Category Archives: It Never Was You

Happy birthday, Nan

My nan would have been 85 today. Her passing earlier this year was a devastating blow to the family, and her absence is still felt very strongly.

William & Sheila with their favourite book

Today is also William and Sheila’s 65th wedding anniversary. Theirs was a very emotional and powerful bond. Like all marriages, there were ups and downs, good times and bad. But I like to remember the good times, and there were certainly plenty of those. One thing I fondly remember of my grandparents is the amount of laughter to be had when they were together.

I can’t think of a better way to mark Nan’s birthday, and their anniversary than to share a favourite passage from the book dedicated to her memory. It Never Was You tells the story of two people who, despite all their differences and the struggles they face in post-war Britain, manage to fall head over heals in love and revel in each other’s company. There is plenty of William and Sheila in Harry and Mary.

Nan loved reading William’s writing, and often dipped in and out of the printed books. There was always a smile on her face and a sigh of contentment when she did so. So here’s a passage I think she’d have particularly savoured.

Happy birthday, Nan. Love you xx

Harry departed Rosario for Cordoba punctually, thanks to Juan Peron who, like all good dictators, made the trains run on time. He secured a seat in the observation car at the rear of the train which gave panoramic views of the countryside through large picture windows. The two hundred and fifty mile journey was scheduled to take some six hours so Harry kicked off his shoes and settled himself comfortably to enjoy the scenery. The first leg of the journey, some one hundred and fifty miles west to the small railhead at Villa Maria, would be across the open pampas, the Argentinean sector of that vast treeless plain which lies south of the Mato Grosso and home to some five million steers, those vast herds which drove the country’s economy. From there, the train would travel North West into the easternmost foothills of the Andes. Harry was particularly fond of Cordoba, its quiet provincial atmosphere, its hospitable people but above all the scenery. The city had once been the seat of Spanish colonial government for the region and its architecture and culture was emulate of the city in southern Spain from which it took its name. He gazed contentedly through the window at this ocean of lazily undulating grass. He smiled. What was it Francisco Chavarre had said? ‘My country is only half made up.’ He looked out at the vast emptiness of this half-made land as the pampas rolled interminably past in great sweeping arcs. His eyes moved across the horizon. The summer sun had not yet attained its full power and the grass, still remarkably green from the late spring rains, was flecked with a myriad rash of the bright yellow wild flowers known as ‘pampas roses’. The huge beef herds  were still far to the north but would move slowly southwards as the season advanced to feed on this bounty before the January sun scorched the plain. Then the hills came into view.
     Unlike many of his peers, Harry did not frequent the bars and bordellos of the ports, but preferred to use any free time to explore places of interest and to see as much of the country as he could. He was to learn in time that recounting such experiences was to prove a most effective, if not wholly infallible method of subduing Mary’s runaway chatter. He did not succeed in actually closing her mouth, which hung agape in awe at his stories.
     He told her of trips to Manaus, the great former rubber ‘capital’, a thousand miles along the Amazon, deep in the vast Brazilian rainforest.
     ‘Did you ever see any of them Indians, Hen? You know, them ones with the piss pot ’air cuts and the poison darts?’
     ‘No, darling.’
     ‘Bloody good job though, eh? I mean you wouldn’t want to go play’n 501 up with those nasty buggers, would you?’
     Of taking the train from Mollendo Puña in Chile and then by funicular railway to Lake Titicaca, high among the majestic peaks of the Andes, those vast palaces of nature whose bright blue sunlit summits seemed to mingle with the sky.
     Of the spring carnival in Rio de Janeiro, a three day orgy of the flesh…
     ‘What’s it all in aid of then, Hen?’
     ‘The Rio carnival? It’s a religious festival marking the beginning of lent. The big blowout before the fast. Like Mardi Gras, you know, Shrove Tuesday and all that.’
     ‘Three days on the piss for lent?’
     ‘Look, I’m talking about Rio here, not Bishops Stortford. It’s the time for love.’
     ‘Don’t sound very religious to me, all that sing’n, danc’n and knee trembl’n. Tell you what though, it must beat the shit out of toss’n frigg’n pancakes.’
     Of the Rodeo La Plata, when gauchos, dressed in their finely embroidered boleros, their billowing troos tucked into delicately tooled calf-length leather boots, display their skills at cattle wrangling with the ‘bolo’, a type of lasso carrying a heavily weighted leather ball at its end which winds around the legs of the unfortunate steer, bringing it down…
     ‘Does it hurt them, Hen?’ She turned her head to look up into his face. ‘I mean it’s no joke being pulled arse over tip with a sodd’n lasso, is it?’
     Laughing, he shook his head. ‘Compared with what is to come, that’s the good part.’
     He described, without too much of the gory detail, the scenes in the abattoir. Her face screwed up in horror as she listened. ‘Oh Jesus, that’s awful, those poor things. Can’t they do it any other way? Christ, I don’t think I could face another bit of steak, even if you could get it on the rations.’
     ‘You can always eat fish, sweetheart.’
     ‘Yeah, ’course, they have a much better time, fish. Hooked up by the roof of their mouth or caught in a bloody great net and tipped out to suffocate on the deck of some poxy trawler. What did you have to tell me all that for, anyway? Now I shall probably starve meself to death.’ She snuggled into him. ‘Hen?’
     ‘Yes love?’
     ‘When all sweets come off the rations, will you buy me about a hundredweight of jelly babies?’
     ‘Absolutely! But why jelly babies?’
     ‘Well, people don’t ill-treat jelly babies, do they?’
     ‘Of course they do, they bite their heads off.’
     ‘Oh, you rotten bugger!’


