Welcome contemporary romance author, Francine Beaton...

           Hi Francine and welcome to my blog! I am looking forward to learning more about you and your work. Wishing you all the best with your latest release, Summertime Blue - let's start with my questions...

1.)              What was your first job? Did you like or dislike it? Why?
I started my first job as a seventeen-year-old at the National Film Archives in Pretoria, South Africa. At first, it was exciting, as we were connected to the University of Pretoria’s drama school. Often well-known actors and actresses dropped in and it was quite exciting, especially when I could meet those I’ve admired for years. Then, a few months later it was getting boring. I was the only one in the office under thirty-five. And apparently I’m not technically inclined so restoring old film was not for me. At least they didn’t fire me but transferred me to reception but it still wasn’t my favourite job and I didn’t last long.

2.)              Do you have a pet peeve? If so what is it?
I sincerely dislike people with a sense of entitlement, people who make bad choices in life and blame everyone else.

3.)              Would you describe your style as shabby chic, timeless elegance, eclectic, country or ___­­­_?
I really would like to describe it as shabby chic. Sometimes, there is more of the shabby and less of the chic though.

4.)              Tell me about your book Summertime Blue and where you got your inspiration for it?
Summertime Blue is the first novella in the Blue Mountain series, set in the heart of South Africa’s Winelands. The idea of a family saga, set on two wine farms near Stellenbosch, was born when I visited a few wine farms in the area a couple of years ago. There are many old families, continuing the traditions even as long back as 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck set foot in South Africa. I loved that and thought it could make a nice series.
Nathan Sinclair in Summertime Blue first made his appearance in the Playing for Glory series as the High-Performance Manager of the Buffaloes, a professional rugby club based in Pretoria. In Summertime Blue Nathan returned to his roots, where he and two of his brothers bought the Winelands Rugby Union. To tell you the truth, it surprised me to find Nathan in the Blue Mountain series. He is not the only one, however. Hannah Blake, the British sports scientist also ended up in the Blue Mountain series. Matthew Kemp, Chloe Clarke and Mark Bailey, as well as Nicholas Carter make cameo appearances in the series.
Nathan had a passionate dislike for anyone who was involved in the fashion industry, apart from his mother, who is the editor and owner of one of the biggest fashion magazines in South Africa, and his sister Annie, who is the director of the newly established Winelands Fashion Week. He had to live through too many advances from aspiring models and designers who wanted to go out with him just to get close to his mother or sister. After his disastrous engagement, he vowed never to have anything to do with these type of women. He, therefore, couldn’t understand his immediate attraction to Meghan Carstens, a young fashion designer. The attraction was mutual, and they embarked on a brief affair that ended when Meghan returned to Knysna to spend the holidays with her family.
Nathan had promised to stay in touch, but that promise was soon forgotten, even when Meghan returned to Stellenbosch to open her boutique. Nathan treated her with the same animosity as he had when they first met. Meghan couldn’t understand it, but she was not going to beg. When she finally found out the reason for Nathan’s attitude, would Meghan be able to forgive?

5.)              Who is your role model? Why?
I would like to say something profound, like Nelson Mandela or Mother Theresa, but even though I do admire them, I would rather choose my mum. She raised our six children under difficult circumstances and never once did we go to bed hungry or didn’t have clothes to wear and a bed to sleep in. If we had suffered, we didn’t know it. She was just that type of person: bear the brunt and keep those around her happy. And we were happy. When my father passed away after a long illness, she kept going on, making sure that our three kids still in school finish at the highest level – something she wasn’t able to do herself.

6.)              How much of your book is realistic?
I would say 90% is realistic. Someone will quickly catch me out if my facts aren’t right, say for example Nathan’s amnesia. It had to be authentic.

7.)              What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Like most other authors, I would like to be successful, well-known and hopefully well-loved. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m growing with each book.

8.)              Share one fact about yourself that would surprise people.
I never had any ambitions to write a book. Years before I wrote my first book, I had these characters in my head but didn’t know what to do with them. I would dream about the same people for weeks, dreaming of a different scene each night. I’ve used that dreams in my manuscripts when I’ve started to start writing in July 2016. And now, six published books later, I still dream my scenes. That’s why I’m often awake at three in the morning to write the scene I’ve just dreamed.


FRANCINE BEATON is a romance writer who lives in Pretoria with her Scottish husband and teenage daughter and Rocky the Cat. When she’s not reading or writing about love and Happy Ever Afters, she’s most likely busy painting or taking photos of everything that catches her interest. During rugby season, you’ll either find her next to the pitch or in front of the television, following her favourite teams. It’s probably not difficult to figure out why her debut novel, Eye on the Ball, as well as the series, Playing for Glory, has rugby as a theme. Whenever she gets the opportunity, she loves travelling to faraway places, and considers Scotland her other home. Francine is also the author of the Taste for Love Series, a set of free-standing novels with food and drink the binding factor, the Kick-Off Trilogy (a prequel series to the Playing for Glory series) and the Blue Mountain Series. Francine is a member of the Romance Writers Organisation of South Africa (ROSA), the Romantic Novelist Association (RNA) and the Romance Writers of America (RWA).


Against the backdrop of the Hottentots Mountains in the heart of South Africa's wine region, lay two wine estates, Blue Mountain and Twin Peaks. Many years ago the Sinclairs of Twin Peaks and the Walkers of Blue Mountain suffered a tragic loss when Duncan Sinclair and Nina Walker perished in a fire that also destroyed Blue Mountain Estate. Two years later, Anna Sinclair and Marc Walker got married, uniting the two families that had been best friends and neighbours for years. In the Blue Mountain Series, we meet the nine siblings and learn about their love and heartaches.

A brief interlude just before Christmas was supposed to be more than that. Anyway, that was what Nathan Sinclair imitated to Meghan Carstens when they said goodbye and the young fashion designer believed him. She should have known that it was a lie and that he would end up to be just like all the other assholes she had dated before. When they met again a few months later, Meghan had to believe that it was over. Nathan ignored her as if those few days they had spent together on Twin Peaks, had never happened. She had no choice to take a page out of his book and do the same, even though it still hurt.
Nathan couldn’t understand it. Meghan belonged to an industry he absolutely abhorred. Apart from his mother and his sister, he had vowed long ago never to have anything to do with someone who had aspirations to be a model, designer or a journalist. He had been burned once too often. Why then did he feel this compelling attraction to the sultry fashion designer?
When the truth finally emerged, would Meghan be willing to give Nathan another chance?

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