Congratulations to Julie Shackman whose book. ‘A Room at the Manor’ is out today in the UK in paperback, published by Allen & Unwin. It is also available as an eBook and audiobook. Julie has become quite a regular on my blog and it is always a pleasure to have her visit.
Julie has written a post about where she writes and how it inspired the tea room in her book. Before you read it though here’s what ‘A Room at the Manor’ is about.
For all the readers who love Cathy Kelly and Maeve Binchy.
When her Maltese love affair turns sour, Lara McDonald returns to her quiet Scottish hometown of Fairview heart broken, yet determined – instead of looking for another PR position, she decides to follow her dream of baking. She impulsively takes the first job offered and finds herself working for local dragon Kitty Walker in her tea room True Brew.
Lara’s life is full of surprises, however, not the least being an unlikely friendship forged with one of Kitty’s elderly customers, the Laird Hugo Carmichael. The Carmichael family has lived at the beautiful Glenlovatt Manor for almost 300 years and, although in need of renovation, Hugo, his son and grandson currently make it their home.
There’s something about Lara that Hugo likes, and when Hugo suddenly passes away, Lara is stunned to discover she is mentioned in his will. But not everyone is happy with the old Laird’s faith in Lara.
A story of love, family, hope and trust, A Room at the Manor will delight every reader keen to find their place.
Tea & Thistles – My Inspiration for A Room at the Manor
I write every day in a gorgeous little tea shop and it was this place, that inspired me for “Thistles,” the fictional tea room in A Room at the Manor.
I can’t write at home. I’ve tried. But there are just too many distractions, ranging from social media (Twitter especially) to things around the house.
So during week days, I get all my writing things together and take myself off to this local tea shop.
It was while I was sitting in there, around eighteen months ago, admiring the glistening slices of cakes; sparkly topped cup cakes and fruit studded scones, that an idea came to me, to create my own tea room.
It was from there, that the idea for “Thistles,” was born, together with my heroine, Lara McDonald and moody, aristocratic sculptor, Vaughan Carmichael.
I think that wherever you write, has to inspire you and my local tea shop is no exception. From its tempting baking to calm, pretty atmosphere; gingham quilted cushions and polished tables, it a perfect place to people watch and be creative – and it was whilst sitting there, that I was able to pull together my own array of characters and decide on their future.
Its floor to ceiling windows look out onto cobbled side streets, leafy trees and an eclectic mix of local shops and there is usually a wide range of music playing in the background.
For me, my favourite little tea shop is a source of calm, inspiration and reflection, which I have attempted to reflect in “Thistles.”
I hope you enjoy reading about Lara and Vaughan’s story, every bit as much as I enjoyed writing about them.
And remember – happiness is a slice of cake in each hand!
A Room at the Manor is out in the UK on kindle and in paperback from Atlantic Books. It can be purchased from Amazon UK:-
About Julie Shackman
Julie Shackman trained as a journalist and studied Media & Communication before turning her hand to women’s fiction. When not reading and writing romance, she writes verses and captions for greeting card companies.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/G13Julie
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman