Escape into Magic Realism Blog Tour…

After over a year of answering the question: ‘in what genre do you write?’ I now have a definitive answer.

Up until now I have only been able to answer that question in a very round about, confusing way, that leaves the asker sorry that she inquired whilst simultaneously reaching for a paracetamol and large glass of wine.

For example:

‘Well, it’s when extraordinary things happen to ordinary people, like a mum time travels 50 years into the past, or a woman buys a spell off the internet and ruins her life, or a mum is plagued by a matchmaking imaginary friend.  It’s not quite fantasy, because it happens in our world, and it’s not really paranormal because there are no vampires or were-imaginary friends. It’s not contemporary  either because it has magical elements, it’s a bit chick lit and romantic comedy…’

‘That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. What the hell do you write, Sarah?’

‘Hmmmm, well…..’

Yeah. This kind of answer is worthy of chewing bubble gum, twirling my blond hair and tilting my head on the side like an inquisitive golden retriever.  Throw fifteen or so ‘likes’ in that answer and I would be legally obliged to change my name to Paris.

But now, thanks to Escape Publishing, I – and others like me, namely Juliet Madison, Jacquie Underdown, Jennifer Brassel, Katherine Givens  and Robyn Neely– finally have a bookshelf to plant our virtual bottoms on and call home.

Magic Realism Romance.

Escape logo

Yeah, baby!

So, let’s take that disjointed and migraine inducing conversation from the top:

‘So, Sarah, in what genre do you write?’

‘Not quite paranormal, not quite fantasy, this genre believes that magic is a part of the every day, and that there’s more to our lives than can be explained. If you’re looking for a little mystical, a little miraculous, a little more, this is the romance for you.’

‘That sounds amazeballs! How clever of Escape Publishing to give you guys a subgenre.  Where can I learn more?’

My new Magicl Realism Romance  novel, Miss Spelled will be released on September 1, 2014 via Escape Publishing.

Magic Realism mixes with romantic comedy in this new novel from Sarah Belle about the dangers of internet shopping – and using magic to solve real world problems.  

Lou’s life is perfect. She loves her job, her renovated house, and most of all, her gorgeous fiancé, Aidan. But when her old flame and Aidan’s school yard nemesis turn out to be the same person, Hunter Wincott, Lou’s life is blown apart. She must divulge her secret past, or have Hunter give it away. Either way, she runs the real risk of losing Aidan.  

In desperation, she turns to Google. A quick search turns up Majique, the Internet Witch, and a spell that will delete herself from Hunter’s memory. But something goes wrong in the casting process, and Lou deletes much much more than just a memory. She deletes herself from her life completely.  

Luckily, there’s a one-week window for Lou to get back to the life she loved. One week to win back Aidan, before he walks down the aisle with the wrong woman,  and damns everyone to a lifetime of misery. It would be easy, if only Aidan had any idea who Lou actually is.

 

 

 

 9780857991836

 

and my debut Magical Realism Romance novel, Hindsight is currently available at all good etailers!

Humour, wit, and just a touch of humility: the swinging 60s as you’ve never seen them before! 

The universe has sent Juliette a sign. She wishes it had been an email instead…

Juliette’s career is on fire, her marriage and family are in melt-down, and a red-hot goddess wants her husband. But those are the least of her worries when she wakes up on her lounge room floor in the year 1961.

Without any of her modern conveniences — nanny, housekeeper, surgically attached mobile phone, designer wardrobe, and intravenous lattes — Juliette is just over fifty years out of her comfort zone. But as she takes on the role of a 1961 housewife, with gritted liberated teeth, she discovers an unexpected truth: slower doesn’t mean boring, at home doesn’t mean dull, and priorities don’t mean sacrifices.

As she finds unexpected friendships, a resuscitated love life, tragedy and triumph, Juliette begins to wonder if she really wants to return home after all.

 9780857990587_Hindsight

 

 

Advertisements

Release Day for ‘Luna Tango’ by Alli Sinclair…

Hello Alli and congratulations on the release of your debut novel, ‘Luna Tango’.

What was the first story you ever wrote?

