Saturday, 23 November 2019

A Forgiven Friend by Sue Featherstone & Susan Pape @SueF_Writer @wordfocus BLOG TOUR @rararesources #AForgivenFriend

Friendship will always come first.
There's only one way out from rock bottom and that's up, and Teri Meyer is finally crawling out from the worst time of her life - no thanks to her best friend Lee. But no matter, she's finally found love - real love with a real man, a successful man, a man who accepts all her flaws. Teri's never felt like this before, and yet it's changing her in ways she doesn't understand.
And there's only one person who can help, one person who truly understands Teri.
It seems that no matter how hard Lee Harper tries, there's a battle awaiting her at every turn these days, and she's tired. And as if she needs the extra stress, Teri continues to create constant and unnecessary drama. But Lee's the only one who really knows what's going on under Teri's hard, convoluted exterior, and that's why she's always been there for her.
But the question is: will Teri be there when Lee needs her most?
The brilliant and entertaining final book in the unique FRIENDS trilogy dishes out another dose of rib-tickling mayhem for our favourite thirty-something professional women.

I'm delighted to host today's slot on the Blog Tour for A Forgiven Friend: Lies, Loss, and Love, But Always Friendship by Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape.

My thanks to Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources who invited me to take part. 

I'm thrilled to share an extract from the book here on Random Things today

There are two sides to every friendship – and, in the case of best friends Lee Harper and Teri Meyer, sometimes several shades of grey.
Teri is impulsive, charming, a teeny bit self-centred and has fallen in love more times than most people have had hot dinners. Lee, on the other hand, is reliable, level-headed, and, sometimes, where Teri is concerned, a little too much of a pushover.
But she puts her foot down when Teri gossips about something Lee had specifically asked her to keep secret and tells Teri she never wants to speak to her again.
Teri knows she must apologise – and thinks she’s found the perfect way to do it.

I should never have allowed Teri to talk me into joining her in a pamper session at the ridiculously-named Gentle Slopes Women’s Retreat & Sanctuary. Perhaps, it was the after-effect of opening the door to a stupendously-sized bouquet of seasonal blooms, ludicrously mounted on what appeared to be Teri’s stockinged legs and her second best pair of red Louboutins (the first pair having been ruined at the funeral.) ‘What the hell!’ I exclaimed, brushing away a stray head of purple liatri, which was tickling my nose.
‘Only me,’ Teri said, popping her face around a swarth of Mexican daisies and pink-tinged water lilies.
I was dubious about the spa trip. For one thing, the advertising bumph Teri had picked up in Portly & Groops had a distinctly amateurish feel: the language was too mushy for words: ‘…immerse yourself in our haven of grace and kindness… luxuriate in the sheer bliss of our heavenly scented sanctuary…release your inner Goddess…’
Didn’t buy a word of it.
And the prices! They were almost too good to be true, which is generally the strongest of strong hints to go through the minutiae of the small print with a fine-tooth comb, something Teri’d clearly neglected to do.
But her enthusiasm was infectious. She was convinced Gentle Slopes would do us a world of good – ‘it’ll give us time to talk through our issues’, which was not the inducement she might have intended – but, only an idiot looks a gift horse in the mouth, and, besides, how bad could the place be? So, casting caution to the four winds, I capitulated and went to throw a few things into an overnight bag.
I’d have preferred to have done the packing on my own, but Teri came trotting upstairs to supervise. Pants and bras flew through the air as she rifled through the drawers trying to find something that passed muster. ‘Darling,’ she drawled, ‘whatever you do, don’t fall under a bus until I’ve had a chance to take you to Agent Provocateur to buy something a little more tasteful.’
It was good to know I had someone like Teri watching my backside.
I could tell, even before Kalisterenia Kostanechi had finished welcoming us to the Gentle Slopes sanctuary that I’d made a mistake – and not just with the calendar. This was definitely not Lee’s sort of thing. For a start, the air was thick with the scent of jasmine and roasted rose petals, and goodness knows what that would be doing to the poor girl’s asthma.
Lee might have approved of Ms Kostanechi’s dress sense – lots of delicate scarves wafting around a multi-coloured floor-length dress, tinkling with tiny mirrors and beads sewn into the material – but she gave off some impatient tutting when Ms Kostanechi told us we were booked in for next week.
Seeing my disappointment, and hearing Lee’s ‘Huh! Typical…’ the therapist rightly assumed we were in need of some serious stress busting.
‘Why don’t you join us anyway?’ she offered. ‘We have a couple of vacancies for our tribal gathering today. We’ll be forming a rejuvenating soul-searching circle – then later, when you’re more relaxed and calm, you can enjoy our vegan tofu and buckwheat-inspired evening meal, and retire to the tranquillity resting house for the night. How about that?’
‘I don’t think so,’ Lee said, doubtfully.
‘It’ll be lovely,’ I said, doubtfully.
‘It will,’ Ms Kostanechi agreed. ‘Today, we’ll be working with the moon, taking energy from its vital flow to restore health, wellbeing and harmony.’
‘Come on, Lee,’ I said, nudging her with my elbow. ‘What harm can a bit of moon energy do?’
She glared at me.
Given half a chance, Lee would have said no to the idea of sitting in the Women’s Sacred Stone Circle, revealing innermost thoughts and fears and communing with the moon in the hope of finding the Wave of Light and Purity with which to Heal our Sorrows.
To be honest, I would have said no to that, too. I thought I’d booked for Lee and me to have a facial and back massage, and an overnight stay in an ‘exclusive well-being sanctuary retreat’ by way of my apologising yet again for yet again letting the stifled cat out of the bulging bag.
But having got the date wrong, I thought we might as well make the best of it.
Unfortunately, Lee’s mood didn’t improve as we gathered with a small group of women to sit in a circle around a collection of brightly painted stones.
‘Take one in your right hand,’ Ms Kostanechi said, nodding towards the pile, ‘pull it into your tummy and place your left hand – gently – over the top. Welcome the stone. Embrace the stone. Let it become …’ she let the instruction hang dreamily in the air.

Let it become what? I wondered, bending my head ever so slightly to squint through half-closed eyes at Lee, sitting cross-legged, uncomfortable – and no doubt cross – next to me.

Sue Featherstone and Susan Pape are both former newspaper journalists with extensive experience of working for national and regional papers and magazines, and in public relations.
More recently they have worked in higher education, teaching journalism – Sue at Sheffield Hallam and Susan at Leeds Trinity University.
The pair, who have been friends for almost 30 years, wrote two successful journalism text books together – Newspaper Journalism: A Practical Introduction and Feature Writing: A Practical Introduction (both published by Sage), before deciding to turn their hands to fiction.
The first novel in their Friends series, A Falling Friend, was released in 2016. A Forsaken Friend followed two years later, and the final book in the trilogy, A Forgiven Friend, published on November 19.
Sue, who is married with two grown-up daughters, and the most ‘gorgeous granddaughter in the whole world’, loves reading, writing and Nordic walking in the beautiful countryside near her Yorkshire home.
Susan is married and lives in a village near Leeds, and, when not writing, loves walking and cycling in the Yorkshire Dales. She is also a member of a local ukulele orchestra.
They blog about books at
 Follow them on Twitter: @SueF_Writer and @wordfocus

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