Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Fake Friday With Rachel Brimble

Today, I have Rachel Brimble on my blog talking about her latest book If I Want You. Rachel and I have known each other for a few years now, as she organises our RNA Chapters in Lacock. I always value her advice as a fellow author, she's so lovely! So let's get on with the interview! 

What was the inspiration behind the story of If I Want You?

I was watching a news piece where a missing little girl had been safely found and reunited with her parents. As a mum of two daughters, the story terrified and moved me. Very soon, my emotions and ‘what if’ questions came surging to the surface.

It wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to write a story about a missing little girl and how her disappearance was in some way connected to the heroine’s past. The rest followed quickly, and I absolutely loved writing this book.


If your book, If I Want You, was turned into a movie, who would you like to play the hero and heroine?

That’s an easy question for me! I start every book by trawling the internet for pics of my hero, heroine and villain (if I have one). Mark Bolton (the hero) would be played by Harry Tressler and Tori Peterson (the heroine) would be played by Darby Stanchfield.

Who is your favourite minor character in your book?

That would have to be Principal White – she is one of the suspects in the case, and I loved writing her scenes with both the hero and heroine. She turned out to be quite a complex character that I could give both serious and humourous scenes.

What's next on the horizon for Rachel Brimble?

My next release comes out in January 2018 – A Stranger In The Cove is the eighth and final instalment in my Harlequin Templeton Cove series (all the books can be read stand-alone). I had so much fun writing this book and although the series has come to an end, I will love the characters in the series forever. They mean the world to me.

As for works in progress, I currently have an Edwardian romance and a romantic suspense under publisher consideration as well as writing another historical. Busy, busy!


Blurb: 


When local journalist, Tori Peterson, fails to prevent a child abduction outside her niece’s school, her horror and guilt sparks a vow to do whatever it takes to get little Abby Brady home to her parents.

While Tori battles the vile memories of her own kidnapping as a child, she accepts the help of widowed father, Mark Bolton. As he and Tori join forces with the local police, their attraction and intimacy grows…along with their fears for Abby.

Links are uncovered between Abby’s disappearance and Tori’s kidnapping, and Tori is forced to accept the monster who held her captive is back. But this time, Tori is all grown up, and there is no way she will let him hurt another little girl.

Buy Links:


Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/190CYmx
Amazon US: http://a.co/c5O5R7s
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/if-i-want-you-rachel-brimble/1127157672?ean=2940158911118
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/if-i-want-you

Bio: 

Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had seven books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and an eighth coming in Jan 2018. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!

Links:


Amazon Author Page:
Goodreads:

Sunday, 29 October 2017

News For US Readers! All 3 books are $0.99

US readers! All three of my books are currently $0.99 on Amazon Kindle! (or do you write it 99 cents?) 



Such exciting news! I'm not sure how long this offer will last so grab your bargain now, and escape into the English countryside, with feel good stories and adorable, handsome heroes! 

My debut novel, set mainly in Cornwall and my introduction to Tinners Bay:

Plus One is a Lucky Number


Sophie needs a favour, a wedding favour...

Sophie’s going to a wedding where the invite is strictly plus one… but with her single girl status not exactly fitting in with the bridesmaid dress code, and the best man being none other than the ex she would rather forget, Sophie needs a favour and she needs it fast!

Luckily for Sophie, her dreamy but distant co-worker Adam Reid owes their mutual friend James big time…and his gorgeousness more than fills the role of the ‘Perfect Boyfriend’!

As they take off to the sunny shores of Cornwall for the wedding weekend, it’s not long before pretence leads to passion and Sophie and Adam must decide; is their relationship real or is it all for show?

Plus One is a A Lucky Number Amazon.com link: http://amzn.to/1dPRM72


My second novel is set in Bristol, the city near where a live...

One Fine Day 


Just a boy standing in front of a girl…

Actor Steve Mason has it all … gorgeous looks, the perfect starlet girlfriend hanging on his arm and his name on every Hollywood producer’s lips. That is, until it turns out the ‘perfect girl’ is actually a perfect PR stunt! Dumped and with his name plastered across every tabloid headline, Steve decides to head home to England, questioning if he’ll ever find a woman who genuinely loves him for who he is, and not just his place on the Sexiest Man Alive list.

It’s been fifteen long years since Ruby last saw her big brother – but the new LA version of Steve complete with designer wardrobe, California tan and an American accent is too much to bear – Ruby hardly recognises him and decides it’s time to get her brother back!

With Ruby’s help, Steve goes undercover as he plays the part of a regular guy who leads a regular life. And then one perfectly fine, ordinary day he meets lovely, funny, down-to-earth Lydia. But when Hollywood comes calling, will Steve be able to leave both Lydia and his little sister behind?

One Fine Day Amazon.com buy link: http://amzn.to/1xQ1JIx


And my latest novel, returning to Tinners Bay...

Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage 


A Cornish Escape

After her house is set on fire and her love life is left in tatters, Maddy Hart can’t believe her luck when a friend offers her the temporary haven of Wisteria Cottage. Overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Cornish coast, the fresh air feels like a fresh start for her and her broken heart.

Peeking out of the cosy cottage windows, Maddy’s surprised to see her gorgeous but insufferable neighbour Harry Tudor has been employed to landscape the garden. But as the wisteria winding its way around the cottage begins to bloom, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom…

Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage Amazon.com buy link: http://amzn.to/2jZ6CO7

Enjoy! And remember to leave a review if you enjoyed my books! Thank you x x x 

If I Were An Animal...

So true! 
Do you know what the hardest thing I'm still trying to over come? Still, after 10 weeks...

What I find hard is the fact you're going about your days without me in them. I don't even know if you miss me, give a shit about me, or anything? Do you even think about me? Wonder what I'm doing? Do you even care? Clearly not...

Yet, I still catch myself wondering about you...

It hurts that you did everything in your power to convince me that you wanted me in your life, then discarded me once you were done with me, that I no longer fitted into your terms.

It's a bit like Cora or Regina, the witches in Once Upon A Time. You've pulled out my heart, and crushed it with your bare hands.

I'm back at awful currently, but it could be worse I know.
Each day gets easier. I don't cry every day. I still get upset when I talk about you, my voice betrays me. But I still miss what we had, knowing it will never come back and can't believe you're no longer in my life. That thought still catches my breath, every day.

I miss you more when I've got the free time I would have been sharing with you. I miss that I don't have someone to tell the silly little things of what's going on in my day...  I miss that I don't have someone to cuddle and kiss, hold hands with... I miss having a partner.

It's like those 14 months were a dream. I'm Bobby Ewing stepping out of the shower... and I've gone back to June 2016 before I met you.

But the hate is setting in now. The rage that I was deceived, cheated into believing I was in a loving, safe, strong relationship. That you loved me...

