Thursday, 15 January 2015

Get out the tissues... Meet James... he's a hero...

10 Things about Time's hero....

1. Full name - James Charlie Bowen 

2. Confident, loyal, generous and vain - James is a typical Leo. 

3. Best friends with Jason, Isobel's husband since the start of primary school.

4. Lover of tattoos.

5. James does like to use the odd swear word, or two....or twenty! (Don't judge him, they say that people who swear are the most loyal and honest - leads back to point No. 2!) 

6. He's a ladies man, bachelor lifestyle. 

7. Straight talker, doesn't beat about the bush (often ties in with point 5!) 

8. Loves any music by The Foo Fighters or The Killers but....

9.  ....has been known to sing karaoke to The B52's Love Shack (after a few voddies). 

10. He needs Isobel just as much as she needs him. 



“Babe, it’s okay. Let the doctor finish.”
With those words, Isobel Smith had no idea of the months ahead. Not long married, pregnant and a wonderful future promised with her husband, Jason, her hopes and dreams die in that one simple sentence.
Follow her in her harrowing journey as Isobel learns the resilience of the female spirit, and gradually puts her life back together for the sake of their child.

James, her husband’s best friend, is the rock that keeps her together.

But will James’ own battle with his grief end up tearing them apart?

Harrowing and gritty, you must not miss this emotional read from debut author, Samantha Darling, as she takes you on a heart wrenching but ultimately uplifting journey.


I live in Essex, not to far from London, with my identical twin boys and our two Bedlington Terriers. We're crammed into our rather cosy two up-two down terrace and we can barely swing a cat, but hey, we love it. I work part time as a nurse but when I'm off duty, you will find me either chasing the toddlers around like a headless chicken, head buried in a book or tapping away at my stories.

I have always loved to read and romance and women's fiction are by far my favourite genres! 

Reading and writing go hand in hand and from the day I could read, I enjoyed writing. To put pen to paper and conjure up weird and wonderful little stories was what I thrived on! English was my favourite class at school right throughout to secondary - and I will always be thankful for the teachers who gave me the opportunities to develop and be creative! If I remember rightly, one of my first stories was called 'The Turkey Who Could Talk'...but I'll tell you more about that some other day :-) 



I open my eyes and let them adjust for a second. The digital clock on our bedside table says 2.36 a.m.


Then I remember…why am I awake at this obscene hour? There’s that sound again but what is it? I stretch out my arm to reach for Jason but he’s not there.


Adrenaline shoots through me as I swing my legs over the side of our king- size bed and slip my feet into my gorillas that are ready and waiting for me.

There it is again.

It’s Jason being sick. I know that sound…I’ve heard it enough times when he is hanging after a heavy night before. But the difference this time is, he’s not hanging and he hasn’t been on a heavy night out with the boys.

I pace out of our room and down the hall toward the light of our bathroom. The door is ajar and I can see Jason on his knees, bent over the toilet with his head resting on his forehead.

“Jason?” I crouch beside him and put my hand on his back.

“It’s okay, Iz. It’s nothin’. Just your dodgy cookin’ this evenin’.”

I know he’s trying to make light heart of the situation, and I hate it. I want him to stop being so strong and brave and just be normal. I want him to react normally like normal people normally do.

That’s impossible, Isobel. This isn’t a normal situation, you silly woman.

His face is a pale grey colour and his forehead is covered in a sheen of sweat.

“I’ll get you some water.” I softly rub his back up and down before standing and reaching for the small beaker that holds our toothbrushes.

I fill it with cool water and as I hand it to Jason, I realise my hand and entire body is shaking. This is the first time I’ve witnessed him being ill because of the cancer.

He’s told me he’s been a little bit sick here and there recently but this is the first time I’ve heard it- seen it with my own eyes. I knew he had been playing it down as if it were nothing- most likely to protect me, to not have me worry. I know this isn’t the first time and for sure won’t be the last.

“Sorry I woke you, babe. I was goin’ to go downstairs but…”

“Why didn’t you wake me up?” I’m angry with him and I know it’s crazy to feel this way.

“Because you’ve got to work tomorrow. You don’t need to be up at two in the mornin’ holdin’ a sick bucket.”

But I want to. I don’t mean that I want to hold his sick bucket. It’s not my idea of fun . That’s not what I mean. I just want to be with him every step of the way. I don’t want him to feel alone. I need to stop making this about me.

“Come on. Let’s get you back to bed.” I put my hand under his arm and support him as he gets to his feet.

He’s wearing his Kings of Leon Tour 2011 T- shirt and his boxer shorts that reveal just how skinny his once muscular legs have become over the last couple of weeks. It’s sickening. I’ve never known weight loss like this. Cancer is just a complete and utter–

“Come on.” I softly repeat. I put my arm around his waist and hold him close to me.

“It’s alright, babe, I can manage.” He tries to pull himself away slightly.

“Just be quiet, will you,” I tell him and hold on to him tight.

Jason gets into bed slowly, as if it hurts to do anything too quickly. I fluff the pillows up around him and pull the duvet cover up to his shoulders.

“What did I ever do to deserve you, eh?” He cups my face in one hand and tugs my face close to his lips.

“You didn’t have to do anything.”

“Isobel Rose Smith, you’re my angel.”

“Oh, shush. Now go to sleep.” I lean forward to kiss him gently and the four- day stubble growth scratches my cheek. His eyelids close like they are being weighed down by heavy sandbags and I know he’s out for the count within seconds.

I leave him tucked up like a small child and head back to the bathroom to tidy up. I flush away the vomit and squirt some bleach around the rim of the toilet seat a couple of times and the strong citrus smell hits my nostrils. I pick up the waste bin and take it to the bedroom with me to place on the floor beside Jason. Climbing into bed, I snuggle close to him and find his hand under the duvet. I pull it close to my chest and hold on tight, twisting my fingers through his.

Urgh, this sucks.

I don’t know what Jason has ever done to deserve this.


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