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AFTERNOON TEA WITH AMANDA JAMES

CREAM TEA with AMANDA JAMES..!!

Well, seeing as I’m sat here drinking tea and eating scones with Amanda James in the beautiful cornwall…

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I thought I’d ask her a few questions about her new book… SUMMER IN TINTAGEL which was released on the 16th July 2016.

cream-tea

Hi Mandy and thank you for inviting me to tea…. the scones are delicious…!! 

For the purpose of our readers, would you like to tell us a little about yourself?
I used to be a teacher but left the profession in 2012 after 15 years. I really loved working with the children, but I had always wanted to be a writer and decided that it was a now or never moment. So glad I did. I have four novels published already, Summer in Tintagel is my fifth.

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How long have you been writing and working toward the goal of being published?

I was bought a typewriter when I was eight after much nagging and never really stopped after that. I decided to take it up seriously thought around 2002 and wrote my first novel then – that became Dancing in the Rain. I was teaching full-time so it took ages before I was actually published. It was a short story in 2010.

Can you describe the time you realised you were a ‘real writer?’

It was when I got the email to say I had the short story published, and then later when I had my first novel accepted. I didn’t think it would ever really happen, but it did!

It’s an amazing feeling isn’t it…??
So, this is your fifth book… can you tell us what the inspiration was behind SUMMER IN TINTAGEL?

The inspiration for Summer in Tintagel came from a walk along the cliff tops at the ancient Tintagel Castle. As I stood on the edge looking onto the rocks I thought how easy it would be to step off and end it all … if a person was so inclined. I’m not, in case you were wondering! Then the ideas kind of came to me from there. I visited Tintagel Castle again later and the sketchy parts became easier to see, bold and exciting. I thought that whole area was the perfect setting for a novel – full of history and mystery. I liked the rugged landscape and the history and mystery of the area.

teacupThis tea is lovely by-the-way and served in such appropriate cups..!! And yes… another scone would be lovely..!! 

So… Would any of your story be based on your life and experience? Who is your favourite character and why?

Yes part of the story is based on my own experience. A few years ago I went with my daughter to see a psychic. It wasn’t the first time I’d done this over the years, but this experience topped them all and certainly gave me something to think about. We sat across a table from each other, in the very ordinary sitting room of a very ordinary house, while the psychic, Maureen shuffled a Tarot pack and then I chose a selection of cards. She turned the cards and said random things that could really apply to anybody, then she started telling me the names of members of my family.
By this stage I was trying not to let my mouth gape open, just nodded here and there, not really trusting my voice. Maureen also told me that I had some lovely vegetables growing in my garden and commented on which ones. She said, ‘Ooh, you’ve some lovely tomatoes and cucumbers there.’ I managed to nod. Then she said, ‘You like to feel the earth under your bare feet while tending them too, don’t you?’ I often did walk around the garden without shoes, still do. As you can imagine, I was gobsmacked to say the least. I asked her how she knew – she said, ‘Well I can see you there in the garden.’ She said it as if it was the most ordinary thing in the world. That really freaked me out I can tell you!
To answer your second question – because of this experience, I was able to create a character in Summer in Tintagel called Morganna, who happens to be a white witch. Maureen wasn’t of course, nor was she remotely anything like her in appearance or personality, but they are very similar in their abilities. I really enjoyed incorporating a little of what I experienced into the scenes between Morganna and my main character, Rosa. My favourite character? Hmm it is a tie between Morganna and Rosa.

white witch of narnia

I love ‘white witches’, in fact I believe my family are descendants of the Romany’s. I’d love to know if it were true and of course everyone loved to read about the ‘white witch of Narnia’, didn’t they?
Have you ever become attached to your characters and have a hard time letting go of them, or are you happy their story is told and you can move on to the next project?

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Yes I do! I really loved writing Cross Stitch, the sequel to A Stitch in Time so I could go back and visit Sarah and John! Sometimes I know that the story is done and would be spoiled by a sequel. It is hard to leave the characters, but I always leave them happy with their lives.

If you could be any of your characters, which would it be and why?

If I really had to choose I would be Sarah Needler because she is a time traveller. I’d love to pop back in time on a regular basis and have a chat with historical characters.

I must admit… I loved both Cross Stitch and A Stitch in Time… great books. I believe that A Stitch in Time has 81 x 5 star reviews… so WELL DONE..!!
Are you a meticulous plotter or do you just let it flow?

I am definitely not a planner! I have the basis of a story and then sketch out the characters, jot down a vague idea of where they are going, and then I let them lead me. They often take me down roads I had never dreamt of travelling!
What part of writing a novel do you find most challenging?

I think it would have to be the beginning, middle, and the end… No, seriously, I often find it is the middle because I know where the story starts and ends; it is the middle that can become a bit tangled or saggy. Better than a soggy/saggy bottom I suppose? It is normally around the 30,000-ish mark.

Have you used beta readers, and if so, do you recommend them?
Yes I have and I think they are invaluable. We all get too close to our work and can’t or won’t see the problems! If you can get an honest and constructive beta reader then I would say go for it.

What can your readers expect when they read your book?

I hope they can enjoy an exciting read full of mystery, intrigue and love set against the rugged coastline of north Cornwall.

Can you tell us what you are writing now?

I am about to start a rewrite of a suspense called Cast Away Stones. It’s about a young woman’s search for her birth mother. However when she finds her, she wishes she hadn’t. I might have exciting news concerning that soon

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I think the main thing I would say to new writers is to learn from rejection, take on board what is said and come back stronger. Get a writing buddy that’s honest and perhaps join a writing group. Having said that, getting published and then moving on to the next step in your career has a hell of a lot to do with luck. Don’t give up if your luck is out sometimes. Just keep believing in yourself, try your hardest and never ever give up.

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Do you think being a member of an association, such as the Romantic Novelists’ Association is beneficial to new writers, or is a local writing group more helpful?

I think both are helpful, but I have never had direct experience of a local group. I think the RNA is invaluable to new writers and the New Writers’ Scheme in particular can make a huge difference to a writer’s chances. The support of everyone in it is phenomenal too.

So… for anyone wanting an amazing summer read…. then I suggest that SUMMER IN TINTAGEL would be a perfect read, on a lazy summers day…!!

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AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON… click here to buy….!! xx

The Blurb…

‘Funny, emotional and original, Amanda James has written another fabulous summer read’ – Sue Watson, bestselling author of Love, Lies and Lemon Cake

We all have secrets……

Ambitious journalist Rosa Fernley has been asked to fulfil her grandmother Jocelyn’s dying wish. Jocelyn has also passed on a secret – in the summer of 1968, fleeing from the terror of a bullying husband, she visited the mysterious Tintagel Castle. Jocelyn wasn’t seeking love, but she found it on the rugged clifftops in the shape of Jory, a local man as enigmatic and alluring as the region itself. But she was already married, and knew her husband would never let her find happiness and peace in Jory’s arms.

Now as her days are nearing their end, she begs Rosa to go back to Tintagel, but is unwilling, or unable, to tell her why. Rosa is reluctant – she has a job in London, a deadline that won’t wait and flights of fancy are just not in her nature. Nevertheless, she realises it might be the last thing she will do for her beloved grandmother and agrees to go.

Once in Tintagel, Rosa is challenged to confront secrets of her own, as shocking events threaten to change everything she has ever believed about herself and her family. She also meets a guide to the castle, Talan, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Jory.

Will the past remain cloaked in tragedy, sadness and the pain of unrequited love? Or can Rosa find the courage and strength to embrace the secrets of the past, and give hope to the future?

About Amanda

Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has four novels currently published. A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 by http://www.choclitpublishing.co.uk and has met with great success.

Also with Choc Lit are Somewhere Beyond the Sea and Dancing in the Rain (March 2014)

Cross Stitch (December 2014)

Summer in Tintagel – Urbane Publications July 2016

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Amanda-James/e/B00BO7XBNQ/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Visit Amazon.co.uk‘s Amanda James Page and shop for all Amanda James books. Check out pictures, bibliography, biography and community discussions about Amanda James

 

Twitter – @akjames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

 

Summer in Tintagel (Urbane Publications July 2016)
Cross Stitch (Choc Lit December 2014)
Somewhere Beyond the Sea ( Choc Lit April 2014)
Dancing in the Rain (Choc Lit March 2014)
A Stitch in Time (Choc Lit) – http://www.choc-lit.com/
Righteous Exposure (Crooked Cat) – http://www.crookedcatbooks.com/

I have something in my hand, that I never thought I’d hold…!!

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I’m so thrilled to announce that I’m now a Choc Lit Author..!!

I seriously still can’t believe it myself. Not only did my novel, Keeper of the House win the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition for debut novelists, but in my hand, I now hold my very first publishing contract.

