I’m so happy to have Jessie Wells here today to talk about The Good News Gazette!
I love nothing more than a good romance. Heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff that you think about long after you’ve turned the last page of the book.
On the surface, my debut novel The Good News Gazette, which is the first of a series, may not seem like a romance novel. After all, the main premise of the story is that it’s about a single mum who starts up a good news newspaper in order to combat the flow of negative news stories from her community.
However, the reality is that it’s actually all about romance. And it turns out there are a lot of romances to be had in the soulless suburb of Westholme.
First of all, there’s the romance between protagonist Zoe and her home town. Having grown up in Westholme, moved away and then been forced to return, she’s long had a love/hate relationship with the town that no-one’s proud to call home.
When she launches her news venture, the people she meets along the way cause her to re-evaluate her thoughts towards this rough-around-the-edges town, and she starts to see it in a different light. But can she see it differently enough to make her fall in love with it again?
There’s another romance brewing too, with hot children’s football coach Sam Milner. This former footballer, once an object of Zoe’s unrequited affections, has a heart of gold and seems to have Zoe in his sights. But she’s no longer an impressionable schoolgirl; she’s bringing up her son on her own, trying to make ends meet and start up a new business along the way. Is there really any space left in her life for a man as well?
Complicating matters is the presence of a less romantic figure; a ruthless property developer who is intent on ripping the heart out of Westholme by knocking down the past-its-best shopping parade and building a supermarket there instead. There’s not one single romantic thing about him, in fact, he’s the biggest threat to any kind of romance getting underway in Westholme at all.
His presence is making it even harder for Zoe to embark on the one romance she really must have if she is to have any hope of a happy ending – and it’s the one she needs to have with herself.
Once a successful journalist, Zoe fled back to Westholme from London nine years previously, pregnant and alone. Returning home meant giving up on the journalistic dreams she’d had since she was a little girl, and having to choose between her career and her unborn baby had left her feeling like an utter failure.
She’s spent years believing that to be the case; that she’s the girl who can’t get anything right, the one who cocks it all up, and it’s a belief that’s only been
reinforced by her well-meaning but completely insensitive Dad.
In order for Zoe to find any semblance of happiness, she has to learn to love herself all over again. The question is whether both her and her home town have enough fight left in them to rediscover their own spark – and create a new romance in the process.
The Good News Gazette
by Jessie Wells
Because we all need something to smile about!
She may be down but don’t count this determined single mum out just yet…
Nine years ago, Zoe Taylor returned from London to the quiet hamlet of Westholme with her tail between her legs and a bun in the oven. Where once her job as a journalist saw her tearing off to Paris at a moment’s notice after a lead, now the single mum covers the local news desk. At least, she did…until she’s unceremoniously let go.
When Zoe invites her friends over to commiserate, wine and whining soon turns into something more… and before the night is out she’s plotted her next step: The Good News Gazette.
Now, as a developer threatens to force Westholme into the twenty-first century, Zoe’s good news movement finds her leading a covert campaign as a community crusader. She may have started The Good News Gazette as a way to save herself, but she might just be able to save Westholme in the process…
Jessie Wells lives with her husband and two children in Merseyside. She has always written in some form, and previously worked as a journalist on the Liverpool Echo and Sunday Mirror and as a freelancer for various national women’s magazines and newspapers before moving into finance. She loves nothing more than getting lost in her imaginary worlds, which are largely filled with romance, communities bursting with character and a large dose of positivity.