Tuesday 18 October 2016

Blog Tour: Extract from All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Caroll

One wet winter night, two women meet on a bridge. One is Tess Taylor, a personal trainer on the way to meet her boyfriend for date night. The other is Kate King, a celebrity married to a handsome billionaire who just happens to make her cry. In the cold dark evening, there is nothing to link them together but the bridge they shiver on. Little do they know they’ll both hold the key to each other’s future marriage…

All She Ever Wished For tells the story of what happens when your dream is about to come true. And what happens when that dream turns into a bit of a nightmare…
I have such a treat for you today. All She Ever Wished for came out just under 2 weeks ago on October 6th and if you've not already rushed to buy this one then you definitely will be by the time you read this extract! I'm so excited to be able to shared this on the blog with you today. Just click here if you're ready to download the books once you've read the sample to whet your appetite!
The present
‘I look like the Irish flag,’ says Gracie, my baby sister
and bridesmaid, shoehorning herself into the slinky little bottle green shift dress that she picked out for the big day months ago.
‘Don’t be ridiculous, you’re gorgeous!’ I say brightly, sticking my head around the fitting room door, so I can get a good look at her parading up and down in front of the mirrors outside.
‘And it’s too tight. Either I’ve put on weight or else it just doesn’t bloody well fit properly.’
‘You’re as thin as a pin and it looks like a perfect fit to me.’
‘Is it too late to get something else instead?’ she whines, staring in the giant mirror ahead of her and fidgeting with the sleeves of the dress, almost as though they’re itching her.
‘You know right well it is,’ I tell her firmly, going back into my fitting room. ‘Besides, can I remind you that you’re the one who insisted on wearing that dress in the first place? So in fairness, it’s a little bit late to back out now.’
‘I know, but what in the name of arse was I thinking?’ Gracie insists. ‘A bottle green dress against my head of carroty-red hair and freckly skin? By the time you throw in the white posy, I’ll look like something off a St Paddy’s Day float. You should have held me back, you should have ripped the bloody thing off my back when there was still time.’
‘You’re absolutely stunning, Gracie, love,’ my mother coos over from a plush white armchair at a dressing table in front of a mirror, where she’s sipping Prosecco – at half three in the afternoon by the way – while trying on fascinators and having an absolute ball for herself. ‘A good spray tan will sort you out and wait till you see. You won’t know yourself.’
‘I promise you this much, Mum,’ says Gracie, ‘if I ever get married, I’ll run away to the registry office just to spare you all this malarkey.’
‘Don’t be so ridiculous,’ says Mum, balancing her glass precariously on the edge of the dressing table. ‘And admit that deep down you really love dressing up. Besides, gay women have white weddings all the time these days, you know. Look at Ellen DeGeneres and your woman, what’s her name, the tall blonde one that used to be on telly.’
‘Not this gay woman, thanks all the same,’ says Gracie.
The three of us are in The Bridal Room as it happens, which is this really exclusive shop outside Kildare town, about an hour from Dublin. It’s boudoir luxurious in here, with plush velvet seating, deep pile cream carpets and, as you’d expect in a bridal showroom this posh, glasses of Prosecco on tap. It’s my last fitting before the big day, hence my dragging Gracie and Mum all this way for the ride. And so far, in spite of all the behind the scenes trepidation about this wedding from my side of the family, it’s been fairly stress-free for all of us. So far, at least.
In fact I’d go so far as to say that this really is the joyous, happy, fun day out that I’d hoped for, and as an added bonus, I’m not having to listen to yet more long drawn-out lectures from my nearest and dearest about why Bernard and I will never work out and how I’m about to make the biggest mistake of my life, etc., etc.
I’ve been putting up with that for months now and I can’t tell you how lovely it is to have a single day free of it. But then to a man, everyone around me has expressed doubts about Bernard, and the closer the big day gets, the more ominous those doubts seem to grow.
At this late stage, I’m basically sick to the gills of having to endure comments along the lines of, ‘he’s way too old for you!’ ‘You’ve absolutely nothing in common!’ ‘He’s so bloody boring!’ ‘You’re just doing this on the rebound!’ And somehow the most stinging of all from my dad, ‘ah pet, are you sure you’re doing this for the right reason? You know what they say, marry in haste, repent at leisure. And I’m not just saying that because I’m having to shell out a fortune for the bleedin’ thing either’.
To date, though, it’s Gracie who’s been the cheerleader-in-chief of all the doom-mongers; try as she might, she and Bernard just can’t seem to connect on any level whatsoever. ‘I feel like I’m about to lose my only sister,’ she told me after a few drinks too many when we first got engaged. She was a bit pissed and I think she might have forgotten that she ever said it in the first place, but I certainly didn’t.
It hurt then and it hurts even now to remember.

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