Oh my goodness am I a lucky blogger. Some little while ago I received an invitation from the lovely folk at Quercus to afternoon tea at The Covent Garden Hotel in London with wonderful author Rosanna Ley to celebrate the publication of her latest novel Her Mother’s Secret. Now, having loved every word I’ve ever read from Rosanna Ley, I jumped at the chance.
Rosanna is no stranger to Linda’s Book Bag, having written a fabulous guest post on Travel and Research when The Little Theatre by the Sea was published. You can read that post here. I also reviewed Rosanna’s Last Dance in Havanna here and that book made it onto my favourite reads of the year here. So you can see why I was so excited.
And what a wonderful afternoon it was.
I tried very hard (and unsuccessfully) not to be too star struck meeting Rosanna and was thrilled to hear all about her next book (though I don’t know if I’m allowed to say too much about it yet, except to say Rosanna’s husband came up with the title!) and to talk with her about travel and her research as that’s another of my great loves alongside reading and books. It was smashing to have author and Heat Magazine‘s Book Review Editor, Isabelle Broom also there as I love Izzy’s writing too.
We were treated to a glass of bubbly and some delicious sandwiches, cakes and scones with our choice of tea so that I think I ate my own body weight in goodies. With the royal wedding coming up we opted for that version of afternoon tea to celebrate Rosanna’s Her Mother’s Secret.
(The waiter had to talk us through the food as there was so much to choose from!)
As well as two super authors in the star guest Rosanna Ley and writer Isabelle Broom, fellow bloggers Laura and Heidi were there along with press officer, lovely Olivia Mead from Quercus, and My Weekly‘s Commissioning Fiction Editor Karen Byrom.
We had a fabulous afternoon with wonderful bookish chat, much laughter and scrumptious food. Even better, I came away with a wonderful copy of Rosanna’s Her Mother’s Secret too. I’ll be reading that and blogging about it as soon as I can.
Her Mother’s Secret
For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland – the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany – afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea’s failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?
Despite Colette’s wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother’s flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette’s mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?
The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter?
It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret – one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.
Her Mother’s Secret is published by Quercus and is available for purchase here.
About Rosanna Ley
Rosanna Ley is the bestselling author of novels including Return to Mandalay and The Villa, which sold over 310,000 copies. In February 2015 Return to Mandalay was shortlisted for the RNA Award for the Epic Romantic Novel. She has written numerous articles and short stories for magazines, and her novels have been published in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Norway, Hungary, Portugal, Lithuania, Turkey and the Czech Republic. The Villa is also published by Quercus in the US.
Rosanna has also worked as a creative writing tutor for over 20 years. She has led courses for colleges and universities in England, and runs her own writing retreats in the UK and abroad in Italy and Spain. She has worked with community groups in therapeutic settings and completed an MA in Creative Writing for Personal Development in order to support this. She also runs a manuscript appraisal service to appraise and mentor the work of new writers. She is married with children and lives in Dorset.