#GuestPost by Áine Toner, Author of Let’s Talk About Six @aineltoner @BooksManatee #blogtour

I’m pleased to be bringing you a guest post today by Áine Toner, author of Let’s Talk About Six. We’re going to be hearing about a day in the life of Declan, one of the characters, but first let’s see what the book is all about.

Love and relationships are tough in 21st century Dublin, as six characters, bound by circumstance are about to find out…

Beth – in love with boyfriend Adam, Beth thinks life coupled up is great – sex on tap, and no worries about regularly shaving your legs…but when Adam no longer seems interested and an unexpected web history shows he might be looking for something else, Beth starts thinking of revenge.

Adam – Adam loves Beth. Very much. But there’s something he’s hiding from her – something’s been wrong for quite a while and he’s scared to face up to the truth. Thankfully, he has support from his other woman…but how long can Adam keep his secret?

Declan – forty-something, shy, and ruled by his militant mother, Declan owns sex shop Firm to the Touch. Desperate for a romantic love affair, all he wants is for his dream woman to notice him…OK, so they have nothing in common, but opposites attract, right?

Lily – a woman who does things her own way, Lily leaves a trail of broken-hearted men whenever she goes. Only now, Kristian is on the scene, and Lily wants him – for good. With a reputation for making bad life decisions and being a fickle seductress, can Lily change her ways and get her man?

Johnny – the ultimate ladies man, Johnny leaves notches on every bed post, so when one night stand Kate falls pregnant with his baby, his whole world turns upside down. Now it seems, Johnny feels more for Kate than just lust…but will he get the opportunity to show everyone that a (saucy) leopard can change their spots?

Kate – a paediatric nurse who can’t remember the last time she had a five-minute shower, permanently tired Kate is juggling work, being a mammy to Matthew, and now the attentions of gorgeous doctor, PJ O’Malley. But is a serious relationship really what she wants…and is PJ O’Malley really The One?

Just because you’re a grown up doesn’t mean you always make the right decisions…

Like the sound of it? Then you can get the ebook from tomorrow.

A day in the life of Declan

7am: Wake up to the dulcet tones of Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Lie under my He Man duvet cover – having a single bed makes it so easy to find cartoon covers – and think happy thoughts about going into work.

7.03am: Realise I am not a quality control manager for Cadbury’s and in fact, am owner of high end sex emporium, Firm To The Touch. Have a small cry.

7.04am: Worry that Bethany will call in sick and then I’ll be forced to ring in the order.

7.05am: Worry that I’ll order too many cockrings and not enough edible firemen.

7.10am: Second alarm rings in the air, this time Mammy’s voice roaring, ‘Get up your lazy lump and sell some dildos.’ Mammy is always so patient.

8am: Assess body in full length mirror post-shower. Definitely am what the women’s magazines would describe as ‘curvy.’

8.10am: Is ‘fuller figured’ better? More acceptable? Must ask Bethany.

8.20am: Gaze wistfully at picture of Bethany’s best friend – and love of my life – Lily, secretly snipped out of Irish Tatler magazine while waiting on the doctor to fix that problem rash I had.

8.50am: Very late to work as I struggled with what to wear. Decided on yesterday’s clothes but new underpants. New pants = a man in control of life, says Mammy.

9am: Open Firm To The Touch. Flick a slick of eye off my plaid shirt. I’d wondered where that had gotten to yesterday.

9.30am: Bethany arrives in a flurry of activity. It’s rather frightening. But begin my daily round of compliments so that she feels welcome and an integral part of the business. She can’t leave, I need her.

11am: Business is slow because Fifty Shades of Grey isn’t on the telly until the weekend. Bethany is cleaning the wipe clean book section while I am making our elevenses. We are so blessed in Firm To The Touch that we also have twelveses and twoses. And threeses. Eat 10 Digestives.

12pm: Johnny Carr swans in like he owns the place. Actually, it would be better all round if he did own the place as I haven’t a clue. Don’t tell Mammy that. Escort him to the newest product section, pretend I haven’t heard his latest remark (it’s not possible for someone to look like they have three arses, is it?) and leave him to it.

