Today I’m pleased to welcome Kate Hewitt to BrizzleLass Books as part of the blog tour for Meet Me At Willoughby Close. Kate has written a wonderful post on tackling serious issues in a lighthearted book, it’s a great read. There is also a tour-wide giveaway at the end of the post offering the chance to win a copy of the first book in this series A Cotswold Christmas (which I assure you is well worth a read!)
Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…
Ellie Matthews has come to Wychwood-on-Lea to find a new start for her and her daughter Abby. But, life there doesn’t start out as idyllic as she had hoped. While Ellie loves her cute cottage in Willoughby Close, the Yummy Mummies at the primary school seem intent on giving her the cold shoulder, Abby has trouble fitting in, and her boss, Oliver Venables, is both surprisingly sexy and irritatingly inscrutable.
But miracles can happen in the most unexpected places, and in small, yet wonderful ways. Slowly, Ellie and Abby find themselves making friends and experiencing the everyday magic of Willoughby Close. When Oliver’s nephew, Tobias, befriends Abby, the four of them start to feel like family… and Ellie begins to see the kindness and warmth beneath Oliver’s chilly exterior, which awakens both her longing and fear.
Ellie knows all about disappointment, and the pain of trying too hard for nothing, while Oliver has his own hurts and secrets to deal with. When the past comes rollicking back to remind both of them of their weaknesses and failings, will they be able to overcome their fears and find their own happy ending?
Discover the heartwarming magic of Willoughby Close… with four more stories of hope and happily-ever-afters to look forward to.
Serious Issues in a Light-hearted Book
Meet Me at Willoughby Close is meant to be light reading, and I hope it leaves a smile on readers’ faces. But at the same time I’ve never wanted to write something that didn’t deal with deeper or more serious issues in some way. In the case of Meet Me at Willoughby Close, one of the more serious issues is bullying.
I was bullied as a child. I moved to a new, private all-girls’ school when I was seven years old and one girl in particular made my life a complete misery, hitting and pushing me during PE and then enlisting other girls to treat me in the same way, often saying cruel things that I still can recall thirty-five years later. It never ceases to amaze how cruel children can be at such a young age—but also how resilient, to endure teasing and cruelty and keep on going to school and surviving, as I did, and so many others do.
It is estimated that 50% of young people in Britain today are bullied. 19% are bullied every day. Worryingly, 41% of those bullied experience social anxiety and 33% have suicidal thoughts. When I was young I ended up missing a lot of school in order to avoid the situation, faking stomach aches and other ailments to stay home. Eventually I switched schools, and things got better. And sometimes I wonder what happened to that girl who bullied me out of the blue, the new girl who had done nothing to her? What is she like now?
Meet Me at Willoughby Close doesn’t provide answers to bullying, because I don’t think there are any clear ones. Tell a teacher and the situation often gets worse. Don’t tell a teacher and it remains intolerable. How do kids survive? In Abby’s case, in the story, she makes an unexpected and important friend outside of school, who gives her the self-confidence to hold her head high. But to find out who that is you’ll have to read the story… And you can find out what happens to the girl who bullies her, in the second book, Find Me at Willoughby Close!
About Kate Hewitt
Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.
She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.
Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.
Head to Rafflecopter to enter this giveaway to win 1 of 3 Paperback Copies of A Cotswold Christmas (UK ONLY) (tour-wide giveaway)
Book & Buy Links
Title: Meet Me At Willoughby Close
Series: Willoughby Close #2
Author: Kate Hewitt
Genre: Romance | Humour
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Publication Date: 31 January 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo | iBooks