Where the Wild Cherries Grow: a playlist

To celebrate the e-book release of Where the Wild Cherries Grow on the 23rd March, I thought I’d put together something special: a playlist of songs that inspired my writing, remind me of the characters, or just seem to fit the tone of the novel. This is a very mixed bag, from classical nocturnes to Hendrix, but hey, that’s the joy of playlists, right? Without further ado, here we are, a Where the Wild Cherries Grow playlist. I hope you enjoy it.

Laura x

  1. Gotta Get Up, Harry Nilsson (1972)

Yes, so I know that WTWCG is set in 1969, but 1972 is close enough, ok?? This is a great song, makes me think of Bill squeezing through the crowds of 1960s London, but it also captures the general mood of a generation, living fast, exhausting themselves. It’s a sort of Sergeant Pepper the morning after the night before…

2. Train Song, Vashti Bunyan (1966)

Anyone who’s read The Confectioner’s Tale will know that I’m a more than a little bit obsessed with trains, and WTWCG is no exception: train journeys are a fairly major feature of the text. So I couldn’t leave out this Vashti Bunyan classic.

3. Spiegel im Spiegel, Arvo Pärt (1978)

“Somewhere past the end of the cliff he stopped rowing, put the oars up and let us drift, tiny as a leaf on the dark water. The moonlight caught upon the ripples and scattered, until it seemed we were floating through stars.” (p.95, WTWCG)

4. Nocturne pour violin et piano, Lili Boulanger, 1911

This is an intriguing piece, written by Boulanger when she was only eighteen… It’s quite Emeline, simultaneously old and new world, impressionistic in places, with early jazz tinges in others. Boulanger sadly died at the age of 24, from pneumonia and Crohn’s disease, but we’re lucky some of her beautiful work survived.

5. Cosmic American, Anaïs Mitchell (2004)

Totally anachronistic, but who cares: this is one for Emeline and Puce, riding the freight trains in the dead of night.

6. Every Day’s a Lovely Day, Gulliver (1970).

I’m pretty certain Jem’s old, battered, green Citroen 2CV wouldn’t have had a tape deck in 1969, but if it did, this is probably what she’d be listening to, bombing around the dusty lanes of Norfolk with Bill in the passenger seat. (And yes, that is Daryl Hall, pre-Hall and Oates fame!)

7. Foxey Lady, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, (1968)

Come on, I had to. So long William Perch Esq, hello Bill. This one goes out to Matti, Javi and Luci.

8. Wonderful World, Sam Cooke, (1960)

This song is Bill, through and through. I always think of it at the end of the novel when… well, you’ll have to read it for yourself!

Where the Wild Cherries Grow: ebook release

I’m going to jump on the bandwagon with the sentence that everybody is saying today: I can’t believe it’s March already!

We’ve officially left February behind, with its long, grey days of neverending winter. Now, the daffodils and irises are out in my garden, the blossom is starting to froth on the trees and spring is on the way.

And I have some exciting news for readers with kindles and other e-readers, which is that my latest novel Where the Wild Cherries Grow is scheduled to be released in e-book version early, on 23rd March!

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It’s currently available to pre-order on Amazon, in ebook (£4.99) and paperback.

I’m afraid that paperback readers will have to wait until the official release date of 15th June 2017 – sorry! – although eagle-eyed shoppers may be able to find early editions in WH Smith Travel shops from April. I can promise too that there’ll be all sorts of exciting content, interviews, articles and recipes appearing between now and then.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my readers for their patience regarding the publication of this book; as you may know, it was originally intended to be published last year, but for various reasons (ah, the mystical world of publishing) has been delayed. I’m so excited that it will finally be making its way onto shelves, it feels like I’ve been waiting a long time. I can’t wait to pass it on to new readers.

Thanks again, and more from me soon!

