Blog tour: Guest Post from Liz Lawler!

Blog Tour
I’ll Find You
Liz Lawler
24th January, 2019

Emily Jacobs, a nurse, is in hospital for a minor operation. When she wakes in the night, woozy with anaesthetic, she sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her. In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. The bed has been empty all along . . .
When Emily returns to work she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. Soon, she becomes convinced that her colleagues at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret.
What if she’s wrong? What if her own troubled past has affected her more than she knows?
But what if she’s right?
What else could they be capable of?

A guest post from author, Liz Lawler:

When I was a child I never thought that I was part of a large family. I just knew I had six brothers and five sisters, and a seventh brother and sixth sister who went to heaven before I was born. I thought no more of sharing a bed with three of my sisters or sharing underwear and socks and toothbrushes as anything but normal. Some of my older brothers and sisters had already left home by the time I was two, and I only realised as I got older, these visiting adults were my siblings. I played with their children, my nephews and nieces, as only slightly younger than me and thought of their parents as my second parents.

I think the first time I became aware that other families were not as large as mine was probably around the age of ten, when children teased me for being part of a big Irish family. Though I only ever thought of myself as English as I was born in England, along with my three younger siblings. We were the English kids, my father fondly used to say, in this big Irish family. I was becoming aware however, that being from a big family was not always viewed as seemly. Two questions were invariably asked upon hearing how many siblings I had. Irish? Yes. Catholic? Yes. Then a knowing look would appear in eyes. A smile, a nod, another question, ‘Could your parents not afford a telly?’

My mother was remarkable. She was certainly not lacking in ability to raise a large family, nor a purpose to raise them right. A strong intelligent woman, though tiny in stature, she had eyes in the back of her head and knew what every one of her children were up to at all times. Built in radar let her know if we were up to mischief. Her mission in life was to keep us on the right side of the law. We were never mollycoddled and by the age of ten were able to clean properly, mind a child, light a coal fire or change a plug on an iron. She had great patience when teaching us things that were useful. She trained as a nurse when she was fifty when her last child turned five, and understanding medicine came easy to her, her knowledge learned from her grandmother who was the village healer. She was an avid reader and every week she would return home with her wheeled shopping trolley loaded with library books and once all her brood were fed and watered and bedded down for the night she would sit and read.

My father was fifteen when he left Dublin for the first time. He sold his donkey and cart to pay for his passage on a boat to Liverpool. In the few years he was in England he worked as a barker on a carousel in a travelling carnival. He then signed on as a ‘coal trimmer’ on a passenger-banana boat that imported bananas from the West Indies. He was fearless and adventurous and he regaled us of his adventures and the time he met a real-live ghost. He was a great storyteller, though he never read any books. And a great singer. A crooner, my mother used to say.

My life with such parents could not have been more blessed. We had adventures from living in both Ireland and England and they were tireless in their efforts to raise us right; no turning a blind eye if we had done wrong. They instilled in us a sense of right and wrong and woe betide us if we looked down on those less fortunate. We were forever being reminded of the hungry and the homeless and the poor kids who didn’t get any dinner.  This being said if we were fussy with our food. There were rarely scraps left on plates for the dog or cat we had at the time, unless it was Tripe being served! Then the whole lot would be scraped into a bowl and offered up to the poor animal to eat, before our mother even noticed.

With so many of us in the family when we got together it always felt like a party. A cup of tea would turn into a glass of wine and not long after the singing the dancing and joke telling would commence. My mother would be called upon to recite poetry and not of the flowery kind, but poems that told of hard times and my father would be the one always to bring the evening to an end with him singing A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening. My parents were great hosts, especially to their children.

The family today is now so large it’s hard to keep count of the number of children born, hard to recall (without going through the alphabet)  the names of all the great and now great great nephews and nieces. Growing up in a large family has shaped who I am. It has been my moral compass. There have been joyful times and sad times. Tears and laughter and when we get together now we spend hours talking about the two people who gave us all these wonderful memories. Our parents.

Previously published: Don’t Wake Up: A thriller worth reading

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