As you can see, we are now reaching the final leg of the Blog Tour, so why not check out some of the previous tour hosts, where you are sure to find some excellent extracts, interviews and reviews!
‘WHAT HAPPENED TO US?‘
Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego.
Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!
Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side.
With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable…
How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…
She has worked in all sorts of jobs, as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. The constant throughout has been her love of books! She has read and written all of her life.
Faith is now an award-winning and bestselling author, whose books have featured as Book Club Favorites, NetGalley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.
She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband and family.
Keep up with all the latest news at Faith’s website
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As my contribution to this very extensive Blog Tour, Aria Fiction and Faith Hogan, have asked that I share this extract from the book with you!
Staying with Valentina wasn’t the same as being at home. Sure, the sex was great, but her flat was small and then there was the question of the other people who came and went at all hours of the day and night.
Kevin was no longer twenty, even if his girlfriend was – living like a student no longer suited him. Not that it ever had. Back in the day, he chose to stay at home with his mother. Why move into some grotty, germ-infested set, when you could stay in your own bed, with your favourite dinners on the table every night and your chef’s uniform washed and starched to perfection. It just didn’t make sense to move out.
‘Emm, have you thought of moving?’ He was trying to be tactful.
‘Why would I move, I can afford theese place? Eetees the best I can get in Dublin.’ She looked perplexed, as though he was suggesting she might downsize.
‘Well, that was when you came first, but now, well, you’re settled now, not just a student anymore. You have your little job at the restaurant and …’
‘Yeees, and I have a very wealthy boyfriend who might pay my rent, non?’ She raised an eyebrow.
‘Well, we’ll see, I mean, it’s early days, isn’t it?’
‘Eef you are staying here, they will expect you to pay too,’ she said as she brushed out her long dark hair. God, but even when she brushed her hair, she managed to make it look as though it was some sort of erotic foreplay.
‘Right, well, I don’t mind paying my way. I’ll throw fifty in for the electric, will I?’ He pulled a note from his wallet. ‘And here,’ he handed her another fifty, ‘maybe we should treat ourselves to new sheets, so long as we’re here, yeah?’
She looked at him blankly, and for a moment, he thought she may not ever have gone out to buy sheets before. Who knew what they slept on back in the old country.
‘Well, I must be off,’ he kissed the top of her head, lingered for a moment; she really was the best-looking girl he’d ever laid eyes on, never mind actually dated. ‘You take your time coming in tonight. I appreciate all the extra responsibility you took on last night, and I’m sure Carrie will be back to herself this evening.’ Actually, he wasn’t sure. He didn’t want to think how she was feeling, this was a bolt from the blue. But, Carrie was a trooper, she was the strong one, he’d always said it.
‘No problem. I enjoyed eet. You know I love the restaurant as much as you do.’
‘Well, last night you proved that you’re good at it anyway,’Kevin had enjoyed watching her from the safety of the kitchen.
Simo and Reda were having what Kevin presumed was breakfast on the dirty leather couch as he left the flat. He didn’t ask them what they were eating, but it smelled of yesterday’s fish heavily spiced with cayenne, turmeric and garlic.
‘Good morning, lads,’ he said cheerfully, attempting to cover his fear. Valentina had told him they were her cousins. Kevin thought they looked like a different species, never mind actually being related. Still he had a feeling that they were watching him. One wrong move and he’d be put in his place.
‘You call this good?’ Simo said, jabbing his thumb towards the window. ‘They are saying on the news that this month there will be one snowstorm after another.’
‘Your country stopped for the beast from the east last winter; already it looks worse this year.’ Reda spit his words in Kevin’s direction.
‘It’s when July blows in and there’s been no let-up, that’s when we Irish start complaining.’ Kevin said, keeping his smile fastened tight.
‘That is why you let everyone and anyone in to your country, no? You are hoping we will all leave Colombia and you will emigrate there for the good weather.’ He guffawed, and Kevin spotted a long tattoo than ran down his neck, it seemed to slither right across his chest.
Kevin shivered; he was not used to men like Simo and Reda. They came to Ireland to find work, any work. They ended up delivering free newspapers and advertising door to door. They were the kind of men who knew how to take care of themselves; their dark skin bulged with muscles Kevin would never possess. Their eyes moved quickly, their bodies cut lithe sharp movements and when they spoke to each other, they hardly halted for breath. Their English was impressive too. They’d hardly a word between them a few weeks ago and now they said things and Kevin thought he could hear the Liffey in their voices.
