Release date: December 1, 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction
A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.
Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.
Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.
By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.
It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.
I’m so excited to be the stop on the blog tour for The Girl I Used to Know today! I have an extract to share with you all.
December 31 – Wednesday
‘It’s just a scrape, that’s all.’ Tess hated that her voice sounded so small here. It was the machines of course, buzzing, humming and occasionally beeping, eating up the static silence of her little cubicle. The A&E at St. Mel’s city hospital was hushed, ready for impending invasion by the Dublin City revellers, wounded in various, often-unaccountable ways for the sake of auld lang syne.
It was New Year’s Eve and this was not where she planned to spend it; not that she had any plan at all. It was a long time since Tess had anywhere she wanted to be for New Year’s, Christmas, or indeed her birthday. These days she told herself it suited her, but she was too wise not to remember what it was like to be part of something more.
Tess eyeballed the doctor. He was young, maybe a bit of a smart-arse, but she put him in his place when he mispronounced her name and again when he stumbled over her prescription. ‘I’m going home now. Either stitch me up, or give me a needle and I’ll do it myself.’ She swung her legs as smoothly as she could off the trolley that they had allocated to her almost three hours earlier. ‘For goodness sake, you’ll have all sorts in here soon.’
It was fuss over nothing. So, there was a bit of blood, but nothing broken on this occasion. Tess had tripped, that was all there was to it. A bloody cat wandering through her legs in the dark. It could happen to anyone. Of course, the fact that she had a broken wrist made her look as though she was always in the wars. The broken wrist had occurred just over a month before, but she had been sensible, had the X-ray, got the bandage and gone on her not so merry way. She blamed the damned heavy cast for throwing her off balance. It had made her feel a little light-headed. It had been dark and the last thing she’d expected was to have a cat in her little porch. That was how she’d ended up in here again. For the second time in the same emergency ward; same flipping cat, only this time when she fell she managed to land against the front door and shattered every last piece of glass in the long thin side panel. Nothing broken, this time, but there was plenty of blood and, Tess knew, you couldn’t be too careful with old glass. She’d called the bugger every name under the sun; if she got her hands on him there was no telling what she might have done to him. In the ambulance, she’d groaned at her own stupidity and the zealous EMT began to check for everything from aneurism to zinc deficiency. She cursed under her breath, she was just a stupid old woman and there was no cure in this hospital for that particular condition.
‘So, you live on your own, Mrs, ah, Miss… Tess?’
‘On my own, of course I…’ then it dawned on her. They were treating her as if she was in shock, a head injury. They would never let her home if they thought she was on her own. It was the New Year, even if she wasn’t inundated with social invitations, she was damned if she was spending it in this place. ‘Of course, I don’t, my… husband will be so worried about me, so will you let me go home now?’ There was never a husband, but there might have been, once, long ago – but then he’d married Nancy and that was that.
‘Ah, Tess.’ A vaguely familiar-looking older man arrived, clipboard in hand. ‘You won’t remember me, Dr Kilker, I treated you last time round.’ He smirked at the hard plaster on her wrist. She disliked him instantly, had a feeling he knew something she didn’t and that just got up her nose. ‘So, you’ve been in the wars again? What was it this time, kissing the ground instead of kicking it?’ He moved closer to her, inspected the wound. He smelled of garlic mixed with a hint of tobacco, and aftershave clinging to survive on a ten-hour hospital shift, it drifted from him being so close.
‘No, for your information, I was the victim of an intruder,’ Tess snapped.
‘Half a dozen stitches should see you straight.’ He raised a sceptical eyebrow.
‘Finally,’ Tess grunted towards the younger doctor.
‘Now, be a good girl and sit still while I put it right.’ Dr Kilker silenced her while he tacked up the wound.
It was infuriating to be spoken to as if she were a child.
‘How did you really manage it, Tess?’ He asked as he stood back to admire his neat stitches.
‘There was a flipping cat in a dark porch; it could happen to the Pope himself.’
‘I suppose it could, but then, he’s not wearing a cast, is he?’ he said lightly. ‘No dizziness or blackouts? Nothing odd or strange going on that we should hear about?’
‘No, nothing like that.’ Tess glared at him. She wasn’t stupid. She knew when to see a doctor. ‘Maybe just a little too much seasonal cheer for my own good.’ She had just had a small nip before she went to lock up the flat for the night.
About the Author:
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.