A woman on the run, a broken man and a house with a shocking secret …
Madeleine Frost has to get away. Her partner Liam has become increasingly controlling to the point that Maddie fears for her safety, and that of her young daughter Poppy.
Desperation leads Maddie to the hotel owned by her estranged father – the extraordinarily beautiful Wrea Head Hall in Yorkshire. There, she meets Christopher ‘Bandit’ Lawless, an ex-marine and the gamekeeper of the hall, whose brusque manner conceals a painful past.
After discovering a diary belonging to a previous owner, Maddie and Bandit find themselves immersed in the history of the old house, uncovering its secrets, scandals, tragedies – and, all the while, becoming closer.
But Liam still won’t let go, he wants Maddie back, and when Liam wants something he gets it, no matter who he hurts …
Winner of Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks 2015 Search for a Star competition.
Title: House of Secrets
Author: Lynda Stacey
Published By: Choclit
Publication Date: 4th July 2017
Links: UK: Amazon US: Amazon
Ebook at GetBook.at/Houseofsecrets
Paperback at GetBook.at/PBHouseofsecrets
Author Q&A - Lynda Stacey
Hi Lynda, welcome to Sincerely Book Angels, can you tell us:-
What was the inspiration behind this novel?
The inspiration was always the hall. Wrea Head Hall is the most amazing, historical building. As you walk through the doors, you can feel the history seeping out of the walls at you. I went to the hall for a birthday treat around 5 years ago and immediately fell in love with it.
Did you always want to be a writer?
YES.... absolutely. I wasn't a very adventurous child. I used to spend a lot of time with books, pads and pens and in my early teenage years I was given a lilliput typewriter for Christmas. After that, there was no going back.
What other jobs have you had?
I've always liked to eat.... and with that in mind I've taken jobs doing almost anything that I could get paid for.
I've been predominantly in sales and I'm currently the Sales Director of a stationery and office supplies company.
I worked at 'Rumbelows' selling washing machines and televisions, I worked at 'WHS Do it all' stacking shelves and sitting on reception making those annoying tannoy announcements that could be heard all around the store. I was a model, a dental nurse and I worked in a photography lab cutting negatives to size. Oh, and I was a Scuba Diving Instructor, I taught all over the world and loved every minute, but my proudest moment was when I became an author and saw my book in paperback for the very first time.
How did it feel when your first novel was published?
Very surreal and very humbling. I'd worked for years for that moment and for some reason I kind of felt as though people were talking about someone else books.
Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
Well, I'm just a normal person, who grew up in a mining community. I went to local schools and hated every moment. I led what you could call an unpredictable childhood, my father was manic depressive, alcoholic and I spent a lot of time just keeping quiet and out of his way.
At the age of 15 I announced to my careers advice officer that I was going to be an author, he looked over the top of his glasses and asked if I'd ever thought about working in Boots.
It was 1984, there was a miners strike and I had to work. My writing was put on hold and as you see above, I had a lot of jobs to pay the mortgage and it was only after a freak car accident in 2007 that I found myself with limited use of my arm. I couldn't teach scuba diving anymore and found myself sat for long periods of time with nothing to do. It was at this time that I began writing. And now, in 2017 I've just signed my 4th book contract with Choc Lit.
What other books have you written?
I've written 4 books.
House of Sscrets, Tell me no Secrets, House of Christmas Secrets (working title) and Twisted Secrets.
Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
I can't say that I have. Although I don't sit down every day at a set time to write. Because I work full time, I tend to write as and when I can, which is normally at times when I want to write.... or feel happy to write. So, no, no writers block yet.
What motivates you to keep writing?
I love the whole process. I love finding the characters in my mind, giving them backgrounds and life stories. I'd also like to write into retirement and use it as a way to fund my lifestyle, which my husband says is expensive lol.
Where is your favourite place to write?
I love to curl up on the corner of my very big corner suite in my pj's. I put the recliner up and get the laptop on my knee.
Do your characters moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
I guess so. If I've been writing a sad or dramatic scene, I find it hard to sleep. It's as though I need to make my heroine's life all nice again before I can settle.
What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Be prepared to write the same scene over and over again. Be prepared to ride the whole rollercoaster of emotions that come with the publishing game, but most of all keep writing.
Which authors inspire you?
Oh nooooo, I can't answer that. I'd be like asking me to choose a favourite child.
What are you reading at the moment?
After going to a tutorial of hers at the RNA Conference, I'm reading 'The Other Us' by Fiona Harper.
If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
Probably something by Queen or Fleetwood Mac.
Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
My favourite character in the book is Bandit and I'd probably choose Stuart Martin to play him. He's gorgeous with just a touch of vulnerability.
What is your next book about?
Tell me no Secrets. Here's the blurb...
Can a secret be worse than a lie?
Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …
On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?
When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.
As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process...
Sounds fab, and now think about the books you've read and just give the first one that comes into your head for our quick-fire 'Which book round.'
Which book has made you:
Laugh out loud?
Any Milly Johnson book, they're brilliant.
Cry your heart out?
I don't really do crying... sorry.!.
Want to read it again?
My childhood Enid Blyton Books. I spent hours of my childhood getting lost in the pages, I'd love to see if they still captivate me.
A Discovery of Witches, Deborah Harkness. It was about witches and vampires, but deep down it was about acceptance within a society.
Wish it would be made into a film?
House of Secrets, by me.
Thanks so much Lynda for joining us on the blog today and good luck with the book.
Book Angel x
About the Author
Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,
Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.
Link to Choc Lit