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Why this Wedding? Daisy explains

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello
Tuscan Trilogy Book 1
Daisy James
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Canelo Escape
11th March 2019

Escape to Villa Limoncello… where dreams come true in unexpected ways. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Kat French

When Isabella Jenkins is unceremoniously fired from her fancy London job, she escapes to Tuscany. A few weeks hiding amongst rolling hills and grape vines at Villa Limoncello sounds exactly like the distraction she needs.

But Italy holds emotional memories for Izzy and with a hapless handyman, a matchmaking village matriarch and a gorgeous – if infuriating – local chef named Luca Castelotti, her quiet Italian get away turns into an unending cacophony of chaos.

Suddenly Izzie finds herself on a mission to pull off the wedding of the century and maybe get her life in order in the process. If only Luca’s gorgeous smile wasn’t such a powerful distraction…

Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello


Links to Book:

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Google Books (UK)

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Q&As

First of all, a huge thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. It’s great to be here to tell you about my brand-new book Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello.

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I love setting my stories in interesting and exotic places, that way I get to spend the day in some amazing parts of the world. I loved the research I did for the Paradise Cookery School series – each morning when I started to write, I’d get to jet off to the Caribbean island of St Lucia and bask in glorious sunshine, relax on white sandy beaches and dream of swinging in a hammock under a swaying palm tree. Heaven! Equally, with the Villa Limoncello series, I get to indulge in all-things Italian, from frothy cappuccinos to crunchy biscotti, tiramisu to a glass of limoncello.  I always make sure I have a fabulous photograph on my screensaver so I can flick back for inspiration.

  • How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I love the research part of writing so I spend weeks immersing myself in the characters whose stories I’m going to tell, and reading up on the setting. For Wedding Bells at Villa Limoncello, I did lots of research on Italian wedding traditions, of local floral arrangements, and of course, on the local cuisine – I made sure I tried out lots of recipes too, just to get into the Italian frame of mind, although they didn’t all turn out perfect! I do have a notebook where I jot down unusual facts I stumble across, and I also cut out snippets from magazines. I’ve just finished the Christmas book set at Villa Limoncello, so I’ve had fun testing out some Tuscan Christmas recipes.

  • How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Before I started to write the first book in my Tuscan trilogy, I spent about a month immersing myself in the places my characters were going to visit, like Siena, Florence, San Gimignano and the history of those places. I was also fortunate enough to visit these wonderful towns and cities with my family which really help to evoke the sights, sounds and flavours of the place. I also managed to do a piece of research on the historical importance of lemons to the local area which was the reason I included the limonaia in Izzie and Luca’s story.

  • What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

I prefer to set my books in places I’ve actually been to. It helps me fix the story in my mind when I know about the places my characters are going to visit, particularly if there are interesting quirks. Of course, I take lots of photographs to refer back to, I always have a note book with me to jot down little details, and, in the name of research, this time I bought a bottle of limoncello so I could make a limoncello tiramisu.

  • How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I find it invaluable if there’s an expert available to check facts with or to give you a personal perspective on what you are writing about. I have a neighbour who’s Italian and he’s been very generous with his time, talking me through recipes, traditions, customs, particularly around Christmas. I’m always very grateful for his time. How do I approach him? With a bottle of Chainti and a large bag of his favourite biscotti.

  • What is your favourite genre?

MY favourite genre has to be travel memoirs. I love stories about people who have ditched their every day life and taken off for foreign shores to make anew life for themselves and their families, or who have decided to travel around the world with just a rucksack and a guide book. I’ve recently read A Bike Ride by Anne Mustoe, an account of her 12,000 cycle ride around the world – by herself! I also really enjoyed Tuk Tuk to the Road by Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, a story about Antonia and her friend Jo driving a pink tuk-tuk from Thailand back to London! Amazing people!

  • What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I’ve been writing since I was in primary school, creating my own hand-made book by stapling pages together and trying to sell them to my relatives. I really wish I had that! I have a full-length novel which I wrote in my teens in a shoebox on the top of my wardrobe , gathering dust. I don’t think it will ever see the light of day, but I can’t bear to part with it.

  • Which of your books are you most proud of?

Gosh, that’s like asking which of my children am I most proud of! I’ve really enjoyed writing every one of them, perhaps for different reasons. Some I love for the exotic settings, particularly The Paradise Cookery School series. Some I love the recipes, like There’s Something About Cornwall and The Vintage Cupcake Company. And some for the fabulous characters, like Kirstie in Christmas at the Dancing Duck or Gabbie in The Summerhouse of Happiness.

  • Do you have an unusual hobby?

Actually, I do. I play archery. Although I wouldn’t say I’m the best archer in the world I really enjoy being out there on a field with my bow and quiver filled with arrows, trying to hit a gold – a rarity for me!

Author: Daisy James

Previous Books: Sunshine & Secrets, Confetti & Confusion and Mistletoe & Mystery

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Twitter: @daisyjamesbooks

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What happens under the tree?

Mistletoe And Mystery Book Cover Mistletoe And Mystery
The Paradise Cookery School
Daisy James
contemporary fiction, romance, humour
Canelo Escape
(10 Sept. 2018)

Welcome to the Cotswolds Festive Feast cookery course...

Fresh off the successful opening of the Paradise Cookery School in St Lucia, Millie Harper is headed to the Cotswolds for Christmas!

Co-presenting Claudia Croft’s famous Festive Feast cookery course at Stonelea Manor is a dream come true for Millie…as is reuniting with gorgeous estate manager Zach Barker.

But arriving in a winter wonderland Millie learns the manor is under a mysterious threat. It’ll take a holiday miracle, but Millie is determined to save the school and get Zach under the mistletoe to finally finish what they started in the Caribbean!

