Giveaway: three copies of THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME to lucky readers via rafflecopter!
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William Morrow Trade Paperback;
February 3, 2015; $14.99;
From the author of New York Times and USA Today bestseller The Girl Who Came Home comes an unforgettable historical novel that tells the story of two little sisters – orphaned flower sellers – and the young woman who will be transformed by their experiences.
‘For Little Sister … I will never stop looking for you.’
1876. Among the filth and depravity of Covent Garden’s flower markets, orphaned Irish sisters Flora and Rosie Flynn sell posies of violets and watercress to survive. It is a pitiful existence, made bearable only by the presence of each other. When they become separated, the decision of a desperate woman sets their lives on very different paths.
1912. Twenty-one-year-old Tilly Harper leaves the peace and beauty of her native Lake District for London, to become assistant housemother at Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls. For years, the home has cared for London’s orphaned and crippled flower girls, taking them off the streets. For Tilly, the appointment is a fresh start; a chance to leave her troubled past behind.
Soon after she arrives, Tilly discovers a notebook belonging to Flora Flynn. Hidden between the pages she finds dried flowers and a heartbreaking tale of loss and separation as Flora’s entries reveal how she never stopped looking for her sister. Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. But the search will not be easy. Full of twists and surprises, it leads the caring and determined young woman into unexpected places, including the depths of her own heart.
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When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
I came to writing as a second career after being made redundant from in 2009. With two young children at home I wanted to find a career I could combine with being a mum. I initially wrote a parenting blog and from there I really got the writing bug. It was when I wrote my debut novel THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME in 2011 that I knew this was the job I was meant to be doing. I couldn’t stop writing, even when the rejections were coming in thick and fast. That was when I realised I had to pursue my dream to be a published author and last year, 2014, it finally happened!
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
One piece of advice I was given last year by a fellow author was to not read reviews that are less than three stars (this advice came after I had read a particularly harsh one-star review which I found very upsetting). It was great advice and I have stuck to it. I respect all reviewer’s opinions, but it is just too painful to read very personal critical reviews of your work. I’ve come to realise that sometimes it is better to just let the reviews be and live in ignorance of the reasons why somebody didn’t like the novel.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I enjoy walking in the Wicklow Mountains near our home in Ireland. I also enjoy cooking and baking with the kids. Along with a group of friends and neighbours, we’ve been taking turns to host themed dinner parties. We hosted an Alice in Wonderland and a 1950s American Diner themed party. It’s great fun!
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Apart from getting married and having my two children, I would have to say being published in 2014. It was such a crazy, fun, hectic rollercoaster ride, and when I found out I’d make the New York Times bestsellers I was blown away. Such an adventure. Such a joy!
What is your favorite comfort food?
It would have to be a good old fashioned pudding with custard. I make a delicious sticky toffee pudding and usually end up eating most of it myself. Oops.
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
Autumn. I love the colours and walks in the woods on a sunny, crisp autumn day. I was engaged, married and had both my children in autumn, so it’s a very significant season for me.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
My laptop! I have absolutely no idea how anyone used to write an entire novel long hand, or on an old-fashioned typewriter. I have the utmost respect for the Brontes, Jane Austen and Dickens.
What project are you working on next?
I am in the early stages of writing my third novel titled THE MUSE which is set in post-war London of the roaring twenties during the turbulent times of the Bright Young Things. The novel is about the rise of a young woman from chambermaid at the glamorous Savoy Hotel to renowned stage star. I’m really enjoying researching and writing in this era where social boundaries – particularly for women – where in a state of flux. I’m excited to see the book and my characters coming together.
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
I am on a virtual book tour from January 26 to February 20. The sites I will be visiting are all listed at the following link http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/11/a-memory-of-violets-novel-of-londons.html
I will be adding any new interviews or personal appearances to my website and Facebook pages. Details are at http://www.hazelgaynor.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/hazelgaynorbooks I am also on Twitter @HazelGaynor
The Girl Who Came Home
NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BEST SELLER
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 ROMANTIC NOVELISTS’ ASSOCIATION (RoNA) HISTORICAL ROMANCE AWARD
A voyage across the ocean becomes the odyssey of a lifetime for a young Irish woman . . .
Ireland, 1912 . . .
Fourteen members of a small village set sail on RMS Titanic, hoping to find a better life in America. For seventeen-year-old Maggie Murphy, the journey is bittersweet. Though her future lies in an unknown new place, her heart remains in Ireland with Séamus, the sweetheart she left behind. When disaster strikes, Maggie is one of the few passengers in steerage who survives. Waking up alone in a New York hospital, she vows never to speak of the terror and panic of that terrible night ever again.
Chicago, 1982 . . .
Adrift after the death of her father, Grace Butler struggles to decide what comes next. When her Great Nana Maggie shares the painful secret she harbored for almost a lifetime about the Titanic, the revelation gives Grace new direction—and leads her and Maggie to unexpected reunions with those they thought lost long ago.
Inspired by true events, The Girl Who Came Home poignantly blends fact and fiction to explore the Titanic tragedy’s impact and its lasting repercussions on survivors and their descendants.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hazel Gaynor is an exciting new voice in historical fiction. Her writing has been featured in the Sunday Times Magazine and Irish Times, and she was the recipient of the 2012 Cecil Day Lewis award for Emerging Writers. Originally from North Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland with her husband, and two young children. For more information, please visit her on the web at http://www.hazelgaynor.com.