#BlogTour · #CharacterSpotlight · aria fiction

#BlogTour Moonlight on the Thames by Lauren Westwood #CharacterSpotlight @lwestwoodwriter @aria_fiction #books #amreading #amblogging #bookblog

It’s my stop on the blog tour for Moonlight by the Thames today and I’m delighted to be joined by author, Lauren Westwood who is shining the spotlight on one of her characters.

While you have a read of this, I’m going to gaze longingly at the garage where my Christmas decorations are stored and wish I had the guts to go and get them out!

First, here’s the blurb … 

Aria (4 Sept. 2018)

Worlds collide when two strangers meet at Waterloo station. It’s a moment they’ll never forget. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson.

Christmas is a joyous time, but not everyone is merry and bright.

Nicola is a rising star at the top of the corporate ladder, but her personal life is a disaster. Her office affair has lost its allure, and the last thing she wants to think about is Christmas. A night of cancelled trains and festive Christmas carols at Waterloo Station is just about the last straw…

Dmitri loves conducting his pop-up choir during the festive season, meeting people, and spreading joy and cheer around London. But he carries deep secrets from his past that robbed him of his dream to become a concert pianist.

Can their hearts and souls be unlocked by music and moonlight and will they discover the healing power of love?

Over to you, Lauren … 

Character Spotlight

My new novel, Moonlight on the Thames, is the story of Nicola and Dmitri, two characters who are flawed in different ways, and have to overcome the secrets of their past in order to find love. The book is a journey of self-forgiveness and learning to love not only another person, but also oneself. I really enjoyed writing these two characters because they are, in some ways, the reverse of the typical romance novel heroine and hero.

Nicola is a strong woman on the top of her game and profession. Externally, she has it all: a glamorous job, beauty and sex appeal, a nice house – things that other people see and admire. But inside, she is a very unhappy person, and this comes out in her relationships with people around the office, and her family. I had originally envisioned her as a Scrooge-like character from A Christmas Carol.

In a way, she was a risky character for me to write, because she does not have the instant likeability that readers may expect from a heroine in a romance novel. She is not down on her luck, does not need rescuing by a hero, and, at the beginning of the book, does not have a strong desire to change her life. The other reason why Nicola is a risky character is because she is having an affair with a married man. I found it interesting to explore the affair from the point of view of ‘the other woman’: the reasons why it started, and the reasons why it continued. In a way, Nicola sees her own unhappiness in love as part of her punishment for something that happened to her a long time ago.

This staring point gives Nicola a lot of room for growth and change when she meets her catalyst, Dmitri. She does become transformed through the course of the book, as she goes on a journey of self-forgiveness and learns the importance of not keeping things bottled up inside where they have been allowed to fester and taint all aspects of her life. By the end of the book, she is still the strong woman that she started out as, and is still not perfect by any means. But she is more self-actualised and has begun a new journey: to open herself up to love with another person, and perhaps most importantly, to begin learning to love herself again.

Dmitri is also a flawed character, who has to embark on his own journey of self-forgiveness. He did not fulfil his potential of becoming a concert pianist, due to a dark secret and act of violence from his past. Not only has he lost his dreams, but he has also lost the music inside of him. His starting point, however, is much different than Nicola’s. He has not shut people out, but embraced them, conducting a Christmas choir, helping others, involving himself with charity, and basically trying to absorb the Christmas joy and good cheer that others are experiencing around him. But in his mind, his own life path: of being alone, is set in stone.

Dmitri is not a typical ‘alpha hero’ successful billionaire tycoon-type character, and I think this makes him interesting. He is a somewhat tortured, creative personality, and he struggles with the agony and the ecstasy of his music, his own self-doubt and guilt. Like Nicola, he needs to be in control of his environment, and keep an emotional distance from potential love interests. He tries to do this with Nicola, but with her, he has finally met his match.

The differences and similarities between Nicola and Dmitri’s personalities, and the sparks when they rub together, are what made this book very interesting for me to write. I was very closely in both of their heads as I was writing it. Unlike some of my other romantic suspense novels, Moonlight on the Thames  is entirely a character-driven book. I am hoping that readers will enjoy discovering the depths of these two characters, like peeling back the layers on an onion.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you do read Moonlight on the Thames, please leave a rating or a review where you purchased it, and if you enjoy it, please tell a friend. I rely hugely on word of mouth to reach readers who would enjoy my books, and with all the noise of social media out there today, it’s difficult to spread the word.

Most of all, I send you very best wishes for the holiday season.

Thank you so much for joining me, Lauren!

If you’d like to find out more about Nicola, go and grab your copy of Moonlight on the Thames now!

Huge thanks to the team at Aria for my spot on the tour, make sure to keep up with the other bloggers for reviews, extracts, and other content posts!

Moonlight on the Thames blog tour (1).png

About the author … 

Lauren Westwood.jpg

Lauren  Westwood  writes  romantic  women’s  fiction,  and  is  also  an  award-winning  children’s writer.  Originally  from  California,  she  now  lives  in  England  in  a  pernickety  old  house  built  in 1602,  with  her  partner  and  three  daughters.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :-)

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