The Cornish Hotel by the Sea by Karen KIng. Extract.

I’m delighted to introduce readers to author Karen King today. Karen’s work is new to me and her delightful romance set in gorgeous Cornwall, The Cornish Hotel by the Sea, is the first of her novels I’ve read – it won’t be the last. A charming sweet romance it’s perfect for lazy days on the beach. Here’s an exclusive extract with information about Karen and the novel following. Enjoy!

The Cornish Hotel by the Sea

“Excuse me.”

The man’s voice made her jolt. Ellie tore her eyes away from the figures on the computer screen and looked up, straight into a pair of deep grey eyes set in a ruggedly handsome face topped by chocolate-brown hair. Very nice. It took her a few seconds to realise that it was Merc Guy, now wearing a black tee shirt and jeans, and to notice the angry set of his jaw and the frown lines in the middle of his thick eyebrows. He was staying here then. Great.  An unhappy customer was all she needed.   She just hoped he didn’t recognise her from this afternoon when he was blasting his horn at her. Thank goodness she’d been wearing sunglasses.

She fixed a pleasant smile on her face. “Can I help you?”

“The shower isn’t working in my room and I have an important business meeting in less than an hour,” he informed her curtly. “So will you either arrange for it to be fixed immediately or provide me with the use of a shower in another room?”

Great. Problems already.

“Did you hear what I said? I haven’t time to waste. I have an important meeting to go to.”

The man’s abrupt tone annoyed her but she kept calm. “Of course, Mr…er…” she glanced at the hotel register for the man`s name.

“Mitchell.” He supplied. “Reece Mitchell. I arrived earlier today. And I’m in a hurry.”

Yes, I got that. A quick glance at the register told her that Reece Mitchell was in Room 12. Luckily the room next to him was empty and there was a connecting door between the rooms. Problem solved.

“I do apologise, Mr Mitchell. I’ll get it sorted for you today. Meanwhile, please use the shower in the room next to you. It’s vacant at the moment and you can access it through a connecting door.” She reached for the key and handed it to him. “I’m very sorry for the inconvenience. Would you mind popping the key back on your way out?”

He didn’t look too pleased. “Well, I guess it will have to do. I must say this hotel isn’t what I’d expected. I’m surprised you do any business at all.” He almost snatched the key out of her hand.

She swallowed the angry retort that sprung to her mouth reminding herself of Mum’s mantra that the customer was always right. And if they weren’t you didn’t tell them so. She watched, fuming, as Reece Mitchell stormed off.

What an arrogant man!  

Author Bio.

 A member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, Karen King writes sassy, fun, heart-warming romance. The Cornish Hotel by the Sea is her second chicklit for Accent Press, her first – I do?… or do I? was published last year and there is another one in the process of publication. In addition, Accent Press have republished her earlier romance novels, The Millionaire Plan and Never Say Forever.

Karen has also written several short stories for women’s magazine and had 120 children’s books published.

When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Young Adult Books Facebook Page

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

Blurb

The Cornish Hotel by the Sea: Escape to Cornwall with this perfect summer read

“A feel-good summer escape.” Mandy Baggot

Ellie Truman’s widowed mum is struggling to keep Gwel Teg, the family hotel in Cornwall, afloat.  Ellie is determined to do everything in her power to help her, even if that means moving back to the sleepy Cornish village she fled from broken-hearted a few years ago.
Things go wrong from the start and she’s grateful for the help from hunky guest, Reece Mitchell. But does Reece have ulterior motives? Will Ellie’s efforts be for nothing?

Buy Links

Amazon

Waterstones

W.H.Smiths

Thank you for hosting me!

Thanks for coming over! Do follow the rest of the tour. Dates here.

Guest Post: ’Appily Ever After by Nicola May

Lovely to have another Accent author, the bestselling Nicola May, over to introduce us to her latest novel, set in the world of dating apps. Married nineteen years, apps like Tinder are gobbledegook to me, but Nicola’s book sounds fantastic fun, and one of my life mottos is ‘never say never’… Over to you, Nicola.

love me tindeeeer change positionI was once told by a baby faced Filipino security guard on the beautiful Island of Boracay that if I agreed to marry him I would never want for love, happiness or beautiful sunsets ever again.

