Monday, March 30, 2020


The Walls We Build by Jules Hayes - Book Tour + Giveaway

The Walls We Build

Three friends …
Growing up together around Winston Churchill’s estate in Westerham, Kent, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable. But as WW2 casts its menacing shadow, friendships between the three grow complex, and Frank – now employed as Churchill’s bricklayer – makes choices that will haunt him beyond the grave, impacting his grandson’s life too.

Two Secrets …
Shortly after Frank's death in 2002 Florence writes to Richard, Frank’s grandson, hinting at the darkness hidden within his family. On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light, including a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill during the war and the existence of a mysterious relative in a psychiatric hospital.

One Hidden Life …
How much more does Florence dare reveal about Frank – and herself – and is Richard ready to hear?
Set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Churchill’s country home, comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption, reverberating through three generations and nine decades.

For readers of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Katherine Webb, Lucinda Riley and Juliet West.

“Passion, intrigue and family secrets drive this complex wartime relationship drama. A page turner. I loved it.”  #1 bestselling author, Nicola May

Purchase Links
Waterstones -

This extract is told from Florence’s viewpoint. It’s November 1932 and the world is in the midst of the 1930s economic downturn. Hitler is becoming more politically prominent within Germany. Florence is working as a housemaid at Chartwell.
Florence put Mr Churchill’s dark canine mood down to him being at home too much since the crash in America and the financial depression that had then ricocheted into Britain and the rest of Europe – including Germany – she’d gleaned from page four of today’s newspaper, which Mr Churchill’s valet had left on the kitchen table. It was Frank who’d encouraged her to read the inside of the paper as well as the front headline.
She and the rest of the staff had heard Mr Churchill blasting off about Adolf Hitler. The master always seemed to reach his crescendo on this topic soon after dinner, when it wasn’t unheard of for Mr Churchill to throw a plate, or a glass brimming with cognac, or both, in anger and exasperation at the supposed rise of Mr Hitler. On many occasions she’d been the one clearing up the aftermath. Florence didn’t really understand: from what her parents had said there was no way a strange little Austrian would ever rise to power in Germany. Absolutely bloody preposterous, her dad had said.
The staff, and his own family, avoided Mr Churchill as much as possible when he was like this, which was more often than not these days since he’d been hounded from the front benches, (she knew all this from the valet’s conversations with Miss Cunningham.) Mr Churchill though, continued to work at Chartwell like a man possessed, that’s what Miss Cunningham said. Writing and painting, and so much reading, and then there was the bricklaying too. Florence had no idea how he could take – or fit – it all in. He was a whirling dervish of activity: even when doing nothing he was doing something. Thinking. You always knew when this was happening as he had the habit of placing idle hands, his palms, on the front of his chest. She’d noticed he did this too when something was perplexing him, although after much observation she’d come to the conclusion he did it generally when he was ruminating and not doing.
She folded the paper; she really shouldn’t be reading it. The last thing she needed was to be caught reading when she should be working. Two weeks before, some correspondence had gone AWOL from Mr Churchill’s study. He’d blamed her (through Mrs Churchill), but she’d never laid eyes on it, and definitely hadn’t moved it. After being on the receiving end of Mr Churchill’s temper she’d thought she’d lose her job. A week later the papers turned up. On Mrs Churchill’s instruction her secretary had taken the papers, then gone away on leave for a week with them still in her bag.
She rose from the table and made her way to the kitchen door that led outside to the herb pots, which sat near the entrance, so cook could retrieve them easily. As she bent forwards to pull a handful of fennel, she smelt the aroma of cigar and stood up straight, automatically touching the hair that always strayed from underneath her work cap.
Mr Churchill stood just outside the door.
‘Good morning, sir,’ she said.
‘And a fine morning it is, Florence.’
Mr Churchill studied her but said nothing more.
‘Is there something you would like, sir?’ she said finally as a mild fear surfaced. What’d she done wrong now?
‘I would like to apologise about those bloody missing papers. I thought you had mislaid them,’ he said, looking directly at her, a smile beginning to slide onto his round face. ‘Not Mrs Churchill’s fault, she has so much to do.’
‘No, sir, it wasn’t Mrs Churchill’s mistake at all.’ She didn’t say it was the secretary’s. Mrs Churchill’s secretary didn’t like Florence and she didn’t want to make things worse for herself. She held the fennel tight in her hand. ‘I’m just glad they turned up, sir.’ And she was. Because even though she was certain it wasn’t her who’d moved them, she’d felt guilty because she did often have a gander at his papers.
‘My apologies, Florence,’ he said with a theatrical flourish, and then peered at the fennel. ‘What is on the menu for tonight?’
‘I’ve no idea, sir. Miss Cunningham is here for a few days, taking over Cook’s duties. Cook’s gone to spend some time with her son in Bournemouth.’ She took a breath and felt brave. ‘Miss Cunningham doesn’t as a rule plan very much in advance. I’ll give her the fennel and she’ll decide.’
‘Ah, yes, Miss Cunningham, a little on the culinary spontaneous side, eh?’
‘I think so, sir.’ She tried to dampen her emerging grin. The master did so make her laugh.
‘We have known Miss Cunningham for a long time. Before Chartwell, before…’
Florence didn’t know what he was about to say but guessed he was close to mentioning his fourth child. Miss Cunningham had known Marigold, said she was a lovely little girl. It was so sad she’d died.
‘I hope you enjoy whatever Miss Cunningham decides to make for tonight, sir.’
‘I’m certain I will.’ He took a puff of his cigar and threw it onto the ground. ‘Have a good day, Florence.’
‘And you too, sir.’
He walked past her and shuffled off in the direction of his studio. He had on his painter’s clothes. He’d be gone most of the day. She waited until he was out of sight and picked up the smouldering cigar, took a puff, felt dizzy and then pulled a handful of mint leaves from the pot, stuffed some in her mouth and chewed. Miss Cunningham would kill her if she knew she was smoking the master’s discarded Romeo and Julietas.

Author Bio.
Jules Hayes lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and a dog. She has a degree in modern history and holds a particular interest in events and characters from the early 20th century. As a former physiotherapist and trainer – old habits die hard – when not writing Jules likes to run. She also loves to watch films, read good novels and is a voracious consumer of non-fiction too, particularly biographies.

Jules is currently working on her second historical novel, another dual timeline story.

Jules also writes contemporary thriller and speculative fiction as JA Corrigan.

Jules Hayes  can be found at:

Twitter @JulesHayes6  -
Facebook Author Page: JulesHayesAuthor -
Instagram: JulesHayes6 -
Writing as JA Corrigan, Jules can be found at: Website:
Twitter: @juliannwriter -
Facebook Author Page: JA Corrigan -
Instagram: corriganjulieann

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of The Walls We Build (Open INT)

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1 comment:

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