Today I’m delighted to feature author Deborah Carr who as well as self-publishing several books is also traditionally published. Deborah writes historical fiction in her own name for HarperCollins One More Chapter; contemporary romance series as Georgina Troy for Boldwood Books; and has written two psychological mysteries for Hera Books written as Ella Drummond. Her historical novels each have a connection to Jersey and her contemporary romance series are all set on the island.
Deborah Carr was born on the island of Jersey where she lives near the beach with her husband and three dogs.
Over to Deborah:
Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
Rebel Rebel – David Bowie This song brings back my teen years. Loved it.
Anything from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album. I bought this album when I was a teenager and listened to it many times and knew all the lyrics. It still evokes that time in my life when anything seemed possible.
Africa – Toto. It takes me back to the first time I visited South Africa with two girlfriends. We stayed with my mum for two months. She lived there at the time and ran a riding stables, so I was also able to ride horses again, which I’d done in Jersey from 4 to 19 years. It was a glorious holiday. I went home when my holiday was over but missed it so much that I sold my car and returned to South Africa six weeks later to spend a year there.
Do You Hear the People Sing – Les Miserables. It reminds me of the first time I saw it in London with close friends. I remember sobbing by the interval and one of my friends telling me to brace myself because the second half was going to be even more emotional.
Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader. The band came to Jersey for one of the Sunset Concerts about five years ago. I’ve always enjoyed the song, but they were amazing live. The Sunset Concerts are held in a natural amphitheatre in Grantez and attendees sit or dance on the grassy hill watching the musicians play over two nights. Behind the musicians is a glorious view over St Ouen’s Bay. A fun evening.
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
My three dogs. They are rescues and each one has a quirkiness about them. One was a street dog and thinks he’s a cat. He’s also terrified of storms and fireworks. Another is scared of the dark and the third is very needy, but very sweet. They make sure I don’t sit for too long wanting me to get up to let them out, then back inside again. We walk the dogs every day on the beach, which means I get fresh air and exercise which I probably wouldn’t do nearly as much if I didn’t have them around.
My books. I have so many I doubt I’ll ever have time to read them but still buy more.
Tea. I drink countless cups each day. (If you asked me this two years ago I would have said chocolate but I had to give up sugar, which strangely enough wasn’t nearly as difficult as I’d imagined it might be).
My garden. I love planting, deadheading and also picking fresh flowers to have in a vase in my writing studio, so I would miss them very much.
Living by the sea.
Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?
Don’t worry about things you have no control over.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Take a moment to look at what you’ve achieved instead of constantly focusing on what you haven’t.
Trust your instincts.
Relaxation is not a waste of time.
Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you
I can’t watch any of the Lloyds adverts without crying. Odd, I know. I also get emotional when I see horses galloping. Probably because seeing them reminds me of the next point.
I was lucky enough to have five horses growing up and rode from 4 – 19 years.
I’m the oldest of five children.
I can speak a little French, although living in Jersey where a lot of the road names are in French and there’s a huge French influence that’s not really surprising.
I’m shy. I’m happy giving a talk to 100+ people but get anxious when having to make small talk with people I don’t know.
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
I’d like to read all the second-hand books I have in my largest bookcase.
Write a New York Times bestseller, or three!
See the Northern Lights
Have one of my books made into a film on Netflix!
Visit Japan where my son currently lives. We’re aiming to do that next year.
Many thanks for joining me today Deborah and for bringing Georgina and Ella with you. Thanks for some great music choices, David Bowie is always welcome. I can’t argue with your choice of dogs, books and tea as necessities in life and I’m definitely behind the idea that relaxation is not a waste of time – especially if it involves reading! As someone else who has an extensive collection of second-hand books it would be one of my dreams to eventually read my way through them. Here’s hoping you get to tick of your other desires too, especially getting to Japan to visit your son, but that New York Times bestseller sounds good too!
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The Beekeeper’s War
A secret that threatens to tear them apart
At the onset of war, Nurse Pru le Cuirot left her home in Jersey to care for injured soldiers at Ashbury Manor, Dorset. She wanted to do her bit but she never expected to meet American pilot, Jack Garland, so unlike any man she has ever met.
When Jack is sent on a dangerous mission and vanishes, Pru is forced to make an agonising decision… one that will haunt them both forever.
Another lifetime, but another war and Pru’s daughter Emma comes to Ashbury Manor. As Jersey falls to the Germans, Emma is fearful for her mother back home. And when she meets the mysterious beekeeper who lives in the grounds of the manor she finds herself caught up in a web of lies. As past and present collide, will the secrets of her mother’s life finally be resolved?