At the time I kissed him on the cheek, laughed and went back to my hotel room. A year later, sitting in grey old Blighty with Stanley the cat and a glass of Prosecco, I thought perhaps I should have taken up young Arturo’s offer.

But being single’s alright, isn’t it? You don’t have to answer to anyone. There is neither sight nor sound of snoring, farting, dirty socks, wet towels and the toilet seat is forever down.

Who am I kidding? We all want to find that special someone to love, trust and basically snuggle into when the weather gets cold or the going gets tough. Don’t we?

So… with this quest in mind I decided to embark on a dating mission. And, oh, how I found out that this dating in the modern age lark is not for the faint-hearted.

If you thought standard internet dating sites was fast, wait until you download an app. It’s like being sucked into a whirlpool of testosterone and thrown out the other side wearing one stiletto, a ripped stocking and Mona Lisa’s smile.

Joking aside, on my search for love, I actually went on some very fun dates and met some interesting men. I didn’t find my Mr Right, however what I did find was that there was so much to write about!

In fact, almost immediately I realised that the minefield of good, bad
and indifferent dates I encountered was a gift for creating interesting and
amusing plot fodder, and so the idea for Love Me Tinder was born.

In brief Love me Tinder revolves around heroine, Cali Summers who decides to hit the world of fast love after her marriage breaks down.

Using room 102 in the hotel where she works as her dating ‘lair’, she opens herself up to a world of sex, lies, deception, as well as personal discovery and passionate romance.

The reader will laugh, cry, cringe, squirm and nod along with Cali’s antics as she finds out if it is risky freedom or dull security that she really craves.

This book is for anyone who has immersed themselves into the crazy world of app or internet dating or in fact anyone who wants an insight into what it’s all about.
Link to book:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Me-Tinder-Nicola-May-ebook/dp/B01HD2QN4O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1469186443&sr=8-1&keywords=love+me+tinder

Twitter: nicolamay1

nicola orbaWebsite: www.nicolamay.com

Love me Tinder is out on eBook on July 31. You can hear Nicola talking to Anne Diamond on BBC Radio Berks on August 1 at midday.

Biography

Nicola lives in Ascot in Berkshire with Stanley her rescue cat. She has a penchant for Prosecco, ripe peaches and flapjacks. Love Me Tinder is her eighth novel.

Money Makes the World Go Around? Guest post from Karen King

The Millionaire Plan

Thanks so much, Laura, for asking me onto your blog to talk about my romance novel, The Millionaire Plan.

Delighted to have you here!

In my book, Amber decides to marry a millionaire because her parents are nearly bankrupt and forced to sell the family home, a beautiful Tudor house that had been in the family for generations. And it’s all thanks to Amber’s ex-fiancé Rod persuading them to invest in his dodgy shares. So she arms herself with a ‘How to Hook a Millionaire’ book and a ten point plan and heads of the yacht race at the exclusive Coombe Bay, Devon to hook herself a rich husband.

But is that really the best way to hook a millionaire? Modern day dating gives us a lot more options than hanging around an exclusive marina and trying to mix with the rich and famous. With the internet and phone apps like Tinder we can get straight to the chase without moving from our chair. An Internet search on dating millionaires brings up several sites such as  http://www.datingmillionaires.co.uk/ or http://sugardaddie.com/  You can have a browse at the members first before signing up and selecting any who appeal to you. You both know that you’re looking for a rich guy to date, it’s right out there no deceit.

Or if you want to see if there’s anyone rich in your area you can try Tinder – browse the profiles, swipe right for yes if you like them and left for no. Zooks and Match.com are also popular. It’s all very simple.

So Amber could have simply signed up to an online dating site or app and found herself a millionaire that way. But, then she wouldn’t have met Jed. That’s the trouble with online\mobile dating sites, it doesn’t leave anything to chance. You’re only selecting the person who fits your requirements but actually your ideal man might be someone who is the opposite of what you think you like. So maybe Amber’s plan of hanging out with some millionaires and trying to hook the one that appeals to her most is the best idea, after all.  Or maybe, she should forget about the plan and marry for love instead?

Love or Money – what would you marry for?

The Millionaire Plan

Love or Money – what would you marry for?

Extract

Chapter One

 Rule number 1: Make sure you’re seen at the right places

Great. Here she was, dressed to kill and without a clue what to do, Amber thought, tugging self-consciously at the hem of her dress. Everyone else was walking around in groups, or at least in pairs, chatting and laughing together and making her wish that she’d taken up Callie’s offer to go sailing with her and Simon instead of wandering around Coombe Bay Marina alone. Honestly, dressed in this skin-tight, short white designer dress, high heels, and the pile of make-up Callie had insisted she wore, she might as well have the words ‘gold-digger’ written on her forehead.

Well, that’s what she was, wasn’t it?

Not for the first time she wondered how she’d let Callie talk her into coming here to try and hook a millionaire. It was mad. Insane. Immoral.

And her only option if she didn’t want her parents to lose their home as well as their business.

Spotting a café overlooking the marina, she bought herself a latté and was making her way over to one of the tables when a white yacht caught her eye. It wasn’t huge or brash, like some of the yachts in the marina, but it was definitely classy. The sort that a millionaire would have for his own use, to sail around in rather than show off and entertain his friends. As she peered over at it, trying to read the name painted on the side, she collided into something hard. Her coffee cup went flying off the saucer, emptying its contents over a pair of cut-off denim shorts that were hugging lean, definitely male, hips.

‘Whoa!’ Strong, suntanned arms held her steady. ‘You want to try looking where you’re going,’ an incredibly sexy voice drawled in an unmistakeably American accent.

‘Sorry.’ She looked up into a pair of twinkling tawny eyes that laughed at her from a ruggedly handsome face, topped by thick, light brown hair with sun-kissed highlights. Phwoarr! was her immediate reaction, but she quickly pulled herself together. She’d just spilt coffee over this guy, for goodness sake, the least she could do was apologise instead of drooling over him like a lunatic.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she apologised again. ‘I was looking at that yacht over there. It’s fantastic, isn’t it? I’ve never seen one like that before.’ Not the thing to say, Amber, she scolded herself. You’re supposed to be acting smart and sophisticated as if you come to these sort of events all the time, not twittering away like an idiot and letting the first person you bump into know that you’ve never seen anything bigger than a dinghy before. Then she remembered that she had quite literally ‘bumped’ into this man and drowned him in coffee in the process.

‘Gosh, I’m so sorry,’ she said, fully aware that this was the third time she’d apologised but unable to stop herself gabbling. She looked down at his wet denim cut-offs, trying not to let her gaze linger on the sun-tanned legs below them, then shifted her eyes hurriedly back to his face. ‘Er, I’ll go and get a cloth so you can clean up.’

‘No need. I’m working on that yacht you were admiring so I haven’t got far to go and get changed,’ he replied. ‘Perhaps you’d like to join me and clean yourself up too? You don’t want to leave that to stain. It’ll ruin your dress.’

What? She glanced down in confusion and saw that coffee was splattered all over the bottom of her – or rather, Callie’s – dress and running down her legs. How could she have not noticed? Because I was too busy gawping at him, that’s why.

She hesitated. He had said he was working on the yacht, which meant he didn’t own it – more’s the pity. So his boss could well be on board. And whilst the ‘How to Hook a Millionaire’ book Callie had brought and insisted she read from cover to cover had declared she should ‘seize any opportunity to mix with the seriously rich’ – and let’s face it, anyone who owned that yacht was seriously rich – meeting them with a coffee-stained dress and legs was not a good idea. ‘Always be perfectly made up and elegantly dressed’ was another rule.

‘Is your boss on board?’ she asked.

‘No, only me.’ He was looking at her intently. ‘Perhaps I should introduce myself, I’m sure your mother drilled it into you to never go off with strangers.’ He held out his hand. ‘Jed Curtess.’

