Welcome to my
Nook, Celia J Anderson. Please make yourself at home and
let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink. Reading
Wow, thanks, Dawn – a large glass of red wine would be fabulous. And are those olives over there? Don’t mind if I do. And Walkers’ Crisps? Excellent.
Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.
To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
My first contemporary romance, Sweet Proposal, comes out on August 1st, published by Piatkus Entice as an ebook. I’ve nearly finished my next, called Little Boxes. I’m on a roll…
If we asked your muse to describe you using five words, what do you think they would say?
Hmm – gullible, relaxed, enthusiastic, happy and rubbish-at-maths. (Sorry, cheated on the last one).
Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
Although I really want to, I can’t swim underwater – bits of me keep popping up to the surface unexpectedly.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
On an island in the middle of
If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?
That’s easy – Sweet Proposal is my first! But watch this space…
Where do you find the inspirations for your stories?
Goodness knows – they just appear in my head at random times. Luckily.
Are your characters able to love or do they need to be taught?
Ooh, good question. Both Mab and Leo are wary of getting involved – they’ve had their fingers burned before.
Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
The one I wrote first (Moondancing), which will probably never be publishable unless it has major surgery, was the hardest. The one I’m just finishing, Little Boxes, was much easier.
If you could collaborate with one author who would it be?
Mhairi McFarlane – I loved ‘You Had Me At Hello’.
Coffee, tea or other drink to get you moving in the morning?
Tea first – I used to be a coffee junkie but I save it for mid-morning to keep me going these days, black and strong.
What is coming up from you in 2013? Anything you want to tease us with?
Teaching less, writing more, hopefully with Little Boxes on the way?
Anything else you want to add?
My website is just completed – please come and visit me on http://celiajanderson.co.uk. I also blog with the lovely Romaniacs on http://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com
Thanks for taking the time to be here today. I wish you many sales and wonderful reviews.
Thanks for having me. Oh, I seemed to have finished the wine. I’ll just clear up the olive stones before I go – sorry about the crisp wrappers, Dawn. Bye now.
Celia J Anderson – Sweet Proposal
Books, chocolate and a Jacuzzi: could there be a better combination? Gorgeous Geordie Leo arrives in Clayton-on-the-Bream with a mission to make his mark. When he reveals his ideas for a bespoke bookshop and chocolate-themed cafe, struggling writer Mab can't resist his plea for help.
However, Leo's timing is disastrous. Engaged to flighty, super-thin Sophie and knowing that Mab is up to her neck in a mysterious scheme of her own, Leo fights hard to ignore the warm, sensual friendship that is growing between them. When their eclectic mix of family and friends weigh in to help, the dream seems almost possible, but can Leo ignore Mab's shady past? As they battle with sabotage, jealousy, vindictive neighbours and unpredictable relationships, Mab and Leo find that even chocolate can't always make miracles happen . . .
The outer door of the cafe clanged open Mab instinctively sat up straight as she spotted the tall, tousle-haired man who was peering around through dark glasses. His broad shoulders seemed to block out all the light for a moment, and she blinked and looked again to make sure she hadn’t imagined him.
‘Who’s that?’ Mab breathed. ‘No, don’t look now . . .’ But her friend Jess – previously busy waiting on tables - had already swung round. They both stared in open-mouthed admiration as the man wove his way between the tables and stopped right in front of Mab.
‘’Scuse me, pet – is this seat taken?’
Mab wished fervently that she’d taken the time to put on some make-up. The man took off his sunglasses, winced, and smiled at her, raising his eyebrows as he gestured towards the spare chair. He looked seriously hungover, but even with eyes deeply shadowed, and his high cheekbones and firm chin stubbly, he was good enough to eat. Mab caught a glint of a tiny gold ring in his ear as he again glanced around the room and then back to her – the mesmerising blue gaze was terribly distracting. With difficulty Mab averted her eyes and looked at the vacant chair. It was the one with the wobbly leg.
‘Well, OK then, but be careful—’ It was too late. The man dropped into the chair so suddenly that his weight caused the unsteady leg to fall off completely, and he hit the floor with a crash, knocking Mab’s bag onto the floor and scattering her belongings far and wide as he demolished the little table on his way down.
‘Oh, man!’ He scrambled to his feet, managing to simultaneously elbow Mab in the eye and trample on her lipstick. He righted the table, and tried to prop up the chair. It fell over again. As he scrabbled around picking up Mab’s notebook, mobile and a cheerfully wrapped emergency tampon, Jess dashed into the kitchen, reappearing very quickly with a spare chair and an ice pack from the freezer
‘There you go,’ said Jess, unsuccessfully stifling a snigger. ‘Put the pack on your eye, Mab, or you’ll have a right shiner tomorrow.’ Jess and the man looked at each other and both started to giggle helplessly.
‘Well, I’m glad someone finds it funny because I can assure you that I don’t,’ said Mab, trying to look stern, ‘and who are you, anyway?’
The man grinned as he sank gratefully into the chair. ‘Sorry, love, I should have introduced myself – I’m Leo . . . and, of course, you’re Mab. That goes without saying.’
Mab blinked. ‘How do you know my name? Should I recognise you? Although I’m sure I would have remembered.’
‘Not yet, but you will, and the sooner the better. Now, as quickly as you can, name your three all-time favourite things.’
Caught off guard, and distracted by the dimples, Mab responded. She had always loved this sort of game. ‘What? Oh, erm, chocolate, writing and hot baths.’
‘Magic. Annie was right.’
‘Annie? Who’s Annie?’
‘I’ll explain about Annie later. First I have to tell you about “the Chocolate Project”.’ Mab opened her mouth to speak but he held up a hand. ‘Just hear me out for a minute, Mab. Have you ever dreamed about finding a place that combines all three of your favourite things and more? Somewhere to go when life’s getting you down? A little piece of heaven right in the centre of a busy town?’
‘Well, no I haven’t, but now you come to mention it, I just might,’ said Mab, trying not to stare at the way Leo’s jeans clung to his well-muscled thighs, ‘Go on, don’t stop now.’
‘OK, with a place for struggling writers to spread their wings and with books to buy and to browse amongst? A Jacuzzi to soothe away your worries? Not to mention a café where chocolate isn’t just on the menu, it is the menu?’
‘I’m loving the chocolate café bit,’ said Jess breathlessly. ‘Keep going.’
‘Mab,’ said the man, ‘I’m here to tell you that the Chocolate Project needs you . . . and so do I.’
When she’s not marking children’s work, or writing stories involving pants, Celia spends far too much time on Facebook (Celia Joy Anderson) and does a lot of walking to counteract the cooking, eating and drinking which form another of her hobbies. She blogs as part of the Romaniacs online writers’ group - http://theromaniacgroup.wordpress.com and tweets as @CeliaAnderson1. Her own website was recently launched thanks to Lucy Felthouse – http://celiajanderson.co.uk and she has an author page on Facebook (Celia J Anderson)
Her ultimate dream is to have her children’s books published too. Usually sea-starved in the depths of the
can often be found wandering happily around Brighton
visiting her two daughters and pretending to collect ideas for her next book.