Friday, May 18, 2012

BIG Announcement - enter my ChoirStars competition!

I have been waiting for ages to announce this to you and I'm really excited about it! Read on for news of a mahoosive competition that could see you and your friends performing at my swanky London book-launch for When I Fall in Love!!!

Drumroll, please...

I'm launching a search for a choir...

My new novel, When I Fall in Love is being published on 8th November this year. At the heart of the novel is a choir that Elsie Maynard forms with the help of former rock-singer of an '80s one-hit-wonder rockband, Woody Jensen. The Sundaes are a choir like no other, performing crazy medleys in places as diverse as pubs, Brighton Pier (flashmob-style) and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. More than anything, the choir's aim is to have fun and the community they build as they sing together becomes something really special.

So, I am launching a nationwide search to find the best choir. It doesn't matter if you've been singing together for years or have only just joined - in fact, you could start a choir especially for this competition! It's free to enter - all you have to do is to make a video of your choir singing and send me the link. I will then showcase the entries on this blog (linking with Twitter and Facebook)and will hold a public vote. The choir with the most votes will win not only the awesome title of When I Fall in Love CHOIRSTARS 2012, but will also be invited down to London to perform at an exclusive event to celebrate the launch of When I Fall in Love and all the choir members will receive signed first edition copies of the book!

So, what are you waiting for?!

Email your video links to me: (to arrive no later than SUNDAY 30TH SEPTEMBER 2012)and I will begin to showcase the entries at the start of August. Have fun, go for it and show me what you've got! Please pass this on to anyone you know who fancies having a go - I can't wait to see your entries!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Indie Music Thursday - fab music!

Welcome to the start of a new occasional feature on Coffee & Roses - Indie Music Thursday! (I might have to call it IMT for short...)

Every now and again (i.e. whenever I find one) I'm going to bring you a video of an indie artist or band that I like. It's great to find brilliant new music, especially when we are so swamped at the moment by cookie-cutter, Cowell-funded pap music (not a typo). Being a musician I know the wealth of musical awesomeness out there, so this is my way of paying tribute to that.

First IMT find is the fabulous Fosskit No.5 from Austin, Texas in the USA. They're fab and I love this song they're performing in the video. You can visit their website, follow them on twitter, Facebook and see their band profile at Reverbnation, where you can also listen to their music.


If you are an indie band or artist, or you'd like to recommend one to be featured in my IMT series, email me at:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

When I Fall in Love - The Story and The Cast!

This year I'm taking you behind the scenes of writing, editing and publishing my fourth novel, When I Fall in Love. This week, I emerge out of my editing cave after completing the line edits to tell you about the story and share my dream cast...

I'm so chuffed to be able to say I've finished my line edit on When I Fall in Love! Sorry for the delay in making this vlog, but the edits turn me into a bit of a hermit by necessity, hence the blog silence. But I'm back now, and I have lots of exciting stuff planned for the next few weeks, including my location video that I shot when I was researching Brighton for the book and news of an amazing competition that I'll be launching, which will be of particular interest to you if you're part of a choir...

So, with the line edits completely done (I love seeing that fact actually written down!), I thought it was about time I told you what the story of When I Fall in Love is all about. Without further ado, here's this week's vlog - and then scroll down to see my characters and dream cast for the film (Mr Richard Curtis, please take note...)


p.s. This week's YouTube-nominated freeze frame is entitled, 'Things That Make You Go Hmmm...'

WHEN I FALL IN LOVE - Meet The Cast!
...because obviously it's going to be made into a film, right? When I write my novels, it always helps me to have a 'dream cast' - actors who I feel embody the characteristics of my characters and give me a visual reference. Added to that, it's fun to cast for a film - which is what most authors would love to see their books becoming one day. Anyway, on to the cast:

ELSIE MAYNARD played by Carey Mulligan
Elsie is a strong, confident young woman, who is bravely stepping into a new future after facing the biggest challenge of her life, which happened eighteen months ago. She is assistant manager at retro ice cream café, Sundae & Cher, in Brighton. The youngest of three sisters, Elsie is close to her family, although her mother deserted them when Elsie was little. Consequently, the relationship Elsie has with her father, Jim, is very strong. When we meet her, she has just decided to date again, which is a big decision for her; so much so that, distracted by it, she ends up walking out of a chemists' without paying, leading to her being accused of shoplifting - and bringing her straight into the path of Torin Stewart (see below). A chance meeting with former rock star Woody Jensen (see below) leads Elsie to form a choir like no other. When Jim introduces her to his business partner's nephew, Oliver Hogarth (see below), the scene is set for fireworks in Elsie's life.

