Wednesday 14 June 2017

Blog Tour ~ Always In My Heart by Pam Weaver

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be hosting today's stop on the 

Always In My Heart Blog Tour

Pan Macmillan
15 June 2017

What's the story all about...

1939. When war is declared, fifteen-year-old twins Shirley and Tom are evacuated from London to the coastal town of Worthing in Sussex by their mother to keep them safe. Shirley is bright and resourceful – her brother gentle and slow to understand the world around him. When the twins are taken in by local farmer Gilbert, their new home quickly proves to be far from a rural dream. They are forced to labour all day and prevented from contacting home, while Gilbert’s pregnant wife lives in fear of him. Meanwhile, their mother Florrie has stayed in London to be treated for tuberculosis, and the arrival of an unexpected visitor brings back painful memories from the past to haunt her… 
As winter sets in on the farm, Shirley discovers Gilbert is hiding a deadly secret. Will she be able to find a way out for everyone?
And can the power of family bonds help them to survive their ordeal and reunite with their mother at last?

I'm really thrilled to be able to share with you today this exclusive extract from 

Always in My Heart by Pam Weaver

The birth of Janet Oliver’s baby.

Mr Oliver came to the stairs and shouted up at Shirley.

‘Stay where you are, Gilbert Oliver,’ said Granny Roberts. ‘This is no place for a man.’

‘What’s going on?’ he said. ‘What are you doing in my house, you interfering old bid—’ Having reached the landing, he could see the three of them: Janet panting slightly, Granny Roberts mopping her brow with a piece of muslin and Shirley putting down the tea tray.

‘The girl’s having her baby,’ Granny said coldly.

Mr Oliver seemed slightly flummoxed, but then he said, ‘Tell her to hurry up, then. I need a hand with the milking in the morning.’ He pointed a finger at Shirley. ‘And you – get back downstairs.’

‘I need her here,’ said Granny Roberts. She seemed totally unfazed by Mr Oliver’s belligerent attitude. ‘I’m not so young as I used to be. I need the girl with me.’

Mr Oliver opened his mouth to say something, but at the same time Janet cried out as another pain came. He didn’t stay. They heard him clattering his way downstairs, and shortly after that, the back door slammed.

Janet’s little girl was born at eight forty-five. Mr Oliver had been back a couple of times to demand help in the milking parlour, but each time Granny Roberts sent him packing. When she told him the baby had been born, he made no attempt to come up and see her. Shirley washed the baby as Granny Roberts said her hands weren’t so good because of the arthritis. If seeing the baby emerge into the world wasn’t amazing enough, giving her a bath in a bowl of warm water was the most fantastic thing Shirley had ever experienced. She felt an instant link with the child, and the fact that it was December 17th and so close to Christmas made it feel all the more special.

At around ten o’clock, Shirley went back downstairs. Mother and baby were sleeping and Granny Roberts was anxious to get back home to her husband. They put the afterbirth on the fire, and the towels went into the scullery sink to soak in Drummer Boy Blue until Shirley could light the copper and give them a good boil. It had been a long night for all of them, but they felt contented. Granny Roberts said it was good to feel useful again, and even Tom was happy. He’d been working flat out in the milking parlour. Lucky it was Sunday and there was no school. Trudging to the village after the night they’d all had would have been a hard task. Shirley prepared breakfast for everybody. They were all ravenous.

‘Aren’t you going upstairs to see the baby?’ Granny Roberts asked Mr Oliver as Shirley offered to walk her home.

‘What fer?’ he said, pulling on his jacket. ‘One baby is much the same as another.'

Pam Weaver was partly inspired to write her latest book Always in My Heart by the discovery of her secret half-brother.They unknowingly grew up together in the same village, as her mother had an affair with an American GI in 1944, and she was raised by a neighbour. 

Pam's saga novels, There's Always Tomorrow, Better Days Will Come, Pack Up Your Troubles, For Better For Worse and Love Walked Right In, are set in Worthing during the austerity years.

Pam's inspiration comes from her love of people and their stories, and her passion for the town of Worthing.

My thanks to the author and her publishers, Pan Macmillan, and also to Bethan at edpr

for the invitation to join in with this Blog Tour and also for their kind permission to share this 

exclusive extract from Always in my Heart

Always in My Heart by Pam Weaver is out now from Pan Macmillan (£6.99 paperback) 


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