Faraway places offer rich background for Janet's books
Hello Janet, and welcome to Adventures in Authorland. Please get comfortable and share a little of your adventure with us.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I've written four contemporary romance books. My favourite is Laura's Big Break, partly because it's set in Holland and South America – two places I love – but mainly because the characters really entertain me and make me laugh. They knew each other as children and just can't see that they've changed as adults, so they treat each other the same way they did as kids. I have a mother who does the same thing to me – strangely enough, that isn't as funny…
Can you give us some details about your upcoming release/s?
I'm working on a new series of contemporary romances set in Scotland. The first book, LINGERIE WARS, was due out on the 14th June and the second, GOODY TWO SHOES, is due out later in the year. Lingerie Wars tells the story of an English ex-soldier and a Scottish ex-model who own lingerie shops in the same small town. A town that's too small to support two shops, so the soldier does what he does best and declares war on the other shop!
When you are not writing, what are your hobbies, passions, etc?
I'm a trained artist and am completely obsessed with art history. I read books on it like it's going out of fashion. I also make my own mixed-media art and visit as many art galleries as I can. That's one thing I miss about living in Europe – having access to all that art! Last year we went home for a visit and I took my three-year-old to the National Gallery in London. She spent the whole time in the gallery shouting: "I am so bored. I've had enough of this art!" Guess the obsession doesn't run in the family…
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? Writing, or something else?
I always wanted to be a writer but it took a long time to find out that I wanted to write contemporary romance. I tried writing short stories, travel pieces and crime novels, before I discovered that romantic comedy is my forte. Now my head is so full of stories that my fingers can't type fast enough to keep up.
Have you ever travelled to a place and come away with a story unexpectedly?
I spent a few years working as a travel photographer for a charity and was lucky to visit a lot of countries I wouldn’t have visited otherwise. I was roped into a Hindu wedding in Jaipur, arrested for spying in Ethiopia, was stranded in the Amazon rainforest for a week when I missed the plane out, and danced with the Bedouin at Petra. I've been really blessed with experiences that would make good book fodder and plan to use every single one of them at some point. J
What historical person would you want to meet and why?
Dorothy L Sayers strikes me as a person worth having a conversation with. Her writing is amazing, but her thoughts on writing are equally mind blowing. I'd love to sit in on one of her conversations with C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien. I bet I'd learn athing or two about writing a book! On top of that there are a LOT of artists I'd love to meet. I'd love to ask Italian renaissance artist Bernini what he had to do to make his sculptures so life-like. And I'd like to have a heart-to-heart with Van Gogh, that guy needed an intervention! Plus, if I met him, maybe he'd like to paint my portrait… J
Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
When I was ten, I was kicked out of Brownies for starting a war with the competing Brownies down the road. I love screwball comedies from the 1930s and 40s and can quote dialogue from most of them – in my head I am Katherine Hepburn. I once caused a scandal in a church in South America, when I was asked to say hello to the congregation. Instead of saying: "My Spanish is bad and I'm embarrassed the minister made me talk to you." I said: "My Spanish is bad. I'm being forced to talk to you. I'm pregnant by the minister." There were screams. One woman fainted. Turns out the Spanish word embarezada doesn't mean embarrassed as I thought it did, but literally means "knocked up". You live and learn…
BLURB – Lingerie Wars by Janet Elizabeth Henderson:
Englishman Lake Benson loaned his life savings to his dippy sister so that she could buy a shop. It was a big mistake. His sister has been steadily flushing his money down the drain – and now he wants it back. Years in the special forces taught Lake that if you want a job done, do it yourself. So he steps in to make the shop profitable, sell it and get his money back. The only problem is, the business is an underwear shop. And all Lake knows about underwear can be summed up in how fast he can unsnap a bra. To make matters worse, the tiny highland town already has a lingerie shop. A successful one, run by an ex-lingerie model. A very gorgeous ex-lingerie model, who’s distracting him from his mission more than he’d like to admit. If Lake wants to get his savings back, and get out of Scotland, he only has one option – wipe out the competition.
Kirsty Campbell has spent years rebuilding her life after she woke up in hospital in Spain to find her body scarred, and her ex-fiancé had run off with all her money. The last thing she needs is a cocky, English soldier-boy trying to ruin all she has left. Her home-town is only too happy to help her fight the latest English invasion, although Lake is beginning to sway them with his sex appeal and cut price knickers. With the help of her mother, and the retired ladies of Knit or Die, Kirsty sets about making sure that her shop is the last one standing in Invertary.
It’s Scotland versus England as you’ve never seen it before. It’s lingerie war.
EXCERPT: Lingerie Wars by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
“You know what I think?” Kirsty said.
“I’m not sure I care what you think, but go ahead anyway,” Lake drawled.
Kirsty's hands fell to her side and balled into fists. It had been a long time since she’d felt the urge to thump someone.
“I think you’re in over your head,” she said. “You obviously don’t have a clue about running a shop or selling lingerie, and you’ve just insulted the only expert in town who was willing to help you.”
His lips twitched slightly, giving the impression that he was going to smile, but nothing happened. His face was still impassive.
“Do you know what I think?” he said. “I think you’re scared of a little competition.”
Kirsty barked out a laugh that surprised her more than him.
“You’re not competition. This”—she pointed to Betty’s handmade sign—”is not competition. There’s no way you could be a threat to me, or to my business.”
“We’ll see. Prepare to shut up shop.”
Kirsty pursed her lips as she felt her cheeks burn.
“That is incredibly arrogant of you,” she said.
“Or honest. It’s obvious there’s only room in this town for one lingerie shop. I’d rather it was mine.”
“If you think I’m going to let you run me out of town then you’re deluded. This is my home. You’re the foreigner here.”
He rocked back on his heels as he thrust his hands into the pockets of his jeans. Although there was nothing in his manner to give him away, she got the distinct impression he was enjoying himself.
“Ah, that old chestnut. We hate the English. The English are the root of all our problems. Blah, blah. You guys need to get over yourselves. You lost. We won. We own you now. There’s no point being bitter.”
Kirsty reeled before blustering nonsense.
“That’s right. The English are here to stay.”
“That’s it,” she said at last. “You’ve crossed the line.” She turned to his sister with a tight smile. “I’m sorry, honey, but I can’t help you now. You’re stuck with him.” She hooked her thumb towards the brother. “You have no idea how much I feel for you.”
“I get that a lot,” Rainne mumbled.
“As for you,” she told the English imbecile, “bring it on. You don’t stand a chance.”
“So, last shop standing?”
“It’ll be mine.”
“I like a healthy imagination in a woman.”
“You’re going to regret annoying me this much.”
At last he grinned. Kirsty felt her world shift as something unseen pulled her towards him.
“It’s on, then?” he said with delight.
“It’s on.” She stepped back, feeling slightly disorientated.
“Great.” He nodded. “War. This I do know.”
“Ah, but you don’t know lingerie war,” Kirsty said. “Sit back and watch, soldier boy. You’re about to have your backside handed to you.”