Valentine's Day is a big day for me this year - even if I can't claim a secret admirer. A bunch of expensive red roses won't arrive at my door in locked-down Melbourne, but I had fun describing such an event when writing 'Trading Secrets', released today. Come to think of it, I didn't need too much imagination, as red roses have arrived several times in the past - back in the good old days. I can still recall the pleasure it gave me.
'Trading Secrets' is my second novel, written as Louisa Valentine. Yes, I was once a Mrs Valentine, so what other nom-de-plume could I possibly choose when writing women's fiction?
By focusing on a good, believable story line I aim to provide reading enjoyment for people in my own age group and my daughter's age group. We've had enough life experience to know that a Happy-Ever-After relationship is based on much more than jumping into bed five minutes after you meet someone. I generally keep the bedroom door shut in my stories. As one friend and beta reader said to me, 'I was glad to see you managed to avoid all the soppinesss'.
I prefer the 'getting to know him' type of story - with the addition of a few surprises and a few social issues. Another beta reader said to me 'I didn't see that coming'. It's why I've kept a lot of the story line.
Nicola Pearson is a new recruit to the Federal Bank in Sydney, hired to devise a new system to manage the trading risks of the bank. It is the mid-90s and she has to prove herself professionally and intellectually to win over the dealers, especially their boss Tom Forrester. He has recently returned from a three-year stint in London to run the Federal Bank’s financial trading operations.
Nicola has been left in the lurch by her ex-husband and does not trust men, lacking confidence in her judgment of them although she is confident of her workforce skills. She lives quietly, keeping her private life to herself and worrying over a secret.
Tom is also divorced, following a marriage experience which left him very disillusioned. The world sees him as living in the fast lane and Nicola is not his usual ‘type’ but something about her calls to him.
He gradually recognises she is bottling up a secret. Does he hold the key to relieving her worries and changing her life?
As Louise Wilson I've written many family histories, from which it's clear that love really does make the world go round. Ignoring the unpleasant exceptions, none of us would be here without the benefit of some love along the way. Listening to songs like 'Hello Young Lovers', 'Love is in the Air' and 'As Time Goes By' reminds me that I may be a 'golden oldie' now, but at least I'm still young at heart! (Sorry about all those over-used phrases - they're clichés because they're true.)
'Trading Secrets' is available as an e-book and as a paperback through this link. Please enjoy it. All feedback is welcome.