Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Handing over to Rachel Lyndhurst...

... because it's half-term, and I have 3 children and a 3ooo words a day habit to feed. And, unlike some lucky people, no gorgeous new book to celebrate. Hope everyone's having a nice half-term (especially if you don't have kids - that would be ideal, really) - here's Rachel!

Friendship and Inspiration - How a Book was Born

Please allow me to introduce myself. The name’s Lyndhurst, Rachel Lyndhurst, debut author of Storm’s Heart, an Embrace Books launch title.

I owe India Grey so many favours I’ve lost count, but I just never seem to get round to cleaning her oven and fridge like I say I’m going to. So, as a down payment on my debts of gratitude, I’ve given India the day off and leant her Rufus Sewell to rub her feet all day and feed her a box of Hotel Chocolat. I‘m still working on Jeremy Clarkson for the school run ...

So what’s the deal with India, I hear you say? Well, the eternally youthful goddess of romance has had a great influence on me as a writer. It all began in 2007 with her debut novel, The Italian’s Defiant Mistress.

I was starting to learn, scribbling my first ever effort at a category romance, and took a pile of new Mills & Boon Moderns on holiday with me to ‘study’ (hard work, honest!). I couldn’t put The Italian’s Defiant Mistress down, it simply sparkled and India’s ‘voice’ rang so true. Inspired, I nervously emailed her on my return and that, as they say, was the start of a beautiful friendship.

And now down to specifics, the inspiration. Here’s a picture of Spanish Aristocrat, Forced Bride luxuriating in thehot sand of Lindos, Rhodes, the main location of Storm’s Heart.

With double inspiration of this calibre, how could a romance novel not be born? Sun, sea, romance, it was perfect.

Then India introduced me to the music of Dashboard Confessional when she put Vindicated on her playlist for Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire's Pleasure. The song struck a chord (bad pun, toyed with changing it – didn’t), and I bought a few of their albums. Their song Rooftops and Invitations blew me away and formed the next layer of inspiration – there’s a lot of rooftop living in Lindos and the book opens with an explosive invitation … You can listen to it and read the lyrics here

And then do you know what India Grey did next? The gorgeous creature read Storm’s Heart and endorsed it!

“As refreshing and sharp as a G&T on a summer’s day, Rachel Lyndhurst is a sparkling new voice in romantic fiction.”


So, in a way, I feel that Storm’s Heart is almost as much India’s as it is mine, and I will love her forever for her support and encouragement.

India Grey also makes a cracking pot of tea.

Thanks for having me, India! And, er, you’d better add ‘tidy cupboard under the stairs’ to the list.

Storm’s Heart is available as an eBook or paperback from:



You can also find out more about Rachel and Storm’s Heart here:

(Thanks for babysitting the poor, neglected blog, Rach! Any chance you could take the children off my hands for a couple of days too? xx)


Morton S Gray said...

Hi Rachel/India,
You always sound so bouncy Rachel. I think I need an injection of your energy, but then I would imagine you are on a high at the moment after releasing your debut novel. I really enjoyed it by the way. Mx

Abby Green said...

Well done Rachel, hope you're celebrating in the manner of a glamorous lady romance novelist with lots of champagne! Book sounds to look it up now. Word count? What word count?!
x Abby Green

Sharon Kendrick said...

HUGE congratulations on STORM'S HEART, Rachel - great title and bet it'll go down a storm (well, why should you have the monopoly on puns?!).

It's lovely to hear the story of a book's conception and birth - and to illustrate friendships along the way.

And now I'm looking at the tea photo with my usual lifestyle envy (even though I love all my quirky Emma Bridgwater crocks.....) Does Ms Grey always preside over a beautiful, heavy silver teapot like that?

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Thanks, Morton, there's a very fine line between 'bouncy' and mad - I cross it sometimes and get into trouble.I also make a point of never blogging when I'm grumpy, which is probably cheating. So Pleased you enjoyed Storm's Heart!

Ah, Abby, I'm doing my best to be glamorous during this damp half term. Do tracksuit bottoms and a bottle of red count?

Brilliant to see you here, Sharon and many thanks for your congratulations - I'm really honoured! Ms Grey presides gorgeously over everything, but in this instance the teapot belonged to Messrs Fortnum & Mason. I'm sure you're acquainted! X

India said...

Hello all, just sticking my head in to join the party before resolutely disconnecting the internet again and getting back to my book. Sharon, my china is random Bridgewater/Burleigh too (and after yesterday's half-term trip to paint yet more at the Bridgewater studio in Stoke I'm further than ever from emulating Fortnum's elegance at home) but just looking at that silver teapot reminded me of the tea we had at the Savoy that time - do you remember? It was the first time I'd met you, and I was utterly incomprehensible with awe, however I do remember the Hummingbird Vanilla tea I had. It was so delicious and I've been trying to track it down ever since, with no luck.

If anybody ever comes across it anywhere be sure to let me know. Feel sure that it's all I need to make this book really start flowing...

(Must not waste time in further internet searching... Must not...)

Teresa Morgan said...

India, take up the offer of the oven being cleaned - quick! Before she gets stuck into her next novel.

Rachel, any time you want to come clean an oven, my could do with some tender loving care - I'll have a pot of tea waiting!

Not so sure about Jeremy Clarkson driving the kids to school... he drives a bit fast.

Well done with Storm's Heart, I thoroughly enjoyed it. And wonderful that you and India have been able to become friends through it.

Sharon Kendrick said...

India, I DO remember (cue restrained piano accompaniment) was ever-so-elegant, wasn't it?

And Rachel, I'm directing readers over here - to read about your brand new book.....and teapots!

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Teresa, Looks like I'm going to have to plan an enormous trilogy to get out of the oven cleaning! And thanks for saying such lovely things about Storm's Heart - I still haven't come to terms with the fact that people are actually reading it! And it is a bit scary!

Sharon, you are utterly adorable and you spoil me! Thank you so very, very much. XX

Serenity said...

Hi Rachel, love the cover of your book! Very evocative! Great to hear of your relationship, it's great to have someone you can talk to who understands the ups and downs of writing (and writing romance in particular).

Rebecca Emin said...

What a lovely photo of you both today. Great blog post, and it's amazing how friendships can be formed over the good old internet when there is such a strong mutual interest.

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Thanks, Serenity,all the covers for the Embrace launch books are amazing. I was really pleased with it, as it does give an accurate feel of the book inside.

Rebecca, you are so right! And I'm beginning to wonder how people ever promoted their books before the internet. It must have taken forever!