Sam Vickery

Author

Author: svickery (page 1 of 2)

Best Launch Ever!

So, One More Tomorrow launched at the beginning of the week and wow!! It has been without a doubt the best launch I have ever done. Reviews have been coming in, and sales are steadily growing day by day. It is always such a pleasure to share a book with the world and to get a good response in return, so thank you all so much for your love and support with this project.

I thought it might be nice to share the first chapter with you here for those who are on the fence about picking it up. Right now you can get the book on kindle, and I’m in the process of organising the paperback as we speak. I’ll leave the links at the bottom of the page.

 

Blurb

Roxanne Bowen never wanted to have a baby. Until she realised she couldn’t. Now it’s all she can think of. She had everything she could ever want, the fulfilling career, the doting husband, but now he can’t stand to touch her and her perfect life is falling to pieces.

After five miscarriages her whole existence revolves around just one dream – holding her child in her arms. But Lucas has reached his limit. He won’t see her kill herself for a wish that can’t come true.

Roxy is determined to keep fighting until she can call herself a mother, but when she’s dealt a devastating blow, she learns that some things are out of her control.

Will she get the family she so desperately craves, or will she lose everything that matters to her?

Chapter One

I can’t remember a time in my childhood when I ever dreamed of being a mother. Whilst my sisters were cooing over their Tiny Tears dolls, rocking their chubby plastic bodies and jamming magic milk bottles into their oddly triangular mouths, I was in the garden digging a hole to Australia, or climbing up the tall oak tree to launch my teddy from the topmost branches, testing out the latest parachute I’d invented out of a paper napkin and a tangled ball of my mother’s wool. I was reading about how planets are formed, or making clay sculptures – which I was sure would make me a famous artist. I was busy, and curious and relentless in my thirst for knowledge. Babies did not interest me in the slightest.

Susie next door had one, a dribbly, demanding six month old brother called Davey – runny gravy, I called him behind her back – who I heard squealing and crying through the thin walls of our terraced house every morning before the sun was even up. I would roll over, huffing and grimacing, pulling my pillow hard over my ears as I tried to block out his piercing intrusions. Babies did not let people sleep, I’d deduced from these frequent unwelcome awakenings.

Susie was a typically proud big sister. She would grin indulgently as he knocked over her carefully constructed tower of bricks, not caring that he was rudely interrupting our game, dragging us out of our imagined world of pirates, magic and adventure to wave a chewed rusk in her face. I hated him.

As I lay in my huge, grown up sized bed now with the pre-dawn haze filtering through the sheer blue curtains, Lucas’s warm strong back pressed up against my side as he slept, I wondered if that was why I was being punished. If I had brought on my own misery through some sort of wicked karma. My disdain, or at least my disinterest in babies had carried on right up until I turned twenty-eight. I’d managed to come through school, university, marry Lucas and get a job teaching anthropology – a subject I adored – without ever considering the possibility of motherhood. Lucas had been surprised at my certainty that children were not to be on the cards, but he was willing to box up that dream if it meant keeping me. Everything had been just as it should have been. Life was ticking by, following my carefully crafted plan. Everything was perfect. Until my twenty-eighth birthday.

There had been too much vodka for both of us. Laughter, fumbling in the dark, wrapped together in a tangle of limbs and lust. A torn condom that went unnoticed until it was too late. A shared glance of panic and bewilderment in the morning that followed. And then, though I held on to my sense of normal, my orderly, controlled reality, though I grasped onto it with all my might, there was nothing I could do to take back that night. In a few moments of reckless passion everything had changed.

Suddenly, those doors which had been bolted shut, the lock rusted and unmoving, had been burst open with an explosion that shattered them into tiny little splinters. We had done something that could not be undone, and all at once a whole new path lay before us, shining with possibility. And for no reason I could fathom, without reason or logic, I just knew, I knew that I had to follow it. As soon as I realised a heart beat other than my own was fluttering inside my womb, depending on me for it’s very existence, I knew. I was going to be a mother. I wanted it more intently than I had ever wanted anything. I felt fierce and strong and primal. This was what I was meant to do, I knew it.

Except it wasn’t.

