Friday, October 19, 2012

Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells (Interview, Review)



Sophie's Turn (The Rock Star Romance)
This honest, funny and sometimes bitter-sweet novel tells the story of one woman’s entanglement with a rock star.

Slapper. Slut. Adulteress. These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself. And yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet. Aged nineteen, she traveled halfway across the country to honor an invitation by her favorite rock band, Tusk, to join them for the last gig of their tour. And now her past is coming to tempt her... How could Tim ever stand a chance against Dan, the charming, handsome lead-singer? How could she?

Sophie, now twenty-eight and a budding newspaper journalist, is happily embroiled in a relationship with Tim, her boyfriend of two years. Until recently, she was confident that Tim would eventually propose—probably as soon as he could get his act together. But just as Tim’s persistent inaction is beginning to cast a cloud over their relationship, Dan’s sudden reappearance turns Sophie’s world upside down. Thus unfolds a roller-coaster of events including an ill-fated trip to Paris with Tim, a night of unfulfilled romance with Dan, Sophie and Tim’s engagement party gate-crashed by Dan, and Sophie’s professional secondment to accompany Dan’s band on their revival tour—at Dan’s special request and very much against her will.

And then, one fine day in Paris, Sophie suddenly finds herself engaged to Dan while her erstwhile fiancĂ© Tim is... well, doing whatever it is Tim does back in London. What is she to do now? Who wouldn’t give anything to meet their favourite star, let alone marry him?

Find out how Sophie gets into this impossible situation, and how she turns it around, in Sophie’s Turn, a modern romantic fairy tale.

Nicky Wells

Nicky Wells            Nicky Wells is a writer and former business practices researcher. Born and raised in Germany, she moved to the United Kingdom in 1993. Having completed two degrees, Nicky spent six years working as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, DC.

            Nicky left work in late 2004 to spend three months writing "Sophie's Turn" before the birth of her first baby in April 2005. Currently, Nicky lives in Bristol with her husband and her two boys and is beginning work on her next novel.

            Nicky, now 38, has been writing in some form or other since she was ten. While "Sophie's Turn" is her second novel, it represents her first serious attempt at becoming a published writer.

            Sophie's Turn was born out of the desire to write Nicky's all-time-favourite romantic novel, including all the laughter and tears, sex and introspection that she'd like to see in the perfect book.

            Nicky likes reading, writing, rock music and eating lobsters!

Find out about the Virtual Book Tour for Sophie's Turn at Nicky's blog at http://nickywellsklippert.wordpress.com. The Virtual Book Tour features reviews, interviews and give-aways. Nicky looks forward to seeing you there...xx

Interview

Hi Donna!  First of all, thank you so much for hosting me on your fab and quite unique blog.  I am delighted to be here!  I loved the questions you asked me so let’s take a look at my answers….

Do you remember the first story you wrote? What was it like?

Do you know, nobody’s asked me this before!  If you’re seriously interested in the very first story I ever wrote, I have to go back a long way.  It was called “The ITs from Jupiter” and featured a bunch of alien creatures living on barren old Jupiter.  They existed on a diet of special biscuits, of which they each had about thirty, if I recall correctly.  They interacted with each other through headsets that looked like those hoods you get in the hairdresser’s to dry your hair when it’s being permed.  They also received their education that way!  All in all, they led a pretty solitary and miserable existence up there.  But when their biscuits ran out, they had to go and visit Earth to earn some more.  Enter adventures with Earthlings, i.e. a group of boisterous children.  Now this story was written about… well, I would have to say, 28 years ago.  By hand, in a ruled notebook.  
I was ten!

Do you use paper and pen, old-fashioned typewriter, or computer/laptop?

I have terrible hand writing and get tired very quickly, so I’m afraid I’m not a good old-fashioned ‘proper’ writer.  I don’t get on with typewriters although I did use one, once.  So I have to confess, I’m a slave to my laptop, at least as far as writing the actual book is concerned.  However, for the planning stages of my work, I use pen and paper, felt tips, multi-coloured post-it notes, scissors and glue if necessary…  The initial outline is a bit of a work of art, and it’s a really fun process. 

