I’m getting to feel like an old hand at publication days. The excitement still mounts but the sense of panic that came wit the first book (What if it doesn’t actually publish? What if there’s a technical problem? What if nobody likes it? Worst of all, what if my kids read it?) is missing. (And in any case, misplaced — my children still haven’t read it, or any of the others.)
Today is publication day for my fourth book; and it’s a departure from the previous three, all of which were stand-alone. (I do confess to a continuing niggle from book two, No Time Like Now, where Tim and Megan’s relationship still has some way to go before the happy for now turns into a happy ever after.) A Portrait of my Love is the first in a series — the Lake Garda series.
It tells the story of Skye Ashton and her adventures on an Italian holiday with her wealthy friend Leona in the lakeside resort of Sirmione (blurb below so I won’t reproduce it here). I originally intended it as a standalone novel, just like the first three, but I wasn’t far into it before I realised that just wouldn’t happen. Although Skye’s story is self-contained, the subplot, involving Leona, is left unresolved.
I knew early on that I’d have to tell the story of Leona and her beau, Nico, who ended the first book on very bad terms indeed. As soon as I had Portrait drafted out I plotted the sequel — so soon after that I almost wrote the two together (which was a good thing, because I ended up going back and changing several things, such as introducing a couple of characters who would come in later). When I had the two done in draft form I polished up Portrait and sent it off and went back to the second (Going Back).
At that point it became apparent that another of the onlookers in the first two, Nico’s downtrodden younger sister Giorgia, was itching to break free of her Cinderella existence and likely to do so very unsuitably indeed. So I plotted her story as well. Couldn’t help it. Some stories have to be told.
At the time of going to press, as they say, A Portrait of my Love is ready to drop in to your kindle. I’ve signed a contract for Going Back but as yet have no publication date. And Giorgia’s story, so far untitled, is in its first set of heavy revisions. If you buy Portrait, I hope you enjoy it. And I hope you care enough about the characters to want to read the rest.
A Portrait of my Love
"Terrified of commitment, Skye Ashton ditches her artist boyfriend, Zack, and disappears off to Italy with her best friend, the fascinating and fabulously wealthy Leona Castellano. When Zack turns up, Skye realises how much she really cares for him. But she has a fight on her hands, because Leona has taken an instant fancy to him, and she’s used to getting what she wants.
When Leona sets out to uncover the true story behind an old family feud, she puts herself in danger, and Zack finds himself drawn into an attempt to save her.
Will his intervention in Leona’s life lead to him losing Skye, the girl he really loves?"
Buy it here: