It has given me enormous pleasure this year to stay in with a range of authors I would never have otherwise ‘met’ and I’m delighted today that another new to me author, Sandra Danby, has agreed to stay in and tell me about one of her books.
Staying in with Sandra Danby
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Sandra. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
It’s a pleasure, Linda.
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I’ve brought my latest book, Connectedness. Published earlier this year, it’s the second in the Identity Detective series. It will appeal to fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore with its mixture of Family, Suspense, Secrets and a touch of Romance.
(With some of my favourite authors there, you’ve piqued my interest immediately Sandra!)
A new reviewer said, “I think the characters came off as so realistic, I couldn’t not like it! I also think the cover is going to draw people in like hotcakes, it’s brilliant! Anyway, great plot and writing, it’s sure to be a hit!” The exclamation marks are hers, not mine!
(How brilliant. I’m sure you must be thrilled with that response. I love the cover too.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Connectedness?
In the first book in the series, Ignoring Gravity, journalist Rose Haldane searched for answers about her own adoption as a one-day old baby. Now she turns detective to help artist Justine Tree. It’s the first time Rose has been employed to solve an adoption mystery and she is nervous about getting it right. But as each day passes, she feels further away from finding Justine’s missing daughter and starts to wonder if Justine really does want her to succeed. The novel explores the concept of whether telling a lie to protect a loved one is a good idea, both Justine and Rose struggle with this. There’s a love story in Spain – Justine’s story is set partly in 1980s Málaga where she went to art college – intertwined with her modern day story as an internationally successful artist [think Tracey Emin without the unmade bed] where a scandal could endanger her career. I loved writing about Justine and the art world, I discovered a love of art previously unexplored; I just wish I was less ham-fisted with a paintbrush. So, there are lots of twists, love and betrayal, sadness and ultimately hope. I’ve just realized I haven’t mentioned the Yorkshire connection, my homeland and so it seemed natural for Justine to be a Yorkshire woman too.
(Oh. I do love the sound of this series Sandra. I’m devoting next year to reading and reviewing so I think my enormous TBR may just need to increase!)
What else have you brought along and why?
Biscuits play an important role in the story, appearing in Justine’s Yorkshire childhood and her art studio in London. They trigger memories and provide moments of bonding between Rose and Justine at sticky moments. One reader told me she read the book longing for a packet of shortbread biscuits! So I tonight I have an assortment of the key biscuits… assorted shortbread fans and fingers, fig rolls, Garibaldis, custard creams, Ginger Nuts and chocolate Hob-Nobs. Justine’s favourite biscuit is a shortbread fan… and it’s mine too, with a large mug of strong Yorkshire Tea.
Now you really are my kind of guest Sandra. It’s always tea time in the Hill household and I am somewhat addicted to all those biscuits but shortbread is one of especial favourites. I’ll have to ask you back again. Thanks so much for staying in with me and telling me all about Connectedness. It sounds my kind of read.
TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, ARTIST JUSTINE TREE HAS IT ALL… BUT SHE ALWAYS HAS A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY EVERYTHING
Justine’s art sells around the world, but does anyone truly know her? When her mother dies, she returns to her childhood home in Yorkshire where she decides to confront her past. She asks journalist Rose Haldane to find the baby she gave away when she was an art student, but only when Rose starts to ask difficult questions does Justine truly understand what she must face.
Is Justine strong enough to admit the secrets and lies of her past? To speak aloud the deeds she has hidden for 27 years, the real inspiration for her work that sells for millions of pounds. Could the truth trash her artistic reputation? Does Justine care more about her daughter, or her art? And what will she do if her daughter hates her?
This tale of art, adoption, romance and loss moves between now and the Eighties, from London’s art world to the bleak isolated cliffs of East Yorkshire and the hot orange blossom streets of Málaga, Spain.
A family mystery for fans of Maggie O’Farrell, Lucinda Riley, Tracy Rees and Rachel Hore.
Connectedness is available for purchase here.
About the ‘Identity Detective’ series
Rose Haldane reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases.The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. In the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Connectedness is the story of a birth mother and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned during The Blitz.
About Sandra Danby
Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness, Sandra is not adopted.