The one I remember clearly is a story I wrote one day after my family had dragged me to an AFL match. I was bored out of my brain so started writing about a humorous story about a character who was bored out of her brain because her annoying brother wouldn’t stop picking on her and her parents didn’t understand why she hated watching sport. Well, they say write what you know and I guess I was doing exactly that! The finished story had my family in fits of laughter but they still dragged me to another football match the following week. Le sigh …

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

 I’m a little (okay, a lot) in love with Carlos Escudero the dance teacher in Luna Tango. Beneath his broody exterior is a man hoping for another chance at love even though his ex smashed has smashed his heart into a thousand pieces. He’s also conflicted – he despises tango because it ruined his life but he has to teach it because it’s all he knows and is his only income. Plus he’s super sexy. 😉

high res

Has being published changed you at all? If so, how?

It’s given me more confidence in my writing but I still second guess myself and some days I look at the screen and think I’m only capable for writing s*&^t, but I now recognise it’s part of my writing process. The other thing about being published means I am a lot busier!

What would we find on your bookshelf / e-reader?

At the moment it’s The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I’m very keen to get stuck into it as the book has been talked about widely. I also have a Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn that has been highly recommended by writer friends. And I’m always revisiting The Seamstress by Maria Dueñas – it’s my go-to book when I’m in the mood to reread a story and revisit characters and settings I love.

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

Ha! That’s a great question! It would most definitely have to be cuy—deep fried guinea pig. Yeah. You read that right, I’m afraid. I lived in Peru for a while and cuy is often served during festivals. After some Dutch courage (ie lots of local beer) I gave it a go and tore off the tiniest piece. One nibble was enough to say ‘No gracias’ and swear never to try local delicacies after large quantities of alcohol. I’m a big fan of Hamish and Andy’s Cultural Eating segment on their Gap Year shows and I am very glad to say I haven’t gone as far as they have!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?

 a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Oh most definitely Scarlett O’Hara! The dynamic between her and Rhett mesmerises me and even though she comes across as spoilt and bossy, deep down she has a good heart. Although after a day in corsets I might have wished I’d chosen Princess Leia – she definitely looks more comfortable!

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. At the time it was published, A Suitable Boy was the longest published novel in history. The story has multiple family sagas that are drawn across a long timeframe and the characters are complex, engaging, and very human. Vikram Seth is amongst a large group of writers I adore from India as they have such a magical way of storytelling and the settings are just beautiful. I’ve always loved India and was lucky enough to travel there many years ago so when a writer describes a scent or scenery, it often takes me back to my own travels (minus the family saga!).

alli profile

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

To write faster! I have so many ideas brewing but it’s hard to find the time needed to get them all down.

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is one thing you would want to take with you?

1920s Paris without a doubt and I’d take a video camera to record all the wonderful adventures I’d experience and the very cool bohemian types that I’d befriend.

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

I’ve just finished the first draft of book two in The Dance Card Series. This one is called Flamenco Fire and is set in Spain. It’s been fun researching flamenco music, dance and lyrics and it is way, way, way more complicated than I ever expected. Luckily I have a flamenco expert on hand to throw curly questions at! It’s been wonderful getting to know the new characters (as each book will have a new set) and to put them in situations they’ve never dreamt of or they have done their very best to avoid. (Mwahahaha!)

I’ve also written a third of Turning Pointe, book three in the series. This one is about the Ballets Russes in 1920’s Paris. Again, the research and getting to know the characters and their situations has been loads of fun. I’m excited about these new books but there’s still a lot of work to do before they’re ready!

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from LUNA TANGO, please?

This scene takes place near the beginning of the story when Dani is trying to get Carlos on board to help her write her tango articles. He hates journalists with more passion than he ever danced the tango but he’s decided to give her a break—sort of.

 

‘I did not travel the world as a professional tango dancer because I am bad at it. I do not have my own dance studio because I am bad at it. When I teach you to dance, you will not be bad at it.’

She wondered what it was like living in Carlos Escudero’s bubble. She doubted there’d be much elbowroom between him and his inflated ego. Although, his self-assuredness almost led her to believe he could teach her at least a couple of steps. Then reality hit and she shook her head.