Eleven weeks. Eleven precious, wonderful weeks. That’s how long I managed to keep him alive. Don’t ask me how, but I knew it was a boy. My son. Eleven weeks he grew and developed and changed me in ways that could never be erased. And then, in a wave of crippling cramps and clotted blood, he was gone. My son. My angel.

After he left me, I found I was no longer complete. I was not the person I had been before, I was something new, something empty and lost. I couldn’t go back now that I had seen what could be. I couldn’t forget how it had felt to be a mother, to be needed so deeply, to love so hard. I couldn’t undo it.

Lucas stirred beside me and I glanced through tear fogged eyes at the small silver clock on the bedside cabinet. It had been my mother’s and hers before that, and every time I looked at it I remembered with vivid clarity how it had felt to wake up in her big bed as a small child, her tanned arm slung loosely over my torso, the shining silver clock ticking quietly beside us.

She would wake groggy and grumpy, and I would have to cajole her into the day, convince her it really was morning time, though she would groan and refuse to open her eyes. “Just five more minutes, my darling. It’s still dark,” she would moan from under the covers. I would huff and sigh and fidget impatiently beside her as she ignored me, trying to get a few more precious moments of rest. Then, as if a switch had been flicked on, she would suddenly be ready, throwing the blankets to the ground and grabbing me tight, pulling me in for a hug and kissing me all over my face. I would squeal and try to get away, though really I loved it. She would jump out of bed singing at the top of her voice, her grumpiness forgotten and buried, at least until the next morning. The clock filled me with nostalgia and sadness, yet I refused to part with it. Painful though they were, the memories of my mother were all I had left. They were better than nothing at all.

Lucas stirred again. I wiped my swollen eyes against the pillowcase, though I knew he would know right away that I’d been crying for hours. That my night had been filled with the endless pacing and wicked nightmares I was fast becoming used to. He always wanted to talk, to get me to tell him every little detail of what was upsetting me. To share the horror of the nightmares, the stories I told myself in the dark quiet hours. It was pointless. He knew that as well as I did, but he kept on trying, pushing, wanting to be there for me, to fix everything. But I couldn’t be fixed. He knew that too.

Sometimes Lucas would wake in those dark, lonely hours, despite my tooth-marked fist, my swallowed, muffled sobs. When he found me in such a state, he would look at me with those big brown eyes glistening in the moonlight with tears he wouldn’t shed, his mouth pursed in indecision and sadness. He would take me in his arms and hold me tight until I pretended to fall back to sleep. His comfort never helped. I didn’t deserve it. I wanted to suffer alone. I didn’t want to see the look of anguish in his eyes.

On this occasion though, I had managed to get a hold of myself before he woke. He would know I’d been crying again, of course. He could always tell. But I wouldn’t flaunt it. I never did. Perhaps this morning we could pretend it hadn’t happened. I didn’t have it in me to talk about it again. At least not yet.

I felt the feather-light touch of his fingertips as they grazed their way through my hair, making their way down my spine. I shivered, instinctively leaning into the security of his warmth. “Good morning,” he said, his throat raspy with the after effects of sleep as he nuzzled into my neck.

“Good morning yourself,” I replied, my voice falsely bright as I turned to face my husband. He pursed his full lips into a scowl as he caught sight of my puffy eyes and blotchy cheeks, his thick, dark brows furrowing. Even so, I thought, he was still indisputably good looking. His cheekbones were defined and strong. His eyelashes thick, his eyes a pool of rich chocolate. And under the thin sheets, I could make out the defined muscles of his chest and shoulders.

He was a big man at six and a half feet tall. Being only five feet and two measly inches myself, I had always liked that about him. I used to love it when he wrapped me in those massive arms, and made me feel like nothing could hurt me. These days, though, even he couldn’t protect me from my pain.

“Rox…” he began, his voice deep and serious. I shook my head.

“Don’t Lucas. Don’t. Not today.” He twisted his lips again and gave me a long, stern look. Indecision flickered in his eyes. He gave a quick nod and pulled me wordlessly into his chest. I felt myself tense against him as he kissed the top of my head and sighed. Fearing his kindness would only make me start sobbing all over again, I cleared my throat and pulled away, hopping out of bed without meeting his eyes. I could feel his stare burning into my back. I wrapped my cotton dressing gown around my shivering body, pulling my thick dark hair out from under the collar as I headed for the bathroom. “Don’t forget, we’ve got my sisters coming over for lunch today,” I told him over my shoulder.

