Today dear readers I am on the blog tour for the cover reveal of On Borrowed Time (Paperback – 14th December 2020 Ebook – 14th December 2020) By Graeme Hall. A big thank you to Fly On The Wall Press for the invite to take part, always appreciated. Also, keep a look out for dates for a review blog tour next year!
I have an exciting excerpt to share with you today from On Borrowed Time. Keep reading to have a sneak peak. I love the sound of this novel. Graeme’s work is often inspired by his time as a lawyer in Hong Kong. The plot has already hooked me and I can’t wait to find out how it ends.
Right are you ready for the cover reveal dear reader? Here it is!
On Borrowed Time By Graeme Hall
On Borrowed Time is set in Hong Kong and Shanghai over the period 1996/1997 – including the handover of Hong Kong to China. The novel explores the choices that people have to make; in particular between doing what is easy and what is right.
In Hong Kong, Emma Janssen discovers the truth behind the death of her brother four years earlier. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, a PhD student meets a woman with an unusual degree of interest in his research. These storylines converge at the time of the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, and Emma finds that she has to choose between revenge or the future happiness and safety of both herself and those close to her.
While being a work of fiction, On Borrowed Time is rooted in the author’s own experiences of living and working in Hong Kong from 1993 to 2010, in particular the final years of British rule and the transfer of sovereignty back to China.
About The Author
Graeme lived in Hong Kong from 1993 to 2010 and still keeps a close connection to the city. His first novel was set in Hong Kong and Shanghai over the period 1996/97 and most of his writing comes from his love of that part of the world. Graeme first visited Macau in 1993 and he quickly became fascinated by the oldest European settlement in Asia. His short story collection, ‘The Goddess of Macau’ was published in August 2020 by Fly on the Wall Press.
He has won the short story competitions of the Macau Literary Festival and the Ilkley Literature Festival, and his writing has been published in anthologies by Black Pear Press and the Macau Literary Festival. He is an active member of the Leeds Writers Circle whose members have been a constant source of advice, support and encouragement. Graeme lives in Calderdale, West Yorkshire with his wife and a wooden dog.
On ‘The Goddess of Macau’:
“There is a subtlety to Graeme’s writing, which is characterised by a sensitivity to the nuances of character and setting. His stories unfold in a lyrical, understated style – a literary equivalent of pointillism.”
- Dr Rachel Connor, novelist, dramatist and Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University
On Borrowed Time By Graeme Hall
The first few weeks in Shanghai proved frustrating. Eager to get on with what he thought of as his real work, instead Kwok-wah found himself spending most of his time in compulsory courses in advanced mathematics. He was relieved to be excused the political classes his room-mates had to sit through, but it was still a month of boredom before he was finally able to meet his supervisor.
Professor Ye’s office was in one of the older buildings on the campus. A creeper had spread up the front, giving it an air of Ivy League or Cambridge. The building itself had once been a school dated from the 1920s and had more than a little flavour of old Shanghai; the Shanghai of the French concession, the days when everybody wanted a piece of China, and the Bund was the most important concentration of wealth and power in Asia. It was an unlikely building for a computer science department and less than ideal. A new home was planned but for the time being the computer science department occupied three floors in one wing of the building.
While he waited for his supervisor, Kwok-wah made small talk with the departmental secretary about how he was settling in to Shanghai. He’d quickly worked out that being friendly with her would pay dividends.
‘Good morning, Mr Yang,’ said Professor Ye when he finally arrived. Kwok-wah was becoming used to people using the Putonghua form of his family name. ‘Please, come in.’ Professor Ye unlocked his office and Kwok-wah followed him in. ‘Let me go and get my secretary to bring us some tea.’
Kwok-wah stood, unsure whether to take a seat. He absorbed the room while he waited for the professor to return. He had been there before, when he was interviewed for his PhD, but he’d been so nervous at the time he hadn’t taken much in. There were wooden beams in the ceiling and a window that looked out over a well-tended rose garden. Kwok-wah watched as a team of gardeners worked on the flower beds. A notice in both Chinese and English prohibited walking on the lawn. In the office itself, tidy well-organised bookshelves contrasted with the piles of papers stacked on the large wooden desk that dominated the room. To Kwok-wah’s mind it all seemed rather old-fashioned and in contrast to the nature of Professor Ye’s research, and yet at the same time it seemed appropriate and gave a sense of gravitas; a feeling of academic weight and authority. Kwok-wah was nervous and found himself fiddling with his hands.
‘Please, sit down. It’s good to see you again. Welcome to Shanghai.’ They had met only twice before: that one time in Hong Kong after Professor Ye’s talk, and then once in Shanghai after Kwok-wah had first applied to do his PhD. When he first saw Professor Ye in Hong Kong, Kwok-wah had been surprised that he was only in his early thirties. Smartly dressed in a good suit and wearing modern-looking metal-rimmed glasses, Professor Ye looked as much the successful businessman as a university professor.
Don’t forget to follow the rest of the blog tour, dates below, enjoy!
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