I may learn to forgive you, one day... But I will never ever forget.

My counsellor asked if I were an animal, what would I be? I answered a bird in the end, because they seem to never stay still, always flitting about, which I thought represented my mind as well as me physically. Now I realise I'm more like an elephant. Head strong, determined, passionate about life but will never forget those who've hurt me.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

I'm Doing Something Right

Woolacombe 2017
Last week my eldest was awarded Mathematician of the Year, Lower School for 2017. This actually is a great achievement, considering he was in Year 7 last year, so he was picked out against Year 7 and Year 8 students!

Then, last night I went to the parents evening for my youngest son, who is in Year 6 and will be moving up to secondary school next year.

As soon as I sat down, his teacher was 'well this is an easy parents evening', and gave my son such praise. From his attitude to learning to his conduct within the classroom and with his peers, she said he was a pleasure to teach. (And I know most say this, but I like to believe she meant it).

When my eldest was first born, and I'd come down from the joys of giving birth to a healthy baby, I was thinking 'oh shit - a boy'. I remembered all the boys at school when I was a girl that couldn't be bothered to learn, those that mucked about in the class room. The little shits basically. And then when I was sent a second boy, I thought my troubles had doubled.
Tyntesfield with Granddad - who never encourages them!

It is assumed that because they are boys, they will be naughty, that they will fight. (It did used to rile me when a mum would excuse her child's poor behaviour because he was a boy.)

My two are not always blue-eyed boys and they come with their flaws. They are still children, after all. They like to fight and bicker like any other siblings. Yet, one thing they both seem to do well is get on at school. (I'm pretty sure they have a personality transplant as they walk through the school gates.) I've never had a problem with them going off to school. They enjoy learning, and generally behave well for other people. They are both bright, intelligent boys, with great personalities (which they obviously get that from me! ha ha!). My fears of them being 'little shits' in the classroom have been squashed.

My eldest is lacking in some common sense at times...  it maybe the turning 13 symptoms... He can be away with the fairies which drives me and his dad mad! (I no longer take it personally when they play up for their dad at the weekends). And my youngest still knows how to throw a tantrum like a two-year-old when things aren't going his way. But generally, they are good boys, who I hope will turn out to be strong, successful, loving men.

Maybe me being a tough mum has paid off? Screaming like a banshee and expressing when I'm angry does work?

Maybe it's something their Dad and I have done right?

Saturday, 7 October 2017

I Need To Find My Voice

Do you know what frustrates and angers me the most, what even hurts me more? The fact you will never know how much you have hurt me (and my children), how much you have disappointed me. That the man you turned into I never saw a hint of in the time we were together.

You will never know that I still cry, I still think about you. I still miss the days of when we were together, and I thought we were both happy and good for each other. I still wake up every morning and think 'shit he's not in my life any more'. It feels like a bad dream... seven weeks on...

I'm even left wondering what you tell your friends. 'We weren't meant to be', when you spent fourteen months convincing me that we were?

The counselling has helped me look at our relationship. I almost feel ashamed to have been so weak (as I consider myself strong) and even in some ways that I was conned/controlled by you. But I didn't see it. I wanted to please you, make you happy, so I did everything I could. And you lead me to believe you were doing the same for me... You were a man who prided yourself on being a good, decent, honest man. And you appeared that way too. You were generous, loving and thoughtful - so I believed... I thought you selfless but you were selfish...

Because a good man would work at a relationship when times get tough, and a decent man would not shower his lover with gifts only to walk away from her when things weren't quite going his way. A good man would have chosen 'us'.

I realise that in the year before you met me, you'd lived a rigid life, you'd got into a routine with work, your hobbies and your children. And although they (to quote you) 'weren't enough', when you were looking for a relationship, you wanted it to fit in around your routine and your kids. You weren't flexible, or pliable. The relationship would have to be under your terms. And only your terms. And I look back and realise how much it was! Yes, you conformed a little, in the beginning in order to keep me sweet, to entrap me, to convince me to trust you and fall in love. After all, I was an attractive, intelligent woman with a bubbly personality. You wanted me on your arm. (A trophy girlfriend maybe?)

But as soon as I started to find my voice, and air things that didn't please me - and these were only usually times when you were failing to choose us - you ended our relationship. It no longer made you happy.*

No discussion, no compromise, over.

And these were things, in a normal loving relationship that should be allowed to be discussed. I did nothing wrong I realise now. I was never unreasonable.

So yes, I feel deceived, I feel hurt. I put my all into something you weren't prepared to even meet me with half way. You waited until I had fully trusted our relationship, that I felt safe within it, then you let me go. You gave me promises you couldn't keep because you weren't prepared to develop the relationship, keep it moving forward.

You need a woman who will just slot into your routine without a quibble. Good luck with finding that kind of woman. In the meantime, I hope Karma finds her way to you.

And for me, the next man, I have to learn to speak up and have my voice heard sooner - so they can decide whether to stick around or leave me before they can hurt me. They'll need to prove their worth.

I thought I was honest and outspoken, but clearly when it comes to the fear of sounding unreasonable or demanding, I hold back.

It's not about being selfish, it's about my well-being. I need to be stronger.



(*Feel free to respond if you disagree with me - or I've got this wrong some how).

For anyone reading this blog post and are considering counselling, I would recommend it - Please message me if you'd like further advice.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

I Can Do Single But....

I was thinking the other day, as I was driving, why I felt so sad.

I mean, obviously, I'm upset at the moment. I'm devastated; I miss the man I thought I was spending the rest of my life with.

Past experience assures me, that with time being a great healer, I will cope and enjoy being single again. I can do single. Easy. I don't need a man.

I'm already seeing the benefits, catching up with friends, trying out different restaurants... I feel in some ways, I've been set free.

However, what makes me sad is that all I want is to be with a partner, to have someone to share my life with. After fourteen months sharing my life with someone, I really miss that. It has proved it's what I want.

I no longer have someone to text my ups and downs to, to share all my thoughts and news, whether insignificant or significant. I wanted a partner to have mini adventures with. I have no one to love.

Being single is great. I can do what I want to do and when - money permitting. But it can be a lonely path at times when all your friends are loved up and busy with their own partners.

Another worry I have is what will the next man in my life be like? When will I feel this happiness again I was feeling this past year? Will they be better, more suitable?

They're going to have to be, if honest, because I won't settle for less. I would rather be single.

But I have this fear the past two relationships have now caused, that when it's all going smoothly, will one day he leave me, with no clear explanation, and not prepared to work at the relationship.

Can my heart take that again?

Friday, 22 September 2017

Back To Kissing Frogs...

So I discovered I wrote this back in August 2015. But for some reason I never posted it. Maybe, I was concerned of the professionalism as a writer, or that I do look like a bitter, twisted woman...

However, since having been in a fourteen month relationship, that has yet again ended due to the guy not wanting to choose 'us' and not wanting to work at the relationship, I feel I want to post what I wrote two years ago.

I'm learning men don't fall in love, they just become infatuated... and think it's love. And when the honeymoon period is over, they're off. I think men look for perfection more than women do. We are far more realistic - even me, the romance novelist...

The way my heart aches at the moment, a month on, I know I was in love. (I'm not quite in the happy place I was when I wrote this 2 years ago).

Tonight, I'm wondering what film to watch - maybe it's time I dig out #HesJustNotThatIntoYou again....

The third book is finished, and I'm editing my fourth, which involves online dating and my past experiences of it.

Anyway, this is what I wrote - two years ago! Oh, the irony... : 


I've been told that my profile (when I was on an on-line dating site) was refreshingly down to earth and honest.

But where does it get me?

Sometimes, when I'm feeling really depressed about it all, (I'm getting better) I feel like the men I have met have taken what they want from me, then moved on...

If I'm so bloody lovely, why hasn't one stuck around? (I'm kinda glad a couple haven't actually, looking back. But only time shows you this).

I have vowed to watch #HesJustNotThatIntoYou on are regular basis as a basic reminder.

I have told myself I will no longer chase men. I never really did the chasing - as a romance writer, I like the guy to make the first move - but when one shows an interest, and I get a bit attached, I then find myself doing all the work... and they're not. And there's a clue there really, isn't there? So from now on, thy shall not chase!

Thoughts keep going on around in my head of what I'd really like to put as my profile, because of all the bull I've had to listen to over the past few years. Clearly, I can't post it, because I would definitely not attract anyone, (only bitter losers who'd want to snipe back) and would look like some bitter, twisted, deranged, bunny-boiler of a woman. And I am not this. Honest. I am not!

A little crazy at times... but not weird.

But I am a little bit sick of guys wanting to find a genuine woman... only not to be all that genuine themselves, carrying god knows what baggage. If I have learnt one thing from all of this, men carry more baggage than women. OMG! Yes they do! And I thought they were the ones with balls.

My problem is I'm too honest, and I like to make sure we're on the same page from the off. So I highlight, that at the end of the day, my goal is to find someone to be in a relationship with. I think, when I start talking about this, they're hearing goddamn wedding bells. All I'm trying to say is I want to meet one guy... I am NOT looking for casual sex.

However, I'm not looking someone to move in and play father figure to my kids, I don't want to move in with them either. I'm just looking for someone I can share my time with, to do things, visit places, have fun together!

What I have also learnt about myself is that I am an 'all or nothing' type of girl. If you can't give me your all, I want nothing from you.

This is perfect, except the sweaty palms bit lol!

I will say, now taking this vow to not go looking for love, these past few weeks I have been in a much better place in my head. Yeah, sure, I worry I'm going to die lonely. But I am actually happier, concentrating on me, and finishing this third book. In the meantime, it looks like this princess will have to be prepared to kiss a few frogs... when she's ready...


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Moving On

The last couple of days I've been immersed in my editing, and it hasn't allowed the head space to dwell on missing you.

I'm still waking up in the morning, though, thinking of you. I can't believe you're no longer in my life, that you're no longer my future. This stops me in my tracks at times.

When I do allow myself time to grieve, the ache in my chest returns and I feel so sad.

My friend gave me a Relate book called Moving On (Breaking Up without Breaking Down). I finished it last night, which has given me some hope I'll find happiness again.

One thing the book suggested was not to stop doing the things we enjoyed doing together. Therefore, I have been watching Gotham season 3 which is new to Neflix. We used to watch Gotham together. We devoured two seasons.

It doesn't really feel so good to watch it alone - only because I remember us cuddled on the sofa with a glass of wine, and both commenting about the twists. It was our treat once the kids were in bed.

Anyway, Lee has returned (who was Gordon's love interest  in the previous seasons) and in one of the early episodes she tells Gordon how he broke her heart, how she cried herself to sleep at night. I wonder if I'd been watching this with you we'd have realised the poignancy of Lee and Gordon

I was so with Lee.

I've pretty much cried every single day so far. Either as I'm about to go to bed, or for instance like writing this blog post, or when I'm in the car and a song comes on that feels poignant. Pink - What About Us is a good one!

You told me 'we weren't meant to be.' We were never meant to be if you weren't prepared to work at us, our relationship....

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Moving On Is The Hardest Part

It's four weeks since you drove off, making this is the fifth weekend I've been left to my own devices. The past few weekends I have filled with friends and family, but this one I have chosen to sit it out alone.

I've got to get used to it at some point, right?

I mean, for the last year I have spent pretty much every weekend with you, usually at your house with your kids...

I did everything I could to fit in, to please you. I tried not to make demands, I just wanted to love you, and in return you love me.

You are still in my thoughts everyday. Sometimes I'm angry - that you weren't prepared to work at our relationship, you just walked away. Sometimes I'm just in shock that you're no longer a part of my life. It makes my heart physically ache. I just can't believe it - I pray I'm dreaming. Each day I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that you are no longer my future. At the moment I don't feel whole. I feel incomplete. And it's up to me to fix this gap, learn to be happy on my own, single again.

Friends ask if I've heard from you and I tell them no. I'm not surprised that you haven't contacted me - I did lash out to hurt you, because I was hurting myself. But, to be honest, if you can leave me so quickly, without a backwards glance, you can see how I question the sincerity of your love. I can see how you don't really care... Was it infatuation, did I just fill a gap, and once you were done, you discarded me?

I think what hurts me the most is that you knew I was afraid of this happening to me again. And yet you still did it.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Every Single Day

Every single day I say, "What have you done?" and I ask, "what did I do?"

Every single day I miss you. I am so sad that this has turned so wrong.

Each day I look back at all the good stuff we had, all the laughs and giggles, the kisses and the cuddles, all the fun memories, all the things that remind me we were good together.

Every single day I cry, I grieve... my love turns to a rage. And I mourn.

I want you to call me, for what good it will do. I know we can't go back to what we had, even if we wanted it to.

Every morning I wake up wishing it was just a bad dream, and you're still in my life...

And each night, you're in my thoughts and I wish I could understand what happened to "us".

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

When Will It Go Right?


And here I am again, brokenhearted.

I had hoped I wouldn't get to feel like this again. I trusted you to stick with me through thick and thin.

But here I am, lost again.

I grieve the loss of a love, a relationship... a man who I thought was my forever.

No more text messages in the morning, or last thing at night, even though you're still my first waking thoughts, and who I think of late in the evening, tucked up in bed. And I wonder what you're doing during the day, because I no longer have that contact with you.

My phone is silent, yet I look at it in the hope you'll text to say you miss me, like I miss you, so so much.

