I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour today. ‘46% Better Than Dave’ is Alastair Puddick’s new book. It was published as an eBook on the 15th October 2019 by Raven Crest Books and is also available in paperback.
I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Group for inviting me to participate in this tour. I have an extract from ‘46% Better Than Dave’ for you all which you can read after you have found out what the book is about.
A novel of jealousy, muddy shoes and giant barbecues.
Dave Brookman’s new next-door neighbour is ruining his life. Because in a bizarre coincidence, he’s also called Dave Brookman, he’s the same age and he even grew up in the same town. There is one big difference, though. This new Dave is vastly more successful in every way.
As Dave starts questioning everything about himself, suddenly his perfect life seems a lot less than perfect. And what starts as friendly rivalry soon turns into obsessive jealousy and crazy behaviour that could see Dave lose it all. Can he get a grip before it’s too late?
46% Better Than Dave by Alastair Puddick
[Sample taken from Chapter 1]
“WHAT ARE YOU up to, you sneaky old bat?”
I was stood at my living room window, half concealed by the curtain, as I watched Doris from No. 34 handing out a tray of drinks to the removal men. They took them gratefully, then smiled and nodded politely as she seemed to witter on endlessly at them. I knew what she was doing, the nosy old cow. Probing them with questions. Trying to find out what she could about the people moving into the house next door to mine. I shook my head with disapproval and cursed myself for not having beaten her to it.
It was 10 minutes since I’d heard the truck arrive. I’d been in the garden, making the most of a fresh, sunny day, when the peace was broken by the loud, growling rumble of a diesel engine.
Instantly, I knew what it was. New neighbours.
It was a few weeks since the previous owners had moved out, and the rumour mill of the street had already been spinning into overdrive as to who might replace them. They must finally be moving in.
I put down my trowel, abandoned my half-planted rose bush and walked through the back door to investigate. My planting would have to wait, and the bottle of Peroni I had chilling in the fridge would have to continue chilling for a while.
“Catherine?” I called out into the quiet recesses of the house. “I think that’s a removal truck. Catherine?”
I walked through the kitchen, into the living room. “Catherine?”
Still no reply. Of course not. She’d said something about going to yoga with her annoying sister and I’d tuned out when she’d mentioned the name Karen.
“Jack? Holly?” I shouted up the stairs. Again, no reply.
I walked into the living room, picking up dirty football socks from the sofa. Bloody kids. The cat looked up at me from the armchair, squinting and meowing in annoyance at being disturbed. I know cats can’t actually express anything more than a simple meow, but I’m sure she was telling me to fuck off.
The cat and I have a fairly simple relationship. I tolerate her and she hates me. We’ve never got along since we got her, and the first thing she did upon arriving in her new house was to take a shit in my shoe. I knew I couldn’t really blame her. She was only a kitten. But there was something in her eye that suggested she knew exactly what she was doing.
Since then, she’s taken every opportunity to undermine and upset me: sitting on top of the bookcase and swiping at my head when I walk past; leaping out from behind chairs and digging her claws into my bare feet; nipping the backs of my ankles; scratching chair legs and bannisters while looking me directly in the eye; and repeatedly shitting in my shoes. Nobody else’s; just mine.
I swore back at the cat, kicking the armchair to make her jump. Then I moved to the large bay window, pulling the curtain to hide myself, and peered out at the enormous removal truck parked outside the house. The rumbling, coughing engine halted. Tiny electric shocks of curiosity tingled across my scalp.
Who were the new people moving in next door? The people who, like it or not, were about to become an inextricable part of my life. Would they be kind, generous people who quickly turn into life-long friends? Or irritating loudmouths who ruin my sleep and bring out my feuding tendencies? Or, like too many streets, in too many towns, neighbours that completely fail to communicate, save for the odd uncomfortable smile or nod across the lawn.
What would they be like? A sudden rush of fear prickled my skin.
Oh God, I thought, please let them be all right. No noisy louts. Or drum kits. Or late-night partiers. Or 7 a.m. bloody lawnmowers. And please don’t give me another Nigel.
Doesn’t the extract just make you want to read on? ‘46% Better Than Dave’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-
About Alastair Puddick
Alastair Puddick is a writer and editor who has spent the past 20 years writing for a variety of magazines and websites. His work has spanned many different paths, from jetting off to exciting cities across the world to writing about dating advice, data centres, facilities management and the exciting world of flooring. He also once wrote an agony advice column posing as Elvis Presley’s ghost.
Alastair still works as a copywriter and lives in Sussex with his wife, Laura, and cat, George. He has written three novels: The Unexpected Vacation of George Thring, Killing Dylan and his newest book, 46% Better Than Dave.
Website – https://alastairpuddick.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/HankShandy