Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Behind the Scenes of Sensing You & a GIVEAWAY!


Hi all,

Time for the monthly warble. Don't worry there's no audio file, no need to block your ears. As promised I'm giving you a look behind the scenes of Sensing You.

This book... Aargh, this book... Let me start by saying this book completely wrecked me. Shattered. Ronnie started telling me her story a few years ago, but I just didn’t feel ready to do the story justice. I put her off. Ignored her like she does to almost everyone around her. I knew it would be intense with a dark thread weaving through its core, so I anticipated a whirlwind of emotions as I wrote this. I wasn’t wrong. I cried when I wrote some scenes. My whole body was tense writing others. Once I’d hit publish I basically went to bed for a few days. 

Ronnie was a particularly tough character to get to know. She swears, she snarls, she runs away. Boy, is she good at running away. Not only is it her primary defence against unwanted attention or threatening situations, it’s her bliss (as long as she has rock music blasting in her ears). Under all that badmouthed snark is a vulnerable woman in pain just looking for some peace. She only finds it when she pushes her body to its limits.

But there’s no escaping the things that plague her. Ronnie can see and communicate with the dead. She also has visions. Sometimes they’ve already happened, sometimes they’re yet to pass, and every now and then she’ll see things that are happening in the moment, but somewhere else. It’s a huge burden for Ronnie, and something that she can never share with anyone. Can you imagine the ridicule? The stares? The big sign on her back saying, “Hey I’m a freak, kick me.”?

I sometimes wonder why this particular character came to me with her story. What was my inspiration? I guess it's because I'm curious about the afterlife and stories like Alison Dubois' and the show based on her life, Medium. In a former life I was a nurse. I worked in various roles, but one of those was in palliative care. Every patient I cared for was in the final stages of life. I've watched many people take their last breaths and been with the families through the transition. Experiences like that are bound to present questions about existence in general. Not only that, but one of my first nursing jobs was in a surgical ward that was believed to be haunted. They'd kept it closed because of strange happenings, but due to bed constraints decided to open the ward up. All but one room, that is. That room was allocated as the staff room. Needless to say we never used it during the night shift. Things did go flying down the corridor, and the furniture in that room would mysteriously rearrange itself. If every other nurse hadn't seen the same things that I had I would've questioned my sanity.

So, for someone like Ronnie who has dealt with things like that all her life, but in her case she actually sees the ghosts reeking havoc, how could she possibly tell anyone about it? There’s only one person whom she can trust with her secret. Her granny. The woman who raised her, shows her unconditional love, and who also shares her gift. Granny was a fantastic character to write. She’s has a cheeky side, shoots straight without nonsense, and nothing escapes her attention. Granny brings out the real Ronnie showing us her capacity for love and exposing her fragility. Ronnie might act tough, but she is constantly on the edge of breaking point.

Despite her determination not to connect with anyone, Ronnie has no choice but to befriend a pushy spirit named Letitia. Taken too young and on a quest to communicate with the brother she left behind, Letitia hooks Ronnie into helping her. In return, Letitia takes on the job of Ronnie’s guardian angel of sorts, easing the demand on Ronnie’s time from unwanted spirit visitors. But Letitia is holding onto some secrets of her own that change Ronnie’s reality, irreparably.

Ronnie has so much going on inside her that she keeps hidden from the world, she had to have a man with patience, and understanding. I know we found him. And he has freckles. I love this hero! 

Brad. Adorable Brad. He’s an Aussie larrikin. An adrenaline junkie; it’s hard to get him to sit still. He has suffered just as badly as Ronnie, and his pain has sent him down a path to self-destruction. He either gets an adrenaline hit by putting his life in danger or he reaches for the bottle.

Brad realises that he can’t go on behaving like an idiot and tries to put his life back on track by enrolling in university. There he sees his friend Ben whom he’d lost contact with years before. They reconnect like they’d never been apart. Ben, along with his wife, Andrea offer huge support for Brad. But it’s meeting Ronnie that is Brad’s biggest motivation for sorting out his life.

She gives meaning to his life and offers him a second chance at righting past wrongs. He is endlessly patient with her, even when her behaviour seems bizarre he doesn’t push her to explain. He takes care of her, and she needs that whether she wants to admit it or not. Because there is a dark road ahead for the both of them, and she might not survive.

In the next book in the series you'll get to read about Andrea and Ben and their unusual connection. Andrea has a few gifts of her own. Having grown up together, Letitia and Brad are a part of their story, too. 

I hope that you’ll love Ronnie and Brad, and their story as much as I do.

Buy Links
Would you like to win a copy? Head on over to Goodreads and enter the competition! I have three signed paperbacks to giveaway. Ends August 31st, 2016.

Winners from Great Britain, Argentina and Albania—Congrats!