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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Spotlight with Rachel Brimble

Hello and welcome to Wednesday Spotlight! I’m pleased to welcome back Rachel Brimble. Rachel and I are sitting in Oliver’s pub on this lovely fall day, chatting about her latest book. Please come in and join us for a drink.

Standing tall and mighty in a sky of midnight blue velvet, fiery torches gleam like sorcerer’s flames. The interior of Oliver’s Pub gives chase to a marble staircase with an elaborately turned balustrade and high end sculptures behind beveled glass enclosures. Rushing down the corridor to meet Rachel, Sharon fights the urge to kick off her high heels and walk barefoot down the plush, red carpeting.

The beckoning wail of sax drifts out of the piano bar, the bluesy sound of jazz bristling beneath her skin. After spending the better part of the afternoon at a writers conference, unwinding over a chilled chardonnay sounds like utter bliss. Seduced by the sound of sax, she saunters up the three steps leading to the mezzanine and orders up.

As Rachel struts into the pub, She by Elvis Costello softly plays on the piano. Wildly winking, Oliver stands behind the bar, pumping his biceps.

What can I get you, love?

Rachel: Well, hello again, Oliver! You get better looking every time I see you…I’ll have a glass of your best Chenin Blanc, if you don’t mind. Thank you.

Sharon: Hello, Rachel, how are you on this lovely amber day?

Rachel: Absolutely fine, thanks, Sharon. Although I’m sure “fine” is going to up to “great” once I have that glass of wine in my hand, lol!

The glasses clink. Cheers, my friend!

Sharon: While we wait for Oliver to bring out appetizers and cocktails, tell us about the setting of your book. I understand it’s about a pub.

Rachel: The pub is at the center of the story, yes. It is owned by the heroine’s father but was managed by her mother until her untimely death. Upon the mother’s death, her ashes were scattered there. After her funeral, her husband announces he is selling the pub in its entirety. The heroine, their daughter Grace, begs him to give or sell it to her. He refuses. The battle commences…

Oliver materializes, balancing a bottle of Chenin Blanc and a platter of mini bruschettas above his head. Singing along to She, loudly and quite off key, he pours the wine in a glass and sets in front of Rachel, wildly blowing kisses. Plucking up a bite-size bruschetta, he plops it into her mouth, offering a bone-melting smile

Rachel: Mmm…do you want to come home with me, by any chance?

With great ceremony, Oliver arranges cocktail plates and napkins, singing the whole time.

Sharon: Tell us about the hero and heroine

Rachel: Grace Butler is the heroine. She runs one of her father’s many nightclubs and when the story opens she is tough and willing to work for him. However, the shine of the dangerous side of life is tarnishing. Her mother’s death and following argument with him gives her the push she has been waiting for and Grace leaves. And then the hero arrives…

Jimmy Betts is a social worker desperate to re-home four children, with him as their foster father before Christmas. He is racing against the clock or risking these kids being separated. His only option for quick money is to take a job with bad man, Karl Butler. But he actually ends up working for Grace…

Sharon: Ooh do share about these mysterious ashes

Rachel: The mystery is not so much about the ashes but why Grace’s father is so desperate to be rid of the pub that is his wife’s final resting place. And no, I’m not telling you anything. You’ll have to read the book ;)

Sharon: Oh, after such an intriguing build up, it’s a must read! Sounds like a spooky theme for Halloween. I understand there are a few ghostly secrets in this book, do share!

Rachel: The secrets are all Karl’s, Grace’s father. Once we find out what the secret is, it gives Grace the understanding and power of empathy and forgiveness. That’s all I’m saying. Sorry, Sharon as much as I love you, you’re not getting me to spill the beans. Well, unless I have another glass of this lovely wine, of course!

Sharon: Of course do indulge in another glass. And I know I speak for all readers, we can’t wait to purchase this intriguing book! I love to hate the villain. Tell us about the bad guy.

Rachel: The bad guy is most definitely Karl. He is mean, tough and violent. He wants things done his way or no way. He is a man who is used to being in charge and doesn’t suffer fools gladly. His communication is dire and often leads to upset and heartbreak.

Sharon: Ooo…make me shiver!