She took his hand. It was strong and warm and his touch sent tingles running up her arm. ‘Amber Wynters,’ she told him.

‘Now we’ve been introduced, Amber Wynters, would you like to come on board and get cleaned up?’ he asked, a playful smile hovering on his lips.

She most definitely would but should she? She didn’t even know this man, although she had to admit that she definitely found him appealing. Should she risk going onto the yacht with him? He might not be as harmless as he seemed. She saw the teasing twinkle in his gorgeous tawny eyes and her heart flipped. Cancel harmless. This guy was a danger to her blood pressure if nothing else.

‘I promise I won’t try to seduce you,’ he said solemnly. ‘Unless you beg me to, of course.’ His eyes danced with humour and she thought there was probably a queue of women who would love him to do just that.

Buy Links

Amazon

About Karen

KK Head and ShouldersA member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, Karen King writes sassy, contemporary romance just right for reading on the beach.  ‘I DO – or Do I?‘ her first chick lit for Accent Press, was published in May. She has been contracted for two more. And she is delighted that Accent Press have republished her earlier romance novels, The Millionaire Plan and Never Say Forever. The Millionaire Plan was nominated for the RONE Award in 2014.

Karen has also had several short stories for women’s magazine and 120 children’s books published.

When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

 

Author links

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Children’s Books Facebook Page

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en

Guest post: Unsticking Words with Another Glass of Champagne by Jenny Kane

I’m delighted to be here today to chat about my latest contemporary novel, Another Glass of Champagne. And I’m more than delighted to have you here, Jenny!

AGOCFollowing on from the bestselling novel, Another Cup of Coffee, and the seasonal Christmas novella’s Another Cup of Christmas, Christmas in the Cotswolds, and Christmas at the Castle; Another Glass of Champagne is the final instalment in the Pickwicks Coffee House adventures.

Revolving around the coffee obsessed lives of Amy, Kit, Jack, and their friends, Another Glass of Champagne finds each of the Pickwicks friends facing exciting changes in their lives. Yet, unexpected challenges will need to be overcome if those celebratory glasses of champagne are ever going to be raised…

Blurb

A warm-hearted, contemporary tale about a group of friends living in a small corner of busy London, by bestselling author Jenny Kane.

Fortysomething Amy is shocked and delighted to discover she s expecting a baby not to mention terrified! Amy wants best friend Jack to be godfather, but he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack finally reappears, he s full of good intentions but his new business plan could spell disaster for the beloved Pickwicks Coffee Shop, and ruin a number of old friendships…

Meanwhile his love life is as complicated as ever and yet when he swears off men for good, Jack meets someone who makes him rethink his priorities…but is it too late for a fresh start?

 Author Kit has problems of her own: just when her career has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write and there s a deadline looming, plus two headstrong kids to see through their difficult teenage years…will she be able to cope?

A follow-up to the runaway success Another Cup of Coffee.

***

One of the main characters in the Another Cup of… series is a writer called Kit Lambert. When we first met Kit in Another Cup of Coffee, she was making a name for herself by writing erotica. As her career progressed Kit moved into contemporary fiction, and now she has a novel publishing contract, with all the pressures of having to produce work to tight deadlines upon her.

Mum of twins, and wife to bookshop owner Phil, Kit suddenly finds herself unable to write at all, but he can’t understand why. Surely writer’s block is something that can be easily shaken off- or is just a myth invented by those who can’t be bothered to write today…or is it?

Not even sitting at her usual table in the corner of Pickwicks Coffee House, (run by her friend Peggy) is helping the words become unstuck…

Extract

When she got back, Kit found Peggy looking thoughtful, ‘Why have you closed your work down, honey? I usually steal a read of your latest work in progress when I think you’re not looking.’ ‘I haven’t got much done today.’

Kit mumbled. ‘It’s been a mulling things over sort of a day.’ Changing the subject, she said, ‘Scott says there are some sandwiches ready for your lunch when Megan comes back through.’

‘Good, I’m starving.’

‘Are you and Megan managing alright with only two of you on the serving team? It’s already busy, but by July it’s going to be packed between eleven and two.’

‘Actually, Scott and I were talking about that over the weekend. Would your Helena fancy giving us a hand and earning some money before she heads off to university? Where is she going again?’ Flinching slightly, and hoping Peggy hadn’t noticed, Kit said, ‘She’s aiming for Bath to do Chemistry, and Thomas’s hoping to be off to Exeter. Assuming they get their grades, that is.’

‘Of course they will. What’s Thomas going to study?’

‘History.’

‘Sounds good. So, do you think Helena will want the job? It would save me a lot of bother with adverts and stuff.’

Kit nodded. She knew exactly how much time it took to go through interviews and training staff in this place, so someone who was already familiar with Pickwicks layout would be a real advantage to Peggy. ‘I’ll ask her. Helena’s bank balance could certainly do with a top-up. Goodness knows it’s time she stood on her own two feet financially.’

Megan came back into the café and Peggy got up to go and have her lunch before another influx of customers forced her to forego her only real break of the day. As an afterthought, she turned back to Kit. ‘If you’d rather your daughter wasn’t here during the day, just say. I mean, this is your office after all!’

‘I don’t mind at all. I’ll ask her this evening, assuming she comes home She seems to live at her mates’ houses these days.’

‘Making the most of seeing her friends before she heads west, I suppose.’

Peggy waved as she disappeared into the kitchen, to what Kit hoped wasn’t a tuna sandwich, before she could see the tell-tale glint of tears fighting to form at the corner of her eyes. Cross with herself for being so emotional, Kit looked at her screen. Peggy had opened a new document and typed the words You can talk to me, you know. Love Peggy xx across the top of the page.

Kit should have known that she couldn’t hide anything from Peggy. The manageress knew her habits better than anyone, having been host to them for the past decade or so. Kit didn’t even want to guess how many cups of coffee, scones, and slices of toast she’d consumed at that table in that time. Just the thought of the amount of butter she’d spread over her early morning snacks was enough to make her feel as though her hips were expanding right there on the seat.

Making her mind up to talk to Peggy soon, she picked up her mobile and sent Helena a text, telling her about the possible employment opportunity at Pickwicks. Kit wasn’t sure if she did actually want Helena around all day while she was writing. But then, she thought, I’m not exactly writing now, am I…

***

You may be thinking that Kit sounds like a real writer you’ve come across- and you’d be right. Kit and I are pretty much the same person- but with huge exaggerations into fiction of course!! For a start, I do not have twins!

However, a little while ago I did suffer a bout of writer’s block. I had been a little flippant about the condition until then- but now I know it is truly horrid. Feeling all the words backing up in your head and not being able to get them out is just awful- especially when you live for your words! I lost weeks to the confusion of not being able to compose even the simplest sentences.

If you want to discover if Kit manages to get to the root of her own word block, and see what else the Pickwick’s crew are up to, then you can buy Another Glass of Champagne from all good bookshops and eBook retailers, including-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Another+Glass+of+Champagne+Jenny+Kane

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/188-7813436-7626710?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Another+Glass+of+Champagne+Jenny+Kane

Many thanks for letting me visit today,

Happy reading,

Jenny x

Good luck with the book, Jenny; I’m so looking forward to the read.

Bio

Jenny Kane at Costa Coffee talking about her new book.

Jenny Kane at Costa Coffee talking about her new book.

Jenny spends a large part of her time in the cafe’s of Mid Devon, where she creates her stories, including the novels Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016), Abi’s House (Accent Press, June 2015), Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the best selling contemporary romance Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and the novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), Christmas in the Cotswolds, (Accent Press, 2014), and Christmas at the Castle, (Accent Press, 2015).

Her next full length novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published by Accent Press in Summer 2017. She is also working on a short historical novel, which will be published in November 2016.

Jenny Kane is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015).

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 kane blog tour (1)

Being A Contender by Georgina Troy – RoNA Awards 2016

AJB jpegGeorgina Troy is another author in the Accent Press stable and she was recently honoured with a shortlisting in a prestigious award. She’s been kind enough to pop over and share her story with us. Over to you, Georgina.

