Review: The Girl She Was Before by Jess Kitching

Today I have the honour, and I mean HONOUR of reviewing The Girl She Was Before by Jess Kitching.

I was fortunate to get a pre-release copy for me to comment on by my Publisher, Kingsley Publishers, and I was blown away. Not only did I put aside the need for sleep to finish reading the book, but I was also bursting at the seems to tell someone about what I had read.

Hence my husband, my confidant for all my own book plots, had to sit through me retelling him the story, and all the plot twists from start to finish. I must have done a pretty good job of retelling it, as he himself engaged me in a full conversation about the ending.

So what was so great about this book?

Well I will try to describe it without giving away the storyline:

  • It had several underlying theme’s, that were written in such thought provoking ways. Those of bullying; social media effects on ones psychology and reality; psychological instability; family relationships and the need to be accepted in society.
  • There was a thought provoking plot, with several interesting characters that each had their own story that intertwined with the main plot.
  • Several plot twists to shock and delight you.
  • Suspense in trying to calculate who the killer actually was, I had so many theories, and none were correct.
  • An ending that will leave you gobsmacked, it still plays on my mind!

Its one of those novels where I read it and couldn’t believe it was a debut novel, but more so I read it and couldn’t believe this was solely from someone’s imagination. I actually went to check Jess out on social media to make sure she wasn’t anything like some of the characters she described, and I’m pleased to say she isn’t lol, she is the kindness human being out there!!

I’m a fan, needless to say, and I will read her next novel without even bothering to check the blurb, because her writing style, and plot layout is that good!

This is a definite MUST READ from me, I can’t stress it enough, oh and this comes from someone who never liked thrillers! Yes this is a crime thriller, but its so intellectually done, that there are no creepy, spook-you-out bits, it’s just a mind blowing, exceptional book you will love, irrespective of your favourite genre.

Book Release Date: 31 October 2021

Below is her book trailer on YouTube

Available in Paperback & Kindle – already on Pre-order

Amazon universal link to buy the book: http://mybook.to/girlshewasbefore

About the book

A crime thriller with a brilliant twist you won’t see coming!
Powerful, packed full of gruelling details that will linger with you long after the book has finished.

Nat lives a picture-perfect life, but it wasn’t always this way. A victim of horrific bullying when she was a teenager, Nat will do anything to keep distance between the girl she was before and the woman she is now.

But when her best friend is murdered and people begin to point their finger at her, Nat’s new life quickly unravels.

To Nat, it’s no surprise the crime happened at the same time as the return of her biggest tormentor, Chrissy Summers. A woman with a violent streak who destroyed lives when she was younger and isn’t afraid to do it again.

Face to face with the past she so firmly keeps behind her, Nat’s sanity wavers as her determination to reveal Chrissy as the monster she knows her as rises to dangerous heights.

The question is, can Nat prove Chrissy is a killer, or will Chrissy get to Nat and her family before she has the chance?

You can’t outrun the past…

About the Author

Jess Kitching is an avid reader, writer and binge-watcher. Originally from Bradford, England, she currently lives in Sydney with her fiancé Jack.

Her two goals in life were to move to Australia and have a book published. To be able to say she has done both is something she still can’t wrap her head around.

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Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections and The Secret Letters, which are currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold. She is also the Author of children’s books under the name Tammy Lee, you can follow The Adventure Train Series in these books.

Shh… It’s Our Secret, by Lizzie Chantree

Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today and for the amazing support of the launch of my latest book.

It’s Our Secret is a contemporary romance novel, telling the story of Violet, a shy woman with hidden talents that could change the fortunes of all those she cares about.

After discovering that she has lost her home and job, she meets Kai, a jaded music producer, who is trying to step away from a gruelling workload that is affecting his health by moving to a quieter life, just outside a city. Their chance encounter changes everything for Violet and Kai and they realise why secrets should stay secret. 

Book Blurb:

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

About the Author

International bestselling author and award-winning inventor, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000.

She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now works as a business mentor and runs a popular networking hour on social media, where creatives can support to each other. She writes books full of friendship and laughter, that are about women with unusual and adventurous businesses, who are far stronger than they realise. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex.

Book links: Lizzie Chantree.