Extract from It Never Was You by William E. Thomas, Chapter Seven
(c) All rights reserved
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Wordy Wednesdays #1: Tallyman

To her surprise and delight, Mary received a letter from Harry the following day. Recognising the handwriting, she smiled to herself. ‘He’s got the pilot playing postman for him again, I bet.’ She sat on her bed reading slowly then gazed, rapt, the letter clutched in her hand. After a while she began to read it through again. Shaking her head she went to her bedside cupboard and took out a small dictionary.

It Never Was You by William E. Thomas, Ch. 10, p.234  

I’m sure many a reader chuckled when they read this passage in It Never Was You, as it sums up pretty well the character of Harry and Mary’s early romance. Mary’s loquacious but unsophisticated chatter is offset so brilliantly by Harry’s intermittent yet eloquent ripostes. He is a quiet man, but one with a well-honed vocabulary that he puts to good use, often for comic and sardonic effect.

Harry’s banter often reminds me of William himself, who loved to explore and experiment with words. He peppered The Cypress Branches with a plethora of wonderful, and sometimes weird, acronyms, slang and now long forgotten, obsolete words and phrases. The way people spoke in the 1940s and 50s when the books are set was very different to how we speak now, and once common and every-day phrases now seem baffling to the contemporary reader.

More than once, as I was editing and reviewing the books, I have found myself in a similar situation to Mary, reaching for a dictionary or going online to look up the meaning of a slang phrase. I love this aspect of the books. It roots them in the time they’re set, and makes the dialogue that much richer and more believable.

So, I thought I’d start a series of posts exploring some of the more obscure and interesting words which I have encountered in the books, and share with you what I have been able to discover about them.

Are there any words or phrases you’ve seen in the trilogy that you’d love to know more about – or just know what the heck they mean? If so, let me know and I’ll add them to the list to explore in future posts.

Wordy Wednesday #1: Tallyman

Where? It Never Was You, Chapter 6, page140

What’s the context? Harry and Mary are on their first outing together, and have stopped to take tea in a small patisserie. Mary is on one of her never-ending “ear-bashings”, telling Harry all about her family and her past.


“…don’t know how they managed, really, me mum and dad, him being away at sea, like, not that they were sex-mad, well not for each other, anyway, know what I mean, me mam put it about a bit, you know, the tallyman, the milkman always come out with a smile on their face, like…”

What does it mean? There are a number of possible definitions of a tallyman. As the name suggests, they are people employed to keep a tally – a running count – of people or items. In some countries, the tallyman is present at an election count, to keep a note of preferences when the ballot boxes are opened. In some towns and cities in the 19th and early 20th centuries, tallymen were often employed by landlords or councils to do head counts, to ensure the correct number of people were living in council owned properties.

