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  • Lynne Shelby

Holiday Reading #3 Jennifer Macaire - The Road to Alexander

Today I’m talking with author Jennifer Macaire, who has had both wonderful and awful experiences while on holiday.

Me: Welcome to Shelby Writes, Jennifer. First of all, can you tell us a little about your book, The Road to Alexander, and your heroine, Ashley?

Jennifer: Ashley is a time-travel journalist who has fought to prove herself in a world that that believes her road in life was paved by her parents' fortune. After winning a prestigious award, she is selected to travel through time and interview a historical figure. Choosing her childhood hero, Alexander the Great, she voyages back in time for less than a day to interview a man whose legend has survived to the present day. He mistakes her for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her. Stranded in the past, cold and aloof Ashley has to learn to befriend, to trust...and to love. Sex, love, war, & quite a bit of vino - it's a Greek myth come to life...

Me: … and a perfect holiday read – certainly a book I will be reading on the beach this summer. What are your holiday plans for this year, Jennifer? Travelling abroad or staycation?

Jennifer: My husband was a professional polo player - he’ll tell you his life has been one long holiday, traveling to different places to play polo. I’ll agree - the places were brilliant, but it was (and he’ll agree) a stressful life. So, in all our time together, we’ve only gone on holiday twice - once to the South of France, and once to Portugal. Ever other time it’s been a busman’s holiday, with my husband working and me tagging along. He still plays polo but now it’s mostly teaching and coaching, but our “holidays” are still for work! I work as a dental assistant in an office, so when I get my holidays, we usually leave and go to a polo tournament somewhere.

This year, we’ll be a week in the Medoc region, near the top of the Medoc peninsula, while my husband gives a polo clinic. We are lodged in the stables, which is actually much nicer than it sounds, being a studio apartment with its own bath. (We’ve stayed in far worse places!)

Then it’s off to Deauville for another week of polo coaching this time, and there we stay in a lonely farmhouse in the middle of nowhere - we rent it from friends - and it’s wonderful. No Wifi, no television - nothing but the cows lowing and every once in a while, a tractor.

Me: It sounds idyllic. Do you have a favourite place to go on holiday?

Jennifer: I enjoyed Portugal. It was our second vacation together where neither of us worked,and we drove from Paris to the Algarve (3 days - stopping along the way). I’d like to go backsomeday and see the rest of the country along the coast. Otherwise, I think my dream vacation would be to go to Jamaica and stay at a place called Jamaica Inn (we were there twice for polo tournaments) - I’d love to go back to just “lime around” as they say!

Me: Which books will you be taking on holiday this year?

Jennifer: This year, I’m taking my kindle (as usual) and it is stocked with books I haven’t had time to read yet. by Dane Cobain, My Perfect Life at Cornish Cottage by SJ Crabb, Abi's Neighbour by Jenny Kane, French Kissing by Lynne Shelby, & the latest Jill Mansell book, Meet me at Beachcomber Bay. I think I’m set for the holidays!

Me: Great to see my book in there Jennifer – I hope you enjoy it. What was your most memorable holiday?

(Warning: Some readers may find this part of our talk distressing)

Jennifer: The most memorable vacation - but in a bad way - was when Playboy, my sister-in-law’s dachshund, was attacked by another dog on the beach. My husband and our twin sons and I had gone on holiday to the south of France with my brother and sister-in-law and their daughter. The irony was it was the first holiday we’d ever had without our husbands having to work - (the brothers were both professional polo players), and my sister-in-law and I decided we needed a vacation where there were no horses around. My sister-in-law’s uncle rented us a cottage near the beach on the outskirts of a small town. We would walk to town every morning to shop and leave the children and the dogs in the house. One day, as we came back, they ran out to greet us and a stray dog who was in the area saw Playboy and bit him. It was terrible - there was nothing we could do - we rushed Playboy to the vet, but it was already too late. That was on the third day of our vacation - for the rest of the week we tried to enjoy the weather and the beach, but our hearts just weren’t in it. We still talk about the “most dreadful holiday ever.” In a way, it brought us closer together. But we still miss poor Playboy.

Me: Many thanks, Jennifer, for joining us today and sharing your holiday experiences. I look forward to reading The Road to Alexnder.

Jennifer Macaire lives in France with her husband, three children, & various dogs & horses. She loves cooking, eating French chocolate, growing herbs and flowering plants on her balcony, and playing golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St. Peter and Paul high school in St. Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

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