Today on Love Books Group Mary Jayne Baker stops by for a natter about her new release The Perfect Fit. Published by Mirror Books, it is out now in time for the holiday season.
A romance novel with a hint of Christmas spice.
♥ Blurb ♥
Escape to the frost-sparkling Yorkshire Dales for some festive fun under the mistletoe! A saucy comedy-romance with more than a sprinkle of Christmas spice – this will lift your spirits and your excitement level!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for costume shop owner Becky Finn. Leaving London to move back home to the twinkly rural village of Egglethwaite, she plans to build a new life for herself with fiancé, Cole.
Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky finds herself at the head of a colourful group aiming to revive the Egglethwaite Christmas pantomime. But when that festive feeling sets in, she discovers there’s more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.
Falling in love was not in the script! But as opening night grows closer, she starts to wonder if the panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she has chosen her right leading man…
The perfect stocking-filler gift!
ALSO AVAILABLE IN THE LOVE IN THE DALES SERIES:
A Bicycle Made for Two (Book 1)
♥ Author Mary Jayne Baker ♥
Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them.
More information can be found about Mary Jayne on her website at http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter, @MaryJayneBaker, or like her Facebook page by going to Facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites and http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk
♥ Author Feature ♥
Where did the inspiration come from for your current book?
When I wrote the first book in the Love in the Dales series, A Bicycle Made for Two, I had the idea I wanted to write a book about a community – specifically, a Yorkshire community, much like the one in the village I’d grown up in. Casting about for a suitable backdrop to the romance plot, I fixed on the 2014 Tour de France, when the Grand Départ passed through Yorkshire. In the book, heroine Lana unites the community as they work together to convince the race organisers their little village is Tour material.
When it came to writing a second book set in the same village four years later, I wanted to find something else that could unite my little community of Egglethwaite. This time I thought back to my childhood and the village events I’d attended. I love anything quirky, and I knew my characters and I could have a lot of fun with a Christmas pantomime. It’s such a uniquely British tradition – charmingly odd – with the cross-dressing, audience participation and innuendo, I couldn’t resist it! In The Perfect Fit, the villagers unite to try to save their struggling village hall with a performance of Cinderella. As a trustee of my own village hall, this was something I could easily relate to.
Do you have a special ritual that you do when you finish writing a book?
Sleep, first of all! When writing a first draft, my routine involves writing a minimum of 2000 words a day over a period of around six weeks, but I often write more once I can see the end in sight. I remember being so desperate to finish The Perfect Fit, I wrote over 10,000 words on the day I finished before collapsing in a heap!
Once the manuscript’s been through all its edits and is finally released as a proper book, I like to celebrate publication day with my partner, sharing a bottle of prosecco and a chippy tea. Luxury.
What has been your favourite read of 2018, so far?
I very much enjoyed a book by an author friend, Lily Alone by Vivien Brown. It’s an emotional domestic drama about a little girl left at home alone when her mother is involved in an accident, and it really kept me turning the pages to find out how it would all end.
Could you, please share with us a photograph that tells a story?
The photograph attached shows me aged about three, with my mum (opposite) and my two great aunties who were visiting from Ireland. At the time my mum and I were living in a small tourer caravan on the top of Haworth Moor, which is where this photo was taken, and our dog Jess had recently given birth to puppies. Jess is in the bottom left, with my mum holding one of the pups. The birth of the puppies is one of my earliest memories and I used it to inspire a scene in one of my previous books, Runaway Bride.
My mum seems to have stuck up some pictures to help me learn my letters – luckily they seemed to do the job!
If you could pick three books that have influenced your life, what would they be and why?
Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë): my favourite book, which taught me the value of believable, strongly drawn characters who compel you to read on even if you can’t empathise with their actions.
Catch-22 (Joseph Heller): funny and dark in equal parts, with some of the best comic writing I’ve ever read. Heller is a master of the sublime to the ridiculous, with wit and humour counterpointed by the inhumanity and madness of war.
Right Ho, Jeeves (PG Wodehouse): if I need cheering up, I always turn to Wodehouse. Laugh-out-loud is used a lot to describe books, but Gussie’s drunken prize-giving in this book actually has the power to make me guffaw in public. If only I could write like that, I always think when I read it!
If your book had its own theme song, what would it be?
I always make a playlist on Spotify for my books, just for fun. I think for The Perfect Fit, it would have to be Tomorrow from Annie, which the hero and heroine sing together as Cinderella and Buttons during a key scene in the pantomime. Although Nothing Like a Dame from South Pacific would be a good choice too.
If your book was made into a movie who would you like to play the main characters?
I’d love to see fellow West Riding lass Jodie Whittaker play heroine Becky, although I think she might be rather tied up at the moment filming for Doctor Who! Marcus, the hero, is a bit trickier. I actually named him after a real actor, Marcus Griffiths, who I’ve seen perform with the RSC, but he’s a Londoner in real life so I’d have to check how convincing his Yorkshire accent was. And if Sean Bean and Mark Addy are available, the parts of Gerry and Danny as the Ugly Sisters are theirs for the asking…
Do you have any questions for your readers?
I’d be interested to know their answer to the question above, about who they feel should play my characters in a film. It’s fascinating seeing how differently individual readers can picture characters and settings, and how far that can be from the image I had when writing. People occasionally cast the characters in reviews and it always interests me seeing their take on it.
Lastly, if you could say something to your reader before they start your book what would it be?
Thank you for giving your time to me, and I hope you enjoy this story as much as I did writing it.
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Thank to the publisher for my free copy of the book, given in exchange for participation in the book blog tour and for an honest review.