Guest Posts

When We Say Goodbye – Michelle Vernal

As part of the blog tour for her latest book, When We Say Goodbye, I am delighted to welcome Michelle Vernal to my blog today to talk about the inspiration behind the novel.

When We Say Goodbye is a story about Ellie Perkin’s journey through grief and how an old house holds the key to helping her heart heal. The idea for the setting of a broken-down house came from having lived in my own version of this. Back in my early twenties I’d been flatting for several years but of recent was having a bad run. I’d had to move a couple of times for different reasons but the last house I found myself in was with two young men I’d never met until I answered the flatmate wanted advert in the paper. They were personable and easy going at first everything was fine but then things began to change.

I was heading out one night and as I climbed in the car, I saw my flatmate in my bedroom watching me through the window. He made some inappropriate comments over the next week and I overheard him having a heated conversation with himself about me in the shower. I began to feel unsafe, moving things in front of my bedroom door before going to bed. My parents weren’t happy about his situation but they lived fifty minutes from the city and it wasn’t an option to go home. I didn’t want to land on friends either. In hindsight, I should have gotten out of there right away, trusted my instincts but I didn’t and luckily things worked out. Fed up with helping me shift all the time, my mum and dad decided the time had come for me to buy a house of my own.

In the interim, I told the other chap I was house-sharing with what was happening and it turned out our flatmate had a history of mental health issues. His parents picked him up one day and took him home and that was the last I heard from him.

As for my folks well, they told me they’d loan me the money for a deposit which I would pay back at a later date. It was a big leap of faith on their part especially given that at that stage of life my main concern was what to wear on Friday night. A real estate agent was enlisted and we set about looking. I had a clear idea of what I wanted. A character cottage with plenty of personality. What I got with the amount of money I was able to borrow from the bank was an ex-government owned, State house in a less than salubrious part of the city.

The first morning I’d woken to find myself in my new home, I was sipping a coffee in the kitchen when I glanced out the window to see a sight that nearly made me spill the hot liquid all over myself. There on the front lawn next door were my neighbours. If you remember that hard-hitting Kiwi film, Once Were Warriors well, that was what I was looking at. Fully patched, gang members. Not once on all those visits to see the house with the friendly real estate man had he made mention of the fellas who lived next door.

You can’t always judge a book by its cover though and I lived in that house for four years without any bother. It saw me through the worst of times, the loss of someone I was close too and the best of times, meeting my husband of nearly eighteen years, Paul. It’s the house where the seeds for When We Say Goodbye were planted.

There’s a line in the book, I love because it sums up how I felt about my old house and what my parents had done for me. ‘Uncle Colin and Aunty Paula had invested in me, and I was stepping up. I was turning something old and broken into something beautiful again.’

I hope Ellie’s story makes you smile because even though it runs the gamut of emotions it is a story ultimately about finding the beauty in life.

Many thanks Michelle for taking the time out of your hectic schedule to speak with us today.

Now for the all important book info!

When We Say Goodbye_Final cover


Can you love when all seems lost?

Ellie Perkins life was right on track until her boyfriend Sam suffers a near-fatal car accident, leaving him in a coma and all their future plans in limbo.

Desperately in need of something to fix, Ellie has to find a project and when her grandparents old house is put up for sale, she jumps at the chance. Because, like Ellie, the house is broken. And if she can fix the house, then surely, it’s just a matter of time before she and Sam are back on their path to happily-ever-after…

In life, when the worst happens how do you pick up the pieces?

A heart-breaking story of love, loss and the path to forgiveness, perfect for fans of Faith Hogan and Amanda Prowse. To be read with tissues.


Amazon UK

Amazon US





btyMichelle Vernal loves a happy ending. She lives with her husband and their two boys in the beautiful and resilient city of Christchurch, New Zealand. She’s partial to a glass of wine, loves a cheese scone, and has recently taken up yoga—a sight to behold indeed. She writes books that she hopes make you feel you are curled up with your best friend having a cosy chat.





Thanks again to Michelle, and to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this tour. Head over to the other blogs taking part for more information on Michelle’s book.

When We Say Goodbye Full Tour Banner

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