Today I'm lucky to be apart of the Writer Marketing Services blog tour for author Sophie Pembroke. She's here today talking about learning from other people's mistakes.
Learning from other people’s mistakes
A big part of growing up is deciding how much we want to be our parents. Some of us model the lives they lived more or less exactly – buying a house in the same neighbourhood, marrying a good guy just like Dad. On the other hand, some of us run as far and as fast as possible from the examples they set.
The heroine of my latest novel, An A to Z of Love, hasn’t had to run anywhere – her parents did it first.
In fact, Mia Page has been the subject of gossip in the seaside town of Aberarian for half her life, ever since her father ran off with his secretary - and the contents of the town museum safe - when she was fourteen. Her mother couldn’t stand the talk, and disappeared a few years later. But despite all this, Mia loves her hometown; loves working at the A to Z shop, eating seafood with her best friend Charlie at his restaurant, and catching the classic midnight movie at the crumbling Coliseum cinema. And wondering if one day Charlie might be more than a friend…
But everything she loves is suddenly put under threat by the return of Mia’s ex-best friend – and Charlie’s ex girlfriend – Becky, who plans to turn Mia’s beloved Coliseum into a casino, and her sleepy hometown into a less classy, Welsh, Atlantic City.
As Mia tries to pull the people of Aberarian together to save the town they adore, she starts to find her own place in the community, a family of sorts, and maybe even love. Until her father suddenly reappears, and people start asking what he wants to take from them now...
Here’s a look at Mia and Charlie, after Mia receives a letter from her father:
Mia glanced down at her fingers, tightening around the stem of her wineglass, and mentally told her hands to relax before it shattered. “It’s not what he has to say that I’m worried about,” she admitted, her voice soft.
“Then what?” Charlie asked, brow furrowed.
Mia wondered if she even had the words to explain it. “This morning,” she said after a pause. “Ditsy attacked Jacques on the Esplanade to get this letter.”
“Okay,” Charlie said, drawing the word out. “Why?”
Mia shook her head. “The question is, how did she know he had it?”
“That’s easy,” Charlie answered. “Jacques told her. He’s been telling everyone all day you had a letter from...” He trailed off.
“Exactly.” Mia sighed and took another slug of wine. “The whole town knows I have this letter, and they’re all waiting to see what I do with it.”
“And if you open it?”
“Then I’m still George Page’s daughter.” She sighed again. “And everything that goes along with the title.”
“He’s still your father,” Charlie murmured. “It’s okay to want to hear from him.”
Mia gave a short, sharp laugh. “Not according to Aberarian. You know, I’ve spent fourteen years trying to make them forget that I’m his daughter. I knew they wouldn’t forget what he did, but I thought...”
“You thought they’d see you aren’t like him,” Charlie finished. “They do, Mia. I’m sure they do.” He reached over and squeezed her hand. “Besides, they’re the idiots who hired him as a teacher and voted him in to manage the museum.”
“And so they deserved to have their head of history run off in the middle of the GCSE mocks with the school secretary and the contents of the museum safe?”
“I heard they don’t even know what was in the safe. He might just have left it open because it was empty. Maybe he didn’t take anything.” Mia gave him a look, and Charlie shrugged. “Okay, maybe they didn’t deserve that. I’m just saying, it’s not your fault.”
“But I was the last one here to blame after Mum skipped town. And you know what this town is like. Old scandals never really die, they just take naps. I’ll only ever be the daughter of a philandering thief.”
“And I’ll always be the outsider whose fiancee ran out on him.” Charlie shrugged again. “If you want somewhere people don’t know you, why don’t you leave?”
“Because I love it here. I love the town and the beach and my friends.” She gave Charlie a smile. “Besides, there’s no way in hell I’d let those busybodies drive me out.” Charlie laughed, and she turned the question back on him. “Why don’t you?”
“Same reasons,” he said, but the secretive sort of smile on his face when he looked at her made Mia nervous.
Of course he wouldn’t want to leave. Not when Becky had just arrived.
“So, what are you going to do?” Charlie asked, prodding the letter near her again.
Mia stared at it, thinking hard. Then she said, “I’m not going to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. If my father wants to know how his daughter’s doing after fourteen years and thinks a letter will suffice, I’m not giving him the satisfaction.” She grabbed the letter and shoved it into her bag. “And if the town wants to know what he has to say, they can bloody well track him down and ask him themselves. Because I’m not opening the letter.”
Mia drained the rest of her wine and held the glass out to Charlie. “Come on. Pour me another. And then we’re going out. I want to take my mind off all this.”
Everyone’s talking about Mia Page. Again.
Mia Page has been the subject of gossip in Aberarian for half her life, ever since her father ran off with his secretary–and the contents of the local museum safe–when she was fourteen.
Still, Mia loves her hometown, loves working at the A to Z shop, eating seafood with her best friend Charlie at his restaurant, catching the classic midnight movie at the crumbling Coliseum cinema. And if she ever wonders if things might be even better if Charlie were more than just a friend, well, it’s only an idle thought in a lonely moment. After all, friendship always trumps romance, doesn’t it? And she’s never been one to rock the boat.
But everything she loves is suddenly under threat from Charlie’s ex- girlfriend, Becky, and her plans to turn Mia’s beloved Coliseum into a casino, transforming the sleepy seaside town forever. As Mia tries to pull the people of Aberarian together to save the town they adore, she starts to find her own place in the community, a family of sorts, and maybe even love. Until her father suddenly reappears, and people start asking what he wants to take from them this time…
WARNING: Some sexual scenes. Also contains seafood.
Sophie Pembroke has been writing romance for years, ever since she stayed up all night reading Mills and Boon novels as part of her English degree at Lancaster University. She loves to set her contemporary romance stories in the places she has lived – from the wilds of the Welsh mountains, to the gentile humour of the English country village, or the heat and tension of a London summer. She also has a tendency to make her characters kiss in castles.
Currently, she makes her home in Hertfordshire, with her husband and daughter. She writes love stories in her little spare room office, while drinking too much tea and eating homemade cakes. Or, when things are looking very bad for her heroes and heroines, white wine and dark chocolate.
Sophie keeps a blog at www.SophiePembroke.com, which should be about romance and writing, but is usually about cake and castles instead.
Other stops on the blog tour: