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Blog Tour Stop - Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square by the utterly fabulous Heidi Swain!!

What They Say:

Kate is on the run from her almost-divorced husband who is determined to have her back, and she has found the perfect place to hide... a little cottage on Nightingale Square in Norwich, far away from her old life in London. But the residents of Nightingale Square don't take no for an answer, and Kate soon finds herself pulled into a friendship with Lisa, her bossy but lovely new neighbour.

Within a matter of days Kate is landed with the job of campaigning the council to turn the green into a community garden, meanwhile all the residents of Nightingale Square are horrified to discover that the Victorian mansion house on the other side of the square has been bought by developers. But when all hope is lost, the arrival of a handsome stranger is sure to turn things around! 

Read on for an Exclusive Piece from Heidi, telling us all about the new setting she created for the new book!

All about the space…

I was absolutely thrilled when the Books and the City team asked if I would write a piece about the lovely new setting of Nightingale Square for the Sunshine and Sweet Peas blog tour.

If you have read any of my other books you will know that they have all been set either in the fictitious bustling market town of Wynbridge or in the countryside which surrounds it, however when it came to thinking about novel number 6, I decided it was time for a change. This wasn’t an easy decision to make because not only have the fine folk of Wynbridge been so keen to share their tales with me, but also because my readers have really taken the place to their hearts.

I came to the conclusion that as well as the friends and families it was the sense of community and togetherness in Wynbridge which drew people in and kept them wanting more, and that’s what I also loved and wanted to continue writing about. Thankfully my beloved Fenland town felt the connection to both me and my readers as strongly as I did and it wasn’t prepared to cut ties completely.

New ideas took hold and it gradually emerged that the perfect thing to do would be to take someone who had grown up in Wynbridge and put her somewhere else, somewhere not too far away, which had the same sense of closeness and camaraderie. But where?

The very fine city of Norwich is just a few miles up the road from me and I began to think that a more urban environment would be fun to write about, but where exactly could Kate call home? A fortuitous bus journey provided just the right amount of inspiration.
Ordinarily I use the park and ride but on this particular day I had taken the bus from my village into the city centre and the trip back was slow and winding and happened to pass a small group of houses which had a fenced off green in front of them. The old grey matter began to swirl and in true ‘through the keyhole’ style, I imagined who could live there and what purpose the green could play in their lives.
Once the houses in my head were populated it was a short leap to give the neighbours a common goal and as always it was something close to my heart, in this case, the joy of gardening and growing. I was a maintenance gardener and designer in a former life and my family are all farmers so I am fortunate enough to know first-hand just how beneficial to mental health getting outside can be.
With all the elements in place, Nightingale Square was swiftly born. It is as real to me as my beloved Wynbridge and I hope you can all find a place for my greenspace in the city in your hearts.

Much love
Heidi x

Sunshine and Sweet Peas is out now from Simon & Schuster!


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