It’s time for another ‘Meet the Characters’ blog and today we are meeting Ava Warren one of the central characters from Shadows on the Water by Jo Lambert.
After the tragic death of her fiancé, Ava Warren is slowly rebuilding her life. She has a supportive family, great friends and a job she loves, managing holiday letting company Estuary Escapes in her hometown of Kingswater. Another relationship is the last thing she wants or needs. Until one evening she meets Alex Penhaligon.
Alex’s father Sam owns Heron’s Gate Vineyard and Alex has recently returned from California, where he has been working for the past five years. A case of mistaken identity gets them off to a bad start. But discovering his error, Alex is anxious to make amends and soon persuades Ava that he’s not quite as arrogant as she thinks he is. As their friendship begins to turn into something much deeper, Ava wonders whether she can at last put the past behind her and make a new future with Alex.
But someone is watching. A man who not only thinks Ava should be his but also holds a long-term grudge against Alex. And he’s determined to get his own way irrespective of the lengths he has to go to or who gets hurt in the process.
Set in Cornwall Shadows on the Water is a story of family ties, lost love and tangled loyalties.
I have to say I adore Jo Lambert’s male leads, who are always just flawed enough to make them human. She brings to life real people with distinct voices and strong narrative and her books are always set against beautifully painted and well researched backdrops. Amazon Reader 5* review
This novel is full of suspense and tension and is a must read for anyone who enjoyed the thrill of a gripping romantic suspense novel. Amazon Reader 4* review
Jo Lambert’s strengths are in creating strong, realistic characters with a strong sense of place and we have both in oodles here. She also excels in creating unlikeable characters with flaws as well as an antihero who we eventually come to love. Amazon Reader 5* review
You can buy the book here:
Now let’s move onto Jo’s interview with Ava.
Hi Ava, lovely to meet you. Have you lived in this lovely part of the country all your life?
Yes, actually I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. Kingswater has a wonderfully friendly community on both sides of the estuary. Many families, like mine, have lived here for several generations.
I understand your family is heavily involved in food.
Yes, Dad’s family have been bakers in Kingswater for several hundred years. As well as having his own shops, he supplies a string of local supermarkets. My mother runs a catering company – Strawberry Fields – and my sister has a business designing and baking celebratory cakes. I can recommend her, she’s really good.
But no foodie inclinations as far as you are concerned?
Absolutely not. I hate to admit it, but I have no culinary talents at all. I do occasionally help Mum out at weekend functions though.
So for you it was all about houses?
Yes. My future father-in-law Sam Penhaligon has a beautiful Georgian mansion – Heron’s Gate – and vineyard upriver. Our families are close friends and when I was about fifteen, we were invited there to look at the restoration work he was doing. I totally fell in love with the house and when it came schoolwork experience, I chose to spend some time with a local estate agent. By then I was completely bitten by the house bug. From there I took a degree in real estate. After graduating I worked for a while in Oxford then returned home. For a few years I managed a local holiday letting company but now I work for Sam.
Ah where is that? In the winery?
No, I manage his new holiday complex. Some time ago planning permission was granted for a development of traditionally designed lodges. They are situated in groups of four within the woods on the estate. Forest Gate is a luxury rental company committed to giving our clients a five-star experience.
I understand you’re engaged to Sam’s eldest son Alex. Was that love at first sight?
Hardly (she laughs). My first meeting with Alex? Well, let’s say I thought he was one of the rudest men I had ever met. Arrogant too. But at the time I had no idea the pressure he was under looking after his younger, rather rebellious brother Scott while his father was away.
So he eventually won you round?
Oh yes, he was keen to prove he wasn’t quite the ogre I thought he was. I have to admit to being slightly suspicious at first, but he soon convinced me he really was one of the good guys.
A well-deserved happy ending for you both after such a traumatic time.
What happened with my boss, Guy French you mean? Yes, none of us had any idea. He was always a loner, but no one realised how damaged he really was. Well thank you for coming along to chat today Ava, and all good wishes to you and Alex for your forthcoming wedding.
Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of the city of Bath. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in rural West Somerset, were followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in the Rain was published 2017,
In June 2019 Jo published A Cornish Affair with Choc Lit. Later that year, a cancer scare saw her writing put on hold for a while, but in the summer of 2020, the first of a new series of romantic suspense novels was published. Shadows on the Water, set on the south coast of Cornwall, became the first of three stories set in the fictitious town of Kingswater (a place based on a mix of Dartmouth and Fowey).
Her latest novel A Kingswater Summer, due to be published in July 2021 is the second in the series. Both books can be read as standalone stories.
When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog. Jo loves travel, red wine and music from the sixties and beyond. And sometimes she takes the odd photograph…
Jo Lambert: Links
Website and blog: https://jolambertauthor.website
Lovely to talk to you, Jo. I hope your book flies!
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb