Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Letter – Kitty’s Story, organised by Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources. I’m delighted to welcome Eliza J. Scott. We have a guest post and extract to share, plus a giveaway, but first here’s a little about the book.
Thirty-four-year-old Kitty Bennett is trapped in a loveless marriage to criminal barrister, Dan, who’s gradually isolated her from her family and friends. Until the day she (literally) bumps into her first love, the handsome and easy-going Ollie Cartwright – someone she’s done her best to avoid for as long as she can remember. Looking into Ollie’s eyes awakens feelings for him she thought she’d buried deep years ago, and he clearly feels the spark, too. As she walks away, Kitty can’t help but wonder what might have been…
Dan senses that his marriage is on shaky ground and knows he needs to win his wife round. He turns on the charm, skilfully using their two children, Lucas and Lily, as bargaining tools. But Kitty’s older brother, Jimby, and her childhood best-friends, Molly and Violet, have decided enough is enough. For years they’ve had to watch from afar as Kitty’s been browbeaten into an unrecognisable version of herself. They vow to make her see Dan for what he really is, but their attempts are no match for his finely-honed courtroom skills and, against her better judgement, Kitty agrees to give her husband one last chance. But, all-too-soon, a series of heart-breaking events and a shocking secret throw her life into turmoil…
Will she stand by Dan, or will Kitty be brave enough to take the leap and follow her heart to Ollie?
Life is anything but peaceful in the chocolate-box pretty village of Lytell Stangdale, where life unravels, and hearts are broken. Full of heart-warming moments, this book with have you crying tears of joy, laughter and sadness.
Eliza tells us how she’ll spend her very first publication day
On Friday 29th June my very first book will be sent out into the world! And I have to say, I couldn’t think of a better day of the week for this to happen. I love Fridays; the day that signals the start of the weekend.
My day will begin pretty much as it always does. The alarm will go off between 6–6.30am and my husband will pad his way downstairs and pop the kettle on. I’ll have a mug of boiled water with a slice of lemon – which I’ll drink outside (unless it chucking it down and freezing cold!) while gazing at the view – something I never get tired of looking at. I know I’ll be feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness as the realisation that the day I’ve been working towards for years is finally here sinks in. Yikes! What will people think of my book? I know that my stomach will be doing somersaults the whole day!
When Mr S has gone to work, I’ll have a little peek at twitter to see if any blog posts have gone up by the bloggers very kindly taking part in the blog tour of The Letter – Kitty’s Story.
By 7.45am I’ll have to start nagging at my youngest daughter to be ready to leave for the school run (it’s a lengthy forty–five minutes each way). Of course, she won’t be; she never is, and I’ll end up flying across the moors like a woman possessed to get her to school on time. Publication day will be no different – unless my husband can take her, which is something he’s able to help out with sometimes.
Once I get back home, I’ll pop the kettle on and make one of the many cups of Yorkshire tea that will feature in my day. I’ll fire–up my laptop and sit with my heart in my mouth and await the bloggers who’ve reviewed my book start posting. Oh. My. Days!
I’m a pretty low–key person and don’t like to make a fuss about myself with my family and friends so I won’t be having any wild celebrations. Instead, I’d much rather go to my favourite place for tea and cake, so, hopefully, this will feature in my day at some point. The teashop in question is a gorgeous, homely little tearoom in Rosedale Abbey called Graze on the Green, which serves the most heavenly home–made cakes. The two chaps who run it, Darren and James, are the loveliest people – as are their staff – and it’s, without doubt, the best teashop I’ve ever been to. Honestly, if I lived in Rosedale, I’d end up spending my days in Graze on the Green eating cake and getting nothing done! Actually, I quite like the sound of that!
With the second school run of the day over and done with and my daughter fed, and if Mr S has booked a table at one our two favourite restaurants, then we’ll be heading over Whitby way. We’ll start by having a wander around the little streets in the old part of town, over the bridge, soaking up the atmosphere. Then, we’ll probably pop into one of the pubs for a cocktail, before moving on to the restaurant.
If we decide to stay in, then we’ll probably pick up a Thai takeaway and have a relaxing evening watching a film. Whichever of the two options we choose, Prosecco will definitely feature!
Whatever features in my day, I know I’ll still have to pinch myself to believe that I’ve actually arrived at publication day for The Letter – Kitty’s Story.
Extract from The Letter – Kitty’s Story
Taken from Chapter 25 and joins Kitty, who’s out of the habit of drinking, and has woken up with a stonking hangover…
Kitty looked up, folded her arms on the table and rested her head against them. It was more comfortable than the hard wood which was starting to press into her skull. ‘I feel like I’ve got a pneumatic drill hammering against my forehead and it won’t stop.’
Lucas and Lily looked on concerned. Their mum was hardly ever ill. ‘Are you okay, Mum?’ Lucas wrinkled his freckly nose.