Universal book buy link: The little ice cream shop: viewbook.at/IceCreamShopByTheSea

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers: viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

Universal book buy link: Babe Driven: viewbook.at/BabeDriven

Universal book buy link: Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild

Universal book buy link: Finding Gina: viewbook.at/FindingGina

Universal link: Shh… It’s Our Secret: mybook.to/ItsOurSecret

Social media links:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lizziechantreeauthor

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCop-RlAcGqggZG3JfE-Mw

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Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections and The Secret Letters, which are currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Lizzie Chantree

I’m so thrilled today to Interview Lizzie Chantree who writes beautiful books that make you laugh out loud!

I was introduced to Lizzie and her books by fellow Author Isabella May, and I have never looked back! Thank you Lizzie for agreeing to sit down with me today for this interview.

Q: What inspires you to write your books?

A: I’m inspired by my readers. I’m so lucky to have the readership I have and the messages I receive telling me that people are enjoying my stories, or that they have resonated with them, makes me want to grab a pen and keep writing. I tend to write the first twenty thousand words of a new book by hand, but my handwriting is atrocious!

Q: Is there any truth in the storyline of any of your books that relates to your own life?

A: My stories are all about entrepreneurs. I ran my own retail and wholesale business for over fifteen years, until I had to give my business up due to my daughter being unwell (she’s fine now). I wrote books to keep anxiety at bay and hid my first book in a cupboard for five years until my daughter’s health began to improve. Now I get to try out lots of different and zany ideas through my characters and it’s fun to see what mischief they get up to! I have a completely different career that I didn’t expect and writing my first book helped me to overcome dark times and step into the sunshine. It’s also why I fill them with beautiful locations and laughter, to hopefully help others who might need to step away from stress or reality for a short while and relax.

Q: What have been your favourite moments of being an author?

A: I love my readers! They are full of goodwill, support for my writing and they inspire me every day. Being an author can be isolating, but I very rarely feel alone as I have a community of writers, bloggers, readers and beautiful creatives around me. When I started out, I was completely unknown as a writer, but people began reading my books and telling others how much they enjoyed them, which helped me find an audience for my work. It takes a lot of time and effort to post blogs, write reviews and share news of books you enjoy and I really appreciate every single mention.

Q: What motivates you to keep writing?

A: My family and readers motivate me. If someone tells me a character or storyline has made them feel less isolated or has made them laugh, then I can’t wait to get back to my next manuscript. My family are a noisy and big group of people, many of whom run their own businesses. They inspired me to try new ideas and not to give up at setbacks, of which there have been many along the way.

Q: How do you come up with the plots of your books?

A: It might be an idea from running a business in the past, or by seeing how people interact with each other. It can be as simple as a few words spoken or a fleeting glimpse of a gesture. With my book, The little ice cream shop by the sea, the story grew from seeing an elderly lady crying in a café and a young waitress helping her. After the older lady had left, I asked the waitress if her friend was ok. The waitress said they’d never met before that day. It made me think about the kindness of strangers and the whole story grew from there. In my book, Genie and Ada are strangers at the start of the story, but despite their age difference and backgrounds, they become each other’s lifeline.

Q: Of all the books you have written, which would you say is the most special to you or your favourite and why?

A: The most special is my first book, Babe Driven. Writing the book helped me through very dark times when my child was unwell and it kept me awake so I could hear her breathing. I filled the book with exotic locations and sizzling men and women, to try and balance the worry and anxiety I was feeling. I also hoped that the book might also make another person smile one day and help them find some lightness and laughter too.

Q: Are there any characters that have felt so real to you that you feel you could keep writing about them?

A: I feel that way about all of my characters! They always manage to surprise me and get up to lots of shenanigans. Most of my books could have sequels and I am determined to write them one day. I’m currently writing my first series with a group of women who were friends from school and three devilishly attractive brothers from across the road.

Q: If you could choose to have an exclusive book club with three authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would be your ideal discussion to have with them?

A: I’d choose J. R. R. Tolkien, as The Hobbit made me want to run and grab every book I could at school, after I read it in an English lesson. I’d love to talk to him about his ideas and characters. Next would be Jane Austen, as her stories are incredible and I could read them over and over again. Finally, I’d choose Katie Fforde. Katie’s books are so much fun and each one is beautifully written. She’s such an inspiring lady. I’d love to discuss creativity and the compulsion to write. I’d also ask them if they had self-doubt and who their greatest support was or are, during their writing journey.

Q: What books do you currently have on your bedside table?

A: I always have a copy of Pride and Prejudice, plus I have three marketing books and a romantic comedy. I also have my kindle which is stuffed full of romance books, books about book marketing and novels that my author friends have written. I love reading a book when I know the author.

Q: What book is your latest, or releasing soon and can you tell us a little about it?

A: My next book is launching on the 6th May. It’s called Shh… It’s Our Secret and is about a very shy and introverted woman who has a secret that could alter the fortunes of her whole community. She feels misunderstood and underappreciated, but all that changes when a jaded music producer steps into the rundown café bar she works in and stumbles upon her secret. Violet has to overcome her fears to protect those she loves, push herself to leave anxiety behind and become the woman she’s always dreamed about.

Q: What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you or said to you?

A: I’m so lucky that readers who have never spoken to me and who might have just found my work, reach out and tell me that my books have touched their lives or made them smile. It’s so kind of them to take the time to do that. One reader said she was laughing so hard she almost dropped her baby! I loved that she had contacted me to say she’d enjoyed my work (and that the baby had stayed safely in her arms). Another reader said, ‘Rarely has a book held my heart in its hands the way If You Love Me I’m Yours has. An incredibly uplifting romantic story that has had me laughing and crying over and over again.’ This review is something I come back and look at time and time again. It warms my heart.

Q: Lastly, something fun that our readers might not know about you?

A: I’m an award winning inventor! I invented a product called Runaway Spray, which is a ‘run or ‘ladder’ stop spray for hosiery. It’s the size of a lipstick and not tested on animals. I was one of the female inventors of the year awarded by Fair Play London and The Patent Office. I’m also allergic to chocolate!

Title of latest book: Shh… It’s Our Secret

Blurb of latest book:

Violet has a secret that could change the lives of everyone she knows and loves, especially the regulars at the run-down café bar where she works. After losing her parents at a young age, they are the closest thing she has to a family and she feels responsible for them.

Kai is a jaded music producer who has just moved outside of town. Seeking solitude from the stress of his job, he’s looking for seclusion. The only problem is he can’t seem to escape the band members and songwriters who keep showing up at his house.

When Kai wanders into the bar and Violet’s life, he accidently discovers her closely guarded secret. Can Kai help her rediscover her self-confidence or should some secrets remain undiscovered?

Book links: Lizzie Chantree.

Universal book buy link: The little ice cream shop: viewbook.at/IceCreamShopByTheSea

Universal book buy link: Networking for writers: viewbook.at/NetworkingForWriters

Universal book buy link: If you love me, I’m yours: viewbook.at/IfYouLoveMe-ImYours

Universal book buy link: Ninja School Mum: viewBook.at/NinjaSchoolMum

Universal book buy link: Babe Driven: viewbook.at/BabeDriven

Universal book buy link: Love’s Child: viewBook.at/Amazon-LovesChild

Universal book buy link: Finding Gina: viewbook.at/FindingGina

Universal link: Shh… It’s Our Secret: mybook.to/ItsOurSecret

Social media links:

Website: www.lizziechantree.com

Author page: https://www.viewAuthor.at/LizzieChantree

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizzieChantree/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7391757.Lizzie_Chantree

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lizzie_chantree/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/LizzieChantree/pins/

FB Groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/647115202160536/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lizzie-chantree

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lizziechantreeauthor

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnCop-RlAcGqggZG3JfE-Mw

Remember Sharing is caring so feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website www.tarynleighauthor.com

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections and The Secret Letters, which are currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Gill Paul

There are Authors whose work you admire for their phenomenal ability to tell stories in such a unique way. Gill Paul is that Author for me!

I first came across her work when I read The Lost Daughter and completely FELL IN LOVE!

Never had I seen historical fiction that was based on real people, where the stories did such justice to the characters they mentioned!

I’m thrilled to be able to interview Gill today, and want to thank her for this opportunity!

Q: What inspires you to write your books?

A: I write about real women in history whom I think have been misrepresented or marginalised by historians, and my goal is to stand in their shoes and try to imagine what it felt like to be them.

Q: Is there any truth in the storyline of any of your books that relates to your own life?

A: Of course! In trying to see through the eyes of my characters, I am inevitably using my own experience. I haven’t been an opera singer, like Maria Callas, but I know what it feels like to put myself forward for public scrutiny. I haven’t lost a husband, like Jackie Kennedy, but both my parents have passed away so I can understand a bit about loss from those experiences.

