The Art of Kissing

Love inspires poetry, both good and excruciatingly bad, romantic novels, music and paintings and sculptures in galleries all over the world. Here are some images by artists inspired by love…

the-kiss Klimpt

I was lucky enough to see The Kiss by Gustav Klimt in a gallery in Vienna, and it is stunning, with the gold surrounding the couple in their meadow of flowers seeming to glow. No-one knows who the woman in the painting is, but the most romantic suggestion is that she is Emilie Floge, Klimt’s lover.

Hotel de Ville

I think The Kiss by the Hotel de Ville by Robert Doiseneau, really captures the atmosphere of Paris as a city for lovers. The photo got a lot of attention, but when Doiseneau was sued by two women claiming to be the girl in the photo and demanding a share of the royalties, he admitted that the scene had been staged by actors. It still make a wonderfully romantic photo though.

Legendary_kiss_V–J_day_in_Times_Square_Alfred_Eisenstaedt

A more spontaneous photographic kiss is Alfred Eisenstaedt’s   V-J Day in Times Square. The sailor in the photo was celebrating by kissing every woman he met. The identity of the nurse in the photo  is unknown, although there have been several women who thought it might be them!

Rodin

A famous sculptured kiss, is The Kiss by Auguste Rodin. Originally the statue was going to depict the unfortunate Francesca da Rimini and her lover Paolo, just before they were discovered and slain by her husband- which is why the couple’s lips don’t touch. Such is the ardour portrayed by the marble couple, that in the 1890s the statue was considered too shocking for public display and could only be seen by personal application!

Kiss 1 (1)

The Meeting Place by Paul Day is situated under the clock at St Pancras station in London – a traditional meeting place for lovers. To me, whenever I walk past it, this statue tells a romantic story of a couple re-united after one of them has just arrived at the station after a long train journey.

Jack Vetriano

Another couple are re-united in Jack Vetriano’s Back Where You Belong. The painting, with it’s sunset colours, captures all the emotion of lovers embracing after being apart. He’s even brought her red roses.

Kiss II

And here is Ray Lichenstien, with Kiss II, painting in comic book style, but still capturing that wonderful moment when two lovers kiss

A Medieval Christmas- The Outlaw’s Ransom – a guest blog by Jennifer Ash

Hello there! Many thanks to Lynne, for hosting this final day of my blog tour for my new medieval mystery, The Outlaw’s Ransom.

outlaws-ransom-final

I’ve been a lover of all things medieval from the first time I clapped eyes on an episode of Robin of Sherwood back in the 1980’s. Since then, I’ve had a fascination with the era- especially the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries- that has never waned. It was this interest that led me to write The Outlaw’s Ransom.

Although The Outlaw’s Ransom has only just been published, I have already finished writing its sequel, The Winter Outlaw, which will be released this time next year. This second book in the is set at Christmas time, and it got me thinking about how many of the festive traditions we have today that hail from those medieval days.

For example, the practice of carol singers going from door to door was the result of carollers being banned from the churches! During the medieval period the word “carol” didn’t refer to just a song, but to singing and dancing in a circle. This was frowned upon by the churchmen of the age as it detracted from the seriousness of the occasion. Carol singers were ordered out onto the streets, and often sang in market places, or in front of rows of houses.

Another church related tradition that had its origins in medieval times is the Christmas crib or Nativity scene. In medieval Italy, in1223, Saint Francis of Assisi used a crib as a teaching tool to explain the Christmas story to the local population. Historians believe that this was the first time animals, such as the sheep and the donkey, were added to the Christmas story, even though the Bible does not mention them.

But what about Christmas food? Well, Christmas puddings certainly date from medieval England, although they were rather different than those we eat today. Made from a spicy porridge known as frumenty, with currants and dried fruit stirred into it, along with egg yolks, cinnamon and nutmeg, it was a considerably runnier pudding than the one we’re used to.

