The woman who felt invisible.

Hello everyone. How are you? I’d usually be posting and promoting another author on a Thursday, but last night I decided on the date for my next book launch. It’s the 23rd November 2021. I had a chat with a few friends last night and decided on the date. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants, kind of gal! That now means that I’m frantically trying to find blog hosts, as I haven’t left time to book a blog tour and to plan a launch day.

The weird thing is that I decided last night on the date and had kept one blog post free on a Thursday for the whole year… this one! Which means I’m able to post about it today. Thinking about it though, it would have been smarter to have kept a blog space nearer my actual launch date! Lol:)

Back to my new book. It’s called The woman who felt invisible and is about a 41 year old computer expert who is working in a pen cupboard as the stationery supervisor for an IT company and looking after two internet famous delinquent dogs. Her father has recently passed away and she’s lost her way after being fired from two consecutive jobs. The story is about her grabbing back her self-confidence, jumping headfirst into a new love and finding an exciting best friend, who changes her life forever.

Pre-order your copy today! 

Richard Dee. Publication Day post!

Happy publication day to author, Richard Dee! It’s my pleasure to shout out about Richard’s new book today, on his launch day! 

Everyone said that they were monsters. Then they asked for my help.

Blurb

Behave, or the Syk’m will come and take you away.

That was the threat hanging over my childhood, the terrifying punishment that made us all obedient.

As children, we were told that the Syk’m watched over us.  Should we misbehave, they could do unimaginable things.

Because we were young and knew no better, the mere mention of their name was enough to control us. We went to bed, minded our manners, stopped our shouting. Although the Syk’m were mythical creatures, never seen, we all believed in their power over us.

Now that I’m older and wiser, I thought that I had outgrown the unseen terrors of my childhood. I thought that I no longer believed in the power of the Syk’m.

Then the day came when I discovered that the Syk’m were real. The day they found me. Their message was clear. Despite everything I had imagined, they needed my help.

It was the day I discovered that they were not the monsters we had all believed them to be. There were others in the universe.

How the story was devised and written.

It all started with a memory, my grandmother used to tell me that if I was bad, a creature that she called the bogeyman would come and take me away. It scared me when I was younger, because of the way she said it and the threat that it implied. Whether it improved my behaviour is another matter.

Anyhow, fast forward to a couple of years ago, when my wife and I were talking about aspects of our childhood. I mentioned the bogeyman and we laughed about the effect things like that had on children. And how we grew out of such fears as we got older and learned more about the world.

Then I had a thought. What if the bogeyman was real, what might happen if you met one? What would be the truth behind the stories, the basis of the legend?

My mind went into overdrive, perhaps the bogeymen were members of an alien race, watching us and occasionally taking someone for research? Maybe they had been more active in years past, hence the old tales. It could be that they had since turned their minds to other things and had decided to leave us alone. If that were true, then how, and for what reason, might the first new contact in ages develop?

I realised that there were enough possibilities in that paragraph alone to build a story.

The Syk’m grew from that premise. I decided to write it as a sword and sorcery fantasy adventure, given the origins of the tale in folklore. I thought it would be the most fitting genre for it. I invented a world, Skander, with a medieval society. These were the people who would be held in thrall to their own version of the bogeyman, who they called the Syk’m. The story would concern what happened when the people of Skander finally learned the truth.

I made some brief notes and let the story stew in my mind. The whole story came to me, just in time to be my project for NaNoWriMo 2020. I wrote most of it in November 2020 and sent it off to my editor, as well as a few trusted friends. I got positive feedback and completed the final version in April 2021.

As a writer of Sci-fi and Steampunk, building the world was fairly straightforward. Incorporating magic and primitive technology was a bit more of a challenge. I had to forgo all the usual tricks and the freedom that writing about the future gives you, go right back to basics. The aim was to make it as plausible and integrated a society as I could. A place like our history suggests, yet not ours

Apart from the action and adventure that such a tale demands, I also wanted to examine the emotional aspects of meeting people whose existence had only ever been hinted at and feared. I thought that it would be fun to explore the relationships that might develop between the two races, the similarities and differences that such an event might expose.

