Saturday, 12 August 2017

Love my hometown...

I reluctantly left Bristol to move to Chippenham when I was six months pregnant with my second child as well as struggling with my very active two-year old. My husband had landed an amazing career advancement and we would’ve been crazy to turn it down. So we left Bristol on the understanding if I was still unhappy in twelve months time, we’d move back…that was almost sixteen years ago.

The town of Chippenham is fairly small but after living in a city for so many years, I have come to love a trip into town taking no more than ten minutes and seeing a familiar face every time I venture out of the house. More than anything, what I love about living here is its location to the surrounding towns. We have the wonderful, historical Bath in one direction and the gorgeous countryside and incomparable Cotswolds in the other.

Bath is an historical author’s dream and it is just thirty minutes drive from where I live – and yes, I take full advantage! My first historical “The Arrival of Lily Curtis” was set there, as are the four books I have contracted with eKensington. I love that I can jump in the car and stroll around a city where the buildings and architecture are so unchanged you can still see how things were and looked in the 1800s.

As for the Cotswolds, I would love to live in Bourton-on-the-Water, one of my most favourite places to visit in the world (so far!). I love to go there each season and watch it change. It is as beautiful in the mid-summer sunshine as it is in the February snowfall. The tiny shops, the stream running through its centre and fabulous old pubs provide the perfect Sunday afternoon out. Gorgeous!

As well as Bourton-on-the-Water, a visit to the Cotswolds means a visit to a whole bunch of other stunning villages and hamlets just a few minutes drive away. If you want to stay over, a visit to the famous water park, hotels and campsites near the beautiful shopping town of Cirencester are well worth it too.

I have plenty of inspiration to keep me busy for the next few novels at least, right on my doorstep – then again, maybe there’s even more inspiration in the States, Canada, the Maldives… ;)

My latest historical release, Her One True Love - here’s the blurb and an excerpt:


She Can't Forget Him…

Jane Charlotte Danes has loved the squire of her idyllic country town for as long as she can remember. He is good, kind, and alluring beyond words… and he chose to marry another. Tired of dwelling on her futile longings, Jane plans a move to Bath, where she dreams of a new beginning. But the man who has so imprisoned her heart is only a few steps behind…

He Can't Let Her Go…

Until now, Matthew Cleaves has endeavored to meet the responsibilities of his position with dignity and good spirits--including his dutiful marriage. But when his wife leaves him for another man, Matthew is at last free to pursue his one true love. Only one vital question remains: will the captivating, stubborn, beautiful Jane allow him the challenge, and the pleasure, of winning her back?.. 

Matthew turned and faced Jane. “When are you leaving for the city?”
She took another step back, her gaze darting over his face. “The day after tomorrow. Why?”
“Because I will escort you. We can travel together in my carriage.”
“No, I do not need your––”
“I will be going anyway. I planned to visit some contacts in the city in the hope of securing guaranteed trade for Biddestone in the coming year. It seems unnecessary for us to make the trip separately when I have a carriage plenty big enough for us both.”
“There is absolutely no need. Jeannie will be coming with me.”
“My offer still stands.”
She glared. “It’s my intention to start on the path of independence, of finding out what the world has to offer me on my own merit. I will hardly be carving out my own path when at the first step from my home, I lean on you.”
“You are being stubborn.”
She pulled back her shoulders. “And you are not?”
The longer he looked at her, the more Matthew saw the quiet beauty he’d desperately tried to ignore. He took a steadying breath. “Please, Jane. Let me escort you to Bath.”
The seconds passed, but Matthew held his tongue. It was imperative she spoke next, that she understood he didn’t mean to bully her but wanted to ensure her safety to a city ravaged by danger, as much as opportunity.
She sighed. “Fine. On one condition.”
He held her gaze. “Which is?”
Her eyes softened, slowly lighting with mischief. “You smile. Now. You smile at me like you did before she left.”
Heat rose to his face. “You want me to smile?”
“Yes. Smile for me, Matthew.”
Empathy and passion swirled in her eyes, but they also bore a deep, painful awareness that scratched hard over his heart. The longer he stared, the more he wanted to make her happy.
He smiled, his gaze on hers…and was surprised to find the trade no effort at all.
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