An Island at War
While her little sister Rosie is sent to the UK to keep her safe from the invading German army, Estelle Le Maistre is left behind on Jersey to help her grandmother run the family farm. When the Germans occupy the island, everything changes and Estelle and the islanders must face the reality of life under Nazi rule.
Interspersed with diary entries from Rosie back on the mainland, the novel is also inspired by real life stories from the author’s own family who were both on the island during the occupation and in London during the Blitz and is a true testament to the courage and bravery of the islanders.
Mrs Boots series
Mrs Boots (Book 1)
On the beautiful island of Jersey, Florence Rowe lives a quiet life working in her father’s bookshop. Life for the Rowe family is good, but Florence can’t help yearning for more…
When Jesse Boot, the successful owner of Boots the chemist, arrives on the island, Florence is immediately captivated by his tales of life in a busy, bustling city on the mainland. For the first time ever, Florence imagines a life away from the constraints of Jersey society, of being someone more than just a shopgirl.
Until her parents reveal the shocking news they will refuse any marriage proposal from Mr Boot. Can Florence find a way to be with the man she loves and make a new life for herself?
Mrs Boots of Pelham Street (Book 2)
Behind every family there’s a strong woman holding them together
As the wife of esteemed businessman, Jesse Boot, Florence’s position in society is much changed from her quiet life as a shopkeeper’s assistant. Now a lady of means, Florence is expected to act in a way society demands.
And whilst Florence is more than happy to be a dutiful wife and a doting mother, as the Boots empire continues to grow, there is so much more to her than simply being Mama or dearest. Helping the staff and customers who rely on her and the business gives Florence an added purpose.
Can she show society that a woman can have it all…?
Mrs Boots Goes to War (Book 3)
The world is at war and her country needs her
When Florence’s son, John, announces that he has enlisted, she is horrified but determined to hold her family together during the oncoming hardships they are to face.
Men are returning to England wounded, with many more not returning at all, families are struggling, and Florence’s ‘Dear Girls’ are risking their lives in new and dangerous jobs. Florence might be older now, but she has no intention of sitting back on her laurels while others fight for King and Country. She knows what needs to be done…
The Poppy Field
Young nurse, Gemma, is struggling with the traumas she has witnessed through her job. Needing to escape from it all, Gemma agrees to help renovate a rundown farmhouse in Doullens, France, a town near the Somme. There, in a boarded-up cupboard, wrapped in old newspapers, is a tin that reveals the secret letters and heartache of Alice Le Breton, a young volunteer nurse who worked in a casualty clearing station near the front line.
Set in the present day and during the horrifying years of the war, both women discover deep down the strength and courage to carry on in even the most difficult of times. Through Alice’s words and her unfailing love for her sweetheart at the front, Gemma learns to truly live again.
It’s 1914 and Lady Alexandra Baldwyn is stifled by her claustrophobic life of privilege at Somerton Hall. Desperate to be more than a debutante, she strives for excitement like her brother Charles and his best friend, Freddie Chevalier. She pleads with her parents to let her become a nurse in France, but when her father refuses to sign the papers allowing her to leave the country she must be content with driving ambulances in London and delivering the occasional supply lorry along the south coast. What she has yet to learn is that there is little glory in war. Freddie Chevalier is secretly in love with his best-friend’s fiancée, Meri. When Meri discovers that Charles has been unfaithful to her, she visits Freddie’s home in Jersey. The two become close and promise to keep what has happened between them a secret. It’s only when the two men are fighting for survival in the trenches of Northern France that Charles discovers their betrayal. Spanning the 1914-18 war Broken Faces is about four friends, their fight for survival and how love can triumph over adversity in the most unexpected way.
Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After (collected stories)
Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After is a vibrant and varied collection of tales from writers who between them have had hundreds of short stories published in women’s magazines in the UK and around the world! Contributors have also won or been placed in dozens of competitions, published novels and written non-fiction for many UK magazines.As the title suggests, the twenty-six stories encompass the dizzying heights of happiness, the heartbreaking depths of sadness, and every emotion in between. Within the pages of this book you’ll meet a housewife with a surprising secret, a beekeeper with a problem and an undertaker with something unusual on his mind. You’ll also encounter angels, ghosts, aliens and many other intriguing characters. And, in the end, you may just find the path to happy ever after.
