Saturday, 13 October 2018

Oh! What A Pavlova by Isabella May + #Giveaway + Q&A

Oh! What A Pavlova by Isabella May
Published by Crooked Cat Books on the 3rd October 2017.

Add Oh! What A Pavlova to your Goodreads

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy. Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation. 

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future. And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…But will she escape before it’s too late?

Q and A

1: “Oh! What a Pavlova” is a catchy book title. How did you come up with it and what is it all about?

I have a penchant for all things cake and pudding – you might have guessed. And I wanted to somehow blend this into a book about domestic violence, so interchanging the ‘pavlova’ bit for the usual ‘palaver’ was a play on words that just stuck!

How to summarise? Hmm… 

Cake meets domestic violence, travel, spirituality, comedy, and a bid for freedom in the arms of many an unsuitable man… all set against the backdrop of the weird and wonderful characters of the publishing industry. 

2: What was your inspiration for this novel?

A burning desire to dispel the misconception that an abusive relationship is abusive all the time: it is not. But I also wanted to portray a very honest picture of the way D.V can splinter life. Quite often the victim is leading a double life, their outer façade so astonishingly different to the unthinkable acts they are tolerating behind closed doors. Ultimately though, I wanted to create a story with a very different message; a message of empowerment for any woman or man who is currently feeling anything but strong. 

3: You like to chart social history in your books and Oh! What a Pavlova is no exception. What would you say to writers who are nervous about doing this? 

Bland is the only word that springs to mind had I forced my story come to life in a neutral time zone. In fact, it would never have worked. The Noughties (the era my novel is set in), although it feels like yesterday to many of us, couldn’t have been a more different environment to today. Companies and their workers were riding on a champagne bubble fuelled wave of abundance, blissfully ignorant that it was about to burst. And we were all still madly in love with our Jamies and Nigellas. Whilst in complete juxtaposition, domestic violence was as swept under the carpet as it might have been in the fifties. 

The only way to paint a realistic backdrop was to, well, paint that realistic backdrop. I appreciate readers from other countries might need to Google a few of my words, but personally, I love nothing more than to find out new things about a place I haven’t yet explored. We do this all the time with travel so why should books be any different?

From the bands that would have been starring at Glastonbury Festival at that time (‘Pavlova’ is part set in the iconic town), through to the latest trends in patisserie, celebrity crushes, clothes, cars, emerging spiritual practices, and general ways of thinking. 

If you want to date your work, do it.

4: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m 100% a pantser. 

I have never been into spreadsheets or organisation so I will write what I feel like in any given day, based on my mood and the weather, rarely following chapter order. And then I will sew it all up. Very naughty I know, and certainly not what any writing teacher would advise. My creativity works best through Post It notes, scribbles and brainstorming sessions, dialogues that pop into my head (usually in a café while I’m waiting to pick my daughter up from dance) begging to be recorded on the back of envelopes. Somehow it works!

5: You live in Spain. What one thing do you miss most about the UK (except for the weather, family and friends!)?

The abundance of good cake! 

No disrespect to Spain – I’m a huge fan of churros… and lazos, but it’s so tricky to come by certain baking ingredients here to make something really special. I’ll often make a twenty kilometre round trip just to buy some peppermint extract, or rose water from a large hypermarket. Sometimes even then they won’t stock it! 

Meet the author

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

Author links: 
WebsiteTwitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

And now it's time for the Giveaway!

Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally until the 16th October 2018)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel's Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel's Random Resources will delete the data. Rachel's Random Resources is not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Isabella May / Women's fiction / Books from England


  1. Bringing domestic violence into books is a good way to get people talking about this taboo subject and hopefully more women will seek help if we talk about it more.

    1. Absolutely agree with you. No woman should believe she is alone in this

  2. I love the title to this book and it caught my eye instantly. But the synopsis shows me it is going to be a very emotional and serious read...

    1. Yes, I wasn't sure the title and cover would really do justice to the novel itself. I imagine readers who were drawn in but the title might not initially realise the subject matter and be disappointed