Monday, August 4, 2014

Getting comfortable with Samantha Tonge

We're pleased to have Samantha Tonge at CLC today to talk about her latest novel, From Paris with Love, which is currently 99 cents/59 p for Kindle.

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family, and two cats who think they are dogs. When not writing, she spends her days cycling and willing cakes to rise. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, came out in November 2013. While From Paris with Love can be read as a stand-alone, if you haven't read Doubting Abbey and were planning to, this post will contain spoilers.

Visit Samantha at her website, blogFacebook, and Twitter.

Synopsis of From Paris with Love:
Every girl dreams of hearing those four magical words Will you marry me? But no-one tells you what’s supposed to happen next…

Fun-loving Gemma Goodwin knows she should be revelling in her happy-ever-after. Except when her boyfriend Lord Edward popped the question, after a whirlwind romance, although she didn’t say no….she didn’t exactly say yes either!

A month-long cookery course in Paris could be just the place to make sure her heart and her head are on the same page… And however disenchanted with romance Gemma is feeling, the City of Love has plenty to keep her busy; the champagne is decadently quaffable, the croissants almost too delicious, and shopping is a national past-time! In fact, everything in Paris makes her want to say Je t’aime… Except Edward!

But whilst Paris might offer plenty of distractions from wedding planning – including her new friends, mysterious Joe and hot French rockstar Blade - there’s no reason she couldn’t just try one or two couture dresses is there? Just for fun…

Out of the Comfort Zone…
From Paris with Love is the stand-alone sequel to my debut novel, Doubting Abbey. Both have been huge fun to write. This is largely down to the main character, Gemma Goodwin, the most loyal, determined, good-hearted but slightly bonkers best friend you could ever have! It has been a joy spending my days creating new antics for her, and listening to her hilarious interior dialogue in my head. And like many comedies, the thrust of both books has been placing the protagonist out of her comfort zone, into a situation that isn’t familiar.

This is always a recipe for disaster – but much fun, as well. Like in The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella, where an attorney must suddenly pass herself off as a housekeeper.

In Doubting Abbey, pizza waitress Gemma must pass herself off as aristocratic Abigail Croxley for two weeks, in order to help a struggling noble family win reality show Million Dollar Mansion. In preparation she has a crash course in how to behave like a lady and tones down her appearance, which means losing the fake eye lashes and tan. Cue a fortnight of having to keep up her new posh accent, use the right cutlery and sit with her legs together. This concept was what inspired me to originally write the book – I noticed just how popular the TV series Downton Abbey was and asked myself how a thoroughly modern gal would cope living in such a conservative, stuffy atmosphere. You’ll have to read the book to see if Gemma pulls it off!

Then, in From Paris with Love, Gemma and her new boyfriend, Lord Edward Croxley, head off to the French capital for a month. So, how is she out of her comfort zone here? Well, for a start, this is her first time abroad. Being Gemma, she dives straight in when it comes to trying to speak French – with some hilarious consequences - and becomes super excited at seeing the glamour and sophistication of Paris… But the discomfort comes in when she and Edward get to know snooty Monique, a French woman who is beautiful, well-read, plus an acclaimed actress and ballerina to boot. This arty bohemian couldn’t come from a world more different to Gemma’s back in England, and brings out all of my heroine’s insecurities…

Perhaps Monique is a better match for Edward, she asks herself. A mysterious man called Joe Bloggs and hot rockstar called Blade also complicate the relationship between gorgeous aristocrat Edward and flighty Gemma Goodwin. Will these unlikely lovebirds, who met during the story of Doubting Abbey, stay together? Or will Edward’s proposal of marriage, from the first book, finally be answered with the one word he doesn’t want to hear?

Thanks to Samantha for visiting with us today!


Janine said...

This sounds like a cute book. I just bought it.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Janine! I hope you enjoy it :)