Welcome to my brand new feature, My Special Lanzarote Peeps! This new feature will appear regularly on my post and will include some of the fabulous people who live on Lanzarote
My very first guest is not only a fabulous person, but a brilliant fashion designer, please meet the wonderful, Karene Amsellem Cohen.
P: "Karene, thank you so much for being my first guest in this exciting new slot and you know every time I see you, you are smiling and so positive about everything."
K: "Thank you, but why not smile, it makes everyone else smile too."
P: "While we are having our chat, I am meandering around your fabby fashion shop in the Biosfere in Puerto del Carmen. It is such a vibrant place to be with its riot of colours from the racks of beautiful tops, dresses and accessories. So perfect for the hot sunny weather of the island, but before we talk about your shop, tell me about you, where you are from and how you came to the island."
K: "You know, I came to the island because I fell madly in love, but before I tell more, let me answer your question about where I am from. I am from Israel. I was born there, educated there and my family live there. After I left school, I went to university and graduated as a fashion designer. My passion has always been to design smart casual, sophisticated different clothes. That dream came true for me when I was nominated for the best, youngest designer in Israel in 2002. For a while I worked at one of the top fashion design houses in Paris. When I returned to Israel I got together with a friend from university and together we created our own label. It hit the headlines and we were seen on television and in the newspapers. It was a magnificent time, but things were about to change!
"At a chance meeting I met a man who I knew was the man for me. It changed everything. And although I left Israel and gave up working with my business partner, I didn’t give up my fashion. Sam, now my husband and father of my gorgeous children, and I travelled all over the world buying some of the best clothes and jewellery. We opened 6 shops in Lanzarote and 1 in Barcelona. It was a truly exciting time.
"The recession came and we knew things would change. We downsized on the shops and moved to the new Biosfera where I have Adama. It is an open air shopping centre which is perfect for Lanzarote. The island is filled with sunshine and energy and I want the clothes in my shop to reflect that. I want people to feel good, happy, bright and positive when they come into my shop looking for something new. Sam helps me with the shop and last year he launched his own designer range of fantastic watches, Volkan, which now sell worldwide. We are both designers, both from Israel and both full of energy to make things happen."
P: "Well Karene you’ve certainly inspired me with your energy, but before we end this lovely chat, I’ve just one more question. Will we see a new label from you?"
K: "I am sure you will. I have so many ideas going round in my head, I certainly hope so!"
A huge thank you to my wonderful guest and friend, Karene.
I hope you have enjoyed the first, in what I hope will be many chats with more fabulous Lanzarote Peeps!
Despite the storm that is battering the island, we have still decided to sit round my pool with bubbly and nibbles. Though we do have a very large cover over us as there is nothing more upsetting than rain drops in your bubbly! So please sit back and relax whilst the lovely Michelle Betham tells us all about her sexy, bonk buster novel, Striker. Phew! Best you take it from here Michelle…….
Pauline, thank you so much for inviting me round your pool – I could do with some sunshine! And what better place to chat about my new book, ‘Striker’, than somewhere as beautiful as this, though I wasn’t expecting the storm! Never mind, the bubbly is certainly making up for lack of blue sky!
So, what’s ‘Striker’ all about, then? Well, it’s very definitely a bit of a tough-edged romance set around the world of professional football (or soccer, depending on where you’re from). It’s the story of Ryan Fisher, a young, sexy, and very famous footballer who’s returned to his native North East England, after more than a decade of playing in London, in a multi-million-pound transfer deal to local club, Newcastle Red Star. But is his return as simple as it sounds? Are there bigger reasons for Ryan’s homecoming than just a bigger wage packet?
Feisty female Sports Reporter Amber Sullivan has sworn off relationships with footballers, in fact, she’s sworn off relationships, full-stop. The daughter of an ex-professional footballer, she spends her life surrounded by the men who play the sport, but is fiercely determined never to become involved with one – for good reason. But then she meets Ryan Fisher…
Handsome, charismatic, American-born ex-player-turned-manager Jim Allen has been poached from a top London club to join Newcastle Red Star – a club he used to play for – in the hope that he can bring them the success that’s evaded them for so long. But Jim has a past. Is the league title the only thing he’s intent on winning?
‘Striker’ is very much a Jackie Collins/Jilly Cooper style book. A beach read, a bonkbuster, a guilty-pleasure - it could be labelled as many things, and it certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but if it’s sexy escapism people are after, then this might just appeal.
And for me, it was a book I adored writing. I do have a secret love of football, and to be able to immerse myself in that world for a little while, to create my very own dream player/manager/etc., it was fun! And these characters have become a very big part of my life now, so much so that ‘Striker’ is just the first in what has now become a trilogy of books in the ‘Striker’ series. The next two books – ‘Extra Time’ and ‘Final Score’ – will be released some time in 2014.
Anyway, I could sit and talk for hours here in the sun, but before I go, I’d like to thank you, Pauline, for allowing me to relax here in the sun for a little while. It’s been a treat to sip bubbly and talk about my new book. And I’d also like to thank you and all the authors over at Famous Five Plus for all the support, advice and friendship you give. It really is very much appreciated.
Now, before I head off back to the cold, have I got time for one more glass of bubbly?
You most certainly have, let me open another bottle....!
When it comes to marketing it seems never ending on what to have to interest people to buy your books. In the past I’ve had book marks printed, but the size limits how much information can be shared. This week I took the plunge and ordered flyers and a poster. The flyers are B5, folded with each page showing one of the three books with its blurb, whilst including that the books are all available in paperback and Kindle. My web site is there too for readers to find out more about me, my books and my future writings.
I will be using the poster and flyers at book signings and if readers feel uncomfortable about buying from a signing, they can take a flyer, read what my books are about in their own time and hopefully they will then order a copy in paperback or Kindle.
Today, I’ve been able to leave a few flyers in shops where tourists are plentiful. My mission for the coming months is to spend more time marketing on a personal level, talking to readers and answering any questions they might have.
I’ll report in from time to time on how everything is going.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by and let’s catch up again soon!