Monday 23 March 2020

The Walls We Build by Jules Hayes BLOG TOUR @JulesHayes6 @rararesources #TheWallsWeBuild

Three Friends
Two Secrets
One Hidden Life
Growing up around Churchill’s estate, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable, but as WW2 casts its menacing shadow their friendships become more complex and strained. Following Frank's death in 2002, Florence writes to his grandson, Richard, hinting at a dark past.
On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light that have not only haunted his grandfather’s life but will now impact on Richard’s too. When a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill is revealed and a mystery relative in a psychiatric hospital discovered, just how much more does Florence dare disclose, and is Richard ready to hear?
For readers who enjoy the work of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Lucinda Riley, Katherine Webb and Juliet West.

The Walls We Build by Jules Hayes was published this month. As part of the Blog Tour organised by Rachels' Random Resources I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

An extract taken from early on in the novel.
It’s 1928 and Frank, a viewpoint character, is visiting Hilda and her illegitimate daughter, Anna. Frank has adored Hilda since childhood, and he loves young Anna, but he’s beginning to have reservations about his true feelings towards his childhood love, Hilda.

It was Frank who filled the metal kettle and put it on the stove. Hilda had sat down. He put the tea in the strainer and went to sit next to her. Her hand rested on the kitchen table, the skin around her nails red and sore from the laundry work. He placed his own over hers, flinching at its coldness.

‘I’ve something I want to talk to you about.’ He heard Anna moving around in the bedroom above.

Hilda looked at him, the sea green flecks in her irises glittering, tiny pinpricks of emeralds in the kitchen’s early morning sun. Eyes that missed nothing.

I never wanted you to feel as if you still had to marry me, Frank.’ She pulled her hand from underneath his. ‘It’s why I’ve been so hesitant these past years.’ Her brow puckered in the way he’d once found so enchanting. ‘I was only thinking of you.’

He swallowed, coughed to clear his throat. ‘You could have married me when you first knew you were pregnant. No one would’ve been the wiser.’

She played with a strand of hair and Frank thought he’d never seen anyone as beautiful as the woman sitting opposite him. She held his gaze.

‘The thing is, Hilda—’

‘I’ve spoken to my dad… and I’ll marry you, Frank.’ She hadn’t taken her eyes off him. ‘If you still want me, that is?’ She touched his face.

After waiting four years for those words flatness settled like lead inside of him. He didn’t reply.

Hilda sat up tall in the chair. ‘You’ve changed your mind haven’t you?’ She patted down her apron. ‘I’ve heard what people are saying.’

What are people saying?’

That you’d be better off marrying Flo.’

‘Flo and me are friends. Like you and she used to be. Like the three of us used to be.’

‘I know about—’ she began.

‘Frank, do you want to go in the garden? Hilda, can we?’ Anna said, appearing at the kitchen door.

The kettle began whistling and Frank looked at the clock that sat on the kitchen dresser. ‘I need to be leaving, Anna, I’m sorry.’ He took hold of the child’s hand, unsure if she was disappointed or not, her features often as inscrutable as her mother’s.

Anna needed him.

Hilda rose, and with purpose, kissed him on his lips. She smelt of the outside and a hint of lemon. ‘So, shall we get married?’ She smoothed down the frayed collar of his shirt.

He looked at Anna. Looked at Hilda. Swallowed. ‘Yes. We’ll get married.’

‘Good.’ She placed her arm on Anna’s shoulder. ‘Why don’t you see Frank out, sweetie?’

Anna’s entire face became illuminated at her mother’s good mood.

This was the best thing for Anna. Frank saw it already. And he did love Hilda. He’d always loved her. Flo didn’t want him; she’d been tipsy at the dance and had been flirting. She meant nothing by it. But that kiss. There was something about Flo that was so raw, untamed, free. He glanced at Hilda and said no more.

Anna walked to the door with him. ‘Next time, can you tell me stories about Mr Churchill, the house, and his children again? I like those stories.’

‘I know you do, love.’ He bent down and kissed the top of her head.

Frank made his way towards the far end of the village where Benjamin was picking him up, his thoughts still in the kitchen, reminiscing how Hilda used to be, before Anna, how the three of them used to be; thick as thieves, everyone said. Hilda used to laugh, maybe not as much as Flo, but when she did it was loud and rich, and because of its infrequency, so infectious, so powerful. As Mr Wells had rightly said, the village gossip had strangled Hilda. She’d changed beyond all recognition.

He walked, passing by the track on his left that would take him to the woods where the three of them played as children, and memories swamped him; of when he’d made friends with Flo and probably fallen in love with Hilda. If you could fall in love at seven.

Jules Hayes lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and a dog. She has a degree in modern history and holds a particular interest in events and characters from the early 20th century. As a former physiotherapist and trainer – old habits die hard – when not writing Jules likes to run. She also loves to watch films, read good novels and is a voracious consumer of non-fiction too, particularly biographies.

Jules is currently working on her second historical novel, another dual timeline story.

Jules also writes contemporary thriller and speculative fiction as JA Corrigan.

Jules Hayes  can be found at:

Twitter @JulesHayes6  -
Facebook Author Page: JulesHayesAuthor -
Instagram: JulesHayes6 -

Writing as JA Corrigan, Jules can be found at: Website: http://www.jacorrigan.comTwitter: @juliannwriter - Author Page: JA Corrigan - corriganjulieann

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