Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Ember by Catherine Yardley - Book Tour


A family torn apart by their fathers infidelity are forced to confront the past thirty years later. As Natalies younger sister, Amanda, prepares for marriage and impending motherhood, her plea for the family to reunite uncovers pent-up tension and animosity. Can they forget the past and become a family again?

 Natalies life begins to unravel as their father starts to creep back into their lives and family tensions resurface, affecting her relationship with her boyfriend, Rob. Will the couple find their way back to each other, and can a family that has been torn apart ever heal their wounds?

 Can you ever walk away from someone you love, or do some fires never die out?


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Natalie’s life unravels after her father comes back into her life. Her younger sister is getting married before her. A series of events derail her life and triggers her into a self-destructive hole. She breaks up with the boyfriend that she loves and struggles as her family gang up on her and gaslight her. Ember is a dual timeline novel told from different perspectives. I have always found it interesting how siblings can have different versions of their own childhood. Ember is ultimately a book which has a lot of love in it. I hope you all enjoy it.


 It feels like I have stepped into a darkness. My life was steady, moored to happiness. Now that stability is gone. I scrub harder at the kitchen counter. I have cleaned and tidied almost everything in my brother’s little house. I hope he won’t get upset when he arrives home with little Nat. The house was fine before and yet I have been cleaning and tidying for hours. Trying to make order out of chaos. This is what I do when I am at sea. Rob always teased me about it. The flat is messy, let’s have a fight.

Seeing Rob was awful. I broke up with him for him, but I could never tell him that. To see the hate in his eyes — it killed me. I love him so much. To be responsible for his hurt is one thing, but for him to hate me. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything else.

I had left him by the side of the road and then not spoken to him for weeks. I just drove to my brother’s house and that was that. I would have been devastated if he had done that to me. I should have seen it at the time, but it seemed like the only way.

Maybe it was best that he hated me. It left no door open to step through. The strength I needed every day to not call him or go to him. The strength to not love him, that was all easier if he hated me.

The problem was the link to Neil and Amanda, but there was not much I could do about that. While he was in their lives, I would always hear his name, and probably bump into him occasionally. The thought of him finding a new girlfriend and going on double dates with Amanda and Neil came to me in a sharp, painful burst. One of those false memories that makes you flinch.

I always fuck things up. Unless it is my career. It is the only thing in my life that I excel at. The rest of my life is a mess. A mess of my own making at that.I put the cloth in the sink and take off the Marigolds. No need to scrub a hole in the counter. I hear the door and I feel happy.

‘What is that smell?’ Paul asks.

‘I think it is called clean.’

‘It looks like a bloody showroom in here. Is this really how you waste your time?’

I watch as the rain hits the window. Becoming so heavy it looks like pouring water. The rat-a-tat-tat is comforting. Being inside when it is raining outside is one of life’s small pleasures. There is just something about it.

‘So how are things going?’

I startle and look at Paul. I had been lost in thought.

‘Great. The job at the hospital is rewarding. I like the people I work with. I have been getting your house in order. I even looked at a few flats online. I do not want to outstay my…’

Before I can finish, Paul interrupts me.

‘Why do you always do that?’


‘Always rounding off every achievement and never giving yourself a rest. Mum is dead and to you, Dad may as well be. Natalie. You’re free.’

‘God! Don’t say that.’

‘It’s the truth.’

How do I answer that? I think about it. My brother has got to the truth of me. He always does.

‘I still want Mum to be proud of me.’

‘Okay, but please take some advice from someone who has a child.’


‘All a parent ever wants is for their child to be happy.’

I look at Paul. All of this prodding at the parts of me I do not want prodded. I want to run away again and yet I am sick of doing so.

‘So, are you happy?’


I somehow manage to get a no out. Paul is dishing tough love out in spades today.

‘What are you going to do about it?’ He smiles at me and I cannot help myself: I smile back.



Paul has shifted the sands. Bringing up something that I wanted to keep just where it was, buried deep, away from my thoughts and emotions.

‘Rob hates me. We are really broken up now.’

‘Is that a good thing?’

‘I don’t know.’

‘Because you still like him?’

‘Yes, but I know everything. I knew what he was going to say and do before he did it. I knew every promise. He made me feel like a chick.’

‘You are a chick.’

I give Paul a stern look.

‘I needed more than what was happening. He was so predictable. He always put his career before us. He was such a workaholic. I don’t want to end up like my mother. I need more than a few memories.’

‘That’s what a relationship is. Memory. Marriage is memory. It’s having somebody along for the ride. To witness and to care. You are not going to be happy if you get scared every time someone loves you. Tell him to be more romantic, more spontaneous. Tell him to put you before his job but for God’s sake don’t just give up.’

‘I broke his heart. He won’t forgive me.’

‘He’ll forgive you.’

As I consider this, I realise that I have finally lost the ability to talk my way out of being happy. But now a wave of panic and pain is hitting me. What if I have blown it? I consider Paul’s words.

‘I stole his car.’

Paul is taken aback by this piece of information. He thinks for a moment.

‘What kind of car?’

‘A BMW.’

‘Jesus. The BMW parked on the street is his? Yeah, that one is a deal breaker. You might not be able to fix that.’

Author Bio Catherine Yardley has been writing since she was in single figures. She is happiest when she is reading or writing. She writes women’s fiction because she believes women have the right to have their stories told in all of their messy glory. She is represented by Susan Yearwood She lives in London with her husband and their children. Ember is her debut novel.

Social Media Links  Twitter @balavage Instagram @frostmag  Facebook Catherine Balavage Yardley TikTok @balavage


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