Hello everyone and welcome. Thank you for coming by last week for my whale watching adventure. As promised, today I am presenting my interview with author Jenny Frame. I am currently reading her book, ‘Unexpected,’ so stay tuned for my review in the upcoming weeks. Today Jenny will be sharing her life. Come meet this fabulous storyteller.
Tell us about yourself.
I am from a little town just outside Glasgow, in Scotland called Motherwell. I live there with my partner Lou and our crazy standard poodle Barney. Lou and I have been together for 13 years and married for just under a month. We couldn’t be happier.
What inspired you to create ‘Unexpected?’
Well, I had often seen the idea, in films, and TV of a mother falling in love with the sperm donor to her child, and I thought what if it was two women? I think the idea of one character carrying the other’s baby is so intriguing in a romantic sense, and it just seemed to work perfectly as a premise.
Where is the most remote place you’ve created for a character?
My upcoming novel, Huger For you has the characters going from Monte Carlo to Venice, to London, and finally to a castle on the very northern tip of Scotland. I think that’s about as remote as you can get. Just sheep, and trees for miles.
What is your favorite vegetarian dish?
Probably black bean chili. You can do so much with it. Serve it with rice, in burritos, in baked sweet potatoes. Delicious!
Let’s talk about your blog and share with the readers what you like to write about.
In my blog, I like to write about what inspired me to write, how I share some characteristics with the characters or wish I did. I also like to talk about the music that I listen to when I write. For every book, there’s always one theme tune that emerges from the book, and I like to share that. Plus some silly cooking stuff, and any book news.
Me: When you go Jenny’s Blog, don’t forget to sign up for more great reading.
How has mediation improved your life?
I don’t do it as religiously as I used to. Life gets in the way sometimes. But I always know when I’m having one crisis or another, that it’s there waiting for me, and it always does help.
Which Star Wars saga do you like, the three originals or the latter ones and why?
Probably the originals because they remind me of my childhood. I like the new ones too though.
Would you ever want to take a ride on the Hogwarts Express? Tell us about your journey.
Oh definitely. I would love to take my two nieces on it. They share a love of Harry Potter with me, and we’ve spent countless hours watching the films over and over. I don’t know about my girls, but I think the most exciting bit would be the sweet trolley. The chocolate frogs, and all the other sweeties.
What is your favorite thing about Glasgow?
That my darlin’ Lou comes from there. She’s the best thing to come out of Glasgow.
Who is your favorite UK band? Have you seen them live? If so where?
It would probably be Queen. I was brought up on rock music like that, along with Rolling Stones, they would probably be my favourites. I’ve seen Rolling Stones play in Glasgow. It was amazing.
I think the greatest thing about seeing them live was being there with my Dad. He’d seen them once in Scotland back when the Stones were just starting out, and all these years later it meant a lot to share it with him.
Let’s give a shout out to your publisher, Bold Strokes Books. What would you like to say to them?
Bold Strokes Books have been wonderful to me from day one. They took a chance on me and gave me a wonderful editor to work with. Ruth Sternglantz couldn’t be more patient or kind and has helped me develop and become a much better writer. All the staff at BSB have been kind, and it’s a very supportive atmosphere between all the authors and staff. I couldn’t be happier.
Where do you like to go to get out into nature?
I love to look at nature, but I’m sorry to say I’m not an outdoors sort of person. I’m an extreme introvert and prefer to watch nature through my window or through my iPad. One thing I adore is the sound of rain, maybe it’s the pessimist in me that likes it. I have rain apps on my iPhone so I can always have the rain with me.
Besides writing, what are some of your other favorite interests?
Lou and I love watching football. Our every weekend is centred around watching that on TV.
What’s next for you?
Next up is Hunger For You out April 1st, then I continue the paranormal theme with ‘Soul Of The Pack,’ the second in the Wolfgang series. I finish off the year with the third in Royal Romance series, ‘Royal Court.’ It’s a busy year!
Me: I can’t wait until this comes out. Until then, I have an excerpt for you all to enjoy.
Amelia Honey skipped upstairs from the cutting room of Grenville and Thrang bespoke tailors, one of the oldest on London’s Savile Row. Her stomach was doing flips with excitement, as it always did when she spent any precious time with Byron Debrek. Her lover’s international business commitments meant their time together was limited and unpredictable. That was the one and only thing that had troubled Amelia in the six months she had been dating Byron. She wasn’t reliable, and as much as Byron apologized for the cancelled dates and missed phone calls, it was hard when Amelia found herself at home alone on a Friday night, while other couples were spending the weekend together, having fun and binge-watching all the latest TV shows.
