Loads of news today! 

 

IMG_0264For all those who were waiting with baited breath to see if anything grew in my new little garden, you’ll be VERY excited to find out that it did! There are flowers everywhere and I water them with a constant panicked watchful eye. More pics below.

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Secondly, The House We Called Home, my brand-new summer book has gone into the great Kindle Summer sale and is currently a bargainous 99p. You don’t even have to wait you’re on holiday to read it seeing as we’re living one long hot summer right now. Download, enjoy and be sure to let me know what you think!

Almost as exciting, loads of my other books are also currently 99p, so you can have a Jenny Oliver bingefest, if you so desire. It’s too hot to be inside watching TV anyway, much better to be sitting outside with a book 😉

Jenny xx

Here’s how the garden’s looking…

 

Help! I’m addicted to La La Land…

Oh god, I bought the really expensive bag. (See previous post.)

It was a direct result of La La Land. I needed something to counter the freewheeling filmic comedown.

As a cinema experience La La Land was one unlike very few previously. I had no desire to make a witty whispered aside, glance around in moments of boredom to contemplate the audience, think about whether or not I needed the loo, wish I’d got popcorn. My face was glued to the screen, a mesmerised smile glued to my face. I never looked left to see if my partner was enjoying it. I barely acknowledged the people getting up to pee mid-showing. I was just slap bang there, in full technicolour, cinemascope, all-singing all-dancing, blissful enjoyment.

I’d forgotten the searing, heart-thumping exquisite delight I get from a musical. From Singin’ in the Rain to Grease 2. But from the opening set piece I was instantly reminded how much I love a spontaneous burst into song. Coupled with Gosling, added to which Emma Stone, it was two hours of heaven. As Variety so perfectly puts it, La La Land’s ‘most convincing pleasures are the moments when it lifts the audience into a state of old-movie exaltation, leading us to think, “What a glorious feeling. I’m happy again.”’

Happy, I was ecstatic. Since leaving the cinema – feeling dangerously like an accomplished singer and dancer  – I’ve wasted hours reading every review and every interview. I’m immersed. One of my friends is furious with the film and I can’t wait for our forthcoming debate. I’m pining for La La Land 2 which my husband scoffs will never happen (and I want it even more now just to prove him wrong). I can feel my fingers tug, for the first time ever, towards fan fiction just to satisfy the craving left by the credits rolling.

I know in reality I need to stop mooning about and get to work. To write something. But for now the new bag is doing sterling work plugging the La La Land gap.

 

 

Feeling the reading fear and doing it anyway!

The new year is well under way. I can’t hide from it any longer pretending it’s still justifiably Christmas. I’m back at work, scribbling messily in a new notebook imagining a time when I’ll look back on these scribbles and laugh at who I naively thought these characters were going to be! But you’ve got to start somewhere (I remind myself every book.)

I also have a teetering pile of new books on my shelf. I kicked off the year with Samantha King’s THE CHOICE – a completely gripping psychological suspense that had me glued to the pages and rushing through to the end. It’s a bum on the edge of your seat kind of read that you can’t put down until it’s done.

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Up next has got to be Maria Semple’s TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT. I loved WHERE D’YOU GO, BERNADETTE? so this is a real treat that I’ve been saving for just the right time – like storing up all your chocolate as a kid or, as I’m currently doing, building up to buying a bag I REALLY want because the anticipation makes it all the better (re the bag however, I’ve been putting it off for a year now – going into the shop and picking it up then putting it down again – and I’m not sure I’m ever going to take the plunge, it’s been so long!)

For Christmas I got FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY by Susan Jeffers and I’m intending for it to have a huge impact on my life. I will soon be fearless. I will buy aforementioned bag.

My fingers are also itching to start THE BREAKDOWN by BA Paris but I can’t read two suspense back to back – I need a breather from all the stress and fear. (Although maybe that’s about to change!)

Then there’s THE RIVIERA SET by Mary S Lovell… it’s a signed copy! Woo hoo. I want to read that immediately too. And Dawn O’Porter’s THE COWS…

So many books. So little time. I’ve actually got the slight reading fear, but I’m going to do it anyway!