More often, though, the tallyman was the collector of debts. Hire purchase was popular in the period between and after the war, when the desire for consumer goods outstripped the everyday purchasing power of families. The result was many households buying goods (from furniture to vacuum cleaners) on credit, and paying back in instalments. Credit unions also helped out families on low incomes, clawing back the debts by sending the tallyman round periodically to collect the payments. Alan Johnson writes about how he and his family would hide from the tallyman when he came knocking, in his memoir, This Boy: “We were well practised in ducking down away from the windows and remaining silent as soon as we heard four knocks, and lying low until the tallyman gave up. We also knew we had to walk straight past the house if we saw one of them on the doorstep. They were easy to spot with their uniform belted raincoats and the thick, black ledgers they all carried.

Liverpool and its tallymen: The word has a particular association with Liverpool, where It Never Was You is set. During the early Victorian period, Liverpool was renowned for its overcrowded, unsanitary slums where dock and factory workers crammed into tiny dwellings with their extended families. In an effort to clean up the slums, and improve the health of the ever-growing population, Dr William Henry Duncan was appointed as the city’s (and the country’s) first Medical Officer of Health in 1847. He had some radical ideas, and it was undoubtedly thanks to his influence that the living conditions of Liverpool’s population improved markedly, with the slums eventually making way for the now ubiquitous Victorian “two-up two-down” terraces.

But Duncan’s legacy has a more sinister side, with tales (whether apocryphal or not, it isn’t clear) of a version of the tallyman sent to check on the number of people living in each home. So the stories go, the tallyman would visit, often at night, and if the home was considered too overcrowded or unsanitary, the authorities would remove children from their families and re-home them outside the city. The tallyman thus became an object of fear, and many who grew up in the 40s and 50s tell tales of how they were encouraged to behave, “or the tallyman will come to get you”.

Whether this was officially sanctioned, or even if it happened at all, isn’t clear, but it does make for a great “bogieman” threat to keep kids in line!

Have you heard of any tales of the tallyman? Can you shed any more light on the tallymen of Liverpool? If so, please leave a comment.

A new start

Greetings, Bloggerland!
How have you been? I know, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it. Sorry about that. Had some time off to think things over and work out what to do next…
You see, 2012 and 2013 have been quite eventful, emotional and trying at times. The excitement of publishing the Cypress Branches trilogy, and learning my way around the self-publishing world, has been tempered by some very sad and difficult events.
William’s wife, my grandmother, passed away earlier this year, just before we released It Never Was You. With the family’s blessing, I decided to go ahead with a low-key launch and the blog tour. But to be honest, it took it out of me, and I decided that I’d have to take a break.
And I’m glad I did. I’d been concentrating on publishing the books pretty much constantly for about 18 months, and the strain was beginning to show. I just wasn’t enjoying it any more, and when you stop enjoying something, that’s when you need to take a step back.

But the trilogy has rarely been far from my thoughts, and I’ve used the last few months to have a really good think about what direction I want to take the project from here on in. I think I have a plan nailed, and once again I’m pretty excited about it, which is great. There are going to be changes, but all for the good, I think.

So, where to begin?

Online spring clean

Well, for a start, the main website (acuteanglebooks.co.uk) is having a makeover to bring it right into the 21st century. With the new format, it will now work just as well on mobile and tablet devices as it did on PCs, rather than being re-formatted into a poor HTML version, which has always been a bugbear of mine. I’m also making it a bit more streamlined and user-friendly, both for the reader and for me making updates!

There will also be changes around this blog. I’m going to do a spring clean as soon as the website is up and running, then I’ll start to pen some posts I’ve been planning for a long time now, but have never managed to get round to…

New blog content

Earlier in the year, I pledged to blog more often. Alas, events overtook that resolution, and the extra content never materialised. But it’s never too late to make a start, and hopefully soon, there will be more opportunities to create some really interesting content.

One of the things I’ve realised since taking my sabbatical is that I’ve never done any really meaty research into Gramps’s past. This really is a rich seam to explore, what with his career as a paratrooper, merchant seaman, engineer and university lab technician. I’d love to get in touch with others who might know of a parent or grandparent who may have served with William during the war, or at sea. I want to find out more about what his life would have been like back then, and get a better understanding of where his ideas for the book came from.

