Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Oh! What a Pavlova

My Wednesday 'Summer Surprise' is  Oh! What a Pavlova.

Today I'm welcoming a new guest - Isabella May - who is extremely busy across the internet since it's getting closer to the launch of her debut novel Oh! What a Pavlova (published Oct 3rd 2017 by Crooked Cat Books).  

Isabella - What a fantastic eye-catching cover design for an enticing title! 

Isabella's debut novel is published by Crooked Cat Books and her second will be following on soon... 

Welcome to my blog, Isabella. I've been seeing some of the pre-launch publicity on Facebook about Oh! What a Pavlova and look forward to reading it. But since that won't be for a wee while, why don't you introduce my blog readers to some of your characters from Oh! What a Pavlova?

Thanks for inviting me onto your blog, Nancy!

Today I am going to share a wee character interview with Steph. She’s one of the main characters in my debut novel, and works closely with Kate Clothier, the protagonist of the story. But first, to put everything into context, here’s the book blurb for ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’:

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

Steph, would you describe your friendship with Kate for us?
Narcissistic (laughs)… no, no, I’m only joking, you can’t write that! Look, Kate is beautiful too. In her own unique kind of a way. She just needs to… well, get some goddamn self-belief for want of a better way of putting it. Whereas I learnt long ago that just because you have curves, it doesn’t mean you can’t carry your slightly more voluptuous frame a la Nigella Lawson… and still eat men for breakfast, spitting them back out by elevenses. I just wish Kate could openly adore herself in the same way.

Hang on a minute… you’re asking about my friendship with her, aren’t you? Right, yes, excuse me for going off at a tangent there. I guess you could call me her idol, her icon. Well, somebody needs to take her under their wing and show her how to walk the walk – and definitely how to talk the talk when it comes to the guys. Purlease.  If I had a tenner for every occasion that I could have rescued her courtesy of a hidden mic whilst I’m drip-feeding essential one-liners to her, hiding around the corner in one of those white vans…. I’d be so minted by now that working in this excuse for an office would be a thing of the past. I mean she visibly shakes like a leaf if she fancies someone, comes out with all the wrong stuff. Only a Campari and blood orange can take the edge off her nerves. Mind you… there’s something not quite right about any of this incessant mission to flirt with men in the first place. She’s in a relationship for god’s sake. Practically married. None of it quite adds up if you ask me…

Right (interrupts)… shall we get onto a different topic now for a bit, perhaps? I understand that Kate and yourself both share a passion for cake?
Oh yes, I’m the undisputed Queen of Desserts. Everybody knows that. I mean, Kate can knock up some pretty nifty rustic-style cupcakes, but if it’s something with a little more finesse that you’re after, I usually take orders around the 3pm lull: cheesecakes, fancy iced triple-tiered birthday cakes, croquembouche – you name it, I can make it. For a price of course… or some kind of office-related bartering.

That’s… yes… I’ll um… I’ll bear that in mind. What I was really trying to establish is: what are your favourite kind of cakes in terms of the eating?
Well, I’m not quite as uncouth as Kate. She’s always bringing things in and leaving them on The Cake Table, which is clearly just an excuse for her to pig out herself. Crikey, you should have seen her the other day when Hayden… or somebody… was on the phone. Daisy nearly had to give her the Heimlich Manoeuvre to dislodge the flapjack she’d got stuck in her throat. And do you know recently when we were in Venice, of all the delicious and refined things she could have chosen, she went for a lurid green muffin style thing, wedged into the corner of a bakery window. Me on the other hand, well, it could only be the Venetian Zabaglione. When in Rome

