THE LIFE YOU LEFT
3rd July 2014 | PB £8.99 | EB £1.99
“Sarah, I’m not coming home tonight.
If you love me, you will give me the space I need…
Tell the children I love them.
A story of redemption and the strength of love from the author of BEYOND GRACE’S RAINBOW,
perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Cecelia Ahern.
It started out like any other day for Sarah Lawler; getting the kids ready for school, making the packed lunches
and juggling baby Ella’s feeds. There was no way of knowing that her husband, Paul, would leave for work
that morning and simply not come home.
Now the questions are piling up quicker than the unpaid bills and, unable to answer her children’s questions
about where their Daddy is, Sarah is getting desperate. But it turns out she isn’t quite as alone as she thought
she was. When her beloved childhood friend, Edward, comes back into her life, Sarah thinks she’s finally been
thrown a life line.
There’s just one problem with Edward: no one else can see him.
Edward is an angel. And he has a message for Sarah that will change her life and the lives of others forever.
For it is only in the most difficult of times that Sarah can discover how strong she truly is.
PRAISE FOR BEYOND GRACE’S RAINBOW:
‘It will pull you in, make you laugh and break your heart’ – USA Today Bestselling Author Abby Green
‘A bittersweet, quietly brilliant novel that will make you cry, laugh and cry all over again’ – Female First
‘Funny, poignant and bursting with heartfelt humour’ – I Heart… Chick Lit
‘You will laugh, you will cry, you might even get angry. One thing is for sure – this, thanks to
the warmth of writing and the level of feeling Harrington obviously has for her characters,
is a story you will never forget’ – After The Final Chapters
‘I can hand on my heart honestly say that this book has blown me away. Treat yourself to it. It’s not just for us chick-lit
ladies. It’s for everyone who enjoys a good read and a brilliant book. It’s sensational’ – Pajama Book Girl
ABOUT CARMEL HARRINGTON:
Carmel Harrington is the author of BEYOND GRACE’S RAINBOW, which was awarded Kindle Book of the Year
2013 by the Peoples Book Awards, Best Romantic Read eBook 2013 at the UK’s Festival of Romance, and was
an iTunes number one bestseller. She has appeared across national television and radio in her native Ireland,
talking about the success of her first book.
Carmel is published by HarperImpulse, an award-winning digital romance imprint of HarperFiction. She lives
in Ireland with her husband Roger and her two young children, Nate and Amelia. With publication of BEYOND
GRACE’S RAINBOW, Carmel fulfilled a lifelong ambition to become a published author. She is also a
playwright. She is available to interview and to write features.
Don’t you just love that cover? It’s one of my favourites!
What I thought
Oh wow. I really don’t even know where to start with this one.
Anyone who reads this blog often will know that Carmel Harrington is not only an author that I greatly admire and look up to but also a great friend in real life. I often read the things people are writing about her and think but its just Carmel. Thing is ‘just Carmel’ is becoming a sensation and now we have to share her with the world. But that’s OK. The stuff she writes needs to be shared with the world.
I have read this book many times. And every time has been better than the last. How? I hear you ask. Quite simply it is because each time it was different. I think I have read maybe 4 versions of the story and have known it to have three titles. Its amazing really how much a story can change from the first draft to the final published version.
Anyway back to the book.
For those of you that read Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, wondering if maybe Carmel was just a one hit wonder (as if), well here is your answer screaming loud and clear. The Life You Left is a fantastic read. Havign read it first over a year ago I couldn’t wait for it to be released. As I have said there have been many changes since then and the book I fell in Love with just completely swept me away. Carmel has a unique writing voice. It is all her. In face when I was reading it often I could her here saying the words that were on the page in front of her. I think that is why her books are so good. It isn’t an effort from her, it never feels forced or that writing it is a chore. Its almost as if she sits down and the words just flow. Its like she really is telling a story to you.
It is an effortless read. You will be trapped in the pages, unable to put it down. It is though provoking and poignant. You have characters that are going to quite simply piss you off, you will want to throttle them through the pages. You will also have characters like Sarah who will warm your heart and Ruby that will make you laugh. And maybe cry. Just a little bit.
I remember all that time ago texting Carmel and saying, “I think it might even be better than Beyond Grace’s Rainbow”. That though is for you to decide!!
5 minutes with Happy Mrs H
Book 2, The Life You Left, has just been released. Can you believe it?
