I’m delighted to be welcoming Donna Douglas to JJ.
Donna Douglas has always loved stories. As a child, she looked forward to her weekly fix of the Bunty comic, with its dramatic tales of girls achieving their dreams against the odds. Donna wanted to be a writer, but like her favourite fictional heroines, her dream seemed to be out of reach. Girls from the back streets of south London didn’t do that kind of thing.
But like those Bunty girls before her, Donna was determined. When she was 19, she landed her dream job, writing photo love stories for a teenage magazine. She went on to train as a ‘proper’ journalist, and worked on several women’s magazines. But the longing to tell stories never left her, and when she was 40 years old she published her first novel, Waiting in the Wings, which won the Romantic Novelists Association New Writers Award.
Her first novel in the Nightingales series, The Nightingale Girls, was published in 2012. Since then there have been two more, The Nightingale Sisters and The Nightingale Nurses. The next novel in the series, Nightingales On Call, is published in April 2014. Set in a 1930s East End hospital, The Nightingale novels are heartwarming, emotional stories of girls battling against the odds – just like those Bunty heroines of old.
Donna now lives in York with her husband. They have a grown up daughter. When she isn’t writing, she likes walking, reading and watching Pointless on TV.
When I first put fingers to keyboard to write a book about nurses in an East End hospital in the 1930s, I had no idea it would prove so popular – or that three years later I would be about to publish the fourth in the series!
But it seems readers have really taken the Nightingale girls to their hearts. I regularly get emails and comments on my Facebook page from people wanting to know what happens next to Dora, Helen and the other nurses. One reader even said it was like catching up with a group of friends, which is exactly how I feel, too!
Now you can catch up with them again, as Nightingales On Call is published at the end of this month. But don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous three books – I try to write each story so it can be read and enjoyed on its own!
One of the characters I’m always asked about is Dora Doyle. The warm hearted, feisty East End girl seems to be a real favourite with readers – and with me, too. We’re all rooting for her to achieve her ambition to become a nurse, and end up with gorgeous Nick Riley. And in Nightingales On Call, it seems as if both her dreams might be about to come true. She’s just a few months away from her State Final exams, and it looks as if she and Nick are finally going to be together. Only one thing stands in the way of their happiness – he’s still married to scheming Ruby. He and Dora have to keep their love a secret until he can get a divorce: if Matron found out one of her nurses was seeing a married man, her career would be over before it began. As their relationship begins to crack under the strain, it looks as if Dora may have to choose between her head and her heart…
As if that wasn’t enough, she also finds herself sharing a room with her arch enemy, Lucy Lane. Snobbish Lucy has made Dora’s life a misery ever since they started training, and being stuck with her day and night doesn’t exactly help their relationship. But when Lucy finds herself thrown into a family crisis, she starts to realise that her worst enemy could actually turn out to be her best friend…
And she’s not the only one forming an unlikely bond. New girl Jess Jago has taken a job as a maid at the Nightingale Hospital to escape her notorious East End family. As a lowly servant, she’s not supposed to mix with the student nurses, but she finds a friend in new girl Effie O’Hara. Effie has come over from Ireland to follow in the footsteps of her older sisters, all of them Nightingale trained nurses. But she’s more interested in exploring the bright lights of London than tending the sick. It’s down to streetwise Jess to save the naïve country girl from disaster. But the tables are turned when Jess’ past catches up with her…
Nightingales On Call has lots of drama and romance, but it’s also a story about friendship and family, and the lengths we’ll go to protect the people we care about. I really hope you enjoy it – please get it touch and let me know what you think!.
Nightingales on Call is going on tour!
|24th April||@jaustenrulesok guest on Jera’s Jamboree|
|24th April||Deal Sharing Aunt|
|25th April||A Novel Thought|
|28th April||Brook Cottage Books|
|30th April||Shaz’s Book Blog|
|1st May||Books with Wine and Chocolate|
|1st May||Victoria’s Pages of Romance|
|2nd May||Tracy Riva Books and Reviews|
|5th May||DizzyC’s Little Book Blog|
|5th May||Reviews By Molly|
|6th May||A Chick Who Reads|
|7th May||Compelling Reads|
We hope you’ll join in the fun and enter the giveaway for your chance to grab one of three paperback copies of Nightingales on Call.
The spring of 1937 sees a new intake of student nurses at the Nightingale hospital in East London. Among them is Effie O’Hara, a fun-loving country girl. She’s looking forward to experiencing the bright lights of London. But with her older sisters watching over her, how can she escape the confines of hospital life?
She finds an unlikely ally in Jess Jago, the new maid at the nurses’ home. Like Effie, Jess is looking for a new start. But it isn’t long before her past catches up with her…
Meanwhile, East End girl Dora Doyle once again finds herself at odds with spoilt fellow student Lucy Lane. But as the girls face dark times, they begin to realise their worst enemy can also be their best friend…