Fun at the Fair with Rachel Brimble

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m delighted to welcome back friend, fellow Brit and Supers sister Rachel Brimble to the Lair! I know you all had such fun when she visited before, so I’m so pleased we’ve been able to entice her back (okay, so the Lair hunks and Sven’s tasty snacks may have had something to do with it too <g>)

Given how awful the weather has been over here lately, I thought we’d chat in the Lair library, in front of a nice fire. So, settle into one of these big, comfy armchairs, Rachel, and Paolo will bring us drinks and some of Sven’s delicious nachos and seven layer dip. What’s your poison, Rachel?

Oohh, I never say no to a glass of ice-cold Chablis…thank you! 😉

WBTH CoverSince she was last here, Rachel has been busy writing the third book in her Templeton Cove series, What Belongs to Her. Here’s the blurb to entice you all!

She’s ready to take back what’s hers 

Since the moment a local crime boss claimed ownership of her family’s fairground, Sasha Todd has dreamed of righting the wrong. Now it’s time to act, and backing down from the man’s estranged son is definitely not an option. After all, giving up her legacy to hot-blooded John Jordon means losing the chance to finally heal the wounds in her past. 

Stopping John in his tracks—and resisting the sizzle between them—is Sasha’s best defense. But there’s more to him than she thought, which changes everything. With what matters most at stake, she’ll have to risk a brand-new future with John, or walk away from the man whose heart belongs to her

Can you remind our BBs about Templeton Cove, the previous two books and tell us how this one is connected?

The series is set in the fictional UK seaside town of Templeton Cove – the first book, Finding Justice, was my debut with Harlequin and since then I have signed four more in the series. Finding Justice and A Man Like Him (books 1 & 2) were romantic suspense, so I decided the next two would be mainstream romance. There’s only so much murder, stalking and mayhem a small town can take each year, lol!

What Belongs To Her introduces two new characters to the Cove but they are connected to a secondary character from Finding Justice. The hero by blood, the heroine through work. The story is set against the backdrop of the town’s fairground and was SO much fun to write!

Finding Justice cover

Doesn’t that sound great? Even better, here’s an excerpt!

He turned and his dark blue eyes, aflame with anger, pinned Sasha to the spot. She forced herself to stand still as his gaze languidly glided over her face, lingering for a moment at her lips. No smile lifted the corners of his mouth. No softness seeped into his hardened study.

She smiled even as her stomach knotted. “Hi.”

He continued to stare.

Okay, so he’s got that sexy, broody thing going on, but since when does a guy––any guy––leave me speechless? Say something…

“Well, you’re all sorts of angry, aren’t you?” Great, Sasha. Just poetic.

He lifted an eyebrow and turned his focus back to the ride.

She frowned and glared at his profile, feeling like an idiot. The guy needed to take a serious chill pill. Did he think he had a monopoly on being pissed off? Wakey, wakey, Mister, the entire human race holds a grudge of one kind or another.

“I was only trying to make conversation. If you don’t want to talk to me, that’s fine.” She shrugged. “I haven’t seen you before and, as I’m the person running things around here, I thought you might appreciate a friendly word, a kind welcome. My name’s Sasha­­––”

“I know who you are.”

She stiffened. The deep, smooth lilt of his upper English class voice filled her with equal measure of attraction and warning. “Pardon me?”

He faced her and crossed his arms across his broad chest. “You’re Sasha Todd, exceptionally pretty and svelte manageress of this fairground, known so lovingly as Funland. You work for Kyle Jordon. Although, while Kyle’s currently boarding at Her Majesty’s pleasure in prison, you are undoubtedly forced to answer to his bull mastiff of a lapdog, the wonderfully charming and partially toothed Freddy Campton. Am I right?”

Sasha crossed her arms, mimicking his stance as irritation simmered inside her. “Yes, but who––”

“How do you feel about that, Miss Todd?”

“What?”

“Moreover, how are you going to feel knowing from tomorrow, you’ll be answering to me and not him?”

Sasha froze as his words filtered through her mind. Her heart pounded and hot heat seared her cheeks. What the hell did he just say? She uncrossed her arms and splayed her hands on her hips. “Is this some kind of joke?”

A flicker of amusement lit his eyes before he blinked and they turned cold once more. “No joke. From tomorrow you’ll be reporting to me.”

Panic and disbelief hurtled through her. Who the hell does this guy think he is? She huffed out a laugh. “I don’t think so. Who are you?”

