Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Nannyland by Jane Elizabeth Hughes


About the book:
Successful banker and trader Jordy Greene flees Manhattan “one step ahead of the sheriff,” and away from the true wolves of Wall Street including her ex-boyfriend. Escaping to the Grey estate for a sabbatical to write a tell-all memoir, she is immersed in the historic world of the aristocratic Grey family who considers the original 16th century Lady Jane Grey to be their family hero. Meanwhile Jordy is drawn further into the Grey family after she witnesses thenanny doing the unthinkable. Unexpectedly, and rather unwillingly, she finds herself caring for the four children of the widowed Lord John Gray while he sits in Parliament. Together, she and the children make a discovery that could rock the foundation of the Grey family, and Jordy must decide what is more important – integrity or toeing the line.



Jane Elizabeth HughesI wrote my first “book” when I was seven. Lorena Lorenson, Student Nurse was possibly a bit derivative (I was deeply into Cherry Ames at the time), but I was hooked. I’ve been writing ever since, although I took a few detours along the way, working for the CIA, on Wall Street, and in academia before finally allowing myself to write full-time. I’m a native New Yorker, mother of four, and grandmother to three baby girls (boy #1 is on the way!). I’m an obsessive reader with two fully-loaded Kindles and have published widely on international finance, but much prefer to write books that my friends and I would devour on the beach. My husband and I are ruled by two hideously spoiled Siamese cats, and divide our time between Brookline, MA and my true homeplace of Cape Cod.

Q.  What inspires your writing?A.  People. I find people endlessly fascinating, and so many scenes from daily life – a newspaper headline, an argument on the subway, a toddler beaming up at her mother  – may become scenes in my book. I peek into apartments as I walk on Manhattan streets at night and wonder about the lives inside those rooms; I observe families in restaurants and children in the park and businessmen on their cellphones, and make up stories about them in my head. 
My readers inspire me, too.  I never wanted to write War and Peace; I wanted to write books that my friends and I would curl up with on the beach or our favorite sofa, and bury ourselves in.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Being able to create my own world – where people can fall in love and live happily ever after; where nothing terrible ever happens to children; where I can just lose myself and make my characters do what I want them to do (mostly, that is).

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Getting published! Writing is sheer delight, but getting a debut novel picked up by a major publisher – not so much. It took me several years, lots of rewrites, and enough rejection letters to wallpaper my bathroom, before my wonderful agent found me a home with an equally wonderful editor at Simon & Schuster.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I always wanted to be a ballerina…but I topped out at five feet (well, actually four feet eleven inches, but who’s counting?), with flat feet and a few extra pounds at my waist. Also no talent – but aside from that, I would be a ballerina.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled? 
A Woman’s Work. I love the saying: Man may work from sun to sun, But woman’s work is never done.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Gone With the Wind, hands down. The scene where Rhett sweeps Scarlett up that winding staircase and she wakes up in the morning giggling and giddy…if only I could write like that!

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A.  In my fantasies, I’m Nancy Drew – does that count?

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. The teenage, present-day Lady Jane Grey in Nannyland, I think. She’s quiet and serious, a little awkward, but defiant and determined too, with a passion for English history. We both love Diet Coke and hate our fine, straight hair. 

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. It’s not a book, but a movie and Broadway play – Mamma Mia. I want to vacation (actually, live) on that sun-splashed Greek island with its aromatic olive trees and glorious beaches. I want to be part of the Dancing Queen chorus line that sings and dances its way through the village, and I want Pierce Brosnan to sing to me in his laughably awful voice.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. SUMMER!! I’m a beach person; I live in Boston now but yearn for a life where I never have to see snow and ice, ever again.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. My youngest daughter is an artist, and she and I together came up with the idea of a shadow across a great country house based on my original title for Nannyland – In the Shadow of Lady Jane Grey. The shadow of Lady Jane, the Queen for Nine Days in the 1550s who was beheaded just after her sixteenth birthday, hangs heavily over the present-day Grey family estate where my heroine finds herself nannying four children. 

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. People keep asking me about a book signing, but since Nannyland is an ebook, I’m not sure what to sign – their Kindles, perhaps?

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Always!! I just finished the first draft of  Hey, Jules, which is about the thrilling, sometimes dangerous, search for a modern-day descendant of Henry VIII’s last Queen. Here’s the opening:
A shadow fell across the table where I sat devouring a scone and a novel with equal satisfaction. Scowling and shading my eyes against the watery London sun, I looked up to see a tall, dark stranger gazing down at me.
“Hey, Jules!” the stranger said. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”
With some regret – he was very good-looking – I shrugged my shoulders and turned back to my book. “Sorry,” I said. “But I’m not Jules.”

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Aside from family, reading is my greatest joy in life. Books have taken me through all of the triumphs and tribulations that the world hands out; sometimes I just wander through a library and bookshelf greeting all my old friends and remembering how much I loved this novel or that picture book. If you’re reading this blog, then you’re one of that wonderful community of book lovers, and I salute you – we’re all enjoying lives that are incredibly enriched by our reading addiction.

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