#BlogTour: Just One Life by Pat Abercromby @Authoright #GuestPost

I’m so pleased to welcome Pat Abercromby to my blog today, she has written a post about writing a book from a carers point of view. Check out more about the book below along with this wonderful guest post.

Description

When you realise you have just one life left to live, how do you make peace with the mistakes of your past?

Fran should be looking back on her life with pride. She’s risen to the top of the job ladder, having left behind a council housing estate in post-war Glasgow, to forge a colourful, fulfilling career and enjoy all the trappings of success.

But instead, Fran is consumed by regret. A shocking revelation has cast her life, and her thirty-year marriage, asunder. She finds herself the full-time carer for her husband, a man she now accepts, she has never loved. The sacrifices she has made, the personal freedoms she has lost, have left Fran crushed. Her free-spirited friend Iona is her one salvation. Their friendship has survived the storms of conflict and loss since childhood, their deep affection for one another the only constant remaining in Fran’s life, a life she no longer recognises as her own.

Her husband’s new brush with death will give Fran the chance to reflect on what she has left, the choices she has made and the two men she has loved and lost.

Can Fran find a way through the ruins of her marriage and find inner peace, to make the most of what remains of her life’s journey?

Just One Life - Tour Banner

Guest Post

Writing a book from a carer’s point of view.

The statistics for unpaid carers looking after a family member are staggering. One in eight adults are carers, and the total number of carers of all ages currently stands at seven million people. Every day, another 6000 people take on a caring responsibility which equals over two million people each year. 58% of carers are women and 42% are men At least 1.5 million carers are looking after someone with long term mental health issues like dementia. 50,000 of carers looking after someone with mental health issues are children or young adults.

Before I became a carer myself, I was vaguely aware of these numbers but like most things in life, until you are affected by the experience yourself, it is easier not to think about it too much. My husband had a serious stroke in 2007 which left him almost blind, unable to walk and needing a wheelchair and a year later suffering from epileptic seizures which have resulted in vascular dementia. His life changed in a heartbeat, but so did mine. Almost overnight I had to give up my career to become his full-time carer. It was a while before I could accept that this was a forever change and that he was never going to get better. Through joining a stroke club and a carer’s support group I met many other carers ( most of them women) and came to realise that many shared the same frustrations, limitations and loss of identity that I was experiencing. Caring for someone, particularly someone with physical and mental health issues is an all-consuming 24/7 task. There is simply no time to be, or even remember the person you once were.

I was luckier than most because my husband was a Mason and they paid for him to go into respite care for four weeks of every year which gave me the opportunity to have a decent break. But I needed those breaks throughout the year just to catch up on sleep and relax a bit. It was only after he had to go into full-time residential nursing care two years ago, that I had the head space to consider writing Just One Life. It bothered me how many carers are unsupported and not acknowledged for the sacrifices they have had to make to look after their partner or family member.

Because I am a carer and have experienced many of the frustrations my main character Fran goes through, trying to meet the needs of someone whose core personality is reduced to that of a needy and tiresome child, I think I was able to bring some honest dialogue between them into the story. Carers often feel guilty because sometimes they completely hate the cared for person for being so utterly dependent and then torture themselves with feelings of pity and helplessness for the shocking quality of life that once healthy person now has. That is just the way it is, we can only do our best. Another thread in the story is about friendship. Carers more than anybody need friends to talk to, someone who understands their frustrations and does not judge. Preferably someone with a sense of humour!

This story, Just One Life, is dedicated to all carers and to friendship.

About Pat Abercromby

Living in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Pat Abercromby has enjoyed a varied career – from recruitment consultant to journalist in Saudi Arabia and massage therapist – eventually setting up a training school for Seated Acupressure Massage. Today she continues to work within the field of corporate wellness with her business partner Davina Thomson with their joint company Wellbeing Direct. She also co-wrote and published Seated Acupressure Massage with Davina Thomson in 2000. In her spare time, Pat enjoys being an active member of her local creative writing group, classical music and the outdoors.

