Today it is a great pleasure to join RR Gall on tour with his latest novel, Two Tides To Turn. Published in May 2019 by Amazon Digital Services, it is described as ‘a thrilling novel of love, grief, and mystery‘ and was inspired by the author’s own personal story of never having met his own paternal grandfather.
RR Gall is sharing a piece he wrote entitled ‘The Relay Race’, so I do hope you enjoy!
I would like to thank Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to join the blog tour today.
[ About the Book ]
A family ripped asunder.
A terrible secret lurks in a thrilling novel of love, grief, and mystery.
Patrick thought his grandfather, John, died before he was born.
In later life, he finds out that it wasn’t true. For the first five years of Patrick’s life, they stayed in the same small village.
So why were they kept apart?
Patrick wishes to search the past to find the reason – but only if he can be united with his young daughter first. And that means bringing her home to Scotland. It means journeying to France to take her away from the care of her mother, Patrick’s ex-wife.
In 1915, with the war raging in Europe, John is a young man working on the family farm. Not yet old enough to enlist but aware of its looming threat, he meets Catherine. But his attempts at courtship end suddenly when an accident rips his life apart.
Told in alternate chapters, set, mainly, in South-West Scotland, this is the dramatic story of Patrick, interwoven with John’s traumatic life.
[ Guest Post – The Relay Race ]
Imagine you are in a relay race. Let’s say it’s a running race. The 4x 400 metres. One lap of the track. You are on the line, waiting. The incoming runner approaches, puffing hard. You get ready, arm outstretched. Then you’re off. For a moment, as the baton passes over, your team-mate travels with you. He is at your side, until you find your full stride, and you’re away.
You take the first bend, in pursuit of the other runners, or, perhaps, in the lead, trying desperately to stay there, trying to do the best for your team. Soon the pain of the exertion will bite, and your limbs will become heavy. But you must keep going. You are part of something. You mustn’t let anyone down. Keep going!
It has been noted that some runners perform better under these circumstances. They respond, push themselves harder – achieving better times than in individual races. Of course, there are a few reasons why this should be, but one of them, surely, is that they become more competitive, driven harder, giving everything, forced to the limit, collapsing in a heap when finished, because they do not want to let their team-mates down.
There is a moment, in my latest story, Two Tides To Turn, when something similar occurs – yet in a completely different context. It is when Patrick Merse stands at his grandfather’s grave and, for the very first time, reads the inscription on the headstone.
Patrick has travelled down from Glasgow to the countryside of South-West Scotland to delve into his family’s history, specifically that of his grandfather, John. Patrick wants one niggling question answered – why was never allowed to meet his grandfather? Why were they kept apart?
Was it merely done in a fit of pique? Was there a silly dispute, a trivial row that split the family? Or is there something more sinister at the heart of it, something terrible hidden in the past?
(By the end of the story, Patrick will have an answer. Whether it is correct, is another matter.)
At the graveside, Patrick studies the headstone. He reads that John was born in 1901. He knows John was a farmer. It must have been a hard life, a tough graft, with the added menace of the First World War hanging over.
All of a sudden, Patrick is struck by a strange, emotional connection to his grandfather. For the very first time, he experiences a fierce bond with the man he never met or knew. He senses the effort, the struggle made by John – and to what end? What has he, Patrick, done with his easy, sheltered life, other than divorce the only woman he ever loved, and still loves?
Brought into this world on the struggling backs of his ancestors, Patrick feels the need to justify their strife. Surely, that is only fair. He is part of a team. The line passes through him and he has the baton now. But what to do with it?
Perhaps, every now and then, it might be an idea to think this way.
[ Bio ]
RR Gall lives in Scotland and is the author of:
The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit,
The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts,
The Case of the Hermit’s Guest Bedroom
Two Tides To Turn,
A Different Place to Die,
Only the Living Can Die.
For more – http://www.rrgall.com/