A couple of years ago when I was a relatively newbie blogger I interviewed Nicola May here on Linda’s Book Bag. Today I’m delighted to welcome back Nicola to the blog to stay in with me and tell me about one of her books.
Staying in with Nicola May
Welcome back to Linda’s Book Bag, Nicola. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Hello and it is an absolute pleasure to be staying in with you, Linda.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
As it is a new release, I have brought along The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay to share with you. It is the ninth romantic comedy I have written and I’m proud to say I have published this one myself. At the time of writing this I am nestling against Jojo Moyes in the Top 20 of the romantic comedy chart on Amazon; how wonderful is that!
(Absolutely brilliant! Huge congratulations.)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay?
From the title and cover, readers might expect a twee type romantic comedy, but it is far from that. My main character, Rosa, was brought up in foster homes so is quite a tough cookie for readers to relate to at first. It is also far from a straightforward boy meet girl story.
In fact, a review on Amazon from Dash Fan sums it up in a nutshell:
The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay has it all, Humour, heartache, mystery, romance, sex, a lil’ bit of magic, nosy neighbours, charm, wit, adorable fur babies, memorable characters and a quaint shop. It triggered so many emotions, it was an uplifting story full of warmth and laughter the tugged on my heart strings. It made for a compulsive read that I couldn’t put down.
(What a perfect review. It certainly makes me want to bump The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay up my TBR pile!)
What else have you brought along and why?
I have brought along a painting of a corner shop. My dad is an artist and he painted this.
(What a talented family you are – writers and artists!)
This shop used to be in a little village in Sunninghill near to where I live. I have happy memories of buying sweets from those big old sweet jars there as a child. It is long gone now, but when my dad gifted me the painting, I looked at it and said out loud ‘I’m going to write a book based around a corner shop.’
(Fantastic inspiration for writing. I always love hearing where authors get their ideas for their stories.)
I decided to set the book in a fictitious Devon village as I adore the South West of England, especially a little village called Dittisham. As Rosa was walking the steep streets of Cockleberry Bay I not only imagined the steep streets of Dittisham, I also thought of Clovelly and a mixture of the other beautiful Devonshire villages and beaches I have visited.
(I know that area well as I spent my childhood summers on holiday there. I love Clovelly.)
The cherry on the cake is that my dad also illustrated the book cover, incorporating the original shop that he painted, which makes it very close to my heart.
Oh, I’m sure it does. Thanks so much for coming onto the blog to tell me about The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, Nicola. I can’t wait to read it.
The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay
Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.
Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?
There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.
With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.
Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay is available for purchase here.
About Nicola May
Nicola May lives in the UK, five miles from the Queen’s castle in Windsor, with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks – and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.
She won Best Author Read at the Festival of Romance for The School Gates and Christmas Evie, in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
She classes her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick,’ writing about love, life and friendships in a real, not fluffy kind of way. She likes burgers, mince pies, clocks, birds, bubble baths and facials – but is not so keen on aubergines.