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Romantic liaison with Idris Elba inspired Spalding writer's second novel

A romantic liaison with one of Hollywood’s hottest leading men has inspired Spalding writer Jane Lacey-Crane’s second novel.

The City of Second Chances was published by Aria Fiction last week and tells the story of Evie Grant - a widow and single mum of two children about to leave the nest.

Suddenly finding herself all alone in her family home, Evie realises that she hates her job, hardly goes out and hasn’t had a date since who knows when.

Spalding author Jane Lacey-Crane, whose second book is due out in December. (5985826)
Spalding author Jane Lacey-Crane, whose second book is due out in December. (5985826)

But all that is set to change, when during a girls’ trip to New York she bumps into an old flame – who just happens to be a Hollywood heart throb – but can Evie open her heart to the possibility of new beginnings?

The story, which has the tag line ‘She’s already met the one, it was just that Mr Right came along at the wrong time’ was inspired by an experience from Jane’s owns college years in Barking, East London, when she went on a date with a fellow student – who now happens to be Hollywood heartthrob Idris Elba, of Luther fame.

The City of Second Chances cover. (5985828)
The City of Second Chances cover. (5985828)

“We both studied at Barking College, in Dagenham, I was doing A-Level English and drama and Idris was doing a B-Tec national diploma in performing arts,” recalls Jane.

“We used to hang out together in the drama studio and even back then he always knew he was going to be famous.

“He was a lovely guy, we only went out once, to the cinema, to see Patriot Games and then we went out for a drink after. I’m not really sure why we didn’t see each other again to be honest.

“But I was watching him in one of the Avengers films at the cinema recently and these women in front kept commenting about how they’d love to date him and the idea for the story just started to form from there.”

Although the book is described as ‘warm, funny and wonderfully romantic’ there is also a serious underlying message as Jane draws on her own experiences of suffering depression, which affects her main character Evie.

“I was diagnosed with depression at 17 and have learned to manage it over the years and understand what triggers it, but I wanted to use this book to show that it hasn’t stopped me from doing what I wanted in life,” explains Jane.

“I wanted this story to be for all the women out there like me – those out there doing the school run, in the supermarket – we are all struggling and coping with these issues, but it doesn’t have to define us.”

Jane’s first book Secrets and Tea at Rosie Lee’s, was published by Aria Fiction in May and was nominated for The Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) Joan Hessayon Award for new writers and she is now working on her third book for the publisher.

Both titles are available to buy from Amazon.


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