I’m delighted to welcome author Faith Bleasdale to my blog today. Faith is interviewing her character Gemma Matthews from her latest release Secrets at Meadowbrook Manor. Isn’t the cover gorgeous?
Visit Meadowbrook this summer for sunshine, secrets and plenty of romance…
When Gemma Matthews is hired to transform Meadowbrook Manor into a boutique hotel, she can’t believe her luck.
She packs her bags and moves to Meadowbrook to start her dream job, but her life is quickly turned upside down. From dealing with the petty squabbles of the dramatic Singer siblings to cleaning up donkey poo, Gemma soon realises she has her work cut out for her. Neverthless, she’s
determined to make the hotel a success, especially when she starts falling for the dangerously attractive Freddie Singer.
But Gemma has a secret she’s desperate to protect, and she knows the truth could jeopardise everything…
PRAISE FOR MEADOWBROOK MANOR
‘Wish the animal sanctuary and Manor House were real as I would book a holiday there for real asap. It sounds and feels idyllic.’ Netgalley Reviewer
‘A lovely heart-warming hug of a book about family and following your heart.’ Zara Stoneley
It sounds a fab read, doesn’t it? If you want to know whether Gemma succeeds, and what secret she is protecting, you can download the book here:
Now let’s move onto Faith’s interview with Gemma.
Hi Gemma, thanks for talking to us today. Can you tell us what your initial impressions of Meadowbrook Manor were?
The house was something out of a dream. I grew up in a small bungalow and so the Georgian Manor House, which looked like the sort of doll’s house every little girl dreams of, was stunning, I had to blink to check it was real and that I was actually going to be living and working there.
What appealed to you about the job?
I was hired as a consultant to help turn the house into a hotel. The Singer family who are all involved in the project – four siblings – wanted to do so but they didn’t always agree on what exactly the hotel should be. It was a great challenge for me, although also quite scary.
What was it like working for four siblings?
For anyone the Singer siblings would be initially intimidating. They are all attractive, confident and seemed to have lived very privileged lives. Harriet, the oldest is incredibly together, she used to run a trading floor in an investment bank and she terrified me. Gus the second oldest was the gentlest and most creative, I couldn’t help but open up to him. Freddie was terrifyingly handsome and so much fun, he definitely brought out the klutz in me and made me feel awkward and dull. And Pippa the youngest, was so beautiful but lovely and I couldn’t help but want to be her friend. They are a family who have had privilege but they have the biggest hearts and I learnt that it’s not always plain sailing for people, even if they do live in big houses.
Can you tell us a little about your background?
My Dad left when I was a baby and my mum followed suit when I was four. I was brought up by my widowed nan. She was amazing, but I never quite got over the feeling of being abandoned, I sometimes wonder if I ever will. I don’t mean to sound like a ‘poor me’ sort of person but sometimes I do feel a bit sorry for myself, especially as now my nan has dementia and is in a home. I miss her, I miss us, so very much.
I’m sorry to hear that. Do you think that impacted how you felt about the Singer’s at all? Were you jealous?
I was naturally envious. I’m an only child with no family and there are four siblings who bicker constantly but really do have each other’s backs at all times. But I soon learnt that they cared so much, not just about each other but the animal sanctuary they all ran, and the community they lived in, which is wonderfully colourful. And in time I also learnt they cared about me.
No, I was there to be professional. I mean I maybe I developed a crush while I was there but I also fell in love with a cat called Albert who’d also been abandoned. My focus was the hotel and trying to do a good job.
I get the impression you’re not telling me everything? Are you a guarded person?
I am, I get anxious and I have to protect myself. That’s all I want to say on that matter.
OK, got the message. So finally can you sum up how you feel about your experience at Meadowbrook in a couple of sentences?
Yes, it was like a cross between a modern day Downton Abbey and The Durrells! I loved it there and I think anyone who visits us at Meadowbrook would feel the same.
It sounds fantastic! Now let’s meet Faith