Beta readers comments,

I loved it. The characters are amazing and the plot just flows.          Channing Schneider

Everything I love about High Fantasy.                                               Dixie Messing

Richard Dee has crafted a fantastical fantasy filled with fun, adventure and danger all in equal measure.                                                                                      Steven Smith

  

A short excerpt,

She passed the last stalls and turned off the street into a narrow alley between two high brick buildings. I stepped after her into the gloom. I had no thoughts of a trick, or possible danger, I just wanted to find out who she was, why she had looked at me in that way.

As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw her, no more than ten paces ahead. She had stopped, her back to me. Suddenly, it looked as if she was encased in a glowing cloak of rainbow colours. It was a trick worthy of the best entertainments at Kauron’s palace. Perhaps she was a theasp, an illusioneer, or should that be illusioness?

Hearing my footsteps behind her she turned and looked back. I couldn’t see her expression, just a flash of bright teeth as she stepped sideways, into the wall. It accepted her, she was gone.

What I had just witnessed was impossible. I ran to where she had been and looked at the bricks. They carried a faint glow of rainbows. Gently I reached out to touch them and watched in disbelief as my hand vanished deep into what should have been a solid wall.

How had she done that?

I knew of magic, of the tricks worked in the market. I’d seen the disappearing coins found behind the ear and watched as people or objects appeared to vanish. But I also knew that it was not real and that there was always an explanation. Yet this was beyond my mind to explain. I quickly removed my hand, lest the bricks should change their state and trap me. Then, as if poking a wound to see if it still hurt, I pushed my hand forward again, once more it vanished.

One small step was all it would take to follow her. I didn’t hesitate, had no thoughts of right or wrong. Where was I going, how would I return? It never crossed my mind. Taking a deep breath, I stepped forward.

 

Published on October 15th 2021, you can find The Syk’m for yourself at

http://mybook.to/the_sykm

or on Goodreads at

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58663708-the-syk-m

About Richard.

I’m Richard Dee and I normally write Science Fiction and Steampunk adventures. I also chronicle the exploits of Andorra Pett, a reluctant amateur detective for the space age.

I spent forty years at sea, firstly as a ship’s officer, then as a Thames River pilot, taking vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and Tower Bridge.

In retirement, I set up an organic bakery and then, from out of the blue, I started writing. You can read about my writing journey at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/i-was-never-a-writer/

The Syk’m is my seventeenth novel and my first in the Fantasy genre.

You can find me at https://richarddeescifi.co.uk/  where you can read more about me and my worlds. There is also the opportunity to join my newsletter and get a free novella, the prequel to one of my series. I’m on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/RichardDeeAuthor

 

Pam Lecky. Happy Publication Day!

It gives me great pleasure to share news about Pam Lecky’s new book today. Happy publication day, Pam! Pam is an Irish historical fiction author with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, The Crime Writers’ Association, and the Society of Authors. She is represented by Thérèse Coen, at the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency, London. Pam has a particular love of the late Victorian era/early 20th Century.

In November 2020, Pam signed with Avon Books UK/Harper Collins in a two-book deal. The first book in the historical thriller series, Her Secret War, will be published on 14th October 2021; the sequel in 2022.

Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G Medallion; shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; and longlisted for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award.

Her short stories are available in an anthology, entitled Past Imperfect, which was published in April 2018.

June 2019, saw the release of the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mystery series, No Stone Unturned, a fast-paced Victorian mystery/crime, set in London and Yorkshire which was awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion. The sequel, Footprints in the Sand, set in Egypt, was released in March 2020. She is currently working on the third book in the series, The Art of Deception, which will be published in late 2021.

HER SECRET WAR by Pam Lecky

Published by: Avon Books UK/Harper Collins

Release date: 14th October 2021

 

A life-changing moment

May 1941: German bombs drop on Dublin taking Sarah Gillespie’s family and home. Days later, the man she loves leaves Ireland to enlist.

A heart-breaking choice

With nothing to keep her in Ireland and a burning desire to help the war effort, Sarah seeks refuge with relatives in England. But before long, her father’s dark past threatens to catch up with her.

