I have a very good reason why there’s no blog this week – honest!

It’s been a really busy week. As many of you may know, book nine, Chaining Daisy, is being released next Wednesday, and those of you who understand a little about the life of a writer will know that means manic and frenzied preparations are going on all around.

I did have every intention of still blogging, I even had a subject matter in mind, but as the days crept by I’ve been caught up in a tsunami of interviews, prepping promo posts, setting up the eBook for pre-order on Amazon, checking one last time that everything is perfect, arranging for reviews to be posted on launch day and generally soliciting help and support from whomever is prepared to offer it, time got away from me and suddenly it was Saturday afternoon and the blog was still unwritten. No problem, I thought, I know what I’m writing about so it’ll only take an hour or so to hammer out my words of wisdom and upload it onto the blog site.

I should have known really, shouldn’t I?

At about 2.45pm Saturday the phone rang, and a conversation ensued that went something like this:

“Hello, is that Ms Blake?”

“Yes.”

“Ah, good. Tell me, has your cat gone missing?”

I paused to think about this, because the word missing is very subjective. True, our dear little black moggy Skittles had been missing in action since the previous day, but she did sometimes do this. She’d worry us silly by not appearing at mealtimes and have us searching the street and the neighbours gardens, only to saunter in without a hair out of place and declining to answer when we asked where she’d been.

“Well, we haven’t seen her since last night. Why? Have you found her?”

“Yes, she got into the bonnet of a car and went for a little ride.”

“Oh, ok, where exactly did she go for a ride to?”

“Ely.”

Now Ely is a town about a 50 minute drive from us and Skittles had ended up a fair way from home. So, Miss F and I pulled on our shoes, got down the cat basket and went on an hour and a half round trip to collect our nomadic feline from the vets where she’d ended up.

Needless to say, Skittles was VERY pleased to see us, and the vet told us some of the tale. The rest was filled in by the delightful lady whose car it was our kitty had hitched a lift in – the vets gave me her number so I could phone and thank her. Apparently, she’d come to Bury St Edmunds on Friday to do some shopping and had parked in the car park at the top of our street.

Leaving Bury late Friday afternoon, she’d driven home to Ely, then had driven to Wisbech, then home to Ely again – a round trip of approximately 100 miles. Saturday morning, the lady noticed the bulb in one of her headlights was gone, so went to replace it and was very surprised to find a little pair of dark eyes looking back at her. Help was summoned as Skittles was well and truly wedged in and showed no signs of coming out – whether she was trapped or just so frightened she couldn’t move, I don’t know. Bits of the engine were removed and hey presto, the cat was free.

But this lovely kitty guardian angel didn’t just let her run off, she phoned her local vet who told her to bring this little black hitchhiker in to be checked for injuries and to see if she was microchipped.

Luckily, very luckily, Skittles is, so the vet then made the telephone call I recounted above.

When I think of how this tale could have ended my heart goes into my mouth. There are a lot of moving parts in an engine, so Skittles is very lucky she wasn’t ripped to shreds. Being driven at 70mph down the motorway, she is also extremely fortunate she didn’t fall out onto the road and get run over by the cars following. She’s lucky the lady who found her didn’t just release her – so far from home there’s no knowing what would have happened to her. She might have been found and taken to a vet or the local RSPCA, but then again she might not have been. Finally, she’s very lucky that we had her microchipped so the vet simply scanned her and found our contact details.

But she’s home now, and has been cuddled, fed and watered. We’re going to keep her in for a couple of days to make sure she’s not too traumatized by her experience, so I’ve had to go and buy a litter tray which she eyed with disgust, before bashing at the locked cat flap and plaintively demanding her release.

Will she learn from this? I hope so! Heaven only knows where she might end up next time.

I’m sorry this is such a short blog, but under the circumstances I think I can be forgiven. If anyone is interested, Chaining Daisy will be released as a stunning paperback, an ebook and will be on Kindle Unlimited next Wednesday.In the meantime, it is available to pre-order at a special introductory price.

The sequel to Becoming Lili, it reduced one editor, three beta readers and two arc readers to floods of tears, and even made me cry when I was writing it, so if you have read Becoming Lili and want to know how the story continues for Lili and her friends, then why not buy yourself a copy.

Chaining Daisy – Book Two of the Perennials Trilogy and
the beautiful sequel to Becoming Lili

I hope you have a great Sunday and I’ll see you as usual next week, when I promise things should be back to normal – well, normal for me!

Best Wishes

Julia Blake

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