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Driving south past Snowdon

Because I live at one end of Snowdonia and my family at the other, for years I’ve taken the drive past the dramatic beauty of Snowdon and Beddgelert for granted, with Brondanw Gardens and Portmeirion to visit on the way.

Well, never again. This last year it seems we’ve either been in lockdown or when Snowdonia is heaving. In the first lockdown there was a certain magical element with the perfect weather and having no traffic or visitors around. The birdsong seemed louder, the bluebells were more intense. And yet at the same time it felt uncomfortably eerie.

The only time I ventured into the mountains during lockdown was when my car battery was found to be flat (embarrassingly!) after not being used for months, and I needed to drive for half an hour to make sure it was fully charged. I was excited to get up to Ogwen lake, even if it was just to turn round and come back without stopping. But once I got there, it was one of those moments the reality of the pandemic really struck home. Where usually there would be crowds climbing Tryfan, or up to Idwal lake and the Glyders, there was just silence. Yes, I loved the idea of nature taking over and having a chance to heal, but it still freaked me out, this lack of humanity in the landscape. This was when a vaccine still seemed impossibly out of reach and when the past year felt like stepping into a disaster movie. I couldn’t wait to get home.

How different it was this last weekend! As I finally ventured out to meet family members for the first time since last September, we had all been vaccinated. We were careful (including, as it turned out, picnicking amidst flurries of snow!), but it felt just that little more like normal. And going past Snowdon amongst the early morning frost, it was great to see the car parks already full and people heading up into the hills. I could see on some of their faces that this must be the first time they had been up on those hills for months.

Looking towards Cader Idris in Southern Snowdonia

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is finally a step back towards the freedoms of life before the pandemic – and this drive, and the ability to walk in the mountains and visit the beaches is one I will definitely never, ever, take for granted again!

The summit of Snowdon, and a reminder …

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It’s always exciting when a new book is on its way …

As spring begins to appear, my second book for Orion, ‘The Girl with the Silver Clasp’, is going through the final stages of becoming a real book, for publication day in July 2021. It’s already up for review on NetGalley, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that readers love the story as much as I loved writing it.

This time the story is set in a tiny private harbour a short distance from St Ives in the Cornwall of the 1920s. It’s centred around three very different women, all of whom have been changed by the trauma of the First World War, and who find themselves having to overcome their differences to save a crumbling family mansion and the future of the harbour’s tight-knit community, as well as to fulfil their dreams.

St Ives

I loved doing the research for this book! Sadly, COVID-19 prevented me from returning to St Ives last summer, but I was incredibly lucky to have researched the Art Deco jewellery that is the life-long passion of one of my heroines when I was in London meeting my editor, just before the pandemic changed everything. Jess’ particular skill is enamelling, something I’d learnt at school, and although I wasn’t able to meet up with local jewellery-makers as much as I’d planned, I was still able to get the information I needed, for which I’m hugely grateful.

So now, with my beautiful cover in place, and ‘The Girl with the Silver Clasp’ on its first steps out into the world, I’ve no real idea whether it will have a real-life launch or a virtual one, like I had last May for ‘The Ferryman’s Daughter’. Maybe it will be a bit of a mixture of both.

But either way, it will be exciting – and I can’t wait to share the story of Jess, Rachel and Giselle, as they each fight to overcome the past and move into a better future.

Will they find the courage to follow their dreams?

St. Ives, 1916.

Jess Morgan always hoped to become a celebrated silversmith, but when the men return from war she’s forced to return to her job as a seamstress. All she can cling to is the memory of that delicate, unique silver clasp she created for a society bride.

Rachel Bellamy served as an ambulance driver on the front line during the Great War but now it’s up to her to save the family home and picturesque harbour from her wealthy brother-in-law, before it’s too late.

Giselle Harding fought her way up from poverty to become a Hollywood movie star. Yet even the most beautiful jewels she owns will never replace the man she lost.

As the lives of the three women collide, will they be able to overcome their differences and fight together for the dreams they once held so close?

‘The Girl with the Silver Clasp’ is available for pre-order on Amazon – click HERE

And is available from NetGalley HERE

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via Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #HistoricalFiction THE FERRYMAN’S DAUGHTER by @julietgreenwood

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Loving this interview with fellow historical author, Pam Lecky!

