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Monday, December 14, 2015

On Tour: The New Mrs. D by Heather Hill - Q&A, Excerpt + Giveaway

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Heather Hill is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours with her book, The New Mrs. D. Please visit her page for more blog stops.

The New Mrs. D
by Heather Hill 

Genre: Women's Fiction, Chick Lit
Publication: October 1st 2014 
Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason; he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, 'every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’ If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?

When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?
Q&A with Heather Hill

1. Please introduce yourself and your book.
I am a comedy writer and author from Scotland in the UK and my book, ‘The New Mrs D’ is about a funny, feisty, forty-something, Bernice, who plans the honeymoon adventure trip of a lifetime, only to find herself spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

2. How did you come up with the idea of the book? What is your inspiration?
The book was conceived on the plane home from my own trip to a lesser known Greek island. I literally bought a notebook at the airport and spent the entire flight home scribbling down notes. I was inspired by the beauty of the islands, the wonderful people and some fabulous adventures of my own, although none so outrageous or ending in catastrophe as my protagonist, Bernice, I hasten to add.

3. What did you like most about writing this book?
How much I chuckled to myself whilst dreaming up some of the scenes. Often when I am writing, my characters seem to have a will all of their own and I can start a chapter with an idea, say, that she will go paragliding on a beach for example, and type away not really knowing what is going to happen to her before I start. The story sort of evolves; as though I am watching, rather than creating her. It is pretty surreal but wonderful and means I had a pretty good chuckle at her myself at the time because each episode had a surprise ending for me!

4. What's the best thing that happened to you since becoming an author?
I have only ever met one reader in person so far, who wasn’t somebody I knew and that was a lovely experience for me as a new author. It was at a party of a mutual friend and she had read it because my friend had recommended it to her. Not only did she tell me she absolutely loved the book but she chatted with me all night, asking me lots of questions about it and the next one. But the best part of all was when she told me how reading it had changed her as a person and her outlook on life. That is the greatest compliment of all.

5. Grade your book. How many stars out of a perfect score of 5 stars? Please give the reason too.
That is a tough question! But I would have to say four, because as a new writer - and as in life - I do recognise there is room for improvement and want to always strive for it. It is important to bring my best work to the reader, who has been generous enough to buy my book. Therefore, I will never say five. That would suggest I had nothing to learn or work on, and I never want to feel like that.

6. What are you working on right now?
My second novel is called, ‘I Hate That You Bloody Left Me,’ and is the story of three widows who meet in an online forum and decide to attend a world famous psychic medium’s very last show together, hoping for a message from their late husband’s. When none of them get a message, they then embark on a road trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to find the psychic and beg him for one, last reading… and end up accidentally kidnapping him.

7. Please say something to your readers.
Never underestimate the importance of your review to authors, particularly those lesser known and indie authors. Your review really does make a difference, with Amazon giving more visibility to those books with a certain number of them. Remember, they don’t need to be elaborate or long-winded. Even as a writer, I often write a simple one line review and just apply those all-important stars!  And share, share, SHARE those posts by fabulous book bloggers, who do so much to support struggling authors too. Share the book love! And to those that bought ‘The New Mrs D’ thank you so much for being a part of keeping my writing dream alive.

Would a stolen pencil really warrant such an elaborate daylight operation? Of course not, stupid woman. Maybe I was being mugged. Was it the stash of Euros in my purse I’d flashed while paying for the moped? Oh no, wait – they surely weren’t after my faux diamond emblazoned Primark flip-flops?

In a panic, I kicked one off into the path of an elderly couple as they strolled out from a hotel car park. The shoe shot straight into the old man’s portly, bare stomach with a sickening slap.

‘They have the diamonds!’ I called, mercilessly pointing them out to the gangsters before whizzing onwards to make my getaway. But it was all for nothing; the roar of bikes continued behind me. I slowed to turn a corner into another side street and heard a shout.

‘Stop! Mrs Dando! You stop NOW!’

What on earth could they want? I reached down with one hand, trying to take the other flip-flop off to throw back as a ransom, but dropping it instead. As I cursed myself and looked up, an ancient Greek woman on a scooter was zipping round a bend straight at me, only swerving at the last second to avoid a collision.