“Your new boss.”

She grinned, hoping it would coerce some semblance of a smile to his lips and make him tell her he was kidding. “Very funny. You’re a funny guy, Mr…”

“You don’t believe me?” His face remained unnervingly impassive.

Okay, enough was enough. Sasha glared. “I asked you who you are. If you want to toss a revelation like that at me, the least you can do is tell me your name. Not that I’m likely to believe a word you say after this little, slightly creepy, performance.”

He uncrossed his arms and offered his hand, which she took without thinking. His hand enveloped hers. Warm, smooth and unnervingly large. Why did she have the sudden and unwelcome suspicion nothing about this guy was small or weak?

“John Jordon.” He shook her hand. “Nice to meet you.”

A Man Like HimFabulous! What appealed to you about Sasha and John?

As John is the son of Templeton’s crime lord, I wanted him to be strong, yet very different from his scheming father. I wanted him to be honest and upfront, full of integrity and quiet, brooding strength…yes, I’m a little bit in love with the man. His heroine needed to be a match for him so Sasha is by no means a shrinking violet. I love writing strong, feisty heroines on a mission to right a wrong––Sasha has more of me in her than most of my heroines. There’s nothing that infuriates me more than a bully so I had to create a heroine ready to confront the town’s pain in the butt!

LOL I love heroines who are prepared to stand up to bullies! What inspired you to write a romance based around a fairground?

I have a lot of romantic and fun memories around a fairground that used to come to my hometown every Easter. I developed my first crush there as well as forming deeper connections with my childhood friends as we edged toward young adulthood. The setting of the fairground is very clear in my mind, from the smells to the sights, to the people and tensions. It was fabulous to bring my memories alive 🙂

I know what you mean. We had a fun fair, where we used to live, every October – Hull Fair. It was a local event and everyone used to go. The memories are so clear for me too! What’s your favourite fairground ride?

It’s actually one that is highlighted in the book – ‘The Mixer’ holds great memories for me as well as still being a ride I can’t go on without collapsing into fits of giggles. When Sasha commandeers John to a jaunt on the ride, I loved it! I hope readers find the scene as funny as I do. My editor and agent loved it, thank goodness!

I love The Mixer too. What’s your favourite fairground food?

Doughnuts! I am a doughnut fiend and when you have a bag, hot from the fryer…so bad, but sooo good!

Yumm! Thanks so much for visiting the Lair today, Rachel, and for giving our BBs the chance to win a prize.

One lucky commenter will win a signed paperback of any book from the Templeton Cove series (reader choice). Tell us, do you like funfairs/amusement parks? Do you have a favourite? What’s your favourite ride? What’s your favourite food?

You can find out more about Rachel on her Website and her Blog, and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter

 Buy Links: Remember you can buy Rachel’s book from Amazon US by clicking on the book covers.

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

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Comments

59 Comments

  • Patty L. says:

    First tonight, my favorite fair food is the candy apple. My favorite ride is the tilt o whirl. I am always doubled over with laughter by the time it ends and I will spend all of my tickets on this particular ride.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Patty!

      Aren’t fairs just great? So many fabulous memories – my kids are 15 and 13 now and when the fair is here, I never see them 🙂

      Rachel x

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hey Patty – looks like you won the pesky rooster for today. Hope he keeps you laughing!

      I love candy apples too – there is an art to them, though, and you have to find people who really know how to make them properly!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Congrats on catching the infamous Chook, Patty L!

  • flchen1 says:

    Oh MY, Rachel! I don’t know why I haven’t stumbled across your series before–this sounds positively delicious! I love a good series, and this sounds like it’s got a great mix of characters and excitement 😉

    As for amusement parks/fairs, I enjoy them in small-ish doses… we did somehow find ourselves over the span of a couple years where we visited Disneyland every six months or so… that was WAY too frequently for us! The kids loved it, but even they got to the point where they didn’t appreciate it as much! Now they’re a little older, they’re willing to ride the coasters and scarier rides while I still tend to prefer say, Dumbo! 😉

    And food? We had some very delicious fried chicken at the Hometown Cafe…

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Glad you found me now! Hope you’ll give the books a try and let me know if you enjoyed them 🙂

      Disneyland every six months? Wow, I won’t tell my kids that, they’ll never stop moaning, lol! The Templeton Cove is a typically small, British fairground of carousels and toffee apples.

