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28.10.2015
This novel is set in Australia and centers around the life of Cecilia Fitzpatrick, a mother and wife, who finds an envelope that is not to be opened until her husband's death.
My look incorporated a white blouse, leather skirt and leopard print flats with dark sunglasses to mimic the intrigue and mystery of the book.
As if to prepare me for the surreal cocoon that was about to enfold me, the soft flakes of a January snowstorm, looking suspiciously as if they had been created by Hollywood special effects, floated down around the white Rolls-Royce.It bore me through the gates of Camfield Place, in Hertfordshire, towards the most bizarre and outlandish encounter of my life. Barbara with Lord Mountbatten, a close friend for more than 50 yearsBy 1932 and trapped in a nightmare marriage (having discovered love letters sent to her husband by a married woman), Cartland resolved to free herself and sued for divorce on the grounds of her husband's adultery. The lives of these three women are turned upside down by unforeseen and uncontrollable forces. Liane Moriarty is the author of two other novels, Three Wishes and The Last Anniversary, both of which have been published around the world and translated into seven languages. I love looking at the different cover treatments books get in their publications in other countries. The novel was inspired by teaching in higher education and by current issues of austerity and funding cuts in the public sector.
It’s a festive, fun read about a girl called Lucy, who gets the worst job in the Christmas panto. The Husband’s Secret firstly focuses on Cecelia who seems to have it all – a wonderful husband and perfect children. It then turns to Tess who has just found out that her husband has fallen in love with someone else. Rachel’s and Tess’ stories are heart-breaking and although she was my least favourite character, I felt sorry for Cecelia when having to make a difficult choice – the truth or protecting her family and her life. The first memory is of sitting on a Sydney ferry and seeing the woman next to me open her handbag and pull out a copy of my first novel, Three Wishes.
The second memory is of sitting on my back steps watching my son play in the yard, while I was on a conference call with my literary agent, a film agent, and a Hollywood film producer.
I read in bed, read in the bath, read in the TV commercials, sleep, eat chocolate, work off all that chocolate in gym classes, ski (not that I ski every weekend, but I thought I should mention something outdoorsy), and now it occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned my children, and I don’t know how I could have forgotten them, because they are currently with the babysitter, screaming their darling little heads off in the hallway just outside my office door. My review will be coming up soon and be sure to stop by the Reading in the Sunshine blog tomorrow for more content from Sarah. Just to tell you a wee bit about the book, ME AND YOU, it all centres around a heroine called Angie, who’s arranged to meet up with her best friend Kitty at a swanky health spa…only Kitty stands her up. So Angie of course, does what any concerned pal would do, spirals off into a complete tailspin of panic.  Calls just about every mutual friend they have, who all say, ‘but we thought Kitty was with you!’ Turns out though that no one has seen her in days, so Angie calls Kitty’s boyfriend Simon and between them they start searching, but yet again nothing.
I love this envelope shaped mint clutch from J Crew, and I used it in the shoot to create a pop of color as well as the look of opening an envelope.
Diana and her siblings had a strained relationship with her and she was called 'Acid Raine' But wasn't all this dramatically at odds with the image of Barbara Cartland that all the world knew? In later years dementia set in Further evidence that the Spencers, at times, treated Cartland distantly came in 1989 when, for the second time, she became the subject of television's This Is Your Life. The men in their lives have all wronged them in some way, that the title of the book could have been The Husbands' Secrets. Secrets, lies, consequences, and forgiveness—delivers a deeply engrossing novel by Liane Moriarty, the best-selling author of What Alice Forgot. I wanted to examine how in difficult financial times people cope and how these issues affect relationships.
I added the fifth strand because it seemed like the right balance, the right number of voices. Assigned to being the back end of the comedy cow, she also has to contend with the fact that Ryan Aspall, her superstar heartthrob of a crush, is also starring in the show. However, when she finds a sealed envelope addressed to her, in her husband’s handwriting saying ‘To my wife. Trying to escape the betrayal she feels, she takes her son and retreats back to her mother’s house in Sydney. Her main focus is now on her small grandson whose parents now want to take him out of the country. The first part of the book sets up the characters and looks at their lives before Cecelia opens the letter. Liane lives in Australia and is the author of Three Wishes and What Alice Forgot as well as three books for children, The Space Brigade. I learned about Christian Spurling, who confessed on his deathbed to faking a notorious photo of the Loch Ness Monster. What I actually do when I’m not writing is take care of my five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, and I like that very much. ME AND YOU, centres around a heroine called Angie, who’s arranged to meet up with her best friend Kitty at a swanky health spa…only Kitty stands her up. The cover was really cute and the story interesting – how could someone disappear into thin air? Her sons appeared in the programme, but Earl and Countess Spencer were absentees, seen only on film, in what came across as a decidedly remote tribute.


