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Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes Interview & Book Review

 About Ellie Holmes

Ellie Holmes writes commercial women’s fiction and romantic suspense. She takes her inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. The Flower Seller is Ellie’s first full-length novel. Ellie is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association. To find out more please visit

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1. Could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

My name is Ellie Holmes. I write commercial women's fiction with a touch of romantic suspense - books that have heart and soul with a dash of danger. I take my inspiration from the beautiful Essex countryside and the sublime Cornish coast. My debut novel The Flower Seller is published on 2nd June.

2. I found on your website that you and your friends usedto write sci fi soap operas. can you remember what the main story was about?

 Absolutely! I still have the handwritten pages tucked away in a box somewhere. If you can imagine it was a bit like Star Wars meets EastEnders. They were all on board a ship called Zaleus which gave us the opportunity to have lots of romantic entanglements amongst the characters, deceits and betrayals but then they’d have to put their personal problems aside to go and defend the ship from attack. Great fun to write. I’m a huge sci-fi fan. I think 12 Monkeys is the best thing on TV at the moment.

3. What made you choose to write within the romance genre?

 When I made the decision to write a full length novel there didn’t seem to be much call for sci fi soap operas and I had always written romantic relationships within the sci fi envelope so I decided to expand on that but without the fantastical planets and laser guns. I love writing within the romantic genre now.

4. Your philosophy is 'Be kind to yourself'. What are the little extra kind things you do for you?

 I think women in particular are very hard on themselves. We never seem to give ourselves a break. How often have you given advice to a friend but been guilty of not following that advice yourself? I try to step back and think if I was your friend what advice would I give you and then I try and follow it. It’s usually along the lines of grabbing ten minutes to sit in the garden without feeling guilty or giving myself permission not to stress if the ironing doesn’t get done or the washing up gets left occasionally. I try to find a little me time every day just to step outside of the craziness of a busy life and relax.

5. How do your inspirations become a story?

 I usually come up with a character and then wonder what story they have to tell or sometimes I will have a particular scene in my mind and everything will flow from that. When I start a novel or a novella I always know where I will start and where I will finish but never what will happen in between. It’s a wonderful voyage of discovery which makes it such fun to write.

6. You love to spend time in your garden. What is your favorite flower?

 It has to be peonies – that’s why they are on the front cover of The Flower Seller. I know people complain the blooms don’t last but when they are in full flower there is very little that can compete with them. My second favorite flower would be the agapanthus – they remind me of beautiful Cornwall.

7. On your blog you have a picture which says 'Just believe in your dreams'. What were your dreams growing up?

 I always wanted to be a writer so I guess you could say I’m living the dream! Although when I was a child, I imagined it would be a lot of wafting around in glamorous outfits in between tapping away at a keyboard with a view of the sea outside my window. The reality is somewhat different – my younger self didn’t appreciate the hard work involved. I don’t have time to waft around and I don’t have a view of the sea.

8. How did you create The Flower Seller?

 I had two key ideas I wanted to develop – a woman starting to date again after the end of a long marriage and a character with hidden depths. I also wanted to explore the theme of whether love and loyalty had gone out of fashion. Somehow through the alchemy of writing The Flower Seller evolved.

9. Which writer is a must-read for everyone?

 I don’t think there is one writer that fits into that category. We all have such eclectic tastes. Take Jane Austen – she has a huge fan base. Personally, I prefer a little more grit in my oyster. If I had to name a writer, however, I’d say Daphne du Maurier. I’d hope everyone could find something to admire in her writing.

10. What can we expect from you in the future?

 I have a novella coming out in September called The Tregelian Hoard a romantic cosy mystery set in gorgeous Cornwall. Then, next June, I will be publishing another full length commercial women’s fiction novel White Lies. It tells the story of interior designer Sam Davenport as she struggles to reconcile herself to her husband Neil’s actions and we discover what happens when seemingly innocent white lies get out of control.

Book review

Review by Anniek

Jessie thought she had it all. She is married to William and together they have a beautiful daughter, Hannah. Jessie has always put her family first and when Hannah was born she started working part-time. Jessie and William work for the same company. Because of the fact that Jessie takes care of Hannah, William was able to make partner at the firm. Now that Hannah is grown up and off to college Jessie is determined to become a partner as well.

The shock is huge when William tells her he is leaving her for a younger woman. Someone who he says has been there for him while Jessie was too busy working. Jessie feels betrayed, but is bent on getting up again. She works harder than ever before and slowly she is getting back into the dating scene as well.

William thought the grass was greener on the other side. He thought he wanted to start a new life without Jessie, but when he receives the divorce papers he starts having second thoughts. Once upon a time William and Jessie meant the world to each other. Where did they go wrong? At what moment did their love got lost in their everyday life?

Jessie is a wonderful person. She is a great mom, a good friend and a loyal employee. She is also strong and she fights for what's rightfully hers. I really liked that about her. After everything that happened to her she could have felt sorry for herself, but instead she chooses to be the best person she can be. I strongly believe that if you stay positive things will get better eventually.

The Flower Seller is a beautiful story that teaches you that love is not always lost forever and can be found again. William and Jessie both make mistakes, but they learn from them and move on, which makes them become better persons. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see what the ending would be like. I was hoping for Jessie and William to be happy again. Even though William made some huge mistakes he isn't a bad person. He just felt a bit lost to me.

Ellie Holmes has written a fantastic, sometimes rosy, romantic story with all the thorns still intact. This only made the story more believable. The story of The Flower Seller could really have happened to someone and that intrigued me. Because of this I can't wait to read another book written by Ellie Holmes. I have visited Cornwall and loved it there, so I'm really looking forward to her new novel that will come out in September.


  1. Thank you to the lovely Anniek and With Love For Books for taking the time and trouble to review The Flower Seller and for asking me such interesting questions. It was a lovely trip down memory lane to talk about sci-fi! Thanks also for your lovely review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book :)

  2. This book sounds wonderful! Enjoyed the interview and review. I like Ellie's philosophy of being kind to yourself. I'm trying to do more of that! :-) Have added this book to my list. Looking forward to reading it.

    1. Hi Letty - thanks for your kind comments. I hope you enjoy The Flower Seller when you read it. Being kind to yourself is sometimes tough to do but worth it!

  3. Peonies are one of my favorites, too. I love being in the garden! This sounds like a lovely book.

    1. If only peonies lasted just that little bit longer (*sigh*). Thanks for your kind comment about the book. I hope you enjoy it if you get to read it - do let me know. Ellie x

  4. Awesome interview and review! I loved reading more about the author and there were some really great questions so it made for an interesting read. The Flower Seller has a beautiful cover and the story sounds like something I'd enjoy reading. I don't come across many romance novels where the couple has already fallen in love, had a family and then begin where the couple is now unhappy so I'm intrigued to read more!

    1. Hi Debbie - Anniek really did pose some fab questions - I thoroughly enjoyed taking part. Thank you for your kind comments about the book. If you do get to read it, please let me know what you think. Ellie x

  5. I adore this cover. And to see that this is an engaging and romantic tale of love, deceit, betrayal and hope... I need to read it.

  6. Thanks for your kind words about the cover. I love it too! The Flower Seller is on special offer at the moment if you fancy giving it a go. Ellie x

  7. I love that the author still has the scifi operas she wrote with her friends.

  8. I'm so glad that William is rethinking this and hopefully they recapture the relationship they had. This is very refreshing to read in a romance book, that even if marriages go south they can be repaired with determination!