Wednesday, 10 July 2019

New Release Spotlight & Excerpt: The Unlikely Life Of Maisie Meadows

The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows by Jenni Keer

When Maisie Meadows finds herself single and jobless on New Year’s Day, she resolves that this will be the year she focuses on bringing her scattered family back together. Romance is all very well, but it’s the people you grew up with that matter the most.
But a new job working at an auction house puts her in the path of Theo, a gorgeous but unattainable man who she can’t help but be distracted by. As their bond begins to grow, Maisie finds herself struggling to fulfil the promise she made to herself – but the universe has other ideas, and it’s not long before the Meadows family are thrown back together in the most unlikely of circumstances…
Can dealing with other people’s treasures help Maisie to let go of the past, and teach her who she ought to treasure the most?

Thank you so much for having me on your blog. It’s lovely to be here and to share a small section of my latest book The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows with you all. I’ve chosen the scene where Maisie is looking around the weird and wonderful world of Gildersleeve’s Auctioneers, with the flamboyant Johnny interviewing her for a job at the company. It’s a pivotal moment, because her decision to accept is about to set in motion a very unlikely chain of events...

Maisie stood in the doorway to Saleroom Two. It was the upmarket version of the larger barn they’d just walked through. Saleroom One held household and modern effects; this was antiques. Both had the large central space divided by trestle tables, strewn with boxes. Larger items, such as furniture, stood around the edge and pictures and rugs hung from the walls.
At the far end stood a glass-fronted cabinet that contained small objects of value, every item proudly displaying a numbered sticker, which Johnny explained was cross-referenced in their printed catalogues. In her efforts to understand the system she looked up the lot number for a pair of silver cufflinks and read the description with a £130–£190 estimate. It seemed a frustratingly vague idea of their value to her.
Having never been to an auction, Maisie was wary of them as a concept. She liked the certainty of wanting an object, knowing its price and being able to purchase it without competition. There were too many elements of chance associated with the random and unstructured nature of bidding for her liking.
Johnny leaned an elbow on the top of the cabinet and ran a hand through his bouncy hair. There was a pause when all she could hear was the echoing footsteps of the porters at the back of the barn.
Look, I’ll be brutally honest,’ he said, ‘I’ve only had seven applicants and interviewed three. You are far and away the most impressive candidate and possibly over-qualified for this job. We need marketing skills like yours to help the company grow but you’ll also be asked to lift tables, offer practical help on auction days and even sweep up occasionally.’ His foot toyed with some dead leaves blown in by the wind, letting them crunch beneath his highly polished shoes.
The advert in the local paper had been optimistically worded: Growing firm of Auctioneers seeks individual with marketing and communications skills to contribute to vibrant team. Maisie was beginning to suspect General dogsbody who knows a bit about computers because we’re largely clueless, and who’ll probably be asked to clean the toilets if we’re a man down might be a more accurate job description.
However, I promise you won’t have anyone looking over your shoulder or making you account for your movements, and I will genuinely listen to any input and ideas you have. I liked your portfolio, particularly the unusual Wickerman’s beer mats you designed for the Felixstowe Beer Festival. You are clearly creative and focused. But more importantly, I like you.’
For the first time that morning, Johnny looked slightly nervous; tiny beads of sweat forming on his corned beef-coloured brow. He was wringing his hands together and looking intently at her face. ‘So, my darling, I fall procumbent at your alabaster feet, and ask if you are in or out?’
Not quite sure whether being procumbent was a good thing or not, Maisie gazed across the cluttered room of miscellaneous objects, contemplated the joy of a ten-minute commute, and the distinct and welcome lack of potential romantic partners in the workplace.
In,’ she said.

The fictional Gildersleeve’s was inspired by the wonderful T.W.Gaze Auction Rooms in Diss, and the staff gave up their time to let me research the setting. I hope I have done them justice.
I hope you enjoyed this little taster, and if you’d like to read more about the eclectic staff, including the terribly sweet older porter Arthur, the frustratingly laid-back but handsome Theo and the emotional significance an unusual black and white teapot has for Maisie when it appears in the sale, then do pop over to Amazon to view the eBook, which is out now.

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women's fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker was published in January 2019.

The Unlikely Life of Maisie Meadows is out in July 2019.
Twitter @JenniKeer
Instagram jennikeer

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker,  pack of Scratbag notelets,  pretty purple pen and a Maisie bookmark (Open to UK Only)
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