The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Welcome romantic comedy writer, Cathy Bramley...

 Hi Cathy! Its great to meet you and be able to host another UK author on my site. Wishing you all the success and sales in the world with your debut novel, Conditional Love. Really like the sound of this one - lets get started with the interview :)

  1. What do you wish men understood about women?
That putting the loo seat down when he’s finished is not simply a matter of aesthetics. Falling down the hole in the middle of the night because he’s left the seat up is very unsettling.

  1. Do you only work on one book at a time?
Yes and no. I can only actively work on one project at a time. But while one book is ‘resting’ I’ll work on another. As soon as I’ve finished this book blog tour, I’ll be finishing off the next book and planning my third.

  1. Who is your favorite fictional couple?
Well coming from Nottingham, I would have to say Robin Hood and Maid Marian. She spurns riches and power to be with him; he fights for her. Plus she gets to wear great dresses and has her own bow and arrows.

  1. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
When I was getting stressed about all the work that needed to be done to launch Conditional Love, my husband gave me a lovely card to tell me how proud he was of me. On the front was the famous quote from Les Brown: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.
It really made me realise how pleased I am to have got this far; I wanted to write a book and I’ve done it.

  1. Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
If I’m in full-on writing mode I make myself keep going until I’ve done two thousand words. I’m usually more productive if I’ve scribbled out a scene by hand first as my ideas sometimes flow faster than I can type them! I commit to writing Monday to Friday as I’m usually busy with the family at the weekend.

  1. What do you like better, Twitter or Facebook? Why?
For my writing life I prefer Twitter. I like the fact that anyone can join in on any conversation. I love the instant interaction between people and I love it when an author I admire tweets me! Although I’ve been on Facebook for personal use for sometime, my author page is still new and I’ve got lots to learn about Facebook for my writing life.

  1. What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new book called ‘Holding Back’. It’s a comedy about three women who meet at a funeral and in a Carpe Diem moment, vow to help each other’s dreams come true before it’s too late. Unfortunately, they are all a bit economic with the truth to start with. Each woman has an issue that is holding her back that she keeps from the others. The three friends have to face up to the truth in order for their dreams to become a reality.
 Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley: Chick lit meets

 Grand Designs in this hilarious debut novel

Meet Sophie Stone, a thirty-something, serial procrastinator. Tesco knickers, Take That, and tea with two sugars is about as exciting as it gets. But when her boyfriend dumps her on Valentine’s Day and a mysterious benefactor leaves her an inheritance, even Sophie has to accept that change is afoot.
There is a catch: a condition in the will that threatens the very foundations of Sophie’s world. What did the old lady want her to discover? Was there more to her parents’ break up than she was led to believe?
With an evil boss, bickering flat mates, manipulative mother and sexy ex-boyfriend, Sophie has plenty to contend with without the brooding architect who puts his foot in it every time he opens his mouth.
She will have to face the past and learn some shocking home truths before she can finally get her own happy-ever-after.
Conditional Love is Cathy Bramley’s debut novel. A coming of age story with a healthy sprinkling of romance, it is a contemporary tale of friendship, family feuds and infatuation, in which our girl-next-door heroine embarks on a journey of self- discovery to build a future on her own terms.

from Chapter four

In the centre of the desk, lay an open file. I shuffled forward to the edge of my seat and managed to read my own name at the top of the page. I inched closer still, squinting to read more.

‘And you are?’

The deep voice made me jump so much that I panicked, slid off the chair and down onto one knee, thus greeting the tall, thin man with dark hair, glasses and a bushy beard in some sort of weird marriage proposal stance.

I scrambled up off the floor, mortified, and sat back down. ‘Nothing! Just waiting for Mr Whelan.’

His lips twitched and he gave his beard a scratch.
‘I’m Thomas Whelan.’ He extended a hand towards me. ‘And you are?’

‘Oh! Sophie Stone.’ I shook his hand and pulled up the collar of my coat to hide my glowing cheeks.

‘Ah yes,’ he said settling himself at his desk. He glanced at the file that I’d had been trying to read. ‘You’ve come about your aunt’s will.’

I processed this new information, hitherto unaware I had an aunt. Alive or dead.

‘My aunt?’

Mr Whelan blinked furiously, referred back to the manila file and adjusted his glasses.

‘My apologies, Miss Stone, your great aunt.’

Well that was that then. She had to be one of my father’s relations. There were definitely no great aunts in Mum’s family. There was no one at all in her family. I sighed. I had been hoping… well, I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d been hoping. Maybe that she was an old lady I’d done a good deed for once when I was in the Brownies or something. Although, I couldn’t think what I’d done to warrant a mention in anybody’s will.

But any tenuous link would be better than being a relative of Terry Stone’s. Still, I’d better be absolutely sure.

‘Would you mind just running me through the family tree?’

‘Of course not,’ said Mr Whelan, pushing his chair back and standing up abruptly. ‘But first, have you brought your passport?’

I jumped to my feet too.  ‘Why? Where are we going?’ I had been told on the phone to bring my passport when I arranged the appointment and the request had been troubling me ever since.