A dangerous mission

Sarah is asked to prove her loyalty to Britain through a special mission. Her courage could save lives. But it could also come at the cost of her own…

A gripping story that explores a deadly tangle of love and espionage in war-torn Britain, perfect for fans of Pam Jenoff, Kate Quinn and Kate Furnivall.

Pam’s Links:

Amazon

Facebook

Twitter

www.pamlecky.com­­

Instagram

Goodreads

Sian Turner. Top Author Of The Week.

Today’s guest is Sian Turner. Sian wrote her first novel in 2012 after leaving her job as a secondary school Teaching Assistant/Individual Needs Assistant. Her debut novel was an historical fiction story about the experiences of a young girl growing up in Wales during the 1940’s and training as a nanny in the 1950’s. The story was inspired by the early life of her mother, who died in 2007. After completing the first draft, Sian joined her local writers’ group and, spent months polishing the story before taking the plunge into the scary world of indie publishing – then decided to write a sequel.

Her next move was a complete change of genre: She was inspired to write a contemporary book with psychological and supernatural elements, which she named ‘Splitting Infinities’. This was the story that enabled her to discover what was to become her niche – although it took her a while to discover that there was a genre for this called ‘magical realism’. She now writes almost exclusively in that genre and has added several more novels to her portfolio (‘Vibes’, ‘A Shadow’s Voice’, ‘Finding the Falling Man’, ‘Sweet Erin’ and , a short story collection called ‘A World of Impossibilities’). Sian’s current work-in-progress is about a ‘bargain hunter’ who finds an object in an antique shop that has unusual powers which take him on fantastic adventures (not giving too much away).

She works as a volunteer at her local RSPCA cat re-homing centre. Sian lives with her husband and cats Gucci and Wizard in East Sussex, and has a daughter who works in theatre.

BOOK BLURB for ‘SWEET ERIN’:

Erin is struggling. There are problems at school, and at home her work-obsessed parents rarely seem to notice her at all. Then an extraordinary app introduces Erin to a girl named Carys and the pair begin an inexplicable – in fact utterly impossible – friendship.
While both girls are struggling to face their own demons, Carys makes an astonishing announcement which brings a new dimension to the girls’ already unique friendship. Will Carys help Erin find the fresh start she desperately needs, and can Erin help Carys restore her crumbling relationship with her father?
Sweet Erin is Sian Turner’s fifth novel in the genre of magical realism. It’s about hopelessness and hope, endings and new beginnings and about enemies, friends and family; a book for anyone who has ever been eleven years old.

REVIEW of ‘SWEET ERIN’:

“This is an author who knows how to grab her audience and hold them there until the very last. With a fine array of characters – all so different and yet so ordinary, this is a very cleverly written novel.” (GraceJReviewLady)

Find Sian’s books on Amazon UK here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sian-Turner/e/B00DTR3558

Visit Sian’s website at: https://sianturnerauthor.wordpress.com

Find Sian on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/SianTurnerAuthor

See Sian on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SianTurner1066

Direct link to Sian’s latest novel ‘Sweet Erin’ on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08KTBG9V9

New week, fresh start.

How has your week been? I have had a productive start to the week, finishing a manuscript and working on the cover design. Last week, I finally met up with some fellow members of my local chapter of The Romantic Novelists’ Association, face to face! It was great to sit and chat to them without worrying about computer glitches and Zoom meetings and it was wonderful to catch up on all of their writing and family news.

I visited a beautiful coffee shop and enjoyed a few hours of writing, in between scoffing some eggs on toast. It feels strange to be able to do these things again, especially when parts of the world are still in lockdown, but I really appreciate being able to write in different places now, with the hustle and bustle of the world going on around me.

 

I’m excited to have my new cover design ready and will post it here first. As soon as the book blurb is ready, the book will go up for pre-order. I’ve also been trying out videos on TikTok and if you’d like to see my latest efforts, you can check out my page here: Lizzie_Chantree

Have a brilliant week everyone.

