An Italian Affair…

As a holiday destination Italy always been one of my favourite countries to visit.  The people, the history, the food,  the pace of life, the weather, and so many amazing places to explore.

I have a close affinity with water and boats – Dartmouth and Fowey being two of my favourite UK holiday destinations.  So it’s not surprising when I arrived in Garda in 2001 for a week’s holiday, I was totally smitten.  I’ve been back twice since then.  Another stay in Garda and then across the water to Desenzano, the biggest town on the lake with its rail link to Milan and main ferry terminal.

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Hotel Villa Rosa, Desenzano

When I began to develop the plot for A Cornish Affair, I needed my heroine Cat’s father Ruan to have two long term friends who would become key players in this story. So I created Gareth Hunter who like Ruan had been born and raised in Carrenporth and Étienne Di Marco. Étienne and Ruan had met at university.  Both from hotel owning families, they became good friends and over the years kept in touch.  Half French-half Italian, Étienne now owned the Casa D’Oro hotel group and was based at their flagship hotel Fiore Del Lago on Lake Garda.  The creation of this character and his hotel was helped by the fact we had recently stayed in Desenzano at the Hotel Villa Rosa and I was so taken with this beautiful hotel, I  used it as inspiration for Fiore Del Lago.

But it wasn’t only the hotel. The lake is one of the most relaxing and atmospheric places I’ve visited so taking Cat there to work for Étienne was like going on holiday without leaving home!

 

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If you’d like a trip to the Italian Lakes to join Cat in Desenzano,  A Cornish Affair is one of four books currently on offer as part of an Italian Summer Sale. You can buy on Kobo, Kindle and Apple.  And at just 99p for the e-book version it’s  una grande offerta.  The sale ends midnight on 17th July

Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …

In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

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A Cornish Affair – Meet Emelia Trevelyan

Day three and it’s Great Aunt Em’s turn under the spotlight.

If ever there was a character I loved creating it was Emelia Trevelyan – ‘call me Em’.  On the surface she is a strong willed, cantankerous elderly woman. Rules simply do not apply to her.  As the story begins she is a member of a group of elderly women ‘The Gossip Girls’  from the village who create mayhem wherever they go.  But scratch the surface and you will find a completely different character.  She is incredibly lonely after losing her brother Gerren and his wife Jenna.  A year ago they handed the hotel over to their son, Em’s nephew Ruan, and left for retirement in France.  Em has never married. She spent her early years living at the Tarwin House Hotel and then when her parents died she inherited Caer Gwyn a circular white house set on a small promontory  a quarter of a mile away.  When Gerren told her about their plans to move to France, she hoped she might be a part of it.  Unfortunately she wasn’t.  Realising how much she missed their company, Ruan invited her back to live at the hotel; to be part of his family.  Unfortunately Em couldn’t help interfering in the day to day running of Tarwin House and Ruan was constantly having to speak to her.  Feeling more and more isolated, when Rosalind Myers, self styled leader of the Gossip Girls, offered her the opportunity to join their group, Em was delighted.  Her action in bringing them into the hotel and letting them snoop around the family’s private apartments saw Ruan sending her straight to back Caer Gwyn.

Gradually Em began to recognise how damaging Rosalind and her cronies’ actions were, but breaking away from them was difficult.  Being a part of the group appeared to be the lesser of the two evils. The alternative was a lonely life with her housekeeper and Hamish her West Highland terrier.  Things eventually came to a head one morning outside the town’s small supermarket where she was rescued by Nathan and Cat.  And it was Cat who came up with an idea which would channel Em’s energies in a different direction and give her a new purpose in life.

Em is, of course, pivotal to one of the most important parts of the book, as witness to a murder, but you will have to read A Cornish Affair to discover how she becomes involved…

  

A CORNISH AFFAIR

 

Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …

In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

Amazon Buy Links

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Also available on Amazon : Kobo : Nook: Google Play and Apple iBook Store

A Cornish Affair – Meet Luke Carrack

Day two and it’s Luke’s turn under the spotlight.

It’s hard to imagine that when I began writing this book Luke was set up to be the villain.  After all with his disadvantaged background he definitely has the makings of an anti-hero.  However, right from the start, casting Luke as the bad guy simply didn’t work. So I sat down and did some reworking of the plot and turned him into the book’s hero instead.