‘Only to the photocopier,’ he chuckled. ‘Need to verify you are who you say you are before we continue with the reading of the will.’

Thank heavens for small mercies! I had had visions of having to jump on a plane at a moment’s notice to take ownership of some mystery item.

Identity checks complete, we resumed our positions either side of the desk. The solicitor took off his wristwatch, set it to one side and then, elbows on the desk, clasped his hands together and made a steeple with his forefingers, resting his long nose on the tip.

‘This office holds the last will and testament of Mrs Jane Kennedy. She was Terence Stone’s maternal aunt. Your great aunt.’

I stared at him, mesmerised by the end of his nose which was protruding over his fingers.
I should stop him from going any further. There was no point in hearing what he had to say. My father had been absent for all of my thirty- two years. Mum and I had managed perfectly well without his or his family’s help, thank you very much and I knew instinctively that she would resent any intervention at this stage in the game. Besides, why would the old dear leave anything to me? It didn’t make sense, we’d never even met.

‘Long and tedious documents, wills.’

My eyes must have glazed over for a moment. I shook myself and Mr Whelan’s eyes twinkled at me.

‘There’s been a misunderstanding,’ I said, scooping up my bag as I stood. ‘My mother is estranged from her ex-husband. I’ve never met Jane Kennedy; in fact, I’ve never met my father.’

‘I’m aware of all that,’ he said, not unkindly. ‘However, it falls to me to ensure that you are fully informed as to your inheritance. Please sit.’ He flapped a hand at the empty chair. ‘Would you like me to read the whole thing or cut to the chase?’
I blinked my green eyes at him. Was he allowed to say things like that? I sat back down obediently.

‘The main bits, please.’

‘Righto.’ Mr Whelan extracted a document and a small sealed envelope from the file. He pushed his glasses up his nose and cleared his throat. I held my breath.
‘Your great aunt Jane has bequeathed the bulk of her estate to you. You, Miss Stone are the main beneficiary of her will.’

An estate! Visions of strolling through manicured gardens like someone out of Pride and Predjudice, against a backdrop of a Chatsworth-style mansion, on Marc’s arm, were somewhat dimmed with Mr Whelan’s next sentence.

‘There’s a bungalow in Woodby and several thousand pounds. We haven’t finalised the amount yet.’

Woodby? That was a village in the sticks somewhere north of Nottingham. A bungalow and some money. I repeated the words in my head. That was a house and some actual money-in-the-bank type dosh.

My chest had been getting tighter and tighter with lack of oxygen and now I was all panicky. Breathe, Sophie, in out, in out. I probably looked like I was in labour: face all red, and puffing like Ivor the engine.

A house. My great aunt had given me a house. Of my own. And that meant a home. How long had I been dreaming of my own home? Only all my life, that was how long.
Mr Whelan’s lips were moving. He was still speaking and I hadn’t been listening. He was holding an envelope out to me and I took it automatically.

‘As I say, there is a condition to the inheritance, but I think it would be better if you read Mrs Kennedy’s letter yourself. I’ll leave you in private for a moment. Can I get you some coffee?’

‘Tea please, two sugars.’

Condition? I wasn’t sure I could take any more surprises. Life was so much gentler without them. My heart rate was already registering at least a seven on the Richter scale.

‘Actually, make it three!’

About the Author
After growing up in Birmingham, Cathy went to Nottingham Trent University at the ripe old age of eighteen and five days to study European Business. Upon graduating she spent the next few years in the corporate world of marketing working on high-powered projects such as testing the firing range of SuperSoaker waterguns, adding hair extensions to Girls’ World styling heads and perfecting the weeing action of Tiny Tears. After making it onto Timmy Mallet’s Christmas card list, she realised it was time to move on and so in 1995 set up her own agency, Apples & Pears Marketing.
Avid fans of the TV series, Cathy and her husband realised their Grand Designs’ dream of building their own house in 2011. They now live in rural Nottinghamshire with their two daughters and a cockerpoo called Pearl.
This project provided the inspiration for Cathy’s debut novel Conditional Love, although it is by no means autobiographical, apart from the unfortunate incident in the boardroom! She shares her time between her marketing agency, writing and taxiing the girls endlessly from one activity to the next.
Cathy is a fan of Masterchef, strong coffee, chocolate brazils and Marian Keyes books. She is addicted to her Kindle and has an irrational fear of bananas.
Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley is available as a paperback or e-book from Amazon, published by Apples and Pears Marketing in October 2013 ISBN-13: 978-1490923765. She can be contacted on her blog on Twitter @cathybramley or on

The giveaway on this tour is a gorgeous heart necklace and an ecopy of Conditional Love (all International).



  1. Hello there, I stopped by your blog this morning and left a message, but it doesn't seem to be here now! Maybe it has to pass a test first! But just in case it has vanished into the ether, I'll repeat my thank yous for inviting me onto your blog today Rachel!

  2. Great interview ladies.

    Love the quote Cathy!

    Rachel, thank you for hosting on tour today.