      Rachel x

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hey Fedora – glad we got you into a new author ! Our work here is done!

      Must admit I’m more of a Universal Studios gal – the Back to the Future ride was my all-time favourite! I spent one birthday riding it several times 🙂

  • Amy Conley says:

    Am I first this morning?

    • Amy Conley says:

      The other 2 posts didn’t show up for me when I posted, oh well.
      I’d have to say the ferris wheel is my favorite ride at local fairs/festivals. We have a very small fall fest in my little town the first full week of Sept which for the size of our town, right around 1,000 ppl, is a good sized festival. My favorite foods at our fastival are the smoked pork chops and caramel covered apples.

      • Rachel Brimble says:

        Hi Amy!

        Thanks for trying again….and again 🙂 It’s great to see you here – I love that so many people are commenting fondly on their local fairs. I love them!

        Rachel x

      • Anna Sugden says:

        Sorry about that, Amy – but at least you don’t have to put up with the rooster all day. The mention of fun fairs and fair food has him in a right tizzy!

        One of the disappointments when we lived in NJ was the lack of fairs locally. Even the state fair was held in the Meadowlands car park! One day!

  • Jane says:

    Welcome back, Rachel. I do like fairs, but not the biggest fan of amusement parks. My favorite is the San Gennaro Festival that takes place in September in Little Italy. I love the calamari and zeppoles.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      I agree, Jane! I much prefer fairs to amusement parks – bit of a coward as far as the big rides are concerned. My hubby and kids convinced me to go on a ride at one of the UK’s big amusement parks a couple of years ago…I’m still traumatised!

      Rachel x

      • Anna Sugden says:

        Funnily enough, I don’t mind the ones that go upside down and corkscrew, but I hate roller coasters with big drops and the Tower of Terror! *shudder*!

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hey Jane! That’s one of the things I miss about living in NY – all the local fairs and yummy food. There is a great food festival in London, in June, which is a lovely gastronomic day out!

  • Mary Preston says:

    Hi Rachel,

    just the thought of food & fun fairs makes me feel queasy.

    I went on a roller coaster ONCE. I don’t think my bosom ever recovered.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      LOL!!! Great to see you here, Mary 😀

      Yes, I think I’m way past the big rides…if I ever was!

      Rachel x

    • Anna Sugden says:

      LOL Mary – you should have had a ‘tea on the monitor’ warning about your comment!

      My bosom is like that about archery – believe me, you don’t want to get caught by the twang of a bow, after the arrow has released!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Rachel and Anna

    I love fairs I remember one when I was a teenager that come around in October every year and we always had so much fun there and my best ride was one called The Cha Cha and my favourite food at the fair what we call pluto pups or dagwood dogs these are hot dogs on sticks in batter with lots of tomato sauce yum and I love the sound of this series 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Helen!

      I am so pleased everyone has great memories of their local fairs too – I was afraid I’d be the only one and the choice of having a fairground as the backdrop for What Belongs To Her wouldn’t evoke the nostalgia I wanted. Hopefully, I’ve captured the feel for you all!

      Rachel x

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Helen! You’re having a lot of fun in your life with weddings at the moment! Congratulations!

      I’m a sucker for hot dogs of all varieties! Those Pluto pups sound delish. Like corn dogs.

  • Rachel, welcome back. Anna, great interview. Loved the excerpt too!

    I love funfairs although I haven’t been to one in years. I love rides that spin you round and round really fast. Hate the ones the hold you upside down like the pirate ship.

    Favorite fair food is what we call fairy floss down here – think it’s called cotton candy in the States. Pink clouds of spun sugar. Yum!

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      LOL! I’m with you, Anna – love the rides that go fast and give me the giggles…but anything where I’m suspended in the air?? No, thanks!!

      Love “candy floss” as it’s known here in the UK – my girls do too so plenty is eaten 😉

      Rachel x

    • Anna Sugden says:

      I never did get the pirate ship ride – ugh! But I used to love the one that was like a centrifuge – that spun you round really fast and you ‘stuck’ to the wall.

      I used to love candy floss/cotton candy, but these days, I find it too sweet 🙁 I have to console myself with funnel cake or those butterflies they make by dipping a batter-covered butterfly iron in hot oil, then dusting with sugar.

  • Rachel, welcome back to the lair! Anna thank you for bringing Rachel to us today. Great excerpt!

