Saturday, 8 November 2014

Guest Post - Home for The Holidays by Ellen Faith

Today I have a guest post from Ellen Faith

What They Say

When Lexi and Ryan make the decision to venture home for the Christmas holidays, neither of them can wait to catch up with their families. What the pair don’t anticipate is the series of life changing events their families have been going through while they’ve been continuing with their American adventure, including a newly nudist father. 

As they try to weather the storm, they discover that being back in the UK is creating more questions than answers for them as a couple and their American dream is beginning to fade. Fast. 

*This novel can be read as a follow on from The Story of Us or as a standalone*

Writing process and why I chose to write about Lexi and Ryan again.

My writing process can be pretty sporadic. I can be really bad and go a few days without writing but I’m always searching for inspiration, be it in day to day life, visually on Pinterest or listening to some of my favourite music. My brain never stops thinking about my characters, even if it doesn’t always want to let me write about them haha.

Initially, The Story of Us was only supposed to be a standalone novel. I didn’t want to leave anybody with any cliffhangers or what ifs, so I thought okay, I’ll finish it here and hopefully give people the ending they wanted. When people were actually enjoying it, all I could think was how amazing and surreal it was to have people read and like what I’d written. Then I had more and more people asking whether I would be writing more about Lexi and Rosie (who seemed to be as big a hit as Ryan which was kind of cool!) I started thinking about how I could bring them back without it seeming like it was just for the sake of it, or forced, and decided Christmas would be perfect. They could come back home to England and we could meet their families and have some festive fun. Lexi is such a great character to write about that I was glad I got to do Home for The Holidays. The only trouble is that she won’t shut up now so I have a feeling she’ll definitely be back at some point in the near future.

I just want to thank you Jo for having me on your blog today! And I know it may seem a bit early but I don’t think it’s ever too early to wish everyone a Merry Christmas…..unless it’s June, obviously ;) xxx

Thanks for such a great post, yay for Lexi chattering in your ear x

About The Author

Ellen lives in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, England where she spends most of her time baking, eating, baking, and eating. Occasionally she does leave the house to go to the cinema or do some food shopping though.
After spending years with an overactive imagination, she decided to put all the magic in her head to some good use and put finger to laptop where The Story of Us was born and became her debut novel.

She loves to travel, her favourite destinations so far have all been in America, hence the love of all things, and all people, American. The food rocks pretty hard too, she ate until her jeans begged her to stop whilst she was there. True fact.
Aside from day dreaming and eating, Ellen is a sucker for a lolcat, penguins and monkeys - she has never claimed to be normal.

