I am so so excited with today's (and tomorrow's!) guest on my blog. This lady (and tomorrow's!) has been a big part of my life for the past couple of years and her (and tomorrow's guest!) debut novel was one of the first that I ever published with Lakewater Press. And today, well, today we're celebrating again because book number 2, the sequel to the debut, is launched too! I am delighted to introduce you to the wonderful Sue Featherstone!
Sue Featherstone is a former journalist and public relations practitioner turned academic.
Her career started in local newspapers before switching to PR to become internal communications manager with a large utility company.
She completed a degree in English Literature as a mature student and subsequently moved into higher education, teaching journalism to undergraduate students at Sheffield Hallam University.
At the beginning of 2017, Sue left Sheffield Hallam to focus on her writing.
Together with her friend and writing partner Susan Pape, she has written two successful journalism text books - Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction; and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction.
Their first novel, A Falling Friend, was published by Lakewater Press in 2016 and a sequel A Forsaken Friend is published on March 21, 2018. The final book in their Friends trilogy will follow next year.
They now write about books at https://bookloversbooklist.com/
Sue is on twitter @SueF_Writer
No-one said friendship was easy.
Things can’t get much worse for Teri Meyer. If losing her job at the university and the regular allowance from her dad’s factory isn’t bad enough, now her ex-best friend has gone and stolen her ex-husband! Well, to hell with them all. A few weeks in the countryside at her brother’s smallholding should do the trick – and the gorgeous and god-like neighbour might help.
But then there’s Declan, not to mention Duck’s Arse back in Yorkshire…
It’s not as if Lee Harper set out to fall in love with her best friend’s ex-husband. But, for once, her love life is looking up – except for all the elephants in the room, not to mention Mammy’s opinion on her dating a twice-divorced man. Perhaps things aren’t as rosy as she first thought. And now with one family crisis after another, Lee’s juggling more roles – and emotions – than she ever imagined.
Maybe sharing her life with a man wasn’t such a grand idea.
The FRIENDS trilogy continues in this heart-warming and hilarious hoot as two best friends navigate men, careers, family and rock bottom in this brilliant sequel to A FALLING FRIEND.
A Forsaken Friend is available to buy on Amazon: myBook.to/AForsakenFriend
A Falling Friend is available to buy on Amazon: myBook.to/FallingFriend
I’ve seen a fair number of naked men, and had my share of lovers. More recently, I’ve been spoiled. Declan O’Brien – that bastard – had what I can only describe as the leanest, tautest, most ripped body of any of them. His chest was so tight I could beat out a drum on those pectoral muscles. He had slim hips and a perfectly formed bum, which appeared clenched even when relaxed. He claimed never to exercise, always too busy at the Evening Leader newspaper where he worked; but frankly, what he was busy doing was juggling a wife and kids plus laying an assortment of lovers – sadly, me included.
My ex-husband Dan Caine was a suave TV presenter who prided himself on his lightly tanned, good-looking face and a body that would eventually succumb to midlife spread, but not while I was in charge.
But Duck’s Arse? No, he certainly wasn’t the type of man I’d usually go for.
Duck’s Arse – or, now that we’re more intimately acquainted, I should call him Richard Walker – had chubby cheeks and rounded, pink lips and overall he was definitely the worse for bodily wear. As he removed his crisp light-blue shirt, it was as if his upper body had been released and his belly sagged gently in the open air.
I’ve nothing against plump men, it’s just that I’ve never bedded one before, and judging by the man-boobs being proffered, I wasn’t sure I wanted to start.
A fold of flesh hung over the belt of his trousers, and I wondered if it wasn’t too late to back out of this. Whatever this was.
The Best & Worst of Sue
Best Book: That’s an impossible question – like asking who’s my favourite daughter? So, instead of one best book I’m going to nominate three I regularly recommend to other readers. The first is Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie, followed by God’s Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousemane and, finally, Mama Day by Gloria Naylor. All very different reads but all brilliant. Oh, and I’ll add in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, also by Agatha Christie. I bought copies for my daughters for Christmas and the youngest enjoyed it so much she’s decided to read more of Christie’s murder mysteries. I’ve been telling her for years she’d enjoy Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple.
