A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that will warm your heart! Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Marian Keyes, Kathleen Whyman and Caroline James.
Is it ever too late to start again…?
Erika Forde has always played second fiddle to her husband David, the famous novelist. But since their son, Matt, left home for university, cracks have started to show in their marriage. Erika has long had a nagging suspicion that David may not always have been faithful, and now his latest books are starting to wane in popularity causing erratic moods that are affecting Erika. But while David’s career starts to dip, Erika’s advertising agency is on the up. Erika’s creative genius wins the agency a huge client in Stable Denim, but her life is thrown into turmoil when one of the models cast for the campaign turns out to be her ex-boyfriend, Enzo. Has Enzo been sent back into Erika’s life for a reason? Is it time for her to reevaluate her marriage? Or should some things be left in the past…?
WHEN WE WERE US is a second chance love story, that shows the ups and downs of family life with buckets of humour and wit.
My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite. When We Were Us is published by Sapere Books and is available in ebook (also available on Kindle Unlimited) and paperback formats (9 February 2024). For my spot on the tour, I’m delighted to host a guest post from Patricia.
WHEN WE WERE US is the story of Erika Forde, a forty-two-year-old woman who begins to rethink her life, her marriage, and her relationship with her own body. In other words, Erika is very much starting a new chapter. But she doesn’t how that yet.
Erika is a character important to me because she represents a demographic who are somewhat overlooked but have so much to share. In other words, ideal ground for a writer. There’s a lot of self-reflection going on beneath the surface, as a new era unfolds with her son leaving for university, and a renewed curiosity within Erika as she reframes her future.
What follows is a journey into the backstage areas of Erika’s life, including her past, and the increasingly erratic behaviour of her husband, David, who became a best-selling novelist early in their marriage, and is devoted to regaining his status with the publication of his latest novel.
David was a lot of fun to write, equally as pompous as he is ridiculous, and ripe for Erika’s sharply comic observation. As David’s behaviour grows increasingly eccentric, including seemingly installing a makeshift bachelor pad in the garage, and developing an interest in teeth whitening, Erika decides to delve a little deeper, unlocking a curiosity which leads to her loosening the reins, and jumping head-first into the most excitement she’s had in many years of marriage.
Erika is coming to terms with her son’s absence, and beginning to embrace a greater sense of freedom for exploration. Her friendships deepen, along with the reignition of an old friendship with Enzo Morelli, who sparks her confidence, providing an anchor of insight into her background.
Erika and Enzo have an interesting connection, going back to teenage years, and it was rather fantastic to reunite those two. Enzo’s sudden arrival brings questions, with Erika set to discover, he’s very much seeking answers of his own. The character of Enzo Morelli has a depth and vulnerability which was intriguing to create. One of the most compelling aspects of writing a novel is getting to know my characters, discovering what formed them, sharing their secrets, exploring their motivation. I’m fascinated by the many ingredients which make us who we are, which is why I read equal parts Fiction and Biographies.
I loved spending time with Erika. The character grew from what was initially set to be an ensemble piece featuring three female characters, but as we got to know each other, Erika had so much to say, and so much going on within memory and inner monologue, I knew I needed to dedicate a novel to her story. I happily spiralled into research as I wrote the retrospective scenes of Erika, which was such an enjoyable part of the process.
When We Were Us goes full circle as the links between past and present slowly realign to reunite Erika with parts of herself she had lost along the way, and she has quite an adventure along the way…
Patricia Caliskan’s latest novel, WHEN WE WERE US, will be released in February 2024.
GIRLFRIEND, INTERRUPTED, was released by Sapere Books, June 2018. Her debut novel, AWFUL BY COMPARISON, was released in August 2016.
Told with mischievous humour, Patricia Caliskan’s stories explore family dynamics, office politics, and the divergent roles of women throughout their lives.
Patricia began her writing career as an arts and entertainment journalist, before joining Reach PLC as commercial editor across a portfolio of magazine titles.
Patricia likes a nice, flouncy scarf, a good pair of boots, and laughter. Lots of laughter. Otherwise life feels far too grown-up for her liking.
Follow the author: Website | TwitterX | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon UK