Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer Blog Tour

When I was asked to join the blog tour for Carol Wyer's latest novel Suddenly Single I had to admit I'd never read one of her books before so after saying yes, I had a little look into her and was surprised to find out that not only did she write what I'd say are feel-good books, she also writes some gripping thrillers. 

suddenly-single-carol-wyer

Suddenly Single comes under the 'Feel-good' category and after finishing the story in what I would say is a record time, I can confirm that you will end this novel with a smile on your face.

When bestselling romance author Chloe Piper’s marriage implodes a week before Christmas, she flees her cheating ex and the village gossips for the solitude of the newly built Sunny Meadow Farm and the company of her hapless dog, Ronnie.

But Chloe is soon pushed out of her comfort zone. Because with a lively development building crew – headed up by charming Alex – and a larger-than-life neighbour determined to make Chloe’s love life her pet project, Chloe finds herself in a whole new world of chaos…

Review 

Chloe, who is a top selling author, finds herself thrown back into single life when she finds out her husband has been cheating on her. If that wasn't bad enough, Christmas is just around the corner, bad timing sounds like an understatement.

After moving to Sunny Meadow Farm, she becomes somewhat determined to settle into her newly found solitude, needing a moment to adjust, not only to her new surroundings but also working out how to live with a social anxiety disorder without her husband there to shelter her from the world around her.

Life isn't that simple but it's time for Chloe to face her fears.

We are introduced to a brilliant cast of characters including her hilarious and I guess you could say confident neighbours who want Chloe to join their new singles business, The Singleton Club. And then there's Alex, the other neighbour. Not only is he good looking, charming and helpful, he also happens to be single too.

What ensues is not your typical romance.

As Chloe tries to navigate her way back to some sort of normality, attempting to write her next novel, she is also discovering that love has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.

Suddenly Single is simple yet entertaining. The humour within really helps you to connect with Chloe and her friends, it feels like you're laughing with them instead of at them.

This novel is a great take on the happenings of divorce and the idea of starting to date again when suddenly left single.

There were moments of laughter and moments of reflection. Over all this is a well rounded tale that makes for an easy but enjoyable read.

Keep reading to enjoy an excerpt of Suddenly Single.

Excerpt

        The gravel crunched satisfyingly under her boots, like small pebbles on a beach. She made her way across the courtyard to the far side of the development where Eleanor lived, guided only by the light of her mobile. A wind had got up since her walk with Ronnie and she was glad of the jumper and coat she’d put on. Coloured fairy lights swung from the small tree in the front garden, and Eleanor had left an outside light on, its warm orange glow lighting up the front door and pathway. Somebody had hung a sign, No Riff Raff, on the porch door. She rang the bell. As much as she hadn’t wanted to come over for drinks, it was necessary. She was going to be living near these people and ought to be sociable. A drink wouldn’t hurt. The walk by the reservoir had taken more time than she’d anticipated and then she’d had a call from an exhausted Faith who’d chatted for almost an hour, leaving her little time to get ready. She’d slicked on some lipstick, a pair of clean jeans and her favourite red jumper. Red always made her feel safe, strong even. She breathed in, long deep breaths and focused on a special place in her mind to calm her heartbeat – her parental home.