Best Holiday: I spent a month in Australia last year, visiting my youngest daughter who is backpacking Down Under. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to see – something to do with Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, which was a popular TV show when I was growing up. A beautiful country and I can’t wait to go back for a longer trip and explore a bit more.
Worst Holiday: A caravan in Skegness, a seaside town on the east coast of England. The town’s slogan used to be: It’s always bracing in Skegness. In other words, it’s always cold and windy. And it was.
Best Drink: Like Lee Harper, the character I write in my Friends trilogy with Susan Pape, I love a crisp dry Muscadet wine.
Worst Drink: milk. This is a hangover from the days of free school milk, a UK government-funded scheme to improve the health of the nation’s children – one third of a pint of milk provided free every day for every child. In winter, the milk was either frozen solid in the bottle, because the crates were left outside, or half boiled, if the caretaker remembered to bring the crates inside, and de-frost them next to the classroom radiator. In summer, whether left inside or out, the milk was on the turn. Ugh! Just thinking about it makes me heave.
Best Writing Moment: all of it. I love everything about the whole writing process: thinking, planning, plotting. Crafting sentences, re-writing to make things better. And re-writing again to improve some more. Holding my books in my hands and knowing I helped birth them. I love writing almost as much as I love my two daughters…
Best Childhood Memory: Christmas morning when I was about seven or eight. My dad had built a wooden dolls house for my sister and I to share. (My brother was also nominally joint owner but he wasn’t into dolls as much as us.) But Dad had forgotten to furnish the house so Santa left a note saying he’d noticed the bare rooms and had left some furniture and a family of dolls for us. Can you imagine? Santa wrote us a letter!
Best Word / Worst Word: Best is bocadillo, which is the Spanish word for sandwich. I love the way it rolls off the tongue. Worst: relatable. As in: ‘This book is so relatable.’ What on earth does that mean?
Best Shop: Blacker Hall Farm Shop near my home in Yorkshire. Good quality food, with friendly, helpful staff. Shopping there is a pleasure. And they have a lovely, very reasonably-priced café too.
Best Sport: Not sure it’s strictly a sport but Nordic Walking. I belong to two Nordic walking groups and swing my legs and Nordic walking poles twice a week at Nostell Priory, a National Trust property which sits in 300 acres of parkland, and at Newmillerdam, a lake and woodland nature reserve – in spring the bluebells are stunning.
Best Job: Being a writer. I’ve wanted to write since I was nine years old and decided that when I grew up I’d be a famous author and live in a bungalow by the sea. Well, nobody knows my name yet – except in my household – and I don’t live in a bungalow or by the sea. But I am a writer – so I’m happy.
Best Saying: I’m not a huge fan of DH Lawrence but one from Sons and Lovers, which I studied at high school, has always resonated. Gertrude Morel, mother of the book’s not very likeable hero Paul Morel, realises early in her marriage that she and her husband are not compatible. In early 20th century Britain divorce was out of the question for working class women so Gertrude decides: ‘What cannot be altered must be endured.’ It seems like a bit of a grim philosophy and, actually, most things can be changed or improved for the better. But when they can’t? Sometimes, gritted teeth are the only option and the people I admire most are those, like my husband’s aunt, for instance, who lost a leg to diabetes, and who cheerfully copes with being in a wheelchair and still manages to enjoy her life.
Best Teacher: I was lucky enough to have a number of inspiring teachers. Two in particular stand out – Mrs Urquhart, who was head of English, and Mr Croft, who was head of history. Both made learning fun. Worst Teacher: Mr Donnelly, the headteacher of the first primary school I attended. I was terrified of him.
Best Restaurant: Rinaldi’s, which is an independently-owned Italian restaurant about a mile from my house. It’s our go-to place for family celebrations. It’s also where, over a pizza, Susan and I came up with the idea for our Friends trilogy.
Best Movie: Fargo. Love the wood chipper scene. Worst Movie: Les Miserables – I thought it would never end…
Best School Subject: English Literature. Don’t want to brag but I was always top of the class.
Worst School Subject: I once came second from the bottom in art. Still can’t draw.
Oo, bocadillo just rolls of the tongue! And, I am totally with you on the Christmas morning memories!
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