Nell Dixon. Top Author of the week.

I’m excited to host brilliant author, Nell Dixon, on my blog today. Her latest book, Murder at the Wedding is out soon. Release day OCT 6th! I can’t wait to read it and I love the gorgeous cover design
Helena Dixon splits her time between the Black Country and Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, and a crazy cockapoo. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010 as Nell Dixon. She now writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime.

Blurb: ’Till death do us part may come sooner than they thought…

1934. Kitty Underhay steps out of the battered Rolls Royce and onto the gravelled driveway of Thurscomb Castle in deepest Yorkshire. She’s honoured to be a bridesmaid at her cousin Lucy’s wedding to the reluctant Lord Rupert Woodcomb, but as family and friends gather for welcome drinks, Kitty dodges intrusive questions about her own marital status by taking a stroll about the castle grounds. As she passes through the manicured gardens, a fatal shot rings out…

The valet, Evans, is dead. And Kitty can’t help but notice how rattled the man standing next to him seems. Could Rupert’s best man, The Right Honourable Alexander ‘Sandy’ Galsworthy, believe the speeding bullet was meant for him?

When she discovers that Sandy has been receiving blackmail notes, Kitty suspects that one of the assembled guests has plans to make good on their threats. The local constabulary won’t act on Kitty’s hunch, so, busy with her bridesmaid’s duties, she asks her beau, ex-army captain Matthew Bryant, to help.

The ceremony passes without a hitch. But when an anxious Sandy slips away during the dancing, Matt follows, only to make a hideous discovery: Sandy is dead, flattened on the terrace by some falling masonry.

Now the duo are sure that there is a murderer within the castle walls. But can they untangle Sandy’s final hours and catch this killer before they strike again, or will the wedding bells be replaced by a death knell for Kitty herself…?

A completely charming and unputdownable cozy historical Golden Age murder mystery! Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

 
Pre-order your copy today! https://geni.us/B096KXJZZScover

Essex Author’s Day.

Essex Author’s Day.

Last weekend was Essex Author’s Day, which is part of The Essex Book Festival. I ran a seminar for Chelmsford Libraries again this year and it was so strange being in a group of people again! When I arrived the room was huge ,with a projector in the ceiling. I was expecting a much smaller screen, so the nerves kicked in! Luckily the staff were amazing and we quickly got the presentation set up.

There was a lot of information to go through, as the seminar was about marketing books. Lots of questions were asked by the attendees and it was a lot of fun to be part of, despite my jitters. I often give presentations now, but it is way out of my comfort zone. I’m more comfortable at my writing desk, scribbling more of my latest manuscript! I love helping other authors though and it was a real treat to be asked back this year.

If you haven’t been to Chelmsford library before, it’s a huge modern building which is incredible to explore. So many gorgeous books to discover. My seminar was about launch day planning, social media, stacked promotions, book cover design, branding, finding readers and lots of other topics, so I hope everyone found something to apply to their own writing journeys.

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At the end of the seminar I was given some beautiful books by authors who had attended and that really made the day even better. I can’t wait to read them.

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Wishing you all an amazing week and I hope it is full of adventure and shenanigans!

From Lizzie

x

 

Andrew Obst. Today’s Top Author!

I’m happy to welcome author A.M. Obst to my blog today!

From Andrew: “I write what is known as ‘High Fantasy’, in that the stories are set in a world I made up. But that doesn’t mean you’ll encounter dragons, elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs and the like in my books. I also don’t have many swordfights or battle scenes either. There are plenty of other authors who tell those stories and tell them well.

My stories are focussed on fairly ordinary human characters dealing with extraordinary challenges that fate throws at them. In their world, the existence of magic has meant that technological development lags behind our own, while societal development has been faster, resulting in some world views we would recognise as modern.

My first book, The Hungry Fire, is out now. I’m working on Book 2 of the planned trilogy and hope to have it released late this year or early 2022. I also have an outline and a few chapters drafted for Book 3.

I hope you enjoy my work.”

Recent reviews:

‘Good Plot & Strong Characters.’

‘This is a well written novel with a great fantasy story and characters.