 Is there a specific place that you like to write?

I can write pretty much anywhere as long as I’ve got my outline, a big cup of tea, and peace and quiet.  Most of the time, I write in our dining room, my office having long since been surrendered as play space to the kids.  I do also stretch out on the sofa to have a bash at a few chapters.  And I’ve tried writing outside this past summer, but for some reason, sunlight and the resolution of my laptop screen don’t mix too well and you can’t actually see anything.  Also the neighbours have been building an extension, and every time I settled down for a spot of writing, the builders would get out the jack hammers.  So I had to evacuate inside again….

What is the best part of writing for you?

The absolute best part of writing is when the characters take over.  I plan my plotlines meticulously right down to the last detail… but when I really get going, my characters acquire a sort of life of their own.  They take detours, say things I hadn’t anticipated and get up to all sorts of mischief.  It’s absolutely fascinating, and then I have the pleasure of ‘reading’ the book while I’m writing it.  For example, in Sophie’s Turn, I hadn’t actually planned for Dan to turn up at Tim and Sophie’s engagement party.  That’s kind of hard to believe now, but there it is.  Of course I had planned for him to be jealous and make some scathing comments… but I never envisaged him just barging in there.  I was totally on tenterhooks when he turned up!  That kind of event is just pure writing pleasure!

Tell us something about your books.

Running totally contrary to what’s been said in the media about how romance is dead, and chick lit is on its way out as women strive for more literary endeavours, I want my books to be perfect romantic escapism.  I want my books to be fun, easy to read, engaging, make people laugh and put the book down much happier than when they picked it up.  Yet I don’t think my books are ‘empty’ of meaning or emotion.  On the contrary, I think (well, I hope) there is just the right amount of depth to them to make the reader reflect on their own life, the choices they would make in similar circumstances, or indeed the choices they have made.  While I’m writing for an adult audience, my books will always be thus oriented.  If and when I start writing for children, my books will be funny adventure stories.

What is something that most people wouldn't necessarily know about you (that you would be willing to share here, of course!)?

Something that most people wouldn’t necessarily know about me… When I was a teenager, I used to regularly faint in PE lessons.  That included swimming lessons!  I don’t really know what was going on there, except that I was always scared out of my wits in PE.  One time, my PE teacher made me jump off the starting block by threat of entering a fail grade in my records.  So I jumped.  And passed out, naturally.  Except he thought I was doing some sort of spectacular dive, so it took a while for him to realise that I wasn’t actually lying on the bottom of the pool just for fun.  My Mum was distinctly under-impressed!

Top 3 things on your bucket list.

First, I’d love to visit Iceland.
Second, I’d love to learn to play the piano.
Third, I’d love to dive on the Great Barrier Reef.  That would involve learning to swim properly though, and learning to dive as well.  Hm.

When you aren’t writing, what are you doing?

When I’m not writing, I’m a mother, wife, daughter, housekeeper, volunteer teaching assistant, researcher, avid reader, music lover (and bad singer), painter and decorator, friend and neighbour.  I don’t do gardening, running or working out in the gym (ugh) (no offense to anyone who likes the gym, it’s just not for me).

Where can we find you? (sites, links, FB, twitter, author page)

FB: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Nicky-Wells/240322162658246
Twitter:  @WellsNicky
Loveahappyending author page: http://loveahappyending.com/nicky-wells/
I also have author pages on amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, and goodreads.

Book Quotes

Well, if it weren’t for the small matter of Tim, her actual finance’. And for the fact that Dan was a mega rock star. And for the fact that they had both drunk a little too much at the party after the big Parish gig. But he had said, ‘would you marry,’ hadn’t he, and indeed she would. In a different world. In a different lifetime. But, “yes, oh yes,” she shouted again, because he wasn’t serious, and it wouldn’t hurt to go along with the fantasy, would it?

