A pleasure today to be one of the bloggers launching the blog tour for Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses by Laura Briggs, the third in her series A Little Hotel in Cornwall: my thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation and support.
I really enjoyed A Little Hotel in Cornwall, the first in the series (you’ll find my review here) and I’m really kicking myself that I just couldn’t commit to reading them all – but I might just treat myself to the final part, The Cornish Secret of Summer’s Promise, due out on 15th January, and available now for pre-order.
Christmas is coming to Port Hewer and the hotel Penmarrow, where Maisie is suffering a case of the holiday blues far from home this year — until Gavin, a young American businessman staying at the hotel through Christmas, talks her into joining him as his partner in the hotel’s ice sculpting competition in a mutual pact to enjoy the holidays to the fullest. Meanwhile, Maisie experiences the village Christmas season vicariously through Sidney, and continues writing her Poe-inspired story with only Sidney aware of her secret novel. She soon learns, however, that criticism and praise go hand in hand when he takes issue with her latest chapters, which puts pressure on their friendship, too.
But is that what’s really the issue between them? Because handsome Gavin has more than ice sculpting in mind when it comes to Maisie’s time, which comes as a surprise to no one who’s seen them together. As Maisie faces this sudden romantic dilemma, she realizes what she wants most in her life … and faces a question of what her heart wants most, too.
That looks SO lovely – I’m so sorry I don’t have a review for you. But I’m delighted to welcome Laura to Being Anne, to tell us more about getting to ‘Happy Ever After’ in a romance serial versus a series…
A huge thank you to Anne for letting me share with her readers about my newest Cornish-themed romances!
I didn’t set out to write a serial with A Little Hotel in Cornwall or its sequels. In fact, the word ‘serial’ always made me picture Victorian-era publishing, when authors like Dickens or Doyle had sections of their work featured in popular newspapers or magazines. So it caught me by surprise to realize I was creating a similar feel with installments of Maisie Clark’s adventures at the historic hotel Penmarrow in Cornwall.
It made it rather different from my previous series A Wedding in Cornwall, despite both works featuring strong heroines, colorful settings, and larger-than-life scenarios. For this guest post, I thought it might be fun to share the 3 major differences I’ve encountered while writing a romance series that also happens to be a serial:
1. The romance is a ‘slow burn’
In my first set of Cornish stories, the heroine, Julianne, had a ring on her finger by book three—which made it hard to keep her love story fresh as the series continued (hence Julianne’s growing involvement in other people’s romantic lives, including those of her assistants and even her clients, on occasion!).
But things are a bit more complicated in ‘A Little Hotel in Cornwall’. From flirtation to friendship—with a few stolen kisses in between—Maisie is taking a different route to romance than Julianne did. One that’s filled with twists, turns, and plenty of will-they-won’t-they tension between herself and handsome groundskeeper Sidney Daniels, who alternately frustrates and attracts Maisie with his boyish charm and mysterious past.
2. The heroine’s ambition is different
Julianne was definitely dedicated to her work as an event planner, but, as an artist, Maisie’s attachment to her dream is deeper and more passionate—leading to an overarching plotline throughout the books about her quest to fulfill that dream. Hopefully, she has a different and somewhat more complex character arc as a result of the serial style narratives. Her attempts to make her dream a reality will be featured in multiple stories, and unlike Julianne’s work, it will have the power to influence her decision and choices in every matter…including that of the heart!
3. There are cliffhanger scenarios that carry from story to story
Including secrets, clues, and questions that influence Maisie’s quest for her dream. From Sidney’s puzzling background, to the true identity of Maisie’s favorite author and would-be writing mentor, fans are kept guessing as to what will be revealed next. Hopefully, they find the anticipation, speculation, and suspense as much fun as it is to create—and may be happy to know a major twist is coming in book four, now available for pre-order for January 2020.
Until then, I hope they’ll be sure to catch up with Maisie’s latest adventure, a cosy Christmas-themed story titled Sea Holly and Mistletoe Kisses. It goes quite well with a cup of cocoa and a biscuit!
Thank you Laura – I’ll see you again in January for that final part!
About the author
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller A Wedding in Cornwall. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.