A Tea break with Mrs B · Interview · new release

A Tea Break with Mrs B: Nicola Marsh

It is a pleasure to warmly welcome Nicola Marsh back to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews for A Tea Break with Mrs B, a short form author interview series. To help celebrate the release of Summer of Serenity we sat down for a chat. Thanks Nicola!

Hello Nicola. It is my pleasure to welcome you back to my blog, Mrs B’s Book Reviews. I greatly appreciate the time you have provided to answer a few questions. To begin, can I interest you in a herbal tea again, or would you prefer another beverage?

You know me, a big herbal tea fan. Licorice Legs, Spi Chi or Lemongrass and Ginger from T2 are my daily tipples. Cheers!

Can you give us a little insight into your achievements as a writer to date?

My first book was published in 2004 with Harlequin and I’m thrilled that my rural romances like SUMMER OF SERENITY are still being published with them all these years later.

In that time I’ve had 77 books of varying length published in a variety of genres. I currently write rural romance, contemporary romance and domestic suspense.

What came first in the creation of the novel – the title, plot, characters, setting or something else when you first set out to write Summer of Serenity?

Pitting opposite characters against each other came first with Summer of Serenity. Small towns have that inherent warmth and close-knit community, so I wondered what would happen if a cocky suit from the city barged into a town like that determined to tear part of it down.

That said, I can’t start writing a story until I have the perfect title and Summer of Serenity fit perfectly. Our main character is Summer and the book is set in summer. Serenity is the name of the self-sustaining intentional living community.

How long did it take you to write Summer of Serenity?

A few months.

What issues do you explore in Summer of Serenity?

The story is told from 3 points of view, Summer and Jy, and Summer’s mum, Rayne. She’s 50 and starting to date again after 16 years, courtesy of an abusive husband, so domestic violence is explored in the novel, as well as online dating at 50. There’s also the rekindling of old friendships, paternity questions, lost siblings and dealing with small town expectations.

Are the characters in Summer of Serenity inspired by any real-life figures?

No, I prefer to keep all my characters fictional, though the story was inspired at a parent-teacher interview while chatting to my child’s school principal!

Is there anything surprising you discovered from the process of writing Summer of Serenity?

I liked exploring the relationship of older protagonists and how they rediscover love after shutting themselves off for so long.

Can you give us an insight into setting used in Summer of Serenity?

It’s a fictional town I would’ve liked to base on Inverloch in eastern Victoria. I’d planned a trip there to do some research, then lockdowns hit!

What is one thing you would like your audience to take away from the experience of reading Summer of Serenity?

That you’re never too old to let down your guard and embrace a fresh start.

How will you celebrate the release of Summer of Serenity?

Quietly, as I’m still in lockdown, unfortunately. I wish I could have a launch and chat with readers at book signings.

What ingredients are essential for a successful contemporary romance novel?

Strong protagonists with a solid conflict they need to resolve through effort before gaining their happily ever after.

What book is next on your reading pile?

Outback Secrets by Rachael Johns.

What is next for Nicola Marsh, do you have any works in progress you would like to share with your readers?

I’ve just handed in the sequel to Summer of Serenity, SPRING OF SERENDIPITY, which features all the characters from Summer of Serenity plus a few new faces!

Thank you for taking the time to visit Mrs B’s Book Reviews Nicola and congratulations on the publication of Summer of Serenity.

Thanks for having me!


Opposites clash in the addictive new small-town romance from USA Today bestselling Australian author Nicola Marsh.

A slick city boy with a mission. A free-spirited country girl with a cause. Fireworks are guaranteed…

Upstanding principal Jy Atherton dreads the next four weeks. As punishment for crossing his bosses, he’s been lumped with the inglorious task of assessing Acacia Haven’s tiny school with its, dare he say, ‘hippie’ curriculum. With the lowest test scores in the state, it’s no wonder shutting it down is practically a foregone conclusion. But then he crosses paths with a spitfire who knocks him for six – pity he’s already public enemy number one…

Teacher Summer O’Reilly loves her small town nestled along the beautiful coast. Returning was the best decision she ever made. The intentional living community of Serenity is thriving, and the children are its future. No way will she allow a jumped-up suit – no matter how good-looking – to close the school her precious students need.

For Rayne O’Reilly, Acacia Haven has always been serene on the surface, but there’s a dark secret she’s kept from everyone for decades, including her daughter, Summer. But after reviving old friendships and reconnecting with the past, will she finally have the courage to tear down the walls that have kept her trapped?

Summer of Serenity by Nicola Marsh was published on 29th September 2021 by Mira-AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.


Connect with Nicola here:

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