Sunday, 30 August 2015

From Stormy Seas to a Safe Harbour

As this is a holiday weekend in the UK I'm celebrating by offering Safe Harbour as a free download on Amazon here. I've had such fabulous feedback that I thought I'd share some of the questions I've been asked about the book:

What inspired the setting for your book?
I’ve been on several cruises, each different in its own way, to diverse destinations in various types of weather. Every one, though, had an almost mystical feel about it, an excitement and an awareness of things to come, as yet unseen. There is a romance about cruising that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the love between two people, though of course that isn’t the case in Safe Harbour. Nothing could be more to the fore than the feelings Beth and Ryan have for each other.

I heard you had a problem with naming your characters?
I didn’t actually have a problem at all. They, on the other, had strong objections to their original names and insisted I change them. As I did so their personalities asserted themselves and my characters became more real to me. I’ve learned over time that try as I may to write my protagonists they always have the last word.

Beth, shows a huge amount of courage in taking the action she did? Are all your heroines so strong?
I like to think so. I’ve never been able to write the type of woman who fawns on her man without having a mind of her own. I believe we’d all like to trust we would take what we saw as the right decision, rather than the easy option. There’s no doubt that Beth does that!

Beth faces a terrible dilemma. Was there no other action she could have taken than the one she did?
I suspect there might have been several. None, though, would have allowed her to remain true to herself and the principles that guide her. I prefer to believe that the heartbreak they go through in the end forges an even stronger bond between her and Ryan.

There is one chapter in the book that is quite sexually explicit. Did you find this difficult to write?
Strangely enough, no. Perhaps had I thought about it I might have done but once I started I didn’t think about it…just wrote to the end. Naturally it needed a bit of editing but I truly believe that if I’d stopped to consider it would have ended up being stilted. I don’t believe it is. In fact, I have received several compliments that it is very sensitively written.

I loved your characters in Safe Harbour. Can I look forward to seeing any of them in future books?
You aren’t the first person to have asked me this question. I felt a strong affinity with Ryan’s sister, Siobhan. I think it’s possible her own story is waiting to be written.

I have Safe Harbour downloaded onto my Kindle but would like a signed copy for my friend's birthday. Is this possible?
I’d be delighted to send you a signed copy. If you let me have your details by email at I’ll be happy to arrange this with you.  

Is Safe Harbour available to borrow from my library?
Not at the moment but I’m happy to say it will come on stream in March of next year.

What are you writing at the moment?
I’m very excited about this. Having written three contemporary romances – the second is published and my latest is at present with my agent, Lisa Eveleigh – I have decided to take a leap of faith and attempt a romance set in Regency times. I grew up with Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen and I love the elegance and etiquette of that period. This project will be longer in the writing – Safe Harbour took about six months – as there is a huge amount of research to do first. It’s important for my own sake and that of my readers that I get it right.

It’s been a delight to reproduce some of the questions here. Do you have a question you would like to ask about the book?

If you've already read Safe Harbour please tell your friends they can read it for free if they download before midnight on Sunday 30th August. If you haven't, I hope you enjoy it. I’d love to hear from you. 


  1. I'm always interested to rehouse other authors have set about producing a new book. Great blog post Natalie and I will download your book to read (and review,) at some point.

    1. That's very kind of you, Lizzie, and I appreciate it very much. I will look forward to your review

  2. Interesting interview and I've just downloaded the book so will look forward to reading it soon - thanks!

  3. I went to download Safe Harbour and then remembered I already had! It is on my kindle waiting to be read with many others but I promise I shall bump it up the queue. Having been on a cruise myself, I am very intrigued.

    1. Wendy, I daren't even count the number of books I have waiting to be read, either paperback or on Kindle. I hope you enjoy Safe Harbour when it reaches the top of the pile