I’m one of those people who has delayed reactions. When something good happens to me it takes time for it to dawn on me that it really is happening. When something bad happens, I also take time to react. I’m an optimist at heart but I think that, especially with my writing, when someone is complimentary, or I’m told that my book is being: a) published – I think they must be confusing me with someone else; b) Nominated for the Joan Hessayon Award – that they make all the authors who’ve been signed to a publishing contract finalists that year; c) Contender for the Romantic Novel of the Year Category in the Romance Novel of the Year Awards 2016 – that… well, maybe my book might be okay.

It was a surreal time, discovering that A Jersey Kiss had been nominated when I read the initial congratulatory email in (I believe) December from the Romantic Novelists’ Association and then being congratulated by my publisher and having to keep the news secret until the news embargo was lifted in February. Then there were further emails asking me to complete press release forms, sending author jpegs, being interviewed by the local paper and on BBC Radio Jersey where met another contender who lived in Jersey, Sophie Cousens (Romantic Comedy). It was all go!

Then it was a case of finding something to wear, booking flights and getting tickets for my mum, husband and daughter who were to accompany me, and generally getting very excited. Planes, trains and lots of walking later, I arrived at The Gladstone Library, in Whitehall for the contenders’ photo shoot while my family members went for something to eat before joining me for the award ceremony. I hate having my photo taken, but had fun nonetheless, and tried to smile although I was a little in awe of the entire proceedings. To be nominated in the same category and taking part in a photoshoot with people like Veronica Henry… I mean, Veronica Henry! She’s one of those authors whose books I buy each year when they come out and I know I’m going to enjoy them.

Needless to say it was a fabulous evening meeting up with other RNA members/friends and enjoying the glitzy party. It was enough being nominated, truly.

To celebrate something like this with my mum, daughter and husband was extra special and we all sat at the Accent Press table with my esteemed publisher, Hazel Cushion, and the other two Accent Press contenders – in different categories, thankfully – Jane Jackson (Historical) and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma (YA). It was a fun, exciting and pretty awesome evening and I’m massively grateful that the judges liked A Jersey Kiss enough to choose it to be nominated in such an auspicious award.

So, for any writer out there sitting at their laptop editing, or reading their RNA New Writers’ Scheme reader’s report and feeling disheartened by all the things wrong with their manuscript – as I have many, many times – don’t give up. Dreams really do come true, writerly ones, at least. And this summer I’ve seen my fourth book for Accent Press, A Jersey Bombshell, being published – another truly exciting event.

Blurb:

Gabriel has returned to the island of Jersey after ten years abroad to help his aging showbiz parents revive their failing Art Deco hotel. This proves to be something of a challenge, especially as his singer father and actress mother are more concerned with staying in the limelight than keeping track of the cash-flow. Gabriel isn’t going anywhere fast …

Meanwhile, he’s stunned to find that the hotel’s new receptionist is the girl he fell in love with years earlier in Vietnam, and someone who is tied to Jersey is the last thing she needs …

Author Bio:

Georgina TroyGeorgina Troy lives in Jersey, an island fifteen miles off the coast of France. She’s a hopeless romantic and when Georgina realised that no one else wrote romances set in her island home with its beautiful wind-swept beaches and intriguing inhabitants, she decided she had to provide some. Her books are published by Accent Press.

Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/georginatroy

Blog: http://georginatroy.blogspot.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/georginatroy/

Buying Links:

Amazon.co.ukhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Jersey-Bombshell-Georgina-Troy-ebook/dp/B01DYDGHDS/

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Bombshell-Georgina-Troy-ebook/dp/B01DYDGHDS/

Good luck with the book, Georgina and thanks for popping by.

 

Guest post: Mothers: Good, Bad and Fictional by Kate Glanville

Mother’s Day is almost upon us and to mark the occasion I have another Accent Press author over, the delightful Kate Glanville. Mother’s feature heavily in Kate’s novels and she’ll talk about them along with other fictional mothers and some real-life ones too! Take it away, Kate.

