Five on Friday with Darcie Boleyn @DarcieBoleyn

Today I’m delighted to feature author Darcie Boleyn. Darcie writes heartwarming contemporary romance and her latest title Coming Home to Cariad Cove has just been published. If you didn’t already know, Darcie also writes under several pseudonyms so there’s even more about her work to discover.

Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Over to Darcie:

Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

This is a difficult one as there are so many songs and pieces of music that I love and that mean a lot to me, but I’ll try to narrow it down.

Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’ – This has always been a favourite of mine. At my wedding in 2010, we played this song after we’d said our vows. It captured how I felt that day, and how I’ve felt every day since about living for the moment and believing that you can find happiness and contentment.

Bob Seger – She’s Living Inside My Heart – To me this song isn’t just about romantic love but about love in general. When you love someone, they exist in your heart, even if they’ve passed away.

Agnes Obel – September Song – This is such a powerful piece of music. When I listen to it, I hear the ups and downs of life, the challenges but also the moments of joy.

The Carpenters – Solitaire – I think we all have times when we feel lonely or isolated, whether it’s because we’ve lost loved ones or life hasn’t worked out the way we planned. This song is beautifully moving and even though it’s sad, it also has a sense of hope. It’s okay to be alone as long as you turn up for yourself.

Dolly Parton – 9 to 5 – Dolly never fails to perk me up; she is the queen

What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.

Dogs – especially my three dogs (and they are my family so this is a bit of a cheat). I love being with dogs because they live in the moment and have a way of grounding you when life gets tough. My dream is to live in a house that’s big enough for me to adopt (lots) more dogs because there are so many out there that need and deserve loving homes.

Walking – I have to get out every day for at least one walk. Being outside in the fresh air, surrounded by trees and plants lifts me and soothes me. I also firmly believe in the power of exercise for good mental health.

Technology – as much as we sometimes moan about it, technology makes life easier. It allows us to stay in touch with family and friends even when we can’t see them in person, and it also makes it easier to access books and music and to write and publish books.

Tea and coffee – I enjoy a large mug of Earl Grey tea first thing every morning (my husband usually brings me a mug in bed) and it sets me up for the day. After breakfast, I’ll have a coffee then through the day I drink more coffee, herbal tea and lots of water.

Pyjamas – Working from home means that I no longer have to get dressed to go to work. I was a teacher for 18 years and had to dress smart, often wearing heels and makeup. Now I’m lucky enough to be able to stay in my comfy pjs and fluffy socks, cwtch up with my dogs and write. I don’t even think I could walk in heels now…

Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?

Trust your instincts. I had a tendency to believe everyone else knew better than me and this didn’t always serve me well. I spent a lot of time wishing I could be different instead of enjoying being me.

It’s OK to be alone. You don’t have to be in a relationship to feel validated. I made some mistakes because I grew up believing I had to have a partner instead of being happy in my own skin.

Write, write, write. It took me until I was in my thirties to start writing seriously – and by this, I mean novels. Until that point, I didn’t think I could do it. Since then, I haven’t stopped and don’t think I ever will.

Treasure every moment with loved ones. When I was younger, I didn’t realise that even if someone seems fit and healthy, they might not be. My dad was my best friend and he passed away suddenly when he was just 58. I was 28 and it broke my heart. We did have a lot of fun together and I treasure the memories of our time, but I’d love more moments with him.

Be considerate of others but don’t worry so much about what other people think. Some people will like you and some won’t and that’s OK. We are all unique and there is no one on the planet quite like you.

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

I write under three names but have written under more. I write romcoms and women’s fiction as Darcie Boleyn, Cathy Lake and Rachel Griffiths, but also wrote as Megan Attley for a one book contract.

I have a bearded dragon called Cheeky who’s eleven years old and until a few years ago, I also had Cheeky’s mum, dad and her brother. Sadly, they passed away, but they were valued members of our family.

I’m very short, only 5ft. When I was a younger, I hated being so small but I’m happy in my skin these days. Life’s too short (pardon the pun) to sweat the small stuff (see what I did there). 😉

I’m mad about the TV series FRIENDS and watch episodes over and over again. Last summer, my daughter took me to Bristol to Friends Fest and it was amazing!

I’m hurtling towards 50 but I feel like I’m just beginning…

Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.

I want to write many more books and I dream of being a Sunday Times Bestseller. However, more important than that is knowing that my stories make people smile and give them hope when they’re in need of comfort.

Adopt more dogs and possibly some donkeys. I need a bigger house and some land though, so this might take a while. 😉

Renew my wedding vows in New York. My husband proposed to me in Times Square, and I’d love to go back with him and my children, especially in the winter. Walking around Central Park in the snow would be a dream come true.

