You know, one of the absolute joys of being a book blogger is the opportunity it affords me to discover all kinds of new books and authors well in advance of their publication dates. Today I have one such combination as I stay in with Dean Mayes to discuss one of his books.
Staying in with Dean Mayes
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Dean. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Hi Linda. Thank you for having me.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
This evening I’ve brought along my brand new contemporary romance, The Artisan Heart. It is my fourth novel for Central Avenue Publishing. After exploring slightly different genres over the past couple of releases (literary fiction and psychological thriller), it is nice to return to my romantic roots with this novel.
(I love books by men with a romantic element. I think The Artisan Heart would be my kind of read.)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Artisan Heart?
The Artisan Heart is unique, I think, in that I have crafted a romantic story in which the gender roles of the two protagonists are kind of flipped on their heads. Both Hayden and Isabelle come to the story, each recovering from fairly destructive relationships and they approach each other as equals rather than traditional man and woman.
In fact, as the story progresses, we find Isabelle taking the lead in the “dance” if you will, which I think is refreshing in romantic fiction. You could even call it a feminist romance.
(Hmm – you might just have coined a new genre there Dean!)
The Artisan Heart also portrays a character who is deaf. Isabelle’s daughter Genevieve has been deaf from a very young age and she communicates through sign language (AUSLAN sign language). This presented a challenge for me in that I basically had to learn a whole lot of signing dialogue and portray it as a natural part of the story, without making the character seem simple. That is probably one of the things I’m most proud of with The Artisan Heart.
(I’m always amazed by the amount of research and effort that authors put in to their work Dean. This must have been a really interesting challenge.)
What else have you brought along and why?
So, I’ve brought along one of Isabelle’s delicious bread loaves to share with you. Isabelle is an Artisan baker and she’s trying to resurrect Walhalla’s long dormant bakery. This is pumpkin and poppy seed which is one of Isabelle’s signature loaves baked in her wood oven and she’s become renowned for it throughout the town. Isabelle recommends you slice it thick and lightly toast it before serving with lashings of butter. One wonders whether her baking has magical properties. She is just so popular.
That bread is just delicious. I think I’ll have another slice! Thank you so much for staying in with me Dean, and telling me all about Isabella and The Artisan Heart. I’ve really enjoyed our evening.
The Artisan Heart
Hayden Luschcombe is a brilliant pediatrician living in Adelaide with his wife, an ambitious event planner. His life consists of soul-wrenching days at the hospital and tedious evenings attending the lavish parties organized by his wife.
When an act of betrayal coincides with a traumatic event at the hospital, Hayden flees. His destination is Walhalla, nestled in Australia’s southern mountains, where he finds his childhood home falling apart. With nothing to return to, he stays, and begins to pick up the pieces of his life by fixing up the house his parents left behind.
A chance encounter with a precocious and deaf young girl introduces Hayden to Isabelle Sampi, a struggling artisan baker. While single-handedly raising her daughter and trying to resurrect a bakery, Isabelle has no time for matters of the heart. Yet the presence of the new handsome doctor challenges her resolve. Likewise, Hayden is protective of his own fractured heart, but something about Isabelle awakens dormant feelings of his own.
As their attraction grows, and the past threatens their chance at happiness, both Hayden and Isabelle will have to confront long-buried truths if they are ever to embrace a future.
The Artisan Heart will be published by Central Avenue on 1st September 2018 and is available for pre-order here.
About Dean Mayes
Dean Mayes released his first novel The Hambledown Dream in 2010.
Dean lives in Adelaide, Australia with his partner Emily, their two children Xavier and Lucy. An Intensive Care Nurse with over 15 years of clinical experience in adult, paediatric and neonatal medicine, he can often be found lying on a hospital gurney at 3 in the morning with a notebook in hand, madly scribbling ideas while on his break.