This whole week has been like a roller coaster ride.  I knew that at some point the roller coaster would stop and I’d be safe, but I didn’t know how many emotions I’d go through before it did. The worst part was being unable to tell everyone until today…!

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(ok, ok, so you knew that today would involve cake somewhere… didn’t you?)

Over the past couple of years, since joining the Romantic Novelists Associations New Writers Scheme, For those that don’t know the RNA, we are like one huge family. When you become a member, you suddenly find that you’ve got hundreds of sisters and a few brothers that you never had before. Without exception, they are constantly supportive, they give out virtual hugs when you need them and like all siblings, they kick you up the backside when you need that too.

I’ve watched on as many of my colleagues and friends have been given contracts with various publishers. I’ve been delighted for each and every one of them, but I must admit a little part of me began to wonder if I would ever get that call, if I’d ever see my manuscript in print, or if I’d ever be able to truly call myself an author.

long road

It’s been quite a journey….

In 2013. The first chapter of my novel, Broken Jigsaw was short listed for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. I was in the final 18. I was so excited and went to the award ceremony in Bedford, with my wonderful husband Haydn. We had an amazing night, But…. I didn’t win.!

me and haydn at festival of romance

In 2014, I went to the Romantic Novelist Association conference. It was here that I met Lyn Vernham, the director at Choc Lit. She invited me to send in my manuscript for Broken Jigsaw (the first novel that I wrote). But it didn’t make it, it wasn’t quite good enough.

In 2015. I wrote the first chapter of Revenge (my 3rd novel) to enter into the Elizabeth Goudge competition. Again, it was shortlisted. It came in the final 8. But… didn’t win.

I began to despair. It seemed that everything I wrote, was short listed. But, for some reason, never quite made it. But I had to carry on…. writing is what I do and it’s something I love.

I still had hope. At the beginning of the year, I’d entered Choc Lit’s search for a star.

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And to my surprise, last weekend I received an email from Lyn Vernham (Choc Lit’s Director) which was followed by a lovely Skype call. I was in the final two with my novel Keeper of the House, which has the back drop of the beautiful Wrea Head Hall. My husband and I go here as often as we can, it’s such a special place and it gave me the inspiration for this book.

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http://www.wreaheadhall.co.uk

Following the Skype call, I received a contract. It was very quickly checked over by Andrew Isaac, a personal friend, who happens to be a very good solicitor, I then signed it and sent it back.

www.andrewisaacs.co.uk/contact

But… that was when the hard part started. I had to keep quiet about it for the whole week… when what I really wanted to do was ‘happy dance’ all around Doncaster… tell all my family… friends and colleagues.

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Some may think I’ve now completed my journey. I did what I set out to do…. but, as every author will tell you. This is when the hard work starts and I can’t wait to take this journey.

Special thanks so far go to:

Stuart Thompson, my big brother who is always there for me. Jane Lovering, who through the madness keeps me sane. She’s a great friend and an amazing author and also did a full critique for me, pointing out all the good and the bad parts and told me what parts I should and shouldn’t keep. Jayne Stacey, whose encouragement along the way has kept me going. My best friend, Kathy Kilner who has given me almost 30 years of support. Cynthia Foster, Jenny Woodhall and Viv Norton, who again have given me the best help and feedback. And to my amazing NWS reader.  Imogen Howson, our NWS mum and everyone at the RNA,

And finally to my wonderful husband Haydn. He’s my rock. We’ve been together for 24 years and today he’s most probably regretting the words he once uttered to me…. “Darling, if you ever become a published author, I’ll buy you the biggest diamond ring that the jeweler has.”

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Guess where we are going today…..??

Jane Lovering and How I wonder what you are..!!

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I’ve just been on a wonderful holiday with my husband to the Dominican Republic.

Yes, he’s walking again, and after last year, this is a miracle in itself.

While on my holiday, I did the normal laying on a sunbed. Reading, sleeping and like all readers, I picked up my kindle and glanced through the books that I’d downloaded last year while looking after my husband, but didn’t have time to read.

It was at this moment that my eyes lit up and I had a great BIG SMILE on my face.

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I still had JANE LOVERING’S new novel, ‘How I wonder what you are’ to read.

As soon as I’d finished, I went onto amazon like any good reader would do and I wrote my 5 star review.