My heart hollow, I walk about empty, a dull ache in my chest, my head clouded and foggy, wondering how I got to this point, how did we become so broken, so quickly. How can I feel so happy one day and so devastated the next?

No more kisses, or cuddles, no more snuggles on the sofa watching our favourite TV shows and sharing a bottle of wine, no more little touches or making love...

My love for you has turned to a rage, yet I still love you. I'm trying not to think about you, I'm trying to go on about my day. But occasionally a memory will stop me in my tracks. I have cried too many tears.

I know time heals. I know my love for you will dull, and I will find peace... It just takes so long... For now I need to learn to live with missing you, this emptiness, this gap you've left in my life.

Positivity has left me; I'm starting to believe my only happy ever afters are the ones I write...


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Fake Friday With Sonja Price

Hello! I hope you've all recovered from the bank holiday weekend, and the sunny weather that finally arrived. Today I have the lovely Sonja Price on my blog. Sonja and I met at our RNA chapter meetings in Lacock, and she's here to talk a bit about herself and her writing. 

Sonja, did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN was the first one I sent in, but I have got another story languishing somewhere in a drawer. It’s part of a process so many authors go through. Writing a book is a learning curve which may lead to you holding back if the finished product just hasn’t got that special something. My heart goes ou though to the many writers who don’t have the confidence to try to get their stories published. They get put off by their first couple of rejections and never try again.

This is my Twitter style question: Describe your hero in 140 characters.

Tall with wavy dark auburn hair, Alastair is a Scottish student of architecture and an aspiring writer, who loves jazz music

My other Twitter style question: Describe your heroine in 140 characters.

Feisty but quiet, Jaya battles against the odds to try to become a doctor in the patriarchal society of 1960s Kashmir.

What do you read while you write, or don’t you?

Almost anything. What you read accumulates and morphs in your subconscious, and can be as inspiring as any real life experience. On the downside it can influence your writing to such an extent that a crime writer I know avoids reading anything too similar when she has a deadline for fear of it influencing her style. Deadlines aside, I read all kinds of books, good and bad (but always entertaining), because I think they can stimulate and improve your style. Knowing what doesn’t work is as important as knowing what does.

Do you have a favourite author?

Too difficult to choose but I do love Iris Murdoch, A S Byatt and Margaret Atwood

What do you do with a paperback once you’ve read it?

Books are like friends. When I see them sitting on my shelf, I immediately feel at home, especially if I’ve just moved house, which has happened twice recently. If I really enjoy one, I’ll keep it, paperback or not, but if it was a holiday read then I’ll pass it on- to a friend or the charity shop.

What’s the best bit of writing advice you’ve ever received or read?

Jim Crace once told me not to write a travel report if I’m describing a location I’ve never been to but to make it seem totally familiar. This led to my heroine who grew up in the Vale of Kashmir talking of the view from her bedroom window where the moonlight would create an old lady’s face when it played on the mountainside.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Never give up. It’s often the difference between a published and an unpublished writer

What things inspire you to write? Location, music, film or even in a book?

Well in the case of THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN it was location. My imagination was ignited by a report on the car radio of the Great Earthquake in Kashmir of 2005. I discovered that the Vale of Kashmir is breathtakingly beautiful with majestic snow-covered mountain ranges cradling a valley lush in sycamore woods and fields of saffron interspersed with a pearl necklace of lakes. I thought this would make a spectacular setting for a story and it did!

What is next on your agenda after publishing your (first) book?

My new novel is about a widow’s quest to solve the mystery surrounding her husband’s death in the Canadian Wilds. Just like in THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN my story inevitably contains an innate conflict, the construction of an oil pipeline across the sacred burial sites of Native American territory, and of course a romance.

Are you nervous about friends reading your book?

Not when it’s finished but I rarely show them a draft. Someone once told me never to show your work in progress to anyone you’d eat Christmas dinner with, because they’re never likely to give you an honest answer!

Do you love or hate Facebook?

Most of the time I love it! It helps me keep in contact with friends abroad and keeps me up to date with fellow writers. It also makes me laugh a great deal. As with most things you just have to apply common sense. If you post something controversial, you have to expect responses you disagree with.

Dogs or cats?

I love both! I have a black lab/springer spaniel mix, who is an absolute joy but wrote my debut novel with a cat on my lap. Sadly I lost her but am sorely tempted to get another.


Thanks so much for a fantastic interview! Good luck with the book, Sonja. And we'll catch up soon at the next RNA chapter!


Author Bio: Sonja’s short stories appeared in Stories For Homes, the Shelter Anthology of Short Stories and In these Tangles, Beauty Lies, an anthology in aid of the Beanstalk Trust for children with reading difficulties, before her first novel The Giants Look Down came out in 2016. Longlisted for the Mslexia First Novel Competition, it also made her a finalist for the Joan Hessayon Award. Born in Bristol, Sonja studied at the University of East Anglia. She completed a PhD in English Literature and teaches English at Jena University in Germany. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.


Blurb: At the age of 10, Jaya Vaidya decides to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a doctor, much to the chagrin of her mother and the patriarchal community of Kashmir in the 1960s. When disaster strikes, Jaya is faced with obstacles as insurmountable as the Himalayas. Just how far will she go to achieve her dream and will she have to walk away from love? Published by Robert Hale, 2016



Excerpt: Soft moaning sounds, like the ones my Granny made in her sleep, were coming from the house. The moans turned into cries of pain and the dog pulled away. Why wasn’t Pa doing anything about it? That was why we were here. Even with my hands over my ears I could still hear the woman. On and on it went. The man started shouting and the dog collapsed on the ground with a sigh. The woman’s cries reminded me of a Tibetan fox caught in a trap up in the forests around Lake Gangabal. Kaliq had to shoot it as the iron teeth had bitten clean through its back leg.

Silence. Even worse! Only swallows swooping overhead as the entire valley held its breath. Shattered by the cries of a baby and a jubilant ‘A boy!’ Brahma be praised, it was over. We could go home.

The dreadful screaming recommenced. Perhaps Pa had done something to her. I had to see what was going on. Like a snow leopard stalking a deer, I crept into the house, which was only slightly larger than our woodshed. It reeked of animal hide and smoke. My eyes took a moment to get used to the gloom. I could make out two rooms: a kitchen and another one where the woman lay. Our house was all sunny rooms and places where I could be by myself. I edged my way towards the grown-ups, towards the man with the bundle in his arms and Pa tending the woman, still writhing in agony.

She was so young. Why was the old man putting her through this? She could have been his granddaughter. Why choose a girl, in a place where so many women had been widowed by the troubles? Cast out by their families with children in tow. They would have been happy to have a husband, any husband. But this poor girl. It made me sick. I wasn’t going to have a baby, ever. She screamed and screamed and then I caught a glimpse of something round between her blood-smeared legs. Not another one! Pa eased out a head, then a shoulder and then the rest before the woman fell back onto the messy covers.