“As if I would forget a visit from the Cormack family,” Lucas said, smiling, though it didn’t meet his eyes. I paused by the bedroom door, looking at a framed photograph on the wall of my family from last summer. It made me smile every time I saw it, though I never failed to notice the empty space where my mother should have been. My younger sisters, Isabel and Bonnie were identical twins, yet their personalities could not have been more different. Isabel was introverted, sweet, and bordering on genius. We’d expected her to become a physicist, a computer programmer, an entrepreneur, or something equally brilliant and fitting to her intelligence. Yet, she’d surprised us all by choosing to go into social work. She’d actually turned down several promotions because they meant moving away from the personal, one on one duties with the families and children she worked with, to go and push papers around an office instead. Isabel had explained that no pay rise in the world would be enough to pull her away from the people who needed her most. I suspected she thrived on the drama and excitement. Isabel was at her absolute best in a crisis. She was down to earth despite her brilliance, and barely a day went by without us seeing one another.

Bonnie had a polar opposite character to Isabel. Her personality was nothing short of extreme. She was loud, flakey and possibly the most honest person I had ever known. She would say whatever she thought, no matter the consequences. Lucas had once told her she had no filter, to which she’d told him filters were for shifty people and at least he knew what she really thought of him. Thankfully, I had been informed, she liked him. A couple of her exes had not got off nearly so lightly. Though she could be wild and unpredictable, Bonnie was also the most empathetic person I had ever known. She could see right through pretence, right to the source of the pain. A skill she used often, and which proved more than a little annoying when I was trying to pretend I was fine, thank you very much!

As sisters, and as friends we were as close as it gets. Our father had passed away from cancer when the twins were just two. I had been four. And then, we had lost our mother fourteen years later. Now it was just the three of us left from our little family, and the losses had created an unbreakable bond between us. I turned from the photograph, facing Lucas now, and gave him a genuine smile, not the false happy mask I had been pasting on all week. “I know you would never forget,” I said. “Thank you.” He nodded as he watched me pick up my wash-bag and walk into the bathroom. I could feel his pitying stare burning into my back.

Get your kindle copy here:

amazon.co.uk

amazon.com

 

Cover Reveal for One More Tomorrow!

I am so excited to finally share this with you. Cover design is, for me, one of the most challenging aspects of creating a book. You have to convey so much within a carefully chosen image and a couple of words, enough to show the reader what’s in store for them if they pick it up.

With One More Tomorrow, I wanted the tag-line to elude to the depths of emotion within this story of love, loss, and heartache. I wanted the reader to know, just by those few words how much my lead character Roxy wants to be a mother, how intensely she is prepared to fight for her dream.

As much as we are told never to judge a book by its cover, the truth is, that is exactly what we do.

So, here goes:

 

What do you think?

One More Tomorrow will be out at the end of May.  Make sure you sign up to my newsletter to be the first to hear about it!

Lots of love,

Sam Vickery

The Little Red Button

The sun glared harshly through the passenger window of the old, musty Sedan. Lisa glared at the speckles of dust, floating as if in slow motion through the stream of light. It shouldn’t be sunny. Not today. Not when her heart needed the world to be dark and grey. When she needed to feel like something made a modicum of sense.

Blue skies were wrong. The happy, laughing faces of the teenagers they’d passed on the drive here were wrong. She’d wanted Niall to swerve the car – to mow them down, wipe those stupid, toothy grins from their fresh, youthful faces. Only for a second. A flash of wicked fury that had passed as soon as it arrived. But she’d wanted it.

Lisa’s eyes flicked to the cold stone building to her right, noticing with an audible grunt the crowd that had begun to grow. Niall was out there somewhere. Talking. Mingling. Opening up to people who couldn’t possibly understand. He had told her to come, to wait outside with the rest of them, but she’d growled something menacing and he’d closed the car door with a quiet click.

