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The Summer of Taking Chances by Lynne Shelby - Book Tour

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The Summer of Taking Chances
Would you take the second chance you’ve always dreamed of?

It’s been ten years since Emma Stevens last laid eyes on Jake Murray. When he left the small seaside village of South Quay to chase the limelight, Emma’s dreams left with him.

Now Emma is content living a quiet and uneventful life in South Quay. It’s far from the life she imagined, but at least her job at the local hotel has helped heal her broken heart.

But when Jake returns home for the summer to escape the spotlight, Emma’s feelings quickly come flooding back. There’s clearly a connection between them, but Jake has damaged her heart once already – will she ever be able to give him a second chance?

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Author Q&A
1. Favorite childhood memory involving books?

I remember being in a bookshop when I was about six and choosing to buy a book titled ‘Prince Caspian’ because it had a picture of a boy on a horse galloping through a forest on the front cover, and I thought it looked exciting. I started reading it as soon as I got home and suddenly found myself in this amazing place called Narnia, where animals talked – it’s the first book I remember reading. I went on to collect all the Narnia books, and I still have my childhood copies.

2. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
I wanted to be an author when I grew up from when I was about ten or eleven. I was always writing stories, and I remember the thrill of seeing them published in my school magazine. The school was very keen on creative writing, and I can still picture the green exercise books we wrote in.

3. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Writer. Reader. Traveller.

4. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
I used to ride as a child – I have fond memories of riding along a beach and over the South Downs –  and I’d love to own my own horse, but as I live in a city it’s not very practical.

5. Have you ever met anyone famous?
Although I’m a writer, most of my family and many of my friends work in theatre or the film industry and through them I’ve met quite a few famous people – I hope I didn’t look or sound too starstruck when I was introduced! I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some famous romantic novelists who have all been so generous with their knowledge and experience of writing romance.

6. How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?From first getting an idea for a story to deciding it’s ready to release into the wild, writing a book(and editing it four or five times!) usually takes me about a year. I’m a relatively slow writer, and while I’d love to be able to write faster, I’ve found that for me, this is the time I need to make the book the best I can.
7. How do you select the names of your characters?I honestly don’t know where the names of my main characters come from – my heroes and heroines tend to rock up in my head and demand that I tell their story. With minor characters, I pick names that I like, and which are right for the character’s age. I’m fascinated by the way names go in and out of fashion. For example, there were four girls named Alison in my class at school and yet these days you rarely see newborns being given that name. I love some of the names that have become popular in the last decade or so, like Summer or Savanah. I also try to avoid giving characters the same names as my friends and relatives.
8. What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?My ‘spirit animal’ is a wolf. Wolves are amazing animals. They live together in family groups, with the alpha looking out for the others, and they are loyal and affectionate. A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to visit a wolf sanctuary and hear them howling, and it was awesome.
9. What are your top 5 favorite movies?Casablanca – My all-time favourite movie. A classic love story with some of the most memorable characters in cinema history.
Once – Such a beautiful, poignant and uplifting story. It also has a fab sound track.
Love Actually – One of the funniest rom coms ever, but also very moving in places. The perfect Christmas movie.
Blade Runner – Set in the not too distant future, the world of this movie is wonderfully imagined, but it’s worth seeing just for the character Roy Batty’s (played by Rutger Hauer) ‘Tears in the Rain’ speech alone.
Avatar – I first saw this science fiction movie in 3D and it’s visually stunning. Even without 3D, it’s still a wonderfully inventive story – and there’s a romantic thread to it as well, which always appeals to me.
10. If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?I’d sit in a garden and read all the books in my tbr pile, with a glass of wine to hand – and with music playing, if the electricity was still working.
11. What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?I’d love to be friends with Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She’s such a lively, vibrant character, and I’m sure she’d be great fun to be around.
12. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?Write every day if you can, but don’t beat yourself up if other commitments mean you can’t write for a while – writers need to spend time outside their writing space interacting with the rest of the world, or they won’t have anything to write about. Read as many books as you can, and not just in your chosen genre, and ask yourself what it is about them that you like. And most important, never give up your dream, because dreams can and do come true.
13. What book do you wish you had written?The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. It’s a re-telling of Greek myth from the point of view of the female characters, and it’s brilliant.
14. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?I’d always choose to live in the present – I think I’d miss 21st Century technology if I was transported to the past. If I had to live in the past though, I’d choose Roman times, because it’s an era I find fascinating. I’ve read and enjoyed so many historical novels set in Roman times, and I have a collection of books on Roman history. Also, the Romans actually had better technology –  like underfloor central heating – than other centuries right up to the Victorian era. The thought that I’d have to learn Latin is somewhat daunting though!
15. What is your favorite genre to read?I read books in most genres, but my favourite genre is definitely contemporary romance, which is what I write. For me, nothing beats a great love story, a heroine and hero who may not even like each other when they first meet but who eventually get a happy ending to their story – or at least a hopeful ending!

Author Bio –
Lynne Shelby writes contemporary women’s fiction/romance. Her debut novel, French Kissing, was published when it won a national writing competition. She has worked at a variety of jobs from stable girl to child actors’ chaperone to legal administrator, but now writes full time. When not writing or reading, Lynne can usually be found at the theatre watching a musical, or exploring a foreign city – Paris, New York, Rome, Copenhagen, Seattle, Athens – writer's notebook, camera and sketchbook in hand. She lives in London with her husband, and has three adult children who live nearby.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @LynneB1
Instagram: lynneshelbywriter

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