Friday, 24 April 2015

Author Interview: Samantha Tonge

Today it's my pleasure to welcome Samantha Tonge back to the blog to tell us a little bit about her latest book Game of Scones which was published on Monday.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest novel Game of Scones?
Executive Pippa and her friend of old, fisherman Niko, fight to save quaint village, Taxos, from tourist-tastic ruin. An added complication is that the brutal development plans are the work of Pippa’s ambitious boyfriend Henrik. Pippa is torn between respect for his business sense and a nostalgic longing to save the picturesque destination of her childhood holidays. She is also torn between the man she thought she loved and romantic feelings that unexpectedly spring up elsewhere...

Where did the idea come from to write about setting up a tea shop on a Greek island?
Often I think up a book title before the plot! I felt a book called Game of Scones just had to be written and following on from that, one about an afternoon tea shop – it has always been my fantasy to run such an establishment. I felt the book needed to be set in the summer, and in my opinion the Greek islands are the ideal romantic setting for a deliciously warm beach read.

As I know from Twitter you've been baking up a storm, which flavour scone is your favourite?  
In Game of Scones Pippa bakes some exotic ones for the locals, full of red peppers and olives, or chocolate ones filled with orange-infused Greek yogurt... But you know what? I think not a lot beats a plain one, straight out of the oven, with a large dollop of melting butter on it. Scones are so versatile, I think that’s why I love them so much. Cheesy ones are a favourite too. Yum!

What is the weirdest flavour combo for scones you've ever baked or tasted? 
I have to say the weirdest – and most unpleasant – has been gluten-free scones. My husband had to turn gluten-free a few years ago, and it’s been a huge learning curve for me as mum and wife who enjoys baking. Some of the gluten-free flours are difficult to work with and taste awful.  I have more or less mastered sponges for him now – a hefty shake of vanilla essence goes a long way – but scones.... Hmm. No!

Describe Game of Scones in one sentence?
The story of a woman whose love of baking helps her choose between two opposing ways of life and two men.

What can we expect from you next?  
I have started my Christmas book already and... Well, I don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but the storyline is absolutely bonkers and my lovely editor has approved it. With Game of Scones, I thought my writing was moving away, a little, from the more farcical humour of my other books, but then this festive storyline came along, demanding to be written. Watch this space!

A story of icing and flour…and how love doesn’t always go to plan!

Growing up, Pippa Pattinson’s summers were spent in the idyllic Greek island fishing village of Taxos. There she spent many long hazy days determinedly ignoring thoughts of the life her parents had mapped out for her (a dreary-but-secure accounting job and obligatory sensible husband!) Instead she daydreamed of running her own tea shop – serving the perfect scones – with mocha-eyed childhood friend Niklaus by her side…

Arriving back in Taxos for the first time in years, with suave boyfriend Henrik, Pippa barely recognises the tired little town – but is relieved to catch glimpses of the quaint, charming village she’s always loved. Together Niklaus and Pippa put together a proposal to save Taxos from tourist-tastic ruin, and at the heart of their plan is Pippa’s dream project: The Tastiest Little Tea Shop in Taxos. It’s time for Pippa to leave her London life behind and dust off her scone recipe that’s guaranteed to win over both locals and visitors. And amidst the rolling pins and raisins, it seems romance is blossoming where she’s least expecting it…

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and two cats who think they are dogs. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. Writing romantic comedy novels and short stories is her passion.

Samantha has sold over 80 short stories to mainstream women's magazines. Her debut romantic comedy novel from CarinaUK Harlequin, bestselling "Doubting Abbey", was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award, 2014. Its fun sequel is From Paris With Love. Mistletoe Mansion is a fun standalone Christmas novel.

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