‘I can do this, you must have the trust in me.’ Carlos dipped his chin and locked eyes with her. ‘Trust in yourself.’

She did admire his attempts and thanked the Powers That Be that he had no idea who her mother was. If he did, she’d have to suffer the embarrassment of explaining why the dancing gene hadn’t just skipped Dani, it had fled. Also, she didn’t want to deal with the inevitable questions that would accompany her revelation about Iris. No one outside the family knew who her mother was and she had no intention of revealing this to anyone. Somehow, Dani needed to find a way to understand Iris’s idiosyncrasies and passion through Carlos. Learning the tango could be the easy part.

 

Links;

Facebook

Website

Twitter

Goodreads

 

Alli is launching a super special competition today and the winner will receive a one-off prize that has been created especially for the occasion.

Click below for more information:

http://allisinclairauthor.wordpress.com/blog/

 

BOOK LAUNCH:

For those in Melbourne and surrounds, you are invited to the Luna Tango book launch and tango event held on 21 August at Readings Hawthorn. Tickets are $10 and will include a tango show and lesson, wine and food. Proceeds of tickets will go to Parkinson’s Victoria, an organisation very dear to Alli’s family.

Please note: due to limited space ticket bookings prior to event is essential.

http://www.readings.com.au/event/wine-romance-and-a-tango-lesson

My Writing Process- the blog tour…

Today is Blog Tour Day. This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend M.A. Grant posted hers last week. You can check out her writing process here.

So, now it’s my turn:

1)     What am I working on?

I am currently working on a romantic comedy (surprise, surprise) about an imaginary friend who returns and intervenes in the non-existent love life of Natalie, single mum, who really needs a little romance in her very safe and boring life.

It originally started off as a novella, but tanked in a very disturbing way because the art of writing novellas is not one I am about to master any time soon. So, it has been extended and I am currently having loads of fun making life very difficult for Natalie and the extremely sexy Dr Alex Cameron- her teenage sweetheart.  Throw in a hormonally charged Gothic teenager, a cheeky five year old, a narcissistic-sex addicted ex husband and an imaginary friend who looks like a budget superhero and what do you have? (I don’t know because I haven’t come up with a name yet! I suck at coming up with names.) Stay tuned!

 2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve come up with the term ‘Romagic Comedy’ to describe my style of writing. It’s romantic comedy with a dash of magic, but not enough or it to be truthfully termed Paranormal. In Romagic Comedy, extraordinary things happen to every day people in the every day world- such as time travelling back to 1961 in my debut novel, Hindsight. My most recent completed manuscript Deja Vu Lou centres around Lou who casts a spell with disastrous consequences- because she’s not a witch and has no idea of what she’s doing.

Think of movies / TV shows like Drop Dead Diva, Suddenly 30, About Time, The Catch Up, Freaky Friday….

9780857990587_Hindsight

3)     Why do I write what I do?

Simply because I love the ‘what if’ factor. Writing with a dash of magic allows me to be quirky, imaginative and explore my sense of adventure. It allows me to do put my characters through their paces and really turn up the conflict.

I used to think my dream job would be writing for a big USA soapie – look at the crap that happens to them! Demonic possessions, being kidnapped and turning up 5 years later as an Arabian Princess,  kids growing up but the parents never aging – how cool to write that stuff!

4)     How does your writing process work?

I get an idea, a scenario that is pretty far out – like waking up to find that you and your entire family has time travelled back to 1961. Then I create characters for whom this would cause the utmost conflict and challenge – such as an ultra modern, independent career maniac. After that I get to throw as many challenges their was as possible and watch them fight their way out of it.

I am a plotter so most of this is already determined before I sit down at the laptop. Once I’m there creativity takes over and anything can happen, which is a wonderful, organic feel to writing.

It can take me 3-4 weeks to plot an entire novel, however, having said that, I plotted my next novel in the time it took me to iron my kid’s school uniforms – when the muse strikes, she really strikes!

Sarah Belle

Hindsight is available via Escape Publishing.

Four of my very talented friends have joined me on this blog tour and you can see their posts next week- on the 10th of March.

