Kiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt **Blog Tour interview & Giveaway **

It is great to be the latest stop on this Blog Tour and to welcome Kate Hewitt to Books, Life and Everything to talk about writing and her latest novel, Kiss Me at Willoughby Close.  I reviewed its predessor, Find Me at Willoughby Close and you can read my review here.  You can enter a Giveaway to win either an Amazon voucher or a copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close - details are at the end of the blog post. Before we meet Kate, here is  a little about Kiss Me at Willoughby Close:
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Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?




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 Welcome to Books, Life and Everything. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing.

Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

I've always written something, from the time when I was a small child. At various stages it's been poetry, plays, newspaper articles, and now novels. I was first published in 1999, when I had a short story accepted by The People'sFriend magazine, a banner day!
 
Which aspects of writing do you find the easiest and the most difficult?


When the writing flows it's easy and wonderful, but when it doesn't it feels like the most painful thing in the world. Writing is a mixture of discipline---pushing through those hard moments---and learning not to force it too much. Ideas need to percolate and if it's really hard to write, there is a reason why. My favourite part of writing is when I get that 'a ha' moment that helps me figure out a story or character---it feels like an electric shaver going through me.
  
Kiss Me at Willoughby Close is the latest in a plasnned series all concerning the different inhabitants of Willoughby Close. Is it based on a real place and how important is the setting to you?

It's semi-inspired by where I used to live in the Cotswolds, Shipton under Wychwood, and the manor house there. Setting is very important to me, because I think the details can add a layer of depth to the story. Striking the right balance is important---not overwhelming the reader with unnecessary description but making sure the story is grounded in a real place.

Can you tell us a little about Ava, the heroine of Kiss Me at Willoughby Close and how you set about creating her?

I think Ava is my favourite heroine of the series! She is someone who had a lot of tough things happen to her, and still feels guilty about some of the the choices she made. Of all the stories in the series, this one focuses the most on the importance of forgiveness and having a second chance

Do you base any of your characters on people you know?

No definitely not! A stray sentence or idea might feature, but the characters in my stories come from my own head.

Do you have any more books in this series planned that you can tell us about?

Yes the last book, Marry Me at Willoughby Close, is coming out in July and will wrap up any loose threads. It's about Alice James, a character we meet in this book, and Henry Trent, the heir to Willoughby Manor.
   
What do you like to read when you are not writing?

I like to read all sorts- historical, romance, thriller...! Basically if a book has a good story, I'll read it. I like to read outside of my genre, but sometimes when I'm not 'feeling it' as a writer I read inside my genre, because that helps me get back on track.

Finally, have you three words which sum up Marry Me at Willoughby Close?

A second chance.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on your writing.  I'm looking forward to your next instalment of life in Willoughby Close.


My Thoughts

I was drawn into the story from the beginning and enjoyed meeting Ava, the newest inhabitant of the Close. I particularly appreciate  how characters are mentioned in one book and then focussed on in a subsequent book. I have a soft spot for interconnected short stories where details run through the stories or characters appear in each as this seems to give the impression that you are looking at a community from 360 degrees. For me, these stories have the same effect. 

    Lady Stokeley at Willoughby Manor is one of the most intriguing characters and I am hoping that the last in the series features her heavily. Cantankerous but fiercely independent, you get the impression that she is a great observer of human nature and no matter how hard she tries to hide behind a veneer of being a difficult old lady, she is in fact a caring person with lashings of common sense. 

In short: warm, engaging, with deftly drawn characters and a well plotted story.  

    
About the Author 

Kate is the USA Today-bestselling author of over 40 books of
women's fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England's Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell. Other series include the Emigrants Trilogy, the Amherst Island Trilogy, and the Falling For The Freemans series.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women's fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in the English Cotswolds with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can read about her life at http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.


You can follow Kate on Twitter , at her Website and on Goodreads

Amazon UK 

Giveaway

Enter this great Giveaway to be in with a chance of winning these prizes:


1st prize: £10 Amazon giftcard
2nd prize: paperback copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close

To enter, follow the link below!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Kate Hewitt, Tule Publishing and Jenny at Neverland Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the Tour.
 

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