Limp, lifeless and smeary-white, it looked more like a skinned rabbit than a real baby. Pa tried to rub it to life but the woman was not moving either. He looked to the man for help but he merely shrugged his shoulders as if to say why bother with a girl? Pa laid the baby carefully in the cot by the fire, turned to the woman and drew up a syringe.

I ran around the bed and picked the baby up. I couldn’t believe how small she was. Tiny hands and feet just like my dolly. Only she was warm. The boy was crying for all he was worth, loud screeches that you’d never believe could come from someone so little. He was rosy and angry, and she was pale, almost white. Shiva! I wanted to shout. She was slipping away before she had even arrived. Pa was doing everything he could for the woman and there was no point in talking to the man if he wouldn’t even listen to Pa. I rubbed her like Pa had done before he put her down but she was growing colder and colder.

I stared into the flames and then my eyes rested on the one set of baby’s clothes laid out in front of the fireplace. It wasn’t fair! Why should she have to die? A ragdoll nobody wanted to play with. No! I wouldn’t allow this to happen. What had the herdsman done to the newborn yak? I bent and blew into her tiny mouth. Her cheeks soft and cool like goat’s cheese. No reaction. I blew more strongly into her. Nothing.

Tears pricked my eyes. I couldn’t help her. There was absolutely nothing I could do. Stupid of me to think I could make a difference. All I wanted to do was run outside. I went to kiss her goodbye but instead found myself trying one last time. The baby’s lips puckered; her face screwed up. She turned a deep red before letting out the most wonderful cry I had ever heard. The woman opened her eyes. Tears ran down her face as she reached out for her little girl. Pa looked from the baby to me and smiled.

Half an hour later we climbed back into the car, ‘When I’m big Pa, I want to be a doctor just like you!’

He stroked my head and switched the radio back on.


Contact Details:

Website: sonja-price.com

Twitter: @PriceSonja

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sonjapriceauthor/

You can buy THE GIANTS LOOK DOWN on Amazon











Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Writing Worries

Fourth book troubles! I'm at over 90,000 words and the end should be nigh.... however, it feels like it keeps slipping away from me and I fear I won't get it finished next week.

The first two weeks of the summer holidays, the boys always go off with their dad, which enables me more writing time, before I have to play 'mum' for the other four weeks - and the writing really does become non-existent. And this time is usually great to allow my first draft to rest.

I have one more day tomorrow, then I'm back to work also. This means I'll only have three days next week, and one of those is going to be used to catch up with my editor in London.

Argh!

I sort of know how I want to make this book end. It's not like the others though. The ending really will be the hero and heroine getting together - for the first time.

I just hope it works! And the readers enjoy it as much as Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage...

I'm lacking confidence in the book though, as all writers do at some point in writing their first draft. This is completely normal, I tell myself. I've just decided to bash this first draft out. I suppose it can always be jigged about at the editing stages - right?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Wisteria Cottage makes Amazon Summer Sale

Such exciting news! Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage has made it into Amazon's Kindle summer sale! The ebook is 99p and because most price match, it means that it's not only 99p in Amazon but across all the ebook retailers.



So you can get it from iTunes/ Kobo / Google Play / Amazon UK

It is available at Amazon US or Barnes & Noble but not yet at the sale price. (You'll have to pay $2.99)

And if you would prefer the paperback, Amazon UK is still selling it for a bargain of £2.99 or look out for it in The Works. It should be in stores from mid July.

I can't tell you how thrilled I am at how well this book is being received. 29 FIVE STAR reviews on Amazon! But it could certainly do with some more. So please feel free to leave a review on Amazon or wherever you bought the book. (It could do with reviews on the other retailers too).
Loved it from its very first line until its very last - 5 STAR Amazon review


Blurb: 


'A striking example of two pasts threatening a joint future…A great read' Sue Moorcroft, bestselling author of Just for the Holidays

‘Warm, funny…a wonderful read’ International bestselling author Nicola Cornick


A Cornish Escape
After her house is set on fire and her love life is left in tatters, Maddy Hart can’t believe her luck when a friend offers her the temporary haven of Wisteria Cottage. Overlooking the turquoise blue waters of the Cornish coast, the fresh air feels like a fresh start for her and her broken heart.
Peeking out of the cosy cottage windows, Maddy’s surprised to see her gorgeous but insufferable neighbour Harry Tudor has been employed to landscape the garden. But as the wisteria winding its way around the cottage begins to bloom, an unlikely friendship starts to blossom…



Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Two Weeks Being A Full-Time Writer

Me, Rachel Brimble & Jane Lark
This weekend is the RNA Conference and I'm not attending! I'm going to miss the buzz of putting faces to names, catching up with old friends, the pink lanyards, the goodiebags, the late evenings drinking wine and the fantastic writing sessions and talks, and the parties in the kitchens...

I first attended back in 2011, which was the start of my RNA journey, introducing me to the New Writers Scheme, which definitely helped to aid my journey to publication. I then attended back in 2014, as a full member of the RNA and I long to attend again, but sadly, working Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays it buggers up going away weekends generally.

Me, Sue Fortin & Mandy Baggot


However, in hindsight, I could have gone to the RNA Conference this year after all. (I am kicking myself just a little bit). Initially, I didn't have enough holiday to cover taking the time off work and this was my main reason for not committing to attend.

The store where I work is now closed for two weeks for a refit and I'm taking the time off unpaid. It closed Monday, so I don't have to work at all this weekend. In fact I don't go back until Friday 28th July... *rolls eyes*

Our RNA Chapter (Bath & Wiltshire)
Admittedly, my eldest is going on his school trip Sunday - his first time abroad, yet not on a plane. It is also my weekend to have the boys, before they go off for two weeks the following weekend with their dad for the summer holidays, so I still can't drop everything and go now.

Never mind. There's always next year... And I did get to attend the Harper Collins 200th Anniversary Summer Party - so it's not like I've not had a party! (Really need to blog about that one too).
Mary Cross (who sadly passed away this year) & Lizzie Lane

But yes, you read right. I do have two and a bit weeks, off! What am I doing with this time you may ask... Well, I am living the life of a full-time writer! I am making sure I get writing in every day of the week (except weekends - a girl's got to live a little).

Five days a week of writing! Plus the boys will be off the first two weeks of the holidays (although I have to go back to work)... this gives me four weeks to crack on and finish my first draft. So exciting!

For all those attending the RNA Conference this weekend, travel safe, enjoy the experience, and make sure you take plenty of wine... Say hello to everyone from me! x x x



n.b. all photos were taken from the RNA Summer Conference 2014. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Fake Friday With Lisa Hill #TuesNews

Today I have the lovely author Lisa Hill on my blog. Her debut novel, Meet Me at Number Five is published by Choc Lit on the 20th June 2017. 

