Today, I'm delighted to welcome Helena Fairfax to talk about her holiday plans and her new summer novel, Felicity at the Cross Hotel. I asked Helena to tell us a little about her book:
A quaint hotel in the Lake District. The Cross Hotel is the perfect getaway. Or is it?
Felicity Everdene needs a break from the family business. Driving through the Lake District to the Cross Hotel, past the shining lake and the mountains, everything seems perfect. But Felicity soon discovers all is not well at the Cross Hotel …
Patrick Cross left the village of Emmside years ago never intending to return, but his father has left him the family’s hotel in his will, and now he's forced to come back. With a missing barmaid, a grumpy chef, and the hotel losing money, the arrival of Felicity Everdene from the notorious Everdene family only adds to Patrick’s troubles.
With so much to overcome, can Felicity and Patrick bring happiness to the Cross Hotel … and find happiness for themselves?
Me: Sounds like a perfect holiday read, Helena. What are your holiday plans for this year?
Helena: This year we're going away for a week to Maastricht and Amsterdam. Maastricht may seem an unusual holiday destination – unfortunately nowadays it's mostly famous for boring EU documents! – but my husband is a big fan of the conductor André Rieue. Every year André Rieue performs an outdoor concert in the square of his home town in Maastricht. It's a spectacular event, as you can see from this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWgcFjz0wzM
We'd always wanted to go – and this year is the year!Besides watching the concert, we'll also take in the sights around Maastricht, which looks like a beautiful place. We'll then travel to Amsterdam, where we plan to visit the art galleries and just stroll around the streets and cafés. It should be a relaxed break (we hope!) and I'm looking forward to it.
Me: What is your favourite place to go on holiday?
Helena: Somewhere by the seaside in Britain. There are so many wonderful beaches here, and stunning coastline. Two of my favourite beaches are Crantock Beach in Cornwall, and Hell's Mouth beach on the Lleyn peninsula in Wales. We can't always guarantee the weather, but I love walking by the sea even when it's raining.
Me: What was your most memorable holiday?
Helena: I'm lucky to have had some wonderful holidays around the world. I also have two daughters who absolutely love to travel, and they've introduced me to places I never would have visited otherwise. I have two memorable holidays. One was to visit my youngest daughter on her gap year in Ecuador. This trip involved bus rides in the Andes and an amazing cruise round the Galapagos Islands.
The second memorable holiday was a trip to New Zealand last year to visit my oldest daughter, who now lives there. Besides travelling round the stunning landscape of NZ, I also met my grandson for the first time.
Me: You've certainly travelled to some interesting places, Helena. And how lovely to visit family all over the world. Are there any books you've particularly enjoyed reading on your travels? And which books will you be taking on holiday this year?
Helena: When I went to New Zealand last year I loaded up my Kindle with lots of Kiwi fiction to keep me occupied during the long flight. My books included The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton, and Green Dolphin Street, by Elizabeth Goudge.
There are some brilliant books set in New Zealand, and I made a list of all the books I was taking here on my blog: https://helenafairfax.com/2016/09/02/travelling-down-under-with-six-brilliant-books-set-in-new-zealand/)
I like to take books set in the place I'm going to when I'm on holiday. I still haven't made a list of books to take to Holland with me - if anyone has any recommendations for Dutch-set fiction, I'd love to hear them! – but I'm thinking The Miniaturist, by Jessie Burton, would be a good choice.
Me: Lots of great suggestions for holiday reading there, Helena. Wishing you every success with Felicity at the Cross Hotel. Thank you for visiting my blog.
Helena Fairfax is a British author who was born in Uganda and came to England as a child. She's grown used to the cold now which is just as well, since these days she lives in an old Victorian mill town in the north of England, right next door to the windswept Yorkshire moors. Helena walks this romantic landscape every day with her rescue dog, finding it the perfect place to dream up her heroes and her happy endings. Subscribers to Helena's newsletter receive news of free stuff, competitions with prizes, gossip, and links to cool websites she's been looking at when she should have been writing.
To purchase Felicity at the Cross Hotel, or find out more about Helena and her books, please follow the links below or copy and paste into your browser:
Amazon universal buy link for Felicity at the Cross Hotel: http://mybook.to/FelicityCH