Saturday, 8 April 2017

We never said goodbye blog tour with extract

When Louise is dumped by Mike on their twentieth wedding anniversary, she faces the daunting task of picking up the pieces of her life. She can either choose to persevere in her adopted hometown of London, bolstered by dear friends and the fashion business she loves, or return to her native Sweden alone. Can she find happiness with an old flame in a city she avoided for two decades? Or will her ex’s violent, criminal past haunt her forever?

As Mike become increasingly unhinged, the choices Louise makes could prove fatal. Will she ever be able to say goodbye to the past and start afresh?

Helen has stopped by to include a guest post for the tour today, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks Helen!

The moment they arrived at Malmö Airport, both took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh air, so different to the pollution of London. The weather was sunny with a cool breeze. Taking a cab outside the airport, they were grateful they’d opted to wear jeans, T-shirts and jackets. They asked the cab driver to drop them close to the pedestrian walk, then stood, gazing around at the crowds of people talking and laughing. Many spoke a different language.

Malmö, like London and so many parts of Europe, was inhabited with people from other cultures.

“Let’s fika at Café Hollandia! I’m gasping for proper coffee and a cinnamon bun.”

Minutes later, seated in a plush velvet chair at a table by the counter and drooling over the assortment of scrumptious delights before them, Louise and Trine decided to share a prawn and egg sandwich, followed by chocolate mousse gateaux.

“This is simply delicious,” Trine declared, taking a bite of the cake and savouring it in her mouth. No matter how tasty the snacks were in her favourite Fulham café, nothing compared to Swedish confectionary in her view.

“Mamma used to take me here when she and I went shopping together. We’d cycle from our home in Limhamn and spend hours together talking and relaxing. Pappa and I visited art galleries every Saturday. I’ll never forget all the special times we shared.”

Louise’s voice faltered. Every time she returned to Malmö, the overwhelming sense of loss crushed her. This time wasn’t any different. She’d never get over losing her parents.

“Life’s much too precious to waste. Could you live here again?” Trine asked between mouthfuls of cake. She and Jasper had discussed it before the trip. Both agreed it would be the start of a new life for Louise and they’d look after the flat and The Studio if Louise wanted to return to Malmö. “You’ve been through so much in a short period of time. Jasper and I know you’re not happy. However much you try to hide it, we can see straight through you. We love you too much to turn a blind eye to it. Face up to it, Louise. You’ve not been happy for a very long time. Not even when you and Mike were together. You know it just as much as we do.”

“You seriously propose I relocate to Malmö? Is that the reason you persuaded me to come with you?” Louise wasn’t sure if her friend was right. She’d lived in London for many years. Malmö hadn’t changed that much yet Louise knew nothing was quite the way she remembered it. The political and cultural landscape had changed beyond recognition, both for better and worse. Furthermore, she’d lost touch with her aunt and close friends. What if she didn’t fit in? “Malmö’s not how it used to be. I can feel it in here.” Louise pointed to her stomach.

“If that’s how you feel, all I can tell you is that it takes time and perseverance to adjust. I know you’re apprehensive of starting over but you needn’t be! After decades in London, it won’t take long to feel at home.”

“If I didn’t know better, I’d imagine you want rid of me! Is that the real reason we’re in Malmö? Trine, I’m forty-five years old, with a business and a home in London. I’m too old and set in my ways to start over. Don’t you want us to work together anymore? I can’t imagine a life without you, Jasper and the kids.”

“You’ll never get rid of us! I’m not a selfish person, Louise. If I were, I wouldn’t tell you to move back to Malmö. I love our friendship and partnership but you’re just going through the motions of everyday life. Seeing you so unhappy is killing me! I know you say you’ve come to terms with what happened with Mike and I wish that was true. You’ve not dealt with it sufficiently, Louise. Malmö is

your chance for a new life. If you don’t like it, all you have to do is book a flight back to London. We’ll always be there for you.”


Louise’s initial thought when she woke up the next morning was how much she was warming to the idea of returning to Malmö. She hadn’t lived there since her parents died, yet in her heart she knew that her aunt and friends were right. There was no reason for her to remain in London except Trine and her family, and The Studio. Having breakfast in the small living room, Louise felt more alone than when Mike first left her. I’ll discuss it with Trine, she decided, recalling the Larsens’ promise to look after her flat and her share of the business in case she decided to return. I’m lonely. Mamma loved dogs. Perhaps I ought to get a rescue dog to keep me company? I’ll call Natasha tomorrow. She’s bound to know of someone who’s got puppies.

She was browsing through an old photo album when Trine called to ask if she’d like to join them for lunch. “Jasper’s been busy in the kitchen since dawn. The aroma is out of this world! We’ve got Sunday roast with hasselback potatoes and chocolate cake on the menu. Please say you’ll come.”

Salivating at the thought of all the food, Louise realised she was famished. “Alright! But I’ll not stay for long. Tell Jasper I want him to prepare a large G&T. I’ll catch a cab.” Louise refused to use the local transport that never arrived on time and had sold her BMW convertible after she moved into her flat, only a few minutes’ walk from The Studio.

Contrary to what she’d told them, Trine, Jasper and the kids persuaded her to stay much longer. Just as she was about to accept a lift home from Jasper, Trine took her aside.

“Do you recall that guy you used to date when your parents were alive? I can’t for the life of me remember his name. He was so sweet.”

“Why are you bringing him up now? Nicklas and I were kids.”

“That’s the one! Nicklas. You were deeply in love with each other. I wonder what happened to him.”

“He’s probably married with five kids. Honestly, I can’t figure you out, sometimes! Do you recall every guy you’ve dated? I sure don’t.”

“Nicklas wasn’t just a fling. The two of you were inseparable. Don’t you ever look back and wonder what might have happened had you not met Mike and moved to London?”

“Not really. What’s the point? Life’s transient. Nothing stays the same.”

Later, seated in Jasper’s van on the way back to Fulham, Louise couldn’t shake off Trine’s comments. I hope Nicklas has found someone who loves and understands him, she thought, then pushed his image to the back of her mind.

We Never Said Goodbye by Heléne Fermont is out 6th April (Fridhem, £9.99)

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