Another travel related dream is to see the Northern Lights. My dad and I always said we’d see them together but as that’s not possible, I’d like to see them and when I do, I’ll be holding him in my heart.

I have lots of ideas for some darker stories and when I get time, I want to write them. When I get time…

Many thanks for joining me today Darcie, it’s been lovely discovering more about you. Some great music choices and Dolly is indeed a queen! Dogs, tea and PJ’s sound like perfect choices to me, dogs are just the best and are indeed family. I can particularly empathise with your advice to treasure your loved one’s. I lost my dad early too, he was only 54 and there are so many things I’d like to ask him. I feel it’s only once you reach a certain age than you can appreciate that they’re not just a parent, but a person with their own life story, hopes and dreams. Don’t worry about hurtling towards 50, I’m a quite a few years ahead and in my head still think about what I’ll do when I grow up! I hope you get to achieve all your dreams and seeing the Northern Lights would be a lovely thing to do for your dad.

Darcie’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

Coming Home to Cariad Cove

Can a running club help heal a broken heart?

Following the death of her husband, Ffion moves back to her family hotel in Wales seeking home comfort. In the village of Cariad Cove, she reconnects with her family, and starts to find hope as she takes up running and meets Joe

For Joe, the second his dog crashes into the beautiful woman on the beach, it’s love at first sight. But recognising a hurting soul, he offers Ffion his friendship and soon the two are organising a charity run for the local animal sanctuary.

Now Ffion is feeling things she never thought she would again. Is it too soon to move on? Can she open her heart to love again? She’s planning on running… but will it be away from Joe or towards him?

The Christmas Tea Shop (Cornish Hearts 3)

There’s nothing a good cup of tea can’t fix… even a hopeless love life

Fran Gandolfini can’t help taking in strays; with four dogs, five cats and two bearded dragons, she refuses to give up on a creature in need. The only thing Fran has given up on, in fact, is her love life.

Moving from the city to Penhallow Sands to work in the Tea Shop, Ethan Clarke hopes he’s made the right choice for his daughter, Tilly. His past means he struggles to trust people, but Fran might be the one person capable of changing that.

Until a life-changing secret that Fran’s keeping for a friend causes a rift between them. Fran can’t tell Ethan the truth, but she hates lying to him more. It’ll take a Christmas miracle to set things right…

The Cottage at Plum Tree Bay (Cornish Hearts 2)

One summer can change everything…

Catherine Bromley has spent her life in Penhallow Sands, dedicating herself to work and supporting her emotionally fragile mother. Since her father left, it’s always been the two of them and Catherine has no interest in romance. What’s the point when men just leave? And besides, her mother needs her.

But when handsome novelist Mark Coleman arrives to stay at the cottage overlooking nearby Plum Tree Bay, Catherine’s world is changed. She’s soon bumping into Mark everywhere – or being thrown at him by her matchmaking friend! The chemistry is undeniable. But can Mark let go of his painful past to be the man that Catherine can rely on? And will Catherine find the courage to let love in?

The House at Greenacres (Cornish Hearts 1)

All roads lead home…

When Holly Dryden fled Penhallow Sands nearly a year ago she was determined to put the past – and Rich Turner – behind her. But now an unexpected loss and financial trouble has led her back to the family vineyard and it’s time to tell Rich the truth – he’s a father.

Surrounded by the memories of what they once shared Holly’s anger fades in the glow of Rich’s undeniable love for their son and the way he selflessly steps in to help the vineyard out of trouble. As Holly watches Rich flourish in his new role as father to baby Luke, she realises that though they can’t change the past, the future is still theirs to write…

Love at the Northern Lights

Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…

After she calls off her wedding, Frankie Ashford knows exactly where she need to go: Norway to find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. When a slip on the ice in Oslo sends her flying into the arms of Jonas Thorsen, she finds herself a little distracted from her original mission.

But Jonas is a family man through and through, and even though he knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date, he is determined to help her find the answers she’s seeking and do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.

Can Frankie find the answers she’s looking for, and will the northern lights work their magic and help her find love along the way?

Forever at Conwenna Cove (Conwenna 3)

Will friendship turn to love under the Cornish sun?

After a devastating betrayal, Zoe Russell found a haven in Conwenna Cove. She is happy with her simple life running the village diner and volunteering at the local greyhound sanctuary.

Surfer Nate Bryson plans to leave Conwenna Cove and see the world, leaving behind his reputation as a ladies man. Before departing, Nate decides to raise funds for the dog rescue home close to his heart.

