Happy Easter, everyone! Staying at home is not the way any of us planned to spend Good Friday, I am sure. I, for one, was supposed to be in Dublin today, visiting my in-laws and then off to Wales for a week’s holiday with the kids. Still, why not make the most of the beautiful weather and join me and tonight’s guest for virtual drinks in the garden instead? I am happy to welcome to the blog tonight, author and fellow RNA member….Carol Thomas.
Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening, Carol. First things first, what are you drinking?
Thank you for having me along. I’ll have a Bay Breeze, which I recently tried as research for a 1950s night in my current WIP. The things we do for research!
Terrible sacrifices we have to make! If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
Osteria, in the historic town of Arundel. It is my favourite café and writing haunt by day, and has a bar and great atmosphere in the evening, too. It also provided the inspiration for, Cin Cin, the bar in my Lisa Blake series of novels.
If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
Keanu Reeves, as I’ve been a fan since I was a teenager. I enjoy listening to him talk, and you know, he’s not bad to look at either 😉 And Ruth Jones, I like the way she captures the funny and emotive moments of life. I think that’s a quirky enough mix to make the evening entertaining.
I would not object to spending an evening with those two! So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I am currently working on a contemporary romance novel I started a few years ago. I put it aside while concentrating on Maybe Baby, the second book in the Lisa Blake series, but have enjoyed returning to it, albeit that it took a while to get back in step with the characters. It is a standalone novel, unrelated to the Lisa Blake series, that I hope will be published by Choc Lit / Ruby Fiction (fingers crossed). My WIP was inspired by a visit to Petworth House; a stately home, with a reluctant Duke.
What has been your proudest moment since you started writing, and what has been your biggest challenge?
My proudest moment was gaining my contract with Ruby Fiction.
My biggest challenge is time. I am a mum of four; three of my children are still school age, and I also work in a local school. My other challenge is getting the balance between promotion and writing right.
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, it’s just us talking after all!
Well, while I’ve got Keanu over for drinks, I could speak to him about one of my books going to film with him as the lead. (Though I might have to write something more fitting for him; Nathan Baker, in the Lisa Blake series, would have to be played by Chris Hemsworth.)
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to shoehorn a gratuitous Chris Hemsworth pic on to the blog! What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
My WIP has entered that final phase where everything is coming together, so that is exciting. I love it when the words and ideas are flowing well, and you feel you can’t keep up with what you want to get down.
I am also delighted to say my novel, Maybe Baby, currently out in ebook and audio editions will be out in paperback this summer (all being well with the current situation). There’s nothing like holding your paperback in your hands!
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
My favourite holiday destination is Samoëns in France. It is beautiful in summer or winter, with stunning views across the mountains. We’ve postponed our trip this year, but have many happy memories, and hope to go again in the future. I don’t have a bucket list, but making memories and having family holidays is always important to me, whether here in the UK or abroad.
Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
I’ve been married to my husband for twenty years, and we’ve been together for twenty-nine years, but he was my sister’s boyfriend before he went out with me.
Oooh, did that cause any problems, I wonder? Books are my big passion and central to my blog, and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
As I feel we are all in need of some escapism and a comfort read at the moment, I’d go with anything by Sarah Morgan, but my particular must-read would be Sleigh Bells in the Snow. It’s a real cuddle of a book.
Once upon a time Kayla loved Christmas
Now she s more dedicated to her job than decking the halls, and can t wait for the most wonderful time of the year to be over.
Until she arrives at the enchanting Snow Crystal ski resort, determined to win gorgeous owner Jackson as a marketing client.
But wooing Jackson professionally quickly turns personal as they spend flirty festive nights in this glittering winter wonderland.
With snowflakes swirling and sleigh bells ringing…could Jackson be the one to make Kayla fall back under the Christmas spell?
So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
I must confess I can’t ever remember having a hangover. I don’t often drink, so when I do, I tend to stop after a couple as that can make me feel pretty jolly!
After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
With my family and dog, Hubble, somewhere peaceful and beautiful, and then when the children are all in bed, an evening in snuggled up with my husband.
Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening, Carol, and letting me quiz you, it has been a real pleasure.
Carol’s latest book, Maybe Baby (Lisa Blake book #2) is a romantic comedy and the sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter (Lisa Blake book #1). While each book can be read as a standalone story, Maybe Baby revisits the characters from The Purrfect Pet Sitter as they move into the next phase of their lives. You can get a copy here.
Just when you thought you had it all worked out …
Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.
Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete, after a romantic getaway.
But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises!
In the summer of 2017, Carol Thomas was delighted to gain a publishing contract with Ruby Fiction, an imprint of the award-winning publishers Choc Lit. She has subsequently gained best-seller badges for The Purrfect Pet Sitter and Maybe Baby, both books in the Lisa Blake series.
Carol writes for adults and children: Her contemporary romance novels, have relatable heroines whose stories are layered with emotion, sprinkled with laughter and topped with irresistible male leads; while her children’s books have irresistibly cute, generally furry characters young children can relate to.
Carol lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. She can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.
Next week I will be having Friday Night Drinks with Nina Kwiatkowski.