She wouldn’t have it. She wouldn’t have him playing the victim. Accepting sympathy from people who had no right to offer it. She watched now as his dark suit came into view, breaking away from the group and walking towards the car.

Panicked, she glanced at the little clock on the dashboard. It had a crack through the centre of the glass and she knew it was set five minutes fast – A habit she had begun more than a decade ago to combat her serial lateness. It hadn’t helped. The dial read 1pm.

Five minutes to go.

Lisa felt her mouth go dry. She wrapped her arms tightly around the inert bundle on her chest. It was too soon. She wasn’t ready. How could she ever be ready for this? Her heart began to beat harder, her breath catching in her throat. She didn’t look round as the driver side door opened and her husband slipped silently into the seat beside her.

A minute passed in silence, save for the sound of her pulse hammering in her ears and Niall’s uneven, shallow breath. She wished he would shut up. She could see the faces glance over from the crowd, trying to catch her eye, to smile that warm, sad, pitying smile she had been forced to endure so often in the past six days.

Niall cleared his throat and turned slightly to look at her. She didn’t move. “Lisa. It’s time to go.”

“Not yet.”

He gave a sigh. “Lisa, they’re bringing her round now.”

At that, the hammering in her chest grew faster still. For a brief second, she thought that she was going to pass out, but she didn’t. She bit down hard on her lower lip as hot, unwelcome tears sprung to her eyes. She squeezed the bundle harder.

Niall reached across, taking her hand softly in his own. His was cold and clammy. She pulled back, not caring that his face crumpled at her reaction, his eyes creased with pain and anguish. She couldn’t feel sorry for him. She couldn’t find a scrap of sympathy.

“Please Lis’. Give me the doll. You can’t take it in.”

Slowly, she turned to face him with venom in her eyes. “Why not?” she spat.

“Lisa, come on. Give it to me. It’s just a bit of plastic. It’s not real.” He slumped against the threadbare seat, rubbing his fingers into the sockets of his eyes, kneading at them almost viciously. She watched him with mild disgust. Finally he raised his head. “It won’t make things better.”

Lisa stared at him, unsmiling. Slowly, she lowered her face, her eyes finding the empty, glass irises of the baby doll. She wasn’t crazy. She knew – of course she knew – that it was only a toy. Just a lump of plastic, moulded and shaped to look like a sweet baby girl. It was supposed to have been a birthday gift for her daughter. Their daughter. But of course, that would never happen now. Her daughter would never hold and love and play with it.

Lisa knew the damn thing wasn’t her baby. She knew what it must look like to the people around her. But every time she tried to put it down, the ache in her arms, her heart, became a white hot pain she couldn’t bear. She couldn’t think, couldn’t function, so aware of the thing that was missing, the body that should be there, head tucked warmly beneath her chin, ear to her heart, knowing it beat just for her. Her baby. Her sweet Lilly.

“This is your fault,” she whispered, her eyes still on the baby doll. She felt the impact of her words immediately. Words she hadn’t yet dared to voice, but had played on repeat in her mind for the past six days. She knew what they would do to him. The confirmation that she laid the blame at his feet. That she hated him for what he hadn’t been able to do. She knew she should take them back. That she should tell him it was okay, she forgave him. Everything was going to be alright. That they would get through this together. But none of that was true. Their marriage had been over the moment their daughter’s heart had stopped beating.

It was funny, she thought now, how something so small could break something once so strong. A little red button dropped from the sewing box onto the carpet, just the perfect size to wedge itself in an eleven month old’s throat. A husband distracted for just a few minutes while he took a call in the other room. Tiny, almost imperceptible actions that in the space of a few minutes, destroyed her whole world. He should have been more careful as he riffled through the box, looking for the scissors. He should have been watching her. Niall choked back a sob and stared straight ahead, unable to put words to the injustice of his situation. Lisa watched as the funeral director approached the car, gave a short nod and stepped back to wait for them.

She wasn’t ready to say goodbye. She wasn’t ready to accept the emptiness in her arms. She squeezed the doll again, soaking up the tiny fragment of comfort its soft, cotton body offered. She took a deep, steadying breath, feeling the tears streaming like fire down her cheeks. Her life was forever changed. Her dreams had been shattered into a million tiny pieces, and she was terrified at the thought of what would come next. She had no idea what she would do, who she would even be without the label of wife, mother. She was lost. All she could do was put one foot in front of the other and follow blindly until she found her way.