The majority of Christmas dinners in the UK this year will feature a roast turkey. However, turkeys didn’t reach Britain until the late fifteenth century. In medieval times the rich ate goose, while the poorer families would roast a woodcock if they good get one. Those lord’s who had royal permission to eat venison, would have that for their Christmas meal. Traditionally, the heart, liver, tongue, feet, ears and brains of the deer (a concoction known as the umbles), would be mixed together and made into a pie to give to the poor. This treat became known as humble pie.

mummersAnd how about some entertainment? Whereas today we might go to see our children in a nativity play at Christmas, in the Middle Ages people could look forward to seeing the Mummers. These travelling actors performed plays and dances in villages, manors, and castles. During the winter, mystery plays were traditionally based on the story of Christ’s birth. The part of King Herod within these plays was the first role that can be seen as being the equivalent of a ‘baddie’ in a modern day pantomime, with the crowd often booing when he came on stage.

I hope these few Christmas blasts from the past have made you smile!

If you’d like to read my first medieval mystery, then The Outlaw’s Ransom is available for your Kindle here –

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1475660907&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

https://www.amazon.com/Outlaws-Ransom-Jennifer-Ash-ebook/dp/B01LZDKPQM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1475660990&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Outlaw%27s+Ransom+Jennifer+Ash

Happy reading everyone,Jennifer (aka Jenny!!) xxjennifer-ash

 

The Outlaw’s Ransom is the first novel in an exciting new series by acclaimed author Jenny Kane writing as Jennifer Ash.

When craftsman’s daughter Mathilda is kidnapped by the notorious Folville brothers, as punishment for her father’s debts, she fears for her life.  Although of noble birth, the Folvilles are infamous throughout the county for disregarding the law – and for using any means necessary to deliver their brand of ‘justice’.

Mathilda must prove her worth to the Folvilles in order to win her freedom. To do so she must go against her instincts and, disguised as the paramour of the enigmatic Robert de Folville, undertake a mission that will take her far from home and put her life in the hands of a dangerous brigand – and that’s just the start of things…

A thrilling tale of medieval mystery and romance – and with a nod to the tales of Robin Hood – The Outlaw’s Ransom is perfect for fans of C.J. Sansom and Jean Plaidy.

Jennifer Ash is the author of the medieval murder mystery, The Outlaw’s Ransom (Dec, 2016). Her second novel, The Winter Outlaw, with be published in 2017.

You can find detail’s of Jennifer’s stories at www.jenniferash.co.uk

Jennifer also writes as Jenny Kane

Jenny Kane is the author the contemporary romance Another Glass of Champagne, (Accent Press, 2016),  Christmas at the Castle (Accent Press, 2015), the bestselling novel Abi’s House (Accent Press, 2015), the modern/medieval time slip novel Romancing Robin Hood (Accent Press, 2014), the bestselling novel Another Cup of Coffee (Accent Press, 2013), and its novella length sequels Another Cup of Christmas (Accent Press, 2013), and Christmas in the Cotswolds (Accent, 2014).

Jenny’s fifth full length romance novel, Abi’s Neighbour, will be published in June 2017.

Jenny is also the author of quirky children’s picture books There’s a Cow in the Flat (Hushpuppy, 2014) and Ben’s Biscuit Tin (Hushpuppy, 2015)

Keep your eye on Jenny’s blog at www.jennykane.co.uk for more details.

Twitter- @JennyKaneAuthor

Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/JennyKaneRomance?ref=hl

Lynne writes: Many thanks, Jennifer, for telling us how the characters in The Outlaw’s Ransom would have celebrated Christmas. I’m very much looking forward to reading this exciting new series.

