Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Book Blog Tour Stop & Extract: Tipping Point by Emily Benet

Tipping Point by Emily Benet

The sun ... the ocean ... the farmhouse ... the scammer... the police... the 3-legged dog?

George and Ellen have retired to sunny Mallorca. Social butterfly Ellen is itching to make yacht-owning friends while George's heart is set on a secluded farmhouse in the country. In fact, now that they're no longer living busy London lives, they're beginning to realise they have very different ideas of happiness.

Private investigator Salva specialises in cases of adultery. That's why it's particularly embarrassing that he didn't realise his long-term girlfriend has been cheating on him. He has no time to nurse a broken heart, since his family are the victims of a property scam they urgently need him to solve.

Robyn Chase is giving talks on her self-help book, No More Toxic Relationships - 7 Years, 7 Lessons. She's finding it awkward being a relationship guru when her own boyfriend is avoiding her.

The sun is shining in Mallorca and everything looks beautiful. But the residents of one particular apartment block are about to discover it all might be too good to be true.

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Extract from Tipping Point by Emily Benet
Is Happiness a choice?
The sun may be shining in Mallorca, but Salva is in a dark mood. He's a private investigator specialising in adultery who failed to notice his girlfriend was cheating on him. To make matters worse his family has landed a fresh problem on his doorstep. The villa they booked doesn't appear to exist. They want him to stop nursing his wounds and track down the scammer. Salva is hiding down by the pool when he bumps into speaker Robyn Chase, who gives him a taste of her no-nonsense coaching style. Is happiness a choice? Robyn sounds so confident he's taken in by her. Of course, he has no inkling that the relationship guru is hiding her own set of relationship problems.
She dropped her towel on the nearest sun lounger.
How are you feeling today?” she asked.
It was a pointed question. She saw straight through him. He should tell her he was fine and let her get on with enjoying her afternoon.
You don’t want to know,” he said, instead.
She raised her eyebrows and let out the lightest of laughs. “I see.”
Her amusement irritated him and he felt a need to clarify. “I’m angry.”
That’s good.”
Had she misheard? “How is that good?”
Anger is healthier than some other emotions, like self-pity, sadness…”
Can’t I feel more than one at a time?”
She was facing the pool, her hands on her hips, but turned back to look at him.
You can choose to feel as many as you like…”
He did feel sad, didn’t he? And if he felt sorry for himself, he was fully justified. Sonia had robbed him of everything. She had lied and cheated and ruined everything he held dear.
“…but why not choose to feel happy?”
She lowered herself down on to the side of the pool nearby, her angular shoulders hunched slightly as her palms pressed against the stone tiles. She had a delicate butterfly tattoo on the base of her neck, looking as though it had just come in to land. When she pushed her hair back, he could no longer see it.
He blinked, suddenly realising what she’d said.
It’s not that easy! You don’t know what happened.” He didn’t like how petulant he sounded, but he couldn’t help it. It was enough that Sonia thought him a fool, he didn’t need this so-called relationship expert thinking he was making a fuss about nothing.
True,” she said, “but whatever happened, it doesn’t take away your power to choose how to feel.”
OK, look…” He shook his head and leant forward. She just wasn’t getting it. She was talking out of her arse because to her, it was all theory. “I found out my girlfriend of six years, who I was thinking of proposing to, was cheating on me.”
She didn’t say anything.
Like, badly cheating on me. My neighbour saw her with two different guys before he came over to tell me… I’ve wasted six years of my life and you’re telling me I should choose to be happy?”
You feel wronged,” she said.
His eyes widened at the understatement. The anger he felt towards Sonia had now turned to frustration towards this annoyingly calm young woman. He moved from the bench to sit beside her with his legs bent in front of him. In the back of his mind, he realised that it wasn’t normal to get into a conversation like this with someone he barely knew and that it would be best if he left her alone. Yet he’d been alone all day with his thoughts and he couldn’t keep a lid on them anymore.
I don’t feel wronged,” he said, “I was wronged.”
She nodded and he felt a tiny release in his chest to at least have that truth accepted.
OK. You were wronged.”
I was wronged,” he echoed. “She stole six years of my life.”
It sounded a little melodramatic, even to him, but it was kind of true.
Six years of your life,” she echoed. “Didn’t you have any good times at all? Didn’t you have any valuable experiences or learn anything new?”
Yes, of course, but I’m talking about our relationship. I invested everything I had into it: a lot of love, a lot of money, a lot of sweat and tears… we were supposed to be headed in the same direction.”
Once again, she didn’t say anything. He noticed her feet turning circles in the water and thought about saying it didn’t matter, to forget about it. It was his problem, not hers.
How much energy are you willing to give to this story?” she asked, her eyes meeting his. Dark green, with flecks of amber. He stared back at her. Story? Did she think he was making this up?
This isn’t a story.”
Of course it is. We turn everything into a story, giving it our own little twist. You could have gone for the ‘Oh lucky me, I almost got married to a cheat, but luckily I had this great neighbour who had my back and was brave enough to tell me what he’d seen, and in hindsight, I realise why it had taken me six years to get to the point of asking her to marry me because I guess, deep down, I knew she wasn’t quite right for me, and although it hurts, I’ve come out of this stronger than before and even surer of what I want.’”

Emily Benet is a journalist, award-winning blogger and author of contemporary fiction. Her books include the blog-to-book Shop Girl Diaries, Wattpad hit Spray Painted Bananas and social media romcom #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and daughter and the sunny island is the setting for her latest novels The Hen Party and Tipping Point. She writes regularly for the luxury lifestyle magazine abcMallorca.