This is the blog post that should have gone out last week, after the scheduled release of my new book The Un-Family on the 14th. The bad news is, due to an Amazon glitch (they needed proof – twice – that Hobeck Books had the right to publish), the ebook wasn’t up on Amazon until eight days after the event. The good news is, it’s out now, my blood pressure has almost recovered from the fright and the paperback is available as well. Hobeck Books worked very hard to get things sorted as quickly as possible, so huge thanks for that.
Onwards and upwards…
As you see from the pic, the book is set against beautiful English countryside. Holly Martin works there as a vet, and on the surface, she has everything she ever wanted. An amazing job, a lovely home, and Dylan is the man of her dreams… But then there’s his family.
This book was interesting to write. The original inspiration came from a TV programme about a wildlife centre, where experts and volunteers worked to help injured and needy animals and return them to their natural habitat.
I thought while I was watching that it would be a good backdrop for a book, and started to create my own wildlife centre in my head. Somewhere in the south of England, always looking for staff and volunteers, run by animal enthusiasts. Then came the best bit – working out who the characters were.
Wildlife centres need a vet on call. That’s Holly. And people do tend to have families in tow, so gradually, the Martin family grew in my head. Holly’s husband Dylan, his twin brother Seth, their mother Elaine and niece Megan. Only when I had the family fixed did I turn to what actually happens to them in the book. It’s the first time I’ve created characters without at least a general idea of the plot, but once I started writing, the situation took over, and The Un-Family is the result. The wildlife centre didn’t play quite as large a part in the story as I’d intended, but writing books is like that. That’s what makes it so fascinating.
The themes that developed are: Job satisfaction. Addiction. Sibling rivalry. Nature vs nurture. Family ties. Greed. At the end, we can each decide what makes a family and what doesn’t. The book’s had some great reviews – I’ll link here to the first of the blog tour, from Linda Hill. Huge thanks again, Linda!
I’d like to thank Hobeck Books for publishing The Un-Family, most especially Rebecca and Adrian and also the editors, proofreaders and others who work behind the scenes. A special mention too for Jayne Mapp Design, who made the amazing cover image.
More big thanks to all the bloggers who took part in the blog tour and managed to reduce me to tears several times – in a good way.
And biggest thanks of all, as always, to the readers who buy or borrow the book and join the journey with my Un-Family. (Tap HERE to see the book on Amazon.)
Here’s the blurb:
For better, for worse
Wildlife vet Holly’s life seems blissful: husband Dylan is the man of her dreams, she has a rewarding career and a lovely home. And yet, a tiny niggle is growing daily. Dylan is becoming increasingly remote – but why? Holly is determined to mend the fissure in their relationship. But a shocking discovery changes everything…
Then there’s Dylan’s family: his wayward twin Seth and their widowed mother Elaine, who is rather fond of a glass or two of sherry. Nothing in Elaine’s life is easy, bringing up teenage granddaughter Megan while the family grieves the loss of Megan’s mother.
A tragic event rocks the foundations of the family, and Holly’s life starts to unravel. Dylan drifts ever further away. Megan is left uncertain and alone, while Seth falls deeper into himself.
The bonds that once bound the family together are breaking. Can they ever be repaired?
While we’re talking about news, another item is that the paperback of Stolen Sister will be ready in the New Year, possibly before that, and – at long last – the first book in my feel-good series is heading for publication early next year too. But more about that another time.
Next week, crime writer Maureen Myant is here with her choice of Classic Comfort books as well as her own new release, The Confession.
I’ll leave you now with more of that English countryside.