I couldn’t be happier to be staying in with Ameila Henley today and I’m thrilled she agreed to be here to chat about her brand new book. For those of you who don’t yet realise (where have you been?) Amelia Henley is the alter-ego of fabulous writer Louise Jensen. I reviewed Louise’s The Family here and it was one of my books of the year last year.
Let’s see what Louise/Amelia has to tell me today:
Staying in with Amelia Henley
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Amelia and thank you so much for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought along The Life We Almost Had, my contemporary fiction debut which published this week. Adam and Anna’s unusual love story is one of courage, hope, loyalty and sacrifice. It’s always been a dream of mine to write a story that will make people cry and this is that book!
You’re not kidding. I sobbed buckets reading The Life We Almost Had!
It’s been such a joy to write and as I’ve published several thrillers (as Louise Jensen) I’ve been able to incorporate the things I’ve learned and apply them to this book where nothing is what it seems. There is lots of suspense, twists and cliff hangers at the end of every chapter but at its core, it’s a beautiful story of love. I hope it appeals to both romance and my loyal thriller readers.
Oh it certainly does. I can vouch for that.
Here are the first few paragraphs –
Seven years. It’s been seven years since that night on the beach. I had laid on the damp sand with Adam, his thumb stroking mine. Dawn smudged the sky with its pink fingers while the rising sun flung glitter across the sea. We’d faced each other curled onto our sides, our bodies speech marks, unspoken words passing hesitantly between us; an illusory dream. Don’t ever leave me, I had silently asked him. I won’t, his eyes had silently replied.
But he did.
My memories are both painful and pleasurable to recall. We were blissfully happy until gradually we weren’t. Every cross word, every hard stare, each time we turned our backs on each other in bed gathered like storm clouds hanging over us, ready to burst, drenching us with doubt and uncertainty until we questioned what we once thought was unquestionable.
Can love really be eternal?
I can answer that now because the inequitable truth is that I am hopelessly, irrevocably, lost without him.
But does he feel the same?
I turn over the possibility of life without Adam, but each time I think of myself without him, no longer an us, my heart breaks all over again.
If only we hadn’t…
My chest tightens.
Breathe, Anna. You’re okay.
It’s a lie I tell myself, but gradually the horror of that day begins to dissipate with every slow inhale, with every measured exhale. It takes several minutes to calm myself. My fingers furling and unfurling, my nails biting into the tender skin of my palms until my burning sorrow subsides.
I am running out of time. I’ve been trying to write a letter but the words won’t come. My notepaper is still stark white. My pen once again poised, ink waiting to stain the blank page with my tenuous excuses.
But not my lies. There’s been enough of those. Too many.
I am desperate to see him once more and make it right.
All of it.
I think that sets the scene perfectly Amelia. I cannot express how much I loved your book.
What can we expect from an evening in with The Life We Almost Had?
If Josh and Nell who are Adam and Anna’s best friends join us they’ll be lots of music, laughter and games.
What else have you brought along and why?
I’ve brought along a photo album of Lanzarote which is where part of the story is set (although I renamed the island), a Limoncello and plum tart which is Adam and Anna’s favourite meal and a book on neuroscience as this is integral to the plot (did I mention this isn’t a typical love story)… And a giant box of tissues because you’ll need them!
We certainly will Amelia. My review here tries to explain why! Thanks so much for staying in with me to share a bit about one of my books of the year in 2020!
Thanks for having me Linda!
You slice up that plum tart and I’ll give Linda’s Book Bag readers all the details they need:
The Life We Almost Had
This is not a typical love story, but it’s our love story.
Anna wasn’t looking for love when Adam swept her off her feet but there was no denying their connection, and she believed they would be together forever.
Years later, cracks have appeared in their relationship. Anna is questioning whether their love can really be eternal when a cruel twist of fate delivers a crushing blow, and Anna and Adam are completely lost to one another. Now, Anna needs Adam more than ever, but the way back to him has life-changing consequences.
Is a second chance at first love really worth the sacrifice? Anna needs to decide and time is running out…
A beautiful and emotional love story that asks, how far would you go for a second chance at first love? Perfect for fans of The Man Who Didn’t Call and Miss You.
The Life We Almost Had was published on 23rd July by Harper Collins imprint HQ and is available for purchase through the links here.
About Amelia Henley
Amelia Henley is a hopeless romantic who has a penchant for exploring the intricacies of relationships through writing heart-breaking, high-concept love stories.
Amelia also writes psychological thrillers under her real name, Louise Jensen. As Louise Jensen she has sold over a million copies of her global number one bestsellers. Her stories have been translated into twenty-five languages and optioned for TV as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers list. Louise’s books have been nominated for multiple awards.
The Life We Almost Had is the first story she’s written as Amelia Henley and she can’t wait to share it with readers.
There’s a blog tour happening too so you might like to check out these other bloggers: