Spotlight & Giveaway: The Lavender House by Hilary Boyd

Posted August 11th, 2017 by in Blog, Spotlight / 33 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Hilary Boyd to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Hilary and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Lavender House!

 

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Nancy de Freitas is the glue that holds her family together. Caught between her ageing, ailing mother Frances, and her struggling daughter Louise, frequent user of Nancy’s babysitting services, it seems Nancy’s fate is to quietly go on shouldering the burden of responsibility for all four generations. Her divorce four years ago put paid to any thoughts of a partner to share her later years with. Now it looks like her family is all she has.

Then she meets Jim. Smoker, drinker, unsuccessful country singer and wearer of cowboy boots, he should be completely unsuited to the very together Nancy. And yet, there is a real spark.
But Nancy’s family don’t trust Jim one bit. They’re convinced he’ll break her heart, maybe run off with her money – he certainly distracts her from her family responsibilities.
 

Please share the opening lines of this book:

‘Nancy was in the kitchen preparing supper, listening to The Archers on the radio, drizzling olive oil over some summer vegetables for roasting, when her husband, Christopher, walked in and told her he was leaving.’

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • Jim, Nancy’s romantic interest, has a ponytail. This has made a lot of readers groan loudly – ponytails on ageing males, not a good look – but they’ve come round to sexy Jim in the end, despite his ponytail!
  • I couldn’t think of a name for the cat – I’m not a cat person and was struggling. So I asked my granddaughters to come up with one. They insisted on ‘Bob’, although the cat was female. I thought, why not? (And no, I couldn’t make the cat a male!)
  • I have always loved country music, but while I was writing the book, I got obsessed with Kris Kristofferson. I would spend hours watching YouTube videos of him, particularly his song, For the Good Times. Check it out. He’s just the best and I channeled him for Jim.

 

Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?

Nancy is a woman used to being controlled – her father, then her husband. She shut down, emotionally, after her husband’s appalling behaviour and just got on with family life, where at least she’s wanted. Jim gets right under her skin, but letting go and loving him is hard for her. I think a lot of older women shut down their sexuality – the old invisibility complaint – not accepting they’re still attractive. But why shouldn’t we love again?

Nancy wasn’t working for me at first. Then my daughter, also a writer – suggested she should have beautiful grey hair, not dyed. And suddenly she began to work. It said to me that despite the knock she’d received from her cheating husband, she had a certain physical confidence. I dye my own hair and would love to be brave and not do so!

Then there’s Jim. I love Jim. I really enjoy writing male characters – for some reason. Which says something about me, but I don’t know exactly what. Jim isn’t perfect, but he’s a kind man, passionate about his music and happy with simple pleasures. He really loves Nancy.

Louise, Nancy’s daughter, is going through that difficult period when the kids are small and the parents are struggling to establish themselves career-wise. She comes across as quite selfish, but really she’s just got used to her mum being around and picking up the pieces. Jim is a bit of a shock to the system!

 

If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?

This is the scene when Nancy and Jim first meet. It’s a line-dancing evening for Nancy’s friend Linda’s 60th. There has to be real chemistry between the two characters for the movie and Jim has to be like Kris K – no pressure! He also has to be able to dance well, be a good mover. So does Nancy – although she hasn’t line-danced before, she’s more into classical than country music. If they can’t dance, they don’t get the role. Can’t wait to see the movie! Option, anyone?

‘Jim turned to see what was happening. ‘Need some help?’ he asked Nancy, coming to stand between her and Lindy. With his hand on her arm, his body close, he began to coax her back into the steps. ‘Jump … feet together, heel, toe, tap … You’re good,’ he said, his words suddenly sounding so intimate in that crowded room. She didn’t dare look at him.
‘Bloody left and right … never could tell the difference. You’re going too fast!’ Lindy gasped, flapping her arms as she headed in the wrong direction again and crashed into Jim and Nancy. Jim, laughing, held her up and again his eyes met Nancy’s over Lindy’s head. Nancy felt an unfamiliar bubble of pure joy as she laughed with him.’

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 

What do you want people to take away from reading this book?

First and foremost, I want them to enjoy a cracking good read!
But also take on board that love – and sex – isn’t the exclusive preserve of the young. And remind them that people who have spent decades bringing up a family deserve their own life in middle age.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?

I’m currently working on a book about a young married couple who are forced apart because of a terrible family tragedy. They meet again in their sixties and fall in love again. But is this real love or just a reaction to finally resolving the past tragedy together? Can they disrupt their lives to be together?

