So today I welcome Louise Emma Clarke with an exclusive excerpt from her debut novel From Mum with Love.
Before I share this, let us take a look at the book in questionFrom Mum With Love by Louise Emma Clarke
Published by Aria on February 5 2019
Buy on Amazon UK, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo
Add to Goodreads
Full-time mum Jess has had enough, and her husband, Chris, has just the solution to vent her frustrations –a blog. Jess loves her daughter more than anything, but sometimes she just wants a little bit of freedom –some time for herself. Queue a laptop, a glass of wine and the beginning of a life-changing journey. Overnight Jess's inbox is full of notifications and before long she is officially a 'mummy blogger' but this new life comes with its own set of rules and regulations. With Queen of the Bloggers, Tiggy, blanking her in public, people recognizing her on the street and her life decisions suddenly judged by strangers Jess's idea of 'me time' is slowly becoming a full-time job. Will Jess be able to find the right life/work balance? Or will she wish she'd never turned to a world online?
I am sure a lot of us could relate to this book!!
So what has been said so far on the blog tour?
Between my lines says
This book explores the theme of how to keep your identity when you become a mum. And how to balance all the relationships in your life, while still trying to carve out time just to be you, and holding back some time to allow you to follow your dreams. I know, as someone who is always trying (and failing) to do all the things, that this theme felt very real. So, I empathised with her struggle.
Fabulous Book Fiend says
This book is an open and honest as Jess is with her readers and so definitely reads true to life. The struggles that Jess goes through on an offline are very believable and very relatable and I enjoyed reading about them even if some of them were somewhat cringe-worthy and sometimes a little upsetting. I admit that I was jealous of the speed with which Jess’s blog took off and the notoriety she achieved in the mummy blogging world but I definitely won’t hold it against her. There were no major surprises in the storyline and I predicted quite a few of the key moments but that in itself was comforting, true to life and made me enjoy it all the more. I would definitely recommend giving this one a go.
The Spoonie Mummy says
I really loved the honest way she wrote about the first year of motherhood and the troubles Mums so often face. I felt like I could identify with so much of what she wrote – the nerves of attending the mummy and baby groups for the first few times, the loneliness, the feelings towards your partner after they have gone back to work and you get that dreaded text – I am going to be late home!She balances this nicely with the pure elation that being a Mum brings, which I really loved. I felt a part of her and her group of mummy friends – some lovely people who I couldn’t help feeling that I would be friends with as well.
Jessica’s Book Biz says
Oh my goodness I can’t begin to tell you how much I absolutely loved this book. Its really fun and exciting and really relateable. The way the author has written this book is fantastic. I thought Jess’s blog was a really beautiful idea and I enjoyed reading her letters to her daughter. I am looking forward to reading more from Louise Emma Clarke.
Drop in to check out other exclusives excerpts over at Donna’s Book Blog Short books and Scribes, Guest Posts over at Bookish Jottings and Book Addict Rambles, Author Interview over at A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
✮ Excerpt ✮
Jessica’s fingers rested on the keys of her laptop. Leaning back in her chair, she moved her eyes down to the notebook lying open on the table in front of her and traced her finger across the page. Once smooth, the paper was now filled with the indents of words scrawled in a blue biro. She’d carefully typed the letter word-for-word, allowing her mind to wander back to the day she first wrote it. The tiredness, the newborn cuddles, the emotions. It felt like yesterday, but a lifetime ago, all at the same time. Shutting the book with a snap, she pulled it towards her and sniffed the leather. There was something very comforting about this notebook, with its sunshine yellow cover and gold monogrammed initials.
JDH. Jessica Dawn Holmes. Her married name.
It still gave her a thrill nearly two years later.
The notebook had been a gift, handed to her on the last afternoon of her hen weekend in Cornwall a few weeks before her wedding. The small group of friends and family were gathered in the lounge, and Jessica unwrapped parcels one by one.
‘Right,’ Fran had said. ‘I’ve saved mine until last. Here you go, little sister!’
She held out a small package, wrapped in colourful polka dot paper and tied with a silver bow. And as she untied and pulled, those gold initials were the first thing Jessica saw. Her new name staring back at her. She was the first of her friends to have a serious boyfriend, let alone get married, but she didn’t have a single doubt. And as she smiled up at her sister to thank her, she was filled with nervous excitement about becoming JDH for real.
Jessica blinked now and glanced down at the same notebook in her hands, the gold initials fading in places and the pages filled with letters to her daughter. The idea to share the letters in a blog had come to her a few weeks ago. She’d been avidly reading parenting blogs since Bella was born and she’d often thought of starting her own, but every time she opened her laptop to start typing, she just couldn’t find the words. What should she write about? And how should she start?
And then she remembered the notebook.
She already had the words.
Jessica’s eyes shot back to the screen of her laptop, speed reading the letter she’d just typed in her mind – but there was something stopping her from publishing it. Did she really want to become a mummy blogger? Did she fit the mould? She didn’t have a troop of perfectly turned out kids, her house was never tidy, she didn’t have a glamorous home in the South of France to spend her summers, nor a team of photographers to capture her in fabulous outfits against cool backdrops. She didn’t have long glossy hair to flick, nor a lounge of monochrome prints to photograph, nor the bank balance to take her daughter to different over-priced attractions every day of the week.
She was just Jessica – a thirty-one-year-old, mummy-of-one, and wife to forty-four-year- old Chris. She had an average wardrobe in average size twelve, an average three-bedroom house on an average street in South East London, and an average career as the office manager of an insurance firm (before she gave it up to become a mummy, that is). She wasn’t anything special.
But she did love to write and she thought, possibly, she might even be quite good at it. She would just stick to writing letters to Bella, telling the story of how motherhood happened for her.
She felt comfortable with that. It felt right.
Until next time xxx
Thank you so much to Vicky at Aria for the tour invite and the author for the excerpt from the book