‘You ever theenk about getting security at your place, Keveen?’ Reda asked slowly, concentrating on each word.
‘We have security, when we need it,’ Kevin said automatically. ‘Why?’ It just occurred to him, were they going into the business of racketeering?
‘It ees just, we were thinking of starting our own business, something small, something we know more about than …’
‘Oh, I see,’ Kevin said, although he wasn’t sure he did. ‘Well, good for you,’ he said and grabbed his coat. He didn’t want to hear about their business plans. He didn’t want to be part of them and he certainly didn’t want to be backing them financially. ‘Well, must be off,’ he said and his voice sounded a pitch too high for the cheerfulness he was aiming at.
‘Maybe we tell you about it the next time you call …’
‘Of course, of course,’ Kevin said and he fled, carrying his jacket over his arm, even though there was a blizzard blowing through the narrow Dublin backstreets. He had parked his car four streets away, now he cursed under his breath, but better get soaked than have it vandalised or stolen in this dodgy area. Still, Kevin hated this weather, he gripped the railings as he passed by streets, always felt like a ninny, but he hated the notion of the wind catching him off guard. He sighed with relief when eventually he sat into his expensive car.
He wasn’t due at the restaurant for another hour or two and he had no intention of showing up there until he had to. The last thing he wanted was to run into Carrie. He hated fights, hated any sort of confrontation. Carrie didn’t like them either, he was sure of that. She went out of her way to avoid any fuss. Maybe that was the problem; they were in some ways too alike. There was no passion between them anymore. They made great business partners, no doubting that, The Sea Pear was making them a lot of money. And they could continue to work together, why not? Lots of couples did, surely. He could think of lots of couples like …
He leaned his head against the window of his car while he waited for the lights to change at the end of a very long, slow-moving snake of traffic. God, but sometimes Dublin was the pits.
Sonny and Cher? There was a couple he could give as an example. She even went to his funeral, didn’t she? Ike and Tina – he was getting good at this.
He just had to figure out what they needed to do next in the divvying out of their lives together. There was so much to sort out. So much, that he hadn’t even thought of before they broke the news to Carrie. He knew now, maybe he knew it then, but it was all very fast. True, he was in love with Valentina, but maybe he should have thought through how he wanted things to fall, once they declared their love publicly. He hadn’t even told his mother yet. God, he was dreading that, even more than sorting out everything with Carrie.
He took the coward’s route and turned his Mercedes towards Dundrum. His sister Penny worked in one of the smarter men’s shops in the shopping centre there.
‘Penny,’ for once she answered her mobile on the first ring, ‘I need a favour,’ he shouted into the phone, flicking his indicator to take him out of the city centre.
‘I bet you do,’ Penny said. She sounded like she did when he was fourteen and she caught him leaving school early so he wouldn’t have to face up to Bullet Delaney, his biggest tormenter in the school. ‘Mum knows.’
‘What? What does Mum know?’ He could feel his blood pressure drop down through the accelerator.
‘She knows something is up. Carrie never collected her for mass and she’s been ringing her ever since, and not so much as a dickey bird. That’s not like Carrie.’
‘I can’t believe she didn’t collect her.’ He’d seen Carrie’s text, but there hadn’t been a word from his mother, so he convinced himself that may be Carrie had collected her anyway, this one last time, and the text was an attempt at niggling him.
‘So, she’s not down with the bubonic?’ Penny’s voice was calm, no kids in the vicinity. She must be on a break at the shop.
‘Emm, no. She’s not sick, exactly,’ he couldn’t believe that Carrie had let his mother down. Just like that. It was as though she meant nothing to her, and after all these years, really.
‘Well, is she or isn’t she?’
‘Sick, oh, for God’s sake, Kevin, keep up. How’s Carrie?’
‘I’m not sure.’
‘How can you not be sure; don’t you live with the woman?’
‘Well, not exactly, not anymore.’ The words brought a certain reality into the car, one that he wasn’t entirely sure he wanted to face. The world, suddenly, seemed a little scary without Carrie bringing his mother to mass. What else would she renege on?