About me? I’m a mum to an amazing little boy who is seven (nearly eight, as he keeps reminding me). I’m just about still able to say I’m in my ‘early forties’ and I live in North Devon, not too far from the sea. I’m retired from a long career in the armed forces and I’m writing my second novel – first draft almost complete.
The Wedding Cake Tree is a story of two women – mother and daughter – set in the same locations but separated by time (thirty-five years). Only weeks from her death, Rosamund writes her daughter seven letters telling the story of her life before her daughter, Grace, was born. It’s a story Grace is unaware of. Grace is sent by Rosamund on a journey of discovery far and wide to places that were significant in her mother’s life and reads a letter at each one – she slowly uncovers her mother’s secrets and learns a great deal about herself in the process. She travels with a wonderful but troubled man, Royal Marine Alasdair Finn. There are moments of hilarity and there are moments of emotional pain, but the journey is well worth taking, not least because of the budding romance between Grace and Alasdair. Each location has its own beauty and in many ways the story is a celebration of the British landscape. It is a story that celebrates the many different forms of love, and considers how well we really know our loved ones, and how well do we actually need to know them.
The reviews on Amazon have filled me with joy. Writing is a solitary affair and knowing that your writing (hours and hours and hours of work) has brought happiness and laughter is one of the best feelings in the world – wonderful.
I realised that my son would have absolutely no idea about the adventurous (and occasional fairly wild and dangerous) life I led before he was born and that I wouldn’t ever feel the need to tell him about it because my persona with my child is that of ‘mum’ not military woman.
The best thing about writing romance is that it’s the one time in life when you can ‘control’ it – the ending and when it happens is entirely up to you!
My dad used to take me and my brother to RAF Finningly every year to the air show – the idea of joining the military stemmed from there. I wanted to wear uniform and live an exciting life (I saw military life in a romantic way in 1994 – I don’t anymore, although I loved every minute).
Dubai was bizarre. I loved the winter sunshine, but I’m not much of a beach bum and I love trees and greenery and the British landscape. I knew I wouldn’t be there long, but it was a bit of an adventure for a little while. I do prefer living in the UK.
My journey to publication was fairly haphazard – I was lucky. When I started to write The Wedding Cake Tree it wasn’t with the intention of being published, it was just a pleasant pastime while living in Dubai. I sent the first three chapters to the Alan Titchmarsh Peoples’Novelist Competition and was shortlisted for the final. This gave me the confidence to believe in the book (and finish it). I applied to Choc Lit (and only Choc Lit) and was taken on – perfect.
I love tongue-in-cheek fiction and classics. My favourite authors are generally dead women, such as Stella Gibbons, Elizabeth Von Arnim and Lucy Maud Montgomery (although I am prepared to read books by people who are living). I read Witchlight by Susan Fletcher recently and was blown away and I also devoured a light-hearted book by Trisha Astley a few weeks ago (Every Woman for Herself) and loved it.
I’m working on a romantic comedy with spiritual overtones at the moment. It’s called Indigo Starlight.
A huge thank you to Melanie and Lu at Choc Lit. ♥
Can a mother’s secret past provide the answers for a daughter’s future?
Celebrity photographer Grace Buchanan has always known that one day, she’d swap her manic day job for the peace and quiet of her beloved childhood cottage, St Christopher’s – she just didn’t expect it to be so soon.
At the reading of her mother’s will, she’s shocked to learn that she hardly knew Rosamund at all, and that inheriting St Christopher’s hangs on one big – and very inconvenient – condition: Grace must drop everything for two weeks and travel the country with a mysterious stranger – war-weary Royal Marine, Alasdair Finn.
Caught in a brief but perfect moment in time, Grace and Alasdair walk in Rosamund’s footsteps and read her letters at each breathtaking new place. As Grace slowly uncovers the truth about her mother’s incredible life story, Alasdair and Grace can’t help but question their own futures. Will Rosamund’s madcap scheme go to plan or will events take an unexpected turn?
An emotional, fun-filled and adventurous journey of a lifetime.
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/hIwKKp
Amazon US: http://goo.gl/ZqB7mo