‘What the…’

‘WAAAAHHHH!!!’ We screamed the last part in unison; ‘Waaaahhhh’, it transpired, being the international synonym for ‘OH SHIIIIIT!’ In an instant, her front wheel bounced off the kerb, sending both the old lady, and the basket of lemons balanced on her handlebars, flying, Frank Spencer style through the air towards a couple of teenage boys. Christ, I’m in a Carry On film.

‘Save the lemons!’ I called back, rattling onwards with no time to look behind again or wonder why my first manic thoughts were for Frank Spencer and the fruit – not the little old lady. Speeding away from the increasing chaos behind, I rounded a honking car pulling out from a driveway and yelled at its startled occupants, ‘CALL THE POLICE!’

Despite the throttle being fully open it seemed the tiny moped engine had no more to give and the roar from the biker gang got closer. Turning round once more, I could see the two bikes were still in hot pursuit, and for the first time I noticed the boy had a very fat man riding pillion. So there were four of them! And the fourth had mad lady-killer written all over him. Heart pounding with fear, I grabbed the nearest thing to a weapon from the moped basket and began hurling ammunition overhead at the assailants. However, taking my eyes off the road to lob miniature chocolate croissants was a last, fatal mistake.


The moped bumped straight up a kerb, sending my stomach boinging up to my lungs and my knicker tops rolling back down below my belly again, as the bike came to a near halt. This was it, the end. I waited for my life to flash in front of me… but a massive, spiny bush got there first. Without testing the moped’s brakes and fuelled by an extraordinary burst of adrenaline, I dived off, sending it ploughing, un-helmed, into the bush. This was where, in a moment of TV cop-esque brilliance, I rolled over-and-over onto a grass bank before springing back to my feet.

‘Whoa!’ For a split second, Mrs David Dando was Lara Croft; crime-fighting, tomb raiding stunt rider. That was until My Big Fat Greek Assassin got off his bike and made towards me and I remembered who I actually was. Bawling Binnie – with her knickers rolling down again.

‘Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me! I’m unarmed!’ I yelled, trying – and failing – to get my helmet off before throwing up my hands in surrender to the waiting gang.

‘Other side, Mrs Dando! Other side!’ yelled Zorba the Crook, taking a handkerchief from his pocket to wipe bits of chocolate and pastry from his fat sweaty face. Spying his accomplices coming up behind, I turned around and flung myself face down in the dirt with my hands behind my still helmeted head.

‘Okay, okay,’ I whimpered, ‘just, please don’t hurt me.’

There are moments that should flash through your mind when you think death is imminent; the faces of loved ones, lifelong friends, long-forgotten happy moments, childhood memories. This was my crucial moment – and I was going to die wondering if Greece had body bags big enough for me in this colossal monstrosity of a biking helmet.

The Fat Assassin flopped down beside me and prodded my shoulder. ‘Oh God,’ I thought. ‘He’s really mad! Goodbye cruel world!’

Dear Facebook, today I was so hot. Oops, bloody mobile phone typos! I was s-h-o-t.

‘Mrs Dando...’

As I lay there with my eyes screwed shut waiting to feel a gun in my ribs, (please God let it be a gun in his pocket) hearing him huffing like a muddy, wet contestant on Total Wipeout, his voice took on a calmer, more sinister tone.

‘I not kill you. You kill yourself.’

I froze. Oh my God, he was going to make me shoot me.

I heard him take another deep breath and cough. ‘Mrs Dando,’ he said finally. ‘You drive with the moped on the other side!’

‘I didn’t mean… I wasn’t... oh!’ Ah. Right… I rolled back over to face him, but again, met with nothing but blackness. Bloody helmet! So, I wasn’t going to be bumped off for stealing the island’s only pencil. Or for assault with a supersized bag of mini croissants.

Twisting the monstrous headgear off and easing myself upright, I was met by four nonplussed faces caked in, well… cake.

‘Oh,’ I said, smoothing my hair in an attempt to recuperate some composure. ‘Well, er… why didn’t you just say so?’

Author Bio

Heather Hill is a Scotland based comedy writer, author and mum of five (not the band). She is one of a rare kind; the rare kind being one of only 0.5% of women who are colourblind. She has been known to leave the house with blue eyebrows on at least one occasion. Her debut novel, 'The New Mrs D' is being pitched for film by a British TV comedy producer and Snipper Films.

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