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My review: The lead characters, Phinn and Molly are amazing. They have great banter which makes them very real and believable. This book keeps you guessing right to the end.
Molly is a deep character and although she comes over as very bubbly, you know she’s been hurt and that hurt is deep.You can’t help but to love her and have empathy with her. Love this character.

Phinn, is typically male. Rugged but just a little geeky. He has an amazing soft side which makes him a complete heart throb.Loved his star gazing character.

Jane’s style of writing is hilarious. Love her humour and have all of her books. Another great read from Jane Lovering.

So, now I’m back from holiday…. I pinned Jane down (not literally, she could still move all of her arms and legs independently)  to an interview, and asked her lots of questions about the book and other writerly things:

Here they are.

Question: Both of your character names have either unusual first or surnames. Where did you get the character names from?

Phinn is a name I love, usually spelled as Finn, but I thought, with his background his parents would give him the full version of Phinneas.  His surname is Baxter, because I wanted a name that would abbreviate – he and his best friend Link went to a minor public school and they all tend to use either nicknames or surnames, so Link calls him ‘Bax’.  Molly Gilchrist…no idea where that came from…

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Question: Tell us about Stan.?

Stan is based on our family pony Jack.  He’s a 13.3 Fell, all mane and tail and feathery legs, a winter coat that you could lose a baby in and the steadiest, kindest nature of any equine ever.  My youngest daughter used to pull herself up to standing using his tail when she was learning to walk, and he was endlessly patient with small children wanting to polish his feet and brush his mane. This is Jack with my boys Wills and Tom, when they were very young.

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Stan, however, has a slightly more pedestrian nature than Jack, however.  Jack loves to jump and canter about on the moors.  Stan needs a lot of incentives to break into a trot.  Also, Jack never ate anyone.

Question: Does Riverdale exist and if so, where is it?

Riverdale is an amalgamation of several places on the moors. This is a picture of me stood on the moors, isn’t it pretty?

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A little bit like Rosedale and a little bit like Sinnington, with a dash of the high moorland thrown in.  And yes, there is absolutely no phone signal in most of those places.

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Question: E-book or real book and why?

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That depends.  E books are great for trying out new authors, or carrying loads of reading material around, on holiday for example.  But for the real ‘reading experience’ it has to be paperback, just for the smell and feel.

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There’s something about the anticipation of cracking that spine and opening those pages…and yes, I know cracking the spine is naughty, but it’s only really bad if you do it to people.

Question: Would you ever used parts of your own life in a novel?

That would be telling.  And probably actionable.

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Question: How many books have you written, which is your favourite and where did the inspiration come from?

I have probably written about twenty books, but of those, only eight have so far seen the light of day, which is for the best.  Those early ones were bad.  I mean, shockingly bad.  Really.  And favourites?  I don’t know if I have favourites – books are bit like children, in that you appreciate all of them for what they are… but, unlike children, the one you are working on at the moment is nearly always the one you think is ‘best’.

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However, I am particularly fond of Please Don’t Stop the Music, because it won me an award, and the book that is currently in edits, I Don’t Want to Talk About It, which was inspired by a dismantled water mill and my eldest daughter’s hobby horse.

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Question: What are you working on now?

I’m just getting started on a timeslip-type story, involving an archaeological dig on the North York Moors and a history teacher who starts getting unwelcome glimpses back through time to the Bronze Age.  It’s currently called Living in the Past.

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Question: I know you’re normally a book or two in front, what with edits, so… What’s coming next?

Well, there’s the book I’ve just finished, which is about the staff who work at Monkpark Hall,  one of those historic houses that’s open to the public, specifically Amy who works in the teashop and Josh who flies birds of prey in demonstrations, when a new Administrator comes to take over the running of Monkpark, and Amy is mistaken for a ghost…

Question: How can people hear more about your work?

Well, if they’re feeling sturdy, there’s my blog/website over at http://www.janelovering.co.uk.

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I’m also on Twitter as @JaneLovering (because it’s my name) and I have an author page at Facebook.

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My publishers also have a page on me (it’s all right, it’s not sinister or anything, they have pages on all their authors), and that’s at:

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http://www.choc-lit.com/productcat/jane-lovering/

Bit of an update…!! Where have I been..??

Hello and good evening….!!

I’m so sorry that I haven’t been around for a while and I expect most of you have been wondering where I have been and what I’ve been up to…!!

Well… it’s quite a story.

My lovely husband who is normally tall, strong and active, managed to over stretch his achilles tendon back in April. We thought it was a result of an old football injury and rested it up whenever he could. However, in June it snapped. Just like that… went as he climbed up a set of stairs. Since then he’s been unable to walk without aid and it’s taken until last week to have an operation, which will hopefully give him the ability to walk again.

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Here he is on one of his more active days…!!

haydn in plaster

and… this was Haydn after a visit to accident and emergency.!! Not such a good day.!!

After weeks and weeks of battling with the NHS. He had his operation last week. Not one of my favourite days, but I did take my lap top with me.and tried to write as I sat for what seemed like an eternity while he spent the best part of 2 hours in theatre.

All is looking good, albeit he still can’t walk. We are trying to be positive and can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully by christmas he will be walking and dare I say… dancing again.

In the mean time….

When I’m not working, nursing Haydn or doing housework, I’m sitting in front of my lovely log burner (hey… it is getting cold outside) and writing my 2nd novel ‘Broken Locket’.

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It’s based around the beautiful Wrea Head Hall (one of my most favourite hotels). As with all my novels it’s a romantic suspense and hopefully I’ve managed to put enough intrigue in the plot to keep you guessing what will happen, right to the end.

wrea head

I’m around 30,000 words in with around 60,000 to go. All the plot is there, all I need to do is to find the words and to put them in the right order. I should complete the first draft before Christmas and while sat around the christmas tree…. I’ll begin the 2nd draft.

christmas tree

 

SORRY… but it is only 101 days away…!! And by then… my lovely husband SHOULD be walking again..!

What’s on tonight’s list of things to do… well… it’s simple…!

todays list

 

I just wish I had more time to write.

Anyhow, It’s around midnight now in the Stacey household… so, I’m off to bed and wishing you all wonderful dreams.

Signing out… Lynda xx

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Next week, I’ll be interviewing the lovely Jane Risdon… can’t wait x

Today… I’m interviewing the amazing Elaine Everest..!!

 

 

 

Good morning…. and welcome once again to my blog.!! So sorry I didn’t blog last week, but I just had to finish reading Elaine’s book Gracie’s War before I could give it a review..!!

First, I’d like to Introduce Elaine…

Elaine was born in Kent and has lived there all her life. She loves to set her stories in the NW Kent area about times gone by and the people she knows so well. Her favourite era is the 1940s where her strong female characters cope not just with the war but with family issues and life in general.

Married to Michael for many years she is mad about dogs and has shared her home with umpteen Old English Sheepdogs and Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, some of whom were homebred. Elaine has written over sixty short stories for women’s magazines, non-fiction books for dog owners as well as many features for most UK newspapers and magazines. When not writing Elaine can either be found at a dog show either exhibiting Henry her latest family member, judging or just chatting to friends or running The Write Place creative writing school that she founded in 2009.

I blog as part of the WriteMindsWritePlace team. We are five RNA members who also sell short stories to the Womag markets.

http://writemindswriteplace.wordpress.com/

The Write Place creative writing school:  www.thewriteplace.org.uk

Twitter: @elaineeverest        Facebook: Elaine Everest

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Ok…. Now we have the tea poured, the cream scones ready and the… well the sun isn’t shining, but we will pretend.

Good morning Elaine and thank you for allowing me to interview you.

 

What is your favourite memory of writing?

 I can recall having a Petit Typewriter as a Christmas present and basing out my first world changing novel entitled, ’Pip the Pixie’. I’m not sure what happened to Pip but I do recall that at the age of ten I had no idea of how to present a manuscript and just kept taping fresh pages to the bottom of the completed work then rolling it up like a scroll.

Could I ask, Where or what do you draw your inspiration from?

I’m currently writing historical family sagas set in World War Two. The area I love to write about is where I was born in North West Kent (part of which is now South East London). My inspiration comes from my family having lived in the area for hundreds of years and knowing much of what happened in the towns and villages I know so well. I often think I was born in the wrong time.

From any of your novels, which would be your favourite character? 

My favourite character is Peggy from my novel, Gracie’s War. Peggy is Gracie’s best friend and stands by her whatever the world throws her war – and Gracie does have her share of troubles. We can all do with a friend like Peggy.

And could I ask you to describe your own perfect hero. I know what mine would be.!!

I’m kind of in love with Tony from Gracie’s War. As the story starts at the beginning of WW2 I looked to film idols of the time and found a young John Mills. Honest, decent and will get his girl and be faithful whatever happens. My heroes have to ‘decent sorts’ I don’t go for the wild men who need to be tamed. Well, ‘back then’ decent chaps always got their girl – in the films at least!

I must confess to quite liking a bad boy and try to add one to my stories. However, true to the time period I cover they will always get their come-uppance after breaking the girl’s heart.

 

Would you ever, or have you ever used parts of your own life within your novels?

Not quite my own life but I have used my Mum’s story in Gracie’s War. Gracie is trapped by rising flood waters when the Thames broke its bank during the terrible floods of 1953. As a child my Mum told me how she was rescued by boat along with her wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses – all homemade – and so romantic. Thousands of people were made homeless by those floods and indeed there were deaths but for me the drama and romance of the story was perfect for Gracie. Mum married Dad one month later and I appeared on the scene ten months after the wedding. I’d love to ask my Mum more of her young life during the war years. I know it was a hard time but Mum died at a very young age and her stories died with her.

 

 

When is your favourite time of the year to write?

Winter, when it’s cold and the curtains are shut against the wind and rain. Today it has been so hot and I’ve found it hard to write. In fact I’m writing this just after midnight as the night is cooler. I often go away to a writing retreat with my friends in November. We like to rent a cottage by the sea in Whitstable. We write for a few hours then go for a walk along the sea wall and stop for a hot drink before returning to our keyboard. It’s an important part of my writing year.

 

 

And finally. What are you currently writing and what makes it unique from other novels you’ve written?

I’m currently working on a full length saga again set in WW2. This time I have a literary agent and working under her guidance to produce a story that readers will enjoy and publishers want to buy! I’m being asked all the time for a follow up to Gracie’s War and hope that before too long there will be a follow up. Being published with Gracie was an exciting time for me. I was fortunate to be picked up by Pulse after winning their ‘Write for Us’ competition and this lad to me becoming a graduate of the RNA Nw Writers’ Scheme. In May I was one of the lucky authors to be short listed for the Joan Hessayon Award and although I never won – there were some fab books and authors – I was able to secure an l agent to represent me for future work. I’m still pinching myself.

Wow, thank you so much for sharing with us.

My review on Gracie’s War.

gracieswar - Elaine Everest

 

Book Blurb:

Gracie’s War was published by Pulse (Myrmidon Books) in October 2013. It follows Gracie as WW2 starts and she falls head over heels in love with Tony. But then Joe, a family friend, wants her at all costs and Colin has gone away to war. Can a girl stay strong and be good when her world is collapsing around her?

 

 

 

in-my-opinion

This was an amazing book that transported me to WW2 wartime britain. Elaine very cleverly details the clothes, foods, atmosphere and lifestyle. I couldn’t put this down and is a must for anyone to read. It has a lovely mixture of everything. A little romance, hardship, drama and mystery. I loved it…!!

Available for download from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gracies-War-Drama-Romance-ebook/dp/B00G475C3I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394318000&sr=8-1&keywords=elaine+everest

five stars

From me… 5 stars..!!

 

 

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Next week, I will be so happy…. I’ll have the very lovely Suzan Collins with me.

Guest Interview with Rosemary Smith

 

Good morning and happy Monday to you all.

I’m always interested in getting to know other authors. The first time I went to an author day, I sat in awe. I looked around the room and felt extremely star struck that there were ladies in the same room whose books I had read.

I’ve therefore decided to do a number of author interviews. I’m also going to read a book from each of these lovely ladies and do a short book review for each one of them, which means I’ll be reading all summer… yeah..!!

 

Today I have the lovely Rosemary Smith with me… Here’s what she had to say…!!

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First… a few words from Rosemary….

I am 68years of age, and didn’t start writing until 2002, after I had a brain tumour removed. My neuro surgeon advised me to keep my brain active, but I don’t think writing books wax quite what he had in mind!

To date I have written 7 novellas, which have been published by D C Thomson, and in large print by Ulverscroft. Endeavour Press Ltd have taken all 7 titles, of which 2 have been put on kindle recently. I write Victorian Romantic Suspense as I feel very drawn to that period of time. I live in a lovely village in Devon with my husband, and dog Alfie. Sad!y my eldest daughter Paula died 18 months ago. But I have 1 other daughter, a stepdaughter, 8 grandchildren, and 2 great grandsons. I have just finished my first full length novel A String Of Pearls, which is a to e slip story, set in the 18th and 19th Centuries. I am without doubt an incurable romantic, and love reading …….

