I’m thrilled to welcome fellow RNA member Julie Stock to tell us about her debut romance novel From Here to Nashville.
First, the striking cover and the blurb:
Rachel Hardy dreams of being a successful country music singer in Nashville’s Music City, four thousand miles away from her lonely life in Dorset.
When Jackson Phillips, an independent record label owner, encourages her band to audition for a nationwide ‘Open Mic’ competition, she decides they have nothing to lose.
But when she starts to fall in love with Jackson, the stakes suddenly get higher and she finds herself with a great big dilemma on her hands. Should she abandon her dream and take the easy way out or should she leave the life she has always known behind and take a gamble on a man who has personal demons of his own?
Follow Rachel and Jackson as they learn to trust in love again and to see whether music really can bring them together.
And an excerpt …
‘I turned slowly to find myself staring up into the most beautiful pair of brown eyes I’d ever seen. The gorgeous man who’d been watching me earlier now stood before me, and my breath caught as I studied him close up. He towered over my petite frame, his soft, wavy, dark brown hair falling over his forehead, hands slung low in his pockets and cowboy boots peeking out from beneath his jeans.
‘Er, hi,’ I managed to stutter out, reminding myself to breathe.
‘Hey there,’ he drawled in the most luscious American accent. ‘I heard you singing and I wanted to find out more about who that fabulous voice belonged to.’ He smiled and as he did, I noticed the way his lips turned up invitingly at the corners.
‘Thank you. I’m glad you liked it,’ I replied, trying to appear calm and to bring my focus back to his eyes.
And then he chuckled. God, he knew how to make a chuckle sound sexy. He oozed confidence too, with his broad shoulders pulled back and his head held high.
‘You British, you’re so damn polite,’ he said, raising his eyebrows. ‘You sounded great up there.’
‘Yeah, the crowd had a great vibe tonight. I can’t quite believe it.’
‘Well, you have no reason not to; the proof’s all here. I loved your own song by the way. You have a real talent there.’
I blushed then, an honest-to-goodness shade of pink that made him chuckle once more, locking eyes with me as he did, so I knew the compliment was sincere.’
I think I’ve fallen for him already! So tell me, Julie, what was the initial kernel of an idea that got you started writing From Here to Nashville?
I had been enjoying the TV series ‘Nashville’ and at the time, there was a resurgence of love for country music in the UK as well. This got me thinking about the idea of a UK singer dreaming of going to Nashville to become a country star. Once I’d worked out why Jackson might be over here in the UK so that I could get him and Rachel together, I started writing.
And could you tell us a little about the setting?
The story begins in Dorset where Rachel lives. It’s set in and around Poole, a place I know pretty well and felt able to describe with confidence. This is where Rachel meets Jackson when he comes over from Nashville for his cousin’s wedding. Later on, the story switches to Nashville, the home of country music in the US and a place I hadn’t actually visited when I wrote the story. I went there for the first time earlier this year and was glad to see that I’d done a good job of describing what it’s like.
That’s impressive, writing about somewhere you hadn’t visited! It’s great that you got to go there afterwards, though. What would you say is your heroine Rachel’s most admirable quality?
She is brave enough to go out and pursue her dream, even though it means leaving her life in Dorset behind to go into the unknown.
And your hero Jackson’s?
He’s honest and not afraid to admit when he’s made a mistake.
Sounds like the perfect hero! Have you started your next book yet, and if so, can you tell us a little about it?
I have started my next book. It’s a contemporary romance, set in France this time. The story begins when my main character finds her fiancé in bed with another woman. Reeling from this betrayal, she decides to go back home to France and to try and rebuild her life…
Interesting … And now, a little about you. Where do you do your writing?
We are lucky enough to have an open landing upstairs in our house, which I have turned into my study area. I have my desk there, next to the window and that’s where I do all my writing.
But if you could have your dream space to write, where or what would it be?
I would really love to live by the sea one day (in the not-too-distant future) and I’d love to be able to position my desk at a window that overlooked the sea. In my head, I’m already there.
Oooh, I would love to live nearer the coast. To be able to hear the waves would be idyllic! Thanks so much for visiting, Julie. It’s been great getting to know you.
From Here to Nashville is available at these links:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Julie Stock is an author of contemporary romance novels, novellas and short stories. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s New Writers’ Scheme and is a Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors.
When she is not writing, she works part-time as a teacher. She is married with two teenage daughters and lives with her family in Bedfordshire.