A pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for Tipping Point by Emily Benet: published in May 2020, it’s now available for kindle (free via Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback via Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support.
I do wish I could read every book that catches my eye and makes me think I’d enjoy it – sadly, I just can’t. But I must say, I really rather liked the look of this one. See if you agree…
The sun … the ocean … the farmhouse … the scammer… the police… the 3-legged dog?
George and Ellen have retired to sunny Mallorca. Social butterfly Ellen is itching to make yacht-owning friends while George’s heart is set on a secluded farmhouse in the country. In fact, now that they’re no longer living busy London lives, they’re beginning to realise they have very different ideas of happiness.
Private investigator Salva specialises in cases of adultery. That’s why it’s particularly embarrassing that he didn’t realise his long-term girlfriend has been cheating on him. He has no time to nurse a broken heart, since his family are the victims of a property scam they urgently need him to solve.
Robyn Chase is giving talks on her self-help book, No More Toxic Relationships – 7 Years, 7 Lessons. She’s finding it awkward being a relationship guru when her own boyfriend is avoiding her.
The sun is shining in Mallorca and everything looks beautiful. But the residents of one particular apartment block are about to discover it all might be too good to be true.
So no review today, but I’m delighted to welcome Emily as my guest – answering the question “How would your characters cope during lockdown?”…
What do your characters have in their pockets? That’s a question you often find in creative writing course books. My lazy mind offers up scrunched up tissues and a few copper coins.
The trouble is my characters are all in Mallorca. It’s July and they’re wearing swimsuits or summery dresses or shorts with very limited pocket capacity. It’s 35 degrees, the cicadas are hissing and the only way to survive is to wade into the sea and remain there until October delivers a mild breeze.
A more intriguing question might be: How would your characters cope during lockdown? Would they get on with each other?
My husband, 2 year old daughter and I spent 49 days in strict lockdown in our flat in Mallorca. I’m talking really strict lockdown. We couldn’t leave the house even for exercise. When I decided to walk 15-minutes to the supermarket two weeks into confinement, I was stopped by police and told to go home to get my car.
On the plus side, lockdown with a toddler doesn’t leave you much time to contemplate the end of the world. For us it was an intensive exercise in creativity and mindfulness. Thank god we were in a virtually empty apartment block and could explore the stairwell and communal area too. We examined every nook and cranny, made pets of millipedes, painted a lot of egg boxes and turned rubbish into new toys.
Since my husband and I are both freelancers used to spending a lot of time at home together, and my daughter has yet to start nursery, we had unwittingly spent years preparing for lockdown. We got on like a house on fire… a term which makes me wonder how much tougher lockdown would be now, in August, when the flat does feel like it’s on fire.
But what about the characters in Tipping Point? George and Ellen have retired to Mallorca which, like lockdown, has suddenly given them a lot of time to spend together. They’re not used to it. Back in the UK, they were always so busy. At least sociable Ellen, who worked as a school secretary, always was. Now that they are away from all their friends, and only have each other, she is starting to notice her husband’s every sniff, cough and fart. She wants him to talk more but when he does, she finds what he has to say irritating.
George deals with the situation by going for walks, Ellen by drinking too much with her new expat friends. Perhaps a strict lockdown would force them to confront the reality. Ellen wants to live a life of yachts and glamorous beach clubs, George want to escape to the country.
Their downstairs neighbour Salva would set up a gym on his terrace if there was a lockdown. He would take out his fury at his cheating ex with push-ups and squats. Lockdown would cut short his investigation into the scammer who rented his parents a non-existent villa. But maybe he would still get to have the frank chats with his attractive neighbour, Robyn Chase. They’d take place from one balcony to another.
As for Robyn, maybe she’d finally have the space to come up with a new idea for a book to follow her hit No More Toxic Relationships – 7 Years, 7 Lessons. Or maybe it would make her face the uncomfortable truth. That she’s a relationship guru with relationship problems.
Fortunately neither we nor my characters are currently in lockdown. That means they can freely pursue scammers, romances and phantom villas across the beautiful island. Their stories can interweave as planned – and the only risk will be an infection of unexpected, and possibly very uncomfortable, feelings.
Thanks Emily – that’s a great idea for a post! Best of luck with the book… hope I can catch up with your writing in the future.
About the author
Emily Benet is a journalist, award-winning blogger and author of contemporary fiction. Her books include the blog-to-book Shop Girl Diaries, Wattpad hit Spray Painted Bananas and social media romcom #PleaseRetweet. She lives in Mallorca with her husband and daughter and the sunny island is the setting for her latest novels The Hen Party and Tipping Point. She writes regularly for the luxury lifestyle magazine abcMallorca.