Hello everyone and a very Happy 2015 to you all. I’m starting my New Year postings with a guest spot. There will be a lot of fab books out this year and one of them will be ‘And the Bride Wore Prada’ by Katie Oliver.
I met Katie when she first joined my author page and tweeted a lot about my own novels. It was a while before I realised that she was also a novelist. But you know how long it takes me to realise things. Katie and I became good friends and I am delighted to welcome her onto my blog. Fortunately for us, Katie loves writing romantic comedy as well as reading it. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and three parakeets, in a rambling old house with uneven floors and a dining room that leaks when it rains. It sounds a bit like our cottage before the renovation.
Katie has been writing since she was eight, and has a box crammed with (mostly unfinished) novels to prove it. Katie and I could be twins. One day we’ll have to meet and swap boxes. In the meantime I will hand over to Katie so she can tell you more about herself, going for walks and her own Mr Darcy. Catch her on her book tour this month.
There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. – Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
I love to take walks. And it appears I’m in good company.
Not only do plenty of people elect to walk (or ride a bicycle) these days; many fictional heroines did the same.
Jane Eyre met Mr Rochester astride his horse while walking alone across the moors, and Mr Darcy shared more than one stroll with Elizabeth Darcy in the gardens of Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s estate. And who can forget Mary Lennox and her outdoor rambles at Misselthwaite Manor, which led to her discovery of the sadly neglected secret garden?
As I walked our dog one day last December, and waited for him to do his business, I breathed in the cold air and admired the snow on the ground. Normally we don’t get much snow in the Washington, DC area, especially not before Christmas. So I was pretty excited (chuffed, as you Brits would say).
Duke and I resumed our walk, and my imagination kicked in. I was no longer on a dead-end street in Northern Virginia with my Belgian terrier, but wandering somewhere in the snow-covered Scottish Highlands with a pair of deerhounds at my heels…
…returning to the family castle after a long, invigorating walk.
My thoughts moved as quickly as my feet. I had something to tell my family, something big. Something that would upset their lives, and mine, forever…
As I followed Duke down the hill, I had an epiphany. Well, not an epiphany, exactly, but an idea for a new book. What if two of my characters – Natalie and her new husband, Rhys – are invited to Scotland to spend the Christmas holidays with Nat’s old friend Tarquin Campbell and his wife, Wren?
And what if a blizzard wreaks havoc with their travel plans, and they barely make it to the Campbell castle before the roads become impassable? And what if there’s a gruff and mysterious groundskeeper, and a dark family secret, and-?
I was off and running (figuratively, not literally – Duke and I are far too lazy to run), and I eventually finished “And the Bride Wore Prada” a few months later and typed “The End” (which, as any writer knows, are the two sweetest words in the English language) and sent it off to my editor.
Last year, after I finished writing the first three of my ‘Dating Mr Darcy’ ebooks – Prada and Prejudice, Love and Liability, and Mansfield Lark – I honestly thought I was done with those characters. Finished. I had nothing more to say.
Zero. Zilch. Nada.
But thanks to that early snow, and Duke, and the necessity of walking (not to mention my very overactive imagination), the book – which kicks off a new series, ‘Marrying Mr Darcy’ – is soon to be published. It’s a prospect at once daunting and exhilarating. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Wishing everyone a very happy New Year filled with love, laughter…and lots of good books!
The Marrying Mr Darcy series.
What could be more romantic than Christmas in the Scottish highlands?
The first book in the Marrying Mr Darcy series, “And the Bride Wore Prada,” finds Natalie and Rhys Gordon headed to Scotland to spend the holidays with Tarquin Campell and his wife Wren. A mix-up at the Inverness airport leads Natalie to offer a ride to stranded rock star Dominic Heath and his fiancé, Gemma. A blizzard soon makes the roads impassable, and the foursome barely make it to Draemar Castle.
When tabloid reporter Helen Thomas’s car slides off the road, she seeks shelter at the castle as well. She’s after an exclusive story on Dominic and Gemma’s not-so-secret upcoming wedding. But Helen finds a bigger story when she discovers Tarquin’s brother, Andrew, drowned years before. His body was never found. Is it possible he’s still alive? Her investigation yields more questions than answers.
Could Colm MacKenzie, the gruff groundskeeper with more than a passing resemblance to the Campbell family, be the missing piece to the puzzle?
Natalie and Rhys are recently married and blissfully happy…until Nat receives unexpected news that changes everything. Hurt by Rhys’s less-than-enthusiastic reaction, she wonders if their sparkling new marriage is over before it’s even begun…
You can find Katie by following the links below.
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/KatieOliverWriter
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/katieoliver