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Now and Then

schoolSeptember.  A new school term and the start of the academic year. This September, for the first time in decades, I found myself back in school – for a School Re-union. I’ve kept in touch with only a couple of friends from those long ago schooldays ( we were a generation that didn’t have Facebook when we left school) and I’d no idea who’d be there, if I’d recognise them – or if they’d recognise or even remember me.

wallWalking up to the main school building was a very strange experience, the tree-lined driveway both familiar and unfamiliar.
There was the wall that divided my all-girls establishment from the boys’ school next door. There were the gates where girls met boys at lunchtime – so near, yet so far.
There was the school itself, the dining room now crowded not with girls eating school dinners, but with women drinking champagne – the noise level of the conversation reassuringly unchanged.
And there amongst the hundred or so women taking a trip into their past that day, were fifteen from my year.
We’d all been issued with name badges, but as it turned out we didn’t need them, recognising each other almost instantly. The expression ‘the years rolled away’ is a cliché, but nevertheless it was true. Yes, we’re no longer teenagers, some of us are no longer as slender as a reed, others have a few grey hairs, but to misquote a certain rock star whose hits we danced to in our youth, ‘we wear it well.’ As we swopped stories of our lives since school – careers, partners, families, travel – I could still see the faces of the girls we once were. Memories surfaced: the maths club that was a cover for a dating agency with the boys’ school (yes, really), the girl who by her own admission was always sent out of class for some misdemeanour or other (she now has a career in the law), and the delicious whiff of old scandal (the notorious ex-student, whose name while mildly famous, is not in the school archives!).

computersThe initial meet and greet (and the exclamations as friends who hadn’t seen each other in years were re-united) being over, our year group was shown around the school by two charming and very articulate sixth-formers.
Where we wrote with pen and ink, today’s students have computers.
Blackboards and chalk have given way to overhead projectors.
new-hall-2old-hall
The hall where we used to sit on stackable chairs now has retractable seating such as you find in theatres.
library
The formerly wood-panelled library is now light and airy, and (the innovation that impressed me most) leads onto a roof garden – a perfect place to sit and read a book during the summer term – or just sit.
common-roomWould I want to go back to being a schoolgirl? Absolutely not. But it was good to walk the school corridors once again, to visit the classrooms, the science labs and the sixth form common room where I spent so many hours – and where someone had put up a notice saying ‘Welcome Back.’
schoolgirlsAnd it was good to meet up with these amiable, interesting, confident women who I’d known as girls, to reminisce, and to discover how their lives had turned out, to step back into the past just for one afternoon and remember the way we were.

In the Kitchen with ‘Souper Mum’ and Kristen Bailey

Today I’m chatting with Kristen Bailey, whose debut novel, ‘Souper Mum’ is published by Accent Press. 

Kristen told me how her childhood travels visiting her far-flung family have influenced her writing…

Kristen - Souper Mum.jpgKristen writes:

In terms of location, Souper Mum is set in and around South West London, my old stomping ground but most of my action is set within Jools’ kitchen: it’s messy and disorganised, witness to all her bad cooking fails and the drama of her life but it is the heart and hub of her home and family.Writing a book about kitchens, food and cooking is something I never imagined I’d write about given that I’m a spectacularly bad cook myself but in hindsight, it is probably one of the most natural topics for me to write about.

I’m extremely lucky that my background is very diverse: my mum is Singaporean, my dad is Guyanese and there are elements of Portuguese, Malay, Chinese, even Scottish in my ancestry.  It meant that I spent most of my childhood travelling to amazing destinations and grew up with a family of foodies, standing in kitchens around the world; eating, creating memories.  No doubt, these kitchens provided a lot of sub-conscious influence over Souper Mum’s story.

kristen 1One of my grandmothers was Lydia Gammell, she had dimples and a bosom that shook like jelly when she laughed.  I named my daughter after her.  We used to visit her in Singapore every summer.  She used to cook out of the most basic of kitchens, barefoot, in billowing batik sarongs cooking curries with prawns as big as my face.  Her hob was always bubbling over with giant vats of stock and I used to stand on my tiptoes watching her cook as she’d sneak me pieces of fried tofu dipped in sweet sticky soy sauce and slithers of freshly boiled chicken.

My paternal grandmother was Mildred Lee.  She passed away when I was young but again all my memories associated with her have to do with food.  I remember a smiling face through the kitchen hatch at Christmas where she’d stand frying a popular Guyanese dish, garlic pork.  I remember the fiery garlicky smell, and how it was served with towers of doughy white buttered bread.  She used to make the most fantastic mochi cake topped with brown desiccated coconut and she’d always cut me the largest piece.

kristen 2I wrote Souper Mum thinking it’d be a humorous way to relay my terrible cooking fails.  However, as the novel progressed and I found myself talking more about food, it also became a lovely way for me to reconnect to a lot of great family memories, of travel and great adventures, of foods new and exotic that I still remember fondly but with hints of sadness given my grandmothers aren’t here anymore.  Unfortunately, I’ll probably never be able to honour my grandmothers with my own cooking skills but I hope they’d read Souper Mum, and after telling me off for all the swearing, they’d know that all their culinary genius and the love that came out of their kitchens inspired it in parts. There is a character in the book, Matt’s Italian mother, Gia who is definitely a tribute to both of them.

Kristen.jpgMother-of-four, gin-drinker, binge-watcher, receipt hoarder, hapless dog owner, enthusiastic but terrible cook.  Kristen Bailey lives in Fleet, Hampshire and has had short fiction published in several publications. ‘Souper Mum’ was runner up in the Accent Press Writing Competition run in association with Woman magazine, and is the story of Jools Campbell, a stay-at-home mother of four, who becomes an unlikely foodie hero when she stands up to a pompous celebrity chef, Tommy McCoy on a reality show.  Armed with fish fingers and a severely limited cooking repertoire, we watch as she becomes a reluctant celebrity and learns some important life lessons about love, family and the joyless merits of quinoa.
To purchase ‘Souper Mum’ please follow the links below or copy and past into your browser:
Kirsten writes a weekly blog about being a modern mother on her website:
You can also find her on:
Twitter: @baileyforce6

 

Kristen’s next book will be coming out in November/December and will be the sequel to Jools’ adventures: ‘Souper Mum: Second Helpings.’  Jools’ star continues to rise in the next novel as she gets signed up to be a judge on a popular family cooking show but it’s also a story about friendship, forgiveness and food – yes, more food!

 

A Sense of Place #13 – Jane Jackson – Egypt and Cornwall

 

Jane Jackson The Master's WifeToday we visit 19th Century Egypt with historical novelist Jane Jackson. Jane’s latest novel, ‘The Master’s Wife,’ the sequel to ‘The Consul’s Daughter’ in her ‘Captain’s Honour’ series, is published by Accent Press.

I asked Jane to tell us about ‘The Master’s Wife,’ and wondered if the location of a story was important to her as a writer.

Jane Writes:

Location is a vital element in each of my books.  My aim is to create a story that could only have happened to that couple in that place at that time.

After finishing ‘The Consul’s Daughter’ I wrote ‘Crosscurrents.’  But Caseley and Jago kept returning to my mind. Conflict is the engine that drives any story and as these two had already been through so much to reach their ‘happy ever after’. So a sequel would have to contain a devastating threat to their happiness.

I’ve always been interested in Egypt, and reading Wilfred Blunt’s account of the Egyptian uprising gave me my idea and background.  ‘The Consul’s Daughter’ ended in 1874.  This new story begins eight years on in 1882.

As master of a trading schooner, Jago sailed all over the world.  He had also carried out secret missions in the past.  For this book I needed a reason for Caseley to go with him. But for the sake of the story, that reason had to involve major conflict.

The worst thing that can happen to a loving mother is losing her children. Caseley’s sons were five and three. They died in her arms during an epidemic while Jago was away at sea.  Her grief and his guilt have opened an unbridgeable gap between them.

Aware of Jago’s undercover work in Spain, the British Treasury entrusts him with £20,000 in gold to bribe Egypt’s largest Bedouin tribe to take Britain’s side should increasing unrest lead to war.

egypt-square-alexandria-chief-rioting-antique-print-1882-93676-pDevastated by the discovery that her husband has been seeing his former mistress, and desperate to escape her home with its constant reminders of loss, Caseley wants to sail with him. She sees the journey as a last chance at reconciliation.   When he claims Egypt will be too dangerous Caseley shocks him with a bitter laugh. The worst that could happen to her already has, so what has she to fear?  Realising Jago has shut himself off from emotion she employs reason, reminding him that the official language of Alexandria is French. She speaks it. He doesn’t. For this reason, and the importance of his mission, he needs her.

At Gibraltar they pick up a journalist employed by Reuter’s Agency. While bankers and merchants who have made fortunes in Egypt are escaping before the fighting starts, Robert Pawlyn is returning to Egypt. Sickened by the blatant lies telegraphed to England and printed as fact in the London papers to deliberately stir up fears for the Suez Canal, he is determined to report the truth.

Pawlyn’s friendship with Antonia Collingwood, daughter of the assistant British consul, leads to an introduction to Sheikh Imad Abu Qasim al-Hussein, a member of the ruling family of the Tarabin tribe.  He and his cousin, Sheikha Sabra will be attending the wedding of another relative in the Eastern desert.  This large gathering of Bedouin will include tribal elders: the very people Jago needs to meet.

The story moves from the spring warmth of Falmouth in Cornwall to the chaotic cosmopolitan city of Alexandria, the hot, crowded, noisy streets of Cairo, and then to the harsh rugged terrain of the Eastern Desert. Days of brutal heat turn swiftly to bitterly cold nights of incredible beauty as gritty dust glitters under countless stars.

This journey into the gathering storm echoes Caseley and Jago’s struggle to find a way forward from the loss that shattered their lives.

Egyptian desertI haven’t visited Egypt. I can’t cope with heat! Instead I did a lot of research through books, photos and travel videos.

Jane Jackson CornwallI’m currently working on the fifth in my Polvellan Cornish Mysteries series.  These are novellas of around 30,000 words with a cast of regulars, the main character being Jess Trevanion, a genealogist who returned to the village where she was born and grew up, following her husband’s death and the loss of her home. The series characters all have on-going stories and each book contains a mystery Jess has to solve. She and Tom Peters, her teenage sweetheart, have resurrected their romance. But while he’s keen for them to marry, Jess likes things as they are. Cue more conflict!

Jane JacksonAfter a variety of jobs totally unremarkable jobs Jane got married and started her family.  An avid reader since the age of four, and finding herself a single parent with two small children, she thought she’d try writing a book – as you do.  Her first, ‘Deadly Feast’ took three years to research and write, and was published by Robert Hale. It helped her believe in herself. She has been a published writer for 40 years, and ‘The Master’s Wife’ will be her 31st traditionally published book.  

 

Please do drop by Jane’s Facebook pages:

http://www.facebook.com/JaneJacksonAuthor

http://www.facebook.com/PolvellanCornishMysteries  (Written as Rachel Ennis)

On Jane’s website you will find more information about her writing and excerpts from all her books:

http://www.janejackson.net

 

 

 

 

Knowing My Place – Anna Legat (A Sense of Place #12)f

SWSToday, I’m delighted to welcome author Anna Legat as a guest blogger, writing about the importance of ‘knowing her place.’ Anna’s new novel ‘Swimming With Sharks’ is set in the Maldives, and is published by Accent Press.

Anna writes:

Perhaps because I’ve lived in so many diverse locations, I tend to anthropomorphise them. As I begin to know them, the places acquire distinct personalities. They may not necessarily be nice and easy-going. They have their quirks and we have our differences. It may take time for them and me to get used to each other.  But given that time, locations become homes. I miss them when we part company. And when we meet again, I am struck by how much they have changed. Or haven’t, as the case may be.

A L 1

Poland – my birth place – seen with child’s eyes, it towered over me and held me on the palm of its hand. A home to fairy tales: a frozen, snow-packed landscape from Hans Christian Andersen’s Ice Queen. Or the wild forest with a rippling river carrying gently the walnut shell of my charmed Thumbelina’s life. It was a gentle giant of a place: big but benevolent; cold but warm-hearted. It was a man dressed as Santa Claus, bearing gifts.

