Second up is a fabulous guest post by author Nikola Scott on the blog tour of her book, The Orchard Girls. The guest post is one all us bookworms will love: ‘Why Bookshops are Magic’…..Enjoy!
about the orchard girls
Title: The Orchard Girls
Author: Nikola Scott
Genre: Dual Timeline Historical Fiction
Estimated page count: 480
Formats available: Paperback, Audiobook and eBook
Tour organised by: Rachel’s Random Resources
London, 2004. Frankie didn’t always have it easy. Growing up motherless, she was raised by her grandmother, who loved her – and betrayed her. For years, the rift between them seemed irreparable. But when their paths suddenly cross again, Frankie is shocked to realise that her grandmother is slowly losing control of her memory. There is a darkness in her past that won’t stay buried – secrets going back to wartime that may have a devastating effect on Frankie’s own life.
Somerset, 1940. When seventeen-year-old Violet’s life is ripped apart by the London Blitz, she runs away to join the Women’s Land Army, wanting nothing more than to leave her grief behind. But as well as the terror of enemy air raids, the land girls at Winterbourne Orchards face a powerful enemy closer to home. One terrible night, their courage will be put to the test – and the truth of what happened must be kept hidden, forever . . .
Why bookshops are magic by nikola scott
Whenever I move to a new city, one of the first things I look for is the local bookshop. The library is a close second, but it’s the bookshop that makes me feel like I’ve got an anchor in a new environment, an element of familiarity, a potential happy place.
Over the years, I’ve discovered a few of the big ones: Daunt Books and Hatchards in London, the absolutely enormous Waterstones on Piccadilly, which stretches up several floors, the lovely Foyles down on the Southbank, which always has lots of goodies to discover. I’ve been into Powell’s Books in Portland, Oregon, got lost in The Strand Bookstore in NYC, with its fabled 18 miles of books, and visited Politics and Prose in Washington DC, and they were all impressive.
But it’s the small gems that I love most of all: that little shop around the corner, where staff handwrites personal recommendations on little cards, where someone tacks up bunting for the summer and counts down 24 Christmas Reads in December. There’s often a squashy sofa in there, sometimes a few tables and a little coffee bar, and the stationery corner is filled with bookish goodies. It’s woodsy and smells overwhelmingly of new books and promise and coffee.
When you step through the door into such a place – is there always a little bell or is that too picture-perfect? I’d like to think not! – you cannot help but breathe a sigh of relief. You’re leaving the real world behind for a little while or, better even, exchanging it for something much more colourful than your daily commute, more exciting than your weekly shop or that dentist appointment you’ve been dreading. There are characters to fall in love with in here, adventures to be had and dangers to be braved, and it’s absolutely fine, recommended even, to take your time before rejoining reality.
Pottering along the shelves, there’s a sense that these people – the person sitting behind the till absorbed in a book and occasionally ringing someone up, the other shoppers, the man that always seems to have commandeered the best armchair – are your kind of people. It’s a bit like meeting a stranger at a particularly boring function, discovering that you both like to read the same things and immediately feeling like you’ve made a new friend.
My personal favourite is Nomad Books in Fulham. It was just down the road from where we lived, and as a new (and rather terrified) mum I pushed my pram down there every few days to visit. It made me feel like I was connecting with something familiar, a part of me that was still the same even though everything else about my life had changed so dramatically and wonderfully. I jiggled the pram a little to keep the baby asleep, walked along the shelves to greet old favourites and find new ones, and sneaked in a coffee in as well… Heaven.
about the author
Nikola Scott started out in book publishing and worked as a crime fiction editor in America and England for many years. Turning her back on blood-spattered paperback covers and dead bodies found in woods, she sat down at her kitchen table one day to start her first novel — and hasn’t stopped writing since. Obsessed with history and family stories (‘How exactly did you feel when your parents gave the house to your brother?’) she is well-known – and feared – for digging up dark secrets at dinner parties and turning them into novels.
Her first two books, My Mother’s Shadow and Summer of Secrets, have both been international bestsellers and were translated widely around the world. Nikola lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two boys (and a kitchen table).
Once a month, Nikola sends out a popular newsletter about writing, reading, book news, freebies and loads of therapeutic baking. Join in here if you’d love to be a part of it all:
For more info on Nikola, visit her website at www.nikolascott.com
follow the tour
Thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour and to Nikola for her wonderful guest post.
I’d love to hear what you think of the post so drop your comments below.
Back again soon