Recommended read for fantasy fans.’

 

Book blurb:

They’re surrounded by immense magical powers. How can they survive when they only have wits and desperation as weapons?

Betharad, Sarnd and Jessa are doing their best to step out from the shadow cast by their hero parents. But they are thrown into a desperate battle for survival by the return of the sorcerer their parents died to defeat.

The siblings search for clues in their parents’ tragic battle, only to uncover shocking secrets behind the official story. Reeling from the discovery and lacking magical powers of their own, as their enemy meddles with chaotic forces, death seems inevitable.

Can three ordinary people outwit a fiend whose ruthless ambitions could send their world to its doom?

The Hungry Fire is the gripping first book in the Serpentstone epic fantasy series. If you like underdog champions, earth-shattering magic, and high-stakes action, then you’ll love A.M. Obst’s riveting tale.

Buy The Hungry Fire to set your imagination alight today!

 

Buy your copy here!

The link to my book in the Amazon.co.uk store is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08TCFWY8B 

 

Author bio:

A.M. Obst is an Australian living in the UK. He’s been writing and making up stuff about places that don’t exist for a very long time, but has only recently had the opportunity to turn it into a career.

His mother was a school teacher with an interest in teaching children how to read, and she introduced him to J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis at an early age. When you add in an active imagination, a fascination with maps, and an appreciation of beautiful calligraphy, it was probably inevitable that he’d end up writing fantasy.

He enjoys reading (and writing) stories with thoughtful world-building, a diversity of characters with agency, and exciting plots with satisfying endings.

Outside of high fantasy, he’s been known to read science fiction, urban fantasy, dystopian fiction, crime, historical fiction and literary fiction.

 

Chris and Lizzie’s Marketing Adventures. Making it up as you go along!

Chris and Lizzie’s Marketing Adventures.

Planes, Trains and in Automobiles – or ‘going with the flow.’

I’m running a seminar on book marketing soon and I can’t stress enough that marketing can be a lot of fun. I regularly meet up with fellow author Christine Penhall and we basically decide what we will be doing that day, as we go along.

This time, we had glorious sunshine and a trip to the end of a grade II listed, over 100 year old pier, that sticks out over 1.3 miles into the sea. Of course we made time to dip our toes in the water, drink tall glasses of coffee and also write pages of notes, for future projects. Such a hard day at work! We decided that our theme would be planes, trains and automobiles, as we drove to the seaside, got a train back from the end of the pier and Chris ran into every amusement arcade, to try and find a colourful plane to ride in. We had to settle for a helicopter!

We talked about future books, ones we are writing now and the world of publishing. Along the way, we walked to the end of the pier, took loads of gorgeous photos, used the time to think about some book or writing related places we could visit and had a real giggle. We ended the day by discovering a public garden hidden in the middle of rows of houses. It had a huge fountain with carved cherubs at the centre, where pigeons and butterflies were resting their wings and flowers bloomed in every corner. It would make a great setting for a romance novel and the hidden gem inspired us to want to uncover other intriguing scenery. Watch this space for our next instalment, which we think it will probably be about unusual objects in book settings, but by the time we meet again, knowing us, our adventures will have a life of their own!

From Chris:

I always look forward to meeting up with Lizzie Chantree. We have a lot of fun, talk about books, our ideas, how we write, and all sorts of random stuff!

We always start with a plan…a cup of coffee, and if our meeting is in Southend, a full English breakfast in one of the cafes in the Arches along the seafront. Our previous endeavours have been done in some fairly inclement weather. But not September’s. Oh, no! September’s was sunny. And hot, and gorgeous, and frankly rendered me a little more skittish than usual.

