Today on Sheli Reads I am very pleased to welcome the lovely Janey Fraser, author of After the Honeymoon, with her guest post about honeymoon horrors! After the Honeymoon will be published on 22nd May 2014 by Arrow Books.
It was a night to remember for newly-weds Karen and Dave*. But for all the wrong reasons! Karen’s mum and dad had given them two nights at a swanky London hotel as a honeymoon. It had everything. An ensuite bathroom that was as big as their flat. An enormous bed which could have taken an entire family. And marble floors……Which proved to be their undoing.
When Karen and Dave got out of their wedding finery to celebrate their first night as a married couple, they found that confetti had got stuck in their clothes. Laughingly, they brushed them off but some of the petals were damp from champagne and sweat. (Great mixture, don’t you think?) To Karen and Dave’s horror, the petals fell on the floor and immediately left pink and blue stains.
“Quick,” said Karen. “We need to wipe them off or else we could be landed with a bill for damages.”
Grabbing the white hotel towels – they couldn’t find anything else – the pair rubbed away at the stains only to find it made the floor worse. It also stained the towels too!
So Dave dashed out to buy some cleaning materials: not an easy task since it was 2 in the morning and there weren’t any handy corner shops in this expensive part of London. Eventually, he returned and the couple spent all night rubbing away at the stains until they finally came off.
In the morning, they both looked exhausted. “Everyone thought we’d been up all night , doing what newly-weds are meant to do,” laughed Karen. “But in fact, we’d both got housemaid’s knee from kneeling on the cold floor.”
This was one of many honeymoon stories which I came across when researching my new novel AFTER THE HONEYMOON. The story itself is fiction: two very different couples from the same small English town go to a small Greek island for their honeymoon. But the woman who runs the hotel, just happens to have known one of the grooms in the past…..
As I was writing my novel, I kept thinking about my own honeymoons. I first got married when I was 22 and my mother had given us a night in a modest bed and breakfast near our home in Harrow. In the morning, we couldn’t get out of our room – the lock had stuck! So we had to put our heads out of the window and yell for help. If I tell you that we were the butt of several jokes at breakfast, you get the picture!
In fact, my second husband and I didn’t have a second honeymoon when I got married again, some years later. I didn’t want to leave my then-14 year old son and he refused to come with us , even though we offered. That made me think. How would a stepfather without children manage if his step-kids turned up on honeymoon? I don’t want to give my plot away but trust me, it causes mayhem…..
When I told friends that my next novel was about a honeymoon, they kept telling me about their own honeymoon ups and downs. So I decided to include some real stories in between chapters. There was the bride whose American parents came with them (luckily the son in law got on with them). Then there was the friend whose new husband loved camping (the tent blew away just as they were reaching the pinnacle of passion). And then there was the couple who split up six months after the honeymoon because the bride realised she loved someone else.
In fact, the honeymoon is only the first part of my novel. The second tells us what happened to those two couples (and the taverna owner) after the honeymoon.
I hope you enjoy it. Meanwhile, please email me by May 30 with your honeymoon story. The top three will each receive a copy of one of my novels. firstname.lastname@example.org
AFTER THE HONEYMOON BY JANEY FRASER. TO BE PUBLISHED BY ARROW (Random House) on May 22