Friday 24 September 2021

Salt Lick by Lulu Allison BLOG TOUR @LuluAllison7 @unbounders #SaltLick @RandomTTours #BookExtract


Britain is awash, the sea creeps into the land, brambles and forest swamp derelict towns. Food production has moved overseas and people are forced to move to the cities for work. The countryside is empty. A chorus, the herd voice of feral cows, wander this newly wild land watching over changing times, speaking with love and exasperation. 

Jesse and his puppy Mister Maliks roam the woods until his family are forced to leave for London. Lee runs from the terrible restrictions of the White Town where he grew up. Isolde leaves London on foot, walking the abandoned A12 in search of the truth about her mother.

Salt Lick by Lulu Allison was published on 16 September 2021 by Unbound.  
As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today

 Extract from 
Salt Lick by Lulu Allison

The economic decline of the countryside slid in first to the fields and farmlands, then to the villages, the market towns. Workforces and wage offers no longer matched and so the workers disappeared. For a while, for the well-heeled, little changed. Marshal kept up his flatteringly matey friendships with the wealthy of the parish. The men, encountering their own physicality only in the pampered confines of a gym, were drawn to his way of treating them as casually manly equals. All customers spoke of his impeccable reputation for quality. Though increasingly, at the golf clubs and spas, people muttered about the economic climate. The gin and tonics were knocked back between head shakes and bluster, bitter soliloquies about betrayal. Hand-in-fist together, planning national strategies that best served them, the rural wealthy and the landed gentry were outraged to discover that they no longer had the ear of government.

Chunks of ice clinked against comfortingly hefty glass in the tremor of a suddenly bankrupt hand. During the chaos of the pandemic, the pattern of wealth in the country shifted. Over time, the losses increased, the economic climate became harder still. Some of the rich remained rich. Some did not. There were heart attacks and suicides. The gentleman farmers, astonishingly quickly found that all they had to bargain with was the long habit of association with those that ruled the country. Friendship can go a long way, in individual cases; some of those bonds survived the fall from grace, but is was the developers in the towns who were courted. What was the wealth of a landowner when no one wanted land? 

Marshal, quicker to spot the signs than his complacent customers has shored up some of his options by becoming an installer of new systems for bespoke, single unit flood defences. The wealthy that remain shifted spending from luxury and pleasure to the necessary, to insurance. He is still busy enough to feed the family, busy enough to feel too distant from them, but the days of easy wealth are behind them. 

over time

all will fade


and grow again

this is the meaning of natural order

your time comes to a close

yes in many ways you spent it well

that was a time, was it not?

but think what you could have done with such gifts

Lulu Allison grew up in a small village in the Chilterns. 

She did an illustration degree at St Martin’s School of Art and a fine-art M.A at the University of Brighton. She has exhibited in group and solo shows, worked as a gallery educator and arts facilitator. She has also worked as a cleaner, an art teacher, a scuba-diving instructor, and a maker of spectacle hinges in a small factory in Munich.

She came to writing accidentally whilst undertaking what she thought was an art project, unexpectedly discovering what she should have been doing all along. That art project became her first novel, Twice the Speed of Dark, published by Unbound in 2017. Salt Lick is her second novel, and she is working on a third, inspired by the Thomas Mann novel, Doctor Faustus. 
She lives in Brighton.

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