       

So I forgot to bring my notepad with my ideas in. The only one I had in my head was…tenacity..because I wanted to use a ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’ gif from Dirty Dancing in the blog. However, lured out by the sparkling sea and clear blue sky, we decided that a walk along Southend’s iconic pleasure pier – the worlds’ longest at 1.33 miles – would be an ideal way to walk off our breakfast and help us bask in the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, that was the beginning of our ‘go with the flow’ day. Which is what my writing is like really – sometimes I just sit there with a plan, start to type and somehow go off in an entirely different direction to what I’d intended. I also write the scenes I feel like too, when I can’t get one out of my mind, rather that the next piece of the plot. I did that, for example, with the dancing scene in Lisbon in New Beginnings at the Little House in the Sun, and also, the last chapter in Finding Summer Happiness. And because I went with where my imagination was, instead of doggedly writing what I’d thought I should, what I came up with was much more vivid, and I went back to the bit I had planned to create with more enthusiasm and energy.

Just a few minutes after we’d stepped onto the pier, the sound of the bustling seafront seemed miles away, the noise of traffic and chatter giving way to lilting waves and seabirds, and it felt so very, very calm, only interrupted with the pier’s trains chugging past heading back to shore. We stopped several times to enjoy the view, then took the train back ourselves. I love days like these – the sense of movement and fun, just walking and getting on and off things. We got so excited with our trains, planes and automobiles idea when we were on the actual train, we decided to try and find a plane on a ride at Adventure Island. Sadly (or maybe just as well), it was closed, so Lizzie had a paddle in the sea and we spotted a helicopter advertising another ride….couldn’t get on it, so took a photo instead…it’s the thought that counts!

Then we headed up Pier Hill to Clifftown Parade, where there are some gorgeous, distinctive houses and little hotels, plus a cafe where we could have a drink – latte, always latte, and an orange juice and soda for me, thanks…. From here we were able to watch the world go by, once again just a few hundred yards away from the crowds, and plan our next trip.

Then I drove home in my car, and Lizzie drove home in. hers, so we did the automobile bit too.

Remember, nobody puts baby in the corner….no, I mean, go with the flow and let your imagination run riot. You never know what you might find!       

       

You can find more information about her on http://www.chrispenhall.co.uk

or folllow her on twitter: @ChrisPenhall

Instagram: christinepenhall

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChrisPenhallWriter/

Lisa Stanbridge. Top Author of the week.

Today’s guest is  author, Lisa Stanbridge, who is an Australian author who struggles to find time to write and dreams of being a bestseller. Her passion for writing runs so hot in her veins she looks for every opportunity to put pen to paper, often staying up until the wee hours to get the words down, even when she has to work the next day.

Award-winning author Lisa, has been writing ever since she could string sentences together. As a child, it started off with princesses in castles being rescued by Prince Charming. As a teenager she moved onto angsty teens struggling through life with raging hormones. Now, as a semi-mature adult, she writes sweet contemporary romances about real people going through real struggles who want their HEA.
In 2019, Lisa won the Romance Writers of Australia Little Gems short story contest with Clarity, and was shortlisted in the RWAus Emerald Award for unpublished manuscripts for Abandoned Hearts where she ranked second place.
Abandoned Hearts was published the following year by Boroughs Publishing Group.
2020 saw Lisa shortlisted again in RWAus Sweet Treats contest with The Cupcake Catastrophe.
In 2021, Lisa came fifth place in the RWAus First Kiss Award, and has been shortlisted for The Sapphire Awards. Abandoned Hearts also won ‘Best First Book’ for Romance Writers of New Zealand Koru Award of Excellence.
When she’s not writing, Lisa works full time as a Software Tester. She reads anything she can sink her teeth into, and occasionally binges on the latest Netflix series. Lisa loves lazy days at the beach reading or writing, but rarely swimming, and loves spending time with her husband and her friends.
Blurb for Abandoned Hearts:
LEANING TOWARD THE LIGHT
Finally free from her abusive ex, Claire Stone accepts a job as a live-in nurse in the small beach-side town of Busselton, Western Australia. A new life is exactly what she needs. Move away, move on, forget. If only things were that simple. Even the intriguing but abrasive son of her new patient can’t shield her from relentless memories.
Michael Karalis is watching his mother die while battling his ex-wife for custody of his five year old son. He’s bitter, broken, and distrustful, but Claire becomes a light in his world, despite his reservations. Two broken souls need to learn to trust again and open their hearts or they’ll never find the love they both need.