[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Wendy! Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Wendy Godding] A daydreaming, shopaholic chocolate addict.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Time After Time?
[Wendy Godding] Time After Time is the story of a girl who can remember her past lives through her dreams. But those past lives always ended in her murder by the same man before she turns eighteen and now that same man has moved into the house next door.
I’ve always loved the idea of reincarnation and what would it would mean if you could actually remember your past lives.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your favorite scene?
[Wendy Godding] My favourite scene is definitely towards the beginning of the book, where Penelope is making her way up to Broadhurst Manor and she sees the stranger on the horse on the hill watching her. When I was writing that scene I had chills.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What gave you the most trouble with the story?
[Wendy Godding] Bringing the two time periods together and linking them so that there was a crossover between them. I had to change and rewrite that many times. Time After Time as it is now is completely and utterly different from the original plotline.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Wendy Godding] Earrings. I feel naked and underdressed without them.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name three things on your desk right now.
[Wendy Godding] Happiness – a cute journal I picked up from Kikki K, an owl pen holder full of glitter pens (I have a thing for owls and glitter pens) and a massive faux diamond paper weight that was a gift from a good friend.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could trade places with anyone for just one day, who would you be?
[Wendy Godding] That is really, really hard. I’m not sure I’d actually want to BE anyone else in particular. But I would love to walk the red carpet of the Oscars, not as anyone in particular but just to have that Cinderella moment and wear a stunning dress.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] You have been transported back in time to 1806. What modern convenience would you miss most, and what would you like best about your new time period?
[Wendy Godding] I would miss my espresso machine! I don’t know how I’d start the day without it and I won’t drink regular or instant coffee, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. And I would LOVE the manners of the new time period. And the dresses.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are some books that you enjoyed recently?
[Wendy Godding] I’ve been reading quite a bit of dystopian young adult lately and have just finished These Broken Stars, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth as well as Veronica Rossi’s third book in her trilogy, Into the Still Blue. All were wonderful! I’ve just picked up Wayfarer by Lilli St Crow and am having a lot of trouble putting that down to get on with my real life.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
‘I think Mr Lockwood has taken a fancy to you,’ Georgina informed Penelope as soon as they were alone. They walked the gardens of the Manor, enjoying the last rose blooms of the season.
‘I’m sure you’re mistaken,’ Penelope replied, hoping just the opposite. ‘I think he is only being polite.’
‘I see how he looks at you. He doesn’t look like that at me — nor Annie — and he is just as polite with us. No, I do believe, my dear cousin, that you have your very first admirer.’
Penelope flushed with pleasure as she recalled Heath’s dark brown eyes and how he’d looked at her with such…She couldn’t find the right word. It wasn’t interest. It wasn’t admiration. It was something else entirely.
‘You like him too!’ cried Georgina, eyeing Penelope’s coloured cheeks.
‘How could I not? You, yourself pointed out how handsome he is. And agreeable. Many times.’
‘Yes, I suppose I did,’ Georgina frowned slightly before continuing, ‘but you know, I simply cannot find out anything about his family.’
‘It’s a delicate subject,’ Penelope observed. ‘Being an orphan must be difficult, and it’s amazing to hear he has no other kin to speak of, save a brother.’
‘Yes, I thought so, too. That’s why I have sent a note to my aunt in London to see what she can find out about Mr Heath Lockwood.’
‘Georgina, you didn’t!’
Georgina shrugged, looping her arm around Penelope’s. ‘Of course I did. Father would not want someone of questionable character staying in our home, I am sure. And as for Mr Lockwood, well, there is no point keeping secrets — if he has any. Everyone knows secrets always come out in the end.’
Something about the way Georgina said that made Penelope feel uneasy, her stomach performing a small flip in the pit of her belly. But she ignored it, spying a bright orange rose bloom and hurrying across the lawns to inhale its scent. ‘Look!’ she cried, ‘Isn’t it marvellous? I’ve not seen one this colour before.’
Georgina eyed it sadly. ‘That bush was Mama’s favourite. It hasn’t bloomed since she passed away. I think it has been in mourning, too.’
Penelope felt for her cousin. ‘You miss her still?’
‘Every day,’ Georgina nodded, ‘I miss her counsel and advice. She would know exactly what to do about Mr Lockwood.’
‘I’m not sure anything needs to be done.’
‘Oh Penelope, you are so naive!’ Georgina admonished. ‘Of course there is everything to be done. Mama would find out in an instant who he was, where he came from, who his parents were, and how much income he has.’
‘Mama would work him out well enough,’ Georgina continued confidently, ‘and advise whether he is good company to keep — or a good beau to pursue.’
‘I think it’s best to make a judgement when it’s not influenced by things such as money and family,’ Penelope said thoughtfully. ‘We should decide his character based on manners and countenance.’
Georgina sniffed. ‘Well, based on your theory we should all adore Mr Lockwood.’
‘Your father is a good, sensible man,’ Penelope continued, ignoring Georgina’s sarcasm, ‘and a good judge of character. He doesn’t seem to have any objections to Mr Lockwood, and neither does Harry.’
‘Harry would invite a tramp into the house if he thought it would upset me and give him a laugh,’ Georgina replied. ‘I’m not sure Harry is a good judge of character at all. But you are right about Father. He seems just as taken as the rest of us.’
‘Well, there you are,’ Penelope said, pleased and somewhat surprised by her eagerness to defend a man she barely knew. ‘And don’t forget you were singing his praises only a few days ago.’
‘I suppose I was. Still, I look forward to hearing from my aunt,’ Georgina added, ‘and I’m sure you are, too, my dear cousin. Despite your protests of good manners and countenance being enough!’
They had made their way back to the house when Penelope felt the slightest breeze rustle her skirts. She paused and turned, her arms traced with goosebumps.
‘What is it?’ Georgina asked.
Penelope’s eyes scanned the wide expanse of lawn: the gardens, the hedgerows, the rose garden and the late, splendorous orange bloom. Nothing. There was nothing to make her uneasy, nothing to suggest anyone was there.
Turning, she smiled at Georgina, pushing to the back of her mind the sudden chill, the inexplicable anxiety in her stomach, and the feeling they were being watched. ‘Nothing. It’s nothing at all.’
About the book:
She has died countless times before, and she is not going to let it happen again.
Abbie Harper dies just before her eighteenth birthday. It has happened before, more times than she can remember — and always at the hands of the same man. Her dreams are plagued with past lives, cut short.
But this latest dream feels different. Her past life as Penelope Broadhurst — an English pastor’s daughter in 1806 — keeps bleeding into her present life in ways both sinister and familiar. As Penelope meets and falls in love with the dashing Heath Lockwood, so too does Abbie meet the brothers Marcus and Rem Knight. One wants to love her; the other to kill her.
Time is running out for Penelope, but as Abbie mourns her inability to change the past, she chases the slim chance to save her future. To survive, she must solve the puzzle of an ancient love story…and Penelope just might be able to help.