Cosy up with this fun, festive visit to the Cotswolds premier cookery school! Perfect for fans of Jenny Oliver and Sarah Morgan


This was sweet in all meanings of the word! Unfortunately there were no illustrations or recipes. But then who could compete with a pastry chef with a Michelin star…

I was hungry all the way through the descriptions of the cookery course – the only thing missing was the description of what they ate at the Xmas day meal – apart from Yorkshire puddings – which is a bit strange and very Northern. And they seemed to make different items form those described as being on the menu that day, but perhaps the chef rustled them up for them as extras?

Generally a nice book and very suitable for all cozy readers and everyone who likes to read about cookery.

I’m giving it 4 stars for making me hungry – the descriptions were delightful, and I agree Parkin is heavy – but so gingery…

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Daisy admits to liking Xmas treats!






Mistletoe & Mystery Book Cover




Mistletoe & Mystery




Paradise Cookery School #3





Author Name: Daisy James





Genre: Women’s Fiction, food, travel




Canelo




Release Date: 8th November 2018

Welcome to the Cotswolds Festive Feast cookery course...

Fresh off the successful opening of the Paradise Cookery School in St Lucia, Millie Harper is headed to the Cotswolds for Christmas!

Co-presenting Claudia Croft’s famous Festive Feast cookery course at Stonelea Manor is a dream come true for Millie…as is reuniting with gorgeous estate manager Zach Barker.

But arriving in a winter wonderland Millie learns the manor is under a mysterious threat. It’ll take a holiday miracle, but Millie is determined to save the school and get Zach under the mistletoe to finally finish what they started in the Caribbean!

Cosy up with this fun, festive visit to the Cotswolds premier cookery school! Perfect for fans of Jenny Oliver and Sarah Morgan

If you loved Mistletoe & Mystery, why not read the first two stories in The Paradise Cookery School series? Sunshine & Secrets and Confetti & Confusions are both available now!

Mistletoe & Mystery – Daisy James

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it?

I loved writing Mistletoe & Mystery, which is the third book in the Paradise Cookery School series. The story combines two things that really fire my imagination – and my taste buds! First of all, the story takes place in a fabulous country manor in the Cotswolds where the cookery school is based and is filled with a kaleidoscope of delicious recipes. Baking is one of my favourite things to do – I find it so relaxing and there’s usually something fabulous to eat at the end of it! Secondly, the story is set at Christmas and that gave me the chance to write about all the wonderful things we do to celebrate – not to mention all the foodie treats we associate with that time of year.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I always do a lot of research before I start writing a new novel. I really enjoy this part, and to be honest, I think I probably spend too much time on it. The first two books in the Paradise Cookery School series are set on the beautiful island of St Lucia, so I had an amazing few months taking virtual tours of the fabulous beaches, the lush rainforests, and the picturesque towns and markets all over the island. I listened to Caribbean music, learnt about the food and spices that are grown there, and tried out lots of amazing recipes. Cocoa beans are grown in St Lucia, so there had to be plenty of chocolate-filled desserts too.

Yes, I have a notebook where I jot down details that interest me, and I also have a collage of photographs and interesting articles that might come in useful for inspiration. I also always change my screensaver to a picture of the location I’m writing about.

  1. What resources do you use? In general, and for the last book that you wrote?

So far I’ve always set my books in places that I’ve visited, but then I make sure that I back my personal experience up with detailed research, either by borrowing books on the topic from the library or spending time on the internet. The book I’m writing at the moment is set in Tuscany, so I’ve been spending lots of time reading up on that area, especially the local cuisine – and of course sampling it!

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures, such as the police, when you say you want to write about them?

I write romantic comedy, so thankfully the police don’t make a regular appearance! But I agree with you, if I’m going to write about a particular profession it makes sense to approach someone who has in depth knowledge of the industry, such as the daily routine, the procedures they have to follow, what qualifications they need, or any quirks that readers would find interesting. The main character in my next book is an interior designer. I love interior design, and I actually have a qualification in it, but I also have friends who can help if I’ve got any questions. I hope it will add a level of authenticity.

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?

I really enjoy doing blog tours. I’m always interested to hear what readers think of my books, but, of course, there’s always that little kernel of anxiety about how the story will resonate with people. In my experience, the book blogging community is a very friendly and generous community and I’ve had some fabulous comments and reviews over the years for which I’m very grateful. I can’t think of anything funny that has happened, or even that has gone wrong, but that’s probably because everyone has been so professional!

  1. What is your favourite genre?

My favourite genre to read is travel autobiographies. I love those stories of people who have undertaken amazing journeys around the world and come home to write about them. I’ve recently read books about two girls who drove a Tuk-Tuk from Thailand to London, a woman who cycled around the world, a guy who hitchhiked to Australia and back, and a folk band who drove a red double-decker bus around the world. I really enjoy Simon Reeve’s books, Levison Wood’s books, Patrick Leigh Fermor & Nick Hunt. One of my favourites is Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart – what a fabulous title – so evocative of the part of Spain where he lives.

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I’ve always loved writing and started to scribble stories when I was about eight years old. I even illustrated them myself and glued them together like a real book. I really wish I still had them now. I do have my very first full-length novel – handwritten in five exercise books – which is still in a shoe box on top of my wardrobe. I doubt it will ever see the light of day, but I won’t throw it out. It took me three years to write and I learned loads – mainly what not to write!

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Author Bio:

Daisy James is a Yorkshire girl transplanted to the north east of England. She loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. When not scribbling away in her summerhouse, she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something pink and fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

 

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