04 May 2018

Guestpost & Excerpt: The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita Kalhan

Today I have the pleasure of inviting Savita Kalhan to my blog to talk a little about a book and share a chapter from the beginning.

I read The Girl In The Broken Mirror in a day. It is hard hitting, deals with sensitive topics in a wonderful way, and doesn't shy from darkness. It left me ugly-crying, and was heart-breaking and amazing all at once.

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Thank you so much for inviting me here today and for being part of the amazing fourteen stop blog tour! There’s been so much love for The Girl in the Broken Mirror since it was published by Troika Books a few days ago – I’m still doing my happy dance!

This is a special extract, with a little extra detail, from The Girl in the Broken Mirror just before Jay has to move into No.42 with her super-strict relatives, a move she is dreading. It’s her last evening of freedom, the last time she’ll probably be allowed to go out with her best friends Chloe, and Matt – who has suddenly become something more than just her best friend... complicated doesn’t even begin to describe how Jay feels about her life right now.

She stuffed the remaining books into a box, sealed it up and labelled it: Jay’s Books. 
Matt was supposed to call round for her at four, but he was late, as usual, and they ended up running all the way to the bus stop. 
“You – did that – on purpose,” she said as they ran. “So we don’t – have to sit with them – in the cinema!” 
He grinned wolfishly at her. “I just hope Alex and Chloe haven’t already got us tickets!” But they had – so, the four of them sat together for the new James Bond film after all.
Jay and Chloe were in the middle with Matt and Alex on either side of them. Alex kept making inane comments until someone in the row behind them told him to shut up. Grinning, he turned around and hissed shhhh loudly at him before turning back and putting his arm round Chloe. 
“What an idiot,” Matt muttered under his breath. 
Jay had a feeling he wasn’t talking about the guy who’d told Alex to shut up. 
Afterwards, they wandered up to Nandos. The queue was four deep, but it was still early, and they quickly got a table. 
“So, you two an item now, then?” Alex asked, after they’d ordered their chicken wings and sat down with their drinks. 
“No,” Jay said , laughing it off. She took a sip of lemonade to hide her embarrassment. She could feel Matt’s eyes on her, and her cheeks reddening. “We’re just mates.” She didn’t dare look sideways to see Matt’s expression. 
Alex wasn’t exactly the most tactful guy in the world, she thought, wondering if Chloe had put him up to it. When Chloe winked at her, Jay had her answer. 
It got even more complicated when Matt gave her hand a squeeze under the table – then he kept hold of it, and Jay’s heart did a funny skip. Was this was what she had wanted all along but had been too afraid to admit? 
She prised her hand out of his, but from the way he was looking at her, she knew he’d felt it too. That – tingle. Despite her head telling her she’d done the right thing, Jay wished she’d left her hand where it was. 
When the food arrived, Matt went off to get the sauces – Extra Hot piri piri sauce for him, Hot for her and Lemon & Herb for Chloe and Alex. 
“For someone who thinks they’re hard, you should be having the extra hot,” Matt said to Alex. Only Jay noticed the mischievous twinkle in his eye. “Dare you,” he said, holding out the bottle. 
“Nah, the heat doesn’t bother me. I like the taste of the lemon and herb.” 
“You sure the heat doesn’t bother you?” Matt asked. 
Alex snatched the bottle from him and poured the sauce liberally over his wings and chips. As he dug into the food, sweat began to pour down his forehead, his face getting redder and redder with each mouthful. Matt and Jay exchanged a look, which they tried to conceal, but in the end they were all laughing openly – including Alex, who spent the rest of the meal refilling his Coke, but somehow managed to finish his plate. They cheered and hooted as the last mouthful went down. 
Chloe made the mistake of kissing him and ended up with the Extra Hot chilli sauce on her lips. 
“OMG!” she cried, her eyes watering. “Can’t believe you just ate all that!” 
After they’d parted ways with Chloe and Alex, Matt walked her home, just as he always did. 
“I don’t get what Chloe sees in him,” Matt began. “Yeah he’s captain of the first team. Big deal – she doesn’t even like football.” 
“I know. Maybe he makes her laugh.” She’d asked Chloe once, and all Chloe had said was that he was safe, which Jay hadn’t really understood. “Matt...” 
“Jay, I know what you’re going to say.” 
“You do?” Jay didn’t even know herself yet how she was going to phrase it. 
“Yes, I do. You’re going to say something like: we’re best mates and this – us thing that’s happening isn’t a good idea. Plus you’re moving into Fort Knox, so it’s doubly not a good idea. Am I right?” 
Jay shrugged. “Yes, it was going to go something like that.” 
“Well, you’re wrong.” 
“Matt, just listen for a minute.” 
He waited for her to continue, his expression suddenly more serious than Jay had ever seen it. “You know it’s more complicated than that,” she said quietly. “We’ll always be best mates, but you could go out with someone else – someone without all these problems and complications.” 
“Remember the first day of school?” 
“Yes.” 
“You walked into the classroom and the teacher kept mispronouncing your name until you told her to just call you Jay.” 
Jay smiled. 
“And you refused to speak to me for ages.” 
“I didn’t speak to anyone for ages. At least I wasn’t rude to you.” 
Matt cleared his throat noisily. “So you don’t remember telling me to shove it – more than once?” 
“Yes, okay, I did, and I’m sorry, but you were...” 
“I was – what?” 
“Being pushy!” 
“Being friendly to the new girl, you mean.” 
“All the girls in the class fancied you. I had enough problems without having to deal with them about hogging all your attention too.” 
“But that’s just what you’re like.” 
“What? I hog all your attention?” 
He gave her a look. “No. You’re always doing stuff because you don’t like upsetting other people. Also, you’re honest, but in a good way. Like when Chloe dyed her hair and it went wrong. You didn’t say it looked nice, like all her other friends did. You said it would look better in a different shade of blonde, but what looked best was her natural colour.” 
Matt was more observant than she’d realised. 
“But that time when you read out that essay in English, I just thought, wow. She’s different, and she’s not afraid to be herself.” 
Jay looked at him suspiciously. “What essay?” 
“You know, the one on Thomas Hardy’s heroines. Half the class didn’t have a clue what you were on about. But I got it.” 
“Yeah, well, I didn’t really care what anyone thought of me.” 
He took her hand and they started walking again. “You’re not like the others. You’re real. And you’re pretty cute.” 
Slapping his arm, Jay burst out laughing. 
“Ouch!” he said, rubbing it in mock pain. “Remind me never to give you compliments! If you don’t like using the word boyfriend, that’s okay. We’ll just be best mates. Who hold hands...” 
They’d reached her front door. 
“See you tomorrow, Matt.” 
“Yeah. We said ten, didn’t we?” 
“That’ll mean half past for you then!” 
“I’m not always that late,” he objected. “Okay, maybe I am. But I won’t be tomorrow! See ya.” 
She watched him walk away, imagining how it would feel to have his lips pressed against hers. She’d never kissed a boy. She ran up the stairs with an unfamiliar warmth inside her, marvelling at how wonderful it felt, just thinking about it.

