10 Favourite Places to Read
I’m happy if I have a book to read, or my Kindle at hand. Living in Jersey where there’s so much beauty, it’s easy to find places to relax and switch off from the world by reading a good book. Here are my ten favourite places to read:
- St Ouen’s Bay
This is a wide expanse of golden sand with surfers making the most of the large waves and where children and dogs play and riders bring their horses for a gallop. There’s always a sheltered place to sit up against the high concrete wall running along the beach that are part of Hitler’s Atlantic wall (Atlantikwall – part of an extensive system of coastal defence built across parts of Europe in WW11).
- The sand dunes
I used to ride with my sister on our ponies as children. We’d pretend to be charging in battles, but now I like to sit quietly in a dip out of the wind and read for as long as the sun shines.
- St Brelade Bay
This is a lively beach, always busy with families and dog walkers. This is where you can find restaurants, small cafes and buy ice creams. There’s the beautiful Norman Church, known as Fisherman’s Chapel on the right and the beautiful small Quaisne (Way-nay) bay on the left where you’ll find the Smugglers Inn pub. There’s always a café to visit where I can wile away the hours lost in a good book over a latte or two.
- Val de la Mare dam
My first memory of this beautiful walk is with my father and uncle when they brought me and my siblings here for a walk in the heavy snow. I remember how silent it seemed walking through tunnels of snow made from the branches of the pine trees. The tunnels could have been exaggerated by my imagination, but I’m not sure. It’s a wonderful memory though, however much of it is real. Now I enjoy coming here to walk my rescue dogs and catch up with family while enjoying the beauty around us. There are several benches that have been dedicated to passed loved ones where I can choose to sit and read, all have spectacular views.
This is the headland where you’ll find the heart-shaped ruins of Grosnez castle. You reach this place by passing Les Landes racecourse and the view of the other smaller islands of Guernsey, Herm, Sark are lined up across the channel is one to savour, when not reading of course. It is also where the pink heather and yellow gorse are spectacular at certain times of the year.
- Gorey Beach
Yes, another beach. It’s difficult not to want to sit and make the most of the warm salty air on this island’s many beaches and this one is overlooked by the impressive Mont Orgueil Castle, where a close friend of mine’s wedding took place and somewhere that visitors can go to and find out more about our long history. It also has a large sloping green in front of the castle where you can sit, relax and read.
- My shed
This is where I write and am left in peace by my family. It’s also where I read when I’m researching historical facts, or more gruesome facts for my suspense novels. There is a very calming feel about this space, probably because it’s filled with all my favourite bookish notepads, stationery, family photos and my pink Lloyd Loom chairs.
- My garden
This is where I’m going to read this afternoon. It’s sunny and the family are out doing various activities, so I’m going to sit in the sun and read the thriller that I can’t put down, while the three dogs sunbathe on the patio next to me. Bliss.
- In the conservatory
This is where I come to on sunny but cooler days, or if it’s raining. The light is always wonderful in this room despite the weather. All I have to do is find a place where the dogs haven’t already gone to sleep.
- My favourite cosy chair in a corner of my living room.
This is the best time to read on rainy days or cold winter nights. Sitting down with my book, a blanket and a large hot chocolate, perfect!
Summer Sundaes, Boardwalk by the Sea, book 1 – Now available for pre-order
I’m also very busy putting together the final touches, working on all the bits that go with publishing a new book and the planning of the following three books in the series.
Like my Jersey Scene series, these four books are stand alone novels, but the stories will also follow on if read in sequence.
In Summer Sundaes, you’ll meet Sacha Collins and Alessandro Salvatore and discover why a girl who runs the Summer Sundaes Café would have issues with an Italian archaeologist when he comes to the village known locally as the Boardwalk by the Sea…Pre-order Yours Today
Yesterday, I was on my way to a meeting about a #secret writing project and behind the car park I spotted the sun on this grave in the slightly overgrown graveyard.
I knew the graveyard was there but it’s been years since I’ve visited. I locked the car and took a few photos on my mobile to capture the moment. Here’s one of them.
Have you taken a photo recently to keep for a future book, or simply because it inspires a story in you?
Graveyards can hold so many secrets and untold stories, don’t you think?
Happy Valentine’s Day
You can never have too many books! Can you? No, of course you can’t.
St Martin WI Talk
I’m looking forward to speaking to the St Martin WI on Monday 13 February. I’ll be talking about my contemporary romances written as Georgina Troy and my historical romances written in my own name, Deborah Carr.
My talk begins at 8.15pm and I’m sure it’s going to be a fun evening.
BBC Radio Jersey Chatting to Charlie McArdle
I spent a fun time chatting to Charlie McArdle on his radio show on Saturday 5 February about my life and my writing.
