Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Colouring Outside the Lines by Amanda Paull - Book Blitz

Colouring Outside The Lines

Meet Katie: she’s about to marry the most wonderful man in the world. The planning is done, the checklist is checked. The future is set.

Having spent her twenties and thirties enjoying life with good friends, and building a career she loves, it’s taken Katie until her forties to contemplate settling down. And she couldn’t be more delighted she waited.

So, why is her perfect groom standing gawping at her, wearing mismatched socks and sweating buckets? This can’t bode well.

With her special day in tatters, Katie has a decision to make. Does she snatch back the reigns of her old life, and tighten her grip even more? Or should she take a chance on change? Will she find the key to happiness at a Pilates class in a smelly old hall? Or is the curve ball heading her way too huge to handle?

If you like British humour and a flawed protagonist on an emotional journey, you’ll enjoy reading Amanda Paull’s latest novel, Colouring Outside the Lines – a heart-warming tale of shattered dreams, self-discovery and finding true love where you least expect it.


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The extract I have chosen shows the main character, Katie, being persuaded, against her better judgement, to have a tarot reading. It makes me laugh because I’ve been in similar situations myself, in which I’ve thought something was clearly a scam, but very politely handed over my hard-earned cash anyway, so as not to offend.

“… Katie peered in the window of the bric-à-brac shop, where a cute ornamental gnome with a fishing rod, like the one in the cottage garden, caught her eye. She could imagine him sitting on her decking at home, looking through the new glass barrier her father was putting up for her. The gnome – Norman, he looked like a Norman – would love the view from there, she decided. He’d be something brand new, unrelated to Connor.

Smiling her first genuine smile for days, Katie pushed open the door and stepped inside to the jingle of a bell above it.

As she waited for the assistant to retrieve Norman from the window, a rustle sounded from the back of the shop. Looking around, Katie noticed a purple curtain hanging in an archway, with a sign above it and the name Cécile written in a fancy calligraphy font. The curtain swished, and a very thin lady with massive, back-combed hair and heavy black eyeliner popped her head around it. The way she held the curtain around her made her look like a floating head. A sign on the table next to the archway said Tarot Reader. Katie smiled and quickly averted her eyes, but not before a purple nailed hand appeared from behind the curtain to beckon her over.

Crap. ‘Sorry, I’m erm, waiting for Norm– I mean my gnome,’ Katie said, busying herself with an exaggerated fumble in her rucksack for her purse.

‘You go on,’ said the assistant. She held up Norman, who, wrapped in white tissue paper, looked like he was in a shroud. ‘I’ll watch Norm for you while you have your reading.’

Katie wanted to correct her on the name but also wanted to scarper as fast as she could. ‘No, no, it’s okay.’ Then she lowered her voice. ‘I don’t really believe in all that mumbo jumbo.’

The assistant frowned. ‘Cécile is very gifted.’

‘I mean, I prefer to control my destiny. Without the influence of spooky suggestions and what-not.’ Eek, making it worse.

She arched a brow. ‘Have you ever had a reading?’

‘God, no,’ Katie said with a dismissive wave of her hand. Get a grip.

The assistant looked towards the back of the shop, a knowing look on her face.

Katie followed her gaze and jumped – Cécile was right behind her. She found herself looking into the palest green eyes she’d ever seen, but Katie wasn’t about to be hoodwinked; they were obviously contacts – no one had eyes that pale. Things had been tough enough of late, without adding this tomfoolery into the mix.

Cécile tilted her head to the side and watched her, as if she was trying to read her mind. As if, thought Katie.

‘You’ve not had an easy time of it lately, have you, my dear?’

Obviously, a lucky guess. A pretty general one, at that. She pursed her lips and squinted up to the corner of the room. ‘Can’t say anything springs to mind, to be honest.’

Cécile smiled. ‘You know, I might be able to help you work out what’s holding you back,’ she said, her tone soothing. ‘You don’t have to act on anything that comes through.’

‘And if you don’t believe in it,’ the assistant chipped in, ‘then how could it affect your destiny?’

Somehow, possibly out of politeness and not wanting to be rude, Katie reluctantly left Norman and allowed herself to be shuffled behind the curtain into Cécile’s booth.

The fragrance of Juniper curled through the air towards her. It was quite pleasant and reminded Katie of a spa. She sat down on a wooden chair at a small table covered in a white cloth with moons and stars on it and, to her surprise, felt herself relaxing. But she wasn’t about to let down her guard. There was nothing Cécile could say that would convince her she was psychic.

Cécile sat at the opposite side of the table, in what could only be described as a purple throne, and asked her to shuffle the cards, relax, and bring to mind her question without voicing it.

Ha, thought Katie, she should have known she was already relaxed. ‘I don’t have a question,’ she said, trying to empty her mind of all the questions that had been buzzing around lately. Much to her relief, a series of brightly coloured cards were laid down in front of her. Not a demon in sight. Though she didn’t believe in tarot, whenever she’d seen it depicted on television, there always seemed to be a skeleton in a hooded cape or a man falling from a crumbling tower into a raging fire.

Cécile hovered her hand over the cards as she looked at them, and then she focused her scary eyes on Katie, sending an icy shiver down her spine. On the off chance there was something kicking around the booth, she sent up a silent plea to the universe for the good powers, if any existed, to protect her from anything dark.

‘Bless you, duck. You don’t know whether you’re coming or going, do you?’

Katie attempted her best, I-have-no-idea-what-you-could-possibly-mean expression.

‘You’ve been duped.’

She gasped and jerked her head around, as if she might find someone standing behind, sending Cécile signals. ‘Duped? No, I –’

‘But not by the person you think duped you.’

‘What?’ she said with a laugh. ‘You can see multiple dupings?’ Isn’t one more than enough?

Cécile tapped a card showing a young man looking over his shoulder while carrying five swords from a tent. He looked as if he was in a hurry as he’d dropped two swords on the ground. ‘You’re going around in circles, telling yourself you know what you want.’ Cécile smiled and tapped her nose. ‘But you’re only telling yourself what you yourself think you know.’

Rubbish. ‘What?’

‘Looking in the same places for the very thing you don’t want. So you basically have no hope of finding what you really want.’

Wrong. Katie shrugged and splayed her hands. ‘I don’t actually want anything.’

Cécile arched a brow at her. ‘Take it away with you. Let it percolate.’

‘Perco what?’

‘That’ll be forty-five pounds, please.’

A sharp breath caught the back of Katie’s throat. ‘Erm, do you take credit cards?’...”

 Colouring Outside The Lines is available as an e-book via Amazon from 26th July 2021.


Author Bio –

Amanda Paull grew up in the North East of England and couldn't wait to move away. However, after studying and then living both in England and abroad, she returned to the North East and wouldn't dream of living anywhere else now.

​​After a short career in teaching, she retrained as a nurse. She recently retired from her post as a Sleep Nurse Specialist and now spends her time writing Women’s Fiction novels and Romantic Comedy short stories.

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