Hello, Book Dragons! Today I would like to welcome you all on my stop of the Blog Tour for Blood Ties By Peter Taylor-Gooby and I would like to share an exclusive extract, with all of you. Thank you very much to Kelly from Love books Group for the invitation. Please do show some love to all the wonderful book bloggers on this blog tour by following and sharing their work. 🙂
Description of the book: Ritchie s life is shadowed by the death of his wife, Cat, in a car accident twenty-two years previously. He was the driver. He loves his children Nic, who is bi-polar and often impulsive, and Jack. Both are active in the campaign to welcome asylum-seekers and refugees to Britain. His life comes to a crisis as he realises how much his children despise his trade in advertising and how much the loss of Cat still means to them all.
Ritchie abandons his career but achieves new success in driving Britain s treatment of refugees up the political agenda. This earns him the respect of his children but brings him to the attention of Makepeace, the populist Home Secretary. Nic, his daughter, strives to show she can overcome her disorder. She infiltrates a people-trafficking gang but is arrested as a criminal. Makepeace uses this to blackmail Ritchie to help him in his political schemes. Ritchie is horrified to discover that his task is to sell the reintroduction of forced labour, modern slavery, to the public. As a result he is once again rejected by his children.
Ritchie has reached rock bottom. He is desolate but believes he can outsmart Makepeace. Blood Ties shows how he finally resolves the situation, embraces the causes his children hold dear and reunites his family.
Extract: Best Idea Yet
Nic’s sitting on the edge of the desk at Refugee+, grinning like I’ve told a joke that’s made her laugh out loud and she can’t believe I’ve done that. I’m in an upright chair in front of her. It’s as if I’m back in the agency, pitching a campaign to Myles, only now there’s no carpet and no picture window and it’s too cold to take your coat off and our knees are about six inches apart.
Nic’s laptop is on the desk, with documents and letters, some of them still in their envelopes, stacked in piles, and the “Salma” file open on top of them with papers spilling out of it.
‘Brilliant,’ she says. ‘You’re on a roll, Dad.’
That’s what Myles would say, except he’d miss the Dad out. Then he’d take it to Elsa and she’d thank me and do something different.
‘You tracked them down. It’ll help Salma, that’s for sure. And Jack. Big court case, lots
of publicity. It’ll make people see what’s right under their noses, make them look at it. Maybe we’ll get an immigrant amnesty, maybe a new law.’
‘Do my best.’
My heart’s swelling. I can’t stop myself grinning. I’m good at publicity.
She hesitates and bites at her lip.
‘Dad, I’m a mess, I get carried away. Sorry.’
She flings her arms round me and my face is full of short black hair with a white streak
across it, and I love it.
‘Careful, I’m not that strong!’
She’s grinning back at me. ‘I’m sorry, it’s just, that poster… I didn’t think.’
She holds out her hand and I grasp it but I can’t grip as hard as she does.
‘You’re not the only one. I didn’t think either.’
Twenty years, I didn’t think. I messed around a bit, I was going to write a novel and then I just found something I could do, because we needed money. I ended up at Dance and Fitzhugh. Myles seemed to have faith in me. I showed him the novel, what I’d got of it. He read a bit and put down his drink and looked up at me. ‘You’ll do,’ he said.
And Catherine? I take a breath so I can speak clearly.
‘Mum and me, she said once you were the best thing that ever happened to us, you and
Jack. She was right.’
That day at Margate, the bottle of wine at lunch-time, when we’d found a pub that had
wine, and driving back. Cat had got the job she wanted at Birnberg Pierce and I’d got the Beamer (second hand but shiny) because everyone in the office had them. The sun was warm on our backs. We’d swum and built sandcastles and had ice-creams and fish and chips and the future opened up like an empty road in front of us and … I screwed up.
It should’ve been me. She only undid her seat belt for a minute to lean round and check
on the children.
My voice wavers, I can’t find the end of the sentence.
‘You and Jack. I’m so sorry.’
About the author: I enjoy talking to my children, holidays, hill-walking and riding my bike. I’ve worked on adventure playgrounds, as a teacher, as an antique dealer and in a social security office in Newcastle. Before that I spent a year on a Gandhian Ashram in Vijayawada, supporting myself as assistant editor on a local English-language newspaper. In my day job I’m an academic but I believe that you can only truly understand the issues that matter to people through your feelings, your imagination and your compassion. That’s why I write novels. My first novel, The Baby Auction, 2017, is a love story set in a fantasy world where the only rule is the law of the market. That someone should help another because they care for them simply doesn’t make sense to the citizens of Market World, any more that auctioning babies might to us. My second, Ardent Justice, 2018, is a crime story set in the world of high finance and city fat-cats, where money rules, but greed can trip even the most successful. My third, Blood Ties, 2020, is about the ties of love in a troubled family, and the bonds of debt that chain illegal immigrants to people-traffickers, and how they can be broken through self-sacrifice. I hope you enjoy them.
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