Today I’m talking to Megan Johns, whose latest novel, A Shore of Secrets, is set in beautiful Italy, boasts a gorgeous Italian hero, a stunning setting and lots of romantic mystery. Just the sort of romantic novel I love!
And not only that, Megan is giving away a free pdf of A Shore of Secrets to one lucky commenter. Magnifico!
So let’s pour some dark Italian coffee, help ourselves to some Amaretti biscuits, and begin!
Where do you live, Megan? I live in a pretty village in the Essex countryside in the UK, complete with a duck pond and stocks on the village green. Prior to that, I was in London for many years and sometimes I still have to pinch myself at the contrast. Instead of a never-ending sea of rooftops, my view now is one of fields, of horses grazing in a nearby paddock, of woodpeckers, jays and a family of pheasants who visit every day.
That sounds absolutely idyllic! Apart from your lovely English village, where is your favourite place in the world? That’s a tricky one. There are many places with which I feel a strong affiliation for different reasons. Italy is definitely one of my favourites. I love the people, the lifestyle, the culture, the food, the scenery, the architecture… what’s not to love about the place?
And we haven’t even mentioned the sun, the Mediterannean, romantic Venice, the gorgeous Italians…oh, sorry, just drifted into a daydream there :)
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? I was fortunate in having a career I enjoyed. I don’t think I could have stuck at anything I did not like – life’s too short and no amount of money can compensate for being unhappy in one’s work. I do recall selling a well known brand of plastic kitchen products at house parties to earn some extra pocket money as a student. None of my contemporaries could afford to buy much, so it was not a success, although it was still a hoot!
What book do you wish you’d written? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. As well as a romance, the book is a work of social history. She makes such sharp observations of society and what drives her characters.
Me too. It’s absolutely the perfect romance.
What’s your favourite song? I like female vocalists with strong voices. Shirley Bassey is one of my favourites, she is such a great performer. Her renditions of the Bond songs ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ are unforgettable.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? Mother Theresa . She dedicated her life to enhancing the lives of others – feeding the hungry, comforting the children– with a selflessness that is humbling to us all. What would I say to her? Her life was inspirational.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? I was blessed in being allowed a relatively carefree childhood. Possibly the happiest times were holidays by the beach, usually in Wales, where we would stay all day building sandcastles and playing chase with the waves.
I spent my summers in Wales, too, and strangely, the sun always seemed to be shining!
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? It would have to be Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. He might be arrogant and aloof, but I just loved Colin Firth’s portrayal of him.
Another great choice! What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? To look for the good and make the most of any situation, no matter what. One of my favourite quotes is Albert Einstein’s ‘In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity’, and it’s so true. We can do a lot to help ourselves when life throws us challenges.
My current book A Shore of Secrets is a contemporary romance based in Italy.
Here’s the blurb:
‘Italia! Oh Italia! Thou who hast the fatal gift of beauty.’ Byron
And Venice is exquisite. Nor is the beauty confined to the place. Hotelier Giovanni Renaldi is tall, dark and devilishly handsome. Yet holiday representative Abi seems immune. Crossed in love, she is in no hurry to fall again. Plus his arrogance is so infuriating.
Surely the discomforting feelings he evokes can only be guilt at covering for his naive sister’s secret lover?
When passion finally wins through, the thrill of their lovemaking is soon wrecked. And Giovanni, proud and fierce defender of his family since inheriting the role of patriarch, is enraged to learn Abi has colluded with his sister.
But Abi quickly discovers her secrecy is nothing compared to Giovanni’s. As the family’s closely guarded secrets begin to unfold, she is sucked into their internal wrangling.
Is nothing what it seems in this clandestine community?
And can love triumph over the turmoil of scarred lives?
‘In all secrets there is a kind of guilt.’ Can Abi learn to trust, and Giovanni to forgive?
A Shore of Secrets is available from MuseItUp Publishing, and from all other major e-tailers.
You can contact Megan in the following places, and please do call in to see her. Megan loves to meet new people :)
And don’t forget – Megan is giving away a free pdf of A Shore of Secrets to one lucky commenter!
Thanks very much for coming today from your pretty village, Megan. I absolutely love the romantic and mysterious premise of your novel, and can’t wait to read it.
If you’ve enjoyed Megan’s interview, or have any questions, please let us know in the comments. We always love to hear from you – and you might be lucky enough to win her novel!