Tuesday 22 May 2012

Summer Spotlight: Author Alison Lucy on her favourite summer reads +++ Win a copy of The Summer of Secrets!

The Summer of Secrets by Alison Lucy
Publisher: Canvas
Release date: May 17th 2012
Ages: Adult

One heady summer. Three big secrets. 1989: Newlyweds Danny and Harriet arrive at their honeymoon paradise in the Caribbean. Days later Harriet returns home. Danny is left distraught but finds comfort in the arms of two women. Nine months later, three baby girls are born... 2010: Megan leaves her childhood sweetheart behind in the UK to go in search of her long-lost father. Miles from home and temptation is at every corner - not least in the arms of the gorgeous Ray... Esmé, a Mexican beauty, married Miguel at fifteen. In unlocking the secrets of her past, can she shed the shackles of her enforced marriage? Claudia has led a life of privilege but she's never really known what it feels like to be loved. Could David be the answer? Or will he disappoint her, just like her mother always did? Three women set off on an adventure to uncover the secrets surrounding their missing father. It may be the only way to lay their demons to rest but seeking out the truth could tear their lives apart.

Author Alison Lucy on her favourite summer reads!

This is what I want from a perfect summer read. It must be utterly absorbing and yet easy to read at the same time. It must hold my attention but not demand it. It must not be too depressing or preoccupying, but it mustn’t be too flighty either, I would prefer it to last more than one short day on the beach. Every time I go on holiday I plan meticulously which books to take but still the books I enjoy the most are not those that I pack, but the ones I acquire. Spending time and money in bookshops overseas is a must, whether that means browsing the English Language corner of a city centre chain or rummaging through a stacked table in the corner of a boatyard. I have found treasure on book swap tables like this, buried beneath every book that Dan Brown and Nora Roberts ever wrote, the parched saga of the The Thornbirds kept me going for weeks, I discovered Janet Evanovich, and I found one my most beloved non-fiction books, Travels, a collection of essays by Michael Crichton, which combines the authors first-rate storytelling ability with brutal honesty concerning his life’s journeys, physical and otherwise.

If I am on holiday I want a book that I can easily take to the beach. I used to treat myself to airport exclusive editions of new paperbacks, in the larger paperback format, but after hauling I Am Charlotte Simmons around for three weeks I wished I had waited for the mass market edition. I haven’t bought a Kindle yet but it is the prospect of lighter holiday luggage that I find most tempting. I picked up The Immigrants by Howard Fast in a second hand bookshop in Mexico. The Immigrants is an enormous brick of a book, spanning generations of family life in San Francisco and Napa Valley. Despite its heft it ticks almost all of my summer read boxes: sexy heroes, exotic locations, romance, peril, and the ability to sweep me up into a fantastic story without a great deal of mental effort on my part.

Which is why my favourite summer reads will always be those written by Jackie Collins. I read Hollywood Wives first, the summer I turned fourteen, and ever since then Jackie has featured prominently in my summers, lying out in the back garden during some precious British sunshine, or my first holiday on my own with friends. I remember buying oversized paperbacks at Heathrow, and being unable to resist an American hardback edition of Vendetta: Lucky’s Revenge when I saw it in a bookshop in L.A. Most of all I like how reading these books of summer in the depths of a mundane winter will transport you to a warmer, more optimistic place where true love can conquer anything at all.

Thanks to Alison for the great guest post! I hope you all got some ideas for your summer reading list!

Alison will be hosting a live Twitter Interview ‘twinterview’ on the 23rd May between 5-6pm so be sure to log on for that!
I have an extra special treat for UK readers today -- Alison's publisher Canvas have very generously offered TEN copies of Summer of Secrets for you lucky readers to win. Just fill in the form to enter!

Following the blog is not necessary to gain entry to this competition, but is always appreciated!


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