Sunday Snippet: A Midlife Holiday by Cary J Hansson

Posted July 30, 2023 by Jen in Sunday Snippet Tags: ,

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A Midlife Holiday

Author: Cary J Hansson
Publisher: Hansson Publishing
Release Date: May 2022
Series: The Midlife Trilogy #1
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Literary/Bookclub Fiction, Grown-up Chick-lit


Book cover of A Midlife Holiday by Cary J Hansson‘Stevie Nicks is a legend!’

‘What?’ Daisy, who sat nearest the door and whose job it should have been to say this coded warning, looked up, eyes blank as buttons.

Stevie Nicks,‘ Helen hissed again, ‘is a legend!’ She already had her coat on, ready to go home, and her arms were filled with a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of Buck’s Fizz and a box of Honey Dust Kissable Body Powder. Still she managed to jab her elbow in the direction of the corridor.

The penny dropped. Daisy grabbed her mug, making a show of drinking from it. So did Anne. And Tina. Then, along with Helen, they all turned and beamed at Dr Ross, who was now standing in the doorway having seemingly forgotten why she was there.

‘Anything you need?’ Helen asked lightly.

‘No,’ Dr Ross managed. ‘Umm…lovely flowers, Helen. Birthday?’

‘Yes. Well…tomorrow.’

‘She’ll be fifty!’ Tina offered, mug at her lips.

Dr Ross narrowed her eyes at Tina’s mug. ‘Really?’ she said. ‘I…’ And abruptly she closed her mouth and turned to go.

‘Was there anything else?’ Helen called.

‘No.’ Dr Ross turned. Looking straight at Helen, she smiled and said, ‘Nothing at all. Have a lovely birthday.’ And this time she did go.

Daisy, having downed a mouthful of tea, spat it back out. ‘Ugh! Stone cold.’

‘Worth it, though.’ Anne grinned. She put her own mug back on her desk. ‘No one messes with Helen. Isn’t that right?’

Helen smiled. Dr Ross had been with the surgery for approximately three weeks, stalking corridors like an extra in The West Wing, on the prowl for improvements that she needed to be seen to make. All to pave her way up to senior partner, Helen supposed. She didn’t really care. She’d been here long enough to see more young ambitious doctors than she cared to remember come and go, along with their various improvements. But this latest diktat had been so ridiculous – such an obvious example of change for the sake of change – she’d felt obliged to respond. Reception staff were no longer permitted to bring coffee mugs to their desks. Nine pounds an hour they earned! Primark (Daisy said) paid better! And of course, because Helen was the oldest and the longest-serving, it had been up to her to lead the fightback. Which she had, with relish, inventing this signal phrase to act as a warning system. (It had taken some rehearsing. None of the others seemed to know who Stevie Nicks was. Is she on Spotify? Daisy had asked. Of course not! Helen had responded, ten seconds before Tina had opened the app and found her. Which had left Helen with an all too familiar feeling nowadays, that sense of arriving at a party, just as everyone else was leaving.) Two days the fightback had been going, and she couldn’t, judging by Dr Ross’s face just now, imagine it needing to be continued come Monday. So why didn’t she feel victorious?

‘Have a lovely birthday!’

 ‘Don’t do anything I wouldn’t!’

‘Behave now!’

The voices of her colleagues rang out after her as Helen opened the door and stepped into a cold April evening. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t? Either her colleagues lived extraordinarily dull lives or her public persona was a lot more exciting than her private one. Because her first and only stop for the evening was Asda. Then home, Poirot, bed. And even Anne, who used Fridays to swap out her foil-wrapped sandwiches for a takeaway Cornish pasty, could probably beat that end-of-week line-up. Sighing, Helen tipped the flowers and the bottle and the Kissable Body Powder onto the passenger seat, fell into the driver’s side and turned the rear-view mirror to her face. Fifty. What possible use was Kissable Body Powder ever going to be?

About the Book:

A wonderfully witty and brutally honest story about female friendship.

‘Heart-warming, heart-breaking and hilarious.’ Reader review.

‘Shirley Valentine meets Bridget Jones.’ Cup Full of Books.

An Amazon All-Stars award winning title.

Meet Helen. She worries that the walls are closing in. With her children grown and her selfish husband away again, she’s full of regrets at not taking the exciting paths she dreamed about in her youth. So when the chance of a last-minute holiday to Cyprus with her two best friends is offered, she grabs it.

Meet Caro. A successful city analyst. Single and childless, she’s not in Cyprus for the glorious sunshine and crystal-blue waters. But her secret feels so shameful she can’t bring herself to share it.

Meet Kay. Sandwiched between the needs of a grown-up son with learning difficulties and elderly parents, all she wants to do is sleep in the sun, preferably all week.

As Caro’s secret emerges, tensions between the women explode.

Friendship was easy when they were young, how can it be so hard now?

A Midlife Holiday is the life-affirming first tale in The Midlife Trilogy women’s fiction series. Funny, emotional, compassionate and wise, Cary J Hansson shows us why middle-aged women are only just getting started!

Prepare to meet three new friends you’ll feel you’ve known all your life!

Book 2: A Midlife Baby, published November 2022
Book 3: A Midlife Gamble,  published May 2023.

About the Author:

author head shot photo of Cary J HanssonCary is a fifty something mum of three, an ex-dancer, actress, waitress, cleaner, TV presenter, double-glazing sales rep, fax machine operator (what’s a fax machine?) You name it and she’s cleaned it, served it, sent it or sold it! 

After years of globe-trotting and messing about, she settled down to a BA in Literature and Creative Writing, got a First Class and promptly moved to Sweden to start her own mid-life adventure.

She swims in the Baltic sea year round, paddleboards under midnight suns and has learned to sail.

The author of six books and several short stories, Cary’s work has been shortlisted in national and international competitions. 

She writes stories about ordinary people, living lives of extraordinary courage and indestructible humour. She promises only two things: no knights in shining armour and no flying cars. Her characters save themselves, as in the end we all must do. 

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