Monday, 30 July 2018

Release Day Spotlight & Review: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis

The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three by Audrey Davis

Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.

Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?

Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …
Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?

Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.

Hattie is back as the narrative picks up where we left off at the end of Part Two. The Haunting of Hattie Hastings is a trilogy of novellas which need to be read in order. The first part ends on a cliff-hanger. The second part leaves you craving for the third and final novella. I'm lucky enough to have read them all back to back so my waiting time was equivalent to waiting for the kettle to boil before settling down with a fresh brew. I'm not sure I'd have been as invested within the plot if I had to wait for each episode as I don't normally read novellas.

The now familiar writing style continues, the narrative is busy with witty banter and humour. Hattie and her eclectic bunch of friends and relatives continue to go about their daily lives albeit not quite in the way normal people do! Like the previous parts, it's equivalent to a fast-paced episode of a favourite soap opera with a new incident or accident awaiting the unsuspecting characters at any given point. It's laugh-out-loud funny most of the times yet sad and emotional moments are present too. All the plot threads carried through are tied up with an emotional ending leaving me more than satisfied with the conclusions.

I've deliberately not given any information away about the plot because the pleasure in finding these novellas is the unknown expectation...besides the book blurb gives enough information to entice a potential reader. I dived in totally blind and I'm so glad I definitely heightened my overall reading experience. Ms Davis is a new to me author and after heartily enjoying this trilogy, I'd definitely pick up one of her books again.

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher***

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, fewer farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: 'There's been a murrrrder!'

After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for 'artistic' use of naked men's bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn't bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it's packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the 'wrong' side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we'll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn't until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in July. After which she might have a wee lie down …

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