Writing as Georgina Troy
A Secret Escape to Sunshine Island
Welcome to the sunshine island – where the beaches are golden, the lifestyle is perfect and anything is possible.
Popstar Matteo Stanford is eager to escape to the sunshine island to catch up with his old friend Alex and secretly film his latest music video. But within moments of landing, the location for the shoot is leaked to the press, and his island escape and video might be over before they start.
Not to be defeated, Alex’s girlfriend Piper recruits her two best friends Casey and Tara, who run the Smoke and Mirrors stall at the The Cabbage Patch market. It doesn’t take Casey more than a moment to realise the perfect setting for Matteo’s video is Gorey castle, but securing the venue means Casey is soon planning a secret wedding, finding an actress and becoming a set designer!
It’s chaos and crazed fans, peppered with the sweetest moments she’s ever experienced. But could a popstar really fall for island girl Casey Norman?
Finding Love on Sunshine Island
Welcome to the Sunshine Island – where the beaches are golden, the lifestyle is perfect and anything is possible.
Piper Le Brocq is happily single after the disastrous ending of her engagement eighteen months before. The only man in her life is Jax, her best friend and cousin, who spends his life teaching locals how to forage and taking tourists on boat trips around the island. Her days are filled with helping out at her mother’s guest house and selling her glass mosaics at The Cabbage Patch emporium in Trinity.
Piper loves living on the Sunshine Island, where the neighbours look out for each other and visitors are welcome. So, when handsome guest Alex Cooper arrives at the guest house to check up on his grandfather, she welcomes him to the sunny island. And when he needs help after his grandfather is injured, she’s quick to get involved.
Yet, the more she gets to know Alex the more mysterious he seems, and Alex isn’t the only one keeping secrets from her.
Boardwalk by the Sea series
Summer Sundaes (Book 1)
Escape to the seaside with the perfect summer read! When Sacha Collins, cafe owner and sundae-maker extraordinaire, meets Italian archaeologist, Alessandro Salvatore in Rome, she’s grateful to him for being her tour guide. Now he’s turned up in the seaside village where she lives, known locally as, The Boardwalk by the Sea and is setting up a gelateria in direct competition to her retro Summer Sundaes Café. She’s only been running her café for two years since taking over from her father. Until now the only other shops on the boardwalk have been a wool shop, an antique shop and a second-hand book shop. These have helped rather than hindered her custom. How will her creative sundaes made from fresh Jersey ice cream compete with his delicious Italian gelato? Sacha is worried. Is there enough custom for both businesses to thrive? Who is behind the strange changes being made on the boardwalk? And when the oldest resident on the boardwalk is threatened with eviction can Sacha and Alessandro come together and find a way of helping her? For a peaceful little boardwalk overlooking one of the quieter beaches on the island, there’s an awful lot going on and some of it is going to lead to big changes. Wipe off your flip flops, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…
Autumn Antics (Book 2)
Pull on your beanie, the fireworks are about to begin…Being a part-time hand model can be tricky, especially when you have to deal with prima donnas like Megan Knight, a reality star whose meteoric rise has surprised everyone. Bella is happiest running her tiny antique business from the front room of her cottage on the boardwalk. To ensure she has enough income coming in, she also rents out two of her bedrooms and is hiding a secret crush on one of her lodgers. His name is Jack Collins and he also happens to be her best friend Sacha’s brother. If life wasn’t complicated enough, her world-travelling mother appears on her doorstep on the same evening that Jack’s ex-fiancée arrives on the boardwalk determined to win him back. Bella has a lot of thinking to do and soon discovers that not all gems sparkle.