Q: What have been your favourite moments of being an author?

A: Hearing from readers, getting lovely reviews, and hitting bestseller lists are all very special, but the best bit for me is when I’m immersed in writing a new novel and can feel it’s working. That’s the best feeling in the world.

Q: What motivates you to keep writing?

A: The joy of writing. Plus, I have no other talents so it’s the only way I can earn a living.

Q: How do you come up with the plots of your books?

A: My novels are based on real historical events and characters, so I start by reading all the research and gradually the story I want to tell reveals itself to me.

Q: Of all the books you have written, which would you say is the most special to you or your favourite and why?

A: My favourite is always the one I’m currently working on because I’m living it. If you twisted my arm, I’d have to say I have a soft spot for The Lost Daughter, a novel about Maria, the third daughter of Tsar Nicholas of Russia.

Q: Are there any characters that have felt so real to you that you feel you could keep writing about them?

A: All of them. In every one of my novels, there is at least one character I find it hard to let go of. At the moment, I’m missing Lady Evelyn Herbert, my heroine in The Collector’s Daughter. She’s adorable!

Q: If you could choose to have an exclusive book club with three authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would be your ideal discussion to have with them?

A: Dorothy Parker, Jane Austen, and Edith Wharton. They all wrote about relationships, and all had a wickedly cynical edge to their writing, so I would ask them about love. What a fun book club that would be!

Q: What books do you currently have on your bedside table?

A: I’m reading an ARC of my friend Liz Trenow’s new novel Secrets of the Lake. I love her books and this is no exception. After that I’m looking forward to Tana French’s The Searcher, which everyone raves about.

Q: What book is your latest, or releasing soon and can you tell us a little about it?

A: I’ve always been passionate about Tutankhamun, and a couple of years ago I got to wondering about Lady Evelyn Herbert. She’s in all the photographs of the discovery of the tomb in 1922 but it was her father, Lord Carnarvon, and the archaeologist Howard Carter who got the credit. What was Eve’s story? That’s what I explore in The Collector’s Daughter, coming out in September.

Q: What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you or said to you?

A: When I left university I wanted to work in publishing so I sent my cv to virtually all the publishers in London. Five women contacted me saying they didn’t have a job available but if I wanted to go for coffee they would give me advice on the industry. These meetings were incredibly useful, and I’m grateful to this day for the time they gave me. I try to pass on the favour now by helping young people who want to write or work in publishing.

Q: Lastly, something fun that our readers might not know about you?

A: I’m a year-round swimmer in a Pond near where I live, and in winter this can mean melting a channel in the ice. I’m also a curry addict and grind my own spices to make exotic concoctions. Heat and cold: I like the extremes.

Title of latest book: Jackie and Maria

Blurb of latest book:

The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…

Jackie Kennedy is beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. She is madly in love with him but life in the public eye with a man who is obsessed with politics and seems incapable of fidelity is breaking her spirit. When they are invited for cocktails on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis she is intrigued to meet him…. little suspecting that the encounter will ultimately change her life.

Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…

Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.    

About the Author:

Gill Paul is the bestselling author of ten historical novels, many of them describing real women she thinks have been marginalised or misjudged by historians. Jackie and Maria looks at the way Jackie Kennedy’s and Maria Callas’s lives began to overlap as they became rivals for Aristotle Onassis, and her forthcoming novel The Collector’s Daughter, due out in September 2021, is about Lady Evelyn Herbert, a remarkable woman who was part of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Gill lives in London with her partner, who is a light artist, and loves wild swimming year round.

Social media links:

Twitter: twitter.com/GillPaulAUTHOR

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GillPaulAuthor

www.instagram.com/gill.paul1/


Website: http://www.gillpaul.com

Remember Sharing is caring so feel free to share this article with friends and family

Like my Page on Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Connect with me on my Website www.tarynleighauthor.com

Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections and The Secret Letters, which are currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.

Julie Caplin – Author Interview

Ooh I’m so excited about this one. I have the complete honour of interviewing Julie Caplin today. I’m such a huge fan of hers, and I love how she writes.

As an author myself, I am always on the lookout for new authors I can discover whose work is the style of writing I love to read and write. One day while getting ready to board a flight to Qatar and then Spain from South Africa (a twenty-three hour flight), I discovered my first Julie Caplin book and I WAS HOOKED!! I barely noticed the amazing business class air hostesses, the delicious food or grueling long flight. All I recall from the trip was being transported to ‘The Secret Cove in Croatia‘.