    Love the idea of a fairground as a setting. There’s so much scope for fun and romance. And I’m with you on the doughnuts, Rachel, Yum! These days they seem to have a lot of churros which are long donuts dipped in chocolate. Divine!

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Ooh, yes, Churros! My eldest is obsessed with them but I haven’t tried one yet. I had no idea they were like doughnuts…might have to remedy my void at some point this season, lol!

      Thanks for dropping by, Christina 🙂

      Rachel x

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Christina! You’re right, there is so much scope for fun and romance and intrigue at a fairground! All that and great food – makes you want to rush off to one right now!

      Churros – yum!

  • Shannon says:

    I don’t survive twirly rides very well, and those that drop sharply, oowwwhhhh. But the atmosphere is fun. I remember discovering funnel cakes; they wouldn’t taste good anywhere but at a fair. As for amusement parks, the two nearest to me have a wave pool. I came out as a exhausted prune but what fun.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Shannon! No, you can’t beat the atmosphere – that’s what great! You can walk around and absorb it all and feel like you’ve had the fun and excitement without stepping foot on a coaster!

      Oh, I do love water parks! 🙂

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      I’m back!! Apologies for my absence, I had a parent visit booked in 🙂

      I’ve never heard of funnel cakes – description please! Hate to feel I’ve missed out on any kind of cake, lol 🙂

      Rachel x

  • Laurie G says:

    Growing up my hometown had an annual 4th of July traveling carnival show come through and set up Thursday – Sunday night. My favorite ride was The Bullet. I do remember the Tilt O Whirl, The Merry Go Round, The Ferris Wheel , The Fun House and all the carnival games, Ring Toss, Basketball in the Basket, Shooting Ducks and Pick A Duck. As for food cotton candy was a must eat. A big highlight was turning eighteen and going into the bar/ dance area.

    Other parks: Great America -Gurnee, IL with it’s huge wooden roll-o-coaster

    Disneyland and Disney World

    I’ve been to several different county fairs in Wisconsin.. Favorite foods were the brats and roasted corn.

    State Fair- Wisconsin is known for their cream puffs but I love the roasted corn!

    Favorite ride now is the Merry Go Round. Love their elegant beauty and the gorgeous carved animals.

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Hi Laurie! I love all the side shows. You guys seem to have better ones over there than we do here. Although I find school fairs are always a good laugh.

      Oh yes – I love the Merry-Go-Round! It feels magical, whatever age you are!

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Wow, I am just loving all these foods and treats we don’t have in the UK – not so sure they mix with the rides, but I’m happy to watch and eat at any fairground, lol!

      Thanks for stopping by, Laurie 🙂

      Rachel x

  • Debbie says:

    I haven’t been to a fair in years, but I did love them when I went, the atmosphere is electric. I went of a couple of rides at them but one creaked and groaned so badly I was afraid that it was going to fall apart. I do like the larger amusement parks, love the whole Walt Disney thing, also loved the Iron Dragon at Cedar Point, that one I could ride over and over, and I don’t think you can beat Kings Island for roller coasters. As for food, I’ve got to have funnel cake, you cannot beat them at the parks, great, now I’m drooling, LOL.

  • Rachel Brimble says:

    Hi Debbie!

    Where is Cedar Point?? I’ve just started watching Cedar Cove over here and loving it. I can’t help imagining that Cedar Point is a tiny yachting village.

    There’s that funnel cake mentioned again – I need to Google it right now!

    Rachel x

    • Debbie says:

      Cedar Point is in Sandusky, Ohio. This parks is also loaded with roller coasters if you like them. Kings Island is in Mason, Ohio near Cincinnati. Funnel Cakes are almost like a waffle batter, they use a funnel to drop in hot oil (it almost looks like a flattened fried brain) they then coat is with powdered sugar, although now I’ve seen strawberries and cream on top being done.

  • Hi Rachel! Love that excerpt. Well done!

    I have a special affinity toward community fairs and amusement parks. In fact, I was reading palms at the local fair when this incredibly handsome guy strolled into my tent. I’d met him about a month earlier when we spent the night dancing at a bar about 250 miles away. Never thought I’d see him again and yet here he was – big, bold and in the flesh. Now I see him everyday as I married him a couple of years later 🙂 .

    Then there’s the time I audited a small amusement park. They put me in a trailer right outside the kiddie rides – heard that constant honking of those kiddie cars all blasted day. Sigh. But the location was more fun than working in a cubicle in an office.

