Anna Bell considers one of her own pivotal ‘what if’ moments …

annabell My latest novel Universally Challenged tells the story of Jess and Jessica, who after swapping places with each other in a parallel universe find out the answer to their biggest what if: what if they had or hadn’t married their college sweetheart Benjy. Readers of Universally Challenged have told me that it made them think about the choices they’ve made in their own lives. And I love that, as I’m fascinated by the concept of ‘what if’. In fact, it was a ‘what if’ ponder that led me to find my husband.

Before I met my husband, I used to second guess the decisions I’d made in life and I wondered if I’d made all the wrong decisions. After a lot of wine one evening, I decided to look up and contact an ex-boyfriend who lived over the other side of the Atlantic. After a phone call we discovered we were both single and both used to think ‘what if’. I was torn: did I go and see him? Or did I listen to my friends and family who told me I shouldn’t open old wounds? Confused not knowing where else to turn, I consulted a tarot card reader.

The tarot card reader quite spookily told me that I had to cut the cord to my past and that my past was not my future. She then went on to tell me, in incredible detail, all about a man that I hadn’t met yet, who I was going to have a relationship with. She also told me that I was going to take a trip that was longer than a holiday, but not so long that I’d give up my job. Coincidentally I had been thinking about going on a trekking trip to Nepal. I took that as a sign that I should take the plunge and I booked the trip for six months later.

In those six months, I stopped all communication with my ex. I took the tarot card reader seriously and I started to forget all about him. When my trip to Nepal finally came around I met a rather nice Northern Irish man on my trek to Everest Base Camp and I developed just a little bit of a crush on him (to put it mildly). On our final night before our treks were heading in separate directions, and at 15,000 feet, I plucked up the courage to ask him out. To my amazement he said yes.

Four years later, I’m now married to the man I met up that mountain. The mountain I never would have gone to without the nudge from the tarot card reader. The tarot card reader I would never have visited if I hadn’t contacted my ex after wondering ‘what if’. Proof that you really can’t tell where a ‘what if’ contemplation might take you!

9854896Jessica’s business trip to New York is not going well. Not only does she wake up in a stranger’s apartment, but the company she works for claims never to have heard of her. Jess wakes up in a hotel room without her husband. She tracks him down and discovers he is married to another woman. When a stranger, Jake, tries to convince her that she is heading up a multi-million-dollar deal, it is too much for Jess, the teacher, to take in. Trapped on the wrong side of a parallel universe, Jessica and Jess turn to Jake to help them work out who they really are and what they really want.

Anna Bell is also the author of Millie and the American Wedding and the upcoming Don’t Tell the Groom. She is a contributor to the Chicklit Club and Novelicious book sites.

Universally Challenged is available on Amazon

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