

Introducing the engaging, children’s writer, Caz Greenham and her collection of seafaring adventures.  Who doesn’t love Eric Seagull

Dear readers,

I’m delighted to present an extract from my third children’s book in “The Adventures of Eric Seagull ‘Storyteller’” 3-book-series. ‘The Christmas Circus’. The extract below is taken from one of the many short chapters, making storytelling at bedtime easy.  This gives you a peep inside the magical, fun, seafaring world of Eric Seagull ‘Storyteller’ set in picturesque Brixham Bay. I chose to share ‘The Christmas Circus’ with you today because it’s a seasonal read. A time of friendship and caring at Christmas. And, as we’re already halfway through the month of October (a time I begin my own early Christmas shopping) it would be a great stocking filler for any child. The paperback copy has an eye-catching beautifully illustrated red glossy cover.  A feeling of friendship, and companionship, will be easily recognised in this seasonal read.  Eric Seagull will tell you more about the story

Happy reading,

Caz Greenham

Extract

‘Let’s set the scene, it was Christmas Eve!’ squawked Eric. Eric shuffled from side to side then hopped onto my bag. I think he could smell the gingerbread cookies I had bought from the bakery as a little treat. Caz wagged her finger at Eric and he commenced by setting the scene.

When I received an invitation to The Christmas Circus at Ladybird Cove, the herring gull invited his two friends along. With his tiny best friend and housemate Mouse Herbie, the white mouse, safely aboard his inner feathers and Norman Mail Pigeon following closely behind, they took off from my home (Rock-Face Nest) at St Mary’s Bay in wintry South Devon. After seafaring adventures with Lady Beatrice, Arthur Jellyfish and the Dawn Chorus, I spotted a sign: ‘Christmas Circus This Way’. But the adventurers soon discovered double trouble awaiting them inside The Big Top.

I’ll read you my story.  Eric perched on my handbag and started to tell me the story and it felt as if I was actually in the midst of the adventures.  He remembered every single word beautifully, and Caz was so proud of her little friend. He moved around a little, resisted the temptation to dive into a passer-by’s fish and chips and started to speak…

Extract selected by Eric.
‘You can sleep in the attic room at the top of the winding staircase tonight,’ Eric told Norman. ‘Tis a cosy room and no one should be home alone at this festive time.’

Norman agreed and thanked Eric for his big heartedness.
Norman looked at Herbie. ‘There’s some news that I’ve been meaning to share with you, dear mouse. Your homemade dandelion soup is the talk of Berry Head Park, you know. I look forward to sampling a large bowlful during lunch tomorrow.’

Herbie warmly smiled. ‘There’ll be sweet turnips baked in the oven, baby carrots, and potatoes grown in Eric’s compost. And wait ‘til you taste my best plum pudding.’

Eric Seagull’s long tongue swiped his beak as he listened to his friends chatting about tasty food.

Norman Mail Pigeon landed on the bench and dropped a role of paper.  I removed the red ribbon, opened up the rolled paper and found some reviews of the books.

Ronnie says… ‘I’m delighted to see this author has written a third in this series. I bought the other 2 books already, and have to congratulate the writer on her amazing writing talent and imagination. My grandson has been a follower of Eric Seagull and will love his stocking filler. His eyes will light up when he sees I have been able to obtain an author signed copy, once again. Thank you Caz Greenham. I am looking forward to a 4th in this series real soon. My grandson will be showing off his new Christmas book at school in the New Year, no doubt.’

Louise wrote… ‘After enjoying book 1 and 2, I was excited to hear that book 3 was out! Eric goes on amazing adventures and the author of this book has such a great imagination. The stories are written so well and a nice and easy read, lovely to read to children of very young ages too. Great family books and really enjoy reading about Eric and his exciting adventures.’

About the author
Caz Greenham worked as a secretary for more years than she cares to remember. She’s a mum to grown up daughters, and proud granny to 4 grandchildren aged 2 – 17. She lives in South Devon with her husband and 2 cocker spaniels.

Caz is a great storyteller and says that…
Typing ‘The End’ is a great feeling of relief and achievement. Heavy sighs! However, a sense of loss always follows the finish of all my books! More sighs!