Alli Sinclair author of The Dance Card series, which explores dances and music that capture hearts both on and off the dance floor—Buenos Aires and the tango, Granada and the flamenco, and the Russian Ballet in Paris. With stories about love, loss, passion, and betrayal, the Dance Card Series takes readers on a journey full of colour, glitz, and dreams.

Charmaine Clancy – Charmaine Clancy is an author of novels for kids and teens, tutors students for English and runs children’s writing workshops in Brisbane.

Cassandra Shaw Writer of Romance which includes Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Romantic Suspense with paranormal twists.

Ruth Roberts Ruth Roberts has worked in public relations for fifteen years.  She lives in Texas with her very own romantic hero of eighteen years, and their teenage daughter.  Her hobbies are reading romance novels and writing them.  Her family says she is addicted to books, in her opinion that’s not a bad addiction to have. You can find her on Facebook or on the web at RuthRobertsRomance.com. You can also email her at ruthrobertsromance@yahoo.com.  She loves hearing from fans

The Book’d Out Australia Day Blog hop and giveaway- and the sport of ‘clacker dropping’…

To celebrate Australia Day as part of the Book’d Out Blog Hop, I thought we’d revisit the uniquely Australian sport of Clacker Dropping…

australiadaybloghop2014

Twelve years ago I was introduced to the Australian sport of Clacker Dropping. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Depending on which part of the world you come from, the word ‘Clacker’ will have a different meaning. For some, a Clacker is similar to a Castanet, or maybe a type of fishing lure or even a child’s toy that has two balls on opposite ends of a string that hit each other when swung correctly making a cracking sound. In Australia, a clacker is another name for a bum. A bum hole to be exact.

So, you can imagine my horror when friends of my husband (then my fiancé) suggested a game of Clacker Dropping at their backyard New Years Eve party. Mental images of me having to remove my pants in front of these people had me wanting to run out their front door and never return. What kind of people were they ? They’d come across as so conservative and polite – they didn’t even swear or blaspheme – so what the hell was going on?

aust flag

Scared for my privacy, I sat down (protecting my clacker), as they detailed the game, which was as follows:

The objective of the game is to hold a twenty cent coin in between your butt cheeks, by clenching them as hard as possible, and navigate a small obstacle course as guided by your partner. The obstacle course includes stepping and jumping over various raised objects – broom handles, toys, plants, whatever is lying around. It can be played anywhere, but backyards are best, mainly because you don’t want to play this in public.

coin

If you drop your coin at any stage prior to reaching the end of the course you have failed and it is the other team’s turn. If you make it to the end of the course, there is a bowl with a cup inside it. Hover over the bowl and release your cramping, clenched cheeks so that the coin drops. If it drops into the bowl then you will get one point. If it drops into the cup (a higher degree of difficulty) then you receive two points. The couple with the most points at the end of the game wins.

I had two problems with this game. Firstly, I wasn’t about to whip my pants, or especially my undies, off in front of anyone. Added to this was the fact that I had no desire to see anyone else’s bum either. There’s not enough alcohol in the world to induce me to do something like that. Secondly, for those who did want to play, surely it’s unhygienic to use the same twenty cent coin?

beer-glass2-300x300

I whispered to Jason, “I’m not playing a game where I have to take my pants off. Can we leave now?”

He laughed and said out loud, “Sarah is concerned. She thinks we all have to take our pants off to play.”

Everyone laughed – hysterically. It wasn’t embarrassing at all.

I sat there, waiting for the laughter to die down, and turned a deep shade of puce. It wasn’t an unreasonable assumption to make, was it? After all, a clacker is a bum hole – not just a bum. How can anyone wedge a coin in between their cheeks if they are wearing jeans? And at no time did anyone clarify that this was a game to be played with all of your clothes on.

Ten minutes later we were playing the game, fully clothed -I went and got my own twenty cent coin from my purse because I was still concerned about the hygiene thing- and was surprised to find that it was actually heaps of fun. After a couple of drinks it’s hilarious to watch people try to make it through the obstacle course and then drop the coin into the cup.

