This Fragile Life By Kate Hewitt | Neverland Blog Tours | Author Q&A, Excerpt and Giveaway!

Thursday, 12 April 2018

You love your best friend. You trust her with your life. But could you give her the most precious gift of all?

Alex's life is a mess. She's barely holding down a job, only just affording her apartment, and can't remember when she was last in a relationship. An unexpected pregnancy is the last thing she needs.

Martha's life is on track. She's got the highflying career, the gorgeous home and the loving husband. But one big thing is missing. Five rounds of IVF and still no baby.

The solution seems simple. Alex knows that Martha can give her child everything that she can't provide. But Martha's world may not be as perfect as it seems, and letting go isn't as easy as Alex expected it to be. Now they face a decision that could shatter their friendship forever.

About Kate Hewitt: Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 60 books of women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.


Hello there, nice to have you here on SunshineSarahxo! Please could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your book: 

Thank you for having me here! My name is Kate Hewitt and This Fragile Life is an emotional women’s fiction about two women and one baby and a difficult choice they both have to make.


At what point did you decide to write books and share them with the world?? 

I’ve always written something or other since I was small—poetry, plays, news articles. In my mid 20s I started writing novels, and my first was published in 2007.


How would you describe your writing style? Has it changed over time at all? 

My writing style has definitely evolved with experience, thank goodness! I like to write from the heart, and not shy away from deep or painful issues, but always with a ray of hope at the end.


Do you have any other books in the pipeline which you are excited about?! 

Yes, A Mother’s Choice, my first book with Bookouture, and similar in style to This Fragile Life, is out in June.


Has your writing helped you in other areas of life?! 

I think writing can be a form of therapy as the issues I’m facing in my own life invariably come out in my writing and often give me clarity into my own situation.


How did you come up with the name for the book? Did it come before you started writing or is it something which only really develops once the writing has begun? 

The book was originally titled The Other Mother, but unfortunately two other books with that title are being released before mine, so my publisher changed it.


Where does inspiration come from for your books? Do you have ideas all at once which you have to write down before you forget them? Are they all a jumble does it make sense to you?!

Inspiration comes from everywhere—my own life, stories in the newspaper, random thoughts! I usually have several ideas percolating in the back of my brain but they need some time to stew before I’m ready to write them into a story.


The storyline of This Fragile Life is a very emotive one and a subject which many women can relate to. Did you find it difficult to write about such a difficult subject? 

It was very emotional, in part because part of the story framed my personal experience. But I think it’s important as a writer to access that part of yourself as you write, so your story can be as authentic as possible.


I've read an excerpt of This Fragile Life and I'm hooked already. As a woman who doesn't want children I do find myself fascinated by everything related to pregnancy and childbirth! I know women who've gone through IVF to get pregnant, some of which was successful some not, how did you research for your book? Do you know women who are having the same difficulties faced by the two women in the book? 

I have family and friends who have gone through IVF, and so I was aware when writing it how long and painful a process it can be. But the heart of the book is really about choosing to do something difficult, and that is something anyone can relate to.


And lastly, do you have a particular way to treat yourself when you've finished a chapter/the whole book? 

I take a few days off from writing and read a good book or watch a movie, to refill the creative well. Nothing too exciting but I do look forward to it!

I hear what Martha says and I am both completely shocked and not surprised at all. I stare at her, my thoughts tumbling through my mind in an unholy kaleidoscope, so I can only snatch at fragments: if she adopts this baby, I'll see it all the time. We'll have to explain to our parents. I'll be pregnant and yet I won't have anything at the end. Martha will be so happy.

I shake my head. I'm not sure what I want to say or even think. "Martha—"
"Just think it over," she says quickly. "I know it's a lot to process, and of course there's a lot we both need to think over. It's a big deal."
Hell, yes. It's a very big deal. And still I just stare.
"Only if you want to,” she adds. “I mean, if you’re really sure you don’t want to keep it yourself. It’s an option, that’s all.”

An option that feels as if a bomb has been lobbed onto the table between us. How can I turn it—her—down? How can I get an abortion now, without seeming totally selfish? And if I did want to keep it, how could this not always be between us? The baby Martha could have had. The baby I shouldn’t have, that I feel like I don’t deserve because I didn’t want it in the first place. Because I can’t be a mom.

“Of course,” Martha continues, “Rob and I would make it worth your while."
"You'd… pay me?"
"No, not pay," Martha says. A faint blush touches her cheeks. "That's illegal, in any case. I just mean we'd make sure you were taken care of, Alex. The medical bills and everything. I mean, even maternity clothes can be expensive. You know, the whole thing could kind of be fun. Almost… almost like we’re both pregnant, you know?" She smiles, and for a second I am reminded of years ago, our senior year of college, when we went to Fort Lauderdale together for spring break. We had an amazingly silly, fun time, just the two of us, kicking around on the beach and in bars, goofing off.

That vacation cemented our friendship so much that even when our lives veered in dramatically different directions, we still met up for coffee or dinner or a glass of wine. I was Martha's maid of honor, even though she had three gorgeous, accomplished friends from Yale who could have easily stepped into those shoes. She told me she asked me because she was going to be tense enough dealing with her mother, and she needed someone to help her relax.

And even though I’ve rolled my eyes at her controlling and OCD tendencies, I’m glad to have someone like her in my life. I’ve needed someone like her in my life, because if I didn’t I’d just flake out completely. And I know, I absolutely know, she’d make a wonderful mom. A little strict maybe, and probably totally by the book, but still, a good mother.
But to my baby?
Martha is still staring at me, waiting for what? An answer, already? "Sorry," I finally mutter. "I'm still processing all this."

"Of course you are. I am too. I'm sorry to spring the idea on you like that. It just popped into my mind.” She bites her lip, and for a second she looks more uncertain, more vulnerable than I’ve ever seen her. “Maybe I shouldn’t have said anything.”
And I don’t answer, because I’m still reeling, and part of me is thinking, yeah, maybe you shouldn’t have.

Good Luck!

Paperback copy of Kate's new book, A Mother's Choice.

Out in June.


Love, Sarah

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