Instead, their fates all come together from one particular secret, unearthed in the form of a long-hidden letter.
Ever the good wife, she tells her husband that she found it, and he begs her not to read it, which only makes opening the letter that much more irresistible.
That balloon hovering amongst the storm clouds looks very fragile, like it's about to burst! I also wanted to see if I could write a novel the way a filmmaker makes a film, by editing elements together that exist separately, outside of the ‘frame’ of one another.
I saw the whole thing as a hand, with the five fingers contributing to the whole picture of how we work together.
Lucy tends to lose the ability to speak when Ryan’s around, which is a little irritating when she’d quite like the confidence to flirt. To be opened in the event of my death,’ hidden among his things, she battles with the choice to open it. The revelation in the letter I didn’t see coming straight away and I actually liked the fact that the secret was only revealed half way through. There was a famous songwriter who was dying of cancer who wrote a letter admitting, after years of adamant denials, that she had plagiarized a lullaby melody.
I lost my virginity at 18 to Viscount Elmley, the son of the seventh Earl Beauchamp, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, whose glorious home, Madresfield Court, was the model for the house in Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. In 1991, Cartland was at last created a Dame of the British Empire, reportedly after the personal intervention of the Queen Mother. Once she tears open the letter, there is no going back, and her perfect world seems to crumble around her.
So I wrote each character’s story separately and then interwove them in the editing process.
I have to admit, when the book first began to focus on these three women, I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go.
It established the characters well and the plot was well thought out – not giving too much away too soon. Then there was the hapless man who, after suffering a stroke, confessed he’d killed his neighbour thirty years earlier. Until then I’d secretly wondered whether the whole process of publication had been a giant (cruel) practical joke. And she knows that there is a perfect explanation for Kitty standing her up on her birthday. As the Rolls glided to a halt outside the door, there was a violent eruption in livid Technicolor.
The following year brought the death of her son-in-law, Johnnie Spencer, the abrupt ejection of the widowed Raine from Althorp, and Diana's separation from the Prince of Wales.
Lucy is massively star struck by Charmaine, but Charmaine has a few secrets to hide and things aren’t quite as they seem. I love a good mystery though and once I’d got my head around who everyone was, I was hooked to the story and couldn’t put the book down. Barbara Cartland, attired in a more than usually shocking shade of fuchsia and festooned with diamonds and pearls in the middle of the day, bore down upon me with arms outstretched. Cartland gravely doubted the wisdom of Raine's remarriage in 1993 to a French aristocrat seven years her junior, but kept her own counsel. Lucy needs to up her confidence to improve her love life and career, but things keep going horribly wrong for the poor girl. We talked about her typical writing day, who’d she have over for dinner and what makes her laugh. I said No.' She married her first husband, Alexander McCorquodale, on April 23, 1927, at St Margaret's, Westminster, in a dress made by the young Norman Hartnell.
The last time I saw Cartland was in June 1997, at a performance of Always, a musical about the Abdication, at London's Victoria Palace. But what she doesn’t know is that on this night, her past is finally going to catch up with her. Angie is a warm, if slightly crazy character and, like her friends in the book, you can’t help but like her from the first page.
Oh, what fun!' I was enveloped in a perfumed hug with a figure whose application of make-up slightly resembled that of a Red Indian in an ancient Western. They had two sons, Ian and Glen, and remained happy together for 28 years, until Hugh's death in 1963. So I came up with the idea of a man who feels such a powerful desire to share a secret that he sits down and writes a letter to his wife, to be opened in the event of his death. So in desperation, Angie and Simon go to the police and pretty soon, a nationwide search follows. Seizing hold of me, she propelled me into a house that looked like a Rococo monument to bad taste, complete with Napoleonic headboards in the bedrooms, which she insisted on my inspecting. The incomparable Dame BarbaraA  -A  queen of romantic fiction, empress of alternative health, and champion of the magical powers of honey, ginseng and vitamin pills, of which she consumed no fewer than 88 a dayA  -A  is the subject a TV dramatisation Sunday night.


As one who knew her for almost 40 years, I have watched a preview with astonishment and incredulity. With the exception of a skillful portrayal of the older Cartland by accomplished actress Anne Reid, the film is a grotesque misrepresentation of the writer's life and character. The script, vetted and clearly influenced by Cartland's loyal sons, Ian and Glen McCorquodale, presents her rather like the heroines of her romantic novels. In the interval, the theatre manager, who had received complaints from actors and members of the audience, asked her to be quiet. The strangely miscast actress playing the younger Cartland portrays her as plain, gawky, demure, suburban, mousy, lisping and virginal, and as the innocent victim of her drunken first husband, against whom she emerged victorious in a sensational divorce scandal of the Thirties.