12.30pm: Briefly imagine telling Mammy I’d leave her to it as regards the business but scared that she’ll fly home with lover Juan in tow.

12.40pm: Try to rid my head of the sight and sounds witnessed by my good self that one time Mammy and Juan stayed with me.

12.50pm: Be silently impressed by Mammy’s dexterity.

1pm: Lunchtime, my favourite meal. Bethany heads out to the café below us leaving me to nod at all our lunchtime customers. We get most sales during 1-2pm. Eat 15 Digestives.

1.30pm: Hide my flushed face from Mrs Flynn, my old History teacher, who is, as she puts it, ‘stocking up on the good sh*t for a raucous weekend with her Italian toyboy.’

2pm: Bethany takes a call from Lily and my heart zings. She will be in before closing time to pick up her order of clip-ons. From the look on Bethany’s face I don’t think Lily’s planning on clipping them to her ears anytime soon.

2.15pm: Woken from my daydream about my wedding to Lily. Sigh dreamily at the thought of the five-tier chocolate biscuit wedding cake.

2.20pm: Bethany tells me I’ve to cop on about Lily. Whatever that means.

4pm: The new stock has arrived and I nimbly leap between sections to distribute. Or rather, take my time to carefully place each item onto a corresponding shelf. This is my business so I’ll take of it.

4.01pm: Actually it’s Mammy’s business. Technically.

4.30pm: LILY IS HERE! BE STILL MY BEATING HEART! The air is heavy with Poison (her perfume, not actual poison though Bethany says Lily could be cutting) as she inspects our new produce, hmming and haaing. Quickly gulp down the remaining two Digestives in my hand before striking up a conversation.

4.31pm: Back at the till because Lily has informed me ‘she’s just not that into me.’ Such a joker.

4.40pm: And Lily’s at the till, a full basket in one hand and her debit card in another. Quietly ask about her leaving work early. ‘Not your business, Dermot,’ I’m told.

4.41pm: Consider changing name by deed poll to Dermot.

5pm: Another workday is over. I tot up the till, nicely full thanks to my darling Lily, and send Bethany home to her boyfriend, Adam.

5.04pm: Am back upstairs in flat above shop. A M&S dinner for one is what I have to look forward to.

5.05pm: Decide another M&S dinner for one would go down just as easily.

5.15pm: Gently touch Lily’s picture and whisper, ‘One day I’ll tell you how I feel.’

5.20pm: Resolve to tell Lily tomorrow how I feel.

5.30pm: Slap myself in the face and admit that tomorrow isn’t a goer. But soon.

7pm: Settle down in my Inspector Gadget pyjamas (a Christmas present from Bethany; she called them ‘ironic,’ I call them ‘comfy’) to watch Emmerdale. Wonder if I could ever be as brave as soap hero Cain Dingle.

9pm: Into bed with a book, a hot chocolate and my striped hot water bottle to dream of Lily and our impending nuptials.

10pm: Worry about being man enough for Lily.

10.01pm: Decide to worry about it tomorrow.

10.02pm: Fancy a Digestive.

Fabulous! Thanks for this insight into Declan, Áine.

Award winning editor Áine Toner has been at the helm of Ireland’s Woman’s Way magazine since 2008 and is also editorial director of Irish Tatler Man magazine. A Belfast native who lives in Dublin, her previous jobs included working for BBC Northern Ireland and a host of daily and local newspapers and magazines.

She grew up in a house where books were very important and it was no surprise her academic life and career led to be constantly surrounded by words. She loves how the right phrasing can make a story come alive on a page.

Áine has significant TV and radio experience, regularly contributing as a panellist on topics such as health, fashion, beauty, books and the soaps. She can be found on Twitter at @aineltoner where she uploads musings on television, stationery, books and cake.

Outside of journalism, she has been published in short story anthologies. Let’s Talk About Six is her first novel.



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