Staying in with Helena Fairfax

A year of light and shadows cover

Having so enjoyed Felicity at the Cross Hotel by Helena Fairfax (my review of which you can read here) I am thrilled that Helena has agreed to stay in with me today to tell me about another of her books.

If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me to tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with Helena Fairfax

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Helena. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thanks so much for having me, Linda. I’m excited about a night in!

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

I’ve chosen A Year of Light and Shadows. The reason I’ve chosen it is because it’s my dad’s 90th birthday this year, and he told me it was his favourite book of all those I’ve written 🙂 He loves a mystery and so I can see why it appeals to him. The story begins in a fictional country – a tiny place in southern Europe. Montverrier is a beautiful country – I have the opening scene full of sunflowers, like a van Gogh painting – but it’s a place full of treachery where nothing is ever what it seems. My heroine, Lizzie Smith, is asked to stand in for the country’s princess. She finds the only person she can rely on is her bodyguard, Léon…or can she?

There are a few twists in the story, and so I can’t say too much without giving things away…!

(What a wonderful reason for selecting what sounds a fantastic book. I’m sure your Dad is right!)

What can we expect from an evening in with A Year of Light and Shadows?

A Year of Light and Shadows is a suspense novel that you can read in one evening, and as the shadows fall I hope readers can lose themselves in the mystery, as well as the romance at the heart of it. I try to transport readers out of themselves by creating a beautiful and mysterious setting. I love the way Mary Stewart does this in her romantic suspense novels. I find an atmospheric setting adds to the suspense, as well as making the perfect backdrop to the developing romance. If you’re having a night in to read, there’s nothing better than totally losing yourself in a story and imagining yourself in a wonderful place, and I hope I succeeded with this book. One reviewer said: ‘Anyone with a romantic heart should enjoy this one. I found it a terrific surprise.’

(I can’t wait to read A Year of Light and Shadows. It sounds so good.)

What else have you brought along and why?

First – and most important! – I’ve brought some Scottish shortbread and a bottle of red wine. My heroine is Scottish, and my hero is from the Italian coast. I think they’d both appreciate it!


I’ve also brought some photos of the places that inspired the setting. My fictional country of Montverrier was inspired by a trip to Monaco. Léon gives the heroine a lift on his motorbike, and they follow the winding coast route along the Mediterranean. It reminds me of a similar journey I made several years ago.


I have some photos of Edinburgh, too. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s beautifully atmospheric, with a long, sometimes bloody history. The perfect place for a romantic suspense!


Thanks so much for staying in with me, Helena, to tell me all about A Year of Light and Shadows. It sounds a wonderful read.

Thanks so much for having me, Linda. I love the idea of staying in with a book. I hope you enjoy the wine and shortbread!

I can’t drink wine as it makes me ill but I’m afraid the shortbread seems to have disappeared!

A Year of Light and Shadows

A year of light and shadows cover

From a beautiful Mediterranean palace to the atmospheric, winding streets of Edinburgh, A Year of Light and Shadows will take you on a journey of mystery and romance. Perfect for fans of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt and Daphne du Maurier.

When actress Lizzie Smith is asked to play the role of a genuine princess, her decision to accept thrusts her into a world of intrigue and danger. Alone in a glittering palace by the Mediterranean, isolated from her friends, Lizzie is forced to rely on her quiet bodyguard, Léon, to guide her. But who is Léon really protecting? Lizzie…or the princess?

On her return to Scotland, Lizzie begins rehearsals for Macbeth – and finds danger is still stalking her through the streets of Edinburgh. Lizzie is once again forced to turn to Léon, for help…and discovers a secret he’d do anything not to reveal.

A Year of Light and Shadows is available for purchase here. 

About Helena Fairfax

Helena Fairfax writes engaging contemporary romances with sympathetic heroines and heroes she’s secretly in love with. Her novels have been shortlisted for several awards, including the Exeter Novel Prize, the Global Ebook Awards, the I Heart Indie Awards, and the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme Award.

Helena is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She’s grown used to the cold now, and these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. She walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings.

You can find out more about Helena by visiting her website, finding her on Facebook, or following her on Twitter @HelenaFairfax.

13 thoughts on “Staying in with Helena Fairfax

  1. Reblogged this on Helena Fairfax and commented:
    It’s the perfect weather for staying in, and award-winning book blogger Linda Hill has invited me round for a chat. I’ve been following Linda’s blog for a long while now and have discovered some great books from her reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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