I hope your readers enjoyed the extract! They can find out more about me by heading to my website www.savitakalhan.com. I’m happy to answer any questions about the extract, or about me or about The Girl in the Broken Mirror – your readers can leave me a question in the comments section or tweet me @savitakalhan.

Thanks again for having me here - I’ve really enjoyed it, and I hope everyone loves the book!

The Girl in the Broken Mirror by Savita KalhanAdd to Goodreads


Jay's creative writing exercise is to write a fairy tale, to end with 'they lived happily ever after'. But the way her life is panning out she's not sure it will ever reach that stage.

A powerful moving gripping story which explores themes of family, loyalty and culture clash but is ultimately about hope and understanding.

6 comments:

  1. I have to really be in the mood for books that will make me cry. I recently read They Both Die at the End, so I'm still recovering from that.

    I love reading excerpts for books before I read them! I feel like it's a lot more telling than the blurb.

    Do You Dog-ear?

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  2. I always enjoy a guest blog. it's a nice way to find out about new people. Never heard of the book before. defo a book i could read! xx corinne

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  3. I really enjoyed reading that extract! This sounds like something I would really enjoy reading. I'll have to look into this more! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

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  4. What a good book! I love cheesy romance novels and this is perfect for me x

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  5. Ooh I really enjoyed that excerpt and your comment at the beginning makes it sound like a really good read!

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  6. I definitely have to be in a certain kind of mood to read more emotional books. I do really like the sound of this one from the excerpt though. Sounds like something I would read x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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