SASouth Africa – my extravagant youth – hot, full of life, full of wide grins, which could mean joy to the world or pure menace, one could never tell. Africa, teetering on the edge of a precipice, eyes closed, arms wide spread, taking that one step forward. It wasn’t quite the same Africa as in Conrad’s (my compatriot and fellow traveller) Heart of Darkness, but it wasn’t far removed from it. Many have tried to tame her with luxury, but deep down she remains raw, detached and a law unto herself. An ancient medicine woman some would call a witch.

AL 4

New Zealand – a place of safety and refuge – isolated, frozen-in-time, virginal. Beautiful but lonely, aloof, jealously guarding her secrets. Eerie. She was a nun who took the vow of silence, and kept it. I know her secret but I will never speak of it. I gave my word.

So yes, place is important to me. In my new novel, Swimming with Sharks, I try to evoke the character of the Maldivian tropics in this extract:

“The heat surprises her once again. It sits on her shoulders, her face and her back. It is omnipresent. Her muscles go flaccid. The sun (which is not distinct and does not occupy a clear spot but is spread thinly across the sky as if someone has tried to bleach it out) dazzles her. Its rays bounce off the sand crystals and fly into Nicola’s eyes. She puts her hand to her brow and scans the horizon.

The sublime blueness is broken in a few places: a stilted hut with a rowing boat moored to it; a long pier with a succession of thatched chalets reaching into the ocean; a palm tree leaning towards the water like a teenage girl’s long neck. A couple of white yachts are motionless in the far distance. Everything is true to form – picture perfect. She saw many photographs like that in glossy brochures, but this is better. This is real. She stands on the deck of her chalet and takes it all in. This will be the best holiday ever.

The ocean licks the land, and retreats; and comes back for more. It is like a children’s story book: full of goodness and sunshine. Nicola steps down onto the burning hot sand and jogs towards the water. Her feet sink in. She feels the warm and moist tongue of the sea on her soles. She sees a fish pass by, just a few steps away. You could reach out and pull that fish out with your bare hands, but who would do such a thing?”

AL6

About Swimming with Sharks:

When fortysomething Nicola Eagles goes on the holiday of a lifetime to the Maldives, she never dreams she’ll fall in love – she’s too shy, too set in her ways. But then she meets someone who changes her life for ever…

Just when things seem to be going right for Nicola, though, she disappears without a trace. Was it a voluntary disappearance, or was she abducted – or murdered? When her absence is noted back in the UK, DI Gillian Marsh is sent to investigate.

Gillian is a good detective but her life is dysfunctional to say the least – and as she delves deeper into the case, she realises that she may be out of her depth professionally too. For Nicola’s disappearance is just the start…

If you would like to purchase Anna’s books, please follow the links below or copy and paste them into your browser:

http://www.accentpress.co.uk/swimming-with-sharks

https://www.waterstones.com/book/swimming-with-sharks/anna-legat/9781783759651

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1783759658

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Swimming-Sharks-Gillian-Marsh-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01BSS2NR0?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&tag=accentpress-21

About Anna:

AL3Anna Legat writes crime and contemporary fiction. Her debut novel, Life Without Me, a thriller with an unearthly dose of humour, met with a warm reception both in the UK and abroad, and the first in the DI Gillian Marsh crime series, Swimming with Sharks, was released in the spring of 2016. In her writing Anna draws upon her travels and experiences. Born in Poland, she also lived in South Africa and New Zealand where she worked as an attorney and legal adviser. She now lives in Wiltshire where she teaches in a primary school and, of course, writes. Anna has a husband and a teenage daughter, and is hoping to soon get a dog. She is currently working on the next instalment featuring DI Marsh’s personal and professional triumphs and misfortunes (and of course her feline companion, Fritz, based on Anna’s dearly departed cat Basil!)

