BACK WHERE IT ALL STARTED…

As I’m psyching myself up to write the blurb for the back cover on my latest book – something which is the shortest but for me probably one of the worst parts of the writing process – I thought I would take a trip back down memory lane to where it all began.

When Tomorrow Comes was my very first novel. Published in 2010 it was the start of what became known as The Behind Blue Eyes trilogy set in West Somerset in the fictional village of Meridan Cross.  My childhood had been spent growing up in rural England therefore it seemed to be a good focal point to build a story around and also to follow the advice ‘write about what you know’. I was amazed at how the memories came back so clearly and enabled me to weave the characters into this beautiful rural backdrop. I based the location on where I currently live, where the village sits on the slope of a hill under a large sprawling wood. Road, rail and river run through the valley towards Bath, although in the fictional version  they run out towards the Somerset Levels.

The book  follows the lives of four very different girls – Ella, Jenny, Issy and Rachel, all friends growing up in the late 1960s.  It’s all about falling in and out of love, fashion and, of course, the music.

Most of my writing has a musical influence and that particular decade was awash  with great songs to use for inspiration while writing.  There are some good compilations available on DVD which accompanied me on my writing journey.  Central to the story was a club, The Mill and I got the feel for creating that whole environment and its atmosphere through the music.  However one of the most important tracks during my writing journey was from The Who’s 1971 Who’s Next album.  Behind Blue Eyes although written from a male perspective seemed to be the definitive song for Melissa Carpenter,  a woman pivotal to the story and it became the inspiration for the name of the trilogy.  Mel is the mother of the book’s central character Ella. An attractive, fashionable woman with striking blue eyes her arrival brings a touch of glamour to the provincial West Country town of Abbotsbridge.

As a young widow Mel mysteriously disappeared leaving Ella and her brother Nick,  to be raised by both sets of grandparents.  Now eleven years later she is back with a new husband in tow.  Her unexpected arrival has nothing to do reconciliation it is more about safeguarding her inheritance now her father, wealthy farmer Richard Evas,  is about to remarry. No shrinking violet, Mel immediately sets about interfering in everyone’s lives.  She takes over Ella’s life with disastrous consequences, disapproves of Nick’s choice of fiancée and stirs up the other women members of the Rotary Inner Wheel. And as if this isn’t bad enough, it automatically sets Faye Benedict on a mission to make sure her son Matt stays as far apart as possible from Ella.

She is the woman everyone loves to hate.  A totally self-absorbed individual, even the man she plans to leave her husband for is a means to an end in her bid for social advancement within the town.  While others see her as a vain spiteful woman – someone most people cross the street to avoid – she considers herself much smarter than all the other females around her.  In her eyes she is one of life’s winners; someone who is bold enough to take what she wants. Fortunately she doesn’t always get her own way  and as we reach the end of  book 3 The Ghost of You and Me  there are a few unpleasant surprises in store for her.

I followed the trilogy with two sequels: Between Today and Yesterday and The Other Side of Morning.  Both these novels had Cruella Devilles wreaking havoc with their own brand of unpleasantness.  I guess this controversial character has become a ‘must have’ for all my novels and specifically she has to be female.  In The Other Side of Morning I attempted to write a male equivalent but it simply did not work.  For me the female of the species is definitely deadlier than the male!

My current WIP although a completely new story has yet another scheming female there to cause chaos and stir up trouble.  However since my trilogy days my bad girls do things in a much more subtle way than Mel Carpenter ever did.

SYNOPSIS FOR WHEN TOMORROW COMES

1967: When eighteen-year-old Ella Kendrick moves to the Somerset town of Abbotsbridge to live with her mother Melissa and stepfather Liam she is looking forward to getting to know someone who has been absent from her life for eleven years.  Ella is intrigued by this glamorous, fashionable woman and hopes she holds the key to many unanswered questions about her childhood.   However, living in the Carpenter household does not turn out to be the idyllic experience Mel has promised her daughter.  Scheming and manipulative she has specific plans for Ella.  Plans which do not include boyfriend Niall O’Farrell left behind in the village where she grew up with her grandparents, or the university place she hopes for.

After Ella loses Niall to her best friend and her career aspirations have been trimmed to a college course, ambitious Mel puts her main plan into action – finding her daughter a wealthy boyfriend.  In doing this, she is looking for a marriage which will give her the right connections and help her own social advancement in the town.

But Mel’s plan stalls when on a cold January evening, local nightclub owner’s son Matt Benedict unexpectedly walks into Ella’s life.

Ella knows she will have to fight to stay with Matt, branded as most unsuitable by her mother; but it is not just Mel she is up against.  Matt’s mother Faye has her own reasons for parting them, as does Andy Macayne, the rich, self-indulgent young man Mel hopes her daughter will eventually marry.

WHEN TOMORROW COMES is the first book in the Behind Blue Eyes Trilogy.  Ella and Matt’s journey is about to begin………

Click on the Amazon button  below for more detail.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004BA56WM

TEA AND TALK AT SALLY LUNN’S WITH LYNDA RENHAM AND HER NEW BOOK FUDGE BERRIES AND FROGS KNICKERS

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Tea and Talk  at Sally Lunn’s is usually all about chat over cakes and tea (or coffee).  Today, however, I’m doing something completely different.  It’s a shout out for Lynda Renham.  Lynda is not  only one of my author friends she is a great RomCom writer with a new book out TODAY.  Fudge Berries and Frogs Knickers is out today on e-book and will be available in paperback from 14th February.

 Want to know more?