Pulling up outside a normal looking suburban bungalow the following day, I try to imagine what Ryan’s dad will be like. Will he have the same twinkling eyes, the same messy black hair, the same sense of humour? The butterflies in my stomach are buzzing around like it’s already Christmas Day, I don’t know where they get off having so much energy but they can just jolly well calm down because I don’t want my delicious breakfast coming back up in the front garden of my fiancés father. That would make for a very awkward first meeting.
“You okay?” Ryan looks at me carefully. 
“I’m nervous as hell. Seriously, I can feel the bacon and mushroom sandwich threatening to come back followed quickly by the three coffees I’ve already had.” I opted for coffee because at 9am it seemed a bit early to hit the wine. Christmas Day aside, obviously, because then the Bucks Fizz comes out. It’s like the law or something.
“Don’t be, he will love you and I know you’ll get on amazingly. He always had a way of making people feel so relaxed, where do you think James got it from?” He nudges me gently as we stay sat in his car, neither of us ready to get out yet. “I’m curious to meet his new........girlfriend.” He wrinkles his nose. “Feels weird calling her that but lady friend sounds like something sleazy. Romilly said that she’s an interesting character but she laughed when she said it so I don’t know what she meant.”
I gulp as I meet his eyes. I feel like I’m walking into a lion’s den blindfolded. On the plus side, at least we’re both meeting the new girlfriend for the first time together which makes me feel a bit better. I think Ryan still feels weird even though his parents have been divorced about 6 years now.
“Right, we’d better get out before he notices we’re here and comes out for us.” Giving me a gentle kiss on the hand that was resting quite happily on his knee, he opens his door.
This is it then. Please Lord don’t let me throw up on him, I’ll go to midnight mass Christmas Eve if you help a girl out. Honestly.
I play self-consciously with my engagement ring as we wait for the door to open. I hope his dad likes me, although the dads are usually the easy ones to crack, it’s the mothers that are the hardest work. As long as she likes me I’ll be happy.
“Rom?!” Ryan shouts happily as the door opens and he pulls a gorgeous leggy blonde into a hug. I stand there a bit like a spare part not really knowing where to put myself. Buggar.
“Oh Ryan it’s soon good to see you! And you must be Lexi? Is it okay for me to call you that?” Her crystal clear blue eyes sparkle with excitement as she pulls me into a hug, not waiting for me to answer. All this hugging on the first meeting is not very British of us at all, if his dad does the same I have no idea what I’ll do. I’m blushing just thinking about it.
“Erm, hi? Lexi is fine, yes.” I blink from Ryan to the blonde when it finally hits me. Rom. Romilly! Ryan’s sister. “Ohhh, Romilly? Oh I’m so sorry, had a brain blip there, lovely to meet you!” 
“And you! I’ve heard so much about you, I was so excited when Ryan said you were coming home for Christmas. I hope you don’t mind me being here, I couldn’t wait to see you both and I figured you might need me.” She winks and giggles softly, like an actual lady, not like my seal snorts. 
“Don’t be daft, it’s great to see you. Is Peter here with you?” Ryan puts his arm around me as we follow Romilly through the front door. There are so many names being fired around that I feel like I should maybe grab a pen and write notes on my hand like when I was a teenager at school but my hands are that sweaty that I’m sure the names would just run into each other.
“Who’s Peter?” I lean in and whisper to Ryan.
“Rom’s husband,” he smiles at me as Romilly turns and smiles. 
“No he stayed home, he’s not super comfortable around dad anymore,” she laughs again. Why do I get the feeling we’re walking into some sort of trap? “Same for Veronica. God I can’t wait for you to meet her! You won’t believe the change in dad in the last ten months.”
I get the feeling Veronica is going to be more than an interesting character and the fact Romilly’s husband of six years doesn’t want to be here sends a shiver up my already frozen spine. Ryan pulls me even closer into his side and looks down at me with a fear in his eyes that I’m sure I match.
“Come on, sit down. Fancy some whiskey? If you like it, I advise that you say yes. Or I can get you wine?” She looks at us both expectantly.
“It’s not even 11am yet Rom, we do not want whiskey.” Ryan states firmly as we flop down into the old green, velvet sofa. It reminds me of something my grandma used to have back when I was really young. It’s old, battered and I think I have a spring sticking in my bum.
“Wine it is then.” She sings happily, making herself at home and wandering through to what I assume is the kitchen.
We both sit in silence, this is so uncomfortable. The dreams I had of being welcomed into the family with a hearty handshake and a cup of tea with some chocolate digestive biscuits are slowly dying. I scan the room for evidence of Veronica but can’t see any photographs of anything other than dogs. The old wood burning fire crackles away filling the silence in the room, sparks flying out occasionally and landing on the stone hearth surrounding. The brown velvet curtains do nothing to compliment the sofa but it does match the orange and brown carpet that has what I’d guess to be at least a months’ worth of dust sat on top of it making it hard to work out just how vivid it actually was. It reminds me of what a house would have been like in the 70s, right down to the old school radio sat in the corner on a sleek glass stand, a complete contrast to the rest of the room. How odd.
“Here. Drink up.” Romilly sits back down as we hear footsteps above our heads, each of us looking up as they move slowly and then down the stairs.
I take a tentative sip of the white wine and wait. And wait. And wait. 
And then I hear it.
Straight up, in no way am I joking, sick to the stomach giggles. Male giggles.
And then a slap and a squeal. 
“Ryan, my darling boy!” I take a deep breath, another drink of wine and am distracted as Ryan leaps from his seat.
“Fuck! Dad what the hell are you playing at?!” Ryan bellows.
Frowning, I lean forward and peer around him and come face to face with his dads penis. Something I never, EVER, thought would happen to me. Ever. I shoot back in my seat and knock my wine flying all over the carpet as Romilly sits there opposite us in hysterics, quite obviously enjoying the show.
“George, what’s all this noise?” A woman’s voice comes from behind him as a naked-as-the-day-she-was-born Veronica –at least I hope it’s her and there isn’t some kind of orgy going on- walks into the room, hands on hips, lady parts out for the world to see. What I’m feeling now is indescribable.

1 comment:

  1. I love when books feature characters from other books….