 

A Sense of Place #11 Karen King – I Do…Or Do I? – London, the Dordogne and Venice

Today I’m joined by author Karen King, whose new book, ‘I Do…Or Do I?’ is published by Accent Press.

I Do

 

 

Me: Hi Karen, Welcome to ‘Shelby Writes.’ What would be the elevator pitch for ‘I Do…Or Do I?’

Karen: Hi, Lynne. ‘I Do…or Do I?’ has been described as a hilarious take on Monster-in-Laws, disastrous weddings and love triangles.’ I think that pretty much describes it.

Me: I often find that I’m inspired to write when I visit a new city or country. How important is location in your writing?

Karen: Location is very important to me. I love travelling and like to slip places I’ve visited into books I’m writing. I like a mix of the ordinary and exotic in my stories so might have my character living in a city but jetting off to other countries.

Tolox

My first romance novel, ‘Never Say Forever,’ is set in the Midlands and Spain, which I’ve visited a few times. I love the Cost del Sol area, the wild countryside, the little sugar cube houses dotted about in the mountains and valleys, the smell of the orange and lemon trees, the medieval villages and the expanse of golden beaches. It’s a beautiful place. An ideal setting for a romance.

CornwallMy second romance novel, ‘The Millionaire Plan,’ is set in Devon and on a fairly remote island. If I don’t have my characters travelling abroad then I have them living by or visiting a seaside town. I lived in Cornwall for a few years, another beautiful place, and have used the setting in a few of my children’s stories, and also in my second chick lit for Accent.

Both ‘The Millionaire Plan’ and ‘Never Say Forever’ are to be republished by Accent later this year.

dordogneIn ‘I Do…Or Do I?’ Cassie is a journalist in London so a lot of the story takes place there. I’ve been to London a lot and love the hustle and bustle so thought it would make a great background for the story. Later on in the story Cassie, goes on a Press Trip to see wedding venues in the Dordogne, France, where she bumps into Jared again. I haven’t been to France, but I wanted somewhere romantic for Cassie and Jared to meet again and realise that they still love each other and France seemed ideal for this. I liked the sound of the Dordogne with its chateaux and beautiful countryside. I researched it a lot online and also spoke to a friend of mine who has been on a Press Trip to France.

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I’ve visited Venice and fell in love with it immediately. It’s such a unique, enchanting place, both the Lagoon itself and the surrounding islands. I particularly loved Burano, which I mention in the book. I thought Venice was the idea place for Cassie to find herself and discover what she wants to do with her life.

Me: Are you working on your next book? And can you tell us anything about it?

Karen: I was lucky enough to have a three book contract with Accent. Book 2 is written and in the editing process so I’m working on Book 3. I don’t want to give too much away, but it features a wedding – my heroine is a bridesmaid – and a lot of it is set in Majorca, which I visited last year.

Me: It sounds as though your books, with their wonderful locations would make ideal holiday reading, Karen. Thank you for coming here today to talk to us about them.

Karen: My pleasure, Lynne. Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog.

KK Head and ShouldersA member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists, Karen King writes sassy, contemporary romance just right for reading on the beach. ‘I DO..or Do I?’ is her first chick lit for Accent Press. She has been contracted for two more. Karen has had two other romance novels, several short stories for women’s magazine and 120 children’s books published. When she isn’t writing, Karen likes travelling, watching the ‘soaps’ and reading. Give her a good book and a box of chocolates and she thinks she’s in Heaven.

If you would like information about Karen King, or to purchase her books, please follow the links below or copy and paste them into your browser:

Amazon – http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01CGKLOKQ

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/i-do-or-do-i/karen-king/9781910939345

Book Depository – http://www.bookdepository.com/book/9781910939352

Website: http://www.karenking.net/

Twitter: @karen_king

Karen King Romance Author Facebook Page

Karen King Children’s Books Facebook Page

Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/karenkingauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenkingauthor/?hl=en