“Yes, I am. Look, he’s a great guy. He’s kind and caring and good looking. He’s got a good job and he adores me. he’s funny. No really, he can be. You just never get to see him like that. He’s intelligent and he likes reading books. We go to the opera and we go travelling. He would never let me down. He would never betray me.”

I was breathless after this little tirade. “Will you listen to yourself:” Rachel asked, quietly. “Where is the love, the passion, the romance” Doing crazy, unpremeditated things on the hop?”

As I was bolting out of the building trying to make good time for the Tube, I bumped smack-bang into Tim trying to get into the building. He was picking me up so that I could arrive at the train station composed and in style!

“You see, I thought this was supposed to be a romantic treat,” he explained. “Telly doesn’t belong here. Instead, we’ll play Naughty Monopoly.”

“I really, really meant to pop that question over the weekend. You know, propose.” “But you know what? I forgot the ring.” He let that hang for a few seconds, trying to gauge my reaction. …How was I supposed to react to that?...”So anyway, I forgot the ring and you can’t propose to the woman you love without a ring. And so that’s why I didn’t. I thought you might like to know.”…Inwardly, I screamed…Why TELL me such a thing?

And so it came that I, Sophie Penhalligan from Newquay, changed into an expensive silky black dress and a string of pearls in the back seat of a black stretch limo outside one of the poshest hotels in the world.
We picked up where we had left off at the Royal all that time ago: gazing at each other communicating by looks rather than words.


My Review

            At first I thought how could so many misspelled words get by a proofreader and then it came to me, like a cloud floating by, that I was reading a book by author ‘across the pond’ and I was intrigued even more by the story and my good fortune to be chosen by this author to review her book. I think we read and don’t think about the author behind the story and I realized that at that moment, the reading world opened up as a place to unite authors and readers from all over the world.

            This was a story that could have been plucked straight from the streets of London or small town USA. It’s funny. It is heart breaking, and it is honest.

            Sophie is living life on her own terms. She has a great job at a newspaper, best friend who keeps her grounded, and a long-term boyfriend.

            And, then there is Dan. Sophie has loved Dan, a member of the rock band TUSK, since she was a teenager. She first met him ten years before when she wrangled her way backstage after a concert.

            Since then, life has gone on and Sophie is in a long-term relationship with Tim, who at some point, Sophie hopes will propose to her.

            About the time that Tim finally gets his act together and proposes, Dan re-enters her life. Sophie soon finds herself engaged to both men and is face with the decision of figuring out who and what she needs to make her happy.

            It is a modern-day romance that any girl might like to find herself embroiled. As Ms. Wells says – “find out how Sophie gets into such an impossible situation and how she turns it around”. It is a delightful “chick-lit” book; definitely one you will not be able to put down.



If you found my review helpful, please consider voting for my review on Amazon by clicking on the link below. Thanks!



Giveaway!
Ms. Wells has graciously offered an ebook to one commenter.
All you need to do to win, is leave a comment with your email.

Don’t forget your email!

Tweeting is not required but so appreciated! Thanks!

Contest ends October 30, 2012

If you absolutely have to read the book NOW, you can find it here:




Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. 

Sophie's Turn can be purchased through the following links. 
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3 comments:

  1. Hi Donna, thank you so much for hosting me again on your gorgeous blog as part of this re-release blog tour for Sophie's Turn. It's a pleasure and an honor to be here (see, I'm trying to use Americanized spelling wherever I can now...) and I hope your readers enjoy meeting me.

    Speaking of enjoying, I am so thrilled that you enjoyed Sophie's Turn so much. Thank you for your thoughts and for the glowing five stars: **happy dance**

    Here's wishing good luck to all giveaway entrants!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd love to win this, sounds such a great book. k_duncan21@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kat, thanks for your kind comment. :-) Good luck ~ and if you win, happy reading, I hope you enjoy. X

      Delete

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