Release Date: 8 March 2014
Publisher: ThornBerry Publishing
Working in London where he manages his father’s European restaurant chain, Marco has both the looks and charm to guarantee him any woman; any woman, that is, except the one he wants: Ella’s niece Charlotte. Marco knows he should walk away as she’s already involved with rock star Christian Rosetti and is the most rude and argumentative female he has ever encountered, but Charlotte has sparked strong feelings within him; feelings which despite her attitude, he senses she is also experiencing.
Recently returned from abroad and now working for her father’s record company, Lucy Benedict has discovered Christian’s guilty secrets – ones he has been keeping safely hidden from her cousin Charlotte. Determined to cause mischief and at the same time settle her own score with the arrogant star, she sets in motion a chain of events which sees Charlotte eventually beginning a relationship with Marco.
Rossana Caravello, the D’Alesandros’s newly-arrived house guest, is due to inherit the one of Italy’s premier vineyards on her eighteenth birthday. Aware they would make an excellent addition to her husband Gianlucca’s international business portfolio and eager to bring them into his possession, Thérèse sets about engineering a match between Rossana and Marco, determined nothing will stand in her way… including Charlotte.
From rural West Somerset to the glorious rolling landscape of Tuscany and the Italian Lakes THE OTHER SIDE OF MORNING is a story of love, betrayal, deception and ultimate sacrifice.
Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
I can’t say any dreams have. If anything does inspire, it’s those early hours after waking from a night’s sleep. As I lie there I’m usually thinking about where I am with my WIP and what I need to do next. There are occasions when I may have hit a problem and I’m not sure how to move forward. In those quiet moments with no interruptions or distractions I very often come up with ideas I never would have thought of during the day. It’s a great time for that motivational moment.
What did I last dream about? Being on holiday in a hot location with endless blue skies. A bit of wishful thinking there I guess!
When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?
As a child I loved making up stories, but didn’t really get into ‘proper’ writing until I was an adult. My first novel When Tomorrow Comes was published in 2009.
What is it about the genre you write that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?
I’m a reviewer as well as a writer so yes, I do read other genres and it’s great to escape into a thriller or chick lit for a change. As for my own writing, I’ve always been hooked on love stories but I wanted to write something different from feel good romantic fiction. I love drama and exploring the impact people’s actions have on others’ lives. Way back one reviewer referred to my books as drama driven romance. I’ve used the tag ever since because it’s such an apt description of my writing.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
I’m currently writing Watercolours in the Rain, a sequel to Summer Moved On which was published last August. Summer Moved On was set in 2007 when eighteen year old Jess Hayden moved to the south Devon village of Lynbrook and fell in love with a dark haired gypsy, Talún Hansen. Working on a local farm he appeared to be the last person she should have got involved with. However far from being uneducated he had, through personal tragedy, turned down the opportunity to go to university. Their relationship ended dramatically just before Jess was about to go to Exeter to study English. This was brought about by Lily Stevenson, someone from Jess’s past who had a score to settle with her.
Watercolours in the Rain moves everything on to 2013. Jess has inherited a great deal of money and has given up her teaching job. Having left the village, Talún has found his mother’s family and now lives a life of affluence life in rural Norfolk and Lily, now a single working mother is ever hopeful of finding a rich husband. All three find themselves returning to the village for completely different reasons. In such a close community their paths inevitably cross and it’s not long before their lives become entangled once more.
What inspired you to write it?
I loosely based the story on Wuthering Heights. I wanted to explore the idea of a young middle class girl falling in love with someone from a poorer background. When Jess meets Talún he has a reputation as the village lothario, someone she needs to keep away from if she has any sense. But as she gets to know him she begins to understand he’s not what he seems and there is far more depth to him than people realise. When everything goes wrong between him and Jess, like Heathcliff Talún disappears, returning a rich man in the final part of the story. Unlike Heathcliff though, he’s not a tortured soul looking for revenge. I’ve left that to Lily, who seems to have made a career out of causing Jess as much unpleasantness as possible. She certainly achieved that in Summer Moved On and in the sequel she’s back to cause even more problems.
Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
I have to say I don’t sell many paperbacks. Most of my sales come from Kindle downloads. Therefore if anyone is reading any of my titles I’m not going to know. When I’m travelling abroad on holiday I do keep a lookout though…and who knows maybe one day I will discover someone reading one of my books in an airport lounge.
Who designs your covers?
For my first five books, which were a series, the brilliant Jane Dixon Smith produced the most amazing covers for me. For my new project I decided to use Cathy Helms of Avalon Graphics as I wanted a completely different look.
If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Luke Pasqual no – Talún – he’s been my muse for the role ever since I began writing. Juno Temple for Jess and Karen Gillan for Lily.
What's your favourite book that made it to the big screen?
I’ve found very often that favourite books don’t translate well to the big screen and leave me disappointed. So I slightly tweaked your question. I read Madam Bovary, Gustave Flaubert’s debut novel and was interested that it was used as a framework for Ryan’s Daughter (1970), one of my favourite classic films. Set in 1916 it is the story of Rosy, a young woman married to a middle aged schoolmaster. Bored with marriage and life in their small village community on the west coast of Ireland, she begins an illicit affair with a young English army major…with devastating consequences.
What were the last two books you read?
The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza and Jill Mansell’s You and Me Always.
Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
It has to be Lizzie Lamb, I absolutely love her books – a blend of humour, romance…and hot men in kilts.
Where do you write?
I have an office in the house with a window which looks out onto amazing views across the valley. It’s a peaceful place just right for getting the creative juices flowing.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?
I wanted to do something arty but way back then only the lucky few got to uni or Art College. We were also very much guided by our parents’ expectations in those days. It was office work for me and I left school and spent two years at college doing a business diploma together with shorthand and typing. At least the typing came in handy when I began writing!
In the movie of your life, who would play you?
Now that’s a difficult one. If I’m looking at the young me, then I’d go for Carey Mulligan. The older me? Olivia Coleman.
Top drink to make you tipsy? Red wine
Shopaholic or shopadon't? Shopaholic
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? High Heels
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Jilly Cooper
Cry baby or tough cookie? Tough cookie
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Enchanted forest
Juggling work and writing, three other connected books - Love Lies and Promises, The Ghost of You and Me and Between Today and Yesterday - followed. They became collectively known as the Little Court Series.
In 2013 she decided to give up full time work to concentrate on her writing. Two books have been written since - The Other Side of Morning, which finally wrapped up the Little Court Series and Summer Moved On, book one of a two-part love story set in South Devon. Although you can find her characters in glamorous locations like Italy, Grand Cayman, Bali and Australia, the core of her writing remains with village life, an environment she knows and loves. When she isn’t writing, she reviews for Hodder and Stoughton, Brook Cottage Books and NetGalley. Jo lives in a village on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She loves travel, red wine and rock music.
Twitter: Twitter: @jolambertwriter
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