Saturday, March 22, 2014

Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels? by Lindsey Paley: Guest Post, Excerpt, Bucket List



Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?
Lindsey Paley

Thanks ever so much for hosting me on your blog, Laurie.

1.      I live in the UK with my husband and son who are great with coming up with titles for my novels. I’ve been writing contemporary romantic fiction for twenty years and have a huge box on top of my wardrobe with unfinished manuscripts crammed in. At the beginning of 2013 as one of my new year’s resolutions, I promised myself that I would complete one of the novels and submit it to a publisher. Since then I have written five novels.

2.      I love travelling and if I can use the locations we visit in my novels that’s icing on the cake. In October 2012, my husband planned a surprise trip to NYC for a milestone birthday. (We live in the UK – so I was very excited!). Whilst there we were stranded after Hurricane Sandy hit and were delayed returning home by five days and so the setting and the early part of the plot of my next novel ‘Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?’ was born. Also my third novel – ‘Ugly Paradise’ which is under contract with Prism Book Group - was set in Bali, The Island of the Gods. We hope to travel to visit Niagara Falls this year – a long-time dream of my husband – so maybe my next novel will be flavoured by the visit, who knows? Dream vacation for me? That would have to be a return visit to Hawaii where we were married.

3.      For me the most enjoyable part of the writing process is getting to know the characters, really delving under their skin for their positive character traits as well as their flaws. I love finding out what perfume or cologne they wear, what their childhood pet was called, even their favourite flavour ice cream. But picking their names is tough, almost as tough as naming a child because names say so much about characters in a novel, the era they were born in as well as their background. What I least like is the fact that my creativity only seems to flow through a pen and down to paper rather than straight to the word processor, which would save me a whole load of time.

4.      Away from the computer I am an avid baker and have triple tested the recipes in ‘Stiletto Heels’ which I hope readers will try out. In fair weather, especially sunshine, I love to wheel out my golf clubs and attempt to work on my swing – it’s a work in progress!

Blurb for ‘Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?’

When stressed out New York executive Rosie Hamilton inherits her Aunt Bernice’s run-down cottage, it couldn’t have come at a better time. With her love life, if she could call it that, exploded in her face and suspension from her job swinging through the corporate jungle, she reckons a couple weeks in Devon could be just the escape she needs from the glamorous, yet trauma-strewn landscape of her life in Manhattan.

But life hidden away in the thatched lodge is dull and how can she contemplate tackling the jungle of a garden in her Louboutins and Armani skirt suit? Rosie, uncomfortable with the invasion of privacy masquerading as community spirit, yearns to return to her old life of social indifference, until she stumbles upon her aunt’s old, hand-illustrated recipe book .With no other activity to occupy her time, she bakes, bakes, bakes as if her life depends on it. With no form of transport either, Rosie takes to the road on Bernice’s ancient bicycle, warm Devonshire scones in the wicket basket up front.

She even has time to date! Austin, her aunt’s handsome, sharp-suited solicitor is straight from her New York wish list of boyfriend material; and Charlie, the local luxury Spa Hotel’s general maintenance guy, definitely not her type, irritatingly chirpy and lacking in life’s ambition.

With recipes from Aunt Bernice’s own baking book for you to try at home; Corporate Manhattan or rural Devon? Austin or Charlie? ‘Stiletto Heels or Bicycles Wheels?’ Which would you choose?

Buy link – Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?


Recipe for Lavender Shortbread from Aunt Bernice’s Journal


200g softened, unsalted butter

100g lavender sugar

200g plain flour, sieved

100g semolina


Beat the butter until smooth, then add the lavender sugar and mix until incorporated. Mix in the flour and the semolina until a dough is formed. Knead very lightly. Try not to overwork. Roll gently and cut out 5cm rounds. Place on a greased baking tray and chill for an hour. Bake in a preheated oven, Gas Mark 4 for 25-30mins, taking care not to overbake, like Rosie did. Leave to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Sprinkle with lavender sugar, or if you wish, lavender petals.

Home-made lavender sugar is easy to make. Wrap a tablespoon of fresh lavender flowers in muslin and tie securely. Place into a sealed jar with 500g of caster sugar. Shake daily and after a week the lavender aroma will have permeated the sugar. Discard the muslin bag and the sugar is ready for use.


Lindsey Paley is the author of three novels, all in the contemporary romance genre – ‘Friends in Law’, ‘The Wedding Yarn’ and’ Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?’ When she is not writing she can be found baking cupcakes, cookies and biscuits, all topped off with edible glitter.

Every year around now, Lindsey promises her husband and son that this will be the year when she will match them on the golf course, but as she is a fair weather golfer only (preferably in the sunshine, too!) this has so far proved an unattainable dream – but it’s fun trying.

Lindsey has two further novels due to be published this year by Prism Book Group, both in the contemporary romance genre – ‘The Wish List Addiction’ and ‘Ugly Paradise’ - a novel set in the beautiful ‘Island of the Gods’ – Bali.

Lindsey lives in the UK and writes full time.

Buy link – ‘Stiletto Heels or Bicycle Wheels?’ Which would you choose?

Lindsey Paley

Items on my Bucket List

It’s funny you should ask!!! My novel ‘The Wish List Addiction’ (to be published by Prism Book Group in the next couple months) was based on the main character’s unhealthy attachment and reliance on a carefully researched Wish List – not just one but three! A daily ‘To Do’ list, a ‘Wish List’ and a long term ‘Bucket List’. The novel explores the humorous benefits and disasters of rigid adherence to these!

I confess I am a listoholic, just like Rebecca in the novel, so here are five of the ‘must dos’ on my bucket list:

1.      Be an extra in a feature film.

2.      Visit Niagara Falls

3.      Learn to ice skate

4.      See Stevie Wonder in concert

5.      Complete 18 holes of golf under 100!


I’m always interested to hear other people’s ‘Bucket List must dos’.

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