Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Summer of Living Dangerously Paperback Party!

It's paperback publication day for my new book, The Summer of Living Dangerously.

And you know what publication day means for us Heroine Addicts:


To suit the title of my book, we thought we'd have a summertime party, even though it's only March. We all get to choose our dates and a summertime food or beverage. I don't know about you, but I could do with a bit of summer right now. It's been a loooooong winter.

So here's a bit about the book:

Alice Woodstock has been running away.

Well, not literally. She spends most of her time glued to her desk, writing about grommets and model aeroplanes. No, Alice is avoiding the real world because there's something—someone—in her past that she's desperate to forget. So when she's commissioned to write about life in stately home Eversley Hall, she jumps at the chance to escape into Regency England, even if it does mean swapping her comfy T-shirt for an itchy corset. Perhaps she'll meet her own Mr Darcy...

But then her past resurfaces in the shape of Leo Allingham and Alice is brought down to earth with a bump. Reckless, unpredictable Leo reminds Alice of the painful price of following her heart. And the new Alice doesn't live dangerously.

Or does she?

So how are we going to celebrate?

Anna: I'd like to bring strawberries and cream as my special thing. That sweet-sharp taste of sunshine and summer.... mmmmm. Actually, the best strawberries I ever remember were without cream... I picked them growing wild on a sunnym, mossy bank, and they were warm on the tongue and miraculously, marvellously sweet on the tastebuds. Bliss.

Julie: Anna has kindly agreed to let us choose a blind date for her. So I've chosen Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan. You can't get more summery than that.

I am so good at picking these dates for people! I just know Anna will be so pleased. Now for Liz...

Liz: Thinking summer I'll bring the Pimms and a croquet set...and my date will have to be Matthew Mcfadyen as he's Tristan in my novel August Rock and I can't get him out of my head for the moment....such a troubling thing....

Brigid: For summer nothing beats an ice lolly on a hot day, something tangy and sweet.Then trying to finish it before it melts.

Last night #newflame and I were discussing his Mensday Wednesdays in the summer where all the blokes get together and play volleyball and drink beer. Sounds good, yes? So I want to bring shirtless volleyball players as my date(s). I'll share!

Susanna: I'm bringing margaritas for everyone, because they're my favourite summertime drink. One sip of lime and tequila with salt, and the whole world slows down and seems instantly sunnier.

And my date for the party will be Dennis Quaid, because look, he's brought his own surfboard, and at 57 (nearly 58) he's reassuring proof that not all of the men I found hot in my youth have been falling apart as they age. He still has the same abs!

Pia: I'm bringing pickled herring canapes, Swedish style - Swedes always eat pickled herring and especially during the summer, so I thought it might be apt. I'll bring some "snaps" (Swedish way of saying schnapps) too, as the two go together, then we can all get pickled I guess! :)

I'm happy to have a blind date like Anna - how about if the Rock God invites some of his rock band friends? I can think of quite a few singers/guitarists I wouldn't mind meeting.

Julie: Rock gods? Surely that means you would like to have the biggest rock gods of all...Bill and Ted.

Most excellent! (I told you I was brilliant at picking dates for people.)

I'll bring champagne to go with Anna's strawberries. And Robert Downey Jr. Of course.

Five Fast Facts about my book.

Favourite scene in the book:My favourite fun scene is one of my heroine Alice's first days at Eversley Hall dressed as a Regency gentlewoman. She goes for a turn in the garden with another costumed interpreter, Miss Selina Fitzwilliam—the younger sister of the gorgeous Mr James Fitzwilliam—and to their alarm they see Mr Fitzwilliam's spaniel darting into a fountain, where his collar gets stuck in the decorative plants. Alice immediately throws herself into the fountain, rescuing the dog but also soaking her very expensive and historically accurate gown. Mr Fitzwilliam proceeds to rescue Alice, much to the chagrin of the beautiful but bitchy Miss Isabella Grantham. It's sort of my turnabout answer to Colin Firth in that lake.

A scene that made you smile: There's a big portrait of the original Mr James Fitzwilliam in Eversley Hall, and Alice discovers that every day at 2 pm, a rainbow is reflected from the crystal chandelier directly onto Mr Fitzwilliam's crotch. (This is something that we Addicts actually witnessed in the Trafalgar Tavern in Greenwich. I stole it and put it in the book.)

Character who surprised you the most: I was constantly surprised and delighted by Leo Allingham, who is Alice's ex-husband in real life. He's a bit of a shady character at first but he has such depths to him, and such pain. And he rides a motorcycle.

A scene you hated writing: There is a lot of pain in Alice and Leo's shared past, and that was hard to write about. There is a very short chapter in which they both lose what they love most in the world, and they're unable to share their emotions with each other. It was very difficult to write and I still cry when I read it.

A book your hero probably has on his bookshelf: Well, I sort of have two heroes. Leo Allingham, the real-life hero, would have The Motorcycle Diaries and Mr James Fitzwilliam, the Regency hero, would have Pride and Prejudice.

It's available on Amazon here (UK) and here (US).

What, and who, are you bringing to the party?


  1. I'd completely forgotten there was pictorial evidence of the Rainbow Crotch!

    Good thing I'd put my coffee down before I reached that point in reading the post, or I'd be looking for a new keyboard.

    I do love these parties. Drinking margaritas, watching Dennis surf, recalling excellent adventures with Keanu... ahh, summertime.

  2. Yes, the rainbow moment:-)

    I just love summertime....and a wonderful read!

  3. Oh, thank you, yes I love my dates!! Well, Ted more than Bill, but anyway ... Most excellent choice indeed - party on dudes! :D And happy publication day!

  4. Oh wow, I love my dates! (As long as they're not hanging off St Stephen's Tower, that is....) I'll confess I'm a real Jackie Chan fan, and Owen Wilson's accent is reeeeaaal easy on the ear....

    Congrats, Julie!


  5. Pia and Anna, you have totally stymied me because I honestly thought you would scoff at my choice of (double) dates for you.

    I must be even better at this than I'd thought!

  6. You should definitely turn matchmaker, Julie, you have a real knack for this :) And you know what they sing during the credits of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", right? (Had better not write it here ) Sorry, will behave now and go off to dance with my dates ...