Thursday, May 5, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Shadows of Time by Jackie Meekums-Hales

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Shadows of Time by Jackie Meekums-Hales. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a fantastic guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Shadows of Time
Author: Jackie Meekums-Hales
Publication Date: April 26th 2022
Genre: Women's Fiction
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Maggie’s daughter, Cathy, is a successful business woman in Australia. After the failure of a relationship and her mother’s death, she returns to England for the funeral, hoping to rekindle her childhood sense of carefree life in the Yorkshire countryside. She is confronted by revelations about Maggie’s tragic past, which has a legacy of loss overshadowing her family’s present and future. As Cathy and her sister June unravel the truth, her mother’s story unfolds in a flashback to 1945. Life for the young Maggie before they were born reflects the world of mid-century attitudes towards women who dared to have a baby out of wedlock. The illusion of the Maggie her daughters knew is dispelled.

Meanwhile, two young women explore family history, and fate takes a hand. Three families are linked through coincidences and circumstances they did not know they shared. Cathy must decide how far, and for what reasons, she allows herself to live in the shadows of the past.
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EXCERPT:
The past was being rewritten, and she no longer trusted it. It seemed it could acquire a life of its own, turning, chameleon-like, into something that camouflaged itself.

As Cathy stepped through the door, she felt It seemed as if life just kept throwing the unexpected at her, like someone aiming at a coconut shy in a fairground, the prize being the removal of her peace of mind.

Was it her own fault? Did she just hand it over? She was no longer sure whether fate or her own actions had been the root of her situation, but failure was the outcome she felt. Here was June, her children around her, her job satisfying her, contentment oozing from her. Why didn't she feel that same satisfaction with her life? Others wowed at her photographs that captured a lifestyle most of them could only dream of. She’d made it to the top, despite the odds. She had a beautiful home full of beautiful things, remaining pristine and undisturbed by the turmoil of invasion by the young. Yet here she was, wishing that somehow she could capture that feeling of home. She was reeling from the discoveries she and June made in the loft. It was as if her mother had a secret life, of which they were not a part. Under the surface of the woman they had thought they knew was someone else, someone not shared with them—a stranger.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jackie Meekums-Hales is a member of the Society of Authors, whose debut novel Shadows of Time was the fulfilment of an ambition nurtured during her working life as a teacher, inspired by her research into her own and others’ family histories. She has been writing as a hobby since childhood, contributing to poetry anthologies since her undergraduate days and being a Poetry Guild national semi-finalist in the 1990s. She has also written short stories for friends, family and students. Since retiring, she has contributed to Poetry Archive Now (2020), with 20-20 Vision, uploaded to YouTube, and has had poetry and flash fiction published online by Flash Fiction North. One of her flash fictions is to appear in an anthology, having been selected from entries during the Morecambe Festival 2021. She had a creative memoir, Shelf Life, published by Dear Damsels in 2019, a precursor to collaborating with her sister on a creative non-fiction memoir Remnants of War, published in 2021. She writes a blog about her walks and thoughts in the Yorkshire and Somerset countryside.

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GUEST POST:
- Have you always wanted to be a writer?

For a working-class girl, growing up in a London suburb in the 1950s, being a writer wasn’t even on the radar. It wasn’t something you did, if you lived in our street. I had an older cousin who became a reporter, but I went to grammar school, and I was expected to do something academic, or work in a bank. But I wrote… There was a group of us who played in woods behind our houses, on land abandoned during the war. I must have been a compulsive organiser, even then, because I was inspired by Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven to form a “Woods Club”. We had secret meetings in my dad’s shed, and I started writing plays for us to make our long-suffering parents watch. I didn’t consciously think I wanted to be a writer, but my imagination found its way onto the page, even then.

It wasn’t until I was studying literature and history for my degree that I really started to write. I wrote poetry, and I thought it was just something that allowed me to express my thoughts and feelings. Then, one of my fellow students put together a booklet of poetry contributions, and his preface acknowledged that we’d all thought no-one else would relate to what we wrote, but we were wrong.

In subsequent years, I had the occasional poem published in an anthology, and I began writing scraps of prose we might now call Flash Fiction, but there was no label or market for it then. Poems and prose accumulated in a box, in the bottom of the wardrobe. I wrote short stories, shared with family and friends, but I was busy as an English teacher, and writing a novel was a “one day” idea. I started one for children, involving a wizard, and when Harry Potter came out, how I wished I’d managed to finish that before J.K. Rowling got going!

I shared some writing with my students. When they were struggling with the language of “Macbeth”, I went home and wrote a rap, to grab their interest and get the basics of the story into their heads. When I taught the older students about formulaic writing, I wove the “ingredients” of a fairy story together for them, and challenged them to write their own feminist versions. When an exam class had to study First World War poetry and concluded that poetry was just doom and gloom, and they didn’t want to be made miserable, I wrote a light-hearted poem for them, to prove not all poetry had to be sad. So I wrote, but I had a career, and I didn’t think of myself as a writer. I was a teacher with a hobby.