When Amelia reached the top of the stairs and saw Byron framed in the doorway by sunlight, holding a single long-stemmed rose in her hand, with the sexiest smile she had ever seen, she let her worries fall away. Life wasn’t perfect and she supposed that was part of Byron’s attraction. She was unpredictable and brought flash and glam into her formerly dull, grey life. None of that mattered now. They were going on holiday together for two weeks, and she would get Byron’s undivided attention. She guessed Byron had suggested a holiday to make up for all the missed dates and appointments.
As she walked towards Byron, Amelia purposefully put an extra roll to her hips and got a thrill when, as always, her lover’s eyes followed them intently. She felt powerful—she, Amelia Honey, a tailor, could keep the attention of the enigmatic, rich, stunningly good looking CEO of the Debrek banking group.
Byron took her hand and kissed it softly. “Miss Honey, you are beautiful as always. This is for you.”
She took the rose from Byron and inhaled its perfume. “Thank you.”
Amelia’s heart hammered in her chest when Byron’s lips touched her hand, and she inhaled the scents of the rose as well as Byron’s aftershave. It was astonishing how much her life had changed since she had measured Byron for a suit for the first time six months ago. Byron had been coming to Grenville and Thrang since before she’d joined the staff. Amelia’s Uncle Jaunty, the Grenville of Grenville and Thrang, had always dealt with Byron privately, and Amelia had admired her from afar for a long time before her uncle had given her the opportunity to take an appointment with Byron.
The appointment had been nerve-racking, scary, and exciting, all at the same time. They had a powerful chemistry from the very first, so much so that during their second meeting, Byron introduced her to some of the darker pleasures she had only fantasized about, here, on her workbench downstairs.
She had never felt so physically attracted to anyone in her life. When they were near each other, everyone else around them melted away and it took every shred of control Amelia had not to give in to their passion. She felt almost compelled to touch her or be touched. There was much more than passion, though—she was falling in love with Byron, and she hoped this time together could cement their feelings and Byron would give her some kind of commitment.
“Are you ready? Your carriage awaits,” Byron said.
Amelia smiled and lightly traced a fingernail down Byron’sinky blue tie with white polka dots. “I just have to see Uncle Jaunty first, then make sure Daisy has everything she needs, and then I’ll be ready.”
Daisy, her apprentice, was fresh out of fashion school and eager to fill in for Amelia while she was away.
She grasped Byron’s tie softly. “I like this tie by the way.”
“I have to keep you interested, Miss Honey. Why don’t I come with you? Your uncle and I can share a drink while you get ready to leave.”
As they walked through the shop hand in hand, the staff and the customers averted their eyes. Byron seemed to have the ability to make people nervous or intimidated with just a look. Those looks made Amelia hot, excited, turned on, but never scared or intimidated. Byron had never given her any cause to be fearful—the opposite, in fact, she treated Amelia more like a fine piece of China, and sometimes Amelia really wanted to shake Byron up.
“Weren’t you supposed to phone me last night?” Amelia said as they walked to the back office.
“Ah…yes. I’m sorry. I was in Zurich, and a business meeting ran over. I thought it too late to telephone you after I got back to my hotel suite, but I promise to make up for it.”
Amelia stopped outside her uncle’s office door and looked at Byron carefully. There was a little voice, a little jealous voice that often questioned whether Byron was alone when she went back to her hotel rooms, as she travelled all over the world. As she looked into Byron’s eyes, all she could see was passion and, she hoped, love—but Byron had never said the words.
She raised up on tiptoe and pecked Byron on the lips, deciding to ignore the nagging voice. “I hope so, no more business talk. We’re going on holiday,” Amelia exclaimed.
She knocked on the door and entered to find her uncle working at his computer. He stood and smiled when he saw them.
“Byron, wonderful to see you again so soon.” Jaunty walked around the desk to shake Byron’s hand. Jaunty was tall and impeccably dressed, never seen without a suit, his trademark bow tie, and the ever-present tape measure hanging around his shoulders.
“Good to see you looking so well, Jaunty. Is Simon well?” Byron said.
Jaunty put his arm around Amelia, and she immediately reciprocated, laying her head on his shoulder.
“Very well, thank you. I hear you are taking our little Amelia to Monaco. I hope you’ll take care of her.”