I can honestly say that besides her amazing books, getting to know Julie as an Author has been even more phenomenal! So many times you meet an Author and they are nothing like the books they write. Julie in contrast is AMAZING and so kind and supportive of everyone. So its my absolute honour to interview her today!! P.S … Thanks for your time for the interview Julie, in spite of your busy schedule.

Q: What inspires you to write your books?

A: I’ve reached a point in my life where I can’t not write anymore. I find I have ideas and stories in my head all the time and am often listening to the dialogue of my characters unfolding in my head.

Inspiration strikes from all sorts of places, for me it’s mainly listening to the radio or overhearing something some one has said. Often with friends I threaten them that I’m going to put something in a book, which I don’t think they always take seriously.

Q: Is there any truth in the storyline of any of your books that relates to your own life?

A:  The storylines of all my books are made up but in The Little Café in Copenhagen, I did use the experience of taking journalists on press trips to Europe as the basis for the book. As a junior public relations executive, I arranged quite a few very memorable trips to Turin, Antwerp and Amsterdam. On one occasion I did lose a journalist in the airport and included that.  With my romantic escape series, I have usually visited the places, so I use my personal experience extensively. In The Little Brooklyn Bakery, Smith Street where the bakery is set, is a real place that I’d visited while in Brooklyn.

Q: What have been your favourite moments of being an author?

A: Seeing the front cover of a new book for the very first time, it makes it seem real. Then there’s the moment when you see your paperback for the first time and smell that lovely new book smell.  One of the absolute best bits of being an author is when a reader contacts you to tell you that you book helped them through a difficult time. There’s nothing quite like that, knowing that you’ve given someone a lift when they needed it.

Q: What motivates you to keep writing?

A: As I said earlier, I can’t not write now. Even if I take a break, new ideas start to pop into my head. I’ve got dozens of ideas, I’m not sure if I’ll ever have enough time to write them all.

Q: How do you come up with the plots of your books?

A: That’s a tricky one as I’m not a planner. I tend to have an idea of the characters and their problems and how they need to develop to resolve those problems and that’s my starting point. The plot tends to evolve as I write, which is the most efficient way of working, I promise you! I have a rough idea of where I’m going but what I love about writing is the magic moment when an idea pops into your idea and it ties up something you’d already written. That happened this morning while I was out for a run and it was a real eureka moment!

Q: Of all the books you have written, which would you say is the most special to you or your favourite and why?

A: Oooh. It’s like having children, you’re not supposed to have favourites! Or rather they change according to what else has been published. I think if I was being held to ransom on this it would be The Little Brooklyn Bakery because Todd is one of my favourite characters and I also got to visit the Hamptons on Long Island which is one of my favourite places.  But then I recently wrote The Little Swiss Ski Chalet and I love the characters of Mina and Luke. 

I can tell you what my least favourite book is… it’s always the one I’m writing at the moment! It’s a standing joke with my agent now, that I’ll email her and tell her that my current manuscript is the dullest book I’ve ever written. She and my husband both ignore me now when I complain about how bad my latest book is.

Q: Are there any characters that have felt so real to you that you feel you could keep writing about them?

A: When I’m writing a book, the characters are very real to me but as soon as the book is finished, I leave them to get on with their own lives. I’m in the lucky position that in the Romantic Escapes books, I get to have them pop back. I really enjoyed writing the final scenes of The Little Tokyo Teashop, as I brought together a lot of the characters from The Little Café in Copenhagen, to find out what they’d been up to and that was a lot of fun and of course a couple of the characters, Sophie and Fiona went on to have their own books.

There are two characters who appear in The Little Paris Patisserie.

Some friends of mine ran a charity quiz one night and I said that as part of the evening’s prize draw I would put the winners’ names into a book.  By complete coincidence the winners were on my quiz team and as I’d got to know them a little that evening, I gave them a much bigger role in the book than I would normally have done.  Funnily enough since then, they’ve gone on to become quite good friends and I ended up giving them a second appearance in The Northern Lights Lodge. I’m quite entertained by the idea of putting them in another book too.

Q: If you could choose to have an exclusive book club with three authors, dead or alive, who would you choose and what would be your ideal discussion to have with them?

