December 17, 2012

excerpt: the seven steps to closure

Blogger's Note: I'm reviewing The Seven Steps to Closure, today, as part of Donna Joy Usher's Chick Lit Plus blog tour, but first, here's a bit of info about the book and a sneak peek.

The Scoop on The Seven Steps to Closure:
Tara Babcock awakes the morning after her 30th birthday with a hangover that could kill an elephant - and the knowledge she is still no closer to achieving closure on her marriage breakup. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that, not only is her ex-husband engaged to her cousin - Tash, the woman he left her for - but that Jake is also running for Lord Mayor of Sydney. Desperate to leave the destructive relationship behind and with nothing to lose, she decides- with encouragement from her three best friends - to follow the dubious advice from a magazine article, Closure in Seven Easy Steps. The Seven Steps to Closure follows Tara on her sometimes disastrous- always hilarious - path to achieve the seemingly impossible. A credible and amazingly touching debut novel from Donna Joy Usher, this is a solid, light-hearted and honest read with plenty of laughs.

When we had all eaten, I decided it was the right time to let the universe reveal its chosen destination for me. 'All right then,' I said, hopping up to prepare my decision-making tools. When I had them ready and the girls were seated on the lounges in front of me I began. 'Thank you all for coming tonight. As you are aware the Wedding of the Year is next month, and I have come to a decision that it would be better for my mental health, and everyone else’s, if I was nowhere near Sydney during this time.'

Elaine raised her wine glass. ‘Hear, hear,’ she said.

'So I have decided to finally take Dinah's advice about the psychological benefits of travel and will be venturing overseas for a few weeks during this time.'

The girls broke out in a round of applause, as if it was the first time they had heard this.

'Where are you going?' Elaine asked.

'Well Elaine that is why you are all here tonight.’

‘You don’t know do you,’ she said, shaking her head.

‘No, but I will very soon. I am going to allow the universe to make the decision for me.’

'I knew those self-help books were a bad idea.'

'No seriously, I am opening myself up to the energies of the cosmos and I will let them guide my hand in determining my fate. Here you see before us the prepared tools of divine intervention.' I picked up a world map and, unfolding it, tacked it onto a cork-board I had previously placed on the wall. I was momentarily distracted by how big the map was. Wow, there were a lot of different countries I had never heard of.

‘Are you just going to look at it and choose somewhere?’ asked Nat.

‘No, I am going to throw this at it.’ I held up a dart I had borrowed from Martin and Lil the night before. 'Wherever it lands is where I go. Your job is to witness the honesty of the process and make sure that I allow the energies to guide me forwards. I am distancing myself from the decision-making, because let’s face it, up until now my decisions have been crap.’

'Clever, clever,' said Dinah enthusiastically.

I picked up the dart. Looking at the map had made me realise there were a lot of areas of the world that I didn’t want to visit, and I was starting to get a little nervous. Closing one eye I lined the map up with the end of the dart, and propelled the dart in what I hoped was the direction of Hawaii. The dart missed the map completely, thudding into the wall.

'Looks like you're staying right here,' said Gloria, laughing as I examined the hole I had created.

My next throw hit the Pacific Ocean and we clustered around the map examining it, searching for a teeny, tiny island.

'There's nothing there,' Nat announced officially.

'Bugger, I wouldn't have minded a relaxing holiday lying in the sun by the ocean,' I said pouting.

'Well, why don't you just go to Bali?’ asked Elaine.

'No, no, if I don't do this right, the rest of my life will be a disaster. I just know it,' I said.

'Well you could hang around in a lifeboat at this location waiting to be rescued. Who knows, the rescuer may be hot.'

I stuck my tongue out at Elaine. 'You know I get sea sick,' I said.

'Honey, you threw up on the ferry to Manly, that's not seasick, that's flat water sick.'

‘There was a big swell that day,’ I said defensively, as I pulled the dart out of the board.

The third shot landed right at the top of Mongolia. They looked at me expectantly.

'I don't want to go to Mongolia,' I whined. 'It's cold there and I saw Ewan McGregor in The Long Way Round. He had to eat sheep's balls in Mongolia.'

'Look on the bright side,' said Dinah, smiling cheekily, 'maybe you'll meet Ewan McGregor.'

'That would be nice,' I said thoughtfully, 'but he's probably not there anymore, and anyway he's married.'

Be sure to check back at 8 a.m. CDT for my review of The Seven Steps to Closure.

About the Author
Born in Brisbane, I started my working life as a dentist. After 15 years of drilling and filling I discovered there was more to life, and put pen to paper. Now I drill by day and write by night.

When not doing either of those things I like spending time with my husband and two little dogs, fishing and camping, motorbike riding, traveling, drinking wine on my deck and eating chocolate. Last year I ran my first half marathon and took up paddle boarding.

I have lived in a myriad of places: Melbourne, Perth, England, Rockhampton, Roxby Downs, Sydney, Cairns and am now situated on the New South Wales Central Coast.

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