Tell me a little about Singapore… did you notice any change in Kate after that particular trip which you made together?
She seemed to be perpetually jealous of my pulling ability, but hey, what’s new? (Laughs before resuming a serious face). I don’t get what this is all about? Should I have noticed anything? She was her usual Shrinking Violet self at times, and then a bit more fun at others when she decided to let her hair down. I do remember there was a call on her mobile she had to suddenly run off to take outside. Probably her boyfriend, Daniel, who seems to need to know her every move; I’ve never met him you know. Don’t you think there’s something a little oddball about that? I mean she’s never even brought him into the office, or to pick her up from any of the Christmas parties. But anyway, no, there was nothing especially untoward with her behaviour on this trip. Don’t get me wrong, she was fuming the morning after our night out with Hayden. For some reason he’d had an overnight personality transplant… probably not helped at all by the slagging match his Singaporean girlfriend dragged into the office with her. Now you come to mention it… perhaps Kate did react in a slightly more hostile manner to his announcement that we weren’t just there on a ‘jolly’, that we needed to muck in and tidy up the showroom to ‘pay our keep’. Hmm… then again, if anyone makes her feel small she’ll react the same way. Me on the other hand, well, I know my worth, I’m street-wise like that. There’s little any man on his high horse can do to diminish my self-respect.

And what about your own behaviour in the pizzeria in Copenhagen? Kate said you looked like you’d seen a ghost when she came back to the table…
She what? (shakes her head and looks particularly miffed). I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. All I was doing was adjusting my erm… my boot buckle… that’s the only reason I didn’t raise my head to greet her for a few seconds. No big deal…  Don’t forget, we’d just been whizzed around at 200 kilometres an hour by that idiot manning the waltzers at Tivoli Gardens. And it was a school night… so we were the only ones on the ride… and that was before the flippin’ things ascended into the air at a 180 freakin’ degree angle. What do you expect? Of course my buckle would have flown loose… and… and… of course my face would have looked pale when I’d finished re-fastening it. The same pale it was before I bent down. I was dizzy, disoriented; we’d drunk wine before the ride too. Honestly, these questions. It’s like being in the Spanish Inquisition or something…

We’re almost done, Steph. Thanks for your co-operation. But I’d like to return, if I may, to Kate’s relationship with Daniel. Why do you think all is not as it seems?
Good. I’ve had enough of being interrogated by the Stasi. Yes, back to Kate, please… Why do I think all is not as it seems behind closed doors? That’s pretty obvious. If you’re in a relationship, you are committed, to each other. You don’t feel the need to drive around in a red convertible Audi with its top down, fluttering your eyelashes at the traffic lights in case your dream man pulls up next to you… well, doing your best to flutter them anyway… nobody pulls that little gem off better than me. From what I have heard about Daniel though - and his preference for a quiet country life, maybe it’s just that… that they’re a mismatch… he’s looking in all the wrong places for his housewife… they got together young and Kate’s scared to break his heart and leave him. But there’s no way he could be beating her, if that’s what you’re implying. God no! Did I tell you about my NVQ in Psychology? That I’m a dab hand with the tarot cards? I’d have sniffed out domestic violence the moment I met Kate, if that’s what you’re getting at. Trust me, it couldn’t possibly be that. The signs would be far more prominent… black eyes and bruises for starters. I mean, he wouldn’t even let her come to work, let alone jump on a plane to book fairs, or to visit her customers. Nope. I’m not even going there with that suggestion. Forget the idea now.

I didn’t say anything to suggest Kate was being abused, Steph. But thank you. Thank you very much indeed. This has been… enlightening, for want of a better word.

Nancy says: it has indeed been intriguing, Isabella. The elusive Daniel needs to be met! 

Isabella May
Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.

As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls - - she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).

She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative 'drops'!

Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel... and her second novel has already been submitted to her publishers: watch this space...
You can follow Isabella May on her website and social media here:
Twitter - @IsabellaMayBks
Instagram - @isabella_may_author

To pre-order Oh! What a Pavlova click HERE 

Thank you for popping in, Isabella. My very best wishes for a great launch for Oh! What a Pavlova. My copy is on order...and I look forward to answering my question about the elusive Daniel and his relationship with Kate. Steph will also be interesting to get to know because I suspect a darker character than she portrays herself- but, of course, I could be very wrong!


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