Today I’m delighted to revisit my Five on Friday interview with Nicola May which was first posted in May 2019. It’s been brought up to date to include Nicola’s latest books. Nicola writes what she describes as chick lit with a kick which is right up my street.
Nicola May is a rom-com superstar. She is the author of sixteen romantic comedies, all of which have appeared in the Kindle bestseller charts. Two of them won awards at the Festival of Romance, and another was named ebook of the week in The Sun. The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay became the best-selling Kindle book in the UK, across all genres, in January 2019, and was Amazon’s third-bestselling novel in that year. Described by Winifred Robinson of BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours as ‘the invisible bestselling author’, Nicola campaigned successfully for the introduction of ebook charts in the publishing trade press.
She lives near Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.
Over to Nicola:
Which five 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
What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
Stanley, my lovely black and white cat
My Simba mattress
Clarins Red Lipstick
Give five pieces of advice 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 five 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
Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.
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
(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)
When jilted crime writer August Saunders returns from London to her roots in rural Wiltshire, she feels lost and lacking in inspiration. Determined to reignite her writing mojo, she responds to an advert for a shared workspace in a converted barn.
At the Hub, with its ill-equipped gym, inedible catering and motley array of fellow users, including a matchmaker more interested in her own conquests and a TikToker with a dodgy nocturnal sideline, August is confronted with a real-life mystery to solve.
Why is Max Ronson, the handsome but volatile owner of the Hub, so evasive about his past? And who or what is he hiding on the premises? She is determined to find out – but will her curiosity snuff out the spark of romance?
Ferry Lane Market
Welcome to Ferry Lane Market (Book 1)
Although thirty-three-year-old Kara Moon loves her hometown of Hartmouth in Cornwall, she has always wondered if she should have followed her dream of going off to study floristry. But she couldn’t bring herself to abandon her emotionally delicate single father, and has worked on Ferry Lane Market’s flower stall ever since leaving school.
When her good-for-nothing boyfriend cheats on her and steals her life savings, she finally dumps him and rents out her spare room as an Airbnb. Gossip flies around the town as Kara welcomes a series of foreign guests to her flat overlooking the estuary.
Then an anonymous postcard arrives, along with a plane ticket to New York. And there begins the first of three trips of a lifetime, during which she will learn important lessons about herself, her life and what she wants from it – and perhaps find love along the way.
Starry Skies in Ferry Lane Market (Book 2)
When Star Bligh got pregnant at the age of sixteen, she thought her life was over. Now thirty-three, mother to Skye and owner of the successful jewellery stall in Ferry Lane Market in Hartmouth, Cornwall, she wouldn’t change a thing about it.
Well, maybe one. A few months ago she fell hard for American visitor Jack, but then he left without even saying goodbye and ever since she has struggled to get him out of her head. Until the handsome, roguish Conor turns up and sweeps her off her feet. But then one day, Star is shocked to bump into Jack. He’s back in Hartmouth to tell her why he left – but is she ready to listen?
As things get more complicated with her love life, another revelation threatens to turn the lovely world she has built for her and Skye upside down. But could this be the one thing that will make it complete?
Rainbows End in ferry Lane Market (Book 3)
39-year-old Glanna Pascoe – also known as ‘the Rainbow Painter’ – runs the Hartmouth Gallery in Ferry Lane Market in Cornwall. She is just getting her head and broken heart around being single, childless, and sober when Cupid flies in, shooting arrows all over the place.
Meeting the mysterious and fascinating Isaac Benson, famous local artist, and recluse, allows Glanna’s disillusioned heart and attitude to soften, and she begins to learn more about herself than she ever thought possible. Confused by her growing feelings for Isaac, Glanna throws herself into organising a life-drawing class at her gallery, using both male and female nudes – and setting local tongues wagging.
A theft from her gallery and the return of ex-love Oliver Trueman cause Glanna to wonder if a pot of gold will be appearing at the end of her rainbow. And will it bring her the happiness, she has sought for so long?
Cockleberry Bay Series
The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Book 1)
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.
Meet Me in Cockleberry Bay (Book 2)
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 Gift of Cockleberry Bay (Book 3)
All our favourite characters from Cockleberry Bay are back, including Hot, Rosa Smith’s adorable dachshund, and his new-born puppies.
Now successfully running the Cockleberry Café and wishing to start a family herself, Rosa feels the time is right to let her inherited corner shop go. However, her benefactor left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it. Rosa is torn.
How can she make such a huge decision? And will it be the right one? Once the news gets out, untrustworthy strangers appear in the Bay, their motives uncertain. With the revelation of more secrets from Rosa’s family heritage, a new series of unpredictable and life-changing events begins to unfold.
Christmas in Cockleberry Bay (Book 4)
With both the Corner Shop and Cockleberry Café in safe hands, Rosa turns her attention to Ned’s Gift, the charity set up in memory of the great-grandfather whose legacy turned her life around.
Over at the Ship Hotel, Lucas has his work cut out with his devious new girlfriend and the mystery poisoning of an anonymous hotel inspector. Will the hotel still get its 3-star Seaside Rosette? Will Mary find true love at last? Can Titch cope with the demands of the shop and being heavily pregnant. And can Rosa, with a baby of her own, pull off the Cockleberry Bay Charity Christmas Concert in time?
Love Me Tinder
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
The Women of Wimbledon Common
PREVIOUSLY SOLD AS THE SW19 CLUB
MILLY JOHNSON SAID… THIS BOOK WILL TWANG YOUR FUNNY BONE AND YOUR HEARTSRINGS. I TOTALLY LOVED IT!
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
Ruby Matthews never expected to be starting over. But, after a sudden tragic loss, she questions whether she will ever be happy again.
A chance encounter with handsome author Michael Bell throws her fragile heart into turmoil, while a dark family secret adds to her confusion. Only when she starts volunteering at the Bow Wow Club (Boyfriends of Widows, Wives of Widowers) does she begin to tackle her grief head on.
Will she let love win? Or allow her past to continue to haunt her?
In this charming sequel to Working It Out, you’ll laugh and cry as Ruby searches for inner peace.
The School Gates
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
Working it Out
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?
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?