Thursday, 9 October 2014

Follow You Follow Me - Laura E James

About the book...
You save me and I’ll save you
Victoria Noble has pulled the plug on romance. As director of the number one social networking site, EweSpeak, and single mother to four-year-old Seth, she wrestles with the work-life balance.

Enter Chris Frampton, Hollywood action hero and Victoria’s first love. His return from LA has sparked a powder keg of media attention, and with secrets threatening to fuel the fire, he’s desperate to escape. But finding a way forward is never simple. Although his connection with Victoria has lasted the test of time, has he been adrift too long to know how to move on?

With the risk of them breaking, will either #follow their heart?

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About the author...
Laura is married and has two children. She lives in Dorset, but spent her formative years in Watford, a brief train ride away from the bright lights of London. Here she indulged her love of live music, and, following a spectacular Stevie Nicks gig, decided to take up singing, a passion that scored her second place in a national competition.

Laura is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme, a member of her local writing group, Off The Cuff, and an editor of the popular Romaniacs blog.

Laura was runner-up twice in the Choc Lit Short Story competitions. Her story Bitter Sweet is to be released in the forthcoming Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Anthology to be published in 2014. Truth or Dare, Laura’s debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Joan Hessayon New Writers’ Award. Follow Me Follow You, Laura's paperback debut with Choc Lit, was released in September 2014.

Guest Post...
Get the Balance Right

For those of a certain age ‒ mine ‒ there’s a high chance you’ve a Depeche Mode song playing in your head having read the title of this post.

Those boys could have taught Victoria Noble a valuable life lesson if only she’d been into pop music.

When we meet the heroine of Follow Me, Follow You, it’s apparent she’s struggling to identify and then manage the important things in life. She has a demanding job and a challenging child, and as a single parent working full-time, Victoria’s scales are rarely balanced.

But what is the perfect split between work and life? Is it a straight-down-the-middle fifty-fifty, or should we favour life over work?

Perhaps we tip the scales in favour of the side with which we are most confident. In Victoria’s case, this is work. Her world of programmable computers, definitive outcomes and recognised responses suits who she’s become. A four-year-old child presents far more perplexing problems, and ones Victoria feels ill-equipped to deal with.

I worked until I had my first child. Actually, I cut it a bit fine, finishing a week before my daughter arrived, but I work well with deadlines looming. Before motherhood I’d worked for a local newspaper, spent years in the insurance business, tried my hand at being a teaching assistant at a secondary school, and I qualified as a youth worker. The last two jobs were great prep for becoming a parent.

My husband and I had planned for a family and made provisions for me to stay at home while the children were young. This was our choice partly brought about by me having rheumatoid arthritis and partly because we both had mums who were at home when we were young.

Times were different in the seventies and jobs were more readily available. I remember my mother having three part-time jobs at one point. She owned and ran a guesthouse in Weymouth, worked as a secretary in an office, and took on private house cleaning. The woman was a dynamo. My scales would be completely overturned by this level of activity, but the balance was right for my mum.

In the eighties, circumstances were such that Mum had to work full-time, but my brother and I were older and more independent by then. I hope that evened things out for her.  

In Follow Me, Follow You, once Victoria realises the bowl of the work scale is scraping the table top, she pledges to set it right. The problem is, she doesn’t know how.

Perhaps it will take more than Depeche Mode to get the balance right.