by Jenny Schwartz
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
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.
Welcome, Jenny Schwartz! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Is Sky Garden a single title, or part of a series?
Sky Garden is a single title. I describe it as either a contemporary London romance or a London thriller. It’s very much a romance of England in summer, with danger lurking.
You said Sky Garden is set in London. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
I wish I’d lived in London! There are so many amazing places to see. London is way up there on my bucket list. The problem is I’m a poor traveler (in every sense, worse luck) and I live in Western Australia, which is the other side of the world. So I armchair travel. I love imagining myself in these “exotic” locations and will happily look at other people’s holiday snaps. All the time I promise myself, one day! Thank goodness for Google Earth. It is a poor author’s life-saver for research.
When I do get to London I’m going to see the British Museum, British Library, Kew Gardens, Harrods, the Ritz for afternoon tea, and a ton of other places, and venture further to counties like Cornwall (I think you’ll have to pull me kicking and screaming out of there) and my must-see city, Oxford.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
I am so lucky. I have some awesome author friends here in Western Australia. My critique partner is Eliza Redgold, and I meet up through the year with Michelle Diener, Shona Husk, Claire Boston and many more. They’re so talented and generous in helping out other authors. I am very, very lucky in my author friendships, including those online with people far away. However, if I could haul absolutely anyone to the table, I’d love to have a paranormal romance roundtable with Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Anne Bishop, Nalini Singh, Lisa Shearin and Jayne Ann Krentz.
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I love to cook, but simple recipes. One pot wonders are great. I also enjoy photography. Digital photography is such a fantastic improvement on how expensive developing photos used to be. I wish I had a talent for painting, and I love attending art exhibitions, but seldom actually get there… When did time start running so fast?
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Okay, this isn’t the strangest thing, but I recently saw a sixteenth century map of the Spice Islands (pretty much Indonesia, etc.) and it included the top of Australia, and would you believe what the Dutch originally called Australia?
I kid you not! Awesome. I live in Beach. How appropriate!
This wasn’t the exhibition I saw, but if you’re interested in Australia on old maps, check out the National Library.
What is the one thing that you would tell an aspiring writer to do?
Write. The more you write, the clearer your own style and preferred way of working will become. If I had any shortcuts to knowing yourself as a writer, I’d share them, but as with any craft, it’s all about the practice you put in. Writing, storytelling in general, is immensely satisfying. Go for it!
P.S. Be clear about your goals. Sometimes we think we’re following our own dreams, only to discover a year later that we got seduced into striving after someone else’s. Tread your own path.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading Lanie and Nick’s story. It was a lot more complex than I expected and while there was a suspense element in the book, it truly didn’t come to fruition until almost the ending. To some people that would be bad but for me, I loved it.
Lanie had some growing to do in the book. She no innocent but considering what she went through before the book, I can understand everything about her in the beginning. She needed to bloom, just like the rooftop garden, and she did. With Nick’s help and in a sense his father and Chloe, it happened.
Nick was a dream from the beginning. Patient and kind to Lanie from the get go. He never expected too much from her except friendship. In fact, after thinking about it, these two never realized that they were falling in love until about 65% in the book. For this reader, that’s a welcome diversion. Was a frustrated at times, yes but the end was so worth it in the end.
While the book is supposed to be about a rooftop garden that Nick designs, it is really about Lanie blooming again has a person with and without Nick. Beautifully done by Ms. Schwartz.
If you are looking for a good romance with a dash of suspense, look no further than Rooftop Garden. My heart did crack in certain places but Ms. Schwartz righted it again.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Bio: 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”: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018J7YW0E/
“Sky Garden” will be $0.99 during this tour.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Jenny Schwartz will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.