My latest book, just out in the UK, A Perfect Husband, is about a woman, Lily, married to Freddy, who, unbeknownst to poor Lily, is a compulsive gambler. You just have to meet Freddy, everyone. He’s a challenge, a damaged man. But you’ll be intrigued and beguiled, I think. Let me know!
 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: 2 Print copy of THE LAVENDER HOUSE by Hilary Boyd. *US and Canada*

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: ‘Should grown-up children have a say in a divorced/widowed parent’s romantic attachments – dad or mum? Or is this entirely the parents’ own business?’

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Info:

Nancy de Freitas is the glue that holds her family together. Caught between her ageing, ailing mother Frances, and her struggling daughter Louise, frequent user of Nancy’s babysitting services, it seems Nancy’s fate is to quietly go on shouldering the burden of responsibility for all four generations. Her divorce four years ago put paid to any thoughts of a partner to share her later years with. Now it looks like her family is all she has.

Then she meets Jim. Smoker, drinker, unsuccessful country singer and wearer of cowboy boots, he should be completely unsuited to the very together Nancy. And yet, there is a real spark.
But Nancy’s family don’t trust Jim one bit. They’re convinced he’ll break her heart, maybe run off with her money – he certainly distracts her from her family responsibilities.

Can she be brave enough to follow her heart? Or will she remain glued to her family’s side and walk away from one last chance for love?
Book Links: Amazon  
 

Meet the Author:

Hilary Boyd trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, then as a marriage guidance counselor. After a degree in English Literature at London University in her thirties, she moved into health journalism, writing a Mind, Body, Spirit column for the Daily Express. She published six non-fiction books on health-related subjects before turning to fiction and writing a string of bestsellers, starting with Thursdays in the Park. Hilary is married to film director/producer Don Boyd.
Website | Twitter |

 
 
 

33 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Lavender House by Hilary Boyd”

  1. janinecatmom

    I am actually dealing with this right now. My mom found a great guy and they are planning to get married and his daughter is going out of her way doing everything she can think of to break them up. It’s entirely up to the adults to make their own decision.

  2. conniefischer

    It is, of course, the parents’ decision but, hopefully, they will do all they can to reassure their children that their love for them will never change. This needs to be presented to the children in a matter-of-fact manner letting them know that they do not get a vote but – again – their parents’ love for them will never change.

  3. Patricia Barraclough

    Children are going to be concerned. Having been down this road with my widowed father, it is his marriage. Accept it and support him. Be there for him if it is a mistake. DO NOT interfere unless there is a major problem or danger to them. We wouldn’t appreciate our parent’s interference with our marriage, we should respect their choice.

  4. laurieg72

    We also went through this a while ago . My M-I-L has been dead for 10 years. My F-I-L met a woman 12 years younger from a different state via a romance website( 78 and 66). 5 years ago they moved in together. They saw a lawyer at that time concerning marriage. The lawyer strongly urged my F-I-L not to marry her as everything would automatically go to her. Ihe kids would be out regardless of what he put in the will. He would also be responsible for her medical bills. She was a cancer survivor. They are still together. He has given her his house and some money. We really don’t know if the children will get anything. She has isolated him from us. He is now blind and totally dependent on her. I think children can say something.

  5. lraines78

    I don’t think the children should have a say but I do believe the parent should be watching and assessing the relationship.

  6. Kathleen O

    It’s a person own business what they do with your life. You can offer an opinion but in the end it’s the person decision to make about their life.

  7. Kay Garrett

    I definitely think it’s entirely the adults involved. Consideration should surely be taken into account if there are dependent children at home and how a relationship will affect them. However, once of age, whether moved out or not, they should have no say other than to the extent if they fear harm to come to their parent. They they should TALK to the parent and be reassured that feelings are unfounded or misunderstood.

  8. noraadrienne

    It would be non of their freakin’ business. They have their own lives and kids to worry about and bills to pay. If they did ask or make a comment it just might hurt their status in my will. I’m a very nasty bitch when people don’t mind their own business.

  9. KermitsGirl

    I want to say none of their business, but I also understand wanting to protect their parent and their legacy.

  10. Meredith Miller

    It’s none of their business, but if something is obviously wrong in a bad way (abuse), I’d expect someone to speak up.

  11. Angel C

    I would love to say no, but I know from experience that there are a lot of spammers in the world looking to take advantage of the elderly so I think children should be aware and cautious for their parents

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