Oliver appears, pushing a caddy with coffee, tea and a decadent strawberry cheese cake. With the pizzazz of a French chef, he slices a huge hunk and feeds a bite to Rachel.

Rachel: Oh, my lordy lord! Did you make this Oliver? It is just divine.

Oliver graciously accepts the compliment with a sweeping bow. Plucks up a copy of Rachel’s book from the stack on the bar. With his most dazzling smile, he asks. If I might so boldly have the honor of your autograph, love?

Rachel: Of course, To my favorite man in the world, Oliver…all my love, Rachel x

Oliver: A keepsake to treasure always, thank you, my sweet.

Sharon: Sadly, Rachel, this brings us to the end of our interview. Before we part, my hobby is collecting legends and superstitions from my guests. Can you share one with me from this book?

Rachel: Hmm…not sure there are any legends or superstitions in the book. How about a lesson? Would that be okay? I think the lesson to be learned from Grace’s story is the importance of honesty. If people are honest, no matter how much courage it takes to be so, it causes less hurt that the lie ever can. Do you know what I mean? Lying hurts…and scars.

Sharon: Absolutely, my friend. Where can readers buy this book and get in touch with you?

Rachel: Love, love, love hearing from readers and you can contact me here:

Sharon: Thank you, and thank you for a delightful interview. Best of luck with your book. Here’s a teaser

Nightclub manager, Grace Butler is on a mission to buy the pub where her mother’s ashes are scattered – except the vendor wants to sell to anyone but her. And the vendor happens to be her father…with a secret Grace will do anything to uncover.

Social worker and all-round good guy, Jimmy Betts needs cash to buy a house for three special kids before their care home closes. In a desperate bid for cash, he agrees to a one-time ‘job’ for bad-man Karl Butler. But in a sudden turn of events, Jimmy finds himself employed by Karl’s beautiful, funny and incredibly sexy daughter, Grace.

Their lives are so different except for one unifying thread – they are both trying to escape the binds of their tyrannical fathers. But is the key to their liberty each other?


Rachel lives with her husband and two young daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK.  She started writing short stories about eight years ago but once her children were at school, she embarked on her first novel. It was published in 2007.  Since then, she’s had several books published with The Wild Rose Press, Eternal Press and Lyrical Press.  She recently acquired a US agent with her second Victorian historical. A member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, Rachel hopes to have a further two novels, one contemporary and one Victorian published in 2012.
When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family.  Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water. And in the evening?  Well, a well-deserved glass of wine is never, ever refused…


Sharon Donovan said...

A warm welcome for Rachel Brimble. Oliver, keep the wine coming, my dear!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hi Rachel and Sharon - and Oliver, of course. (blows a kiss)

Rachel - it's lovely to see a 'fellow Brit' at Sharon's blog.

Great interview, as always, and 'Paying The Piper' sounds like a fascinating read.

Wishing you much success and many sales.

Debra St. John said...

It's so lovely to be in Oliver's Pub today to celebrate with Rachel.

Hugs to Rachel and Sharon, and kisses to Oliver! (Oliver, yes, be a dear and keep that wine flowing...and I'll take a piece of that decadent cheesecake while you're at it!)

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Lyn, dear friend, of course you can have a glass of wine but Oliver keeps a nice bottle of mead on hand just for you!

Sharon Donovan said...

Hugs Debra, thank you for dropping in to visit. Here is Oliver with wine and cheese cake

Mary Ricksen said...

I hope the poor woman wasn't buried in the wall! In any case you got me wondering. And that's a good thing.
Good luck! Hi Sharon

Rachel Brimble said...

I am SO sorry I didn't make it here yesterday, guys! It was a mad day of meeting a friend for lunch, dentist & vets appointments!

Oliver and Sharon are such amazing hosts - i love being here and being treated like royalty.

I am enjoying my blog tour so much and it is all down to you guys, aren't writers the best??

R x

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you for a delightful visit in Oliver's Pub, Rachel. Loved catching up over a delicious goblet of wine. Best of luck with your blog tour.

P.L. Parker said...

I absolutely love the cover on this one. Very intriguing and the blurb is provoking.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thanks for popping in, Patsy