Good morning Rosemary and thank you for coming…. pour the tea… biscuits are on the table.

Question: What is your favourite memory of writing?

My favourite memory of writing, is when writing The Bluebell Wood. The research was special, as I saw a wedding dress and Honiton lace veil, silk slippers and orange blossom headdress at the Exeter Museum. I shall never forget it!

Question: From where do you draw your inspiration?

My inspiration is drawn from many things. Old houses, dresses of the late 19th Century, the sea, romantic verse, Churches, graveyards, chance remarks and conversations about the past. I especially love to write by the sea, and love the pounding of the waves on the shore.

Question: Which of your characters would be your favourite?

Its difficult to choose a character which I’ve liked more than any other. But as you ask! I think it has to be Abraham Tremaine in A Strangers Kiss. Although not a love interest, I fell in love with him myself! He is the Father of the Tremaine children. He is reliable, honest and handsome. Yes! I would have to say it is Abraham…

Question: Describe your own perfect hero.

My own perfect hero would need to have an understanding of any plight I may find myself in.
He would need to be daring, fight for my honour, and love me for who I am. Have a gorgeous smile, strong hands, and a sense of humour!

rosemary and her dog

“He’d probably have to be a dog lover too….!!”

Question: Have you ever used parts of your own life within your novels?

I’ve never used part of my life in my stories. But my daughter is always telling me I should write my life story!!

Question: At what time of year do you prefer to write?

I like to write any time of year, when the inspiration takes me

Question: Just for fun… Which is best… Biscuits or chocolate??

Definitely chocolate..!!

“Great… more biscuits for me”

Rosemary’s latest book A Strangers Kiss is available now on Kindle

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strangers-Kiss-Rosemary-Smith-ebook/dp/B00KR9KTLE/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402308317&sr=1-3&keywords=a+strangers+kiss

A Strangers Kiss is set in 1849 in Cornwall.
When her friend Amelia sends Sara a pleading letter to go to her aid, Sara goes to Ravensmount, accompanied by Tilly her maid. The imposing house on the cliffs in Cornwall is inhabited by the Tremaine family. Sara had thought her friend had married Tobias Tremaine, but learns she hasn’t married anyone, and is in fact missing.
Can Sara solve the mystery of Amelia’s disappearance, and also what secret her friends music box holds. And will she fall in love after a strangers kiss?!…….

in-my-opinion

Novella: Word count 33,000

I really enjoyed this book. The story is compelling, fast moving and I particularly liked the way that Rosemary created the characters. While some writers tell the story from various points of view, Rosemary is content to tell it in the first person and actually immerses the reader effortlessly into the ‘actual thoughts’ of the main character Sara.

Set in the 1800’s, the story flowed with ease and the characters jumped out from the page with numerous twists to the story.  I loved Sara, Tobias, and Michael. Violet was very interesting, being an adult with special needs I felt it very brave of Rosemary to do. I also felt that she did it sympathetically and with ease.

And then there was Abraham… well, what can I say about Abraham. He is charismatic, compelling and strong. A true leader amongst his family and I can quite easily see why Rosemary would be drawn toward him as her favourite character.

All in all, I would give this book

five stars

 

It gave me a lovely sunday afternoon of reading and ‘yes’ I’d definitely recommend it.

and finally 

Question: What are you working on now?

I’ve just finished editing A String of Pearls and haven’t yet started anything else.

 

 

whos-next-crop

Next week, I’ll be interviewing the amazing Choc Lit author Jane Lovering...

 

off to read her latest book ‘Falling Apart’ x

Broken Jigsaw is complete… Broken Locket started..!!

Lynda Stacey Author

As most of you know, last year I was shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. I was so excited. Of course it meant getting a new dress, new handbag and of course new shoes (what night out doesn’t?) but I also got to meet some amazing people.

me and haydn at festival of romance

Since then, I took a very expensive decision and had an extension built on my house. If I really, really want to be a writer. I have to take it seriously (I’m a bit OCD) everything has to be right.

footings

First the footings were dug.

during the build

Then the bricks and roof…

after the build

During the time that the extension was being built, I carried on working on Broken Jigsaw.

Many people kept asking me….

is the book done yet

So…. I sent it out to three different beta readers, all published authors and one who gave me an amazing insight into how the police work, another who specialises…

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