Here we are back again with another Blog Tour! The loveliest of ladies Jenny has another wonderful author who is having a tour and I couldn't be more excited to be hosting an excerpt. Upon reading the blurb I knew it was an intriguing book and it's definitely one on my TBR list.
‘Powerful, intelligent and moving …’
Graeme Simsion, author The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect
'We’ve Come to Take You Home' is an unusual and compelling story of love, loss and the importance of family.
Samantha Foster and Jessica Brown are destined to meet. One lives in the twentieth century, the other in the twenty-first century. April 1916 and thousands of men have left home to fight in the war to end all wars. Jessica Brown’s father is about to be one of those men. A year later, he is still alive but Jess has to steal to keep her family from starving. And then a telegram arrives – her father has been killed in action.
Four generations later, Sam Foster’s father is admitted to a hospital’s intensive care unit with a suspected brain haemorrhage. A nurse asks if she would like to take her father’s hand. Sam refuses. All she wants is to get out of this place, stuck between the world of the living and the world of the dead, a place with no hope and no future, as quickly as possible.
As Sam's father's condition worsens, her dreams become more frequent - and more frightening. She realises that what she is experiencing is not a dream, but someone else's living nightmare...
We've Come to Take You Home is an emotionally-charged story of a friendship forged 100 years apart.
IF THE FOUR OF them had been entered into a competition to see who could scream the longest and the loudest there would have been no contest; Shelly would easily be ‘Outstanding Screamer of theYear’.
They’d been on the Orbiter, the Freak Out, the Booster, and now it was the turn of the Tagada. They were sitting, side by side, on the slippery plastic bench, their arms hooked over the bar behind their backs, while the giant bowl spun round and round, and up and down, faster and faster. Up and round,
down and round it went, with Shelly screaming her head off, Lou moaning on and on about feeling sick and Katie shouting out lists of instructions nobody could hear.
Round it went again, and looking up at them, laughing and waving, were four faces. Male ones. And Katie and Shelly and Lou were laughing and trying to wave back while keeping one arm hooked over the bar. So these were the boys. And which of the four was the one who wanted so much to meet her?
Was it the very tall one in the Hawaiian shirt; the very short, stocky one who kept punching the air; the one wearing dark glasses even though the sun had gone down over an hour ago; or the very thin, pale, freckly one with red hair. The ride was slowing down. It stopped.
The thought of going out, being kissed, perhaps even going to bed with any of the knock-kneed, spotty-faced male specimens, dribbling the ball up and down the school’s football field, was just too hideous. But Shelly had been there, done it and survived. Although the great love affair to end all love affairs had lasted less than four weeks.
And Katie was throwing herself at the very tall one. Shelly had her arms locked round the waist of the short, stocky one. And Lou was nibbling at the neck of the one in the dark glasses. His face, the little that Sam could see of it, was the sort of grey that comes from staring at computer screens for twenty hours a day.
She hated red hair almost as much as she hated freckles. ‘Hi, I’m Sam.’
The ghost train siren wailed. There was a crash, a shriek, and then the first cab, with Lou sitting beside the boy in the dark glasses, skidded down the slope towards a set of double doors.
Katie and the boy in the Hawaiian shirt were draped
around each other in the cab directly ahead. ‘That’s Josh...’
The boy in the Hawaiian shirt took a swig from a bottle.
‘He wants to be a doctor. At least that’s what he tells the girls...’
The cab rolled down the slope towards the double doors. ‘Girls like Katie?’
Their own cab juddered forward. Leo put his arm around
‘Yep, you’ve got it, girls like Katie...’
The doors slammed open and they were hurtling through
a narrow tunnel with black ceiling and walls. A skeleton with glowing red eyes lunged down. Sam shrieked. Leo laughed and pulled her towards him, tightening his arm around her shoulder.
The cab careered round a corner and through another set of doors. If it had been dark before then this was really dark. There was rattle of iron followed by a wail and a shrouded figure clanked out of an alcove. Cobwebs brushed across Sam’s face. Through another set of doors and in front of them, dangling from the roof, was a cage. Inside, its hands and feet bound in chains, was a decomposing body of a man. The corpse raised its head, rolled its eyes and grinned. Round another corner, and now they were plunging down a slope and through another set of double doors.
Moonlight, silence and a flickering sky replaced the crashing and banging and wailing of the ghost train. She was no longer sitting beside Leo. She was standing on the platform of a station. Carriages, the old-fashioned kind she’d seen in black and white films, with red crosses painted on their sides, stretched down the platform ahead of her.
Men in military uniform and women, wearing ankle- length dresses and long white aprons, red and grey capes
draped over their shoulders, walked up and down, whispering instructions; one stretcher was directed here, another there, another was loaded onto a truck parked at the side of the platform. There must have been hundreds of them.
A young woman, wearing a blouse, skirt and coat rather than a nurse’s uniform, was walking down the platform towards her. Head down, looking from side to side, she checked each stretcher, before moving on, down the row, to the next, and the next. There was a cry. The woman walked on. The cry was repeated. The woman stopped. She turned.
About The Author:
My father, John Box, was a film production designer, working on ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Dr. Zhivago’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘A Man For All Seasons’ and the musical ‘Oliver’. (Click here for more on John ) Our house was always filled with people, usually eccentric, always talented, invariably stroppy, discussing stories. My mother put my father’s four Oscars to good use as toilet roll holders, doorstops and hat stands.
A major chunk of my childhood was spent loitering around on film sets. Who needs an ‘English education’ when you have the polystyrene-coated streets of downtown Moscow, ten miles outside of Madrid, to explore?
But then the years of ‘Who Will Buy My Sweet Red Roses’ came to a rather abrupt end. Reality knocked on the door in the guise of the Metropolitan Line to Shepherds Bush and the BBC. Working in television as a script editor and story consultant, I was part of the creative team responsible for setting up ‘Casualty’. I became known for going after the more ‘difficult’ stories at the same time successfully racking up viewing figures from 7 to 14 million.
I went on to develop various projects for both the BBC and the independent sector. The period I enjoyed most was working with Jack Rosenthal, a wonderful writer, on the series ‘Moving Story’ – ‘That’s a situation, a good situation, but now you need to make it into a story.’
Martin, my husband, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse and we left England to live in Amsterdam. ‘Ik wil een kilo kabeljauw, alstublieft’ will, if all goes well, buy you a piece of cod – I decided to concentrate on my writing rather than my Dutch pronunciation.
My debut novel, ‘We’ve Come to Take You Home’, set in the present and in 1918, a crossover aimed at the adult and young adult women’s popular fiction market, was published on 28th March by Matador.