Today, I welcome Pauline Wiles and her début novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting. Pauline’s wonderful book was released a mere 10 days ago (April 19, 2013) with much celebration. Readers enjoyed a virtual chocolate tasting, a tabletop covered in beautiful decor, party favors and books. Check out the festivities by visiting Pauline’s blog (www.paulinewiles.com) or by clicking here. And while you’re on her blog, check out the many articles Pauline has written for design magazines. It will help you understand her expertise as a writer fleshing out a main character who also works in the design industry.
Since the release of Saving Saffron Sweeting, Pauline has been quite busy. She’s packed her bags and her books and has hit the road on a whirlwind tour through the blogosphere with CLP Blog Tours. Today is my special day on Pauline’s tour and I am so happy to be a part of this writer’s book launch. I have come to know Pauline over the past few months as we often visit each other’s blogs. She is every bit as wonderful as the book she has written. Connect with Pauline. She’d love to hear from you!
From the Jacket: Grace Palmer’s British friends all think she’s living the American Dream. But her design business is floundering and when she discovers her husband is cheating with her best client, she panics and flees home to England.
The tranquil village of Saffron Sweeting appears to be a good place for Grace to lick her wounds, but the community is battling its own changes. Reluctantly, Grace finds herself helping her new neighbours as they struggle to adjust and save their businesses. However, not everyone has the same opinion on what’s good for the village. The charismatic new man in her life may have one speculative eye on Grace, but the other is firmly on profit. How will she navigate the tricky path between her home and her happiness?
With gentle humour and generous helpings of British tea and cake, Saving Saffron Sweeting explores one woman’s need to define herself through her career and community, before she can figure out who should be by her side.
“I’m not sleeping with her. It was just one time. One stupid bloody time. I’m so sorry.”
“I don’t believe you. You knew about that god-damn purple wall.”
I was looking around wildly, seeking my escape route. I didn’t want to be in the same room with him.
“All right, so I happened to see her bedroom! That doesn’t mean anything.”
“No, it means everything.” I was sobbing now. “It means I’ll never trust you again.”
I wish I’d had the panache to storm out of our apartment in an expensive cloud of Chanel perfume. I wish I’d owned a Louis Vuitton bag to grab on my way to check into a luxury hotel, where I’d instigate a passionate revenge fling with a nineteen-year-old bellboy. Unfortunately, I clambered off the sofa with pins and needles in my legs and tripped over my blankie instead. Then I trailed soggy tissues across the floor and locked myself in the bathroom, where my only company was a dog-eared copy of National Geographic.
I had followed my British husband – and his job – from London to California, but my own attempt at the American dream had flopped. I’d been working crazily, had failed to see my marriage falling apart, and felt like a total fool.
I certainly couldn’t afford to kick James out and stay in our apartment on my own. My so called business was barely breathing. I had no idea how many months or years of scraping by might be ahead of me, if I attempted to build a list of design clients who weren’t going to thank me by stealing my husband. Did I have the energy to move out, find a job, and rebuild my life in the fast moving world of Silicon Valley? What the heck was I doing in this country, anyway? All I wanted was to crawl under the bed covers and hide, preferably with a packet of imported Cadbury’s biscuits.
In the small, mocking hours of the next morning, I found myself unearthing a suitcase from the closet. With safety, seclusion and comfort food as my primary motives, I booked a flight home to England.
Book Review: Oh, my. Definitely one of my favorite books as I read my way through 52 books in 52 weeks. This book was so stinking charming, I was completely swept away by it. No wonder the book has climbed to the quarter finals in the romance category of the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. (More information: amazon.com/abna) I loved every single moment. The characters were charming, their lives were charming, the town of Saffron Sweeting was charming. It was so charming, I wanted to climb into the pages as I read and live among the characters. I wanted to walk into Grace Palmer’s English cottage, “put the kettle on” and sit with her and tell her everything will be okay.
The richness of the book reminded me a lot of Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes and the books by Peter Mayle set in Provence. If you love books set in a quirky little town with villagers that stake their claims on the story and a main character that struggles with internal conflict while falling in love with the beautiful but flawed surroundings of a town she haphazardly found her way to, then this is the book for you.
Grace Palmer certainly received a punch in the stomach (not literally) in the opening pages when she learns of her husband’s affair. But she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and returns to her home country of England only to find herself in the turmoil of changing times in the town of Saffron Sweeting.
The people Grace meets in the town of Saffron Sweeting are all so wonderful as characters in a book. Each play a different role in Grace’s life and each bring different elements to the storyline. What is so captivating about the story of this town is the mingling of two cultures. An American bio-tech firm is relocating American workers to Saffron Sweeting and the villagers who have always called Saffron Sweeting home are trying to adapt. Because Grace Palmer is the only person in town with insights into both cultures, she is quickly placed in the heart of the small town and must play the role of assistant, consultant and guide.
I finished reading this book while on a weekend trip to Boston. I told everyone I saw on this trip about the book, even the passengers sitting on the plane beside me, imploring them to pick up a copy and start reading. It was that enjoyable, from cover to cover.
Highly recommended. Run, don’t walk. Or better yet, click. A link to Amazon is provided below so go get yourself a copy and cancel your plans for whatever it was you were planning to do over the next few days. You’ll want to snuggle up with this book, a cup of tea, a cozy blanket and a comfortable chair. Don’t worry, the world will wait for your return.
Pauline, I wish you the very best with the launch of this beautiful book. Thank you so very much for stopping by my book blog today. It’s such a privilege to help you celebrate the launch of your first novel. I just know it’s going to be a huge success. Congratulations!
About the Author: British by birth, Pauline moved to California eight years ago and, apart from a yearning for afternoon tea and historic homes, has never looked back. Her work has been published by House of Fifty, Open Exchange and Alfie Dog Fiction. Saving Saffron Sweeting is her first novel. (Source: www.paulinewiles.com)
Connect with Pauline Wiles at the following locations:
OMG. You simply must buy this book.
Amazon book purchase: http://amzn.to/12hYZTQ
Follow Pauline on her journey through the blogoshere via CLP Blog Tours:
Everyone who leaves a comment on Pauline’s tour page will be entered to win gourmet home-baked cookies! Anyone who purchases their copy of Saving Saffron Sweeting before May 6 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.
- April 22- Chick Lit Plus – Review
- April 23- Curling Up with a Good Book – Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
- April 24 – The 21st Century Housewife – Review & Q&A
- April 26 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
- April 29- Julie Valerie’s Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
- April 30 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
- May 1 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
- May 2 – Book Reviews by Dee – Excerpt
- May 3 – Casa de Berry – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
- May 6 – Karma For Life- Review
- May 6 – Lavender & Camomile Press – Review & Excerpt