When Maisie accepts a celebrated author’s invitation to mentor her, she finds herself leaving Cornwall behind on train tracks bound for the glitter city of Paris. Instead of making beds and serving coffee at the Penmarrow hotel in Cornwall, she’s making notes on her manuscript while sitting in a French cafe, meeting famous writers at private dinner parties, and trying to ferret the secrets behind the author’s unfinished future novel.
It’s glamorous, it’s breathtaking … but it’s also an ocean channel away from the place that she loves, and, more importantly, the person to whom she just recently confessed her deepest feelings. Separated from Sidney by distance and circumstances, Maisie fears that their connection will be lost despite her words to him – and maybe because of those words, and the ones she didn’t allow him to say in return.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of things in her new life trying to distract her – the professional editor hired to critique her novel, the eager young literary agent who sees pie-in-the-sky potential for Maisie’s talent, but Maisie finds solace in the eclectic group of amateur writers into whose midst she finds herself by accident. Their critique and advice is fast becoming as important as the editors – maybe even more important than the published author Maisie believed held the keys to refining her skill.
But it’s missing Sidney that fills Maisie’s thoughts the most, along with her life back in Port Hewer, and she can’t stop wondering whether his feelings are the same as her own. His unspoken answer has become one of the most important pieces of her life, even as she struggles to match the pace of her new life and keep her dreams in sight. And when she unwittingly becomes privy to a seeming literary conspiracy, she must decide what to do in light of its truth – and decide what’s most important in her quest to become a professional writer.
Join Maisie in a whirlwind tour across two of the world’s greatest cities, filled with questions, dreams, and a chance for fame that she believed far beyond her grasp, as she discovers herself as a writer, and how to embrace an unexpected future on her own terms.
Guest Post – Laura Briggs
Favorite Things About Writing ‘A Train From Penzance to Paris’:
A huge thank you to Jane for letting me drop by and chat about my latest book with everyone on her lovely book blog! It is the fifth installment in my series about aspiring author Maisie Clark, whose adventures working at a Cornish hotel by the sea have been filled with secrets, romance, and plenty of surprises along the way. This newest story is a bit different from the ones before it, taking Maisie to new locations with new acquaintances—but still lots of questions about her future as a writer, not to mention her romance with the charming Sidney Daniels back in Cornwall. With so many changes, yet so much still the same, I thought it might be fun to share a few of the reasons I enjoyed working on Maisie’s latest adventure, so here goes!
Part of the story takes place in Paris:
I was fortune enough to visit the City of Light with some friends a couple of years ago, and it was every bit as beautiful as it seems in the movies. Like Maisie, I was a bit dazzled by the chic atmosphere and historic landmarks (and the pastries were among the best I’ve eaten anywhere!). It was a wonderful experience that I hope crept its way into some of the descriptions of Maisie’s own impression of this gorgeous part of the globe—though, no doubt it still contains the many inaccuracies of a tourist’s attempts to capture the nuances of a place they’ve visited only once! Though I do hope it will at least whisk the reader away to a version of the city as colorful and glamorous as those found in classic films like Funny Face and Paris When it Sizzles, or the many popular chick lit reads about Parisian bookshops and quaint cafes!
A love of books and writing is a recurring theme:
And as a writer, I can definitely identify with Maisie’s excitement—as well as her hesitations—about plunging into the world of published works. It was fun to explore that side of her character more thoroughly and to show some of the challenges faced by those who purse the dream of sharing their work on the page. It was especially fun to explore the dynamics of the amateur writing group that Maisie becomes a part of on her visit to London. Their diverse backgrounds and writing styles take the budding novelist Maisie by surprise on more than once occasion as she gets to know these fellow artists who share the same hopes, reservations, and secret ambitions in their love for the craft.
The romance is kept in suspense:
Those familiar with my Cornish hotel series have probably come to expect the slow burn nature of Maisie’s relationship with the handsome and somewhat inscrutable Sidney Daniels. And although Sidney doesn’t factor into this newest story as a key player, he’s definitely in Maisie’s heart and thoughts the entire book. Her letters to him reveal her deepest dreams and fears about her writing quest yet, and even though the feelings between them are still unresolved, she has no doubt about his place in her heart—or those three all-important words she spoke to him the last time they shared a kiss right before she had to say goodbye. Whether or not her quest to fulfill her dreams has cost her a chance with him remains to be seen, but Maisie isn’t the type to give up where her heart is concerned, and readers can expect some much-anticipated romantic resolution when book six in the series makes its debut later this summer.
There’s a surprise twist at the end:
And that’s also something fans of the series are accustomed to, though I’m hoping they won’t even have an inkling what this one could turn out to be. It certainly knocks Maisie for a loop, so to speak, and readers can expect some drama and a little angst as Maisie’s fifth adventure reaches a somewhat unexpected conclusion.
If you haven’t yet read any of the books in A LITTLE HOTEL IN CORNWALL I do hope this will inspire you to check them out. Books one through five are now available in eBook format, with book six currently on pre-order at Amazon!
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.