Friday, 13 December 2013

An interview with Jo Thomas - author of The Oyster Catcher

Hello Jo it is a pleasure to welcome you to my blog and to learn a little about your latest bookThe Oyster Catcher. Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Jo Thomas and I live in the Vale of Glamorgan with my husband, who’s a writer and producer, our three children, three cats, and our black lab Murray.

Why did you start writing?

I had 3 children under the age of 3. Writing was my ‘me time’. I could go to that place in my head and make it as lovely and special as I wanted it to be while around me there were toys to be tidied, piles of washing, and play dates to organise. In fact, more often than not, I’d drop the eldest at school, the next one in nursery, and then the baby would fall asleep in the car and I’d stop wherever I was, park up, pull out my laptop, and start writing. I got some very funny looks from passers-by though.

So writing was something you really wanted to do and you clearly enjoy it. Tell us a little about your latest book.

 The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas

According to a champion shell shucker, when learning how to shuck an oyster from it’s shell, first you have to understand what’s keeping it closed.

When runaway bride Fiona Clutterbuck crashes the honeymoon camper van, she doesn’t know what to do or where to go.

Embarrassed and humiliated Fiona knows one thing for sure, she can’t go home. Being thrown a life line, a job on an oyster farm seems to be the answer to her prayers.  But nothing could prepare her for the choppy ride ahead or her new boss the wild and unpredictable Sean Thornton.

Will Fiona ever be able to come out of her shell and find love again?

As the oyster season approaches, will there be love amongst the oyster beds of Galway bay? Or will the circling sharks close in?
Buying links:

Can you tell us a little about the heroine?
Fiona is a jilted bride who hides away on an oyster farmin rural Connemara, despite being terrified of water and her wild and unpredictable new boss. Cutting herself off from everywhere she knows, she learns about oyster farming and the art of shucking oyster shells. She finally learns to come out of her shell but along the way she has to battle oyster pirates, pearly princesses, and loan sharks before eventually finding love amongst the oyster beds of Galway Bay
Oyster farming is an unusual choice for romance. Was there a reason for this?

My husband was offered a job on the west coast of Ireland, in Galway, to work on an Irish-language soap opera there. We went over to see the place to decide if we would go as a family. From the moment we arrived it poured with rain. I’ve never known rain like it, and that’s after living in Wales. You couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. I decided that it wasn’t going to work, until that night when we went to a restaurant; a wonderful place called O’Grady’s. It’s an end cottage in a row of terraced cottages, painted light blue. You walk in and the fire is going, the candles are lit, and you look out over sea. And there I ate pacific oysters. I looked out of the cottage window and thought, OK, I get it. If this is what Galway has to offer, I’m in. And from then on I had some of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had, from wild foraged food, saffron sorbet , and the oysters, just wonderful. I thought, ‘this is sexy’. But it’s such a precarious business.  And an idea began to form.

You obviously have a love of food and cooking as well as writing?

Yes, I love cooking. I love feeding people. Sunday lunch is one of my favourite times of the week. My brother is a chef and I’m always picking his brains for ideas.  One of my favourite times of the year is Christmas morning when he and I hole up in the kitchen, listening to Radio 2 with a Buck’s Fizz on the go, and cook Christmas dinner together. Actually I love it because he has to be the commis and I’m Chef!

My son loves cooking too and that’s becoming a really lovely and special thing to do together. I think that families and food and love go hand in hand.

I love the memories that food can bring back. The taste of something can take you right back to a special place, a special moment. Like bangers on Bonfire Night, or peppery mussels in a bikers lay-by in Brittany. Maine lobster on my honeymoon and toasted marshmallows on a Saturday night with the kids, watching X Factor.

I’m a cook and for me the pleasure is about sharing the food I’ve cooked, the wobbly three-tiered chocolate birthday cake, or the homemade pizzas on a Saturday night in front of the telly. Food is my way of saying, ‘I love you’.

Thank you Jo. You create a delightfully warm picture of romance and food and happy family life. I wish you every success with The Oyster Catcher. 
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Friday, 22 November 2013

A Question of Love - a new e-book romance

A QUESTION OF LOVE is a 50,000 word modern romance - shorter and lighter than my usual Family Sagas. 
It is published as an e-book by Endeavour Press

Roseanne Fairfax is young, beautiful and ambitious.

As a partner of Kershaw & Company, Roseanne has a very clear plan for her career and for her life. She is fiercely independent and has built up walls to stop herself from falling in love. That is until she meets Euan Kennedy - the nephew of her business partner, Mr Kershaw.

Euan is funny, warm, charming…. and drop dead gorgeous. And Roseanne soon finds her hard exterior melting as they become closer.

Will Roseanne realise that there is more to life than work?  Or will she fail to open up to A Question of Love?

‘A Question of Love’ is a moving contemporary romance about finding a work/ life balance and learning to let someone in.

‘A charming new love story for the modern, independent woman’ - Holly Kinsella, author of ‘Uptown Girl’.

Amazon link

Shortened link
Price £2.99

Friday, 4 October 2013

Concluding the Lochandee Series and the Home Series with digital publications


usual price £1.91

usual price $3.08 

This is the final novel in the Lochandee Series.

It is the 1980’s and there is a new generation of Maxwells eager to farm at Wester Rullion. Young Paul Maxwell and his cousin Ryan are determined to work together to restore the farm’s prosperity, depending on support from their grandparents. But they had not bargained for the bureaucratic hurdles of new farming regulations and the introduction of milk quotas to curb their ambitions and their income.
They have promised to be business partners for life but problems arise when Ryan sets his heart on marrying Molly Nairne, daughter of a prosperous local farmer, while Paul – abandoned by his mother as a young boy – is adamant that he will never fall in love. Can a new arrival at the farm cause him to change his mind and slay the spectres from the past? 


See previous blog for details of story and hardback publication
                                This will be available to download from 31st October2013 £4.99 and £19.99 hardback. $6.69

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Children of Lochandee - more from the Maxwell Family.

I was delighted to see this on re the Lochandee series, and also a lovely review from a reader in America, whom I would like to thank for taking the trouble to write to Amazon. It gives authors the encouragement we sometimes need when we get to the middle of a manuscript and think we shall never reach the end.

Best Books of the Year So Far
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Looking for something good to read? Browse our editors' picks for the Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, romance, and much more.

 Children of Lochandee is now available to download from Amazon price £2.00

In 1960s Scotland, the farming industry is on the brink of
huge changes, becoming more mechanised and less
dependent on manpower. At Lochandee, though, it is a
time of hope and promise for the future.

Ross and Rachel Maxwell have every reason to be proud of their expanding family. Their daughter Bridie and her husband Nick are happily married, and working hard to
build up their own farm. Eldest son Conan’s transport business is prospering, and he plans to venture in to the burgeoning tourist industry.

The Maxwells’ youngest son, Ewan, is showing the same keen interest in farming as they did at his age. But there is a cloud on the horizon –a young student, Gerda Fritz-
Allan, who seems to have caught his eye. Beautiful, ambitious and utterly selfish, she has the power to wreak untold damage, changing the lives of the Maxwell family
for ever …

 it may be downloaded in two parts

A Maxwell Misled - Book 7


 price only 77p each at time of writing.