Depending on the  level of your butt strength and ability to focus intently – i.e. those of us who do Yoga or Pilates will have an advantage – these are the kinds of faces you can expect to see during a game.

clacker 1 clacker

So, this Australia Day, give the sport of Clacker Dropping a go. You’ve nothing to lose – except your inhibitions – and will spend the arvo clenching one set of cheeks holding a coin, while cramping the other cheeks with laughter.

Happy Australia Day!

As part of the blog hop I am giving away one e-copy of my novel, Hindsight, which is set in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill.  It’s a chick lit/romantic comedy story with plenty of Australianisms in it! All you have to do to be the running is answer the following question in the comments section:
What is your favourite Australian sport and why?

The format will be in either ITunes or Amazon Kindle only. This competition is open world wide and will be drawn on January 28th, 2014.

To check out the other blogs on the Book’d Out Australia Day Hop, click here.

World’s weirdest sports on Lily Malone’s Bunker-play blog hop and giveaway!

bunkerhop2  fairway to heaven

Today, as part of the Lily Pad Blog Hop,  to celebrate the release of Lily Malone’s  ‘Fairway To Heaven’, I thought we’d explore some sporting activities that are bound to end in years of intense physiotherapy and, perhaps,  a life long aversion to cheese…

5. Extreme Ironing…

extreme ironing cliff

The Extreme Ironing Bureau (yes, they have their own bureau!) defines Extreme Ironing as:  ‘the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt.’

Competitors from around the world press their shirts in a variety of extreme locations – underwater, on mountain or cliff tops, climbing walls, during cross country runs…you get the idea.

However, this is a sport with an enormous heart as they raise funds for various charities through their activities – good one guys. Great to see a sense of humour and charity work combined with creases so sharp they could be used to shave with.

4. Bog Snorkelling…

bog racing

If you’ve ever felt the desire to kit up in a snorkel and mask, don a wetsuit and swim through a 55 metre peat bog trench, then this is the sport for you. The world championships, which commenced in 1985,  are held  annually every August Bank Holiday in Wales.

No conventional swimming strokes are allowed, competitors must make it to the end of the course using fins/flippers alone. Another wacky sport that donates the funds raised from their annual World Championships to a different charity each year.

Loving your work guys – but please excuse me if I don’t want to give it a go myself. In Australia ‘bog’ is another word for poo, so I can’t see it taking off here!

3. Outhouse Racing…

outhouse

Okay, this one is actually sponsored by Pepsi and takes place in Mackinaw, USA  each January. Teams build an outhouse on skis and then race through the snow against other teams.  Here are the rules as stated on their website:

Outhouse must be approx. 4′ x 4′ x 6′ on skis
Must have 5 person team, one inside with 4 outside to push or pull
Must have toilet seat
Must have material to wipe with, (Yep, toilet paper!)

Their slogan is: “The best case of the runs you’ll ever have!”

Love it!

2. Unicycle Polo…

unicycle polo

Originating in Portland, USA, the Unicycle Bastard’s  motto is: ‘We are Portland’s premiere all-inclusive unicycling club. Do you like riding a unicycle, hitting people with a stick, and sweating/swearing?”

Their rule book states that each game must contain: frequent and colourful swearing,’ the consumption of ‘one alcoholic beverage prior to every match’ and ‘urination in approved restroom facilities.’

If that isn’t a call to kindred spirits then I don’t know what is.

1. Cheese Rolling…

This is one of the most bizarre and violent sports I’ve ever seen.  A wheel of cheese is rolled down a hill, followed by competitors who literally throw themselves down the hill in pursuit of the cheese in an attempt to beat it to the bottom. One year the cheese went off course and actually injured a spectator.

cheese cheese Gloucestershire "Cheese Rolling and Wake"

What more can I say, other than “Orthopaedic Surgeons and Physiotherapists line up and collect your new clients at the bottom of the hill”…

To celebrate the release of ‘Fairway to Heaven’, I will be giving away one e-copy of my debut novel, Hindsight, as part of the blog hop cache. Just leave a comment to be in the running!  Format will be either Amazon or ITunes only. This giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn on January 15, 2014.

