BY ELLIE HOLMES
Genre: Commercial Romantic Fiction
Release Date: 2nd June 2016
Jessie Martin believes that when it comes to love there are three types of people: the skimmers, the bottom dwellers and the ones who dive for pearls. Jessie is a pearl diver. She had thought her husband William was a pearl diver too. But when William leaves her for a younger woman, it’s not just Jessie’s heart that is broken, her ability to trust is shattered too.
Refusing to retire from the battlefield of life, Jessie resolves to put her heartache behind her. She doesn’t want to be that woman who was too scared to love again. There has to be another pearl diver out there; all she has to do is find him.
When fate brings handsome flower seller Owen Phillips into her life, Jessie believes he may be the one but is her fragile trust about to be shattered all over again?
The Flower Seller is a warm, engaging read about love, deceit, betrayal and hope.
It had been her daughter Hannah’s idea to put an advert in the Abbeyleigh Gazette. ‘It’s time to take yourself out of your comfort zone, Mum. Why don’t you get Anne to give you a hand with the ad?’
Sucked into the vortex of her daughter’s enthusiasm, Jessie had agreed before she could talk herself out of it.
‘So, what have you got so far?’ Anne had asked over margaritas in Spike’s Bar.
‘Newly single brunette, slim, attractive, early forties, non-smoker, good sense of humour, would like to meet man thirties/forties for friendship and maybe more,’ Jessie read aloud.
Anne pretended to fall asleep and Jessie slapped her arm.
‘Bit dull, sweetie!’ Anne said with a smile. ‘For starters, you should put early thirties. Everyone knocks a few years off. And do you really want to say slim? It’s practically shorthand for flat-chested and you’re not. How about “great figure” instead?’
‘That’s a bit conceited, isn’t it?’
Anne threw her a look. ‘It’s an advert, Jessie. You’re meant to be selling yourself.’
‘Blimey! I’ll just get some fishnets and a red light, shall I?’
‘You know what I mean. You should put something in there about being outgoing. That usually leads to some interesting propositions.’
‘But I’m not outgoing,’ Jessie said.
‘For goodness’ sake, outgoing just means you’re up for a bit of fun. I’m not suggesting for a moment that you put “open-minded”. Now that would lead to some replies that would make your hair stand on end. And obviously your WLTM has to be a man in his late twenties or early thirties.’
‘Has to be? This is my advert, remember? Not yours!’
Anne smirked. ‘So you’d prefer “Recently dumped flat-chested brunette, early forties, lives life with the handbrake on, would like to meet man forties/fifties for visits to the library”?’
‘I’d prefer not to be doing it at all.’
Anne squeezed her hand. ‘I know, sweetie. And you can stick another pin in your effigy of William when you get home but right now we need to get you back out there before life passes you by.’
ABOUT ELLIE HOLMES
Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction and romantic suspense. She takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. The Flower Seller is Ellie’s first full-length novel. Ellie is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. To find out more please visit www.ellieholmesauthor.com
Where are you from?
I’m a proud Essex girl.
Tell us your latest news.
My debut novel The Flower Seller is being released on 2nd June.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was a child and I would spend hours writing stories on an A4 pad. I remember writing my age in the top left hand corner – 7¾ - that extra three quarters was always so important when I was little. I no longer have the same need to make myself older than I am, quite the opposite now!
What inspired you to write your first book?
My inspiration came from the need to get down on paper the stories that were buzzing around my brain.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I strive for warm and engaging and easy to read. If I hit the mark that’s a good day at the office.
How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title for The Flower Seller early on. Most people expect the flower seller in the book to be a woman and I like the fact it plays with people’s perceptions.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely – you should never retire from the battlefield of life and you should always strive to live life with the handbrake off.
How much of the book is realistic?
I think the themes – infidelity after a long marriage, love, deceit, betrayal and hope - are universal and could touch any one of us.
Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
No – it’s all a product of my feverish and overactive imagination.
What books have most influenced your life?
I have always enjoyed the books of Daphne Du Maurier and Sidney Sheldon. I love how they can create an atmosphere with just a few sentences and how their characters are often not quite how they seem.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Daphne du Maurier – I think her ability to create a sense of place and her memorable characters would make her a wonderful mentor.
What book are you reading now?
What’s My Motivation by Michael Simkins – a lighthearted look at the life of a jobbing actor.
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
The Widow by Fiona Barton is next on my To Be Read pile.
What are your current projects?
I have a romantic cosy mystery novella, The Tregelian Hoard, coming out in September this year. It will be the first in my Cornish Intrigue Series and my next full length commercial women’s fiction novel, White Lies, will be released in June 2017.
What would you like my readers to know?
The Flower Seller will make an excellent summer beach read.