Author Guest Post
The ink was barely dry on the first draft of Saving Saffron Sweeting when I realized I had a problem on my hands.
As a British-born author now living in California, I was writing a contemporary women’s novel set in England with a British narrator, but aimed largely at readers from outside that small island. Which language should I use? American English, which would have the best chance of being understood, or British English, which might confuse readers? Could I bear to get reviews telling me I had spelled color incorrectly and used the “wrong” kind of punctuation? As the Brits would say, I got my knickers well and truly in a twist.
After a couple of days of stewing, I sought advice from readers of my blog. Fortunately, their response was clear: they valued authenticity above all else and if the main character was British, she should speak in that way and use British spellings. They generously told me that learning new words was part of the pleasure of reading from another culture, and that if the context didn’t give the meaning away, they would skip it or look it up.
Phew. I allowed my main character to use the voice she wanted to use, and later hired an English proofreader to eradicate any unwitting slips caused by my eight years in the USA. The result is a book which is thoroughly, genuinely British, which I’m hoping will delight women who like their reading sprinkled with tea, cake and rhyming slang.
Here, as a taster, are a few quirky phrases to discover:
· Zebra crossing - Unless something has escaped from the local wildlife park, this is a pedestrian crosswalk, where black and white stripes have been painted on the road.
· Beavering away - In British English, this simply means working feverishly. It does not, as a judge in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (Link: www.amazon.com/abna) wondered, have any rude implications whatsoever.
· Spotted Dick - Again, nothing rude about this, although most school children will snicker when offered this steamed cake-like dessert, which includes liberal amounts of raisins (the aforementioned spots). You’re more likely to come across this in a country pub than in a modern London restaurant.
· Spend a penny - This means you’re making a quick trip to the restroom. At one point in history, using a public restroom would cost around one penny. These days, your wallet is more likely to incur thirty pence worth of damage.
· Lovely Jubbly - Use this with any Brits you meet and they’ll be amazed and impressed. It’s an expression of approval or agreement, coined from the popular TV show Only Fools and Horses.
In the hope of minimizing confusion and giving my readers a fun bonus, I created a free guide to the British expressions in the book and it’s available here: http://www.paulinewiles.com/british-bits/
I invite you to browse it and hope you enjoy discovering bumpers, car bonnets, boilers, Bakewell tarts and Blighty.
Saving Saffron Sweeting has reached the quarter finals in the Romance category of this year’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award www.amazon.com/abna
For more info, author photo etc, a full media kit is available here: http://www.paulinewiles.com/media-kit/
Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Saving-Saffron-Sweeting-ebook/dp/B00C6CB3DS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1367365760&sr=1-1&keywords=saving+saffron+sweeting
About The Author
British by birth, Pauline Wiles moved to California eight years ago and, apart from a yearning for afternoon tea and historic homes, has never looked back. Her work has been published by House of Fifty, Open Exchange and Alfie Dog Fiction. Saving Saffron Sweeting is her first novel.
Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours
Saving Saffron Sweeting by Pauline Wiles
Publisher: Independent Self-Publishing
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Format: Paperback - 309 pages / Kindle - 477 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romantic Comedy / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: Saving Saffron Sweeting
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
Quarter finalist, 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
Grace Palmer's British friends all think she's living the American Dream. But her design business is floundering and when she discovers her husband is cheating with her best client, she panics and flees home to England.
The tranquil village of Saffron Sweeting appears to be a good place for Grace to lick her wounds, but the community is battling its own changes. Reluctantly, Grace finds herself helping her new neighbours as they struggle to adjust and save their businesses. However, not everyone has the same opinion on what's good for the village. The charismatic new man in her life may have one speculative eye on Grace, but the other is firmly on profit. How will she navigate the tricky path between her home and her happiness?
With gentle humour and generous helpings of British tea and cake, Saving Saffron Sweeting explores one woman's need to define herself through her career and community, before she can figure out who should be by her side.
My Book Review:
Grace Palmer is living the American Dream, the young Brit has a fledgling interior design business that she is building in Silicon Valley, California. But her dreams are shattered when her husband James sleeps with her client. Humiliated and heartbroken, Grace flees back to her homeland where she starts her life anew in the quaint little English village of Saffron Sweeting. While Grace gets settled in her new surroundings, the community of Saffron Sweeting is fighting their own battles against the greed of developers who want to change its tranquility and destroy the village's landmarks. Grace is encouraged to become active in the village community and help them adapt to the changes coming to Saffron Sweeting. Grace embarks on a journey of self-discovery that will guide her to live a new life, find her passion, and have a second chance at love.
In her debut novel, Saving Saffron Sweeting, author Pauline Wiles weaves a delightful tale written in the first person narrative of one woman's journey of self-discovery while helping a community save its quaint village from greedy developers.
The reader is transported between Silicon Valley, California and the village of Saffron Sweeting in Great Britain, where they follow Grace Palmer as she picks up the pieces of her life and forms a strong bond with the community of Saffron Sweeting as they navigate the changes to their village.
This entertaining story has a nice mixture of humor, charm, sass and romance. The author provides her readers with a story full of witty British phrases and mouth watering treats that makes you want to visit the village of Saffron Sweeting.
Grace's story draws the reader in as she starts her life over with a sassy sense of humor and independence that is admirable. I loved the portrayal of life in the quaint English village setting, and its quirky inhabitants are colorful and provided a lot of laugh-out-loud moments.
Saving Saffron Sweeting is a lighthearted, witty, fun and thoroughly enjoyable romantic comedy that will leave a smile on your face.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
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