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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Indiscretion (Andalucían Nights #1) by Hannah Fielding {Book Review, Interview & Giveaway}

Indiscretion

by


Hannah Fielding

Published by London Wall Publishing
August 4, 2016 Paperback $11.99


Written in Fielding’s signature style, infused with an old-school Hollywood glamour, Indiscretion evokes the drama and passion of 1950s post-war Spain.


1950’s London. Alexandra, a young writer is bored of her suffocating but privileged life amongst the gilded balls and parties of Chelsea. Keen for an adventure, Alexandra travels to Spain to be reunited with her estranged Spanish family on a huge estancia in Andalucía. 

Arriving in sun-drenched southern Spain for the first time, Alexandra is soon caught up in the wild customs of the region. From bull fighting matadors and the mysterious Gypsy encampments in the grounds of the family’s estate, to the passionate dances of the region and the incredible horsemanship of the local caballeros, Alexandra is instantly seduced by the drama and passion of her new home.  

When Alexandra inevitably falls for Salvador, the mercurial heir to her family’s estate and the region’s most eligible man, she finds herself entangled in a web of secrets, lies and indiscretion.  Alexandra soon falls prey to scheming members of her own family, the jealousy of a beautiful marquésa and the predatory charms of a toreador, all intent on keeping the two lovers apart.  

But nothing can prepare Alexandra for Salvador’s own dangerous liaisons with a dark-eyed Gypsy.

Can Alexandra trust that love will triumph, or will Salvador’s indiscretion be their undoing?

Praise for Hannah Fielding’s Award-Winning novel, Indiscretion…

‘A captivating tale of love, jealousy and scandal.’  The Lady
‘A compelling read, Fielding’s novel is entertaining, shocking, exciting and charming: the perfect way to indulge and distract yourself.’ Latino Life
Indiscretion grips from the first. A powerful and romantic story, one to savour and enjoy.’   Lindsay Townsend - romance author



Welcome to Bookish Lifestyle, Hannah! I'm so excited to have you here with us today! In your own brief words, how would you describe the stories you write and why should readers be interested?

I write evocative, epic, romantic fiction set in inspiring locations worldwide. Probably the best description of my style is this, from a British newspaper: “romance like Hollywood used to make.”

Readers of my books are transported into beautiful story worlds full of emotion and drama. From wherever they are reading, they visit the plains of Kenya (Burning Embers) or the Bridge of Sighs in Venice (The Echoes of Love) or a fiesta in Andalucía (Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy). My fiction is a little like a passport!



What is the hardest part of the writing process? Favorite part?

The hardest parts for me are the opening paragraph and the closing paragraph. The first must encourage the reader to continue his or her journey into the novel, to want to get to know the characters and their story; and the last must leave the reader with a feeling of contentment and maybe a tinge of melancholy because the voyage has come to an end and it is as if he or she is saying farewell to a friend.


For me, the easiest part is writing descriptively. My style is mainly descriptive because that is what my French education gave me and that is what I most like to read. I try to convey to the reader every detail my imagination is conjuring up, so I pay keen attention to the setting. I carefully describe sights and sounds and smells and tastes and textures. All the senses are involved so that the reader can form a clear picture of the environment in which the plot takes place and grasp a better understanding of the characters and their reactions. I am careful to use the right word and I am always looking for the nuance that will best describe what I am trying to say. This could be due to the rigorous language training of my French education. The nuns at my school, and later my teachers at university, were very strict about style.

Since childhood I’ve loved writers who really paint a scene in your mind, and I knew when I started writing romance that I wanted to transport my readers to the time and place in which I situate the story.



What do you do to recharge your batteries?

I read: I love reading romantic novels – the thicker the book, the better.

I cook: I love cooking, using the various produce from our vegetable garden. Jams, chutneys, stuffed vine leaves (dolmadis), stuffed savoury and sweet filo pastry cushions that I serve as nibbles when I entertain and stewed fruit for winter crumbles. All for the freezer. The list could go on for ever.

I entertain: I find nothing more satisfying than having friends over; and as I often travel, it’s great to catch up with all the news.

I travel: To research my books. I find it exciting and exhilarating. Discovering new places, new people, new traditions and new cuisines, of course.

I collect antiques: Chinese porcelain, Japanese sculptures and French and Italian glass, so you will often find me rummaging in flea markets and dark second-hand shops in the hope of discovering a hidden treasure.


What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?

Love – always love! Those beautiful moments in your life when your heart is just bursting; I seek them out, and I capture them on the pages of my books. 


What is your all-time favorite book? 

My debut novel, Burning Embers, because it is the embodiment of a lifelong dream.



If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

My husband and I answered this question long ago, and that is why we now divide our time between our homes in Kent in S.E. England, and Ste Maxime in S.W. France. We love both of these countries, but so many others too, which is why we travel often. This year, we have spent a lot of time in Ireland, for example, where I find the windswept vistas very inspirational.


What was the last book you bought?

I just pre-ordered Les Diners de Gala, which is a book that has been virtually impossible to buy for decades, and is now being republished in time for Christmas. It’s a cookbook created by the Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala. Not your average cookbook: the illustrations are literally works of art, and the recipes are not for the faint- hearted. Dare I try the frog pastries? The thousand-year-old eggs? Perhaps the toffee with pine cones is a safer option…

What writer has influenced you in your writing the most? 
My favourite writer of this century is Mary Margaret ‘Mollie’ Kaye, author of worldwide bestseller The Far Pavilions in the early 1980s. She has been an inspiration to me in my writing, because, like me, she was a traveller at heart and she wrote wonderfully descriptive stories set in exotic locations that really transport you to far-off lands. Her stories transport you to a time and a place as if you are there and then. If you have not read her books, I do recommend them: pure escapism… pure romance. See http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1040250.M_M_Kaye



Do you have any hidden or uncommon talents? 
When I was a little girl, I was torn between two dreams for the future: to be a writer, or to be a ballerina. I trained in ballet with my sister for many years, and we would put on little shows for family and friends. I gave up my ballerina dream long ago in favour of writing, and I don’t train any longer. But I am still capable of executing a fair number of pirouettes in a row.    

Indiscretion is a steamy, exciting romance novel. Alexandra, the main protagonist in this book writes romance novels yet she has never experienced it herself. That is until she meets her mysterious admirer in Spain. Alexandra was at many points a bit naive, even though she was in her mid-twenties. Especially when it came to real life problems. Her upbringing had been a bit sheltered so when she is set free for the first time in her life there are so many new things for her to learn. At times her naivety really got to me, but through out the book the character really grows into a beautiful and intelligent woman you come to really respect and admire. 

Salvador's life has been rocky these past couple of years. He had an accident that left him  immobilized for a while, his engagement got broken off and he got involved with the gypsies. So when he meets the innocent Alexandra the timing is completely off. He is not exactly the man she believes him to be. I was really intrigued by him and by his mood swings. There were so many things to learn about him. Their relationship had a lot of drama and obstacles. Most of it thanks to Salvador and his many secrets. Salvador was an extremely complex character which I really loved because the author did a great job at making you hate him and love him at the same exact time.

The level of descriptions in this book is amazing. The author did an astonishing job describing the customs at the masquerade ball, the bull fights and the different settings in Spain. Reading this book was a whole new experience because of all these descriptions that the author provides seamlessly. It was easy to imagine how life must have been in Spain around that time.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Indiscretion. It is a great historical fiction book filled with romance, tension and drama. I found a new author that I just fell in love with in her character depth and writing style and I have already read the next book in this series with glowing reviews. Pick this first book up if you want to experience this romance for yourself! 


About the author
Hannah Fielding is an award-winning romance author, who grew up in Alexandria, Egypt, the granddaughter of Esther Fanous, a revolutionary feminist and writer in Egypt during the early 1900s. After graduating she developed a passion for travel, living in Switzerland, France and England. After marrying her English husband, she had little time for writing while bringing up two children, looking after dogs and horses, and running her own business renovating rundown cottages. Hannah now divides her time between her homes in England and the South of France.
She has written four novels, all featuring exotic locations and vivid descriptions: Indiscretion and Masquerade (the first two titles in the Andalucían Nights Trilogy set in Spain); Burning Embers (set in Africa); and The Echoes of Love (set in Italy). Hannah’s books have won many awards, including Gold Medal for romance at the Independent Publisher Book Awards and Silver Medal for romance at the Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book Awards (The Echoes of Love), and Gold and Silver Medals for romance at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards (Indiscretion and Masquerade). Indiscretion has also won Best Romance at the USA Best Book Awards.





A copy of Indiscretion and Masquerade (Books 1 & 2 in Andalucian Nights) and "Echoes of Love" by Hannah Fielding to one lucky winner. 


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