Laura x

New Book Klaxon! Where the Wild Cherries Grow

Last week I received some gorgeous-looking proofs, and as a result am exceedingly excited to finally be able to reveal news about my new book… Although some of you may remember that it was originally scheduled for publication in August 2016, after a few delays (plus a re-titling, and a re-design) I’m thrilled to say that this is it! The official version.

It’s called Where the Wild Cherries Grow, and is due to be published by Transworld on 20th April 2017.

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Here’s a brief synopsis:

I closed my eyes as I tried to pick apart every flavour, because nothing had ever tasted so good before. It was love and it could not be hidden.

It is 1919 and the end of the war has not brought peace for Emeline Vane. Lost in grief, she is suddenly alone at the heart of a depleted family. She can no longer cope. And just as everything seems to be slipping beyond her control, in a moment of desperation, she boards a train and runs away.

Fifty years later, a young solicitor on his first case discovers Emeline’s diary. Bill Perch is eager to prove himself but what he finds in the tattered pages of neat script goes against everything he has been told. He begins to trace a story of love and betrayal that will send him on a journey to discover the truth. What really happened to Emeline all those years ago?

As the cover hints, this book swaps Paris for the wild foothills and coast of French Catalonia; the refinement of French patisserie in The Confectioner’s Tale for earthy, sun-drenched, vivid, passionate flavours that are hopefully just as transporting. Readers of The Confectioner’s Tale might even spot the odd familiar face… And of course, it includes a special recipe.

I’m so excited to finally be able to share this book with readers. I just hope you’ll enjoy reading it as much as I loved researching and writing it.

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Where the Wild Cherries Grow is available for pre-order. If you’re a blogger or reviewer, and would like a proof, please contact Transworld.

 

The Confectioner’s Tale: US Edition

So today marks publication day for the US edition of The Confectioner’s Tale! I’m thrilled that this little book – which I feel like I started so many years ago – will now be available across the pond; not only in paperback, but in gorgeous, petite-sized hardback as well!

I’m beyond delighted to be published by St Martin’s Press; the team there have been fantastic and supportive, and I can’t wait to work with them on future books.

To celebrate the launch, I’m running a giveaway of TWO signed (and personalized, if you like) hardback copies of The Confectioner’s Tale. If you’d like to enter, just leave me a comment below before 1st October 2016 at 23:59 (GMT), and I’ll pick the winners at random.

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In case you missed it the first time (and because, of course, a celebration means cake) here’s a link to the St Germain Cake I created to mark the book’s original release.

St Germain Cake

A bientot!

L x

Die Tochter des Patissiers

So, earlier this week I received yet another exciting book package; to my delight this one contained copies of the German translation of The Confectioner’s Tale,  Die Tochter des Patissiers.

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This one is SUCH a lovely edition, so I have to thank Bastei Lübbe for doing an absolutely brilliant job on the design work. There are thoughtful touches all the way through the presentation, including fold out recipes pages (for my St Germain Cake) and colourful page numbers!

So very happy. Thank you Germany!

The Confectioner’s Tale Abroad

I always love receiving book-post, and last week brought two very exciting book-post packages. Both were to do with the arrival of The Confectioner’s Tale in different countries, this time Italy and the USA!

First up is the the Italian version, a lovely hardback edition released last week by Piemme as:

Una deliziosa pasticceria a Parigi

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This is actually my first ever hardback to be published so it holds a special place in my heart. Also, they’ve done a brilliant job on the print quality, with the cover boards printed beneath the dust jacket. At the end of last month, there was a blog tour for the book, so if you speak or read Italian, or are just interested, then details are below. Thanks Piemme!

blogtour deliziosa pasticceria ok

Next, but certainly no less exciting was the arrival of proof copies of the US edition of The Confectioner’s Tale from St Martin’s Press! It’s also due to be published in hardback in September 2016 and I can’t wait to see the finished copies. In the meantime, I’ll have to be content with these exclusive proofs:

The Confectioner's Tale US

TCT is also included in the free sampler Macmillan have produced for their autumn releases, which you can download from NetGalley or Edelweiss. I’ll also be holding a giveaway of some proof copies over the next week or two, so keep an eye out for that.

Next up, the German edition of TCT, entitled Die Tochter des Patissiers, which is due to be released by Bastei Luebbe in, oh, a week’s time! Exciting! More on that then.

The Confectioner’s Tale… The Audiobook!

With the rush towards Christmas, page-proofing, new writing and an overload of mulled things, it completely slipped my mind to say that a few weeks ago, The Confectioner’s Tale was released as an audiobook!

the confectioner's tale audiobook

Very exciting of course; but also more than a little strange to hear my words read aloud by someone else for the first time! It’s read by Julie Teal (who has also narrated The Saffron Trail and The Honours, amongst many other things).

If you’re so inclined, you can get your hands on a copy – and hear a sample – at Audible, iTunes, Amazon or, wherever you usually get your audiobooks from.

More news soon on new book releases, foreign versions and general cakery.

L x

The Confectioner’s Tale… en français!

Oh my giddy aunt it’s been so long since I updated on here. Mea culpa! My only excuse is that I’ve been hard at work on a brand new novel, which is tentatively scheduled for publication June 2016. More as that develops… exciting! (The team at Transworld have been dropping tantalising hints about cover designs).

If you’d like to have a guess about when and where the new book is set, feel free to go and take a look at the Pinterest board I’ve been building to keep track of my visual research. (I do this for all of my books)

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In the meantime, I’m delighted to announce that The Confectioner’s Tale has been published in French by City Editions as Le Portrait de l’oubli. I’m especially impressed by their undeniably sassy cover design. Thank you City! There have been some lovely reviews already, so I’m relieved and very pleased that French readers are enjoying it.

One French reviewer recently commented that reading the book allowed them to escape the terrible events of 13th November for a few hours, and also reminded them why they loved Paris so much as a city, despite everything that has happened. Needless to say I was incredibly humbled and touched to hear this. I was also reminded of how important fiction can be; not just to entertain, but to sustain us, to feed our imaginations, to let us inside another person’s head for a few hours… to empathise with what we find there. If I’ve been able to give comfort to just one person with my writing – the way I’ve taken comfort in books in the past – I’ll be more than happy, I’ll be honoured.

L x

Event: Winstone’s Sidmouth

On Saturday 30th May, I’ll be doing a joint event at Winstone’s Bookshop, Sidmouth, with my sister, fantasy author Lucy Hounsom!

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That’s her there. She’s actually my older sister, and wasn’t very pleased when I was born. Later, she had a history of making me wear reindeer antlers and riding me around the house while pretending to be Santa, but now she’s a fantasy author, and has recently released the brilliant Starbornthe first in a trilogy for Tor. (Oh, and even weirder, it was, by complete coincidence published on the same day as The Confectioner’s Tale).

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Although we grew up in Maidenhead (Berks) Sidmouth is our family home these days, so I’m delighted to have such a good excuse to go back for a visit. If you don’t know it, it’s a lovely seaside town in Devon, about 12 miles along the coast from Lyme Regis.

Lucy and I will be hanging out in the bookshop from 1pm, so if you happen to be in the area (or know someone who like books, fantasy and cake – isn’t that everybody?) then do come along.

The Confectioner’s Tale Launch Party

The Confectioner’s Tale is officially out in the world, which can only mean that it’s time for a CELEBRATORY BOOK LAUNCH.

The Confectioner's Tale Invite

I’m absolutely thrilled that Hart’s Bakery have agreed to play host to the evening’s shenanigans. If you don’t know Hart’s, it’s a gorgeous little working bakery under the railway arches next to Temple Meads station. With its open kitchen, railway connections and reputation for making some of the best baked goods in Bristol, it seems like the perfect place to officially toast The Confectioner’s Tale into the world.

There will be cake,  books, wine and maybe a reading, so do come along and enjoy; all are welcome! There’s a handy RSVP form here.

Hope to see some of you there!

(Thanks go to Becky for her invitation design wizardry)