I am delighted to present you with the cover of my latest offering! If you'd like to know what it's all about here's the low down...
The Pink Ladies Club is a pretty unusual club.
There are no fees and you can be any age to join.
Zoe, who runs her own boutique with her mirror-image twin sister, Charlie, is twenty-two. Upbeat Esme, soon to celebrate a milestone birthday and maker of the best roast dinner around, is sixty-nine. Hard-nosed businesswoman Tanya, blessed with a gentle husband and a darling baby, is thirty-five.
But despite their differences, these women all have the one membership requirement for the club: cancer.
And as life, loss, sickness and the sometimes bizarrely funny world of cancer-treatment washes over them, they find that being a member of the Pink Ladies Club is the glue that holds it all together.
Their families love them, but do they really understand? Esme’s husband Michael is so set in his ways that even a change of diet rattles him. Zoe’s twin Charlie is living her own fun-filled life. And how can Tanya’s little girl
comprehend what the future may hold?
Not all three women may last the course, but for them and their counsellor Sian, who has lost the man she adored to the disease, the experience of facing and fighting this
illness is life-changing – and even life-enhancing.
As with all my books I'm humbled and proud to have my work published. This book obviously deals with a subject which is part of my day-to-day life - cancer. Unlike my memoir 'Talk to the Headscarf' this is story is totally fictitious. While it deals with one of the harder hitting subjects of life, I promise you there are lots of laughs in there too. I adored writing this book and had great fun with the characters. I am a firm believer in positivity and the glass being half full, so I promise you won't finish this story feeling suicidal.
Each time an author brings out a new book, one of the lovely parts of the process involves visiting all the major book stores in the locality. Last week I spent two days trotting in and out of wonderful book shops chatting to the friendly book selling folk signing copies of The Pink Ladies Club. This is such a surreal thing to do in so many ways. Firstly it becomes so apparent how many amazing books there are on the shelves which I must admit strikes fear in my heart! Eek! How can I possibly compete with all the talent out there? But mostly it makes the hard work and dedication worth while. To see my book out there among the others is humbling and pride inducing.
I got such a warm welcome from all the shops - no it was nothing to do with the home baked pink cookies I bribed them - eh rather presented them with!
Yes I admit it. I openly and unabashedly try to curry favour with the book sellers by offering home made edible gifts each time I do a signing.
The original idea was to bake pink lady shaped cookies - obviously in keeping with the title of the book. I should've taken the hint when it took me almost two weeks to find a gingerbread 'girl' cookie cutter. There are any number of gingerbread 'boy' cutters, but confectioners obviously don't seem to feel we want to make little ladies! Eventually my mum found the perfect cutter. I was exci-ra and deli-ra as they say in Dublin. I made my dough, bought my bags of icing sugar and lots of pink sprinkles and sugar flowers etc.
I used a recipe which my children favour as it holds its shape in the oven.
Not this time however.
What ever happened, my once perfectly shaped 'ladies' rose in odd places, spread across the oven trays and amalgamated into freaks. They joined hands, feet and sometimes torsos. Inevitably when I tried to separate them, they ended up headless and often without limbs.
Suffice it to say my 'Pink Ladies' were like something from a sick horror movie and would have caused much sobbing and terror should I have presented them. No amount of icing and pale pink glittery sprinkles would have helped. My children were thrilled with the headless armless freaks as they were able to 'help' by putting them out of their misery and eating them.
Some lady cookies survived and were presented, but most shops got round pink cookies.
Round is good. Round has no brittle little bits that look fine and then snap off the second you touch them.
Luckily the lady cookie cutter has been sent to a nice cosy retirement place in the safety of an air tight container at the back of a cupboard alongside the juicer, pasta maker and egg poacher. In turn I no longer feel the need to rock back and forth while humming with my fingers in my ears.
On the health front I'm delighted to report that my new chemotherapy drug Taxol is working wonders. I go to hotel Blackrock Clinic every Monday and have my treatment. While it may sound like a total drag having to spend one day a week in hospital, I'm finding it fantastic - guess why? It's working! Yee-ha! All the tumours are melting away. They were all in my neck and near my ears, so very easy to feel and even see. Now they're gone. Magic chemotherapy juice I love you!
The side effects are manageable too. I have some nausea but it's doable with motilium tables. My hair isn't falling out as I'm using the scalp cooling machine. My energy levels aren't hugely compromised. So it's a good scenario! The most important thing is that the cancer is being slayed and I'm slowly but surely conquering!
I know I'm one of the lucky ones, I am in a position to fight back. I have lots of options medically and this one is working like a dream. Very soon my score is going to change from cancer 0 - Emma 7 to cancer 0 - Emma 8! Just watch this space.
I cannot say this enough and forgive me if I'm repeating myself - but if you've just been diagnosed with cancer, please look at my story and have hope. I am still winning.
I'm off to bake some more ROUND cookies for some lovely radio and TV people. Yes, the bribery goes on! If you're near a book shop please pop in and grab a copy of The Pink Ladies Club. If you've already done so - thank you.
The lurid pink icing calls! Bye for now,