‘Here, this’ll make you feel better. It always helps when you do it to me.’ Lily began rubbing Kitty’s back in huge, exaggerated swirls. ‘Is it working?’ She leaned forward and scraped a handful of curls off her mum’s face.
‘Mmm, yes. I’m feeling loads better.’ She didn’t have the heart to say it was having the opposite effect.
‘She’s fine, kids. Your mum had a couple of glasses of wine last night, and she’s not used to drinking, so she’s suffering for it this morning. But after one of these…’ James placed a glass of fizzing Alka-Seltzer in front of her, ‘…drink that up quick, Kitts…one of my legendary fry-ups and some fresh air, she’ll be right as rain.’
‘Thanks, Jimby.’ It hurt her head to speak much above a whisper. ‘I’ll try anything as long as it works.’ She reached for the glass, which took every ounce of energy she had. And there it was again, that niggle, that fuzzy memory. She hoped she hadn’t said something silly or offended anyone inadvertently last night. Pushing the doubt away, she gulped down the Alka-Seltzer, its bubbles burning the back of her throat.
‘Yay! Well done Mummy. Woohoo!’ Lily punched the air.
James rubbed his hands together. ‘Right, come on kids. Why don’t you watch some Saturday morning telly while I get breakfast ready?’ The suggestion went down well, and the pair ran off into the living room, arguing about what to watch. James fished around in his bag of tricks for his apron. Once found he gave it a quick shake out, grinning to himself as he looped it over his head.
Setting a large cast-iron frying pan on the Aga hotplate, he dropped a fat dollop of butter into it, whistling as he set to work.
In no time the kitchen was filled with the sounds and scrumptious smells of James’s “full Yorkshire”. Humphrey and Ethel watched on appreciatively as he pricked the plump, locally made pork sausages, and cracked open eggs with sunny yellow yolks, courtesy of his own free-range hens.
Food being one of Humph’s great passions in life, he watched James intently. And before long, gloopy ribbons of drool hung from his jowls like a pair of swaying fangs. ‘Not ready for the Ritz yet, are you Humph?’ James padded to the sink.
The dryness in Kitty’s mouth finally got the better of her, and she mustered all available strength to raise her head and take a slug of tea. ‘Mmm. S’good,’ she murmured.
Up until that point Humph had been watching the food preparation so closely he hadn’t noticed Kitty’s presence in the kitchen. When she’d come downstairs, he’d been in a deep, comatose sleep and awoke when the smell of butter, sizzling in the pan, tickled his nostrils. There was only one thing that could distract him from his stomach, and that was his mum. He heaved his ancient bones off the floor and waddled over to her. With every step, the thick columns of drool — now so long they were just millimetres from touching the floor — swayed back and forth, eventually sticking together in one thick length of slime. Reaching Kitty, he pushed his square head onto her lap, his wagging tail thudding against the leg of the table.
‘Hiya, handsome.’ She smiled into the pair of rheumy eyes that gazed up at her adoringly. She hadn’t noticed Humph’s Pavlovian offerings but, as she fondled his ears, she could feel the warm saliva seeping into the fabric of her pyjamas. ‘Oh, Humph. You gozzy old boy,’ she groaned. But her words only served as encouragement, and he nudged her hand with his nose, hinting for the stroking to continue. Despite her pounding head, she didn’t have the heart to push him away. ‘Oh well, it’s too late to worry about it now that you’ve wiped all of that drool on my jammies. How come Uncle Jimby isn’t treated to any of this?’
‘Uncle Jimby is in the process of creating a culinary masterpiece, that’s why.’ James grinned, wiping his hands on a tea towel before throwing it across his shoulder. ‘And, more importantly, I’m not you. Fancy a top-up?’ He nodded to her mug.
Kitty glanced up at her brother, an expression of horror spread across her face that quickly morphed into one of confusion. What on earth was he doing wearing ladies’ underwear? She blinked quickly before the power of speech returned. ‘Jimby, what…erm…why? Oh, my God.’ Realisation dawned. ‘Ooh, that looks so realistic.’ Her brother was sporting an apron with a life-sized photo of a scantily-clad woman’s body printed on it, proportioned in such a way it created the optical illusion that the wearer was sporting risqué, lacey underwear complete with suspenders. ‘For a split-second, I was almost very jealous of your figure,’ she said with a giggle.
‘Birthday present from Oll. And if you think this is bad, you should see the mug he bought me.’
She grimaced and raised her palms to him. ‘Spare me the details.’ The mention of Ollie’s name triggered a prickle of concern and a hazy collection of images from the previous evening eased their way into her mind. She tried to grab at them as they swirled around her mind, but they remained elusive.
To enter the Giveaway with a chance to win a PB copy of The letter – Kitty’s Story, Chocolate and Neom Hand Cream (Open Internationally) please click the Rafflecopter link
I live in a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with my husband, two daughters and two black Labradors. When I’m not writing, I can usually be found with my nose in a book/glued to my Kindle, or in my garden. I also enjoy bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off with a visit to a teashop where I can indulge in another two of my favourite things: tea and cake.