I’m delighted to be hosting Emily Harvale in my hot seat today on her tour for Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row, organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
Emily is chatting to us about her inspiration, which character she would choose to be and much more. Enjoy. x
- 273 pages
- Publisher: Crescent Gate Publishing (6 Nov. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1909917389
- ISBN-13: 978-1909917385
Available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
It’ll take a miracle to make Juliet’s Christmas merry, but Mistletoe Row is the place to be when you need some Christmas magic.
The last person Juliet Bell expects to see when she returns home for Christmas is Harrison Bow. Especially with the most beautiful woman in the world by his side. Twenty years ago, Juliet and Harrison had the shortest romance in history, consisting of one date – and one blazing row. But Juliet will never admit when she’s wrong, and Harrison doesn’t forgive easily, so they haven’t seen, or spoken to one another since.
Harrison Bow vowed he’d never visit his grandfather at The Grange, again, or drive along Mistletoe Row, the scene of one of the unhappiest times of his life. He hasn’t been back for twenty years and he’s only here now because his brother pleaded with him to come. At least with his executive assistant joining him, he’ll be able to do some work.
But Juliet’s sister, Zoe and Harrison’s brother, Luke have some surprises in store for their elder siblings, and so it seems does Fate. After Harrison risks his life to save Juliet, the least she can do is be nice. The problem is, Harrison is hotter than the log fire in The Mistletoe pub, and when she’s surrounded by twinkling lights and softly falling snow, it doesn’t take long for her to realise she’s in love with the man she thought she hated. Even if he doesn’t appear to be in love with her.
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row in 20 words or less.
A light-hearted, Christmas romance about family, second chances, misunderstandings, and the importance of talking to one another.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
The idea that love can last a lifetime – even if circumstances or misunderstandings keep the lovers apart. I adore Christmas and I firmly believe in love at first sight. Putting those things together and adding a bit of Christmas fun, laughter and festive magic inspired me to write Juliet and Harrison’s story. It was a Sunday morning and I was staring at one of the churches I can see from my office, listening to the bells. Juliet Bell popped into my head and a second or two later, so did Harrison Bow. They were followed by Juliet’s father and within a few minutes, I knew the Bells had gone from being rich and owning a mansion, to being poor and living in a cottage on … Mistletoe Row. I also knew that there had been a serious misunderstanding between Juliet and Harrison which had led to a terrible row, and that neither they, nor their families were very good at talking things through.
How do your characters come into existence Emily?
Do they have a bio?
My characters appear before me and introduce themselves. I make notes of their hair and eye colour, height, weight, the way they’re dressed, if they tell me things they like/dislike, and any other information they divulge. Then I start to write and make more notes as I get to know them. By the end of my first draft, I know them pretty well. By the time the book is finished, they’re all like close friends or family to me.
What one piece of advice would you give to your characters before the opening pages of the book?
Talk to one another and actually listen to what the other person is saying, instead of jumping to your own conclusions, or keeping things pent up.
Which character would you be Emily?
Juliet. Because despite being too quick to jump to conclusions (a bit like me) and unwilling to let go of the past, she gets her happy ending. And I’d like to end up where she does!
Did you do any research? What resources did you use?
I carry out research for all my books. Sometimes it’s simply little things, like weather; moon phases; journeys; houses; plants, as was the case for this book. That was done on the internet, and using reference books I already own. Sometimes it’s about more serious issues, like courageous women in WW2, which requires a great deal of in-depth research from books, libraries, the Imperial War Museum and such. But every book requires some research and fact-checking and I go wherever I need to, to ensure I get things right.
Do you have a theme for your book covers?
Who designs them?
I have my own design team which consists of me, a talented artist called Luke Brabants, and David, my web genius. Together the three of us usually come up with something gorgeous. At least I think we do. I always try to ensure the covers actually relate to something in the book. A setting, or a scene.
Do you have a book trailer Emily?
Yes. It’s on the Homepage of my website. Here’s the link: https://www.emilyharvale.com
(oooh, it’s very Christmassy 🙂 )
What do you think book trailers achieve?
I’m not sure if they achieve anything, but it was fun to make.
What inspired you to write?
I’ve always written, but my career took me on a very different path. Law and Banking. Please don’t hate me. About 10 years ago, I became ill and had to give up my job in the City and sell my house in London to support myself. I returned to Hastings to be near my family, and expected to return to my ‘old life’ when I got better. I started writing to stop myself from going crazy, to be honest. But I found I loved it again and when I was eventually well enough, I went to Italy on a writing holiday for a week. That was it. I wrote a book, and the rest, as they say, is history. I needed to earn a living, so I wrote full-time from day one.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
No. I seem to be able to write at any time of day – or night. I’m often at my desk by 5 a.m. and sometimes I’m still there at 2 a.m. the following day …. taking a few coffee breaks in between.
Panster or plotter?
Definitely a panster. I get an idea and then sit down and write. I make notes about the characters/settings as I visualise them. I tried to plan once. It was a total mess.
Finally, can you share with us what you are currently working on?
It was a new series of 4 books for next year, but I received so many emails and messages asking me to write more books in my Lily Pond Lane series – so that’s what I’m working on now. I’ll continue working on the other (new) series at the same time though.
Thank you so much for having me.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects Emily.
Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily Harvale returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.
Connect with Emily Harvale
Need a new hot water bottle cover?
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Don’t forget to check out the other hosts on tour.
Read all posts in the romance genre on Jera’s Jamboree.