For many years now I’ve suffered from insomnia. To get to sleep I normally make up stories in my head - the beginning of a love story between two individuals set almost anywhere! Then by the end of the first chapter I’ve normally fallen asleep. (My hard drive is full of “Chapter 1” ideas!). I also get ideas from reading voraciously. In my debut book for HarperImpulse – “The Roman”, – the idea came from reading a children’s book about Herculaneum that I found in the library one day. I often find children’s history books (lots of pictures) spark an idea much more readily than a weighty historical tome! In this particular book there was a villa discovered at Herculaneum which had lots of bronze statutes. Justina, my heroine in “The Roman” is a sculptress and she lives and sculpts in a huge villa in Herculaneum! But when it comes to writing the whole book I’m definitely a “pantster” though. The idea starts and just flows from there. I’ve tried to plot out books, but to no avail. The characters just take over and demand to have “their” story written, and not some script I’ve developed for them.
I live on the lovely island of Anglesey in North Wales, and I’m married to my own AlphaHero – Colin.
And her book... and that cover... swoon...
ROME AD 79 - The one woman he ever loved was the one woman who betrayed him. And now, the Roman will have his revenge… Marsallas and Justina were young, beautiful and desperately in love once, until a tragic betrayal tore them apart. Six years have passed since that day and Marsallas has since thrown himself into the deadly world of chariot racing, gaining fortune, fame, and a salacious reputation throughout Rome. His bed could be kept warm by a different woman each night if he chooses, but his heart remains iced over as the memory of Justina’s betrayal continues to haunt him. The last thing he expects is to see her again, but when she steps back into his life he sees a chance to avenge his broken heart. But beneath the hurt, an attraction so intense still burns between the two, and as their fates begin to intertwine once more, their determination to resist one another starts to falter…
Where to buy Caroline's book...
Barnes and Noble
And now for Caroline's shoes...
OK. First up a confession. I’m the least likely candidate to have on a Blog about shoes! And why? Well, because I’ve probably only got about 10 pairs of shoes in my entire shoe collection!
But not withstanding that, I have got two pairs of “best shoes”. The shoes I’ve decided to talk about are my wedding shoes as seen in the picture above. (It's my wedding anniversary this week too, so quite timely I think!)
I got married in 2010 to my long suffering fiancée, Colin. We had been courting since 1999, (wella girl has to make sure that he’s “the one” doesn’t she?) Our wedding was planned on the spur moment, and I think I had about two months to organise the whole thing! Now, those that know me, know that by nature I’m a bit of a tomboy at heart. Jeans and boots are the order of the day to be honest. So…when it came to finding “The Outfit” it was a major cause of stress I can tell you.
I started my hunt for “The Outfit” by going to the usual wedding shops – the furthest being around 100 miles away. Nada. Nothing. I was 46 at the time and a white wedding dress would have only made eyebrows rise! Definitely not me. The hunt for “The Outfit” then ended up in all the major high street stores. Again. Nada.
Fast forward to a week before the wedding and I still hadn’t found “The Outfit”. To say I was panicking would be an understatement. In my desperation I went to a small shop in my home town of Holyhead. To be honest I wasn’t expecting much – the shop dummies in the window normally carry outfits for the older (much older) lady. Oh, how wrong I was! There lurking behind all the twin-sets was “TheOutfit” – a three piece suit – skirt, top and silk jacket. I tentatively asked for it in my size – fully expecting a “sorry”, but again I was surprised to find they had my size – and even better – when I tried it on it was too big and I had to get the size smaller. Bonus! It wasn’t cheap – but it was worth it.
As I was trying on “The Outfit”, and admiring it in the mirror, the oh-so-helpful shop assistant, (Mair) asked me what shoes I would be wearing with it. She must have seen the panic flare in my eyes at the thought of getting a pair to match my outfit (pale/dark pink pattern), not to mention the limited time frame left to buy said shoes. She then asked me what size I was. I told her size 7. She clapped her hands, and said that she was a size 7, and had the perfect pair of shoes to match my outfit at home, and that she had bought them but hadn’t worn them!! To be honest I wasn’t entirely convinced. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. So she gave me her address, and the next day I went to her house and she showed me the shoes you can see in the picture above. (Believe me when I tell you that Mair has a serious shoe collection – I’ve never seen so many boxes of shoes!) The shoes were pale pink, and they fitted me like a glove, not to mention they complimented my outfit perfectly. I couldn’t believe it. Many kisses and thanks later (plus a bunch offlowers of course) I took delivery of my (free) shoes and had a worry free rest of the week before my wedding day.