Sorry for the delay in the post, it was meant to go out yesterday. As thy say though, better late than never. Today I have a guest post from authorSusan Roebuck.
Stand by your beliefs – even if it means going to the end of the Earth
By standing up for his principles to save the life of a prize racehorse, farrier Joseph Barnaby loses everything. Now, a personal vendetta has become too deep to fight and he escapes to the island of Madeira where he finds work on a small farm at the foot of a cliff, only accessible by boat. The balmy climate and never-ending supply of exotic fruit, vegetables and honey make it sound like paradise but, for Joseph, it’s the ideal place to hide from the world. Can the inhabitants of Quinta da Esperança, who have more grit in them than the pebbled beach that fronts the property, help Joseph find his self-worth again? And can he escape the danger that draws ever nearer?
Portugal. A tiny country with a large heart, that’s what I always say. It’s not my country of birth (that’s the UK) but it’s my adopted country ever since my husband exported me here many moons ago.
It’s such a varied country with different cultures and landscapes. In one day you can drive from the north through national parks, ancient stone villages, past rocky mountains and steep hills covered in vineyards, to the more populated Centre with its famous Coimbra University, the walled town of Obidos down to rocking, vibrant and beautiful Lisbon. Cross over the vast Tagus river onto the south bank and travel through the plains of the Alentejo, past fields of wild-flowers, sunflowers, cork and olive groves with villages of white and blue cottages until the well-known, glamorous Algarve appears, its sparkle reflected in the azure sea because that’s as far as you can go on mainland Portugal.
The country is 900 years old, revels in the fact that it is Britain’s oldest ally (thanks to Queen Philippa of Lancaster who married Dom João I in the 14th century), and, in the fifteen and sixteenth centuries created a huge empire overseas thanks to its New World Discoveries. Portuguese is even today one of the most spoken languages in the world (thanks, largely, to Brazil).
Living in such a beautiful place, I decided to write three novels set here.
The first one was “Rising Tide”, set in a small fishing village in the Alentejo where two strangers meet – crab fisherman Leo from Alaska (straight out of the “Deadliest Catch”) and small boat fisherman, Piper, from Norfolk, UK. They’ve both come to find out more of their families.
The second one was “Forest Dancer”, set in the forest just outside Lisbon. Classical ballet dancer, Flora from London, is left a cottage in the village. She’s failed several auditions and needs to rebuild her career. Can she do that in such an out of the way place? Maybe. She’s caught the eye of a local forest ranger but maybe his love is greater for his beloved trees and forest.
My new novel, “Joseph Barnaby” is not set on mainland Portugal but on the island of Madeira, on a fajã which is a flat area of land at the bottom of a steep escarpment or cliff. Often formed on the islands of Madeira and the Azores from volcanic lava flow before it was stopped by the ocean. Some Fajãs are wide enough to be farmed, but usually the only access to them is by boat.
Madeira is famous for its tropical climate and exotic fruits and flowers. At first, Joe works in a fishermens’ bar where the drink of the day (other than beer) is always Poncha. It’s an alcoholic drink made with Aguardente de cana (distilled alcohol made from sugar cane juice), honey, sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice. It is all mixed together in a pitcher and the taste is sweet, it doesn’t have a strong alcoholic taste. It really packs a punch.
I was born and educated in the UK (I am British!) but now live in Portugal. I’ve been an English teacher for many years with the British Council and also the Portuguese civil service where I developed e-learning courses.
My first love is, of course, my husband, my second writing, and my third painting. And now I have time to be able to indulge in all three.
My debut novel, “Perfect Score” was published by Mundania Press on Sept 21, 2010 and the paperback launched on May 11 2011. It was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC e-book Awards in the Mainstream Category.
My second novel is a dark thriller/fantasy called “Hewhay Hall”. It won an EPPIE award in the 2013 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) e-Book Awards in the Horror Category.
Next comes “Rising Tide”, published in 2015. Set in Portugal, published by Mundania Press. It is set in a tiny fishing village that the world, and most of Portugal, has forgotten. Read about the wonders of the ocean and see if Piper from Norfolk UK and Leo from Alaska, USA, can find what they’re searching for in the little village of Luminosa.
“Forest Dancer” was published on 20th February 2018 by CrookedCat Books. This is novel number 2 set in Portugal but this time in the forests outside Lisbon, Portugal. Instead of the sea (as in Rising Tide), now find out about the wonders of the forest and whether classical ballerina, Flora, can find what she’s searching for in the small village of Aurora.
On 5th October 2018 CrookedCat Books published my newest novel, “Joseph Barnaby”, another romance/suspense which is set on the island of Madeira.
Social Media Links
Blog and website: http://www.susanroebuck.com
General Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SuRoebuck
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SusanRoebuckauthor/
Thanks for reading.