Today we welcome the lovely Lauren Westwood and her most recent novel Finding Secrets, published 1st March 2017.
A country house, a precious jewelled locket, and a puzzle dating back to the London Blitz and Imperial Russia. Utterly captivating, a fantastic romance from beginning to end. Perfect for the fans of Carole Matthews and Milly Johnson.
Alex Hart loves her dream job as manager of Mallow Court, a historic Elizabethan house, even if her friends think she needs to get out more. But a discovery in the pocket of an old coat – a jewelled mechanical locket shaped like a bird – changes everything, and Alex discovers that things are not as they seem.
From an old diary, to a handsome barrister, a mysterious clockmaker, and the darkest hours of the London Blitz, Alex must follow the trail of the jewelled bird to uncover the truth about the things she holds dearest – and someone is determined not to let sleeping dogs lie!
Only by finding the secrets of the past can Alex find the keys to her future – and her heart.
Lauren was kind enough to write us a guest post for today's stop.
The life in my men . . .
It's not the men in my life that count, it's the life in my men.
I write a lot of posts about my inspirations and writing, but let’s face it, most of us read romance novels for one reason – the love story between the hero and heroine. It’s often said that novels are ‘escapism’, but from what, dear reader, are we trying to escape from?
I’m not a biologist or an expert in human behaviour, but as a modern professional woman, I’ve ‘been there’ many times – I’ve done the dating thing, the settling down thing, the having kids thing. I’ve done the toilet seat up or down thing, the washing his black socks with my white shirts thing, the flowers and chocolate thing, the arguments over money, schools, holidays, jobs, and you-name-it, thing.
And in the end, I’m happy in real life. It’s taken me a lot of years to be able to say that, but for the most part, it’s true. So why do I still like to read and write romance novels and conjure up in my mind those scrummy heroes?
The answer is different for everyone, I’m sure, but for me, it’s fun to dream and imagine ‘the road not taken’. Every day when I’m commuting to work I pass hundreds of men – single, in relationships? – for the most part I’ll never know or give it a second thought. For most of us, chance, fate, and the elements have aligned in a certain way, and that’s that.
But when you think about it, there are so many tiny random elements that decide the who our life partners are – who we meet and don’t meet, who we are attracted to and not, who’s ready, willing, and at the same stage in life as you are. In theory, any one of the men we pass on the street could have been ‘the one’, and we’ll never know for sure what life would have been like if we were with them.
Romance novels give us that chance to dream, that chance to explore other lives, other . . . ahem . . . partners, and rekindle those flames that are challenged in our relationships every day. Romance novels give us that little extra zest in our lives. While some people say that this may be a bad thing – it gives us an unrealistic view of love, life, and ‘happily ever after’ – I think it can be good too. Because you and me, and every woman deserve a little extra love and romance in her real life, and we shouldn’t be afraid to ask our partners to provide it.
So the next time he leaves his dirty dishes in the sink or his pants on the floor, go out, buy yourself a lovely new book, and give him a big hug and kiss. Because at the end of the day, it’s up to us to make it happen for real.
About Lauren Westwood
Originally from California, Lauren relocated to the UK in 2000. She works as a lawyer for a renewable energy company. Lauren’s first novel, 'Finding Home' was inspired by her family's 3-year search for a house that made them the bane of home county estate agents. She currently resides in a pernickety 400-year old house in Surrey with her partner and their three daughters. She enjoys travel, visiting old houses, baking with her daughters, dance, playing piano, and hates tennis.