I have three copies of the latest novel, Watch Over Me, by Daniela Sacerdoti to give away to three lucky followers of my blog!
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1:
The day I lost my baby, the weather was so gorgeous, so sunny, that half the town was out, with sunglasses on and a smile on their faces.
I had gone for a walk, wearing my big flowery maternity top. I was only ten weeks gone, it was way too early to wear maternity clothes, but I just couldn’t wait. I had also picked up some groceries, some bizarre combination, sardines and cashew nuts maybe, because I kept telling myself I had this craving or the other. I didn’t, really. I just wanted to be finally able to say things like ‘I’m living on mango and HP sauce and I chew on elastic bands. You get such awful cravings when you are pregnant!’
I really was pregnant. It seems impossible now.
I wanted to experience the whole of it, I wanted every sign, every
little symptom. The morning sickness, the swollen ankles, the tops that look like tents, the sleepless nights. I wanted to laugh at how huge my underwear had got, and check the likelihood of having a boy or a girl on some silly test I found in a magazine. I wanted to pour over name books, choose the nursery furnishing, discuss the advantages of a sling over a baby carrier. I wanted to buy the little vests, the little babygros, and hats, and mittens and socks. All white, until the twenty week scan, when I’d know if it was a boy or a girl. Tom and I would watch the screen in awe, saying to each other ‘Look, he’s waving! He’s saying hello!’ We’d call our friends and relatives to tell them what we were having. We’d frame the scans and put them on themantelpiece. Tom would bring one to his work, where the other doctors and the midwives and the receptionists would coo over it and say ‘He…or she…looks like you!’ You can’t really tell, of course, you can’t see anything in these pictures, it’s just one of those silly things, the sweet nonsense that people say to each other because it feels so good to be talking about them, the babies on their way to this world, all the hope and joy they carry.
But the thing I wanted most of all was to feel the baby kicking inside me. They’d told me it was like little ripples, like a butterfly flying in your tummy. I wanted to have Tom’s hand on my bump, and see the pride on his face, and the tenderness for me, his wife, giving him a son or a daughter.
I’d waited so long, so long for this, while everybody else got pregnant and carried their lovely bumps around like a crown, and me in my size ten jeans and a flat stomach. I hated the way I was growing thinner instead of round and full and serene.
I desperately wanted to be them, the pregnant women. My sister, my girlfriends, my colleagues, my hairdresser. Even the postman – well, post woman – inflicted her bump on me every morning, as I watched her waddle her way up and down our street and clumsily climb into the red post van. Until she told me they were changing her duties, health and safety you know, she was going to sit at the parcel collection desk behind the post office and watch her bump grow. She said to drop by, to say hello.
I’d scrutinize women’s tummies obsessively, to see if they were swollen in that lovely, taut way you get right at the beginning, when your bump is barely there but already visible. I’d torture myself, convince myself that everybody, everybody was pregnant except me.
To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize sign up to follow my blog by email – see the link at the bottom of the page. Entry closes midnight on the 3rd of April 2012 and winners will be notified on the 4th April 2012.