Today I have the very great pleasure to have historical romance and intrigue author; Lorna Gray, author of In The Shadow of Winter visiting Chicks, Rogues and Scandals today. So, sit back and let’s let to know a little a bit about Lorna…

“I have a strong relationship with the past just like Eleanor, the heroine of debut novel In the Shadow of Winter. My inspiration to write about 1940s Britain comes from the traces that still live around us today. It comes from the tales that my elderly neighbours tell, and from the details and contradictions that have been recorded from a time we know so much about and yet no two people ever describe it in quite the same way.

This is what first inspired me to write In the Shadow of Winter and to set the intensely emotional adventure that unfolds within it, with all of its danger, romance and mystery, in the winter of 1947.

My exploration of the post-war period is continuing with The War Widow, with further releases planned for the coming months. I am published by Harper Impulse. I’m married and I live in the Cotswolds, UK.”

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Goodreads / Amazon

Frankie Hi Lorna, Welcome to Chicks, Rogues and Scandals! Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today.

Firstly, Can you tell us a little about your latest release? This can be your most recent or up-and coming release.

Lorna Hi Frankie, thanks so much for having me on your blog! I’m delighted to tell you that my second post-WWII mystery The War Widow has just been released by HarperImpulse in paperback and on Kindle.

The year is 1947 and, while the bells of a Royal Wedding peel out to the fading echoes of war, danger stalks the coastline of Wales.

Labelled a hysterical, grieving divorcee in the wake of her ex-husband’s death, no one will believe Kate Ward is being pursued by two violent men demanding answers she cannot give. Not the police, not the guests at the Aberystwyth hotel, and certainly not the reclusive war-veteran-turned-crime-novelist, Adam Hitchen, a reserved widower who is the only source of kindness in a shadowy world of suspicion and fear.

As ghosts old and new rise to haunt her, Kate must rely on all her strength and courage as she risks both her identity and her life to uncover a twisted web of lies.

Frankie Wow!! The War Widow sounds absolutely amazing. If you could take a holiday in any era and place, When and where would it be?

Lorna Can I have a holiday in Regency England please? Dancing, horse riding and long summer days (or at least that’s how they make it look in the various adaptations of Pride and Prejudice). Sounds like heaven.

Frankie Sounds great to me. If you could have one of your books made into a film, which book would it be and who would play your lead characters?

Lorna If they made a film of The War Widow, the actress who plays Kate will have to really capture her quiet sense of humour and her oft-underestimated inner resolve. I think Carey Mulligan could do it perfectly. Adam could be played by Henry Cavill – suitably brooding with a nice smile.

 

Frankie This is a film that I would love to watch. Out of all your work, who is your favourite character and why?

Lorna Oooh, now that’s a tough one. Obviously, I’m totally in love with the hero and heroine in my books otherwise I wouldn’t love writing about them. But I really admire Kate (the heroine of The War Widow). She isn’t an extrovert but she’s steadfast. For me there is no more proof of her bravery than in the way she faces her most personal challenge of all – the question of who she is set against the way other people perceive her.

Frankie If you ever decided to write a different genre of book, which would it be?

Lorna One of these days I’ll have to try writing about the present day. I spend so much of my time thinking about the 1940s and researching the era and so on, focussing my attention on 2018 would be quite a challenge!

Frankie What are you reading at the minute? Or your last book you read?

Lorna I’ve just read a very unappealing-sounding memoir by a retired doctor for the sake of researching medical training in the post-war period. He called it Bombs, Boils and Brushes. Yuck. Luckily, he turned out to be a really likeable character and fantastically useful!

Frankie Despite the title, that sounds like an interesting read. When writing do you plan the full book ahead, or do you just go with the flow?

Lorna I always have an overall plan when I start but the finer details develop as I get to know my characters. They tend to have their own opinions about what they want to do.

Frankie How do you like to relax once you’ve finished writing?

Lorna I keep a fabulous little herd of goats and a few ponies so when my head is full of book-stuff and I need a little break, I go out to the field and talk to them for a while. Believe me, a goat is a wonderful companion when you want to forget a few stresses. They are either eating or sleeping and always pleased to see you. A bit like vegetarian dogs really.

Frankie Aw, what a wonderful way to de-stress. That sounds wonderful!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today, Lorna I have just one more cheeky question, just for fun….

If you were stranded in the middle of nowhere over night, no civilisation around, with nothing but your backpack what four other things would you have with you?

Glenfinnan

Lorna Well, if I was going to be stranded, I’d have to make sure it was somewhere I’d really like to be such as Scotland. So let’s say I’ve managed to hitch a ride on the Fort William to Mallaig train (the Harry Potter train) and stepped off as it was rolling gently around the perimeter of one of the great lochs. It’ll be summer, obviously, so the air will have that warm, slightly mossy smell. There are a few pine trees growing on an island in the middle of the lock and the sky is just settling to dusk, turning the expanse of water a dappled mixture of very soft blue and pink. There won’t be a train back again until tomorrow so I’ll find myself a nice flat bit of ground which is dry and just sufficiently sheltered by the rising land to my back. Out of my backpack will come a blanket for warmth and comfort, a packed tea containing all sorts of nice things and a cushion for my head. I’ll lean back against a convenient rock that’s still warm from the sun and I’ll watch the rabbits hopping by and the buzzards heading to their roost and wait until the owls come out.

And because I still have one spare item that I’m allowed to bring with me, I imagine I’ll have asked my husband to come along too. Because at moments like that, it’s really nice to have someone on hand who will quietly share their thermos with you.

Frankie Aww, that’s really lovely! I can see vividly now. Thank you!

***

In The Shadow of Winter

The Cotswolds, 1947

The relentless winter of 1947 holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war…

Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. And with a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard—for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around…

On sale now and can be purchased at Amazon.

The War Widow

The echoes of war live long in the mind…

Wales, 1947

Injured and terrified after an attempted abduction, desperation drives artist Kate Ward to the idyllic scene of her ex-husband’s recent suicide. Labelled a hysterical, grieving divorcée, no one believes she is being pursued by two violent men demanding answers she cannot give. Not the police, not the doctors, and not the guests at the Aberystwyth hotel she has come to in an attempt to find out what happened to her charismatic photographer ex-husband, and why her sanity—and her life—are now at risk.

Kate can trust no one, not even the reclusive war-veteran-turned-crime-novelist, Adam Hitchen, a reserved widower and the only source of kindness in a shadowy world of suspicion and fear. And as ghosts old and new rise to haunt her, Kate must rely on all her strength and courage to uncover the shocking truth hidden within a twisted web of lies…

On sale now and can be purchased at Amazon.

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