A: Jane Austen would have to be one because I think she’s had such a huge, huge impact on the romance genre. I think Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are the original chick lit titles, although I don’t like that term. Both books explore so many women’s issues and the characters are universal and still relatable to this day. I’d love to sit down with Jane and ask her who she based Caroline Bingley on. The character is the ultimate mean girl! Some things, it seems, never change.  I’ve also recently read The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow about the middle Bennet sister, Mary and I’d love to ask Jane Austen what she thought of Hadlow’s interpretation of Mary’s character. It’s such a thought provoking read and I thoroughly enjoyed the book and Hadlow did a wonderful and totally believable job of retelling Mary’s story.

I’m lucky enough to know Katie Fforde and I have sat down and chatted with her a couple of times. She has lots of wonderful gossipy stories about people that she’s met and puts bits of them in her characters. I’d love to hear her and Jane chatting about their neighbours and who would make good characters.

And finally, I’d have the inimitable Nora Roberts, who is the ultimate story teller. Her output is phenomenal and I love the way she writes characters. I’d love to hear her and Jane exchanging their views. Roberts excels at writing brilliant male characters from their points of view, and I’d love to know more about how she does this. She also writes the futuristic ‘In Death’ series featuring Eve Dallas which numbers over 50 and I’d love to know how she keeps track of all the different character’s stories. I think the ideas she comes up with for 2050 would fascinate Jane.

Q: What books do you currently have on your bedside table?

A: I’ve just finished the most fantastic book by Anna Bell, The Man I Didn’t Marry. It was an ARC I was sent and its funny, poignant and so original. I literally read it in a day because I couldn’t put it down. It’s about a happily married couple who are put to the test when Max, the husband loses his memory, and has no recollection of the last five years. The pair have been married for four and he has no memory of being married to Ellie, who was his sister’s best friend.

I’ve also got The Secret Thread by Tracey Chevalier which I can’t wait to start as I’m a big fan of her spare, beautiful writing.  In addition, I’ve got Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome which is a childhood favourite and I fancied re-reading it.

I’m also a big audio book fan so I’m currently listening to The Dark Angel by Elly Griffiths which is the tenth book in a series, which I love because it’s all about the character development over the series.

Q: What book is your latest, or releasing soon and can you tell us a little about it?

A: I’m very excited about my next book written as Jules Wake as it’s a complete diversion. The Secrets of Latimer House, is my first historical fiction set during WW2 and is based on true events which took place in a local manor house near to me.  During the war, Latimer House was a top secret site where high ranking Prisoners of War were interrogated. What they didn’t know was that their cells were bugged and everything they said between themselves was listened into by German speakers. As a result, lots of useful information about weapons, strategy and future plans was gathered.  My story is about three very different women who worked in the house and the friendship they develop. It’s a fascinating period because women were able to do interesting jobs that previously they hadn’t been able to access and at this particular site they were promoted for their ability and ended up having quite a lot of responsibility. At the same time, they went through personal loss and tragedy and as a result those bonds they made with other women became vital to their day to day survival. 

Q: What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you or said to you?

A: I always remember having a bad fall in the street when I lived in quite a rough part of London and the only person who stopped and helped was a young black guy, probably only about 17, came and picked me up, gathered all my scattered belongings together, while everyone else just walked past. People make comments about the youth of today but he was so kind and made sure I was alright and waited with me until my bus came. I’ve never forgotten him.

Q: Lastly, something fun that our readers might not know about you?

A: I’m a terrible singer! My children are both big musical theatre fans and have been in a number of amateur shows. They can both sing and often beg me not to.  I usually let rip in the car when I’m on my own but I am truly dreadful. I can’t hold a tune to save my life.  

Title of latest book: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet

Blurb of latest book:

 

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…

Food technician Mina has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral!

So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…

About the Author:

Julie Caplin is the author of the light-hearted, fun, Romantic Escapes series. With her stories, she transports readers to various destinations around the world, where they find not only love but above all themselves. She also writes warm hearted romantic comedies under the name of Jules Wake

Social media links:

Twitter @Juliecaplin

Instagram @Juliecaplin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JulieCaplinAuthor

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Taryn Leigh is the Author of Perfect Imperfections and The Secret Letters, which are currently available from AmazonWaterstonesBarnes&Noble, Exclusive Books and where all good books are sold.