Pam Lecky

Today I am delighted to have Juliet Greenwood in the library for a chat. Juliet’s beautiful cover for The White Camellia was my very first monthly historical fiction cover winner. (See: Historical Fiction Cover Competition January 2017)

juliet-and-hat-small-versionYou are very welcome, Juliet, please introduce yourself:

After living in London and near Birmingham, I now live in a small traditional cottage halfway up a mountain in Snowdonia, in North Wales. I write stories and serials for magazines as ‘Heather Pardoe’, as well as novels under my own name. My books have reached #4 and #5 in the UK Amazon Kindle store, while ‘Eden’s Garden’ was a finalist for ‘The People’s Book Prize’ and ‘We That are Left’ was completed with a Literature Wales Writers’ Bursary. I have a passion for gardening and walking, as well as for history – and my camera goes with me everywhere!

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Thank you to Pam Lecky for choosing the cover of The White Camellia as Historical Fiction Cover winner for January 2017!

Pam Lecky

Do you love historical fiction? What makes you choose one book over another? For most of us, the cover is the first thing that attracts our attention. For me, the cover has to look professional and must convey genre and a hint of what the story is about.

Each month I will be taking a look at historical fiction covers and choosing my ‘Pam’s Pick’ for the month. Hopefully, you will be intrigued enough to look beyond the covers I feature and find your next favourite author. If a cover interests you just click on the image to learn more about the book and buy if you wish.

My first winner is The White Camellia, by Juliet Greenwood. When this cover landed in my inbox, I knew immediately it would be one of my top picks. The image is beautiful, romantic and delicate. If I saw this in a shop I would…

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Proud to be on Jill’s blog – and in VERY illustrious (and tempting) company. Off to the nearing bookshop, and I may be some time …. 😉

Jill's Book Cafe

Review Copies

white-camellia

The White Camellia by Juliet Greenwood. Paperback kindly provided by the author. 

1909. Cornwall. Her family ruined, Bea is forced to leave Tressillion House, and self-made business woman Sybil moves in. Owning Tressillion is Sybil’s triumph – but now what? As the house casts its spell over her, as she starts to make friends in the village despite herself, will Sybil be able to build a new life here, or will hatred always rule her heart?

Bea finds herself in London, responsible for her mother and sister’s security. Her only hope is to marry Jonathon, the new heir. Desperate for options, she stumbles into the White Camellia tearoom, a gathering place for the growing suffrage movement. For Bea it’s life-changing, can she pursue her ambition if it will heap further scandal on the family? Will she risk arrest or worse?

When those very dangers send Bea and her…

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Loving this blog post and review from Carol Lovekin!

Making it up as I go along

Island Life, Word Birds & Process #23

I rarely add book reviews here. I don’t have many followers & this is where I tend to rattle on about my own writing. If I can’t support a sister Honno author here however, where can I? Well, yes, on Amazon & I’ve done that – we all know who’s in charge of promotion & stats!

*Curtsies to Amazon*

Juliet Greenwood writes historical mystery stories with a twist. She lives in north Wales, has a penchant for Cornwall (as do I) old houses (me too) & a story with a secret (tick.) She is unswervingly kind to other authors. She also has great taste in frocks.

img-20160917-00366The White Camellia, is published by Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press. It’s fabulous.

My review

This is Juliet Greenwood’s third novel and in my view, her best to date. Her writing has matured, settings are beautifully…

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Love this review of ‘The White Camellia’ from Judith Barrow!

Judith Barrow

                   the-white-camellia-tour-banner white camellia

 

                                                                     Genre: Historical Fiction

                                                            Release Date: 15th September 2016

                                                      Publisher: Honno, the Welsh Women’s Press

  1. Cornwall. Her family ruined, Bea is forced to leave Tressillion House, and self-made business woman Sybil moves in. Owning Tressillion is Sybil’s triumph — but now what? As the house casts its…

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Genre: Historical Fiction              …

Source: | Judith Barrow on WordPress.com

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For Victorian and Edwardian women tearooms were a freedom from the old expectations of family and chaperones, and simply going from being someone’s daughter to someone’s wife. We might have gai…

Source: Tearooms – still going strong

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