today we’re thrilled to welcome fabulous Zoë Miller to our blog with a guest post and be part of her blog tour for ‘A Question of Betrayal’. We’ve recently reviewed her latest book (which we thoroughly enjoyed) and you can read our review HERE. We’d like to thank the wonderful guys at Hachette Ireland and lovely Zoë for the opportunity to be part of this blog tour. Here’s the blog tour’s poster, so make sure you visit the other hosts for more great posts.
Oh, as we LOVED ‘A Question of Betrayal’ we’re giving away a paperback to one lucky blog reader. Details can be found at the end of this post.
Now off to you, Zoë.
A sense of place can be the heartbeat of a story.The landscape helps to enrich the narrative and almost becomes another character in its significance. After all, the story of Little Red Riding Hood wouldn’t havequite the same impact without her walk through the shadowywoods.
In the opening chapters of A Question of Betrayal Carrie Cassidy is living in her cosy house in Faith Crescent. Unable to move on after the death of her parents, and unwilling to return to the family home, she finds a refuge of sorts in this house. It’s easy to see why; the red-brickedhouse is tucked securely into the middle of a cul-de-sac in south city Dublin. Bijou, it had been described as by the auctioneer, which translated as cramped, but the minute Carrie walked into it, she knew it was for her, even though her bookcase has to be squashed into the hall. At this point in her life the house represents the only piece of security she has. She doesn’t believe in the afterlife, and all she feels in the absence of her parents is a cold, hard void. So it is significant in a way that her place of refuge backs onto the grounds of a big, hundred-year-old church, the bulk of which she can see rising above the six-foot wall at the end of her back garden, where she hears the sound of church bells pealing out at various intervals and notices the play of sunlight and rain against the angles of the slate roof.There is a stark contrast between Carrie feeling that she is flitting on the edges of her life, while living in a house that is so solidly rooted.She even likes the name, Faith Crescent, and she wonders if living there will help her soak up some particles of faith in herself.
Although when things go from bad to worse between Carrie and her ex-fiancé Mark, she decides it should be called ‘the crescent of no faith whatsoever’…
When Carrie travels to Lake Lucerne to start unravelling the mystery of her mother’s earlier life, it opens a whole new world for her. Far remove from Faith Crescent, this is world where the expanse of a deep blue lake glitters, where mountains stretch sugar-coated summits to the sky, where she is inspired by the dazzle of sunlight dancing on the lake, the town with its medley of quaint rooftops, spires and towers, and all around, the backdrop of towering mountains, sheering down to vertical cliffs, or sloping green meadows.She begins to feel alive again, especially up in the mountains where the air is crystal clear and she draws in slow gulps of it while she soaks up the view, thinking there is something beautiful and powerful in the silent, ancientpeaks, that makes light of the petty concerns of everyday life. There is something deeply soulful, about it, she thinks, if you believed in that kind of thing. Then again, if you even recognised it, didn’t it imply you had some sort of soul? Maybe she wasn’t quite as washed up at thirty as she’d thought…
Later in the story, as she pieces together the truth about her mother, Carrie travels down to Willow Hill, the home of her maternal grandparents, close to the sea in Cork. This house was a large feature of Carrie’s secure childhood; she enjoyed summers in Willow Hill, her grandparents coming out to welcome them as soon as her mother pulled up on the gravel after the journey from Dublin; the scent of freshly mown grass on the spacious meadow, the tang of the sea carried on a stiff breeze when the cousins trouped down to the cove.
Christmases in Willow Hill were extra special, travelling down from Dublin in all sorts of weather, lights blazing at Willow Hill, warm welcomes laced with the excitement of Christmas, and the evocative smell of big turf fires smouldering in huge grates, as well as the aroma of pine needles from the fir tree in the hallway. She has fond memories of the snow blanketing the Willow Hill meadow and her mother running out the door to be the first to make footprints in the thick layer of white drift, turning to laugh with Carrie when her boots got stuck.
Returning to Willow Hill brings Carrie full circle in a sense; she is back to her roots, to the essence of where she came from, and she is finally beginning to recovering a sense of herself, even if she finds that down in Willow Hill, the mystery about her mother’s past life deepens considerably as more buried secrets are unearthed…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoë Miller writes contemporary fiction laced with intrigue and drama. She is published by Hachette Books Ireland and her latest book, A Question of Betrayal, is now out in paperback. When Zoë’s not escaping into her writing world, she juggles her time between her family and the day job. Find out more at www.zoemillerauthor.com, Facebook/zoemillerauthor, or follow Zoë on Twitter @zoemillerauthor.
Buy ‘A Question of Betrayal’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com
Because we LOVED Zoë’s book, we are offering our blog readers a chance to win ONE PAPERBACK of ‘A Question of Betrayal’. The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and closes on 1st of October. Winner will be contacted by e-mail or on twitter and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. If we don’t hear from them, we’ll pick a new winner. Best of luck, guys and thanks for reading!