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Friday, June 22, 2018

BLOG TOUR SPOTLIGHT: The Foyles Bookshop Girls by Elaine Roberts @robertselaine11 @aria_fiction

The Foyles Bookshop
by Elaine Roberts

Spotlighting this adorable first-in-a-series historical fiction/romance book by Elaine Roberts!

Continue below to learn about the book, the author and read a guest post from Elaine about how she started writing.

Publisher:  Aria Fiction
Publish Date:  June 1, 2018

Kindle Edition
Series:  The Foyles Girls #1
Genres:  Historical Fiction, Romance

London, 1914: one ordinary day, three girls arrive for work at London’s renowned Foyles bookshop. But when war with Germany is declared their lives will never be the same again…

Alice has always been the ‘sensible’ one in her family – especially in comparison with her suffrage-supporting sister! But decidedly against her father's wishes, she accepts a job at Foyles Bookshop; and for bookworm Alice it's a dream come true. But with the country at war, Alice’s happy world is shattered in an instant.

Determined to do what she can, Alice works in the bookshop by day, and risks her own life driving an ambulance around bomb-ravaged London by night. But however busy she keeps herself, she can’t help but think of the constant danger those she loves are facing on the frontline…

Alice, Victoria and Molly couldn’t be more different and yet they share a friendship that stems back to their childhood - a friendship that provides everyday solace from the tribulations and heartbreak of war.

Perfect for fans of Elaine Everest, Daisy Styles and Rosie Hendry.

About the Author:

Elaine Roberts had a dream to write for a living. She completed her first novel in her twenties and received her first very nice rejection. Life then got in the way until she picked up her dream again in 2010. She joined a creative writing class, The Write Place, in 2012 and shortly afterwards had her first short story published. Elaine and her patient husband, Dave, have five children who have flown the nest. Home is in Dartford, Kent and is always busy with their children, grandchildren, grand dogs and cats visiting.



Guest Post from the Author

English wasn’t my strongest subject at school; all the verbs, adverbs, nouns, pronouns and adjectives just confused me. Maths and creative lessons were more my thing, yet I have written for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t novel writing, but I kept a journal. All my private thoughts would be laid bare on the page, whether it was about fancying someone, or a family problem. It was almost therapeutic, especially as I was a very shy child. My father was in the army and, as a child, it felt we were constantly on the move. I can hear my mother now, telling me to go out and play instead of always having my head stuck in a book, but the characters were my friends and I’d get lost in their adventures.

As I grew older, my journals grew longer and sometimes took the form of letters, which no one ever saw. So with all my reading and personal writing, you’d think writing a novel would be a piece of cake, but oh no. When I joined The Write Place Creative Writing Class, I was already in the middle of writing a novel. People often say write about what you know, so I did and there were definitely elements in the story that came from my own life. Over the weeks and months of attending the class, I discovered I never mentioned any clothing my characters wore or about them moving around, for example plumping up the cushions or making a cup of tea. I’m not even going to mention the lack of the five senses - smell, sound, sight, taste, and touch. I clearly had a lot to learn, and it is something we still joke about now.

Five years have passed since then, and I have hopefully learnt a lot.

I was encouraged to write short stories for magazines, which I didn’t want to do. I stubbornly wanted to focus on the novel. However, fear of the class tutor had me writing them and sending them out. I was thrilled and dancing around my front room when I sold my first one at the beginning of 2013 and it turned out to be the first of many. Learning to face my fear was the best thing I could have done, because it made me look at word choices and keep to a word count. It is still something I practice today.

In the beginning, my novels were all contemporary, but then I decided to move out of my comfort zone and into historical. I have a love of the Victorian era, so I decided to start there. I loved writing it and one day I hope to see it in print, but it needs some minor changes before that can happen. After attending the Historical Novelist Society Conference, and on advice received, I decided to move my family forward a generation to 1914. The young girl in the Victorian novel is now Alice’s mother in The Foyles Bookshop Girls. The girls are going to be in three books together, helping each other through the war. I have grown very attached to my make-believe family and friends and they feel very real to me.

Alice, Victoria and Molly all work in Foyles Bookshop and although they come from very different backgrounds, their friendships are what carry them through their trials and tribulations. Alice is the main character in The Foyles Bookshop Girls and is the eldest daughter of four children. She is a quiet, sensible and responsible person and tries to guide her sister, Lily, by telling her to be careful what she wishes for. The war changes everything for the girls and there lives will never be the same again.

I have to pinch myself from time to time, because I’m living my dream job. I love to write and to know that someone who doesn’t know me actually wants to read my work is absolutely thrilling. What this tells me is that no dream is impossible, if I work hard and commit to it. What I’d love is to walk into a shop and see my books on the shelves. I want my mother to be able to see it and touch it and be proud of my achievements. It’s all about baby steps and enjoying where I am, with one eye on the next stage of what I’m hoping will be a long writing career.

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