It’s a real pleasure today to be helping launch the blog tour for The Two Lives Of Maddie Meadows by Sharley Scott: independently published, this lovely-looking book is now available for kindle (free via Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback via Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support.
I really liked the look of this book when Rachel told me about it, but knew I just couldn’t manage to fit it into my reading schedule. And when I stumbled across posts from Sharley on social media, and I decided that I really liked her, I wanted to be part of the tour and help share the word. I do hope I’ll be able to read and review one of her books at some point in the future.
Let’s take a closer look, see if it appeals to you as much as it did to me….
Maddie Meadows adores her family and loves her work. But she has good reason to keep them separate.
For single mum Maddie, home is a flat on a run-down estate. And family consists of an excitable toddler, a lonely Dad and a younger brother mired in a love triangle.
Meanwhile, professional Madeleine balances a tricky day job, made worse by a jealous colleague. No one at work knows about her other life, and she needs to keep it this way: one of the bosses has made his feelings very clear about single parents and the people on her estate.
Thank goodness for her fun-loving and loyal friends – although Maddie wishes they’d believe her when she insists she has no time for love. Or so she tells herself as she fights to quell her hidden feelings for her gorgeous colleague, Oliver, who comes from the posh part of town.
When her friends line up their ideal man for her – Sean, more beanstalk than Bean – Maddie wishes she’d told them the truth. It’s hard enough juggling two lives. But, with all the added complications, how long will be it be before Maddie’s carefully created world comes crashing down?
So, no review today, but I’m delighted to welcome Sharley as my guest – with the loveliest guest post about writing from life…
Being a guesthouse owner, my two Devon seaside guesthouse books – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly – adhere to the adage ‘write what you know’. My current book The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows is also a fictionalised account based on my experience of growing up in a single-parent household and then becoming a single parent myself.
I wrote this book with my dad in mind. He’d enjoyed Bedlam & Breakfast and I thought it would be lovely for him to read a book where he could recognise a few episodes from my childhood. For example, the pea incident with Will – if you haven’t read the book, Maddie’s brother doesn’t like peas so he stuffs them down the back of the sofa – is true to life.
The loneliness suffered by Maddie’s dad, Alan, is also based on experience. My father was a single parent in the 1970s. It was a hard time for men bringing up children alone particularly as, like Alan, my dad had a disabled child too.
I didn’t know of another single dad in the village when I grew up. Dad was often the lone male at the school gates. He told me that he was never invited to have a cup of tea with the mothers as their husbands wouldn’t be too pleased if their wives were friends with an unattached male. Not having young children now, I don’t know if things have changed, but there were at least a handful of men at the school gates when my children were growing up around the turn of this century.
Determined to prove that a single mum can work and bring up children alone, I worked full-time when my children were growing up. I also wanted to ensure I didn’t make the same mistakes my dad had made – or that was the way I viewed it then. Instead I made different ones. Some real humdingers too. In fact, I could write a book on what not to do as a parent. No doubt when my children decide to have families, they will set out to prove they won’t make my mistakes. And so the wheel moves on – no doubt they’ll make their own. Thank goodness too, as I really would prefer that my children didn’t follow my example.
My dad didn’t get to read The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows as he died earlier this year. It was tough continuing to write the book afterwards, especially when it came to editing and I had to read and reread the chapter which I’d started with a dad and ended without one. This is in part why I dedicated The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows to him.
The sequel to Maddie Meadows is called The Gift of a Rose as he loved roses. While many parts of this next book will also feature embarrassing events that are taken from excruciating memories – typical of parenthood – the thing I love about writing fiction is that you can mould life to create new stories. The sequel will feature a men’s group set up to help isolated older men which happened in real life. But my fantasy was to give a special lonely man the one thing he yearned for during his lifetime. Because the best thing about fiction is it offers an escape and life doesn’t have to be as it was lived.
Sharley, thank you so much for that lovely post – and it brought a particular tear to my eye having lost my lovely mum last month. I’ll certainly be looking out for The Gift of a Rose – I think I’d really enjoy your writing.
About the author
Sharley Scott is the author of the ‘Devon Seaside Guesthouse’ novels – Bedlam & Breakfast and B&Bers Behaving Madly.
Her latest book The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows was published in early July 2020. The second in the series The Gift of a Rose will be available in the autumn.
Sharley is a guesthouse owner in South Devon. She is thankful to have been blessed with lots of amazing and kind-hearted guests, who are nothing like some of the characters featured in the Devon Seaside Guesthouse series.
The Two Lives of Maddie Meadows is a fictional account, but Sharley has never forgotten how interesting life can be with a toddler. Some of the mischief Josh gets up to will be familiar to all parents. Sharley has carried out the threats she made to her son decades ago and now embarrasses him by telling tales to his girlfriend, although he gets her back by recounting stories about his mum.