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Jennifer Vido | Jen's Jewels Interview: HOTEL LAGUNA by Nicola Harrison

Hotel Laguna
Nicola Harrison




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A Novel

June 2023
On Sale: June 20, 2023
Featuring: Hazel Francis; Hanson Radcliff
288 pages
ISBN: 1250277388
EAN: 9781250277381
Kindle: B0B9KXBZDW
Hardcover / e-Book
Add to Wish List

Also by Nicola Harrison:
Hotel Laguna, June 2024
Hotel Laguna, June 2023
The Show Girl, July 2022
The Show Girl, August 2021

Jennifer Vido: What inspired your new release, HOTEL LAGUNA?

Nicola Harrison: The first time I started thinking about this novel was in the height of the pandemic. We were still living on the East Coast, staying home, and everything felt so uncertain. I couldn’t travel to do physical research so I thought to myself, where do I want to travel in my mind and live in my imagination for the next year and a half or two years or however long it takes me to write this novel. I kept coming back to the idea of Laguna Beach, a place that I know very well and have a lot of fond memories. I lived there after college and both my parents are artists and have exhibited in art galleries and the festivals in Laguna. I wanted to dream up scenes and adventures and quirky characters all living their lives in this beautiful, bohemian town that is a haven for artists. Once I settled on the time period of the 1940s and learned about the women who worked on the Homefront during the war, taking on jobs previously reserved for men, building airplanes and ammunition and tanks, I started to merge those ideas and the story took off from there.


Jen: Let’s talk about your research. What was something fascinating you discovered in the process?

Nicola: As part of my research I was lucky enough to interview three real life “Rosie the Riveters” living here in southern California, Phyllis is 102, Helen is 95 and Rusty is 90, and they told me all about that time in their lives, specifically what they did at the airplane factory, how they thrived in the positions and how when the war was over and the men returned to their jobs, the women were thanked for their efforts and told to go back to being mother’s and housewives. I was fascinated with how that must have felt, to be building planes, using huge machinery, hydraulic presses, rivet guns, and getting specialized training that had always been only available for men. Now that they had had a taste of working in these important roles, making good money, and feeling confident about their abilities, some of them didn’t want to go back to their traditional domestic roles. They’d had a glimmer of independence and they wanted more for themselves. It forever changed the American workplace.


Jen: How does Hazel Frances’s life change at the end of World War II?

Nicola: With no home or family to go back to, Hazel ends up in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach where she takes a job as a model for a famous and cantankerous old artist, Hanson Radcliff, who is haunted by a decades old scandal involving a Hollywood star. Hazel becomes deeply involved with the art world in Laguna Beach, and precariously involved with bar tender at the iconic Hotel Laguna, and she’s determined to uncover the mystery behind her bosses past.


Jen: How would you describe Hazel’s relationship with her boss, Hanson Radcliff?

Nicola: It’s volatile to say the least. Hanson is a cantankerous, old and very famous artist who’s inspired by the artists of the California Impressionist movement. At first he is unpredictable, a little scary and a lot drunk, but with time, and once they open up to each other and realize that they are both quite lonely, their relationship develops into a friendship, and at times there’s almost a father/daughter bond. I really enjoyed writing this relationship between Hazel and Hanson; it challenged me in new ways


Jen: What do you hope readers take away from this story?

Nicola: First and foremost, I hope people are entertained and are swept away to another time and place – beautiful Laguna beach in 1946. I also hope they will learn more about the “Rosie the Riveters” who kept production going on military aircraft that helped us win the war. Also I hope readers will appreciate the art world that is thriving in Lagna beach to this day. While in Laguna, Hazel gets involved with a really unique art show in Laguna Beach called The Pageant of the Masters which creates vivant tableaus (living pictures) of famous works of art. This show is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year and it attracts quarter of a million visitors every summer. But mostly I think readers will appreciate a story about love, determination and forgiveness and the realization that one small decision can change your life in the most unexpected ways.


Jen: What’s the best way for readers to stay connected with you?

Nicola: I’m on Instagram and Facebook. You can also join my newsletter at my website. I love to hear from readers!


Jen: What’s on your summer reading list?

Nicola: Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

The Beach at Summerly by Beatriz Williams

The Spectacular by Fiona Davis

On Fire Island by Jane Rosen


Jen: What’s your current work in progress?

Nicola: My next book is set in the 1950s on Balboa Island in Southern California. Three women – a beloved socialite, a mother of young children with a crumbling marriage, and a former disgraced tennis champion living as a recluse on the island - form an unlikely friendship and after one fateful summer, their lives will never be the same again.

I’m not finished so I don’t actually know how it’s going to end, but it’s a fun one so far!


Jen: Thanks for sharing a sneak peek into the writing of Hotel Laguna. Best of luck with your incredible release!

Nicola:  Thank you so much, I love Fresh Fiction!!

HOTEL LAGUNA by Nicola Harrison

Hotel Laguna

A Novel


In 1942, Hazel Francis left Wichita, Kansas for California, determined to do her part for the war effort. At Douglas Aircraft, she became one of many “Rosie the Riveters,” helping construct bombers for the U. S. military. But now the war is over, men have returned to their factory jobs, and women like Hazel have been dismissed, expected to return home to become wives and mothers.

Unwilling to be forced into a traditional woman’s role in the Midwest, Hazel remains on the west coast, and finds herself in the bohemian town of Laguna Beach. Desperate for work, she accepts a job as an assistant to famous artist Hanson Radcliff. Beloved by the locals for his contributions to the art scene and respected by the critics, Radcliff lives under the shadow of a decades old scandal that haunts him.

Working hard to stay on her cantankerous employer’s good side, Hazel becomes a valued member of the community. She never expected to fall in love with the rhythms of life in Laguna, nor did she expect to find a kindred spirit in Jimmy, the hotel bartender whose friendship promises something more. But Hazel still wants to work with airplanes—maybe even learn to fly one someday. Torn between pursuing her dream and the dream life she has been granted, she is unsure if giving herself over to Laguna is what her heart truly wants.


Women's Fiction Historical [St. Martin's Press, On Sale: June 20, 2023, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781250277381 / eISBN: 9781250277398]

Buy HOTEL LAGUNAAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Nicola Harrison

Born in England, Nicola Harrison moved to CA where she received a BA in Literature at UCLA before moving to NYC and earning an MFA in creative writing at Stony Brook. She is a member of The Writers Room, has short stories published in The Southampton Review and Glimmer Train, and articles in Los Angeles Magazine and Orange Coast Magazine. She was the fashion and style staff writer for Forbes, had a weekly column at Lucky Magazine, and is the founder of a personal styling business, Harrison Style.


About Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido

Jennifer Vido writes sweet romances set in the Lowcountry filled with southern charm and hospitality. In between chapters, she interviews authors for her bi-weekly Jen’s Jewels column on FreshFiction.com. Most mornings, she teaches an arthritis-friendly water exercise class for seniors before heading to the office to serve as the executive director of a legal non-profit. A New Jersey native, she currently lives in Maryland with her husband and two rescue dogs and is the proud parent of two sons who miss her home-cooked meals. To learn more, please visit her website.

Gull Island





1 comment posted.

Re: Jennifer Vido | Jen's Jewels Interview: HOTEL LAGUNA by Nicola Harrison

(Bangalore Escorts 5:55am July 1, 2023)

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