The first was Geordie, the fifth Duke of Sutherland, who was very much married but had admired me for a long while.
A year before Diana's death, she delivered her own verdict on the failure of the Wales marriage. The reality was very different, as she herself revealed to me at Camfield Place during that January blizzard in 1970. He was Under Secretary of State for War at the time.' Some years after my visit to Camfield Place, Cartland told one of her biographers that the Duke of Sutherland 'used to come into my bedroom and lie on the bed and kiss meA  -A  but I wouldn't let him get into bed with me'.
We're married." ' Despite this very pointed rebuff, Cartland's confidence in these years seemed ever burgeoningA  -A  at the age of 77, she even recorded an album of love songs which were so hilarious that it became a collector's item for all the wrong reasons. Possibly because our conversation was off the record and not destined for publication, and also perhaps because we shared a mutual interest in the life and loves of Cartland's sexually-licentious friend, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Cartland, on that never-to-be-forgotten day, went into confessional mode, telling me things never revealed to any of her biographers.
Nevertheless, the murder by the IRA in 1979 of Lord Mountbatten, a friend for more than 50 years, was a devastating shock. But not least of the faults in tomorrow's TV film is the suggestion that Cartland was expecting him to propose marriage.
Finally, in order to protect her from causing more trouble, her family disconnected her private phone line. For although, in legal terms, she emerged as the innocent party in her bitter divorce battle, in reality she was anything but innocent. In her role as wily self-publicist, she once wrote (of Mountbatten's kiss on her cheek): 'A streak of fire ran through me as if I had been struck by lightning. The Duke was married to a peer's daughter who had been Mistress of the Robes to Queen Mary.
When, on May 21, 2000, Dame Barbara Cartland died peacefully in her sleep, seven weeks short of her 99th birthday, she had written 723 books and had sold more than one billion copies worldwide, in 36 languages.
He was my lover, of course, but I could never admit to it publicly.' Shortly before the Duke of Sutherland's death in 1963, he and his second Duchess met Cartland at a lunch party in London. From a woman's point of view, the power was devastating.' From the moment Dickie fixed his eyes on her, spoke to her in that deep, amazingly attractive voiceA  -A  she was his.
Unconventional to the last, she elected to be buried in a cardboard coffin in the grounds of Camfield Place, under an oak tree planted by Queen Elizabeth I, to the strains of Perry Como singing I Believe. Whatever her detractors may say, she was, triumphantly, her own creation, a magnificent original, and a feisty, gutsy, sexually-adventurous explorer along life's highway.
As we shall see, there are three possible contenders from Cartland's list of lovers, but the likeliest gives rise to the amazing possibility that 'Acid Raine', as her Spencer stepchildren liked to call her, had royal blood in her veins, and was a member of the British Royal Family long before Diana appeared on the scene.
She was sharply aware that Mountbatten, emasculated by the infidelities of his promiscuous and nymphomaniac wife, Edwina, had scant interest in sex in his later years, particularly with women.
She was emphatically never the pallid virginal victim falsely portrayed in tomorrow's telehagiography. The marriage, in 1981, of the Prince of Wales and Cartland'sA  step-granddaughter Lady Diana Spencer, brought the worst public humiliation of her long life. Cartland's second lover, Mayfair neighbour Lieutenant-Commander Glen Kidston, was also married. A group of snide and snobbish courtiers, allegedly encouraged by Princess Margaret, campaigned to influence Earl Spencer into withdrawing the two tickets he had allocated to his mother-in-law for the wedding in St Paul's Cathedral. Cartland put a brave face on the snub, attempting to explain it away, but privately she was devastated.
One of the legendary Bentley Boys of the late Twenties, he won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1930, and then broke Amy Johnson's speed record by flying from Croydon to Cape Town in six-and-a-half days. To save face, she threw open Camfield Place for a party for St John's Ambulance volunteers, appearing in the tailored brown uniform of the Order of St John, instead of her usual pink ostrich feathers. But on the return journey, his borrowed de Havilland Tiger Moth bi-plane broke up in mid-air while flying through a dust storm in South Africa, and crashed on the Drakensberg Mountains.
When locals located the wreckage, they found Kidston's body with six photographs of Cartland in Nile blue leather frames. Handsome, debonair and bisexual, His Royal Highness Prince George, later the Duke of Kent, was the youngest surviving son of King George V and Queen Mary, the uncle of the present Queen, and the lover of NoAZl Coward.



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