And there’s all the posts around the books themselves that I’d like to do. They are set against the backdrop of some incredible moments in the history of the 20th century, and I’d love to explore them more. In Pegasus Falling alone, we take in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden at Arnhem, the concentration camps, the refugee crisis in Germany after the war, the Jewish settlers trying to reach Palestine, and the whole Middle East situation flaring up. All of these are fascinating aspects of history that I’d love to read more about. As I do, I’ll be documenting my research here.

I’m teeming with ideas, and can’t wait to get stuck in.

Building the audience

The key aim all along has been to get the books into the hands of the audience William’s work deserves, and for the first 18 months of this project I was searching out readers right across the globe. Drunk on the possibilities that ebook publishing offers, I cast the net wide hoping to build an audience wherever I could. That tactic had some success, but not enough to warrant continuing down that road. Because our readers are scattered across the continents, building momentum has been difficult, and I feel that now a bit of consolidation closer to home is what’s needed.

For the time being I’ll be concentrating on building an audience on this side of the Atlantic. Whilst the US market offers a huge number of readers, and I have managed to find a few out there (thanks guys!), I really should be doing more in the UK first. (Don’t worry, international readers, I’m not forsaking you totally, and the books will continue to be available around the world wherever possible, so if you’re in the States (or Australia, Spain, Portugal, or anywhere else the books have sold) and you know your friends will love the books as much as you have, go tell them to buy them – they’re still there in the Kindle Store.

Building a bigger fan base closer to home over the coming months makes a lot of sense for several reasons. For a start, although we now live in a global marketplace, and Facebook and Twitter have transformed how word of mouth is spread, I think it still makes sense to start small. I suspect that building excitement around the books will be easier to do in a small area to begin with. I can visit places in the UK, bringing that personal touch. Plus, with the second and third books being set primarily in the UK, there are places here that I can (and will!) target, and that’s my next step (watch out, Liverpool!)

…But what about the books themselves?!

And then, of course, there’s the small matter of publishing part three of the trilogy. Work hasn’t begun on it yet, which I know will dismay many readers eagerly awaiting its release. But I can assure you, work will begin soon. The first job is to re-read the manuscript – something I haven’t done since putting together the hardback. I can’t wait to get stuck in!

So, that’s the plan. What the next 18 months actually holds in store, who knows. But I’m looking forward to getting started.

Watch this space!

Blog Tour Giveaway Winners Announced!

Hello everyone,

Today, I have great pleasure in announcing the winners of the It Never Was You blog tour giveaway! The Rafflecopter closed last night, and I have now chosen the winning entries. Congratulations to all 21 winners! They are displayed in the widget below.

All of the winners will be contacted by email very shortly with details of how to claim their prize.

Thanks to all of you who entered and helped spread the word about the book and the giveaway. We had over 650 entries in the end, so it was an overwhelming success, I think!

If you weren’t lucky enough to win, keep a look out for other giveaways in the future. Or if you really want to get stuck in to the trilogy straight away, remember both books are available on Amazon in the US and the UK in paperback and on Kindle.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 days left to enter the Blog Tour Give Away!

Hi everyone,

I hope you’re all enjoying the blog tour. If you haven’t been following, you can catch up on the tour homepage.

As part of the tour, I’ve been running a give away, with 14 prizes, including a $50/£30 Amazon gift card, paperback and ebook copies of It Never Was You up for grabs.

With the tour ending in a week’s time, there are just 7 days left to enter the give away, so here’s the widget again. If you’ve “Liked” the Facebook page or follow us on Twitter, you get automatic entry. To earn more entries, follow as many of our wonderful bloggers as you like on Twitter.

Best of luck to you all!

***EDIT: 10th June 2013***
I’ve got two bits of news regarding the give away. First the bad news if you’ve been waiting patiently for it to finish…I’ve added two days to the give away to allow readers of the final post in the blog tour time to enter.

But the good news is, to celebrate reaching over 500 entries (woohoo!) I have increased the number of prizes to include FIVE paperbacks and FIFTEEN ebooks!

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

WLC New Release promotion

World Literary Cafe 

It’s the beginning of a new month, the trees are (finally!) starting to bud and the World Literary Cafe is hosting another New Release feature.

