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27 May 2014

Blog Tour: 'After the Honeymoon' by Janey Fraser (2014)

How can one honeymoon cause so much trouble?

Much as Emma loves Tom, she would never have got married if he hadn't insisted. But with Tom sick for the whole week, shouldn't she at least take advantage of the entertainment?

Winston married Melissa after a three-month whirlwind romance. As a breakfast TV fitness star, he's anxious to keep things private. But the arrival of Melissa's two children soon puts paid to that.

Rosie arrived at the Villa Rosa homeless and pregnant when she was just seventeen. Now, sixteen years later, she runs the place. However, the appearance of Winston throws her into confusion. He might not remember her, but she has never forgotten him.

By the end of the week, none of their lives will be the same. But how will they cope after the honeymoon is over?

I’m really glad to be part of another amazing blog tour today for a May 2014 release which I am incredibly excited about, namely Janey Fraser’s ‘After the Honeymoon.’ Janey Fraser is the pen name for journalist Jane Bidder who also writes novels as Sophie King. I’ve read and reviewed several of Sophie King’s novels in the past, and really enjoyed her stories and wonderful mix of characters. ‘After the Honeymoon’, which was released on the 22nd of May, is my first Janey Fraser novel, which I’m really excited about! Next to the review, I’ve also got a special guest post from Janey herself for all of you, so be sure to scroll down to have a read!

Emma and Tom have been together for many years and have two lovely children together. Emma was never a big fan of marriage, but after years of Tom asking her, she finally decided to say ‘yes’. Her idea was a relatively small wedding and no honeymoon, but then her friends surprise her with a week-long holiday for her and Tom at a pension on a beautiful Greek island. Emma isn’t too excited, but when Tom ends up being sick for the whole week, she has all the time in the world to relax and do what she wants. Winston is a TV celebrity who has his own popular fitness show and even though he hasn’t known make-up artist Melissa that long, they decided to get married and spend a relaxing holiday on a remote island in Greece, far away from the cameras. Yet, when Melissa’s ex-husband suddenly dumps their two spoiled children with Winston and Melissa, their honeymoon suddenly isn’t that calm and peaceful anymore. Rosie is the owner of pension Villa Rose, which she runs together with her teenage son Jack. When she was pregnant at 17, she was forced to leave home and ended up on the small Greek island where she has built a new life for herself. But the arrival of two honeymoon couples suddenly brings her a completely unexpected blast from the past.

It honestly doesn’t matter which name is on the front cover of the book, Sophie King or Janey Fraser, you can be sure there will be an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable story waiting for you. I love books with multiple storylines told from the point of view of different characters, and in ‘After the Honeymoon’ we are introduced to a great cast of different characters which each have their own story to tell. I specifically enjoyed Rosie’s tale; I immediately liked her and was curious to see how things would work out for her and her son Jack. However, both Emma and Winston were also wonderful characters, and I loved jumping from one couple to the next, which kept me turning the pages and not wanting to put the book down.

Even though the book deals with several storylines and a large group of characters, the author deals with this in an excellent way and the story was at all times easy to follow and understandable. I really loved the idea of joining these couples on their honeymoon, and the weeks after it. The focus was not on how they met and fell in love, or their wedding, but the period afterwards. I also thought the setting was quite fabulous; the Grecian island of Siphalonia sounds like such a gorgeous and relaxing place, and it wasn’t difficult to imagine myself there! Another lovely extra is the collection of honeymoon facts and stories in between the chapters. ‘After the Honeymoon’ is an amazingly warm, truly engaging and well-written book, and a great read for a day out in the sunshine or to take with you on your summer holiday.
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Guest post by Janey Fraser: You Never Know When an Ending Is Going to Happen...

The other day, I was walking my dog along the beach when...Hang on. What I meant to say was that the other day , I was ‘jogging’ my dog along the beach. Jogging is a much better word – at least in a novel – because it gives a sense of character and scenery. Now where was I? Ah yes. As I was saying, I was jogging my dog along the beach when my ending suddenly fell into my head. 

Unfortunately, at the same time, a seagull decided to expel its breakfast over my hair. Honestly. 

Since moving from London to Devon five years ago, I’m still getting used to Devon folklore. One quaint saying is that it’s lucky to be ‘seagulled’. All I know is that it takes ages to get the stuff off. By the time I’d managed to do this, with the aid of wet wipes which I’ve learned to carry in my pocket, I’d almost forgotten the other thing that had got me.

The ending to my novel which I’ve almost finished. 

It’s a funny thing but there are a lot of us writers out there who honestly don’t know what the ending is going to be until they are almost there. Someone first told me this before I was published – and I simply couldn’t believe it. Surely any novelist worth his or her salt, meticulously plans a novel from beginning to end?

In fact, as I was to find out, that’s where I was going wrong. The best way to write a novel – at least for me – is to wait for an idea to hit you. Then you need to people it with characters who have problems. After that, you introduce them to each other in a common setting such as a school run or a honeymoon. And then you let them do their work.

My latest book AFTER THE HONEYMOON is about one honeymoon, three couples and enough secrets to sink all the marriages before they’ve begun. I began by knowing that I wanted to set the first half in Greece and the second back in Britain, after the honeymoon. I also wanted to write about a mum with young children who didn’t want to leave them when she went on her honeymoon; a celebrity who marries a divorced mum with surly teenagers; and an English girl who runs the honeymoon hotel in Greece – but who used to know one of the grooms. But I didn’t know how it was going to end.

And that’s when I started running. Doing something physical is, I’ve discovered, one of the best ways to make the ideas flow. The worst thing you can do is to sit at your desk and wait for something to pop into your head.

Sometimes, I get an ending in my sleep when I’m running with my dreams, so to speak. I wake in the night, feverish with excitement, scrabbling for my beside pen. But in the cold light of dawn, that idea doesn’t seem so great after all.

In AFTER THE HONEYMOON, I must confess that I was going to make one of my heroines get together with someone else. But at the last hour, while having a dip in the sea (in my wetsuit), a huge wave came along and took me with it. For a minute, it took my breath away and it was then that I realised. My heroine needed to have her breath taken away too. So I put her with someone else. 

Mind you, there’s nothing worse than an ending which is totally unbelievable. So I do try to keep my feet on the ground. I also try to make it happy although there are times when some of my characters don’t always get what they want.

Still, that’s life, isn’t it? Meanwhile, please excuse me. I’m just off for another dog jog....

Thanks so much, Janey! :)

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