Lisa Hobman talks about how it can be daunting to embark on something new.

When writing A Summer of New Beginnings I was reminded of some of those that have affected my own life. The ones that spring, most prominently, to mind are: becoming a wife and mother, relocating to Scotland and publishing my first book. When the former two things happened I had no idea that the latter two were even a prospect, and it was only ten years after the birth of my daughter that the dream of relocating became a reality.

Each new beginning, however wonderful, is often fraught with difficulties. After all, there is no manual with a husband or a baby! And starting over in a new place can be utterly daunting. When this happened to us I was filled with worries about whether we would make friends, whether we would fit in, whether our old friends would forget about us. I’m happy to say that none of these worries lasted very long and these days we’re surrounded by wonderful friends, we’re often visited by old friends and my parents even followed suit and relocated to be near us.

Embarking on something new, whether it’s a job, relocation, becoming a parent, starting over after heartbreak, it can be a terrifying thing to consider; and often we’re faced with such things without prior insight as to how we’ll cope. In the book Zara is faced with a task she never imagined having to deal with. It’s a task that will test both her physical and mental strength and will send her miles away from the familiar comforts of home.

Add to this the fact that her heart is broken too, so all she wants is to be surrounded by people who love her and who can take care of her. No wonder she initially has doubts and tries her best to come up with reasons why she shouldn’t agree to the assignment bestowed upon her. But in acquiescing she sets out on a journey of self-discovery. She endures loneliness, exertion and introspection but she comes out of it all with an amazing sense of achievement.

I’m often asked if there is a message or deep meaning in my books. I usually answer honestly that all I hope to achieve with my books is to make someone smile when they read my stories and to brighten someone’s day. However, in writing Zara’s story I wanted to send out a message of hope — that amazing things can come right out of the blue and that things which seem difficult and painful can be a real test of our courage and can result in the most wonderful outcomes. That we should never underestimate our abilities and we should be proud of every hurdle we overcome.

Meet Zara Bailey, a travel writer paid to cover some of the globe’s most luxurious locations. Jetting from wooden huts on stilts in turquoise seas to boutique hotels with roaring fires to 7-star penthouse suites with panoramic views of the world’s most glamorous cities…

Zara knows hers is the definition of a dream job! So she is seriously shocked to receive her next assignment; Scotland’s Northcoast 500 route. By bicycle. Sleeping in a tent so basic it can’t remotely be dressed up glamping! But this could be just the distraction the recently heartbroken, Zara needs. No men, no romance, just the breathtakingly rugged Highland scenery.

Until she meets croft owner Lachlan Grant, and his black and white Border Collie Bess, that is….

Lisa Hobman’s debut novel was shortlisted in the 2014 RNA. Her stories centre around believable, yet down to earth characters and the places in Scotland she has visited and fallen in love with. She is a happily married mum of one with two energetic dogs.

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