Lisa and I first met, way back in 2011 at the RNA Conference as wannabe authors and have been friends since. We have quite a lot in common, especially both being mothers to boys. (Lisa has three, I stuck at two). 

I am thrilled to have Lisa on my blog as a published author! And I can't wait to read her book. 


Hello Lisa. Tell me, which of your characters is your favourite, and why?

So, Meet Me at Number Five is about heroine, Grace, who is desperate to have a baby but four days before she is due to start her first round of IVF her husband, Charlie, announces he’s got another woman pregnant and also heroine, Hennie, who is Grace’s cousin and is a single mum who has renounced men because all the hot ones take one look at the children and look away and those who aren’t frightened off by the children are dull. Hennie lives with Grace and Hennie’s Nana, Clara, who is the matriarch of the family; a septuagenarian racehorse owner who likes to live the high life. Clara is by far my favourite character; she is glamourous, forthright, kind and loves to be the puppeteer and meddle in everyone’s affairs (nothing like me, of course).

Did you manage to get the first book you wrote published, or is it tucked in a drawer somewhere?

No, the first book I ever wrote was called Meant to Be. I was a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and it received a fantastic critique report but after going on a writing retreat with Julie Cohen I could see why it didn’t work so I rewrote it entirely and entitled it Heart in the Right Place. It’s set in Yorkshire and is about a heroine called Lottie who is the daughter-in-law in a family of estate agents and is desperate to have more than a part-time role whilst looking after her three kids. When the famous period drama actor, Tom Thorpe, arrives on the scene and offers Lottie the opportunity to act as a Relocation Agent for celebrity friends of his, it drives a big wedge between Lottie and her husband Drew and they go on a journey to overcome their differences. Heart was shortlisted in the 2015 Choc Lit Search for a Star competition and, having edited it some more, is currently under review with Choc Lit again so hopefully my original heroine, Lottie, will have her time in the limelight very soon.

Do you have a favourite author?

Yes and she knows how much I love her! I started reading Jill Mansell when I finished my A-Levels in 1998 and pretty much spent the entire summer reading her back catalogue. I think she is an inspiring author; I love her ability to make her stories about some quite serious subjects but with a light hearted tone too. She’s extremely talented. My favourite novel is Head Over Heels and it eventually inspired me to try and write a novel of my own.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee! I never drink tea; if you cut me open I swear caffeine would spurt forward!

I think this is why we get on so well. Our love for coffee! 

Starbucks or Costa?

Not fussy, especially if someone else is paying ;) Cappuccino every time which is a bit strange seeing I only every drink black coffee at home.

Thanks so much, Lisa, for popping over to my blog. Congratulations with the publication of your debut novel and good luck with the sales and reviews! 


Author Bio:


Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.

Lisa writes contemporary romance with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It’s probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is ‘naturally curious’.

When she’s not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons’ taxi service Lisa enjoys running with her gun dog, Sparky. They are both currently training for the Stroud half-marathon although Sparky’s motivation lies much more in chasing bunny rabbits.

Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her winning the Choc Lit Search for a Star competition 2016 with her debut novel, Meet Me at Number Five.


Blurb:


What if finding happiness was a race against time?

Grace Cavendish knows a thing or two about horses – but what she doesn’t know is that her husband, top horse racing trainer Charlie Carrisbrook, is having a literal ‘roll in the hay’ right under her nose.

When the painful truth is revealed Grace has no choice but to move in with her highly-strung grandmother Clara and cousin Hennie; a single mum who has renounced men (at least that’s what she says!)

Determined to start again, Grace takes a job at the local restaurant, Number Five. And whilst serving up coffee and cake is a far cry from the stables, she enjoys it – especially as she gets to work alongside the rather scrumptious Sam Whittaker.

But the past is racing to catch up with Grace. Can her life still be a romp to victory or will a devastating secret stop her dead in her tracks?

Amazon UK: goo.gl/xc4Dxd
Amazon: goo.gl/cnirgC
Kobo: goo.gl/XHd8dC
iBooks: goo.gl/16tMWo
Choc Lit: goo.gl/FYD8kF

Author Links:

Twitter: @lisahillie
Facebook: goo.gl/bcjhE1
Website: www.lisahillwriter.wordpress.com

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Why Writing Keeps Me Sane

I suppose nobody really said being a mother would be easy, but you kind of assume it would be easier than it really is. To be honest, it feels like rather a thankless task.

Looking back, the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding, the nappy changing (and washing as I used real nappies) was a walk in the park compared to what comes next: Being ignored.

You'd think it got easier because now they can understand you, they're able to walk, talk, and do things for themselves...

If only.

I mean, nobody tells you that you will get sick of your own voice, that you'll get fed up with repeating yourself over and over, day after day, with the same things, that they know they need to do each morning, or whenever, but you still need to remind them... Or have to repeatedly ask them to do something, till eventually they do do it (if you're lucky). And that you can not fathom how two children could sit at the breakfast table, first thing in the morning AND BICKER!

I've now decided it probably doesn't matter what I say in front of my children, because they're never listening anyway... WRONG! The minute I say an expletive, oh, yeah, course they hear that!

Or as soon as I pick up the phone or talking to someone. They're either really really noisy or nosy, or start fighting or trying to talk to me. "Who is it? Who is it?"

The little fuckers!

Now it's summer, my neighbours probably think I'm mad, as they hear me, outside in the garden, hanging the washing out and swearing under my breath how sick I am of being ignored.

Or think I'm a fishwife the way I holler at my kids...

So, this is why I love my writing. I can get lost in it. I forget I am a mother. It reminds me I am an intelligent woman and I'm putting that intelligence to some good use. It makes me forget the nagging, horrible person I don't enjoy becoming. I really don't like her! But however much I try not to become her, I fail. It doesn't work...

With my writing I become Teresa F Morgan, author of contemporary romance, commercial women's fiction. I am heard... well, read.

Monday, 19 June 2017

And The #Shelfie Winner Is...


Finally, I've been able to sit down and organise the winner of my Shelfie competition that I posted way back April 21st with the launch of my paperback (which came out on the 20th April)! I am so sorry it's taken me so long to get around to this, but during the day, when it's my time to write, I've been concentrating on that, and everything else has been swept aside - even the housework.

Anyway, I had a big list, noting down all that copied me in on their Shelfies, and gave you all a number. Then I used the random number generator here 

The winner is Tracy Dews! 


Now as you may have already bought the paperback, I can give you the option of owning a signed paperback of One Fine Day, or signing Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage either to yourself or someone you may like to gift the book to. Either way, I'll be in touch and you can let me know!

