The Purrfect Pet Sitter is the new romantic comedy novel from Littlehampton author Carol Thomas, available on Kindle from Amazon, published by Ruby Fiction.
It was great fun to write, she says.
Carol said: “My novel tells the story of 29-year-old Lisa Blake, who suffers a loss that causes her to re-evaluate her life, return to her hometown of Littlehampton and start over as The Purrfect Pet Sitter, which may or may not be false advertising.
“But, being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There is her ex-best friend, Felicity, and her first love Nathan Baker. Snooping at Nathan’s Facebook page seems harmless but sending him a drunken friend request wasn’t part of her plan.
“As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends, Lisa has to confront the hurt she has caused and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.
“The idea for the story was inspired by my daughter, who is a pet sitter – though much better at her job than Lisa Blake.
“My daughter is always very busy, and her furry clients have provided wonderful anecdotes over the years. Add to that, her diary is always filled with the most spectacular list of names (which she adds in by pet, not owner) and ideas began to spark.
“My previous contemporary romance novel, Crazy Over You, was also set in Littlehampton and while I never named the town, people told me they recognised certain landmarks. This time around, with Lisa Blake being a pet sitter, the action takes her out and about around the local area, albeit that some places have been fictionalised within the novel.
“Lisa’s story opens at Houghton Forest, with a nod to Whiteways Café. She also visits Arundel, which is one of my favourite places and where I volunteer at Cancer Research UK.
“There is a dip, if you pardon the pun, into Sidlesham, as I took inspiration for the dog swimming pool in my book from Therapaws where my dogs used to swim.
“And a surf shop not unlike Shore in East Wittering, where two very kind assistants helped with research on wetsuits, both of whom are mentioned in the acknowledgements, though I’m sure they will have long forgotten my visit.
“Lisa also takes an unexpected trip to an adventure golf course that those who live in Rustington may recognise!
“With the story taking place between September and New Year’s Eve, there is also a visit to the Littlehampton Bonfire parade, which, as I hadn’t been for many years, was fun to research and rekindled my love of the event.
“The area we live in has a good mix of town, countryside and seaside and so it was great to incorporate those landscapes into the book, providing the perfect setting for The Purrfect Pet Sitter.”
Carol is a member of Chichester independent writers group, Chindi Authors.
Ruby Fiction is a new imprint of the award-winning publishers Choc Lit.
For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2