Blog + Instagram Tour: One Minute Later by Susan Lewis

7:30 AM

For life can change in an instant. In seconds. In minutes. We all know this. Often, we don't consider it.

• Paperback: 512 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 11, 2019)
International bestselling author Susan Lewis’ riveting, unforgettable novel of a woman whose life changes in an instant and the handsome young man with whom she shares a secret history—perfect for readers of Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult and Susan Wiggs.
How well do you know the people you love? For one young woman returning to the past, the answer could be heart-shattering…
Vivi Shager is living her dream. Raised with drive and ambition by a resolutely single mother, Vivi has a thriving law career, a gorgeous apartment in London, and a full calendar that keeps her busy at work and at play. Then on the day of her twenty-seventh birthday, an undiagnosed heart condition sends Vivi’s prospects for the future into a tailspin. After escaping her roots nearly a decade ago, she’s forced to return to her childhood home to be cared for by her devoted and enigmatic mother. Vivi has always known the woman is hiding something and now she’s determined to find out what it is. Though her condition makes her fragile and vulnerable and she’s afraid of what may happen, her spirit remains strong. Then comes an unexpected ray of light.
Josh Raynor, a local veterinarian who his sisters claim is too handsome for his own good, brings a forbidden love to Vivi’s world. Josh and Vivi are soon inseparable, unaware of the past their families share. All Vivi knows is that Josh is wrestling with a demon of his own…
Then quite suddenly the awful truth is staring Vivi in the face and it changes everything.

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One Minute Later by Susan Lewis 
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5) 
As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for participating in the blog tour/my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way. 
This was by far one of my favourite novels so far this year. I'm ecstatic in knowing that this was my first novel by Susan Lewis and confident that it won't be my last. I've said it before, I'll say it again: 2019 is KILLING IT with fantastic releases. Lately, my anxiety has been messing with me--but I've been looking for something that makes me feel strongly in the fictional way.

You know, that type of feeling that carries on into your real life without fully consuming you. It gives you that boost of emotion just enough--that spark. There's something unforgettable in it and Susan Lewis captured that perfectly with One Minute Later. When I was younger, I'd constantly read and reread novels by Lurlene McDaniel, and ever since then I've had a soft spot for novels that make me feel similarly; One Minute Later felt like that experience tailored for adults instead of preteens and teens.

Naturally, I felt very fond of it. Not just because of the way it made me nostalgic for that good cry, but because Lewis crafted something deeply moving and powerful in One Minute Later. We all know the fragility of life and time, and how quickly things can happen, but it's still something that catches us off guard.

If you love that kind of novel--the one that holds your emotions hostage--then this book is certainly for you. 

Seeing the way that Lewis portrays the way a heart attack changes a person, and the way she dives head first into the topic of organ transplants, and the general resilience of us all as humans who are faced with the unexpectedness of life, is a real treat. She captures the emotion behind these events and really understands how to approach the unthinkable.

One Minute Later is truly beautiful--and exactly the story I hoped it to be.
Follow the tour: 

Tuesday, June 11th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, June 12th: bookchickdi
Thursday, June 13th: Girl Who Reads
Friday, June 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Monday, June 17th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Tuesday, June 18th: Booked J
Wednesday, June 19th: Literary Quicksand
Thursday, June 20th: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, June 24th: Books and Bindings
Tuesday, June 25th: Brooke's Books and Brews
Wednesday, June 26th: Into the Hall of Books
Thursday, June 27th: Comfy Reading

About Susan Lewis, in her own words: 

I was born in 1956, in Bristol.  My father was a Welsh miner, a poet, an engineer and a thinker.  My mother was one of 13 children who, at 20, persuaded my father to spend his bonus on an engagement ring instead of a motorbike.  We were a normal, happy, nuclear family, living in a spanking new council house on the outskirts of town – my mother’s pride and joy.  But we were going to do better, my mother had made up her mind about that.  My father, an unabashed communist, was writing a book, I was signed up for ballet, elocution, piano and eventually a private boarding school, and my brother, (the real great love of my mother’s life) was going to succeed at everything he set his mind to.

I was 9 and my brother 5 when my mother died of cancer.  She was 33, my father was 37, and he never married again.

I went to the boarding school, a rogue little pupil in amongst all the posh girls, with their plummy voices, rich parents and exotic tales of faraway places.  I yearned for my mother and father, but it was for the best, I was told.  My father couldn’t bring me up on his own.  However, I believed he could, and because no one would listen to my pleas for freedom, I took it upon myself to get expelled.  It took a while, and I had rather a fabulous time achieving it, and by the time I was thirteen I was back in our little council house with my father and brother.
The teenage years are too painful to go into.

When I was 18 I got a job at HTV in Bristol, and at 22 I moved to London to work for Thames.  I began as a secretary in news and current affairs, then trained as a production assistant and moved on to light entertainment and drama.  It was a love of drama, combined with a fierce ambition, that got me knocking on the Controller’s door to ask what steps to take to become a producer.  “Oh, go away and write something,” came the reply.  So I did.

Over 30 books later, my only regret is that none of them have yet made it to the screen.  I left TV eighteen years ago to do the “novelist thing” of buying a house with a swimming pool in the South of France.  Bliss!  For the first summer!  After that came a disastrous love affair with one of the FBI’s most wanted, the plunge of the pound, and the dawning realization that life full-time in France was very, very different to a two week holiday frolicking around on millionaire’s yachts on the sunny Riviera.  Sure it was glamorous, and the yachts – along with the interesting people – all came back in the summer, but the endless months in between were not far short of hell.

So, off to sunny California and Hollywood.  After equipping myself with a Mercedes estate for my beloved dogs Casanova and Floozie, a home in the hills complete with pool and perfect sunsets every night, I set about completing the obstacle course of cowboy agents, big-talking producers and wannabe directors.  Once I realised that Hollywood was NOT waiting for me, I put the struggle behind me and from thereon life in Tinsel Town became just plain thrilling.  From star-studded screenings and glitzy parties, to moonlit dinners on the beach and edgy nightclubs, it was the perfect town to be single.  George Clooney was my neighbour, Jennifer Anniston, Charlize Theron and Julianne Moore shopped in the same places, Nick Cage was a guest at my house, and Steve Martin was a regular on our dog walks.  Romances flourished and faded, some dreams came true and others were crushed.

After seven happy years of taking the best from Hollywood and avoiding the rest, I had to face up to the fact that I was losing touch with being English.  I needed a fix of my own country, so once again my dogs and I were on the move.  We returned to Wiltshire for two years where making the adjustment from Manolo Blahniks to Wellies, cocktails at sunset to nights in by the fire, and no more glittery invites to liven up the mail proved too crushing for a still young and lively spirit.

So, we returned to the South of France, not to the same village, but to an even prettier one than before, perched high above the Riviera with glorious views of the sea.  It was wonderful to be back amongst old friends, and to make so many new ones – the stress of living in a language that wasn’t mine was still an issue, but seemed slightly easier to deal with second time around.  Alas Casanova and Floozie both died aged 13 and 15 during our first few years there, but Coco and Lulabelle are doing a valiant job of taking over their places – and my bed!

Everything changed again three months after my 50th birthday when, having given up hope of ever finding the right man, I met James my now husband, who lived and worked in Bristol.  For a couple of years we had a very romantic and enjoyable time of it flying back and forth to see one another at weekends, but at the end of 2010 I finally sold my house on the Riviera and we are now living on the edge of the Cotswolds in a delightful old barn with Coco and Lulabelle.  James’s sons Michael and Luke are regular visitors;  it’s been quite exhilarating and educational having a young musician and dedicated sportsman in my life!

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