Today I’m delighted to have author Nicola May sharing her thoughts with us. Nicola writes what she describes as chick lit with a kick (right up my street) and just the thing for a bit of Bank Holiday escapism. For anyone who has read Nicola’s bestselling The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, you’ll be delighted to hear that the much awaited sequel Meet me in Cockleberry Bay is due out on 5th July.
When Nicola May was made redundant from her event management job, she resorted to a variety of temping jobs to make ends meet. This became the inspiration for her first novel, Working It Out, a romantic comedy about a young woman who does twelve different jobs in as many months. Unable to find a publisher, she published that novel herself, achieving the rare distinction of getting it stocked in Waterstones, and went on to self-publish eight more novels, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Her novels Christmas Spirit and The School Gates won Best Author-Published Read at the Festival of Romance in 2012 and 2014, while Love Me Tinder was ebook of the week in The Sun. Her ninth novel, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK in January 2019. Nicola lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.
So over to Nicola
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Never give up on a good thing by George Benson – I never ever gave up on the dream of being a full-time author. This dream came true this year after 22 years of writing
Happy by Pharrell Williams – Happy is what I am now that I am a full-time author – such a great, upbeat tune – even gets a mention in my novel, The SW19 Club
Angels by Robbie William – My lovely mum died when I was just 17, This song always seems to come on to the radio at relevant moments in my life
I still haven’t found what I’m looking for by U2 – Let’s just say, to date, I’ve been better at writing romance
The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood – My favourite song. Love IS powerful and I am lucky to be surrounded by it
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Stanley, my lovely black and white cat
My Simba mattress
Clarins Red Lipstick
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Don’t start smoking
Do start saving
Appreciate the body you have
Finding love can wait
Silence is powerful
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
My right pupil is bigger than my left
I was a contestant on Supermarket Sweep
I haven’t read a Harry Potter book
My recent novel was #1 on the Amazon Kindle store for a month this year
I am obsessed with television quiz shows. The Chase being my favourite
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
To go to a spiritual mind and body retreat somewhere remote and delicious
See the northern lights
Ride a gondola in Venice
Sing in a west end musical
Thanks so much for sharing with us Nicola. I’m also someone who also couldn’t live without tea and (whispers) I haven’t read a Harry Potter book either. We’re a big fan of quiz shows in this house – we can get very competitive! I hope you get to achieve your bucket list dreams. I was lucky to take a gondola ride last year – something I’d always dreamed of, it really is a fabulous feeling sailing along the canals amidst all that history. Well worth the wait.
(click on image for a non-affiliated buying link)
Meet me in a Cockleberry Bay – published 5th July and available to pre-order
The cast of the runaway bestseller, The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay, are back – including Rosa, Josh, Mary, Jacob, Sheila, new mum Titch and, last but by no means least, Hot, the adorable dachshund.
Newly wed, and with her inherited corner shop successfully up and running, Rosa Smith seems to have all that anyone could wish for. But the course of true love never did run smooth and Rosa’s suspicions that her husband is having an affair have dire consequences.
Reaching rock bottom before she can climb back up to the top, fragile Rosa is forced to face her fears, addiction and jealousy head on.
With a selection of meddling locals still at large, a mystery fire and Titch’s frantic search for the real father of her sick baby, the second book in this enchanting series will take you on a further unpredictable journey of self-discovery.
The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay
Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.
Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?
There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.
With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.
Dull security or risky freedom – which would you choose? With her marriage in pieces, shy Cali Summers is faced with this decision and hits the world of fast love on an internet dating app. Using room 102 in the hotel where she works as her dating ‘lair’, she opens herself up to a world of sex, lies, deception, as well as personal discovery and passionate love. With a charming F1 engineer, a handsome army officer and her adulterous ex all on the scene, a predictable love match is far from on the cards
What would you do if you were told you could never have children? Faced with this news, Gracie Davies is at an all-time low. But with the support of some new Wimbledon friends, an unorthodox therapist, her hippy-chick sister Naomi and Czech call-girl Maya, she sets up The SW19 Club and begins her rocky journey to inner peace and happiness. Add in a passionate fling with handsome landscaper Ed, a fairytale encounter with a Hollywood filmstar and the persistence of her adulterous ex, life is anything but predictable…
Tired of looking for love Amy Anderson decides that an astrological dating agency is the only way she is going to meet the man of her dreams. Star Fish follows Amy’s hysterical search for her ‘sole mate’ as she dates her way through the twelve signs of the zodiac. So who will finally woo Amy? Will it be Ted the Arian photographer with a passion for ice skating, or maybe Laurence, the Libran IT whiz kid who likes to get behind the wheel of a fast car? Or, how about Capricorn Christopher, the owner of Starr & Son, the dating agency? You’ll be kept guessing until the very last page!
Jess is nearly 40 when she meets Dan Harris at a party. She is single, sorted, happy – with a great job and a buzzy social and sex-life. All of this is threatened when she falls deeply in love with Dan, who is only 23.
Jess, being older, recognises this as the real, precious thing – but in his immaturity, Dan does not. Unable to cope with the stigma of being with an older woman, he eventually leaves her.
Ten years pass…
Jess, who is still gorgeous at 50, is married now, with a child of her own.They meet again. The years fall away.
This time, Dan understands – but is it too late?
Let Love Win (sequel to Working it Out)
Ruby IS BACK and never expected to be starting over…but after a shocking bereavement, she begins to question whether or not she will ever be happy again.
A chance encounter with handsome author Michael Bell throws her fragile heart into turmoil. Plus, a dark family secret and completely unexpected love interest add to her confusion.
Encouraged to face her demons, she volunteers at The Bow Wow Club – (Boyfriends of Widows, Wives of Widowers).
In this charming sequel to Working it Out you will laugh and cry along with a myriad of eccentric characters as Ruby searches for her inner peace. But will she let love win? Or allow her past to continue to haunt her.
Ruby Matthews has a plan. Twelve jobs in twelve months, until she finds the one of her dreams…
After an unexpected redundancy, Ruby begins to question her priorities. Inspired by a quote from Kahlil Gibran about loving your work, she launches her mission to find the ideal job.
Her year of gainful (and sometimes painful!) employment includes nannying for clients in the South of France; dealing with embarrassing ailments in a Harley Street Clinic; waiting tables in a buzzy Soho cafe; and meeting the celebs of years gone by in a home for retired actors. And even though love is no longer top of her list, relationships just seem to start happening along the way – which sees her handing out some P45s of her own!
But will any of the jobs, or men she meets, see her dreams come true? Or will Ruby just end up back where she started?
At 3.10pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary in Denbury to collect their children.
For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows. When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child’s father, she doesn’t expect the consequences to be quite so extreme. Ex Czech au-pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret sideline, but really all she longs for is another child. Slummy Mummy Mo’s wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Supper Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow.
And what of Gay Daddy Gordon? Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?
Four very different mothers. One adorable dad. And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings.
Christmas Spirit (short story)
It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks.
A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?
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Fab post Jill. I haven’t read any Harry Potter either. I’ve tried the very first one several times but it’s never grabbed me.
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Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve never been tempted by HP. I was still a librarian when it first came out and identified in my head as being for children so while I know adults read it, it put me off.
Yes it’s definitely a children’s book, which really turned me off.
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I can help you with the Northern Lights, Nicola! But hurry, they are really strong now but only for a couple of more years. (And game shows are my secret pleasure too – I love Countdown)
Great idea for an interview, Jill!
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Glad you enjoyed it Helena. I think the Northern Lights are winning so far re bucket list popularity.
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Many thanks Nicki.
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