Today on my blog I have an extract from the book Pictures in the Sky by Amanda Paull. This certainly sounds like a fantastic read and has been added to my TBR pile!
She gave up on romance years ago. He’s going through the motions. Their lives change forever when he makes contact out of the blue.
With her daughter leaving the nest, Michelle Cameron would rather spend her time with good friends, a glass of fizzy and a box set, than with another idiot bloke chipping away at her self-esteem. But when childhood friend Daniel Helmsley gets back in touch, the years roll away on a tide of laughter and friendship, which soon gives way to another roller coaster of love, excitement and panic. Can Michelle let herself trust again? What if Dan is just another idiot bloke, disillusioned with the present and nostalgic for the past?
If you like cosy romance that makes you laugh as well as cry, then you’ll love this feel-good tale of past disappointment, renewed friendship and finding true love.
Download Amanda Paull’s Pictures in the Sky today to discover if Michelle dares to love again.
‘Your lively style and humour are exactly right for this genre.’ Susan Davis.
Amanda Paull is a writer of humorous romantic fiction. She lives in the North East of England with her husband and works in the public sector. The inspiration for her stories comes from real life, which she tries to show the funnier side of by embellishing to the hilt.
Social Media Links
Amanda’s Website: http://www.amandapaull.co.uk
I almost cut this scene from my novel Pictures in the Sky because I need to trim it down. However, I couldn’t because I love it. Although the novel is fictional, suffice it to say that my parents have a static caravan, and I hate confined spaces…
Michelle Cameron is doing her best to balance single parenthood, a stressful job and… a date… She’s a bit of a stress-head, and I loved heaping further stress on her – to induce the type of angst my family does in me. Although I have always been very open and transparent about my intense aversion to caravan entrapment, my mother continues to try to sneakily coerce me, via the manipulation of my poor unassuming husband, to go and stay in her caravan. As I write this, I am giggling but my stomach is churning…
Michelle had just lathered her hair when the landline telephone rang. She ignored it, and the ringing stopped, then started again. What if someone had tried to urgently contact her on her mobile, still at the bottom of her work bag, and was now desperately trying to get through to her on the landline? Worst-case scenarios flashed through her head. She imagined herself at the graveside of a loved one, unable to forgive herself for ignoring their last, wretched attempts to get help. She could also hear Judy’s voice in her head telling her to get a grip and stop over-reacting. The ringing stopped, then started. Damn it.
Her mother. Michelle stood in her bath towel dripping soapy water onto the lounge carpet. Her mother was the only person, apart from cold callers, and her father, who rang the landline. She did have her mobile number but couldn’t seem to differentiate between them. She was forever sending texts to the landline, then taking offence at the lack of a reply.
‘Where have you been? I’ve been ringing and ringing.’
‘At work, travelling, running, and then in the shower for the last five minutes,’ Michelle answered, shampoo stinging her eyes.
‘No need to be facetious, Michelle. I’ve been on the go all day.’
‘Is everything alright?’
‘No, it isn’t.’
‘Oh God, I knew it, what’s happened?’ Michelle could feel the blood bounding around her body.
This is how it always started, no warning and then some awful, earth-shattering news. Like the time she walked into the kitchen to put an empty cup in the sink after finishing her homework. ‘Did I tell you your dad’s leaving?’ her mother had said. Nothing was ever done or said with malicious intent, but the situation was always the same: devastating. It had become normal to expect the worst.
‘Ooh, don’t take the Lord’s name in vain,’ said Audrey. ‘I can’t get into my iPad. It wanted a passcode number. Michelle, it’s mine, how can they lock me out?’
‘Mam,’ Michelle said, trying to wipe her eyes with wet hands, ‘I thought it must be an emergency the way the phone was ringing off its hook. You got me out of the shower.’ Despite the lack of a disaster, she was shaking.
Audrey responded in a slow, terse tone. ‘It is an emergency, Michelle. I will lose my position on the Scrabble leader board. He wanted the passcode number.’
‘Oh, bloody Hell, have you given your details to someone over the phone again?’
‘No, don’t be silly, it was the iPad man. He sent me the message when I switched it on.’
Michelle closed her eyes and exhaled slowly. ‘There’s no man. It’s computerised. Our Gary sent you an email with all your passwords the last time. He wrote a list too and you put it somewhere safe, remember?’
‘I can’t get into my emails…’
‘Just use Tom’s iPad.’
‘Tom –’ shouted Audrey. Michelle could hear a muffled voice in the background. ‘What? Oh no. Yours as well?’
‘Look, can I call you lat–’
‘He’s locked out too. Tom, where will the list be? Tom –’
‘Don’t shout, you’re hurting my ears. You must’ve had an update or something. Mam, I really don’t have time –’
‘I’ve tried all of the numbers I can think of, and words – Trevor19.’
‘Well if it’s asking for a number, that won’t work.’ Michelle was surprised Trevor19 wasn’t the original passcode. Trevor19 had been the magic key to everything ever since they got their little toy poodle – a distant relative of his predecessor, Henry. A thief could have a field day if he cracked that one.
‘Isn’t that strange, Michelle, that they should both be locked at the same time?’
‘They’re all linked to the same account,’ Michelle said, her tone rising. ‘And the whole thing will be locked, because it looks like a damned burglar has done off with your stuff.’
‘Don’t swear, Michelle,’ Audrey said, through gritted teeth. ‘He asked for a number. I had to try.’
Panic rose from the pit of Michelle’s stomach. Dan was due soon. Not only was the house untidy, she looked an absolute mess.
‘Mam, you must have had an update or downloaded a bloody virus. Why haven’t you asked Gary? He’s an IT manager for goodness sake. I really have to go now –’
‘Gary told me to go to the shop to get them unlocked. Cynthia’s son wouldn’t say that, he does all sorts for her and Maurice. And now you won’t help either.’
‘I’m not bloody psychic.’
‘And, Michelle, you never come up to the caravan, Cynthia will be thinking I’ve lied about having two children. Other people’s children come up to the caravan.’
Michelle, now hopelessly trapped in the phone call, ran upstairs and started to rummage through the wardrobe for her good jeans. She placed the handset on loudspeaker on the dressing table. Damn, they needed ironing. She tried to flatten them into shape with her hands.
‘I have to go, Mam,’ she shouted over at the phone. ‘I’ll text Gary for you. And you know I hate caravans. Sorry, I have to –’
‘It’s a lovely caravan. We have a big veranda. Trevor loves it up there. You would like it.’
‘No, I wouldn’t.’ What she would really like to do was lob the handset through the window. Where the hell was her red thong? She emptied the contents of the drawer onto the floor, frantically digging through the mound of tangled underwear she had been meaning to sort out for months.
‘How rude. Michelle, what about the pass –’
Michele grabbed the phone. ‘Bye, you’re breaking up…’
Bloody, bloody Hell. She hammered out a misspelt text to Gary. She felt like she was in one of her recurring nightmares – the one where the murderer was chasing her with a pack of rabid dogs and, as she ran away, on the spot, she tried to call the police on her mobile phone which had turned into a cucumber.
Please do go along to the other blogs that will be contributing towards this blog tour. They are all listed below