Book & Buy Links

TitleJust One Life
Series: N/A
Author: Pat Abercromby
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: 27 April 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Pages: 224
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | FoylesBook Depository | SpeedyHen

#BlogTour: The Frog Theory by Fiona Mordaunt @Authoright #GuestPost

Today I’m pleased to welcome Fiona Mordaunt to BrizzleLass Books as part of the blog tour for The Frog Theory, she has written a character spotlight on Clea, one of her main characters from this novel to give you a taste of what to expect when you pick The Frog Theory up, so dive in and check it out.

Description

Tragedy and comedy in perfect proportion.

Kim and Flow are the best of friends, living on a council estate, making money selling drugs.

Just around the corner in a smarter part of Fulham is Clea, a well-heeled young woman coping with a violent home life at the hands of her twisted step-father.

The Principal runs a famous college for problem teens. Fostering guilty secrets which distance her from her own children, she resists the advances of a man she sees on the train every day.

When Kim and Clea meet by chance, Kim is smitten but worried about her. Using the anecdote of the frog theory – that it will jump straight out of boiling water and live, but stay in and die if heated slowly from cold – he wakes her up to the dangerous situation she’s in at home.

Serendipity and a cake-fuelled food fight that goes viral will bring Kim, Clea, Flow and The Principal together in weird and wonderful ways in this frenetic, laugh-out-loud story about love, conscience and lion-hearted nerve.

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Guest Post

Character Spotlight on Clea

All of my main characters are slightly exaggerated – real life super heroes, if you like, intended to inspire, entertain and comfort.

I believe that we have seeds of potential within us all which bloom in certain ways, at certain times, depending on the conditions we are exposed to and the cues in life that we choose to react to.

Clea

Initially, when we meet Clea, she is known by her nickname, Clate, a name imposed on her by Hugo, her stepfather. This is one of the subtle ways in which he keeps her down. He does not feel fatherly towards her and struggles to fight his true emotions, which are sexual, but present themselves as violent. Hugo wants to be in love with his wife and to be a father to Clea and he hates himself because it is not so. He has no one to turn to – everyone is their own best spin doctor – and it is no different for him. He tells himself that the violence is for her own good and is not aware of the base emotions he is constantly keeping at bay within himself; he cannot face up to them nor understand them.

Clea is perhaps a me I longed to be as a younger woman. She is so agile, and I can’t even touch my toes! I remember trying to do various stretches and dance moves as a kid and no matter how much I practised, I could not grab my ankle with my hand and straighten my leg out. Her character is carefully built up, physically and mentally, as a heroine who triumphs. Her mental strength is in learning to trust her instincts in order to walk her path with confidence.

We meet her best friend, Sarah, early in the novel. ‘Sometimes she thought Sarah actually enjoyed hearing the grief Hugo put her through’, and right from the beginning we can see that Sarah’s main objective is finding a dream boyfriend – perfectly normal for many young girls her age, though using Clea the way she does to achieve it is, perhaps, a little mean. ‘You’re always grounded, I’ve thought of a way around that. You can’t spend your whole life cooped up in your bedroom.’ However, she is right about this and is the unwitting catalyst that leads Clea to the party where she meets Kim.

Kim has plenty of emotional intelligence, he has seen it all and immediately correctly interprets Clea’s situation with Hugo: that he fancies her. ‘She let his words sink in. It made sense of all the times she’d felt the need to cover herself…’ Clea cannot understand why she has let things get so bad. Kim tells her the anecdote of The Frog Theory, that is will stay in cold water if it is heated up gently until it dies, in order to help her be kind to herself and to give her confidence.

It is Kim’s influence, and the unexpected kindness she finds in a solicitor who gives her news of an inheritance from her biological father, that ignite her desire to change.

She chooses to listen to the solicitor, trusting her instinct for the first time. ‘…he took Clate’s hand in his own and imagined that she was one of his daughters. It was different from how she felt with Hugo because the solicitor’s touch didn’t give her the creeps. His contact was strong, caring and wise…’

She seizes the opportunity to react to this person who evokes feelings of such hope. She is ready to leap. She drops the awful nickname and becomes Clea: ‘she shed a skin that day.’