Website: www.cazgreenham.com
Twitter.com/@CazsBooks

A Feel Good Message from Diane’s Novel

I have invited Diane Need to present an extract from ‘Press Three for Goodbye’.  Her debut novel is a humorous exploration of second chances.  Beth, the central character, has been compared to Shirley Valentine, but she doesn’t travel to Greece in search of answers.

Without further ado, I will hand over to Diane who has a message for her readers.

Dear Readers,

I am delighted to present Press Three for Goodbye

Beth is a gentle and caring heroine, but a lot of fun, too, with the scrapes she gets into. The story deals with some serious issues, but there’s also plenty of humour.

I’ve chosen the extract as I believe it gives an insight into Beth’s character and one of the scrapes Beth finds herself in.

It’s an easy, feel good and uplifting read, ideal for the airport, on holiday or sitting by the fire with a cuppa (or a glass of wine!)

Happy Reading!

Diane Need

 

Presenting the Extract

Paul scrutinised the paw prints and cleared his throat before continuing. ‘I’m –’ he blustered, looking to Emily as if for support. ‘Well, the thing is – we’re here about Rodney; we think he should come and live with us. I paid for him, after all – and it’s obvious you can’t cope with him.’

‘I don’t care who paid for him; Rodney stays here!’ Beth cried.  ‘He loves being with me –’

‘Well, I think –’ Emily interrupted.

Beth’s head spun round like the girl possessed by the devil in the film The Exorcist. ‘What the hell’s it got to do with you? God knows why you’re even here!’

Right on cue, Rodney pawed at the door. Expecting him to demonstrate his love for her by jumping up, Beth pulled it open. He darted past her, something bright pink dangling from his mouth, and headed once more for the sheepskin rug.

Beth clapped a hand over her mouth. OMG – it was a pair of her old knickers – her “Bridget Jones’s”! To her total horror, Rodney held the material between his front paws and gleefully began tearing the gusset apart.

Paul and Emily stood aghast as she dived to retrieve her tatty pants.

Panting like a madwoman, she finally managed to wrestle them free from the dog’s jaws.

Paul shook his head and Emily gave a loud snort.

‘Why don’t the pair of you just piss off?’ Beth yelled. ‘And you’re not having the bloody dog – he stays with me. RIGHT?

They left without saying another word.

More about Press Three for Goodbye

When Beth, fast approaching forty and a stay-at-home wife, decides to put some romance back into her flagging marriage, her plans are thwarted when her husband announces he’s leaving her for his intellectual equal.  All he leaves Beth with is an order to vacate the family home and the wrath of her acid-tongued mother-in-law. Beth has no career, no money and no self-esteem.

Beth’s best friend Jackie manages to find her a job at a care home. The work is challenging, and, with a string of obstacles being dropped on her, one after another, her life descends into chaos.

There is a flicker of light on the horizon when handsome Ryan Morgan enters her life and offers to dog-sit her beloved dog, Rodney.  But are Beth and Ryan meant to be together? And will they be able to pursue a relationship when she discovers more secrets about those she thought she knew so well?

What do the reviews say?

“Great read which grabs your attention straight away and moves on at good pace.”

“This has everything: love and heartache, humour and friendship, courage and compassion.”

“Diane’s debut novel is a reminder that we have the power to rebuild ourselves even when we feel as though we’ve hit rock bottom.”

More about Diane

Diane Need

I’m a trained Counsellor with a background in education and social care, and I believe my work and personal life has given me insight and understanding into how life issues can impact upon people.

It felt a bit surreal when I’d written “The End.”  I couldn’t quite believe it!  I missed all of the characters, especially Beth, Jackie and Paul – and Rodney the dog, of course!

The novel explores the adage: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  I wanted Beth to work through the chaos and obstacles.  I adored the lolloping dog, and enjoyed booing at the annoying characters. Grab a large glass of wine, and read this book during a weekend, to find out it Beth survives.

You can read my review of this novel.

 

Please see all my extracts at Book Extracts and my blog at jessiecahalin.com.