Fairway To Heaven – the blurb…

When Jennifer Gates drives to Sea Breeze Golf Club to kick off date-night with her boyfriend, the last thing she expects is to find Golf-Pro Jack giving one of his lady students a private—and very personal—lesson in bunker-play. Lucky for Jenn, her best friend gives her the keys to the Culhane family’s beach shack on the shore of Western Australia’s Geographe Bay. Jenn hopes a weekend on the coast with her young son will give her the space she needs to rebuild her confidence after Jack’s betrayal. But she’s not the only person seeking sanctuary by the sea. Brayden Culhane is there too, and Jenn can’t look at Brayden without remembering the tequila-flavoured kiss they shared on the shack steps years ago. As long-buried feelings are rekindled, and a friendship is renewed, Jenn knows it is more than lazy summer days bringing her mojo back. Romantic sunsets, ice-cold beers and the odd round of golf can only go so far, because this time, trusting Brayden with her heart won’t be enough. Jenn has to learn to trust her body, too.

Buy links for Fairway to Heaven: (I’m reading this now and am loving it. I’ve even stayed up waaaaay past my bedtime to keep reading – which is not something I normally do as sleep is very important to me!)

Amazon

Smashwords

LilyM_lowres

If you’d like to connect with the lovely and very talented Lily Malone, here are her social media links:

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Don’t forget to check out all the other blogs and the great prizes on offer here.

Author Limelight: Shani Struthers…

Hello Shani Struthers and welcome to the Author Limelight!

What was the first story you ever wrote?

The Runaway Year is actually the first story I ever wrote, although first draft is nothing like the published draft and the title was different too. In fact, it had a range of titles before deciding on the above, a range of styles and a totally different ending! As a copywriter though, I’m forever writing, it’s the day job and night job too!

RunawayYear_Cover shani Struthers

Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favourite? What appeals to you the most about this character?

The Runaway Year features three main female characters. Layla Lewis is the main character but her best friends Penny and Hannah play a big part too – each of them dealing with their own particular romantic dilemma. Penny is the most feisty of the three and an outrageous flirt to boot. As well as being great fun, she’s kind and caring too, a great friend – as one reviewer said ‘everybody needs a Penny in their lives.’

Has being publishing changed you at all? If so, how?

Being published has given me confidence in my work, if a publisher is prepared to take a chance on my book, it has to be okay, right? It’s also made me very driven. This year it’s one book out there, next year, there’ll be another, maybe even two!

What would we find on your bookshelf/e-reader?

I’ve got a whole mix of books on my bookshelf, authors ranging from James Herbert, Dean Koontz and Stephen King (yep, I love horror!) to Lisa Jewell and Penny Vincenzi. On my e-reader I take a lot more chances with unknown authors. There’s Gunshot Glitter by Yasmin Selena Butt, Tall, Dark and Kilted by Lizzie Lamb and all of Emily Harvale’s fantastic romance books. My TBR is outrageous at the mo!

What’s the most unappealing thing you’ve ever eaten?

I love seafood – prawns, squid, mussels – but oysters, I just can’t bring myself to try them. Although the shell they come in is so pretty, the oyster itself does not entice!

If you could be any of the following characters for one day, who would you be and why? How would you re-write the ending?

 a) Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.

b) Thelma or Louise from Thelma and Louise.

c) Princess Leia from Starwars.

d) Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffanys.

Easy one, I’d be the most wonderful heroine of them all (in my opinion!) Scarlett O’Hara! She’s naughty, she’s feisty, she’s strong in a crisis and she’s downright deluded. Ashley over Rhett? Oh come on! Still, she sees the light in the end but it’s too late, Rhett doesn’t give a damn anymore. I wouldn’t rewrite a thing though, it’s up the reader to imagine what happens next and I’ve imagined loads of times!

Of all the books in history, which do you wish you wrote and why?

I wish I’d written The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It’s the first book I ever read regarding King Arthur and the dark ages and it kick-started an almost obsessive interest in that period of time for me that I still have to this day (although not quite so obsessive at the mo). An incredibly powerful thing for a book to do.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?

That I could create more hours in the day! With three kids, copywriting to do and a house to see to, sometimes evening comes and I haven’t worked on my book at all. I’d like to create an extra three hours just to sit and write on the latest WIP and preferably I’d like that timeframe to occur around mid-morning when I’m at my best!