“Uncle Jaunty, don’t. You know I can take care of my myself.” Amelia nudged her uncle. She was secretly pleased he was so protective and cared so much. At eighteen, she had run away from her highly conservative and religious parents to stay with her uncle and his partner Simon.
She had always been forbidden from talking to or asking about her mother’s brother, but she did her research and secretly communicated with him, and eventually ran to London to get away from her suffocating home life—and to pursue her dreams of becoming a fashion designer. It was only natural that after graduating from the London School of Fashion, she came into her uncle’s business.
Byron placed her hand on her heart. “With my life. I promise you, Jaunty.”
Amelia kissed her uncle on the cheek and said, “I need to speak to Daisy and get my things. Why don’t you and Byron chat while I’m gone?”
“Of course, sweetie. Off you go.”
When Amelia went off to get her jacket and freshen up, Jaunty poured them a drink.
“Have you ever done this before, Byron?” Jaunty handed her a glass of whiskey.
“What do you mean? Go on holiday with a woman?” Byron asked.
Jaunty nodded. Byron crossed her legs and took a sip of whiskey. “No, I’ve never even taken a holiday before, with or without a woman.”
Jaunty sat back behind his desk but seemed tense. “This must be serious for you then?”
“Jaunty, if you have something to say, then say it.”
Jaunty looked entirely uncomfortable talking this way to her, but she admired his strength for doing it.
“Byron, Amelia is like a daughter to me and Simon. She came to us hurt, alone, and with her confidence destroyed by my sister and brother-in-law. We got her through college and gave her a safe place to live.”
“I know that, Jaunty. I know she thinks of you and Simon as her fathers.”
“She’s not one of those streetwise women I’m sure you meet on the European business circuit and at your glamorous parties.”
“You don’t think I’m toying with her, do you? I know sometimes I have to cancel our dates but—”
“You are my friend, Byron, and your father and I have been friends for years, and I know how difficult this kind of relationship will be for you and Amelia.”
The way Jaunty looked at him and the way he was speaking gave Byron pause to think he knew what she was, what her father was. She leaned forward and put her drink down on the desk.
“What do you mean?” Byron asked.
Jaunty got up and walked to the safe in the corner of the office. He spun the lock and the door opened with a creak. He riffled through some papers and then brought a photograph over to show her.
“This was taken on the first day I bought into the business after Albert Thrang died. Your father loaned me the money to buy the business.”
Byron nodded. “I know—my father said he trusted you implicitly. That’s why I came to you, Jaunty.” Byron had lived her life as a man through the centuries when running an international business as a woman would have been difficult. As time went by, and the culture changed, she felt able to come out as her true self, but she was always naturally more masculine than feminine and expressed herself that way both in her clothes and sexually. Jaunty, as her tailor, gave her the discretion she needed, and never blinked an eye as he measured her up for her suits, and found her to be wearing a strap-on. This was just who she was, and he’d always accepted it.
“I know why you came to me.” Jaunty showed her the picture and pointed at the tall man in the picture who looked so much like Byron, except for the artificially induced salt-and-pepper hair.
“This was forty-seven years ago, and your father hasn’t aged a day.”
Normally her family didn’t keep up long-term friendships, so these difficulties didn’t arise. But Michal was very fond of Jaunty, so was Byron, and now she was falling for his niece. She had never planned on this relationship, but after the first taste of Amelia’s lips, she knew she could not turn her back on her, despite the many problems a relationship posed for someone like her, and despite vowing long ago to never ever care for a woman again.
Byron was reminded of that close friend from a long time ago who had prophesized that one day a young woman would come along and pierce her impenetrable heart. Byron had never believed it—until recently.
“I could never hurt her, and I would do anything to keep her safe, I can promise you that. This holiday is to work out what we can be together. I’ve never taken a chance like this, never let someone into my world like this.”
Jaunty let out a breath. “You need to be so careful, Byron. My girl is head over heels for you.”
This should have sent her fleeing in fear—it always had done before if any women she slept with got too close—but Amelia was different. She was her girl, shining with goodness, and that goodness lit up the dark parts of her.
Byron’s hearing picked up the sound of Amelia’s heels on the wooden floors. “She’s coming. You don’t have anything to worry about, Jaunty. Amelia is safe with me.”
I want to thank Jenny for stopping by. ‘Hunger for You’ will be available on 01-April-18. Be sure to check out her links for more news.
Until Next Time,
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