And this month, they’re featuring our very own It Never Was You
We’re very excited about this promotion. With thirteen books from a wide selection of genres, both fiction and non-fiction, there’s bound to be something for everyone, so head over to the WLC and take a browse through. You might just find your next favourite book this weekend! 

It Never Was You blog tour & Giveaway

It Never Was You is available to buy from today! And to celebrate, we’re going on a blog tour. And to celebrate that, we’ve got a fantastic give away lined up. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the Rafflecopter give away and enter to win a $50 / £30 Amazon voucher, one of three copies of the paperback, or one of ten copies of the ebook.

Here’s the schedule as it stands right now. Bloggers are still signing up for the later dates in the tour, so events will be added over the coming days and weeks. Make sure to check back regularly to make sure you don’t miss anything…

***
Want to get stuck in to the trilogy?
You can get Pegasus Falling, the acclaimed first instalment, on your Kindle, Kobo or Nook for as little as 99c / 79p until the end of June! Grab your copy now before the price reverts to the RRP ($2.99 / £1.99)
***

Thursday 25th April
susanrussoanderson.com

Interview

Our first stop is at the wonderful blog of Susan Russo Anderson, author of the Serafina Florio series. She interviewed Mike about Pegasus Falling, and she was interested in the use of the haunting Adagietto from Mahler’s 5th Symphony. Take a look…

Friday 26th April
susanrussoanderson.com

Excerpt from Pegasus Falling

As a weekend treat, we return to Susan’s blog for an excerpt from Pegasus Falling, the scene which features Mahler’s 5th Symphony. The year is 1946 and the place is Tel Aviv, Palestine. Sammy and Lesley have just met up for the first time since their troubling liaison just after the war, and Mahler’s stirring music is about to have a profound effect on them both. Jump in…

Monday 29th April
outofthebags.com

Review 

Liss is one of the most recent bloggers to read Pegasus Falling, but she has the honour of being the first blogger in the tour to tell us what she made of It Never Was You. She loved it, giving it 4 stars. “Mr. Thomas has weaved a tale of mystery, romance, fact and fiction into a grand masterpiece.” Read on…

Thursday 2nd May
plasticrosaries.com

Review & Excerpt from It Never Was You

“Very different to Pegasus Falling but Thomas’ characters are just as, if not more endearing as ever.”

Today, we head over to Beth Townsend’s brilliant blog for our first UK review, which is exciting, especially as she gave it 4 stars!

Also, Beth chose one of her favourite passages from the book to highlight. Part One is presented here…

Friday 3rd May
plasticrosaries.com

Part Two of the It Never Was You excerpt

We return to Beth’s blog for part two of the excerpt that Beth chose. Beth lives in Liverpool, the setting for the book, and she was struck by the character of Mary and her “Scouse vernacular”, which is shown off to great effect in this funny and clever scene…

Monday 6th May
A Bookish Affair

Guest post

Meg at A Bookish Affair is our host today as we delve into one of the most important themes of the book and ask the question, did William write a romance or a love story? Check out the post here…

Friday 10th May
jillysheep.wordpress.com

Review

Jill is one of the most prolific readers I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She is one of amazon.co.uk’s Hall of Fame reviewers and was also one of the first reviewers who kindly took a chance on an unknown author. Thankfully she loved Pegasus Falling and was delighted to receive her copy of It Never Was You. Today, Jill posted her wonderful review, which you can read here…

Saturday 11th May
jillysheep.wordpress.com

Guest Post

We head back to Jill’s blog to take a closer look at one of the main characters from the trilogy – Harry Williamson…

Monday 13th May
onevintageheart.com

Interview

Juliette Hill is an author (find her short stories on Amazon) who has shown an incredible amount of support for William’s books. Back in September 2012, she hosted an interview with me as well as a glowing review of Pegasus Falling, which was part of the Best Indie Book Festival. Today, she hosts a follow up interview before sharing her thoughts on It Never Was You…

Saturday 18th May
Darlene’s Book Nook

Guest Post

Darlene’s fab blog is our home for the day as list 10 things you didn’t know about William…

Thursday 23rd May

I Read A Book Once

The Eclectic Bookworm

Review

Jonathan Wilhoit runs one of my favourite book review blogs on the web – reviewing a wide range of interesting reads together with his small band of fellow bloggers. Amanda Amaya from Texas read Pegasus Falling earlier this year and was virtually biting my hand off to be one of the first to read It Never Was You. She was, and here are her thoughts.

Sunday 26th May
Missuswolf’s Storyland

Interview

Today, we slip off our shoes, slump into our favourite comfy chair and relax for a cuppa and a catch up with British indie author Gemma Wilford.

Thursday 6th June
World Literary CafeInterview

Author Stacy Eaton took time out of her (extremely) busy schedule to interview me about William, his books and the devastating effect Alzheimer’s has had on him and the family. Officially, this isn’t part of the tour, but I’m chuffed to bits with how the interview came out, so I’m including it here anyway!

Thursday 6th June
The Pax Integral

Guest Post

Something a little different today. We head over to the blog of Meryl S. Fortney, the author of end-of-the-world zombie thriller Pax Corpus. Meryl blogs not only about her books, but also her experiences as a transexual. She hosts a guest post exploring the attitudes to homosexuality in the 1940s and 1950s, and asks, did my grandfather write a homophobic novel?

Friday 7th June
Great Romance Promotions
Excerpt

We delve back into the book today and enjoy a glimpse at what I’m sure will be a romance that touches many a reader’s heart.

Friday 14th June
Lucybirdbooks.com

Guest Post

It’s the last stop on the tour today (I know, sad), but we’ve got a great treat lined up to send the tour off in style.

The Giveaway

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter the giveaway. As well as the star prize of a $50 or £30 gift certificate to spend at amazon, we’ve also got five copies of the paperback and 10 copies of the ebook to give away!

All you need to do to enter is “like” the Cypress Branches Trilogy on Facebook and follow @cypressbranches on twitter.

Want more chances to win? Follow our lovely bloggers on Twitter, leave a comment on this post, tweet about the giveaway or leave a comment on the FB page to earn extra entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For Sheila, with love

Tomorrow, It Never Was You, part two of William E. Thomas’s Cypress Branches trilogy, will be officially released as an ebook. It is a day I have been looking forward to for a long time, and the weeks and months that follow will be exciting. But in one way, it will be a sad occasion.

Sheila and William on holiday in Somerset. April 2006

Without a doubt, William’s wife Sheila, my nan, has been the single most important figure in the creation of this trilogy. Not only did she spur on and support William during the years it took him to write the book, she also provided me with unconditional support and encouragement from the moment I first mooted the idea of self-publishing it in 2008.

She was there when William finished the book. She was there when I handed him his copy of the hardback. She was there when Pegasus Falling, the first paperback was revealed and she was there when the first reviews started coming in. She insisted that I hurry up and finish the trilogy so that she could see them all together, and the project completed.

Sadly, her wish wasn’t to come true. In April last year, Sheila suffered a devastating stroke. After a year long battle to recover, she passed away on 7th March.

The last few months have been a difficult time for the Thomas family. We lost our matriarch, a woman who never failed to express her love, and knew how to do so in so many different ways. She was a formidable woman, an inspiration to many, and never failed to make an impression on everyone who met her. Her circle of friends continued to grow even in her last days.

She was married to William for 65 years. A marriage that long is bound to have both its highs and lows, and there were plenty of both for the two of them, but their love for one another was constant, and truly inspiring. They raised a family of six children who went on to provide them with countless grandchildren and great grandchildren who have developed into a close-knit, supporting and loving family.

Sheila was buried in a Humanist ceremony that was attended by her large family and extended group of friends and ex-colleagues last month. She has been laid to rest in a meadow at a green burial ground. It is a beautiful spot with a wide view of the Buckinghamshire countryside that she would have loved.

She leaves a huge hole in our lives and will be sorely missed by all who knew her, but she would hate for us to put our lives on hold to grieve, and so plans for the publication of William’s second book have carried on and the launch is going ahead as planned.

It Never Was You is dedicated to Sheila’s memory.

Sheila Thomas
29th November 1928 – 7th March 2013

Jump on board for the blog tour!