It was only when I retired from teaching that I had time and head-space to start writing more. I had a piece of creative non-fiction accepted for publication on line, and I thought maybe I could engage others, rather than just write for myself. I submitted short stories to competitions, and eventually I grasped the nettle and applied myself to tackling a novel. When Between the Lines Publishing accepted it, I was over the moon, as it was just before my 70th birthday. Maybe I was becoming a writer, at long last. Now I’ve written two more novels (not published) and I’ve had poetry and flash fiction accepted online. During the first lockdown, in 2020, I started a Covid diary, and I took up daily walking, from which my blog was born. I hadn’t dared to aspire to writing as a profession, but writing has always been part of my life, so maybe I’ve always been a writer.
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GIVEAWAY:
Jackie Meekums-Hales will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

45 comments:

  1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 5, 2022 at 2:47 AM

    Thank you for hosting today. I hope visitors enjoy reading about my background and my novel. Best wishes, Jackie

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  2. Sounds like an interesting story!

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 5, 2022 at 8:12 AM

      Thank you, Leoni. I hope it will bring the characters to life and reflect some women's experiences. Enjoy! Best wishes, Jackie

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  3. I love the excerpt and the cover.

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  4. Love the excerpt. May be a tearjerker. Good work

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  5. this sounds like a very interesting book

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  6. looks like a fun one

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  7. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 5, 2022 at 3:18 PM

    Thank you very much for the comments. It just might be a tear-jerker once or twice, Paige, and I hope the issues it raises will be interesting, wg hutton! I'm glad the excerpt is one you like, Sherry and Paige. Hopefully, Daniel, if it keeps you reading, it will be fun! I really appreciate you all taking the trouble to leave a comment, and encouragement is so welcome when it's your first novel. Best wishes, Jackie

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  8. Thank you for sharing your guest post and book details, this sounds like such a wonderful story, will there be a sequel?

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 5, 2022 at 6:00 PM

      Ah! One of my beta readers asked if there would be a sequel. Let me know who you’d like me to write more about! If it’s Cathy, I might have to visit Australia again! :) I wondered about Vicky … or Libby taking off into the wide world. You’ve set me thinking! :) Thank you. Jackie

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  9. My daughter would enjoy this book

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 3:58 AM

      I do hope so! My daughter is reading it … :) Thank you. Jackie

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  10. David HollingsworthMay 5, 2022 at 7:40 PM

    Sounds like a romantic book.

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 3:38 AM

      David, it’s not a about a romance, though it might have some elements of the “romantic” about it. I hope it’s a story any gender could get something from, because the theme of baggage from the past could be just as much an issue for anyone as for my characters. Thanks for taking the trouble to comment. Enjoy!

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  11. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 3:46 AM

      Thank you, Ann. Best wishes, Jackie

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  12. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 3:45 AM

      My advice would be what I gave my students, when I was teaching - never give up. Write because you love writing, and it feeds your imagination and your quality of life. There are lots of outlets for online submission now, and it doesn’t have to be a novel, but don’t take rejection to heart. Don’t be afraid to share your writing, maybe by joining a group, where you can get feedback to hone your craft and be inspired by others. I learnt a lot from that. Most of all, enjoy it!

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  13. The book sounds very interesting.

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  14. The book sounds wonderful. Love the cover.

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  15. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 3:49 AM

    Thank you Deb and pippirose. I agree that the cover is great - I can take no credit for the talent of the artist, but I’m glad it helps to make the book look like one you would like to read. I’d love to know what you think of it, when you’ve read it. Many thanks for leaving comments. Best wishes, Jackie

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 8:47 AM

      Thanks, Danielle. I hope you enjoy finding out about the character the artist portrayed so well. Best wishes, Jackie

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  17. I love everything about this book - genre title and cover!
    Thank you for sharing this with us.

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 8:46 AM

      What a lovely thing to say! Thank you so much. I do hope you enjoy reading the book. Best wishes, Jackie

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  18. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 8:50 AM

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Debbi. I hope the excerpt tempts you to read and enjoy the book. Best wishes, Jackie

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  19. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  20. Luv finding new interesting books / authors, Thank you

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  21. Sounds like a great book. Adding to my TBR list.

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 7:44 PM

      That’s great! Thank you. I hope you enjoy the book. Best wishes,
      Jackie

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  22. David HollingsworthMay 6, 2022 at 5:33 PM

    Happy Friday!

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  23. I like the cover and excerpt. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 7:49 PM

      Happy Mother’s Day to all those celebrating today, and all those who miss their children … Best wishes, Jackie

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  25. Thank you for a chance to win!

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  26. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 7:51 PM

    Many thanks to all those who have visited over night here in England. I appreciate you taking time to comment, and I hope you enjoy the book. Good luck, everyone! Best wishes, Jackie

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  27. This fictional book sounds great to read.

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  28. Sounds like an amazing book! Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Jackie Meekums-HalesMay 6, 2022 at 11:15 PM

    Thank you to the host for a fantastic part of the tour, and thanks to all who have visited over the week. If anyone wishes to ask anything more, please see my Facebook page or Twitter account, and you’re welcome to visit my blog. Until next time … Best wishes, Jackie

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