A mixed bag!
I've some wonderful news, and some sad news. I'll start with the wonderful first.
My lovely editor, Emily, has announced that I'm going to be writing seven more books for Canelo. The first is the one due out for Christmas 2022 (the one I've been having so much trouble with), followed by two brand new series, the first of which, featuring a charming village called Foxmore, will be out in 2023. I can't wait to share them all with you. If you want to read a bit more, here's the link to the article on Canelo's website.
Now for the sad news... I have a lovely little sports car that has served me well for a number of years and is such great fun to drive. It's purple-ish (my favourite colour) and has faithfully taken me to lots of lovely places. She's getting rather elderly - 16 years old - and my mum, bless her, can't get in or out of her because she's so low to the ground (the car, not my mum), and it's only a two-seater so outings with my hubby and the dog are impossible. So it's time for her to go.
The problem is, I think she must have heard me, because in the last week she's had to visit the garage twice. Apparently it's something to do with the electrics, but I suspect she's got a broken heart. It's hard letting her go, but I think it's time to go to the garage in the sky...
However, there is an upside to this. As many of you know, I'm a great advocate for reducing the individual's impact on the environment (the Applewell series of books are loosely based on "reduce, reuse, recycle") so we decided not to replace her. I work from home, therefore for me to have a car that is only going to sit outside the house for days on end seems wasteful and a bit of a luxury.
If you haven't already seen them, take a look at the books in the Applewell series so far:
A Stitch in Time is due out in May 2022 - I've seen the cover and it's gorgeous, but I can't show it to you yet!
Poppy didn't deal with the fireworks very well, which meant we got to listen to four hours of Classis FM's special programme aimed at calming pets down. Surprisingly it seemed to work, and I got to hear music I probably otherwise wouldn't have listened to. All in all November 5th turned out to be a rather genteel evening.
Look at that worried little face!
I managed to get out into the garden, and have potted on some Nigella seedlings into some pots made out of the insides of loo rolls (carrying on the recycling theme!) which I can then plant straight into the ground when the time comes, and the cardboard will rot away in a few weeks
The books I read last week...
Meet Me Under the Northern Lights by Emily Kerr
All it takes is one moment to change your life . . .
When a cleverly edited video of radio host Lucy Fairweather goes viral, she knows she needs an escape. And preferably somewhere far away.
Where better than Wild Zone – a destination for people who want to experience the Arctic Circle? Owned by the gorgeous but brooding Tommi, Lucy agrees to help with the guests in return for her stay. But getting to grips with her skis is proving harder than it looks.
Far from home and in a winter wonderland, will an encounter with the breathtaking Northern Lights change her luck, in both life and love?
This isn't a Christmas themed book, although it will definitely get you in the mood for all things wintery.
Set predominantly in Finland, the author describes the landscape, the cold, and the winter activities with enthusiasm, knowledge and love. She brings the location to life and makes me add it to my bucket list of places to visit.
The characters are an interesting bunch and it took me a while to grow to like Lucy. Initially she is portrayed as an immature, thoughtless, irresponsible party girl, and I didn't feel a great deal of empathy for her. This began to change when she suffered such horrific online abuse and as the story moved from the UK to Finland, I gradually came to like her - although she still had some annoyingly thoughtless moments when I wanted to give her a good shake.
But when I got to know her even better, it became apparent that Lucy had a few demons to slay and I seriously started to root for her.
This is a story about coming to terms with oneself, and about taking responsibility. It's also about romance, too, and that's the best part.
Dreaming of Tuscany by T.A. Williams
The glamour of Hollywood. The magic of the Tuscan countryside. One big decision...
Beatrice Kingdom (Bee to her friends) wakes up in hospital in Tuscany. After an accident on a film set leaves her burned and scarred, she feels her whole life has been turned upside down.
Bee is offered the chance of recuperating in a stunning Tuscan villa in the company of a world-famous film star, the irascible Mimi Robertson. Here amid the vines and olive groves, Bee quickly finds there’s more to the place than meets the eye, not least a certain Luca (and Romeo the dog).
As she comes to terms with her injuries and her new life takes shape, Bee will have to travel a road of self-discovery… and make a huge decision.
Anyone who follows my reviews knows I'm a big fan of TA Williams. It's a real treat to read one of his marvellous stories.
This one is set in the heart of the Tuscan countryside, and his wonderful storytelling skills brings the setting to life. For several blissful hours I was in Italy, and loving every page of it.
With an unusual and dramatic start to the novel, it drew me in immediately, and as well as falling in love with the setting, I fell in love with Beatrice, too. She's very human, very likeable and has the most remarkable stroke of bad luck - and good. And I want her life, please!
Last but not least, there's a romance that will melt your heart and a dog you'll want to adopt.