As Nate gets Zoe involved in his charity event she sees there’s more to him than meets the eye. Nate can’t believe he’s failed to notice the beautiful woman right before him. But can two such different people ever be happy together?

Christmas at Conwenna Cove (Conwenna 2)

Can Christmas wishes come true at Conwenna Cove?

When Grace Phillips arrives in Conwenna Cove to help her parents move in, she has no intention of staying. It’s not hard to see why they’ve fallen in love with the place, but it’s definitely not for her. But the festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it difficult to leave… not to mention the mysterious local vet Oli Davenport.

Oli lost his wife to cancer two years ago. His world revolves around his children, Amy and Tom, but being both mum and dad isn’t easy and his romantic life has taken the hit. When Oli and Grace cross paths, sparks fly but both are holding onto the fear of letting someone else into their heart. As the snow falls on Conwenna Cove, can Oli and Grace find the happiness they both deserve?

Summer at Conwenna Cove (Conwenna 1)

Can the magic of Conwenna Cove heal the hurt of the past?

Eve has everything she’s ever wanted, but when tragedy strikes she loses it all. She seeks solace at her aunt’s home in the beautiful Cornish village of Conwenna Cove. The last thing on her mind is romance – until she meets Jack.

Jack has seen the worst things people can do to each other and realised he is better off alone. He saves his affections for the rescue dogs he cares for. But when Eve arrives in the village he can’t deny his attraction to her.

Eve and Jack are drawn together but scared to love. Can they put fear aside and find happiness again?

Love at the Italian Lake

Sophia Bertoni discovers her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and realizes her life is going nowhere. Leaving her high-pressure job, she travels to Italy to stay with her grandmother while she figures out her next move.

When Sophia – quite literally – bumps into devastatingly handsome Joe Lancaster her plans are turned upside down. As the two realize they’re both spending the summer in the same town, a love affair seems on the cards.

But Sophia and Joe are both burdened by family secrets. Despite their attraction, will the sun set on Sophia and Joe’s romance – or will they find love at the Italian lake?

A Very Merry Manhattan Christmas

Lucie Quigley hates Christmas. It’s the time of year when everything goes wrong in her life. So this year, when she’s asked to be a bridesmaid at her friend Petra’s Manhattan wedding, she jumps at the invitation to escape the festivities.

Dale Treharne has been best friends with Lucie for as long as he can remember. He’s used to looking out for his oldest friend and when she asks him to be her plus one, he can’t seem to find a reason to refuse. Instead, he sees it as a way to help Lucie get through what is, for her, the most miserable time of the year.

In New York, as the snow starts to fall, Lucie and Dale start to realise that their feelings run deeper than just friendship. But can they overcome their pasts, and make it a very merry Manhattan Christmas?

Something Old Something New

Will you marry me…again?

When Annie Thomas agrees to give her ex away at his wedding to his boyfriend, she thinks she’ll be fine. With her three children at her side, she can handle anything. Then she finds out her gorgeous first ex-husband Evan Llewellyn is flying in from his glamorous life in New York to attend as well!

An unexpected pregnancy ended their relationship and as she stumbles through the ups and downs of life as a working single mum – helping everyone else find a happy ending along the way – Annie refuses to believe their old and incredibly hot spark can still exist.

It’s only when she and Evan are forced to face up to the past together that they’ll discover if they can have their own happily-ever-after too!

Wish Upon a Christmas Cake

The most wonderful time of the year?

Katie Warham has just one wish this year…to have the best Christmas ever!

If only she could lock herself away in a cloud of flour and sugar at her cosy little tearoom, Crumbtious Cakes, instead of spending the festive season trapped with her judgemental mother, crazy Aunt Gina and loved-up celebrity brother Carl…

But Katie never expected her ex-boyfriend, widower Sam – and his two adorable children – to turn up on her doorstep. She didn’t think that any man could tempt her under the mistletoe this year, but Sam might just prove the exception! And as the snow begins to fall and Katie puts the final touches to her famous Christmas cake, she begins to wonder, could her Christmas wish actually come true?

Discover Rachel Griffiths

Discover Cathy Lake

Discover Megan Attley

The Garden on Holly Street

Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to get the life you want . . .

Abby Hamilton’s world has turned upside down in a matter of months – it seems that change is definitely in the air. But moving into Willow Court might just be the fresh start and happy distraction she needed.

Meeting her intriguing new neighbours helps push Abby out of her comfort zone. Then she finds an overgrown patch of garden in desperate need of love and time – something Abby has in spades! Throwing herself into bringing the garden back to life, Abby discovers that new beginnings can come from the most surprising places…

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