Wandering Wednesday: Guest Post Isabella May takes over Hayley Reviews

Happy hump day – here at Hayley Reviews Wednesday’s are for wandering. Last week for the first time since I started this little beauty there was no time for wandering. I didn’t want it to just be me hashing up any old posts on travel so it made sense to take a break.

Today I have a guest post from a wonderful author who I’m super jealous of as she currently resides in Spain like helloooo anyway without further ado I welcome Isabella May….

The Novel with Twenty-Two Travel Destinations…

…Or the Book That’s Trying to do too much?

I’m a debut author with a passion for travel. Actually, ‘Itchy Feet’ could have been my middle name. So naturally, when I began to write (or more accurately, play) with the idea of a novel about domestic violence, cake, publishing and spirituality, I just had to add travel to my brainstorming sessions.

Which is probably how my book’s title, ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’ was born. I mean, what else could I have called it?

Kate Clothier is a jet-setting businesswoman.

At least that’s the successful image she portrays to the outside world. But behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy. If it wasn’t for cake… and a more than regular dose of travel… she’s not sure how she would have the strength to get out of bed in the morning.

Kate works in Foreign Rights…

A special area of publishing which sees her on a plane at least every six weeks to visit clients or attend book fairs; add to that her spontaneous booking of holidays and city breaks, and it’s not hard to see how the book racked up a grand total of twenty-two totally unique destinations! Everywhere from the picturesque and mystical Glastonbury – where Kate lives, very much against her will – to Bologna, Singapore to Oslo, Frankfurt to Lisbon, New York to Venice, Bruges to Krakow, and a whole host of other diverse spots in-between.

For a travel enthusiast, ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’ is a bit like taking a cruise.

But not in the fuddy-duddy, elbowing-one-another-off-coach-seats kind of a way, nor the sequin-attired-blue-rinse-perm kind of a way besides, I promise! Rather, ‘Pavlova’ will offer you a flavour of each of these cities (and its one token town): 

You will be transported to Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore where you will soak up not just the Campari and Blood Orange, but also the sights, sounds and smells – as well as the males who are somehow able to carry off fetching daffodil-yellow slacks.

‘We quickened our pace, only to slow it right back down to catch the scent on the air. Pretty little Amaretti morsels capped with snowy icing sugar peaks, and Torta di Riso di Bologna – the city’s take on rice cake, selling out by midday the eve of Good Friday – streamed out the doorway of a bakery.  

“Mmm,” I said, fluttering my eyelids. “How can Daisy pass this lot by without as much as a drool?”

“She’s a boring twig who exists on green tea and goji berries, Kate; that’s how.”

Steph tossed her hair over her shoulder like a scarf and we reluctantly carried on.’

Excerpt taken from ‘Oh! What a Pavlova’

You will actually be able to feel the sweat that is Singapore’s Club Street on a humid August night, trickling from your brow. You will adopt a sudden and insatiable hankering for Pasteis de Nata after my words have whisked you off to Oporto’s petrol-blue tiled streets. You will make a mental note to try out Bristolian Seed Cake next time you are in the southern city. You will never again make the mistake of missing another Glastonbury Festival – mud, noodles, hash cakes and all. And you will remain ever curious as to what really goes on at an international book fair!

Travel, culture and international cuisine will always be a backdrop to my novels…

I just love them too much to leave them to one side. In fact, as I type, I await my publisher’s verdict on my second novel: a book choc-full of cocktails, Glastonbury (again… well, it is totally under-represented in the literary world, after all), Mexico and Prague! 

And when we write about what we love, somehow everything magically weaves together to form a tale that’s pretty unique. In an industry awash with the predictable and commercial, I’m always in awe of the paths and spinoffs travel opens up to us, when we let it have its way with our words…

But make no bones about it: this is a story (in spite of its gorgeous landscapes and delectable patisseries) with the potential for Marmite Divide. You see, ‘Pavlova’ debunks the misconception that an abusive relationship is abusive all the time: sometimes it is quite the opposite. Not only that, but ‘Pavlova’ offsets the violence with a much-needed injection of humour. Not for controversy’s sake, but because from experience, seeing the comedic side of a serious situation, living a second ‘external life’, can be an effective and much-needed coping mechanism.

Kate is one of the lucky ones.

Firstly, she is ‘allowed’ to travel. Believe it or not, in many an abusive relationship, the goalposts are frequently narrowed to the point that the perpetrator (female, as well as male), will not even let the victim leave the house. Of course, if Daniel had the slightest inkling that each of Kate’s trips away were also to collate proof in a ‘scientific experiment’ that she can attract another man, he’d make it his business not to let her go.

Male interest aside though, it’s really the characteristics of each of the cities she visits which really fuel her attempt at liberation… not before a continuum of procrastination can be overcome though.

The only question is: Will she escape for good, and will she escape for good before it’s too late?

 Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.

As a Co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).
She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!
Oh! What a Pavlova is her debut novel… you can find out more and purchase it here – http://mybook.to/pavlova and her second novel has already been submitted to her publishers: watch this space…

You can follow Isabella May on her website and social media here:


Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMayAuthor/

Instagram – @isabella_may_author

Thank you Isabella for taking the time to stop by at Hayley Reviews I look forward to reading your debut…


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