In the show I talk about how I work, from thinking of an idea, naming my characters, planning a book, to writing the first draft, and what happens next.
Here’s the link to the show – it’ll be live for 29 days – and I’m chatting from 2hrs 10mins in to the show.
Local History Fayre
I was delighted to be asked to give a talk as part of the programme for this year’s two day Local History Fayre being held on 27/28 January at the town library here in Jersey. My talk was called, Nowhere to Hide and was about my book Broken Faces and my research behind the book, especially the character who was facially disfigured and became the ‘broken face.
The talk went well and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some of the attendees and answering the questions they put to me. I also enjoyed chatting to some of the librarians who were telling me about a couple of my Georgina Troy books being read for a book club and discussing a couple of local points in the books. It was great fun and I look forward to giving another talk again there soon.
Being Anne’s Top Books of the Year 2016 – Broken Faces
Some days you wake up to incredible news and a couple of days ago I woke to find that I was tagged in an author friend’s Facebook post and discovered that my book, Broken Faces, had been chosen, as well as hers – she’s Nell Peters and her brilliant book is Hostile Witness – to be included in Being Anne’s Books of the Year List for 2016!
Anne is a Top I was truly honoured and delighted to be in such excellent company, being chosen with 17 others. Here are some of the books below:
What a perfect lead up to the Christmas festivities!
Chatting Over At Chill With A Book Site
A few weeks ago I you may remember how delighted I was to discover that Broken Faces had received a Chill with a Book Award! Today, I’m over at the site chatting about my story behind the book.
Here’s the link to the Chill with a Book post.
Mostly Jersey is known as a holiday island, but many people also travel here to visit historical monuments littering this small island. Having spent years researching the Great War in Broken Faces and the Second World War (for a sequel I’ve written but am uncertain about publishing), I’ve become fascinated both by what others have coped with during war, and, as in Jersey and the other Channel Islands, with Occupation.
In Jersey we’re surrounded by bunkers, part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall on the beach nearest to my home, as well as the Jersey War Tunnels, known as HO8 depicting stories of the horrors of the Occupation and also resistance. The Second World War is not something that will, can be, or should be forgotten on this island, or on the other Channel Islands.
We also have the almost hidden reminders of the prisoner of war camp, Les Blanches Banques – here’s the link for more about it – also down in St Ouen’s bay behind our stretch of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall.
There’s much to remind me on a daily basis, either when I drive somewhere and pass one of the bunkers, or when I’m researching my historical novels, which is probably why remember those who suffered and in many cases made the ultimate sacrifice, every day and why I’m always in awe of people who suffered life-changing injuries and had to cope with those changes and learn to live with them.
Rembrance. Lest we forget.
Novella – Beautiful Faces
This winter I’ll be putting the final touches on to my prequel to Broken Faces, Beautiful Faces.
This novella is the story of the lives leading up to the start of the Great War, it shows a brief insight into Lexi’s love for Freddie, while Freddie hides his secret adoration of his best friend Charles’s fiance, Lexi. You’ll discover their hopes and plans for a future that is cruelly shattered by the war from which none of them will escape unscathed.
The cover is a picture of my paternal grandmother, Mary, who was born in Meerut, India where she lived while her father, one of the 17th 21st Lancers were stationed there. I based Freddie on my great-grandfather, a blonde, handsome cavalryman who went on to fight in the Great War where the lives of cavalrymen was very different to any other battles they’d experienced before.
I hope you like the novella and hope to publish it in Summer 2017.
Jersey’s WW1 POW Camp
To celebrate the Jersey Festival of Word – Jersey’s second Literary Festival – from Thursday, 29 September to Sunday, 2 October, as well as the end of what turned out to be a pretty decent summer after all, Broken Faces has been reduced to 99p / 99c, but only until 4 October. You can buy your copy here at Amazon
Thank you to everyone who’s bought a copy of Broken Faces. If you’ve already read your copy and enjoyed the book, I’d be massively grateful if you could you spare a couple of minutes to post a quick review on Amazon.
Broken Faces is set in WW1 in both Jersey, Shropshire, France and Belgium. It’s the story of the hallowed privilege who believed life was always going to be golden. It’s also the story of two young men in love with the same woman and of thousands of broken men who returned from the Front with masks over their faces to hide the irreparable damage. These men were expected to live a “normal” life.
Spanning the 1914-18 war it is ultimately a story of how love can triumph over adversity in the most unexpected of ways.
Here’s a picture of the book in front of Jersey’s PoW camp from WW1, Les Blanches Blanques and here’s a link to discover more and see a few pictures of the camp.
Broken Faces is Awarded a Chill With a Book Award
It’s Saturday and apart from meeting up with fab author and person, Karen Clarke at the Waterfront this morning for a writerly catch-up over tea/latte, the only thing I intended doing this weekend was spend as much time as possible with my daughter before she returns to the mainland to enroll at her new uni and get started on her Masters.
