#Blogtour #Spotlight #Extract: Time Out by Emma Murray @MurrayEmma @BoldwoodBooks @rararesources #TimeOut
Release date - 26th May 2020
Book length - 292 pages
Publisher - Boldwood Books
Worldwide - www.bookdepository.com
UK - www.amazon.co.uk
US - www.amazon.com
I want to thank Rachel from www.rachelsrandomresources.com for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. Here is everything you need to know about this book and a little extract to whet your appetite!
ABOUT THIS BOOK
‘It’s just a phase,’ they said. ‘These are the happiest years of your life,’ they said…
Mother of one and professional writer Saoirse (pronounced Seersha, not Searcy – thanks a bunch Game of Thrones!) is still adjusting to the demands of motherhood, four years after the birth of her daughter, Anna.
Living in the claustrophobic London suburb of Woodvale, and being surrounded by passive-aggressive mum-wars, isn’t helping. Neither is her increasingly pent-up anger at her once-perfect husband. Her only comrade in arms, best friend Bea, is the one thing keeping her sane.
When Saoirse’s agent asks her to pitch for a book, she is horrified to discover the topic is motherhood. How can she possibly write a ‘warts and all’ account of being a mother without giving away what it’s really like?
I’m not going to lie – I am nervous. It’s not often you find your whole future determined by an innocent-looking blue and white icon on your computer screen. But Skype is not flashing yet, and so I wait impatiently with sweaty palms and a whirring mind.
I glance at the clock on the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. It is 2.05 p.m. on a hot, clammy Wednesday afternoon in late July. The waiting is unbearable. My agent, Harriet Green, is late. She’s currently at a book event in New York and as usual she has no concept of the time difference. This is particularly annoying when I’m trying to schedule calls during my four-year-old daughter, Anna’s, afternoon nap. I drum my bitten fingernails on my desk. If Anna wakes up soon, any chance of a real conversation will be scuppered.
With a quick swivel of my chair, I turn towards the small window of my tiny home office –i.e. the spare room, hoping for some kind of distraction. My husband, David, Anna and I live on one of those mean, narrow south-west London streets, in an area called Woodvale, which is neither woodsy nor in a valley. It is the sort of place that estate agents call ‘quaint’ or ‘bijou’ – in other words, totally overpriced.
Rows and rows of identical red-brick Victorian terraced houses cling to each other as they line the busy, impractically narrow roads. Despite being in a firmly middle-class postcode, the shrubs and pavements are almost always covered in a mixture of dog and fox shit, a recurring topic raised on ‘Vale Mums’, the secret local Facebook group administrated by fellow ex-antenatal group mum and Nazi sympathiser Tania Henderson. (I have no evidence to suggest she has ever been affiliated with the Nazis, but if her strident approach to parenting is anything to go by, I think I have a strong case to argue.) Personally, I think Vale Mums should come with the tagline, ‘the home of First World problems’.
While I’m waiting for Harriet to figure out what time zone I’m in I swivel back to the screen and log into Facebook to check out Vale Mums for the latest ‘news’. Much as I loathe the futile commentary and no-offence-intended grinning emojis, like reality TV, I find Vale Mums both appalling and fascinating in equal measure. A quick glance at the latest news feed tells me: Amanda has ‘FINALLY’ found the perfect cupcake recipe (I can safely sit back from the edge of my seat now); Karen ‘desperately’ needs to know how to remove limescale from her kitchen kettle (Google it, Karen!); and Bethany is ranting as usual about the amount of dog shit on the street outside her house (I think you’ll find it’s ‘steaming dog shit’ in this heat, Bethany).
So far so boring. As I am scrolling down to see if there have been any juicier entries, I see Rosalind’s name pop up. Like Amanda, Karen and Bethany, I have never met Rosalind, but I’m willing to bet I know more about her than close members of her own family. Rosalind has three boys under the age of six (‘Three boys! THREE!’). She is about to turn forty (‘Any ideas for a fortieth celebration for a very tired mum?’); she currently has no childcare (‘Help! My nanny has just quit – by text message!’); and her husband works in Dubai for three weeks out of every month (‘Anyone else have a husband who works abroad?’ Followed by face-screaming-in-fear emoji).
Rosalind is a frequent visitor to Vale Mums and seems to treat it as a sort of oracle. If one of her children has a high temperature, she goes on Vale Mums for diagnosis; if she wants to buy a gift for her husband, she asks the other mums for advice; and most recently, she posted a photo of a spider in her bathroom in her house and asked the mums to identify its type (answer: a house spider). I have concluded that Rosalind’s posts imply that she is either very lonely or very bored, or perhaps a combination of the two.
Today, Rosalind’s burning question is what to make her ‘very fussy’ two-year-old, Jacob, for breakfast. I suck my breath in through my teeth and shake my head in despair. Oh, Rosalind. Poor, naïve Rosalind. Never post a ‘food’ question on Vale Mums. You’re leaving yourself wide open to all sorts of self-righteous comments from ‘the Organics’, a disturbingly large subset of Vale Mums led by aforementioned Tania Henderson.
I started writing stories when I was 9 years old. My first 'book' was called 'Carrie the Kitten and Friends,' scribbled untidily in a school notebook (my handwriting is as appalling today as it was back then). My favourite subject at school was English, and I regularly bored dozens of fellow school children with my prolific essay-writing. Following university where I studied English and Spanish (my Spanish is mediocre at best, but mysteriously improves after a few glasses of wine), I moved to London to pursue a banking career. Turning 30 gave me the push I needed to take all my savings and invest them into pursuing my dream job as a full-time writer. Over the last decade, I have worked on mainly nonfiction books in the area of business and academic textbooks, but my first love has always been fiction. The problem was that I had no idea what to write about. At a publishing event a few years ago, a literary agent gave me some great advice, 'To be a writer, you need to be passionate about the subject and write from the heart.' The birth of my two daughters inspired me to apply this advice to a series of books about motherhood and its impact on romantic relationships, women friendships, and family dynamics. They are set in London and Ireland (where I am originally from) and give a humorous account of the frustrations of being a parent. Writing these books has been the hardest but most worthwhile thing I have ever done in my career. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I love writing them.
For more information:
Website - www.emmamurray.net
Twitter - twitter.com/MurrayEmma
Facebook - www.facebook.com/EmmaMurrayAuthor/
Instagram - www.instagram.com/emmamurrayauthor/
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT SOME OF THE OTHER STOPS ALONG THE WAY!!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
UPCOMING BLOG TOURS