***
UPDATE 25th April


The blog tour has begun! But it’s not too late to join in. I still have a few dates available for late May and early June. I’m particularly interested in hearing from bloggers who’d like to review It Never Was You or host an excerpt. 

A give away has been added, too, using Rafflecopter. Every reader loves a give away, so if you’d like to add it to your blog, feel free to grab the code from here and include a link back to the tour homepage (http://bit.ly/YxZDcU)

***

To accompany the release of It Never Was You at the end of this month, I’m putting together a blog tour to run through May and June. I’m really excited to have several amazing bloggers already lined up and it would be amazing to meet some new bloggers and get them involved too.

If you run a blog and would like to be involved in the tour, please get in touch using the form below.

The tour will run from 26th April, through May and into June. If there are any preferred dates you’re interested in, do let me know.

The tour will have a home page on this blog, with all the dates and venues linked. I’ll be providing the participants with a tour banner (like the one above) which will link back to the tour home page, so that we can all benefit from increased traffic to and from our blogs.

I’ll also be promoting the tour on Twitter and Facebook, so you’ll get extra exposure for your site.

Whether it’s a review, guest post, interview, excerpt or giveaway you’re interested in (or more than one), get in touch! If you have an idea for a guest post that you’d like me to provide, or you’d like to do something out there or a little bit different, let’s chat about it.

ARCs of It Never Was You available now

UPDATE 24th APRIL 2013
ARCs of It Never Was You are no longer available, as the ebook has now launched. 
If you are a reviewer or blogger interested in receiving a copy of William’s books in exchange for an honest and fair review, then please contact me by sending an email to contactus AT acuteanglebooks.co.uk. 


CALLING ALL READERS OF LITERARY FICTION!

It Never Was You will be released in paperback and ebook at the end of April.

In the run up to the launch, I am releasing 50 Electronic Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of It Never Was You to readers in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Fill in the form below to request your copy now!

I will send an ebook (in the correct format for your reading device) to any reader who agrees to post an honest and fair review on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk (wherever you are based) within 4 weeks of the book’s publication date (24th April 2013). Reviews do not have to be positive – just honest – but please read the description below before requesting your copy.

You will gain extra brownie points if you also post your review on your blog, Goodreads, B&N, Waterstones, etc.

Will you enjoy It Never Was You

If you enjoy reading emotional stories with war as the background – but not necessarily “war fiction” (think Pat Barker, Sebastian Faulks, Ian McEwan, Louis de Bernières) you’ll love William’s books.

Part love story, part social history, The Cypress Branches trilogy weaves together the stories of an incredible set of characters whose lives and loves are buffeted by the ever changing attitudes and politics of the post-war era. They are ordinary people caught up in extraordinary times and it makes for exhilarating reading. 

In part 1 of the trilogy, Pegasus Falling, we followed the story of Sammy Parker, a World War II paratrooper who, after attacking a German officer, finds himself incarcerated in a concentration camp. There he discovers not only the horrors of the Nazi’s final solution, but also Naomi, a woman who Sammy comes to depend on to survive. When the camp is liberated, the couple are separated and Sammy battles to find out what happened to the woman he loves.

Part two, titled It Never Was You, follows the heartbreaking story of a quiet, middle class merchant seaman and his unexpected, tragic relationship with a beautiful and exuberant waitress from the Liverpool docks as they struggle to reconcile their feelings for each other with the class boundaries and ever changing attitudes of post-war Britain. It continues the saga started in Pegasus Falling and packs a lot of emotion, drama and history into its pages.

The book is written using UK English conventions and features British regional dialects. 

If you’d like to take part, but haven’t read Pegasus Falling (Part One of the trilogy) yet, don’t worry. It Never Was You can be read and enjoyed without reading Pegasus Falling first. 
However, if you’d prefer to read the trilogy in order, I’d be happy to supply you with an electronic copy of both books, on the proviso that you to post a review of both books on Amazon. As this will double the amount of reading you are committing to, I’ll be happy to wait a little longer for your review of It Never Was You (but not too long, mind – I’ll be dying to find out what you think!)

Ready to receive your ARC?

If you think you’d enjoy It Never Was You, and can commit to reading it before the end of April, please fill in the form below. We’ll email your ARC to you as soon as possible.