As I said above, Luke came from a disadvantaged background.  His mother Selina, the daughter of a wealthy local family, was a wild child of the 80s who got herself pregnant by one of her father’s employees.  He left the area before he knew her situation and never returned.  Eighteen year old Selina, always the rebel, left home and secretly married Ross Carrick, one of Carrenporth’s fishermen. Ross was ten years older than Selina, but he’d always loved her, even though he felt she was out of reach and all they had was friendship.  When Luke was born he took Ross’s surname.  For a few years his childhood was a happy one, despite being ostracised by his mother’s family and most of Carrenporth.  Then when he was fourteen tragedy struck. Ross’s trawler sank with all hands on board off the Scilly Isles.  Selina, never a strong character could not cope and took refuge in drink.  Within in year she too was dead.  Much to everyone’s surprise Selina’s brother Gareth who now owned the family business, stepped in to give Luke a home and educate him. This angered his social climbing wife Evie who felt Selina’s son had no place in their home, living alongside her own son Jordan.  While Jordan exhibited all the traits of an overindulged layabout, Luke achieved good school grades and worked for Gareth for a while before going on to university.  After successfully completing his degree he left to travel for a couple of years with a promise to come back and work for his uncle.  Now he’s returned to a place that has changed very little since his departure. A large portion of this small minded community still view him as Selina Hunter’s illegitimate son and his aunt still detests him. But Gareth, impressed by his nephew’s work ethic,  is about to reward him. And the job he has in mind is set to stir up even more hate and resentment from Evie and Jordan…

 

A CORNISH AFFAIR

 

Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …

In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

Amazon Buy Links

📚 https://amzn.to/31EQfMH
🔊 https://amzn.to/2XkRPnA

Also available on Amazon : Kobo : Nook: Google Play and Apple iBook Store

A Cornish Affair – Meet Cat Trevelyan

As I’m away for a few days, I thought I’d introduce three of the main characters from my current novel.

Today it’s Cat Trevelyan’s turn.  She is the central female character and the story is mainly narrated from her viewpoint.  Together with her twin brother Nathan she is the fourth generation of the Trevelyan family to make a career in the hotel business.

The Tarwin House Hotel sits on the cliffs overlooking the fishing port of Carrenporth on the North Coast of Cornwall just to the south of Newquay.  It was originally built by Cat’s ancestor Jago Menhenick in the 1800s as a monument to his successful businesses in copper and tin.  It remained the family’s home until her great grandfather Edgar decided to open it as a hotel.  Over the years it has been gradually extended and is now run by Cat and Nathan’s father Ruan Trevelyan.

Nathan works as the hotel’s deputy manager and also runs the basement nightclub Ship2Shore while Cat is an events planner in charge of the hotel’s functions suite.  She’s hard working, a bit of a perfectionist and maybe even a little too work focussed at times. Rarely having time for dating, she enjoys her single life, mostly girls’ evenings out with her best friend Jodie Penwarne.  She’s close to her father and has a soft spot for her difficult Great Aunt Emelia.  She can also be a bit prickly at times and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. As Luke tells her during one of their spats ‘…you need to cut yourself some slack when you’re off duty, Cat. Who knows, there might be a real nice girl lurking under all that spit and fur.’

Cat’s first meeting with Luke Carrack does not go well. She sees him as an arrogant know all and tries to avoid him as much as possible.  However he seems to regularly turn up in the most unexpected places, always making her feel irritable and angry. But when things go wrong at a wedding reception where he’s a guest, through his actions she begin to see him in a completely different light.  Of course it would be too easy to let the course of true love run smoothly.  Once they get together are a tremendous amount of obstacles these two have ahead of them….but you’ll have to read the book to discover what happens and whether they get their happy ending.

 

A CORNISH AFFAIR

 

Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …

In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

Amazon Buy Links

📚 https://amzn.to/31EQfMH
🔊 https://amzn.to/2XkRPnA

Also available on Amazon : Kobo : Nook: Google Play and Apple iBook Store

TODAY LIFE PLAYLISTS WELCOMES WRITER JACKIE LADBURY WHO IS CHOOSING HER FIVE SPECIAL TRACKS…

Today is the final in the current series of Life Playlists as the series takes a summer break –  with a planned return for the autumn.  Hope you enjoy Jackie’s selection:

1) Sigrid’s High Five. I first heard this track through my daughters playlist and I love it because it’s so upbeat – and if I play it loud while driving in the car, it makes me feel like a teenager again. Sigrid is such a lovely, unpretentious young lady that it warms my heart to listen to her.

2)True Colours: The Trolls version. It’s sung so beautifully by Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and Justin Timberlake that it brings a tear to my eye. I keep asking my daughter to sing the Anna part while I sing the Justin part, but she’s having none of it.

3)One Direction: Wolves. Not embarrassed to say that I loved One Direction in their day. (well, I am a bit!). Went to see them in Birmingham (most stressful journey ever, going through the city at rush hour) Harry apologised to me ’cos he threw a bottle of water at the crowd and it hit my iPhone as I was trying to get a photo. We were right at the front. I was a bit star stuck, ’tis true. Bless those lovely boys!

4) Shallow Love by Gabrielle Aplin. he has such a pretty voice and it’s a lovely song –and best of all I can play it on my guitar ( just about.) I used to play the guitar as a teenager but have recently taken up lessons again. It‘s a small group and we usually spend ten minutes catching up with news, so don’t always get a lot of playing done, but hey, I have another reason to trawl eBay – looking for the perfect guitar!

5) Taylor Swift, the queen of the break up songs: All too Well is one of my all-time favourites because the words encompass the bittersweet memories of a break up so well, ‘So casually cruel in the name of being of being honest.’ Brilliant. She has such an incredible talent.

 

 

THE POTTER'S DAUGHTER_v2 copy

Is love powerful enough to cross the class divide?

When Daniel Davenport saves Maddie Lockett and her young brother Tom from drowning, an immediate bond is forged between them.
But Daniel is an aspiring doctor and son of a wealthy manufacturer, whilst Maddie is a potter’s daughter from a poverty-stricken area of the Potteries. Even a friendship between the two could be frowned upon, let alone anything more …
But Maddie and Daniel want more, and as they grow closer gossip and prejudice look set to spoil their blossoming romance. Do the young couple stand a chance when there are those who would stop at nothing to keep them apart?

BUY LINKS

https://amzn.to/2C3lMNN The Potter’s Daughter

ABOUT JACKIE

Jackie Ladbury

Jackie Ladbury writes heart-warming contemporary and historical women’s fiction that is always guaranteed a happy ever after. From spending many years as an air-stewardess and seeing that it really is love that makes the world go around, she determined to put the same sparkle and emotion into her stories. Her life is no longer as exotic (or chaotic) as it was in those heady days of flying around the world, as she lives a quiet life in Hertfordshire with her family and two cats.

The Typing Revolution…

shoppingAs a writer if there’s one thing I’m grateful for it’s the ability to type. Finishing school I enrolled at college for an OND in Business and Finance with secretarial training. The latter was very much involved with unlocking the mysteries of shorthand, audio typing…and typing.
Faced with a typewriter for the first time and looking at the QWERTY keyboard, I was at a loss to understand how anyone could use this machine and produce anything that resembled the written word. But we did and sitting down at a desk and spreading your fingers across what was termed your ‘home keys’ soon became second nature.

We had a formidable woman teaching us – Mrs Cameron Smith. She was built like an Amazon with muscular calves and elegantly arranged pale lilac hair – at the time it was fashionable for ladies of a certain age to camouflage any grey with pastel shades of lilac or blue. Her golden rule was NEVER look at your keys while typing. We learnt on manual typewriters which meant you had to exert quite a bit of pressure to get the keys to make any impact against the platen and the paper. It soon made us aware of how weak our small fingers were but after a while they became as strong and flexible as the rest.

At the beginning of each lesson (once we were fairly proficient) we warmed up by typing to music, usually to The March of the Tin Soldiers – something that still haunts me. This was followed by a speed test – five minutes of copy typing from a printed sheet of Quarto old-speak for a piece of paper slightly smaller than A4). While this was going on Mrs C-S would wander up and down the aisles between desks with eyes like a hawk and a twelve inch ruler lurking behind her back. Woe betide anyone who so much as glimpsed at their fingers. Luckily I was never the recipient of the flat of a ruler over my knuckles (something that in today’s world would surely have been labelled assault). Persistent offenders had the addition of having a special box placed over the keyboard to cure them of their illegal downward stare. They were instructed to use a huge poster of a typewriter keyboard on the wall at the front of the room to guide their fingers.

After leaving college I had only been working for a short while when the electric typewriter arrived. This was a ibm-typewritertotal revolution! At last we were all able to say goodbye to aching fingers. Everyone coveted – and I was lucky enough to have – a red IBM Golf Ball typewriter and at the start it took some getting used to. No more keys leaping out of the type basket to make their impact on paper; this circular metal ball covered in letters simply whizzed up and down. There were downsides of course. It wasn’t a good idea to rest your fingers on the keyboard at any time as the slightest pressure on any one key would automatically set it off like a machine gun, leaving a trail of gibberish across whatever you were in the middle of typing.  Olivetti also produced an electric daisy wheel typewriter. The beauty of this machine was that you could Print Elementsbuy replacement wheels with different typefaces making it a very versatile piece of equipment. Today, of course, the computer leaves us spoiled for choice with innumerable typeface options, so different from those dark days!

Things settled down for a while and then the electronic typewriter arrived. I guess this was the forerunner of word processing as the one I wedges-017used had a small window built into the front to enable text to be edited – very cutting edge at the time. By the late ‘80’s early ‘90’s computers/word processors were beginning to become norm in the provincial workplace (no doubt London and other big cities had had them for some time). My first session on a word processor was surreal. In the past typing had been about movement and noise. Now here I was, sitting in front of a strange detached keyboard. When my fingers hit keys there was a gentle tapping sound but nothing felt as if it had connected with anything else. It was only when I raised my eyes to the screen in front of me that I saw words appearing as if by magic. It was probably as weird an experience as the progression from manual to electric typewriter.

800px-hardwarewordprocessor-optimizedIn early desktop computers  WP packages were almost an afterthought and in some instances not very user friendly. Therefore I opted for a dedicated word processor instead, using the computer for spreadsheets and databases. Suddenly it seemed you no longer needed to be able to type to use a computer. Of course it completely transformed how things were done in the workplace. A manager doing his own typing? Shock, horror! That would have been unheard of during my early years at work. Then it was all about dictation and audio tapes and getting the secretary to type it all up.  It took a little time to adjust to typing on a computer keyboard but I got there and soon worked up to my 80+ words per minute. There is only one problem I have and that is as a touch typist I find it very difficult to build up any speed on a ‘flat’ laptop keyboard. That is why, I guess, I prefer my desktop.

Although the workplace has radically changed,  I’m glad I went through the fire and brimstone of Mrs Cameron Smith’s teaching sessions. It wasn’t wasted because if I hadn’t learned the skill I’d be reduced to two finger typing while typing my manuscript and working at a snail’s pace. As far as I’m concerned touch typing is definitely an added bonus if you’re a writer. So here’s to the unforgettable Mrs Cameron Smith with her lilac rinse, athletic calves and menacing ruler. I’m forever in her debt.

It’s publication day for Sharon Ibbotson’s latest historical romance A Game of Desire…

GAME OF DESIRE COVER

The Queen of Diamonds never loses …

Felicity Fox is a rarity for a woman living in the early 1800s. Not only does she frequent the ‘gambling hells’ where most ladies would not dare to tread, she can also beat any man at his own game. It’s no wonder she’s gained notoriety as the ‘Queen of Diamonds’.

Edward, Earl of Addington, despises gambling and is not exactly enamoured of Felicity Fox either, especially after she tried to swindle his family. Except now the Earl requires assistance from the Queen of Diamonds – and there’s everything to play for. But with Edward will Felicity find she’s involved in a more dangerous game than she’s ever played before?

SHARON IBBOTSON

Sharon was born in Sydney, Australia but now lives in London, UK with her husband, two small children and two black cats named for desserts. She started writing ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ fanfic aged fifteen, which eventually turned into the historical romance novels she writes today. You can follow Sharon at http://www.sharonibbotson.com or on twitter @seibbotson