Thanks to everyone who shared their shelfies. I do think my favourite has to be my mum.


Friday, 19 May 2017

Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife by @sunchara3


Sun Chara’s two sizzling contemporary romances are launching from HarperImpulse!

Jet across the globe and tour the glamorous lifestyle of the wealthy and the beautiful…heart-stopping alpha males and spunky heroines ignite the passion and the pain in a tug-a-war to their Happily Ever After.

Book Blurb:


A tempestuous fling…a marriage…a betrayal?

When Michalis Leonadis’ bride jumps ship at the first sign of rough waters, he’s annoyed. When she costs him a marriage and a billion dollar deal, he’s furious; but when he discovers she ditched him whilst harboring a secret…he’s out for revenge.

Ex-model, Julia Armstrong gave up everything for Michalis but when she catches him with another woman, crushed, she jets out of his life. The proud Greek blasts back into her world seeking retribution—in exchange for a divorce, he demands she relinquish the one thing she cannot. Her daughter. Only one other bargaining chip remains…Julia herself.

Author: Sun Chara

Book Title: Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife – sexy, hip ‘n fun contemporary romance

Publisher: HarperImpulse

Purchase Links:

http://amzn.to/2odWWVE UK

http://amzn.to/2oBJFT1 US

http://hyperurl.co/a5rm8c

Amazon worldwide & all e-retailers

*Available also in paperback

About the Author

Sun Chara, a multi-published, JABBIC winner for Manhattan Millionaire's Cinderella, writes sexy, hip 'n fun contemporary romance, high adventure historical romance, and any genre that knocks at her imagination. Globetrotting for lore while keeping tabs on Hollywood leads, she loves the challenge of creating stories for book and screen. Designer frappuccinos with whipping cream/sprinkles on top make everyday a celebration!

Find out more at:

https://facebook.com/suncharaauthorpage

https://www.twitter.com/sunchara3


Excerpt: Greek Millionaire, Unruly Wife

Chapter 1


“I’ll take that one.”


“The green gown, Monsieur Leonadis?”


“No, the model.”


The man chuckled. “The model’s not for sale, monsieur.”

“You wanna bet?” Michalis Leonadis loosened his tie, lifted an arrogant eyebrow at the sales manager of the Haute Couture show in Paris, and geared up for battle...not with the manager but...with her. Tracking the model every step with his slitted gaze, he slipped a hand inside the pocket of his jacket and extracted a card, then a pen.

Julia, strutting down the runway and steaming up the ballroom in the Hôtel de Crillon had cost him a marriage, and a billion dollars in a Tokyo deal gone belly-up. As if that hadn’t been enough, his head of security informed him she’d recently given—

Applause broke out, splintering his thoughts, and spiking his fury...his passion. For revenge.

She’d ripped his heart out. Shredded his pride. Cost him.

Her untimely exit had rocked his sphere and his bank account. She nearly bankrupted him. He’d put everything on hold to search for her, and to clean up the legal mess his uncle’s amour had created when she’d charmed... er... scammed the old guy into signing half the Leonadis fortune to her and ultimately her heir. The fortune Michalis had slaved over years to amass.

He set his jaw, batted that distraction from his mind, and turned his laser sharp eyes back to the supermodel, his present dilemma.

When he found out Julia had been living it up in Paris, he’d shut her out, and scrambled to salvage his business and stay afloat— he’d waste no more time on her. He was better off without her.

A spike lodged in his aorta, but he ignored the sting.

He clamped his teeth, his breath rumbling in his chest and escaping through his nose in a hostile sound. How dare she keep that a secret from him?

Cold, calculating bi—the expletive stinging his tongue was smothered by shouts of “Brava!” from the audience.

He scrawled a message on his business card, adrenaline pumping him to action.

She’d definitely pay. He curled his lip. His way.

Michalis slapped the card in the man’s hand. “Make sure she gets it.”

The man glanced at the bold insignia of the Leonadis Cruise Line on the card and inclined his head. “Oui, Monsieur Leonadis.”

Michalis tuned him out.
He liked things simple. She’d been anything but.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

#Sainsburys #Shelfie competition update


I haven't forgotten that I was running a #Sainsburys #Shelfie competition. It has just been manic at the moment. The paperback has been a massive success in Sainsburys, too!



Anyway, I've gathered as many names as I could and I will organise them so that one will be picked out of a hat, or bowl, or something at least... and a signed paperback of Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage will wing it's way to you!

Of course I will announce here too.

Even though the competition is now closed, if you do see my book out and about, please do share!


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

I've captured some #WisteriaHysteria

I wish I'd thought about this sooner, but I've been looking for wisteria growing on cottages! I don't have much time left now, as the flower is coming to its end.

My book, Meet Me At Wisteria Cottage has been published at the right time, with all the wisteria growing. There's a hashtag on Twitter #WisteriaHysteria.

I thought rather than keep putting the cover of my book up maybe I should take some photos of wisteria growing around pretty cottages and use those instead for marketing the book. It's better if I use my own photographs than grab something off the internet because of the copyright issues.

So, Sunday, taking a lovely walk around Thornbury, we walked the grounds of Thornbury Castle.







As you can see, I managed to get some lovely photos (until a man and his dog decided to sit at a table right in front of the castle and I couldn't take a fuller picture of the castle in landscape view. Grrr...).

Unfortunately, the wisteria was starting to turn, so I probably didn't get it at its most vibrant in colour but it still looked pretty.

On our walk, there was also a house with had some growing around its window which looked stunning.

Pictures off the internet had been my inspiration for calling the cottage in the book Wisteria Cottage, but now I have my own photos! Purple and lilacs are my favourite colours, and this is certainly one of my favourite spring flowers.

If you have any beautiful photos of wisteria growing around your house, please share!  




Thursday, 27 April 2017

Guest Post: Jenny Kane

Introducing Abi

By Jenny Kane


Many thanks for letting me nip by to talk about my Cornish romance, Abi’s House.

Let me introduce you to Abi Carter.

Thirty-two years old, short, petite, and almost fragile to look at, children’s illustrator Abi Carter is much stronger than she looks. She has to be. For only six months ago her husband, Luke, who’d been twelve years her senior, suffered a totally unexpected fatal heart attack.

Although she misses the Luke she had first known, the Luke that Abi had been living with for the past few years had no longer been that man. With each promotion in the city, he’d become more money and status obsessed. Abi hadn’t been able to keep up- she hadn’t even wanted to.

Now, guilt ridden because she can’t miss Luke as much as she think she ought to, Abi decides it’s time to walk away from the city life that was making her so unhappy and follow a childhood dream. A move that is going to take a hell of a lot of guts and determination...


Blurb

Newly widowed at barely thirty, Abi Carter is desperate to escape the Stepford Wives-style life that Luke, her late husband, had been so keen for her to live.

Abi decides to fulfil a lifelong dream. As a child on holiday in a Cornwall as a child she fell in love with a cottage – the prophetically named Abbey’s House. Now she is going to see if she can find the place again, relive the happy memories … maybe even buy a place of her own nearby?

On impulse Abi sets off to Cornwall, where a chance meeting in a village pub brings new friends Beth and Max into her life. Beth, like Abi, has a life-changing decision to make. Max, Beth’s best mate, is new to the village. He soon helps Abi track down the house of her dreams … but things aren’t quite that simple. There’s the complicated life Abi left behind, including her late husband’s brother, Simon – a man with more than friendship on his mind … Will Abi’s house remain a dream, or will the bricks and mortar become a reality?


Here’s an extract to whet your appetite...

...Nerves and an inconveniently accompanying wave of guilt hit Abi as she pulled into Taunton Deane services. With the border that divided Devon and Somerset a few miles away, Abi could feel the enormity of the step she was contemplating starting to disturb her concentration.

Making a beeline for a desperately needed cup of coffee, preferably with a side order of something unhealthy and smothered in chocolate. ‘Although not a bloody muffin,’ she muttered under her breath.

Abi couldn’t stop thinking about what her brother-in-law had said when she’d finally given in an answered one of his calls. Had Simon been right? He’d talked to her as if she’d flipped, and had suggested rather forcefully that the trauma of Luke’s untimely death must have had more of an effect on her mental health than they’d all initially thought.

Abi hadn’t been able to stop herself from laughing at the time, assuring Simon that she was very sane, thank you very much, and that if she didn’t like Cornwall, she’d be trying other locations, but that was her business and not his, or his parents. To both humour him and shut him up, and because ultimately it really would be useful, after much consideration, Abi had decided to tell Simon she’d accept his help with ensuring a seamless and tidy sale of the house if he was still willing.

Abi had been quite proud of herself, as Simon had given her his fervent promise that he’d keep an eye on the house sale while she was away, with no expectations or agenda. Now however, as she queued for her overpriced drink, Abi couldn’t help listening to a treacherous voice at the back of her head telling her Simon might be right. Perhaps her leaving was just a delayed knee-jerk reaction to Luke’s unexpected death.

Luke may not have been the best husband in the world, and she didn’t miss being put down in public for one minute, but at the same time she’d never once doubted that he’d loved her. It was more that he always acted as if he wished he didn’t.

Every day since his death it was becoming harder to remember how she’d let herself be changed from a successful businesswoman (who had admittedly been acting her socks off to portray a strong image and hide the true shy persona beneath) to the mousy wife who’d do anything to avoid the look of disappointment in her husband’s eyes when she failed yet again to live up to his expectations. I did love him, and I do miss him, but …

Abi looked out of the window, trying not to let another stab of emotion get the better of her as she watched a happy family of four, all holding hands, cross the car park. Had she been so naive to dream that she and Luke could have a family like that one day?

Despite their age difference, Luke had always given Abi the impression that he wanted children – until about a month after their honeymoon. They’d been eating in a restaurant, and a family had come in with a baby that wouldn’t stop crying. Luke hadn’t been just indignant, he’d been plain rude to the parents about their inability to keep the infant quiet. All the way home he’d ranted about how families shouldn’t be allowed in restaurants with babies, and preferably with no one under sixteen. When Abi had stuck up for them, saying that there was no way anyone could predict when a baby would cry, and that having children in restaurants from a young age helped teach them good manners and social interaction, she had been cut short with a cold look, a look she would become all too familiar with over the next few years.

A look that was followed by Luke informing her that there was no way they were ever having a creature that behaved like that! And that had been that. All conversations about having a family were closed, and every attempt Abi made to resurrect the discussion met a brick wall of silence.

Was she really striking out for a better life on her own terms, or was she running away from the hurt Luke had brought her when he was alive, and again now he was dead? Could she even do this? Determined to remain calm, Abi found a semi-clean table and sat by the window, staring out blankly across the sea of parked travellers’ vehicles.

She looked down at her drink ruefully. Luke certainly wouldn’t approve of her drinking coffee from a paper cup. After his mega-promotion at work, even drinking from a mug rather than a bone china cup and saucer was only something to be done when circumstances allowed no superior alternative.

Continuing to watch the chatting couples, groups of friends, and families move about the car park, tears started to gather at the corners of Abi’s eyes. By allowing Luke to take over every aspect of her life, she’d missed out on so much. She hadn’t meant to be so feeble – but with Luke …

With a sustaining sip of caffeine, Abi knew she’d been miraculously given another chance. She wished it had come about in another way, but nonetheless, it was a chance, and she was not going to waste it.

Abi suddenly had a strong desire to do all the things Luke would never have approved of. She wanted to mess up her salon-perfect hair, maybe get a tattoo, go out of the house without make-up, make friends …

...she wanted a house she could wear shoes in without anyone having apoplexy about dirty footprints on the carpet. She wanted a home that felt like a home, not a place that was on the verge of expecting royalty, or an impromptu visit from Homes and Gardens magazine.

Daydreams of long costal walks and lazy cliff top meanderings, maybe with a dog (one with long hair that would get all over the furnishings!) filled Abi’s head as she knocked back the remains of her coffee...

I hope you enjoyed that. If you’d like to read on, then you can buy Abi’s House in either paperback or as an e-book from all good retailers, including-

Accent Press- http://www.accentpress.co.uk/Book/12915/Abis-House

Amazon-Kindle-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00UVPPWO8/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711175&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane



http://www.amazon.com/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane-ebook/dp/B00UVPPWO8/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711253&sr=1-2&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane


Amazon Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane/dp/1783753285/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711253&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane



http://www.amazon.co.uk/Abis-House-Jenny-Kane/dp/1783753285/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1426711343&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+House+Jenny+Kane

And from 4th May you can buy the brand new sequel- Abi’s Neighbour!!

(Pre-order available now!)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Abis-Neighbour-Jenny-Kane/dp/178615028X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487006698&sr=1-1&keywords=abi%27s+neighbour





https://www.amazon.com/Abis-Neighbour-Jenny-Kane/dp/178615028X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1487006868&sr=1-1&keywords=Abi%27s+Neighbour+by+Jenny+Kane

***

Many thanks for letting me pop by to chat, Teresa,

Happy reading,

Jenny.




Bio


Jenny Kane is the author of the full length romance novels Another Glass of Champagne (Accent Press, 2015), Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the contemporary romance/medieval crime time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), and Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014).

Jenny’s sixth full length romance novel, Abi’s Neighbour , will be published in May 2017.

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl

Jenny also writes erotica as Kay Jaybee and historical crime as Jennifer Ash.