Welcome back to Lamon Reviews. Today is our stop on the Just Bea blog tour and we have a guest post by author Deborah Klee. I hope you enjoy today’s post.
Sometimes you have to stop trying to be like everyone else and just be yourself Bea Stevens and Ryan O Marley are in danger of falling through the cracks of their own lives; the only difference between them is that Bea doesn’t know it yet.
When her world is shaken like a snow-globe, Bea has to do what she does best; adapt. Homelessman Ryan is the key to unlocking the mystery of her friend Declan’s disappearance but can she and Ryan trust one another enough to work together?
As the pieces of her life settle in new and unexpected places, like the first fall of snow, Bea must make a choice: does she try to salvage who she was or embrace who she might become?
Just Bea takes the reader on a heart-warming journey from the glamour of a West End store to the harsh reality of life on the streets and reminds us all that home really is where the heart is.
Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, afreelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care. Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour.
They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.Just Bea is her second novel. Her debut The Borrowed Boy was published last year.Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines herlove of baking withtrying to burn off the extra calories.
Social Media Links–
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Hartley’s the Knightsbridge department store which is one of the settingsinJust Beais based on Harrods. A close friend was a buyer for Harrods for forty years andshared with me many stories about the store.
My research included a visit to Harrods with a tour behind the scenes. There is so much history to this world-renowned storeand incredible little-known facts. I used this research to make the setting and Bea’s experience of working at Hartley’s feel real. I had to resist the temptation to share information that wasn’t relevant to the story, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be sharing it in blogs.
I was fascinated to discover that there are almost as many floors beneath Harrods as there are shopping floors. A bit like the hull of a ship, this is where the services and activity take place to keep the store afloat: the warehouses, store rooms, food preparation, and security.
Many years ago,the basement accommodated a cash tube room. Twenty cashiers would wait for the money from each sale to be posted by a sales assistant down the thirty-nine miles of connected tubes and then they would send the change back up.
In Just Bea, I describe the maze of passages that are in the underground part of the store. These enable goods to be transported from one part ofthe store to another. In Harrods the corridors are named to help navigation, for example, Frosty Way and Cold Storage Avenue lead to the meat and fish storage areas and food preparation. There is a Bakers Row and Wine Cellar Way in Harrods. I changed the names of the corridors in Just Bea.
Exert from Just Bea
‘Mr.Delaney’s office is out the back. Go down Refrigerator Row and turn left atSalami Street. It’s on the corner of Baker Avenue.’Bea followed the girl’s directions, along the underground corridors that were used to transport goods to the Food Hall.
She passed a man wheeling a trolley filledwith hams and then she smelt freshly baked bread, and saw a door marked Head ofCatering.I asked my friend how a person might hide in Harrods undiscoveredat night.
I am not giving anything away here because on page three Bea explains how she discovered her friend Declan sleeping in the store overnight. Apparently, there can be a lot of staff in the tunnels around closing time as they make their way from the shop floor to the cash room to hand over takings orto take the tunnel which leads toa staff entrance on the other side of the road. The same tunnels that lead to the exit also lead to the warehouses and distribution areas.
Although there are excellent security and CCTV cameras it would be possible for a member of staff to hide in the basement at night undetected.
The underground workings of Harrods: Activity unseen by the public. Hidden tunnels. A maze of passageways. Were an inspiration.I find these hidden worlds beneath the surface intriguing.
Disney World is another example of hidden activity and secret passageways, as are cruise ships. I am sure I will find more material here to inspire future stories.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and find Just Bea interesting. Remember you can use the links in the post to grab your copy of Just Bea by Deborah Klee.
And As Always…
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