    Sounds like a GREAT book, Rachel. I’ll be checking it out.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Donna!

      Wow, what a story of how you met your husband – I love it! Do you mind if I pinch that for a future story? Lots and lots of potential… 😉

      You sound like my kind of heroine!

      Rachel x

    • Donna, I’d never heard this part of the story. How cool!

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Donna, I knew abou the dancing, but if I’d heard the part about reading palms, I’d forgotten it! How totally “meant to be”! Grins.

  • Rachel, welcome back and congrats on your new release (and your new contract)! That’s a great excerpt.

    I like amusement parks despite not being able to tolerate swoopy, spinny, or fast rides. My favorite ride, as you might have guessed, is the merry-go-round. I love the brightly painted horses and even the cheesy organ music.

    • Jeanne Adams says:

      Nancy, the one at Hershey Park has zebras and giraffes and lions as well as the horses. It’s totally cool.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Nancy & Jeanne!

      Something about those carousels..I didn’t include one in What Belongs To Her, kind of wishing I did now!

      Rachel x

  • bn100 says:

    like the roller coasters

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hi Rachel!! Welcome back to the Lair!! Anna, thanks for bringing Rachel back, and thanks for stoking up the fire. Brrr! between the snow here and the rain there, its been a heck of a winter!

    Sven! Oh, hi, Sven. It’s still early enough in DC that I’ll have hot chocolate. Spiked? Surreeeee! Grins.

    Rachel, this series sounds so fun and with delicious heroes and spunky heroines too! I love fun faires, amusement parks and the like. I think the Mixer’s a blast, love roller coasters – the faster the better! – and pretty much am game for any of the rides offered.

    My eldest and I are the rollercoaster fans. We dared each other to ride The Hulk at Universal Orlando, but didn’t do it b/c we were wet and cold. Grins. We rocked the Harry Potter rides though and enjoy our closer, local parks, Hershey Park and Six Flags. Hershey park – of chocolate fame – has a ride called The Great Bear. Yeah. Now THAT’s a roller coaster! Grins.

    As for faire food, I like funnel cake and the enormous soft pretzels. :>

  • catslady says:

    Our family spent many happy vacations at Cedar Point which is the roller coaster park of the world lol but it has the fair flavor. I love the coasters and as for food it’s always been funnel cake.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Definitely feel as though I’ve missed out on something not visiting Cedar Point, lol! My kids would love it there 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Catslady!

      Rachel x

  • Minna says:

    My favorite amusement park is Linnanmäki. Haven’t been there for a long time. My favorite ride there is the Viking ship. It’s like a giant swing.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Minna!

      Oh no! You like the Viking Ship?? My stomach’s turning just thinking about it. You’re a braver woman than me!

      Hope Templeton Cove’s not too calm for you, lol!

      Rachel x

      • Minna says:

        Some rides in Linnanmäki were (and I assume still are) are far worse than the Viking ship.

  • Kim says:

    I only like amusement parks if it’s a cool day. I’m not one that enjoys waiting in a long line on a hot day.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Kim,

      I agree! We went to amusement park once and were waiting in line for over 2 hours and people were passing out all over the place. Not good!

      Rachel x

  • Hey Rachel! Welcome back to the Lair! Your story for John and Sasha sound fun! I’ll have to add it to my TBR list!

    Alas, I am not a big fan of fairs, but I have a good reason.

    When I was a teenager, I worked every summer for 2 weeks straight for a family run food service group. The smell of burnt fried food got to me after a while, especially the year I had to manage the booth near the goats exhibit! Yuck!

    The one benefit I did get was I could go as often as I wanted to see the musical groups or to the arts and crafts building. I love the baked goods competition and the quilts!

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Suzanne,

      Thanks for adding What Belongs To Her to your reading list! Ha, definitely need a silver lining with that situation…goats??

      Rachel x

  • Becke says:

    Congratulations, Rachel,

    I like the spark in your dialogue.

    Tell us, do you like funfairs/amusement parks? Well sure. What’s not to like. We’re heading to LEGOLAND with the grands in April.

    Do you have a favorite? Busch Gardens-FL

    What’s your favorite ride? Jungle Safari through the live animals

    What’s your favorite food? I’m not big on fair food. I usually sneak in my own or starve until we leave.

    • Rachel Brimble says:

      Hi Becke,

      Loving your answers and I didn’t realise they had a Legoland in the States, or are you here in the UK and visited Florida?

      Rachel x