Muffled chimes rang out in the house. The wind gusted around her ankles and chilled her legs; however, it was anxiety not cold that made her shiver. A lifetime ago she’d been brought up in rough winters on the island of Skye. The cold didn’t usually have much of an effect on her. All of a sudden, a light came on in the hall and a face, a round cheerful face with sandy hair and matching eyebrows and brown button eyes, appeared.
‘Come in,’ he boomed. ‘I’m Fairfax. Great to meet you.’
The voice was sonorous and pleasant and, accompanied by the broad smile, put her at ease.
She shuffled into the entrance and offered up the bottle of wine.
‘You shouldn’t have,’ he said, taking it from her and waving his other arm like an enthusiastic conductor. ‘Come in. Don’t stay in the cold.’
‘Seriously, you shouldn’t have,’ chorused Eleanor, appearing from nowhere and sweeping Chloe into her arms like a long-lost friend. She’d put her hair up in a high ponytail so it now seemed as if she had an exploding firework or a bright blue sparkler on her head. Chloe decided it suited her effervescent personality. ‘Fairfax went to Costco and has bought enough booze to open his own pub.’
He grinned amiably, revealing a slight gap in his front teeth. ‘It’s the festive season. I had to ensure we had enough for entertaining the troops.’
‘We do have quite a lot of guests coming over Christmas and the New Year,’ she agreed, ushering Chloe into a living room that was not dissimilar in size to her own but resembled a room in a small chateau or palace, furnished as it was with antique furniture, striped chairs with wooden armrests and claw feet, glass-fronted ornate cabinets housing porcelain vases and dishes, dark wooden tables bearing knick-knacks, and on the walls a mixture of paintings, some large and in heavy gilt frames, others in oval frames made of black onyx – a collection of portraits and of men and women.
‘Fairfax used to be an antiques dealer,’ said Eleanor, seeing Chloe’s eyes open wide at the sight of a bronze sculptured boar on a round table. ‘That’s an Italian sculpture.’
‘An Uffizi boar or “Il Porcellino”,’ said Fairfax. ‘Can I take your coat?’
‘See, to me that’s just a scruffy bronze sculpture of a pig, but to Fairfax it’s an Ufizz-y.’
‘Uffizi,’ he repeated with an Italian accent, making it sound as if there was a ‘t’ before the ‘z’. ‘It’s the famous art gallery in Florence and Mr Porky is certainly not scruffy. But I shan’t bore you about it.’ He waited for the pun to sink in. Eleanor rolled her eyes. Chloe smiled politely and he bowed taking her coat with him.
‘He’s always doing that. Cracks me up,’ said Eleanor. ‘Where’s your handsome mutt?’
‘I didn’t think it appropriate to bring him over.’
‘He’s always welcome. I love dogs. Bring him with you next time.’
Chloe warmed to the woman with her crazy hair and open face. She took a chair near the roaring fire. ‘You didn’t opt for a log burner?’
‘It didn’t fit in with all the furniture. The open fire works better. It’s a bugger to clean out each day, though. I’ve delegated that job to Fairfax. Now, what do you want to drink. We literally have everything.’
‘Wine’s lovely. White if you have any?’
‘Oh, we have.’
Fairfax reappeared and Eleanor left them to chat. ‘So, where’ve you come from?’ he asked.
‘Appletree. It’s a tiny village the other side of Lichfield.’
‘But that’s not where you’re from. I detect an accent. A slight Scottish one, if I’m not mistaken.’
Chloe was surprised. ‘You can? I’ve lived around the Midlands for over twenty years. I thought I’d lost it.’
‘It’s still there.’ He sat back. ‘I have an ear for accents. I used to practise mimicking them when I was a kid. It was my party piece.’
‘He’s always been a joker,’ said Eleanor, coming back into the room with two glasses of wine in her hands. She passed one to Chloe, the other to Fairfax, before departing again.
Fairfax explained. ‘I was the smallest, ugliest kid in school. I had to come up with something to fit in, so I took to impersonations. I could do passable ones of most of our teachers. My mates loved them. I was so good at impersonating our English teacher, a Canadian, the headmaster overheard me one day and actually thought I was him.’
‘You still do them?’
He grinned wickedly. ‘I most certainly do, Miss Moneypenny,’ he replied, emulating Sean Connery and raising his glass. He changed to Humphrey Bogart. ‘Here’s looking at you kid.’
‘Oh, not already,’ said Eleanor. ‘He’s only known you ten seconds and he’s launched into his voices.’
‘I literally have no idea what you are saying to me,’ he replied, Donald Trump to a tee. ‘I have tremendous respect for women though. I want to tell you.’
Both women laughed.
‘Here’s to us all and happy days here at Sunny Meadow,’ said Eleanor.
‘Amen to that,’ Fairfax replied, still in Trump’s voice.
‘We lived close to the centre of Derby before coming here. Great for work but we needed some space. We both craved green fields and countryside and to get away from town life. We heard about this development, came up to see it and kaboom! we fell in love with it,’ said Fairfax.
‘That’s pretty much the same for me. I wanted a place away from it all and as soon as I drove over the reservoir, I knew I had to move here,’ said Chloe.
‘Didn’t fancy returning to Scotland?’
Chloe shook her head. It held too many memories of her family. It wasn’t a place she wanted to revisit. She was best moving forward. ‘I’m settled in this area. I just need a change. I’ve recently split from my husband.’ The words spilled out of her mouth at speed. Best to get it over with. People would be curious as to why she was living alone. There was no shame in admitting to the failure of her marriage, although saying it made it seem even more real.
‘Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,’ said Eleanor. ‘Honestly. We both understand how it feels. We’ve been through divorces too.’
Fairfax nodded. ‘It’s a tough gig but you’ll pull through. Give yourself a chance to breathe, take it all in and then allow yourself to move on.’
His words were sincere, as were his eyes fully focused on her. For a crazy moment she felt as if she’d known this couple for a long time. The wine was smooth and cool and the light flavour of peaches burst on her tongue as she took a small sip.
‘Thank you,’ she said, not knowing what else to offer. She was saved by the phone and Fairfax beetled off to answer it. He was only a few minutes, during which Eleanor spoke animatedly about the new house. Fairfax returned, a smile on his face.
‘It was your dad, something about picking up a costume for a fancy-dress party next weekend.’
‘Oh yes, it’s a Seventies-pop-star-themed party. They’re going as members of ABBA. Dad wants to go as Agnetha. I said I’d collect their costumes for them.’
Fairfax laughed. ‘That sounds just like him. You know, Chloe, he’s just turned seventy and recently bought a Harley Davidson. He plans on taking Eleanor’s mum on Route 66.’
‘Really?’ Chloe was astounded.
‘He’s always been adventurous,’ said Eleanor proudly.
‘I think you inherited your wild streak from Tug.’ He looked across at Chloe. ‘Ask her how we met?’
Chloe was intrigued. ‘Go on.’
Eleanor took a sip of her wine, swallowed then giggled. ‘I was his skydiving instructor. He was doing a skydive for charity and bricking it. It was a tandem dive so he was strapped to me. I almost had to chuck him out of the plane he was that scared, but it was a great dive and as soon as we landed, he was so elated to have done it and stayed alive, he asked me out.’
Fairfax gave another smile that lit his eyes. ‘True story,’ he said, amused by Chloe’s open-mouthed expression.
The fire popped and snapped gleefully in the grate, tiny explosions as flames, a kaleidoscope of magenta, yellow ochre and paprika, rose and shimmied like exotic dancers with arms outstretched upwards. The room was filled with the scents of a pine forest warmed by the sun, and as she relaxed into the chair Chloe felt something she hadn’t experienced in a long while – a feeling of belonging.

Now take the time to join in the rest of the blog tour for more reviews, excerpts and author interviews.

suddenly-single-blog-tour

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