It was time to say goodbye. She stepped out into the sunshine, holding tightly onto the doll, and walked into the blinding glare of the unknown.

 

**********

The copyright of this story belongs to Sam Vickery.

Win a Signed Copy of The Promise!

Hold on to your hats people! I’m giving away a SIGNED copy of my new novel THE PROMISE and you could be the lucky winner.

All you need to do to be entered into the giveaway is:

  1. Like and Share this post on Facebook, Twitter or your social media of choice.
  2. Join my (FREE) VIP reader list by entering your regular email address here. Make sure it’s one you check often, as I’ll contact the winner via email. ~

Simples!

The winner will be chosen on the 16th of August.

And if you can’t wait until then, you can grab a copy worldwide on Amazon right now.

The Paperback of The Promise is Here!

I know many of you prefer reading a real, paper version when it comes to a good book, and I’ve had a lot of emails asking me if and when The Promise will be available as a hardcopy. Well, wait no more my friends, for it is here!

I’m still figuring out how to link up the reviews between the kindle version and this one so I’ll share some of the wonderful reviews so far with you here.

“What makes The Promise special is the level of raw motherly emotion that Vickery has poured behind a central thought provoking question… “What would you do, if….?”

The Promise shows a depth of character development beyond that of standard ‘women’s fiction’, and offers readers a journey into what it means to love selflessly, completely, and what truly makes a mother – biological or otherwise.”

“A mothers love really is impenetrable and this was explored wonderfully in “the promise”. I read this book in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. My heart was well and truly drawn into this tale about the depths of a mother love. Many of the words felt written straight from my own heart, felt about my own children.

I won’t post any spoilers but there were points I could barely breathe due to the raw emotions I was feeling for the characters. I cried and I even found myself wanting another baby (!!) to relive the moments so beautifully written about in the promise. Well worth a read. Excellent.”

“This is a wonderfully written book, full of confronting emotions. It really makes you think about what you would do in the same situation. It also made me question how quickly strong feelings of maternal love can grow. I was reading it, wondering if Saraya was actually feeling love for this baby, or whether she was trying to fill a void of love in her own psyche. By the end of the book, I still couldn’t figure it out, but realised that it really didn’t matter. Both her and baby Flynn needed love and the unconventional situation provided them both with what they needed. It was an easy read, with a depth to the narrative that was enticing. I hope that Sam writes more fiction surrounding parenting. Sometimes it is easier to read and learn about parenting from a story, rather than a non fiction guide. Thank you Sam for a great book!”

“I was excited to read this book as I’ve previously read the authors non-fiction parenting books. This is a really lovely story that really makes you wonder what you’d do in a similar situation – it demonstrates that right and wrong are not always as clear cut as we might think. It’s an easy read, not too long and an unexpected ending, which I always like.”

“I have read many books this summer with my time off and this by far has been a favorite!

Buy The Paperback Now from Amazon:

amazon.co.ukamazon.com

 

And if you want to download the first three chapters for completely free, you can do that right here!

 

Do You Trust Me Yet?

The Promise (250 pages)As a reader, I find myself choosing the same authors time and time again. The ones I know and love. Who I have developed a deep trust for over the years, knowing that any story I pick up with their name on the cover is bound to be entertaining, engaging and leave me wanting more. I don’t want to waste my time with a book I’m not going to enjoy. Life is too short for that.

We are all creatures of habit. So what’s a novelist to do? Well it just so happens that I have the solution.

Below you will find the .mobi and .epub files containing the first three chapters of my new novel, THE PROMISE. You can download them for free, YES COMPLETELY FREE, without even needing to sign up to my email list, and read them on the ereader of your choice. Simply download the file, plug your device into your computer and add the file to the folder called “my documents.” Couldn’t be simpler!

If you like it and want to know what happens next, you can buy a copy on amazon, and if you don’t, you can close it and move on to something more to your taste.

It’s a solution where everyone wins. I get more readers who like my work, and you get to try it out without handing over a penny.

