by Jenny Schwartz
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GENRE: Romantic Suspense
“Sky Garden” will be 99¢ during this tour.
On the rooftops of London, you can be anyone.
A year ago, Lanie Briers escaped a serial killer. She grew up in a theatre family and her act was mediumship, but not anymore. Life, now, is a hidden retreat above a quirky Bloomsbury museum, where she waits and watches.
Nick Tawes is an unexpected intrusion. He’s a landscape architect filming a television series on roof gardens, and he intends to build one in Lanie’s aerial territory. He has his own demons, old family troubles, that lure Lanie out of her refuge and into living again.
But as summer progresses and the sky garden grows, Lanie’s enemy is closing in–because some secrets must go to the grave.
Head down, he forced his feet up the endless, dizzying stairs.
Abruptly, the wall of the house ended. He swayed, blinking at the transition from shadowed darkness to light. He’d reached the roof. His jetlagged brain bounced between explanations of neon light or moonlight as the source of illumination. Tokyo roofs were seldom dark; London skies seldom cloudless in his memory.
Concentrating on his feet, he negotiated the awkward step up and over a concrete wall edge, and down onto the roof. He looked up.
A woman looked back at him.
Soundless, he watched her mouth open and the plate she held drop. Water and soapsuds fountained up.
The light came from a kitchen window.
His brain kicked into gear. “It’s all right. I’m from the solicitor’s. I have a key.” Ridiculous words, but the fear in her expression demanded reassurance.
She held a phone up, soap suds running down her bare forearm to the pushed-up sleeve of an apple-green pullover. The phone was brandished as a weapon.
“A key,” he mouthed exaggeratedly. “I have a key.”
A stand-off. He didn’t dare move. He must have frightened her when she’d felt safe and alone on this rooftop. He couldn’t understand how she and her kitchen were here at all.
It is my pleasure to welcome Jenny Schwartz, author of Sky Garden, to Room With Books!
Please tell us about yourself.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always written stories. It seems to go naturally with being an avid reader. Certainly my high school yearbook predicted that I’d end up an author – how right they were! Although let’s hide the fact that they also said I’d end up like Jessica Fletcher, of Murder, She Wrote. Honestly, people don’t drop dead everywhere I go!
How long have you been writing and who or what inspired you to write?
I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. Mum swears that I was scribbling lines busily at a children’s desk and calling it “writing” even before I could read or write.
Do you do a job in addition to writing and would you tell us more about it?
I’m so lucky to be a full-time writer at the moment. So, so grateful.
How would you summarize this book in less than 20 words?
Sky Garden – On the rooftops of London, you can be anyone. But on the streets, danger threatens.
Now, let’s talk about writing and how you came to be a published author.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
I think I always did. But it took being contracted with Carina Press for me to start calling myself an author. I don’t know why I have this writer/author distinction in my mind, with writer as personal and author as published.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Five years. But I really didn’t know what I was doing and waffled around before I rewrote it. And let me just say, all the editors who rejected it were amazingly kind and encouraging in their feedback. Editors are angels.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to “The End”?
It depends. Seriously. Some books take six months, some less. Some will undoubtedly take more. And then there are the re-drafts. Occasionally I take on a stretch project, something different, and then, it takes me a while to settle in and handle the new genre or style or whatever. Sky Garden was like that.
What can we expect from you in the future? More of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m currently focussed on establishing a paranormal romance series, The Collegium. Demon Hunter and Djinn Justice are out now, Dragon Knight will be out February 27, and Doctor Wolf in late April. After that, I’m free to write another thriller like Sky Garden. The tentative title for that project is “I Stole an Island” and it has such a cool plot. I mean, why and how would you steal an island?
Who is your favorite character from your books and why are they your favorite?
Choosing one character is tough, but the heroine of Sky Garden has such courage and resilience that I have to choose Lanie. She used to perform as a medium until she was pulled into the orbit of a serial killer. She survives, but it changes her. Watching her fight to reclaim her life and hope is awesome. And she does it all with style! I love her vintage 1950s wardrobe.
What is your routine for writing?
If things all go to plan, I clear my email inbox, check social media, then write a thousand words. Take a break. Another thousand. Lunch. A final thousand. Free time! which sounds exciting but is likely to be chores or collapsing exhausted. If I’m editing, things are different. Then I just sit down and slog through. But I am trying to break things up and sneak in some exercise.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I used to write the book first, and then, struggle to come up with a title. Now, I generally have a title early in the development of the book. Sky Garden was there from the beginning, just like “I Stole an Island”.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?
Sky Garden definitely has a message: you are stronger than you think, and you can survive and find love. Be brave!
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
ebook – I don’t have to dust it and I don’t have to buy another bookcase in which to store it (well, actually I do, but I’m putting it off).
What is your favorite book and why is it your favorite? How many times would you estimate you’ve read it?
I have so many favourite re-reads. Let me just list some of those authors – I’ve read many of their books about ten times.
Jayne Ann Krentz
Do you read all the reviews of your books?
Probably, but sometimes it takes me a few weeks. I get scared or distracted. I also review books over at BookLikes, so I firmly believe reviews are for readers first, not authors (although I love, love, love and appreciate all the reviews of my books – I know how much time goes into them and I learn so much from them).
That’s enough of the serious business. How about a handful of fun questions?
What is your favorite food? Pasta (I’m pretending I’m a grown up. Real answer – chocolate!)
Who is your favorite singer or group? I’m feeling nostalgic, today, so I’m going to name an old Australian band, Hunters and Collectors.
What is your favorite color? Blue. I love blue and it shows in my life!
What is your ideal getaway dream vacation? Somewhere coastal where I can wander into town for fresh pastries, then back to sit on a veranda, drink coffee and watch the waves.
What final words would you offer to our readers?
Thank you for sharing today with me. The people I’ve met in the book community are among the best ever. Kindness, energy and enthusiasm. Books support us through the bad times, and I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to write my own, and pay forward the joy other authors have given me.
Thank you for spending time at Room With Books. I appreciate your time and wish you the best with Sky Garden. I hope you will come back again!
Jenny Schwartz is a hopeful romantic with a degree in Sociology and History — people watching and digging into the past. She lives in Western Australia and is working towards her dream of living by the sea. Jenny writes romantic suspense, as well as contemporary and paranormal romance.
Amazon buy-link for “Sky Garden”:
Jenny Schwartz will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.