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Saturday, 4 June 2016

Blog Tour - Time after time by Hannah McKinnon

Today I am pleased to welcome Hannah McKinnon to my blog, on the blog tour to celebrate the publication of 'Time after time'.

Product Details

Time After Time is a fresh and funny work of women’s commercial fiction, which explores the romantic paths that could have been . . .

For fans of Laura Barnett and Dani Atkins, Hannah McKinnon has written a moving story that will resonate with any woman who has ever wondered, in a moment of frustration, “what if?”.

Hayley Cooper, a powerful but now struggling lawyer, fantasizes about what her life would be like if only if she’d made different choices. It’s understandable; the past two years have been hell. She barely sees her kids, her boss is trying to sabotage her, and her marriage is falling apart.

Burnt out, Hayley goes to sleep wishing for a different life. When she wakes up married to her first boyfriend, one she has not seen in over twenty years, she realizes there might be some truth in the saying “be careful what you wish for”. Over a single weekend, like Ebenezer Scrooge, Hayley gets to see her life on other side of the white picket fence – not just with her first ex, but with each of her past loves. But is the grass always greener, and will she ever want to go home?

I have been kindly given an extract to this fantastic book, when Hayley has just woken up in her ex-boyfriend's house:

Chapter 6

A Different Life

Hayley stood perfectly still in Chris’ kitchen, unable to move despite her instincts telling her to get the hell out of there. The steady tick-tock from the clock on the kitchen wall was deafening.
What the … how …? Did I meet Chris somewhere and go home with him?
She shook her head. That wasn’t something she’d do. Maybe she’d spotted Chris on her way home, asked the taxi driver to give him a ride and ended up at his place? She tried forcing her memory but nothing came.
It doesn’t make sense.
Nothing made sense. Cold sweat trickled down her back and the dressing gown stuck to her body, making her shiver, so she pulled it away from her skin.
I need to get back to Rick and the kids. Oh shit.
She’d never cheated on Rick, never even kissed another man since they’d met. Yes, they were having problems, but cheat on him? She hadn’t seen, let alone spoken to Chris in almost twenty years but now she’d woken up in bed with him. Images of his bobbing penis flashed through her mind and she shook her head again in an attempt to get them out of her brain.
What did I do? Why can’t I remember? Did I go to a club? Or a bar?
She dismissed the theory as quickly as it had entered her muddled brain. She’d been at Ellen and Mark’s. They’d had drinks. She’d gone straight home.
Unless … unless I went on somewhere afterwards and someone spiked my drink?
She reached for the counter to steady herself.
What am I going to tell Rick? He must be frantic. Do the kids know I’m not home?
Hayley’s eyes darted around the kitchen for her mobile and when she couldn’t find it, she grabbed the phone on the kitchen counter and punched in her home number.
Before she heard it ring on the other end, she slammed the phone down.
No! We have caller ID.
Taking in big gulps of air, she closed her eyes and breathed out through her nose.
Think, Hayley, think.
She ran to the bathroom by the front door. Her head pounded, and as she sat on the toilet her stomach twisted itself into knots the size of tennis balls.
How could I let this happen?
She washed her hands and splashed cold water on her face. It slowed her breathing down, but only until she looked in the mirror.
‘Argh! What the hell?’
Her hair was cut in a cropped bob, much shorter than it had been the night before.
Why can’t I remember Ellen cutting it?
She smoothed it down with her damp hands and swallowed. Of course it would grow back eventually, but Rick was in for a surprise. He loved her long hair.
Will he think I did it to spite him? How many lies am I going to have to spin?
Rick would assume she’d spent the night at Ellen and Mark’s. After all, she had said, ‘Don’t wait up.’
Maybe he hasn’t phoned Ellen yet. Hang on, that’s it! Phone Ellen.
Hayley rushed back to the kitchen, snatched up the phone and dialled Ellen’s number.
‘Hello?’ a male voice said.
‘Mark?’ Hayley whispered into the phone.
‘Hayley,’ Mark said. ‘Trust you to be the first to call for the gossip. How are you?’
Hayley ignored Mark’s cheeriness. ‘Is Ellen there?’
‘Sorry, no. She went to pick up Morgan.’
‘Pick her up?’ Hayley frowned. ‘On a Saturday morning?’
‘Oh, she wanted to go last night.’ He chuckled.
What?’ Hayley said, then pressed on. ‘Fine. Will they be back soon?’
‘Any minute now. Shall I ask her to call you?’
‘Don’t bother. I’m coming over.’
‘Okay, see you. Say hi to Chris.’ Mark hung up.
Hayley still had the phone to her ear.
How did he …? Oh Christ, who else knows?
Shaking, Hayley realised she had two choices: leave and rush around Ealing in a sweaty dressing gown or go back upstairs to hunt for her things. While the first option meant she wouldn’t have to confront Chris, she couldn’t bring herself to leave the house so scantily dressed. She crept back upstairs, bracing herself for the inevitable confrontation. She needn’t have worried; he was lying on his back, fast asleep and snoring with his arms stretched out. The room smelled of a fresh fart.
She wrinkled her nose and looked around for her clothes. She spotted a pair of jeans, knickers, bra and a shirt lying on the floor next to ‘her’ side of the bed. They weren’t hers but she didn’t care – she would have donned a Ronald McDonald suit if it meant getting out of there.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins, for sending the extract and for inviting me to take part in the  blog tour.

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