If you think you know someone who would like to read THE PROMISE, please share this post with them via email or social media so they can try it out. Thank you so much.

Download the first three chapters now to try out THE PROMISE:

 

Download the .mobi file here

Download the .epub file here

 

(.mobi is best for kindle, .epub is best for ipad.)

 

It’s Finally Here!!!

The Promise (Kindle)Well my beautiful readers, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

THE PROMISE – A Tale of Unconventional Adoption and the Immeasurable Strength of a Mother’s Love, is now available to purchase on Amazon Kindle.

Right now, to celebrate the launch, you can get it for the unbelievably low price of just 99p/$0.99, but this offer will only be available for one week before it goes up to £2.25/$2.99.

Get your copy here now:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Early reviews:

“Beautiful, profound and from the heart. The Promise shows a depth of character development beyond that of standard ‘women’s fiction’, and offers readers a journey into what it means to love selflessly, completely, and what truly makes a mother – biological or otherwise.”

“I read this book in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. There were points I could barely breathe due to the raw emotions I was feeling for the characters. I cried and I even found myself wanting another baby (!!) to relive the moments so beautifully written about in the promise. Well worth a read. Excellent.”

“This is a wonderfully written book, full of confronting emotions. It was an easy read, with a depth to the narrative that was enticing.”

“You cannot put this book down!”

“From the first chapter I was gripped. It is beautifully written and the characters are brought to life that you feel like you know them like your friends by the end of the novel.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it was definitely a page turner.”

The story:

Saraya Matthews knows that at thirty two years old, life should look better than this. With no spark and no passion, she decides enough is enough. She is going to find her purpose and stop wasting her life away.

Little does she know, her purpose will come in the form of an orphaned baby boy whose mother has been gruesomely murdered on the streets of London.

Saraya finds herself in a battle between what’s legal and what’s morally right. The authorities expect her to hand him over, but baby Flynn needs her. Saraya is surprised to discover that once she lets herself love him, she can’t turn back.

Flung full force into the unexpected position of mother and protector, she realises she will do whatever it takes to keep her baby safe in her arms.

But will she succeed?

A tale of unconventional adoption and the immeasurable strength of a mother’s love.

Get your copy now –

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Cover Reveal for The Promise!

After an incredibly stressful week, I finally have the final cover design for THE PROMISE in my possession and I am so very happy with it! What do you think?

The Promise will be released on Amazon kindle mid July and the paperback will follow shortly afterwards.

 

The Promise (250 pages)

 

The Promise (Kindle)

What if?

What if tonight you took your last breath?

Would you wish you had lived a little brighter? Loved a Hell of a lot harder?

Would you regret that you turned down that adventure and chose safety instead?

Would you wish you had spoken more gently, treated the feelings of another with more grace, more empathy?

What if tomorrow you didn’t get to see the sun rise high or the moon sparkle over a dark blanket of ocean?

Would you accept it?

Or would you fight?

Would you waste this last few hours wishing things were different? Trying to change an unchangeable thing?

Or would you run barefoot out the door and into the arms of nature? Would you dive into the salty waves and throw your head to the sky, thankful that you got one last chance to feel alive? Would you seize every second, knowing your time was ticking away and you would never get it back?

Would you say “I love you,” one more time? Give one more hug? Sing at the top of your voice and dance with wild unstoppable passion?

Or would you waste it?

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone.

This moment, this very second is all we have for sure. If tomorrow you didn’t get to open your eyes, would you know that today you lived beautifully?

Inside the Barbaric World of a Neonatal Unit

20150401_154949Have you ever been to a neonatal unit?

I have.

Prior to being transferred to the children’s ward, we spent several gruelling weeks with my daughter in neonatal.

I felt like I had been transported to an alien world. Everyone kept saying how wonderful it was, how amazing the care was and I admit, the nurses were (mostly) kind and caring. But a wonderful place?

No.

I found it to be the most barbaric environment I have even been subjected to. A mother and her newborn are biologically programmed to need each other. Hormones are raging, the need to hold and touch your baby is all you can think of. And the last thing a sick baby needs is the stress of being separated from their mother. Kangaroo care works. Cuddles are truly healing.

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