Tule author Joanne Walsh took some time to give us inside information on her new release, The Greek’s Bedroom Bargain.
We have to ask, have you ever been to Greece?
I’ve visited Greece many times. I’m fond of all the southern European countries around the Mediterranean and Aegean, but it’s the Greek Islands that hold a special place in my heart.
Each island has its own unique character, and I love island-hopping by ferry to discover pretty whitewashed towns and villages tumbling down hills and mountainsides to the azure sea, and meeting the locals who are always hospitable and ready to share their culture, traditions and history—and serve their yummy cuisine. The best times have been when I’ve sat with friends and a gin and tonic on an idyllic, peaceful beach, watching a magnificently fiery sunset, or occasionally, when I’ve danced until dawn and then been treated to the equally unmissable sight of the sunrise on a pearl-gray-misted horizon.
I treasure the vacations I’ve spent in Greece, and it’s a joy and a privilege to share my memories with readers, weaving the sights, sounds and experiences garnered on those trips into the Greek Island Millionaires trilogy.
What about Kathos made your heroine Frankie pick it for the spot to heal her heart?
Frankie’s looking to find peace and answers. Her marriage has broken down in a hurtful way and all but taken the life she had in England with it. Her mom has an old schoolfriend, Alison Angelis, who settled on Kathos thirty years ago, marrying a Greek man and setting up a rescue shelter for the numerous feral animals that populate the island. It seems like the perfect time for Frankie to take the summer off, go stay with Alison, help out in the shelter, lick her wounds and think about next steps. She’s not looking for another relationship, but soon Nik Kontarinis, millionaire entrepreneur and a volunteer captain at the local firehouse, strides into her life. Although Nik makes it clear he’d like a fling with Frankie, she’s determined not to get involved…until it dawns on her that if she wants to make real the idea she has about staying on Kathos and starting over, she’s going to need him and…well, you can find out how that works out in The Greek’s Bedroom Bargain!
What inspired your hero Nik to become a volunteer firefighter?
Nik’s the kind of guy you want to have around in a crisis. He’s a natural leader, good at taking charge and keeping his cool, and he has strong desire to give back to the community that has nurtured him since he was orphaned as a baby after an earthquake struck Kathos in which his parents were killed. He’s fit and works out loads (Frankie is left dry-mouthed by his muscular physique!), so firefighting is another physical challenge he relishes.
But there’s another reason behind Nik’s drive to be a first responder. He carries a good deal of guilt about Marco, his adoptive younger brother, who disappeared when he was a toddler while the teenaged Nik was supposed to be minding him. Nik and his other two brothers, Sergei and Dimitri, have never stopped searching and holding out hope that, someday, Marco will be found alive and well. Fighting fires and saving people and places helps Nik to manage how he feels about Marco’s absence.
Greece is known for great food. Does Nik have a dish he’s mastered?
When Nik first meets Frankie, he’s used to having food cooked for him—he owns two bar-restaurants and a nightclub and he knows all the best tavernas on Kathos. But once he gets to settle down, he becomes a dab hand in the kitchen, as readers will see in The Millionaire’s Marriage Proposal, book three of the trilogy, when he throws a party to celebrate his brother Sergei’s song-writing success, treating his guests to his signature dish: Lamb Kleftiko, in which a leg of lamb is sealed and roasted for five-and-a-half hours with lemon, garlic and herbs, and potatoes to soak up the delicious juices. This he serves with a Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumber, onion, greens, and black Kalamata olives tossed in a mint yoghurt dressing. Teleios(perfect)!
What are you currently reading?
An Orphan’s Wish by Molly Green, which is set in England during the Second World War. Molly is a member of the writers’ group I also belong to. I love historical romance fiction, and Molly is a wonderful storyteller—she has a real gift for penning vivid characters and heart-warming plotlines full of twists and turns that bring the wartime period beautifully but honestly to life.
About the Author
Joanne Walsh became hooked on romance when her grandma gave her a copy of Gone with the Wind for her birthday. The teachers at her strict girls’ school didn’t approve of a ten-year-old reading such a ‘racy’ novel and confiscated it. But Joanne still became a voracious romance reader and, later, an editor for one of the world’s leading women’s fiction publishers, where she could do two of her favorite things: work with her beloved alpha-male heroes and spend time in the USA. These days, Joanne lives in the south of England and divides her time between freelance editing, writing and spending time with her very own real-life alpha…