I will be interviewing Kate Glanville and Brenda Squires tonight at the Llandeilo LitFest, two local authors of romances with historical and thriller elements. They discuss the subject and read from their latest books.
Dau awdur lleol sy’n arbenigo mewn rhamant yn trafod eu gwaith
Thursday April 27th 7pm at the Angel Inn
Is romance dead? Bringing depth to romance novels – a discussion with Kate Glanville and Brenda Squires
We’ll be discussing the genre, it’s reputation, the best and the worst, what makes it appealing and can it survive continuing literary snobbery and criticism from feminists, to name but a few of its critics? What do we make of this genre?
I hope to see some of you at the event tonight. To whet your appetite, let me introduce Brenda and some of Kate’s novels:
Stargazing is really enjoyable as family drama with a strong romantic component that will appeal largely but not exclusively to female readers. The changing viewpoints provide depth to the unexpected separation of Daniel and Nesta. It affects their daughter Seren, too, who tries to find dirt on her father’s new mistress, only to find surprises.
Quite slowly burning suspense builds up and comes to a riveting crescendo.
I really enjoyed the characters in this novel and the impersonations by the narrator. Although I started this book in a busy period of my life, I raced through it, taking every opportunity to listen (to the recently released audio version).
Most, I enjoyed the profound goodness of some of the characters and their admirable way to deal with bad situations in the right way. In our time of suing culture and increased self-involvement I found this book a refreshing reminder of human values, a cosy refuge with some amazing role models.
Full of great scene setting, from the anniversary party of her parents to family mornings, a cosiness remains within the thriller element that slowly but surely protrudes as the story progresses. Innocence comes through the perspective of a young woman watching a marriage dissolve and getting mixed up in something bigger than she thought.
Seren is a fabulous character and what adds to the greatness of this novel is the balanced portrayal of the unpleasantness of a break-up and the element of hope and moving forward. Never simplistic in its message, the novel is inspirational as it is lovely. Told from various perspectives, i.e. Seren’s mother and the love rival, we get the whole picture and create sympathy for all of them.
This is a wonderful, entertaining and gripping read that I cannot recommend enough.
Pace and plotting are well handled and the narrator is making this a pleasure to read. Hugely enjoyable
Scratch the surface and life is never as perfect as it seems…Three women, connected by one man: Daniel is father to Seren, husband to Nesta and lover to Frankie. When he leaves Nesta and their beautiful home in the middle of the party to celebrate their fortieth wedding anniversary Seren’s world begins to crumble. Only the continuation of the family ideal can make things right. But Nesta isn’t so sure. And for Frankie, Daniel offers hope of a safe and secure future. But all three women are carrying secrets that they’ve kept hidden even from those closest to them. Secrets that might even threaten a life.
Heartstones is a beautifully told story of new beginnings and old secrets. Phoebe’s grieving for her secret lover – nobody knows they were an item, so she needs to get away from it all and seeks shelter in a small village in West Ireland.
Keeping secrets there is possible apparently – as she stumbles on one via a diary she finds – but difficult, as she soon gets involved in the village life.
An unlikely romance might be on the card, while Phoebe tries to uncover what happened in 1948.
If you ever lived in a small village or in Ireland you will appreciate the scene setting by Kate, the characters and the wit. This is a very engaging and compelling read, long enough to allow character development and depth to the cast, while fast enough to keep you turning the pages to find out what has happened.
This is an inner journey of recovery and a coming of age tale, full of love for life and all kinds of people. A wonderful read.
For me this is romantic literature with far better characters than the average romance novel. It reminded me of the great adventure spirit in some of Enid Blyton’s novels and her work will remain for me an “Enid Blyton for grownups”
Brenda Squires won the Romantic Novelists Association’s New Writers Award with her first book, Landsker, which was a coming-of-age novel set again the upheaval of the General Strike in 1926. Her new novel “The Love of Geli Raubal” is set in 193os Berlin and revolves around the mysterious death of Hitler’s niece in 1932.
After a degree in modern languages and working as a teacher and translator, Brenda retrained as a psychotherapist.In 2000 she did an MA in the Practice and Teaching of Creative Writing at Cardiff University. Brenda is chair of the Penfro Book festival and is actively engaged in the Rhosygilwen arts’ programme, with particular interest in the written and spoken word. She is currently working on a novel set in 1920s London amongst the artistic community. Also a love story and look at culture at that time…