Hiya peeps! We have debut author Marina Ford visiting us today with the cover to her debut release Lovesick, we have the cute cover and a great excerpt for you to peek at, so check out the post and enjoy! ❤ ~Pixie~
Friday, 23 January
The cat funeral.
Yeah, that happened today. I went and participated in—aided and abetted?—a cat funeral.
London life is tough on idealists. In an ideal world, after years of flirtation, Leo would be cosily settled down with Jack, his long-time crush. In an ideal world, Jack wouldn’t now be engaged to a woman. And in an ideal world, Leo would move on.
When handsome new neighbour Alex moves in opposite Leo, an opportunity to do so presents itself. But Alex is working class, poorer than Leo, and probably straight. While Jack’s engagement unravels, and Leo’s friendship with Alex deepens, will Leo manage to find happiness with the right man? Or will he succumb to his enemies: self-doubt, family expectations, and pride?
Told in diary form, this is both the story of a love triangle in London and the chronicle of a man’s struggles to confront his self-image and overcome his insecurity.
Sunday, 10 January
I’m starting a diary. It’s not pathetic. Lots of famous people kept diaries. Lewis Carroll, Dostoyevsky, Samuel Pepys… and diaries are important. As a historian, I should know. I mean, without Pepys, where would we, historians, be? Or without Anne Frank?
Jack. Oh well, I suppose it’s no use avoiding the subject of Jack. It is what I’m thinking about, after all, so I might as well write about it. He’s the reason I’m avoiding the Internet. And the reason I refused all invitations to go out today. Not that anybody would want to be out in this kind of weather. I don’t want to speak to anyone, or see anyone, and I don’t want to go on the Internet, where I would inevitably find myself on Facebook and then, equally inevitably, would find news about Him. And I don’t want to see any news about Him.
I don’t even know where to start writing about Him. He is Professor Jack Gordon. He’s the handsome, debonair celebrity of our department. He’s worked with famous people all over the world, even had his own BBC series, which I ended up watching five times because that way I could stare at him to my heart’s content. I remember being intimidated by him when I first joined the department. It was my first post after finishing my research assistant job at Bristol. But then I spoke to him and found that behind the smug exterior hid a great mind. I mean, he wasn’t just pomp and glory, he was actually very clever and his interests were far-reaching. Can I honestly be blamed for thinking that he liked me?
I mean, let’s gather the evidence: he came to see me in my office. Often. I mean, seriously, he came by a lot! And we talked. There was no end to the things we could talk about! It wasn’t precisely what he said, but the way he said it. Something in his tone, or maybe the way he looked at me. And then there was the Christmas party, two years ago. It took place in the entry hall of our school, and everybody was there, and it was awful and crowded and boring. The sort of affair where you have to stand around the people you work with—or against, as the case may be—and gossip about that annoying brat of a student, or someone’s ridiculous publication record, or more often than not, some new administrative decision that in effect puts three times as much paperwork between one thing and another for no other reason but that our university hates trees and free time. So there was the Christmas “party,” and Professor Sinclair decided to make a speech. She’s, like, a hundred and a famous bore. She’s the star of the first-year undergrad tradition of the nap bet. Basically, the student who can go through a whole semester of all Professor Sinclair’s lectures, in any module, without once falling asleep wins the pool of money they collect at the beginning of the year. There were actual years where nobody won. So when she made a speech, I, veteran that I am, decided to make myself scarce. I took a bottle of wine and a plate of snacks, sneaked under one of the buffet tables, and read When Worlds Collide. So I didn’t notice immediately when the tablecloth lifted and I heard a male voice near my ear. It startled me. It was only Jack, his head tilted a little. “Hiding, are we?” I felt stupid being found like that, but he ducked and came to sit beside me. And there we were, shoulder to shoulder. Professor Sinclair’s speech ended eventually, and the party went on, but Jack and I remained under the table, talking and joking and laughing and getting drunk until we became aware that there was no sign left of the party but the cleaning staff.
Four years of this. For four years I thought this was a slow but sure path to something more. Four years of looks and smiles and what I thought was a secret understanding. At conferences Jack and I would undermine each other’s arguments, engaging in witty discussions that were above everybody else’s heads—or so I thought. At staff meetings, whenever anybody said anything stupid or typical, we’d immediately look at each other, understanding one another—or so I also thought. Every little moment like that translated into a whole relationship in my head. Probably I sound completely deluded, but I knew we weren’t a couple or anything like that—I wasn’t that far gone. I just thought we were on the same path, were thinking along the same lines, and eventually things would sort of, I don’t know, unfold. But nothing ever happened. I knew he had women, but he never talked of them to me and never seemed serious with anybody, so I thought it was just a front, a mask he wore. I waited. I hadn’t the guts to make a first move. I’m a coward. But I also imagined, absurdly, that this was something that would come about naturally, organically, sort of out of the moment. I know I sound like an idiot—I am an idiot. But I’d had enough of the club scene and the horny, sweaty things that went on there, where you look like meat to others and you look at them the same way. I wanted a connection, an understanding, and I thought this was it. Then Jack got engaged.
I’m Marina Ford, a thirty year old book addict, who would, if permitted, spend all of her time in bookstores, libraries or in her own bed with stacks and stacks of books. I live in England, with my husband and dog. I love rain (gives one an excuse to stay at home and read books, right?), long walks (when it doesn’t rain), history, love stories, classical literature, pulpy literature, Jane Austen, languages, and dogs. One day I want to have an enormous country house in which each room is a library (okay, maybe except for the kitchen), and in which there are more dogs than people. A smaller and perhaps more realistic dream I have is to make people smile with the things I write. I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I do believe in a happily ever after, so long as it’s earned. I’m very excited about my debut novel, and hope to give my readers some escapist fun with it.