You can imagine my delight when I received an email from Pauline Barclay of Chill with a Book site to let me know that readers had read Broken Faces and had given it an award.
Writing is a long, lonely business spending time in a room focusing on a screen while your fingers tap out the story. Although it has to be said that a lot of the time is spent thinking up conversations with your fictional characters and sometimes chatting to them out-loud and even arguing with them… or is that just me?
To wake up to an award therefore is very special and I have to admit that this Chill with a Book Award made the perfect start to my weekend. Broken Faces
Words, Words, Words – Jersey Museum Exhibition
Back in March I attended a drinks party and preview of an exhibition in the Story of Jersey Gallery at the Jersey Museum for a project developed in partnership with the Jersey Festival of Words, ‘Words, Words, Words’. (Here’s a scary picture of me standing next to my piece for the project).
Twenty-five local writers – authors, poets, playwrights and journalists – were given a random exhibit with the challenge of writing a 60 word label.
My object was a flattened musket ball that had been shot into the shoulder of a Mrs Fiott when she looked out of her window to see what was going on during the Battle of Jersey on 6 January 1781. My story is called, The Keepsake and it was exciting to see it printed up and standing next to the objects that I’d been sent to write about (the musket ball and a small painted miniature of Mrs Fiott).
It was a wonderful evening and I’m delighted to have been asked to take part.
Broken Faces – Now in Paperback
It’s exciting when your book is published as an e-book but to actually hold a physical copy of your book as a paperback is another thing entirely. I’m an e-book addict and love the choice at hand on my Kindle, but I also love having copies of my own books on my bookshelves at home.
So imagine my delight when Broken Faces came out in paperback! Here’s a picture of some of the books.
They’ll soon be in a few shops too… more about that in the next blog post.
My Book Lecture on Cunard’s Queen Victoria
I’ve just returned from a cruise on the Cunard liner, Queen Victoria. We embarked in Venice and disembarked near Rome and it was bliss. Whilst on-board I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to give a lecture on my books and how to be published, and it was not only great fun but the attendees asked many questions that I loved being able to answer.
The girls in the bookshop – here’s me with Rebecca Roy to arranged the display and sold copies of my books – also put up a display of my Deborah Carr book, Broken Faces, and my Jersey Scene books written as Georgina Troy for Accent Press.
I was delighted to donate a signed copy of each of the five books to the on-board library.
Needless to say it was a great trip but one of the highlights for me was giving my talk and talking ‘writerly bits and pieces’ with other avid writers in the audience, the youngest of whom, Kiera, was only 11 years old.
Writers’ Forum & Me
In a week where on Friday my car was officially written of by the assessors – a driver smashed into me from a yellow line slamming my car across the road and up onto a bank, on the Saturday the dishwasher died, and finally – I hope! – on Sunday the cooker decided enough was enough. It therefore very welcome news to see that my interview with Phil Barrington on his, Where I Write feature in the Writers’ Forum magazine had been published in the July edition.
Sequel to Broken Faces
I’m busily working on the sequel to Broken Faces, Splintered Lives, and spending many happy hours writing in my shed.
This book returns to Freddie, Lexi, Charles and Meri from Broken Faces, but it’s now 22 years later and World War 2 has been declared. It’s the story of love, loss and determination that despite impossible odds two lovers will be reunited.
War has been declared and David has to leave his fiance to return to his home in Shropshire. Miserable and desperate to take part in the war effort he joins the RAF. Grace is a young Jersey girl who can’t bear the thought of being apart from David but her devotion to her mother and disabled father means that she is unable to leave Jersey. Soon the island is taken over by the Nazis and the five year Occupation of the Channel Islands begins.
Splintered Lives will be published by Green Shutter Books in 2017.
A Bit About Me
I live in Jersey and have been a contributor/reviewer/deputy editor of Novelicious.com for over six years. I’m a member of the Society of Authors, Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Historical Novel Society, Alliance of Independence Authors and avid writer and reader.
I write historical novels under the name D M Carr (soon to be re-launched as by Deborah Carr) – my debut novel, Broken Faces, was published by Green Shutter Books in December 2015.
I also write contemporary romances set in Jersey, as Georgina Troy, for Accent Press publishers and the first book in the series, A Jersey Kiss, was a finalist in the 2016 RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Awards.
As runner-up in the Good Housekeeping Magazine Novel Writing Competition, I was described as ‘one to watch’, which was exhilarating. They added, ‘In Deborah Carr’s Downton-esque tale, Broken Faces, a soldier suffers a life-changing injury in the Great War’. This book also received a special commendation in the Harry Bowling Prize.
Broken Faces by D M Carr is available here.
I’m now working on the sequel to Broken Faces, Splintered Lives.