Meet author Sandra L. Ireland & check out
our Featured Book of the Month
today at the Book Boost!
You always know you’ve read a good book when you can’t see the last page for tears. Well, seriously, who doesn’t enjoy a good cry? I think the best books should have you laughing out loud and sniffling your way through a man-size box of tissues all the way to the end, and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes certainly fits the bill.
I haven’t read any of Moyes’ books before but a friend handed me this one with the usual, "You MUST read this!" Sometimes that puts me off. We all have very different tastes and more than once I’ve ploughed my way through a story thinking what did they see in this?
Me Before You is different. It is a brave departure from the usual boy meets girl romance, because (and I don’t want to give any spoilers here) Will, the hero, is quadriplegic. A hero he certainly is, although he’s angry, frustrated and very difficult to deal with. That task falls to Louisa, who, having recently been made redundant from The Buttered Bun, applies for a job as his carer. This is not a slushy romance, it is more about the forging of a lifelong friendship, which is the basis for the best love stories. But how long is lifelong?
The book deals with some emotive and current issues, but hapless Louisa provides some real laugh out loud moments. The characters are well-written and believable and the storyline compelling. You MUST read this book!
Although I do like chicklit and would love to write this kind of fiction, my first love is the paranormal. My debut novella Foxfire is a dark tale set in modern-day Edinburgh. I did some research into ancient Japanese myth to come up with my hero, Reyner. His grandfather was a kitsune, a supernatural fox-spirit and Reyner has inherited his shapeshifting abilities. He is dark, mysterious and sexy, plays the fiddle and lingers in the shadows.
What’s not to like? Psychic Myrrh needs all the help she can get when faced with streetslip, a phenomenon which is allowing grisly figures from the past to enter the present. Find out what happens when Myrrh’s best friend Willow disappears while leading a ghost walk around a haunted Edinburgh cemetery!
My work in progress is entitled An Arrangement of Skin and I would describe it as a Gothic tale. It’s not supernatural this time, but is decidedly creepy, with a villainous female taxidermist. I love stories to reveal themselves to me as I write and this one is actually scaring me. In fact, I can only write it in the morning and not last thing at night…
A Note from the Book Boost: Wow! That new book you're penning sounds amazing and totally creepy. Can't wait. Thanks for the other book recommendation. How nice of you to give a shout out for another another. Please tell us more about your current release.
Modern-day Edinburgh. Psychic Myrrh devotes her days to contacting other people’s lost loved ones, all the while waiting for a sign that never comes from her dear departed Frank. Meanwhile, in the vaults and alleyways of the Old Town, the phenomenon of streetslip is growing stronger, tearing down the walls of time and allowing grisly characters from the past to prey on the present. Someone else’s problem? Myrrh thinks so, until her best friend Willow disappears and then it suddenly becomes personal. Enter Reyner, the irresistible stranger who has emerged from the shadows to turn Myrrh’s world upside down. Has he been sent to protect her, as he claims? Or is he hiding a dark, unearthly secret of his own?
He raised his head slowly, assessing me beneath inky lashes. A cold deadliness flared in his eyes but it was so fleeting I suspected I’d imagined it. The words unknown quantity throbbed like hazard lights in my brain.
“I was sent to help you with the streetslip,” he said quietly.
I went immediately into denial. “Not my problem. I don’t see what it’s got to do with me.” I paced fretfully, my feet punctuating my agitation, toying with the little silver amulet around my neck.
“It will involve everyone,” the stranger warned. “And you’ll need more protection than that. That’s why they sent me. Mankind has meddled with the Earth Energies and disturbed the boundaries of space and time.” He pushed away from the table and checked me out, waiting to see if I was getting this. I stopped in front of him and he continued gently. “You think you deal in the past, with those who have gone before. You wait, day after day, for a message from your dead husband.”
I gasped and he held up a hand, his voice soft. “It’s not going to happen. There is only the eternal now. Time is parallel, not linear. You humans think they have it logged, with your chronology and your calendars. But it isn’t like that. These characters that people are seeing in the streetslip are flesh-and-blood people, living their own lives. It’s as if the ages are separated by windows. You can see through enough to understand and to learn, but all your dabbling has shattered the glass.”
I wanted to scream at him. His jibe about Frank’s message had wounded me, because it was way too close to the truth. And parallel time? An alternative reality? I pressed my fingers to my temples.
"Look, whoever sent you, I don’t know if I can deal with this right now.”
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