Spring in Romsey

My guest today is Emma Calin. She is a talented writer who spends part of the year in the UK and part in France. Sounds very exotic to me. Welcome, Emma!


It’s great to be back on your blog, Anneli Purchase. Thanks for having me.


Names and words are the stuff of writing aren’t they. A character’s name may be all you need to describe them. A few days ago I was in a church where my daughter was suffering a music exam. My mind had drifted onto the contents of this guest blog post. I had to do a bit of a double take since I was staring at a plaque commemorating the lives of different members of the Purchase family. What a coincidence.



Well into the 1960s, the principal grocer’s shop in the country town of Romsey in Hampshire was run, named, and owned by the Purchases. William Overbury Purchase (Doesn’t that name draw a fine Victorian Alderman in your imagination?) was the mayor and Justice of the Peace. A daughter, Florence, was a leading light of the abstinence movement, having taken the pledge as a child – one imagines at the instigation of a parent.

Florence Overbury Purchase

So, seated in the church I pondered the nature of life in which names, seasons, and beliefs form so many links in the flow of time. Looking at church inscriptions always takes my mind back to those great tomes of the glamour and shoulder-pad saga period, where books were sold by weight. I just don’t have the focus or work ethic to write one, but I do occasionally sketch one in my head. I think William Overbury could be some kind of patrician tycoon.

William Overbury Purchase

This is a beautiful part of the world, where spring is running desperately – trying to catch up with my aspirations for it. Here are some pictures from in and around Romsey to compare with the spring where you are. Perhaps, Anneli, some of your family may have seen these very woods?

Bluebells in Romsey Woods

Bluebells in Romsey woods





On the subject of writing, which was supposed to be my focus for this post, take a look at this video – I did not create it but it says it all (although I have not actually been banned from anywhere – yet.)


Emma Calin Quartet

Find more from Emma Calin here:

Amazon: Emma Calin Amazon Author Page
Emma Calin Blog: http://www.emmacalin.blogspot.com
Emma Calin Website: http://www.emmacalin.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/emma.calin
and pages: http://www.facebook.com/Knockout.Romance.Novel & http://www.facebook.com/TheChosenbyEmmaCalin http://www.facebook.com/Escape2Love
Twitter: @Emma Calin
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/emmacalin/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4915751.Emma_Calin

The Restaurant @ The Mill

Today’s guest is the lovely Linn Halton from the UK. Welcome Linn.

Linns bookshelf

About the author: Linn writes contemporary women’s love stories that reflect life, the baggage we all carry around with us and the complexities of relationships. You are always guaranteed an uplifting ending that won’t disappoint and often a psychic twist that will make you stop and think… what if? Linn lives in the small village of Arlingham, in the UK.

Linn signed with US publishing house Sapphire Star Publishing in 2012; The Quintessential Gemini, a heart-warming romance was released in June 2012 and The Restaurant @ The Mill, a collection of life/love stories based around an old mill, was released in August 2012. Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.


Linn’s links:


Twitter: @LinnBHalton

Facebook: Linn B Halton

Amazon.co.uk (buy)

Amazon.com (buy)


A Loveahappyending Lifestyle feature editor

Signed by: http://www.sapphirestarpublishing.com/linnbhalton

Romantic Novelists’ Association page


It’s lovely to be here with you today Anneli. Wish it was in person as I would love to visit your very beautiful part of the world!

The mill featured on the cover

Setting is so very important when writing a novel and when I wrote The Restaurant @ The Mill it was crucial. The mill around which this novel is based is actually a composite of two existing buildings. Both are beautiful, old mills that have been preserved and retain a sense of atmosphere. One is a working water mill, which was one of the features in the book and allowed me to provide some accurate description. The other was a pin mill, and had a layout that would work if I were converting an old building into a restaurant. The composite building became very real to me. I could walk around it in my head and see it as if it were a place I had visited!

It was important though, as I wanted the readers to fall in love with what was essentially the heart of this book. I needed them to regard it as having an existence of its own; the characters were simply a transient part of the life of the old building. It is the restaurant that is the common theme, bringing together the stories of love at every stage in life – from newlyweds to a couple in their twilight years. Whilst the spirit of “Sarah” is a cameo role within the novel, she helps to gently remind the reader of the age of the building. She sees everything that is happening through the eyes of a Victorian mill owner’s wife, albeit a slightly confused and disorientated one at times. Her purpose was to bring a sense of generation and history, and a reminder that what was happening in the here and now was simply another passing phase in the life of the mill.

Some of the individual stories of the couples who dine there play out to a conclusion, some are a work in progress – in the same way that life itself is never “complete” because no one knows what tomorrow will bring.

My favourite restaurant is in a very old building in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire in the UK. When I sit there I can almost feel the presence of the past – I do hope that is what the readers take away from my story.

The Restaurant 3d

The Restaurant is not just about the owners, Hilary and Ben, but as “The Restaurant @ The Mill” thrives and comes alive with the conversations and emotions of people unconnected in their day-to-day lives, another five stories unfold. Only one thing is certain, life is an eternal struggle and that is the common thread, which ties us all together. Life, love, sadness and happiness….

The Restaurant @ The Mill; the owners, the staff and the customers – each of the six individual stories reflect a different set of life and love problems. One thing ties them together, they all frequent the Mill.

Is happiness guaranteed? Not necessarily, but when love fails it simply means it’s time to move on. Can young love survive when two people have been parted for most of their lives? Can a lonely man ever find the peace and true love he seeks? Will old wounds ever heal and can people learn to love again?

And then there is the spirit of a young woman named Sarah, who wanders the Mill looking for her beloved husband. Will she ever be able to rest? The Restaurant sees it all.