Winter Whimsy (Book 3)
Zip up your puffer coat, winter has arrived! When Lexi Davies discovers that her father has sold the fishermen’s cottages she runs as holiday lets and where she also lives, she is heartbroken. Then Oliver Whimsy arrives at the boardwalk and announces that he is the new owner and Lexi realises that the future she was looking forward to enjoying at her cottages is over. Oliver might be handsome, wealthy and very sexy, but he’s new to the island and has already made a terrible impression on the locals. When the Scottish entrepreneur offers Lexi a job, she’s unsure whether she should accept. Unfortunately, she has little alternative if she wants to keep a roof over her head for the winter. As Lexi gets to know him better, she discovers there’s far more to Oliver Whimsy than she or anyone else had imagined. Just what is the heartache Oliver’s trying so desperately to hide? And why was he so determined to buy the cottages? Lexi wants to find out, but in order to do so she’s going to have to spend rather a lot of time with him…
Spring Siren (Book 4)
Slip on your sunglasses, spring has arrived!When Finn Gallichan, the new man in artist Jools Jones’ life leaves the boardwalk to go travelling for several months she’s not too worried, she has her paintings to work on as well as keeping busy helping her grandmother run Boardwalk Books, the only second-hand bookshop in the village. She’s happy to wait for Finn’s return to pick up where they left off their relationship. That is, until she decides to secretly help a new customer trace a copy of a book he wrote years before and meets Marius Arnesen, a glass artist who, fascinated by her paintings, asks her to take part in an art exhibition. When she begins to suspect that Finn isn’t quite the person she had hoped and Marius steps up to save someone close to her, she wonders if maybe she’s made the wrong decision…
The Jersey Scene series
A Jersey Kiss (Book 1)
People say that it’s hard not to fall in love living on the sunny island of Jersey, but for Bea Philips, still reeling from a divorce and the loss of her beloved godmother, she’s not sure she can find the time. While her soon-to-be-ex-husband is trying to take away the home she grew up in, surly but attractive builder Luke is doing it up. Her old flame Tom has just turned up as her new manager at the office, and she has no idea what the mysterious Jersey Kiss is that her godmother has bequeathed to her… Is life going to give Bea a break, so she can keep her dream home, and maybe fall in love? And what exactly is a Jersey Kiss?
A Jersey Affair (Book 2)
When shoe designer Paige Bingham is jilted she decides to enjoy her honeymoon-for-one in Sorrento. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a mysterious entrepreneur, Sebastian Fielding when she gets there. He helps ease the sting of rejection as he introduces her to the ancient sites he knows and loves. Unfortunately, soon after Paige returns to her island home in Jersey, she discovers that not only is Sebastian’s company taking over the struggling store where her business is based, but that her concession is probably surplus to his requirements. How can Paige stop her fledgling business from going under? And what can she do to fight the gossip now that the paparazzi have published their untruths about ‘A Jersey Affair’?
A Jersey Dreamboat (Book 3)
Event planners Izzy and Jess are badly let down when a Jersey socialite hires them for the busiest weeks of the season and then cancels at the last minute. The girls are left with no bookings and no money. Feeling despondent, they agree to a night out to cheer themselves up and meet the captivating and aristocratic Ed. He invites them on a luxury yacht cruise to Nice, together with his two brothers and some friends. Romance builds through heady days of blue skies and warm seas, but when a last-minute wedding booking is offered, the girls must return to Jersey, and real life has to begin again… or has it?
A Jersey Bombshell (Book 4)
Gabriel has returned to the island of Jersey after ten years abroad to help his aging showbiz parents revive their failing Art Deco hotel, The Encore. This proves to be something of a challenge, especially as his singer father and actress mother are more concerned with staying in the limelight than keeping track of the cash-flow. It looks like Gabriel isn’t going anywhere fast. Meanwhile, he’s stunned to find that the hotel’s new receptionist is the girl he fell in love with years earlier in Vietnam, and someone who is tied to Jersey is the last thing she wants.
Writing as Ella Drummond
The Darkest Summer
One hot summer, Dee disappeared. Now she’s back…but she’s not the girl you knew.
Sera and Dee were the best of friends.
Until the day that Dee and her brother Leo vanished from Sera’s life, during a long hot summer fifteen years ago.
Now Sera is an adult, with her own child, five-year-old Katie, and has returned to her childhood home after her husband’s death.
While she grieves, the past haunts Sera at every turn … and then Dee and Leo return to their small Hampshire village, along with Dee’s young daughter.
But Dee is silent and haunted by her demons; no longer the fun-loving girl that Sera loved. And when Sera uncovers the shocking secret that Dee is hiding, it’s clear that the girl she knew is long gone – and that the adult she has grown into might put all of them in danger…
A gripping, twisty and unputdownable thriller – perfect reading for long summer days. Fans of K.L Slater, Liane Moriarty and Rachel Abbott will love this captivating thriller.
My Last Lie
New beginnings. Old secrets…
Theo and Pilar. The perfect couple. Successful, beautiful and very much in love.
Until a year ago – and the tragedy that nearly tore them apart.
When their baby died, a part of them died with him. Now they’re trying to rebuild themselves, moving to a stunning house in rural Cornwall.
But someone knows all their secrets – and will stop at nothing to disturb their fragile peace. Theo and Pilar are about to learn that you can try to hide – but you can never outrun your past.