Welcome to my blog. I am not a very regular blogger, but I try to keep this site updated with news and information. If there's none of the above I may just share my random ruminations.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Author of a Cornish Affair - Jo Lambert - Drops in for a Chat.

Gilli, thank you so much for asking me to come along today to chat on your blog.

A pleasure, Jo, we’ve been writing friends for a long time. Tell me, and the readers, a little about yourself?

I live with my husband and one small grey cat called Mollie, in a village on the eastern side of Bath, which is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty.  It gives me the best of both worlds. I’m within a five minute walk of open countryside if I want fresh air and space but I’m also within easy reach of the city with its excellent shopping and restaurants.

I grew up in rural Wiltshire where I went to grammar school – a year in Marlborough and, after a family move, four years in Bradford on Avon.  After school I attended college where I took a secretarial course which combined shorthand, typing and audio with an OND in Business Studies. Later I completed my Higher National in Business and Finance.  My working life has been a mix of NHS and commercial companies.  My NHS posts included typing pool supervisor, PA and PA/Office Manager. Outside the NHS I’ve worked for two different car companies, a truck and bus dealer, a tyre manufacturer, a couple of international building companies and three architect’s practices - a bit of a mixed bunch.

After managing to reduce my working hours by moving to a job share at the local hospital for a couple of years I eventually  closed the door on my nine to five in 2013 to concentrate on full time writing.

Well done! When did you start writing and how did it grow into your sole career? 

It began way, way back.  I’ve always loved books and I guess writing was a natural progression.  I can remember writing stories in junior school and reading them to my friends.  So I imagine it was at that early stage that the seed was planted.  I’ve written on and off all my adult life but never really thought seriously about getting published until about ten years ago.   After completing my first full length novel I submitted to various publishers without success. Deciding to self-publish, when Tomorrow Comes became my first in a series of five connected books following the loves and lives of four girls growing up in the West Country in the 1960s.  This was followed by Summer Moved On and Watercolours in the Rain, two connected contemporary romances set in south Devon. Keeping to my mix of rural and small-town locations I set my next book on the north coast of Cornwall in the fictitious fishing port of Carrenporth.

Although as an independent author I enjoy being in control and setting my own pace, it’s always been a dream of mine to get a publishing deal.  In February 2018 after completing my Cornish novel, The Boys of Summer, I decided to submit it to Choc Lit. I heard back from them on 17th May 2018, the day before my birthday, with the offer of a contract.  I couldn’t have received a better birthday present!  The Boys of Summer, with its new title A Cornish Affair, has just been published under their Ruby Fiction imprint.

So what’s next?

Well, I’m currently writing another Cornish romance, this time set on the south coast.  And when that’s completed there are two other projects in the pipeline.  One is a sequel to the current book I’m writing, the other a completely new story.  My usual worry after I’ve finished a book is what comes next. On this occasion there are no worries, I’m spoilt for choice.

What do you read when you are not writing?

I have a very broad taste - favourites are romance, historical fiction, thrillers and contemporary fiction.   I do try to fit in as much reading as I can around my writing.  I like to review too, but that’s not always possible.  Memorable reads from this year are The Man I Fell in Love with and The Truth About You Me and Us by Kate Field, The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook, The Mother in Law by Sally Hepworth and The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell.

In your writing life, what have been your most memorable moments?

One has to be lunch with author Lesley Pearse and the other that all important e-mail the day before my birthday last year.

Congratulations, Jo.  I hope it leads to bigger and better things!

A Cornish Affair

Even in your hometown, you can feel like an outsider …  

In the close-knit community of Carrenporth in Cornwall everyone knows everyone else’s business. Luke Carrack is only too aware of this. He’s been away for two years but nothing has changed – from the town gossips who can’t see past the scandal of his childhood, to the cold way he is treated by some of his so-called family.
The only person who seems to understand is local hotelier’s daughter Cat Trevelyan, although even Luke’s new friendship with her could set tongues wagging.
But Carrenporth is about to experience far bigger scandals than the return of Luke Carrack – and the secrets unearthed in the process will shake the sleepy seaside town to its core …

 Available on Amazon : Kobo : Nook: Google Play and Apple iBook Store


Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of Bath with her husband, one small grey feline called Mollie and a green MGB GT. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.  She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in West Somerset, was followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in th Rain followed in 2017,
 In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her debut A Cornish Affair, set in North Cornwall, has just been published. Jo is currently working on another coastal romance, this time set in South Cornwall.