WOODY JENSEN played by Paul Kaye
The former frontman of Eighties' one-hit wonder rock band Hellfinger, Woody considers himself a rock'n'roll guru, believing that the universe has ordained him to start a choir. When he sees Elsie leading what becomes a flashmob in a rendition of I Will Survive at a beach café (following a dare from her sister, Daisy - see below), Woody is certain Elsie is the chosen one to help him. With a keen eye for the ladies (in particular, Elsie's boss Cher - see below) and a seriously rock'n'roll past never far away, life is never going to be dull when Woody is around!

TORIN STEWART played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Torin is a successful barrister, working from a practice in Brighton. He comes to Elsie's aid in the first scene when she is accused of shoplifting - but is a little too pleased with himself for his chivalrous act, leading to the first of what will be many arguments between them. Torin is a man of countless contradictions: full of wit and capable of great thoughtfulness one minute, self-assured and opinionated the next. He is seemingly everywhere Elsie goes and their personalities clash every time. Torin assumes that Elsie is a man-hating feminist, too wrapped up in her own opinions to ever consider anyone else's, while Elsie sees Torin as rude, arrogant, and all too quick to revel in her mistakes. Will it ever be possible for Torin and Elsie to be in the same room together without fighting?

OLIVER HOGARTH played by Tom Hiddleston
Oliver is a talented graphic designer, with a love of the outdoors and a passion for kite-surfing. Laid-back, gorgeous and utterly charming, Olly is a character I know you will fall in love with (I have!). He is the nephew of Elsie's father's business partner, and has been designing a new website for Jim's furniture store in Brighton. When Elsie announces her decision to start dating again to her family, Jim secretly sets up a meeting between his daughter and the handsome designer. This sweetly awkward matchmaking attempt begins a deep friendship between Elsie and Olly. But will her past allow her to fall in love with him?

CHER PETTINGER played by Sarah Parish
Cher is the charismatic owner of Sundae & Cher retro ice cream café in Gardner Street, in North Laine, Brighton. Her café is a gorgeous hub of decadent delights - from the fantastically-flavoured ice cream she and Elsie make onsite, to the irresistible cakes and cookies they create. A lover of vintage style, Cher is known throughout North Laine for her wit and penchant for low-cut blouses! She is a great friend to Elsie and has supported her through the past eighteen months, which has further strengthened the bond between them. With a love life that is famously anything but perfect, she is fearless in her pursuit of Mr Right - but after a string of disastrous relationships could handsome older man Jake Long be the answer to her prayers?

DAISY MAYNARD played by Romola Garai
Daisy is Elsie's eldest sister and her best friend. It is Daisy's dare for Elsie to sing a song at the beachfront café that leads to the fateful meeting with Woody Jensen - setting the wheels in motion for a journey that will eventually lead Elsie to confront her past. A beautiful, successful young woman, Daisy seemingly has everything in life: a fantastic job as an interior designer, a gorgeous older boyfriend, André Durand, a stunning apartment in Hove and the kind of effortless elegance that most women would die for. But with her property developer boyfriend away from home so often and the hopes for her own life she jealously guards, is Daisy really happy?

GUIN ROBERTS played by Emily Blunt
Guin is the middle Maynard sister and out of all three is the most like their father, Jim (see below). Married to Joe and expecting their first child, Guin runs her own pottery business in arty Shoreham-by-Sea. She is renowned in the family for her straight-talking attitude and killer sense of humour but also for her caring nature and 'Mother Hen' approach to her sisters. Like her father, Guin is a strict vegetarian, is a believer in natural childbirth and loves the bohemian lifestyle that she and husband Joe enjoy. But will her firmly-held views stand when she is faced with an emergency?

JIM MAYNARD played by Ciaran Hinds
Jim Maynard is the kind of father every girl wants. Left to care for his three young daughters alone when his actress wife deserted them to seek her fortune in London, Jim worked hard to build a life for his family - and as a result, they are a tight family unit. Jim inherited his furniture business, Brighton Home Stores, from his father, so by day he is a well-respected Brighton businessman. But at heart, Jim will always be a life-loving hippy, fond of Indian culture and Eastern spirituality. His greatest wish is to see his daughters settled and happy, so when Elsie tells him she is thinking of dating again, he arranges a 'chance meeting' with Olly Hogarth and makes no secret of his hopes for the young man and his daughter...

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below! I'm really looking forward to introducing you to these characters in When I Fall in Love... Coming soon, meet THE SUNDAES - the choir Elsie and Woody create!
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