9780992787479_RPUB1006_KindleCoverPoppy Wellesley is rich. In fact Poppy Wellesley is very rich, so when her fortunes change from riches to rags Poppy has to start a whole new life. Put yourself in her Guccis as she swaps her penthouse apartment for a run-down houseboat on Regent’s Canal. Meet her dippy friend Chelsea, the infamous Jack Diamond (see The Dog’s Bollocks) and her hunky boat neighbour, Taylor. Will Poppy hold on to her millionaire fiancé or will Pug-face Pandora steal him from her? Can she avoid the advances from Balls (Lord Balthazar Wyndham-Price) or does she find true love on the canal? Fudge Berries and Frogs’ Knickers is a romantic comedy roller coaster ride that will put a smile on your face and a cheer in your heart.

Amazon UK Link for Fudge Berries and Frog’s Knickers:http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00SERPICQ

 

Lynda Renham is famous for her romantic comedy novels. She has been called A Comedian in a Book, Chicklit Royalty and A Comic Genius. Her writing style has been likened to Sophie Kinsella but is refreshingly down to earth with characters that become your friends. Lynda is a prolific writer, blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.

She lives in Oxfordshire with her second husband and cat.

Also by Lynda:

 

Links: www.renham.co.uk and on Twitter: @lyndarenham’

 

 

BROOK COTTAGE BOOKS – TO FALL IN LOVE AGAIN BY DAVID BURNETT, BOOK TOUR 12 – 23 JANUARY 2015

To Fall in Love Again BannerSYNOPSIS

Drew Nelson did not plan to talk with anyone that morning. He did not plan to make a new friend. He certainly did not plan to fall in love. He resisted all of Amy’s attempts to draw him out− at the hotel, at the airport, on the airplane− giving hurried responses and burying his face in a pile of papers. It was only when the flight attendant offered coffee, and a muscle in Amy’s back twitched as she reached for it, and the cup tipped, and the hot liquid puddled in Drew’s lap that they began to talk.  Earlier in the year, each had lost a spouse of over thirty years. Drew’s wife had died of a brain tumor, Amy’s husband when his small airplane nose-dived toTo_Fall_in_Love_Again_-_Amazon earth, the engine at full throttle − an accident, it was ruled. They live in the same city. Both have grandchildren. They are about the same age. Consciously, or not, they both are looking to love again.  But relationships do not exist in vacuums. Drew is wealthy, and Amy is middle class. Amy is “new” in town – she and her husband moved to Charleston twenty-five years ago – while Drew’s family has lived there for three centuries. Drew lives below Broad, a code word for high society, old families, power, and money. Amy’s home is across the river. Class warfare may be less violent than it was in the past, but when Drew invites Amy to the St Cecelia Ball, battle lines are drawn. In a city in which ancestry is important, the ball’s membership is passed from father to son, and only those from the oldest families attend. Family, friends, co-workers all weigh in on their relationship and choose sides. Allies are found in unexpected places. Opposition comes from among those who were thought to be friends. Though they are gone, even their spouses − through things they have done and things they have said − wield influence in the conflict that follows. Amy begins to suspect that Drew is one of them, the rich snobs who despise her, while Drew concludes that Amy neither trusts him nor cares for him. As each questions the other’s motives, their feelings for each other are tested, and Drew and Amy are challenged to consider if they truly want to fall in love again.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – DAVID BURNETT

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I live in Columbia South Carolina, with my wife and our blue-eyed cat, Bonnie. I enjoy traveling, photography, baking bread, and the Carolina beaches.

We have traveled widely in the United States and the United Kingdom. During one trip to Scotland, we visited Crathes Castle, the ancestral home of the Burnett family near Aberdeen.

My photographic subjects have been as varied as prehistoric ruins on the islands of Scotland, star trails, sea gulls, and a Native American powwow.

I went to school for longer than I want to admit, and I have graduate degrees in psychology and education. I was formerly director of research for our state education department.

We have two daughters and three grandchildren. To Fall in Love Again is my third novel.

MY REVIEW

It’s great to be reminded that you don’t have to be young to fall in love.  I warmed to Drew and Amy’s characters immediately.  Coming from different backgrounds and both having grown up families, it was obvious the course of true love was never going to run smoothly.

I was caught up with this story from the moment I started reading.   Beautifully written as it progressed you were able view events from both Drew and Amy’s perspectives – and experience all their highs and lows.   A great supporting cast too – I particularly disliked Barb, immature and vindictive with absolutely no redeeming features.

Drew is a kind, honest and caring man.  He isn’t worried  about their differences.  His family have accepted Amy and she makes him happy, that is all that matters to him.

I was amazed at Amy’s strength as she coped with some of the situations she found herself in.  There were so many negatives in her life: a dead husband whose will showed exactly the kind of rat she had been married to; so-called friends who had kept the truth hidden from her for years; a disapproving older daughter who was almost bullying at times and, of course, Barb the office bitch.  And as if this wasn’t enough, there were those acquaintances of Drew’s she met at the St Cecelia Ball who were keen to remind her she was an interloper who had no place in their world.

Things start to go wrong when a series of unfortunate incidents involving Drew add to Amy’s troubles. She begins to question his sincerity.  From the way she has started behaving Drew is also beginning to have his suspicions about her motives. Is her interest in him or his money? The situation comes to a head and the relationship ends.  They go back to their old lives, Amy angry, Drew hurt.  But is it really over or is there a possibility they can by some miracle fall in love again?

This was a complete departure from my normal choice of book but I would definitely like to read more from David Burnett.  Thank you! A brilliant five star experience…

I would like to thank the author for providing a free e-copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Links for David Burnett

BUY LINKS

 

AMAZON UK

 

AMAZON US

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR DAVID

http://davidburnett.yolasite.com

http://davidburnettsbooks.blogspot.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/David-Burnett-Author/447290468681693?ref=hl

 

If you would like the chance to win a copy of To Fall in Love Again click on the Rafflecopter link to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4be0301728/