When she isn't writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog.  Jo loves travel, red wine and rock music and she often takes the odd photograph or two.

Where to find Jo

Website:     http://jolambertbooks.com
Blog:           http://jolambertwriter.blog
Twitter:     @jolambertwriter
Instagram: jolambertwriter185

Friday, June 7, 2019

What do you think of when you hear the word treasure?

In celebrating the cover-reveal of my new book Buried Treasure I'm prompted to reflect on what treasure means to us. 

I have two opposing elements in my personality, the realist and the dreamer. They were both present, even when young.  I was a prosaic, feet on the ground sort of child.  I wasn’t the cleverest, prettiest or most popular girl in the class.  In fact, to be entirely honest, I was awkward, a bit of a loner and an outsider. I wasn’t unhappy and there were advantages to being on the sidelines.  I was an observer.

The contradictory aspect to my make-up is that I believed in fairies, Santa Claus (until quite late on) and crocks of gold at the end of rainbows. I couldn’t help but dream how wonderful it would be if by chance I came upon a magic wand or a fairy godmother.  Then I would be transformed.  I would be the focus of admiration and envy.  How I longed to be envied.

The idea of discovering treasure was the most desirable thing I could possibly imagine. And where to find it was simple. All you needed was a magic lamp to transport you to Aladdin’s cave, that dark rocky place in a desert, illuminated just by the brilliance radiating from the gold and silver coins, the precious gems, the caskets and jewellery piled in breathtaking heaps on the cavern floor.  The only fly in the ointment - the rather disturbing presence of a giant, bare chested genii.

A little later, as my reading expanded, the fairy-tale image was superseded by the possibility of finding a pirates’ map.  A scroll of old manuscript on which a desert island was depicted, with a dotted trail leading from the sea’s edge to a red X marking the spot where the treasure chest had been buried.

The Count of Monte Cristo, was soon added to my list.  On holiday in Cornwall, I was always disappearing into caves in the hope that a treasure chest might still be tucked, undiscovered somewhere in the depths, behind a boulder.

When we were asked to produce a project in my final year at junior school, I decided upon archaeology, probably the nearest science to treasure-hunting that I could imagine. (My family also has a connection to the Mildenhall Treasure. The hoard of Roman silver tableware discovered – in his account - by my Uncle Sydney Ford).  I was very proud to win the project prize - a book token for W H Smiths – and I still have my project somewhere in the house.

My son, Tom, standing beside the Mildenhall Treasure 
My precis of the incredibly broad and complex subject ranged from cave paintings, through the Romans at Verulaneum, to Tutankhamen.  I still find it easy to imagine the visceral thrill that must have gripped Howard Carter and his team as they peered through that first hole punctured in the wall and saw the treasures inside King Tut’s tomb.
Forget the so-called Dark Ages in the history of the British Isles.  I'd probably not even heard of Celts and Anglo-Saxons, and Vikings were just those men with funny hats.

Archaeology remains a fascination, although I'm wise enough to know that looking for treasure (or indeed finding any) is not really the point. I have gone on digs and I have provided archaeological illustrations for several books, either written by, or contributed to by my son Thomas Williams. So, it was an obvious subject when I came to write my seventh book.

Although the title  accurately reflects a material element of my new book, it is also a bit of a tease.  BURIED TREASURE may largely be centred around archaeology, but the title is also a metaphor about the damage that burying the past can inflict on the present.  It is easier to suppress hurt and humiliation, and erect barriers against the world, but it is only by trusting again, and exposing your mistakes to the light, that you can rediscover the best of yourself.


isn't always what it seems

Their backgrounds could hardly be further apart, their expectations in life more different. And there is nothing in the first meeting between the conference planner and the university lecturer which suggests they should expect or even want to connect again. But they have more in common than they could ever have imagined.  Both have unresolved issues from the past which have marked them; both have an archaeological puzzle they want to solve. Their stories intertwine and they discover together that treasure isn’t always what it seems.