And for anyone who wants to try something new this year, The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe is only 99p at the moment. It’s the start of the Cherry Pie Island series and a novella so completely undaunting and speedily devourable! There’s absolutely nothing to fear! http://amzn.to/2ieBUSr

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe

 

Take a sneak peek behind the scenes…

Here’s the Pinterest board for The Sunshine and Biscotti Club. If you’ve read it then enjoy seeing where the inspiration came from. If you haven’t read it, well I hope it will inspire you to dash out as fast as you can to buy a copy! Otherwise, just indulge in all the beautiful images of faded glory hotel rooms, lemon groves and some hot celebrities…

Jenny x

Why I love The Sunshine and Biscotti Club (which is out now, incidentally) …

The Hotel Limoncello, owned by Libby and venue for The Sunshine and Biscotti Club, stands alongside the tranquil blue waters of a stunning Italian lake. Fringed with lemon groves and pine trees, it’s picture perfect and the best place to cool off when the sun gets that little bit too hot.

The inspiration behind it? Well, I have a bit of a love affair with lakes and rivers.

Much of my youth was spent in a rowing boat – going up and down the Thames in the freezing cold early morning. But as I got older, and better at rowing, I went further afield to the winding river of sunny Seville in Spain; a swimming pool turquoise lake in Munich, Germany; the deep, icy mist-laden waters of Switzerland and the picturesque beauty spots of France, Austria and Italy. When we raced in Italy, in the sharp blue water of the mountains, a lake surrounded with tiny villages perched precariously as if they might slip, it was so hot that we would dunk our caps and t-shirts in the lake before we went out for a paddle, water pouring down our arms and legs just to keep cool.

Lake rowing

These lakes and rivers made a map of Europe for me. The towns I never saw, just the water. And now, years later, when I go on holiday, I drag us to a lake nearby – that I once saw only through a mirage of pre-race nerves or the endless laps of a training camp – and see it afresh, with eyes no longer focused only on the boat but instead the trees and the beaches and the cafes.

Lake st croix

Last year we went to the lake in The Sunshine and Biscotti Club. Once one of the regatta lakes in my past. Now a tranquil sea of blue so clear we could spot the fish swimming. White ducks drifted past through air made wobbly from heat. There was music from a cool, hipster café that served hot dogs and beer in condensation covered glasses. We swam in water that was flat and calm and strangely heavy without the buoyant salt of the sea.

Lake coca cola

This time there were no megaphones, no starter guns, no crippling nerves and wild adrenaline. No oars, no racing kit, no spectator stands, no medals. Just the gentle lapping of waves on pebbles, the splash of a dive, the quack of a duck and the thump of the hipster beats.

This is the lake that I dream about when it’s wet and cold and raining in England. This is the lake in The Sunshine and Biscotti Club that forms the backdrop to the lives of Libby, Eve and Jessica as they reignite wary friendships, renovate the dilapidated Hotel Limoncello, dust off forgotten baking skills, and, in the warmth of the sun and under a canopy of lemon trees, re-evaluate what they have, what they had and what they need for a future that is stronger than their pasts.

Quick run to your local bookshop or supermarket to buy a copy or straight to your phone, Kindle or Kobo ereader to download! 😉IMG_5416

Instagram. Come and be my friend (or at the very least have a snoop at my photos).

I have a new phone. It’s a life-changer. My old phone was very bad. Its lack of memory meant that every time I took a photo I had to cross my fingers and hope it would let me take another. One of my tech-savvy friends once looked at it and considered how quaint my lack of apps was. It was the phone, the phone’s fault, I told her, it has no memory! Having said that, I don’t actually have much use for the humble app. But I do love a photo and I do really LOVE Instagram. So please, come follow and have a look. Unfollow if I drive you mad but otherwise hopefully just enjoy the inane snaps of my writing life.

http://www.instagram.com/jenoliverbooks

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xxx