KATEKIDSAs I was writing this blog post my sixteen-year-old son Harry came into the kitchen and asked me what I was doing.

‘Writing about mothers,’ I replied.

He looked disdainful. ‘What do you know about mothers?’

I suggested that as I have brought up three children I might know just a little bit. I also reminded him of the relationship I have had with my own lovely mother for the last forty-eight years and the fact that the three novels I’ve had published all feature mothers as important characters.

He shrugged and asked if I’d made any flapjacks.

Mother – it is a soft, soothing word, suggesting affection, love, nurture, wisdom, and reliability. Surely a mother is someone who should give support and administer kindness to her children at all times of the day and night- a benign figure of authority, self sacrificing and generous as well as an inspirational role model – probably running marathons, participating on The Great British Bake-Off, ideally a CEO of an internationally successful, environmentally friendly company (so successful that her hours are short and she is always able to pick up her children from school) or at the very least she is a member of the PTA. A good mother prepares wholesome family meals to be eaten together round the table, she has glowing skin and shiny hair and an immaculately tidy house with children trained to clear away their own Lego and wash the dishes while cheerfully singing songs from musicals!! Oh, and a good mother never ever raises her voice – apart from joining in with loud renditions of Climb Every Mountain!

Kate, aged 16 with her mother

Kate, aged 16 with her mother

Oh dear, that doesn’t sound like me at all! Or any of the mothers I know – but then what do I know about mothers?

I do know that mothers feature in some way or another in many works of fiction. A whole spectrum of motherly behaviour from absolutely perfect to downright demonic!

In literature mothers come in many shapes and sizes, physically and metaphorically. I’m sure there have been very few absolutely perfect mothers in the history of mankind although there have been quite a few in literature: gentle (slightly saccharine) Marmee in Little Women, Molly Weasley competently holding her large family together in Harry Potter, and my own doyen of perfect motherhood – Caroline Ingalls, the devoted, ever resourceful pioneer mother in Little House on the Prairie.

There have also been some horrors too: Jeanette’s rigid, Bible bashing mother in Oranges are Not the Only Fruit, the dissatisfied, egoistical Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary and the horrible Mrs Lennox in The Secret Garden – who cruelly refuses to see her daughter Mary as she finds her too ugly.

The mother has been an endless subject of fiction for millennia. So many possible variations on the theme – so many inadequacies to explore!

51pCrVZil5L._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_In my first novel, A Perfect Home, I wanted to write about a mother who is trying her best to fit the stereotype of ideal mother and wife but feels trapped within her role. Though Claire clearly loves her children the emotional abuse she suffers in her marriage leads her to have to decide whether she can sacrifice her children’s home for her own happiness. Claire is plagued by self-reproach and guilt – a mother’s worst weapons against herself. In the end she realizes it is not the physical home that binds her family together and she is able to embark on a new life with her children which serves to strengthen both her bond with them and enables Claire to become a strong, self sufficient woman.

In the beginning of the novel Claire’s own mother cannot understand the choices her daughter has made. She expects Claire to fulfil the political and academic ambitions that motherhood and lack of education have denied her in the past. Her daughter’s domesticity is a constant disappointment. A chance accident enables her to embark on a new life of her own and is able to separate her aspirations from her daughter’s, enabling mother and daughter to develop independently.

51cxd3pepAL._AC_UL480_SR333,480_My second novel, Heartstones, had that great literary stand-by – a beautiful, lovely, caring but conveniently deceased mother. This enables the main character, Phoebe, to set out on a perilous personal journey and make numerous mistakes without the support, sympathy – or criticism – from a mother figure in the background. During the course of the novel Phoebe finds her grandmother’s diary and discovers a long-held secret that changes everything that Phoebe thought she knew about her adored grandmother and the family she comes from.

I also explore the subject of a perfect mother with a dark secret to hide in my latest novel Stargazing. Nesta is a wonderful, feisty, matriarch in her sixties (my favourite of all the characters that I’ve written so far). To her children, especially her daughter Seren, she is perfect. A classic, baking, gardening, chicken rearing maternal paragon. All her life Seren has worshiped her mother, so much so that she even lives next door! She aspires to be like her in every way. When Seren’s father leaves Nesta for a younger woman Nesta’s past begins to catch up with her and Seren’s life is thrown into turmoil. Seren’s own past has secrets too and Nesta has to realize that she hasn’t always been the good mother that she thought she’d been for her daughter.

51HBr64WseL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_It can be very easy to use mothers as an excuse for bad behaviour or unhappiness, in fiction and in real life! I hope I manage not to overly dwell on ‘the sins of the mothers’ in my writing. As I mentioned previously, self-reproach and guilt are easy weapons to beat ourselves with. Society is also quick to criticize and condemn mothers; the media is particularly harsh.

Being a mother is by no means an easy job! I know I have made many mistakes. I often imagine my children, as adults, with some earnest therapist asking ‘And how did it make you feel when your mother did/ said/ didn’t do that?’

Indeed they already seem to take great pleasure in listing the things I have done wrong – such as constantly being late to pick them up from school, forgetting to buy tomato sauce, not going to one sports day (out of twelve!), getting drunk at a children’s Halloween party and dancing on the table to Abba songs with my friends (all other mothers – all also drunk!) What can I do? The damage is done!

I often find myself questioning my own conduct as a mother, holding up those literary examples to analyse my behaviour– am I being too much like Emma Bovary? How can I be more like Caroline Ingalls? A good friend recently suggested I should aim for something in the middle – between the two.

Harry is back, opening all the empty biscuit tins, sighing about the lack of food.

‘Found anything out about mothers?’ he asks.

I smile benignly and try to channel Mrs Waterbury – E. Nesbit’s lovely mother from The Railway Children. ‘Yes, Darling. I think I have. Only in fiction can mothers be perfect. In real life we’re always going to get things wrong and blame ourselves, but most of the time we’re only trying to do our best.’

Harry shrugs again. ‘So you haven’t made any flapjacks yet?’

My internal Caroline Ingalls smoothes down her apron while Emma Bovary eyes up the gin.

Biography
KATE2Kate Glanville was born in West Africa to Irish parents. Kate now lives in the village of Bethlehem on the edge on The Brecon Beacons National Park with her three children, four cats, a crazy dog, a rabbit and three sheep . She graduated with a degree in fashion design at Central St. Martins and worked in the textile industry before becoming a ceramic artist. Kate’s tableware designs have been sold in shops and galleries all over the world including Liberty, Conran Shop, Fortnum & Masons and Fired Earth. Among her many customers Kate has produced ceramics for The Prince of Wales, Madonna, Roger Daltry and Robbie Williams. Despite a successful career as a visual artist Kate has been writing stories since the age of eight! A Perfect Home (published in 2012 by Penguin US under the name Kitty Glanville)and Heartstones are her first two novels, both published by Accent Press in the UK and in Germany and Norway. Stargazing is published by Accent in the UK in 2016 and also in Germany. Kate is currently working on her fourth novel.

Thanks so much for coming over, Kate. Now back to that kitchen!

HERE’S HOW TO BUY KATE’S BEAUTIFUL BOOKS:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stargazing-Kate-Glanville/dp/1783757396/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456916796&sr=1-1&keywords=kate+glanville

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Heartstones-Kate-Glanville/dp/1783755105/ref=pd_sim_sbs_14_4?ie=UTF8&dpID=51YcTDKIBNL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR100%2C160_&refRID=1EH9PW1A3W28PAJ8JTG4

http://www.amazon.co.uk/A-Perfect-Home-Kate-Glanville/dp/1783755091/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1T2B7RP5VHKNY9DC585Z

From place to place

Today I’ve been guesting at Lynne Shelby‘s blog on her regular A Sense of Place slot. Of course, I talk about the setting in Redemption Song, my latest, but I also talk about the locations in my other novels and in the one that is still to come … scheduled for publication in March next year. Skin Deep probably has the most unusual location – a sink estate in Manchester that was demolished in the mid-90s, way before the story of Diana and Cal arrived in my head. Pop over and find out more … HERE.

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