Its beginning to sink in Tanya. It’s such a weird feeling. You spend months and months working on the book, then months and months waiting for it to be published. When the day arrives, its quite surreal. Did I really do that? Did I write that book? Best feeling in the world now that its sunk in!
Tell us a little about the book. Not giving anything away, of course.
Well, its about Sarah, a wife and mother, who thinks her life is all mapped out. But then suddenly everything changes. Her husband Paul goes missing. She has financial issues. And then to top it all, a childhood friend of hers, Edward, returns to her life, with a message that will ensure that life is never ever the same again.
We know how the story of Beyond Grace’s Rainbow came to you, how did you come about the idea for this book?
One of the themes in the book is that of angels and I’d always wanted to explore this in a story, as I grew up with a grandmother who was always reading books about them! Then, a few years ago, at a time when I was having a tough time, a woman walked up to me in a shopping centre and grabbed my hand and told me that I was surrounded by an angel, who had so much love for me and was looking after me at this difficult time. She then walked away as quickly as she appeared. That incident stayed with me. The woman looked for nothing from me, she simply gave me a message. Sarah’s story came from that.
Then one morning whilst walking on our local beach, I heard a noise, that frightened me and I allowed my writers imagination to take over and I came up with a key scene from the book – a murder on the beach!
Did you find a big difference with this book, having an editorial team to work with?
Absolutely. With Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, it was 100% my book. With this one, my editor was deeply invested in the story and in her words, she wanted to ensure that I wrote a worthy follow up to BGR. So the edits from Harper Impulse were detailed and I am very grateful for them. I really believe that with my editors sharp eye, she helped me write a better novel.
How did you feel knowing that people had Pre-ordered your book on the back of having read Beyond Grace’s rainbow?
Grateful. Overwhelmed. Lucky. Happy. And truth be told, a little scared. I hope that I don’t let down any of my BGR fans.
I saw many pictures on Facebook that people had posted with your book cover on their kindle. Did that feel surreal?
Tanya, its the most wonderful feeling in the world to see a direct result of months and months of hard work, in that little picture. But yes, it does feel surreal too. I appreciate so much everyone sharing their pictures with me, each one I get a kick from. I’ve the best supporters.
The paperback releases on July 3rd. Do you have anything planned to celebrate the release?
Oh yes. I get to have a very posh book launch at a castle no less! On 28th June, I will be in Enniscorthy Castle to launch The Life You Left, with a wine and cheese reception.
I cannot wait. On the 3rd itself, I will be in Waterford to do two radio shows and I intend to have lunch with my dear friend Tanya!!!
Then in the afternoon I have a book signing in two bookshops. I’ll be busy, but happy busy.
Now that one dream has come true, do you have another?
Yes. Actually I’ve several. The most immediate is that I make the Irish Bestsellers Paperback Charts. I have been an eBook bestseller, for both books now, I’d like to make the top 10 in the paperback charts if I can.
After that, my big dream is to have BGR or TLYL made into a movie. Nice thought eh?
Is there another book in the works yet?
I’ve a couple on the go Tanya! But the one I need to finish next is a sequel to BGR, a kind of what happens next for Abby and Gerry mainly. I’m so excited about this book. Its like catching up with old friends.
Is being a published author everything you thought it would be?
Yes and more. It’s harder work than I thought it would be. But its way more fun!
What advice do you have for those starting out?
Keep writing and don’t stop till you see the words, ‘The End.’
How much of yourself goes into each book?
Hmmm…that’s an interesting question. I think that its impossible not to have parts of me interweaved into certain characters – Grace and Sarah in particular might have teeny, tiny, parts of me. But when I write, I immerse myself completely into the lives of my characters and I worry for them, celebrate with them and ultimately want the best for them. Unless they are called Mal or Michelle. (When you read TLYL you will see why I said that!)
How do you manage to balance writing and family life? Especially now with summer coming?
Sometimes Tanya I’m not sure that I do. I feel guilty a lot. The house isn’t clean enough, I never bake anymore, lots of little things that I used to do when I had more time. But when the children are home from playshool, I’m 100% Mummy. We play together, we have a lot of fun and its quite wonderful. I work long hours. Its not unusual for me to get up at 630am and not go to bed till 12am. Sometimes later.
July 2012 when you self published Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, could you have imagined what would come next?
Never. I could visualise myself getting a book deal. I had faith that would happen. But all the other stuff, the awards, the tv appearances etc, no I never imagined any of that.
I’m having the time of my life. I’ve met so many people through writing, some of which have become dear friends of mine, you included! I feel very blessed.