Shani Struthers photo

If you could go back in time, where would you go and when? What is the one thing you would want to take with you?

I’d go back to the dark ages to see if King Arthur and his cohorts truly existed. Where I would go would be Tintagel in North Cornwall, his supposed birthplace. And the one thing I would take with me would be a camera so I can take some shots of him!

Can you tell us about your works in progress?

I am currently putting the finishing touches to a paranormal mystery that’s heavy on romance too. When that’s done and sent off, I’m going to work on a sequel to The Runaway Year, I’ve already sketched out the story for it, now I just need to flesh it out.

Finally, can you give us a sneaky excerpt from The Runaway Year, please?

Finding herself on the way to the village centre again, she pulled over, intending to negotiate a three-point turn. The cottage was slightly out of the village, so she needed to get back onto the opposite side of the road and go back up the hill. Glancing over Hannah’s instructions again, she swung the car to the right—straight into the path of a motorcyclist.

What happened next seemed to happen in slow motion. The rider tried to stop but couldn’t do so in time, although he did manage to avoid hitting her car. As he turned his handlebars hard to the right, his tires lost grip on the wet road and he flew off, sliding some way before coming to a halt.

Layla sat motionless in her car, paralyzed temporarily by the shock. At last she managed to galvanize herself into action and fumbled for the door handle, her shaking hands making it hard to get a grip. When the door finally opened, another dilemma hit. What if she couldn’t stand? Her legs felt like jelly, surely they wouldn’t support her. Forcing herself upward, she was relieved to discover they held firm. Once she was sure they would continue to do so, she bolted over to where the biker lay, placed one hand on his soaking leather-clad shoulder and said, “Are you okay?”

“No, I’m not bloody okay!” he replied, a pair of bright blue eyes meeting hers as he lifted his visor. “I’m a bit bruised and battered as it goes.”

Despite his belligerent words, relief flooded through her: he wasn’t dead!

“Oh, I’m so glad,” she said, letting out a huge sigh.

“Glad?” he said, sitting up now and brushing the mud and leaves off his left arm. “Charming.”

“Oh, no, no,” she stuttered, realizing what she’d just said. “I’m not glad that I knocked you over. I’m glad you’re alive.”

“Only just, I think,” he replied, needing a helping hand to stand up.

“Can I give you a lift somewhere, take you to the nearest hospital?”

“The nearest hospital? That would be in Bodmin, I think, about fifteen miles from here. I don’t fancy driving fifteen miles with you behind the wheel.”

Feeling a little indignant now, Layla replied, “I’m actually a very good driver, thank you. You’re the first accident I’ve ever had.”

“Lucky me,” he replied sarcastically.

The Runaway Year-

Dumped by her hotshot boyfriend and boss, Layla Lewis quits her job and heads to Trecastle in North Cornwall to house-sit for a friend-of-a-friend. Trecastle isn’t new to her; it’s a place where she holidayed regularly with her now-estranged mother. It’s also the home of Hannah McKenzie, her childhood friend. Hannah has tempted her with a place to live and a job in the local pub. Needing time to nurse her battered heart and escape her “real life” for a year, Layla accepts.

Hannah is a talented artist as well as a barmaid. She lives in the village center with her boyfriend Jim, a singer in a local band. They are happy together, or as happy as they can be, considering. Hannah loves Jim, but there is someone she loves more and it’s pushing them to breaking point.

Meanwhile, back in Brighton, Layla’s fiery yet loyal friend Penny seeks revenge on her behalf, sending a forged email that could damage her ex’s business prospects. Penny wonders if she has gone too far but is soon preoccupied with her own problems: the sizzle has fizzled in her marriage, and she feels neglected. After getting frisky with Dylan one night, she confesses all to her husband—and he’s been like ice ever since.

Over the course of a year, there is laughter and heartache as all three endeavor to rein in their tumultuous love lives—discovering you can run all you like, but if it’s love you’re up against, true love, good things can only happen when you stand your ground.

 

Links:

Facebook

Website

Twitter

Goodreads