It is not until she reconnects with Kim that she revisits her past. ‘This unexpected telescope… put her on edge.’ It is not only cerebral memories that return but an emotional experience, too, which she finds she cannot control or contain, but she does know that she will not welcome it, so she attacks what seems to be causing it – Kim. Her nature is not violent, so she takes the next best option and attacks him with strawberry gateau. It works. It stops the memories and gives her a sense of protecting herself but it has led her into a new and unwelcome situation – she is stuck on a bus covered in pudding!

Her instinct keeps drawing her back to Kim and when she finds him with the Principal, all she can think of is that she must help this woman. She discovers a new ability that she is not ready for, she rejects it but not before it has done some good. She is well on the way to being whole.

About Fiona Mordaunt

fiona-mordaunt-author-image

After attending school for model-making, Mordaunt started Image Casting in 1998, specialising in customised body castings. Over the course of 13 years, she worked on such films as Atonement and The Wildest Dream, as well as for personal clients like Lionel Richie. In 2012, she relocated to Botswana with her husband and daughter where she currently resides.

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Book & Buy Links

TitleThe Frog Theory
Series: N/A
Author: Fiona Mordaunt
Genre: Drama | Fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: 14 February 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook
Pages: 276
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon USiBooks

12 Days of Clink St: Peanuts & Egg Cups by Sara Mendes da Costa @BTSpeakingClock @Authoright

I’m so pleased to be taking part in the 12 Days of Clink St, this is my second post in the christmas event, and this one is for Sara Mendes da Costa’s feel good rom com Peanuts & Egg Cups which I’ve reviewed.

Description:
For Maggie Parsons there’s only ever been one man: the stunningly delicious Luke Henderson. Unfortunately, he left her, without explanation, after their ‘first night’ together …breaking her heart in the process.

Now ten years on, without any contact, he’s back and going to her school reunion. Great! And, to confuse matters…so is his suave, sexy, brother Tony who makes a major play for Maggie, then turns up with his insufferable – supposedly ex – fiancée!

Continue reading 12 Days of Clink St: Peanuts & Egg Cups by Sara Mendes da Costa @BTSpeakingClock @Authoright

12 Days of Clink St: Sphere’s Divide by J.C. Norman @spheresdivide @Authoright

I’m so pleased to be taking part in the 12 Days of Clink St, this is my first of two posts in the christmas event, this one for J.C. Norman’s Sphere’s Divide. Below is a christmas story which also doubles as a sneaky snippet from a forthcoming novel which has yet to be given a release date and title so do enjoy! As always details to purchase the current novel are at the end of the post.

Description:
Sphere’s Divide is a dark, matured and thrilling romance told in the narrative of a physical and emotional journey designed to push the boundaries of love and morals. When Leo Raiden discovers the secluded site of a skyship crash on the outskirts of his island he finds a seemingly, single survivor. A new and devastating global disaster threatens Sphere. Raiden, the enigmatic Val and a Caster named Zahied are set upon a mission to a distant land, seeking only information of ancient human knowledge and technologies to protect Sphere from the threat that sits outside its atmosphere.

Continue reading 12 Days of Clink St: Sphere’s Divide by J.C. Norman @spheresdivide @Authoright

Blog Tour: Guest Post: Errors of Evaluation by Paola Pica

Welcome to my stop on the Errors of Evaluation Blog Tour written by Paola Pica and hosted by Authoright. I’m very pleased to be taking part and hope you enjoy my guest post from the author.

Description:
Francesca’s presence pervades the lives of those she meets. She leaves an indelible mark, the true nature of her personality revealed through other people’s encounters with her. Her boldness as a spoilt child. Her temporary (and just) suffering as the victim of a shrink – an ambiguous and even more unscrupulous person than her in grasping anything graspable. And the more than explicit revelation of her blind ego centrism, because of which she ignores the one person who has tried tirelessly to help her.

Continue reading Blog Tour: Guest Post: Errors of Evaluation by Paola Pica