In 2012 she won the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK's Festival of Romance and has since scooped Top Ten Reads/Book of the Year places from a number of UK book bloggers.
Traditionally published by US publisher Sapphire Star, Harper Collins' digital first romance imprint, Harper Impulse, and most recently, digital fiction specialists, Bookouture, a great story is never far from her fingertips!
A contributor to writing blogs and short story anthologies, Mandy is also a regular speaker at literary festivals, events and women's networking groups.
Mandy loves mashed potato, white wine, country music, World's Strongest Man, travel and handbags. She has appeared on ITV1's Who Dares Sings and auditioned for The X-Factor.
Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband, two daughters and cats, Kravitz and Springsteen.
My very first holiday abroad with my husband, Mr Big was to another Greek island, Zante in 2001. We had an amazing time but were determined not to be one of these people who always go back to the same place. Our second holiday was to Corfu and well, we've never looked back! Out the window went our desire to go a different place every year, we fell in love with this island, hook, line and sinker. Corfu has a unique combination of great beaches, beautiful flora and fauna and mountainous terrain. And of course it has the great Greek food and the welcoming people too!
Have you ever thought of living there?
Every time we visit we dream of it and pay close attention to any 'for sale' signs on property! But the truth is we love the ambiance at the Mareblue Beach Hotel so much, I think we'd miss the interaction with other people if we bought a villa there... and the boules and volleyball. We would definitely consider spending a few months there at a time in the future if funds permit!
Was the hotel Blue Vue (in Truly, Madly, Greekly) inspired by a hotel you’ve visited?
Tee hee! Yes! It is very much inspired by the Mareblue Beach Hotel where Mr Big and I go twice a year. Every May/June we take our children for a family week and then at the end of September/beginning of October we head there as a couple. For us it's perfection. It's location is like no other – the scenery is breathtaking, the turquoise water and the mountains of Albania almost close enough to touch. Couple that with the gorgeous Greek cuisine and the brilliant entertainment (both day and evening) then you have an amazing holiday package! We are always so looked after by the Rokas family who own the hotel – it's like arriving at a second home.
And, I have to ask, what about Yan – was he inspired by an Adonis on your summer hols? (Or do you take your own with you?)
Ah, the lovely Yan! Yan is obviously completely fictional (more's the pity!) but the background to his story and his nationality was inspired by the lovely team of Bulgarian animators I met at the Mareblue Beach back in 2012. Tisho, Teo, Mary, Ginny and Nikolai all worked incredibly hard and in the two weeks we spent with them that year we became good friends. After that the first seeds of the story were born in my mind. I haven't worked on it for the entire three years, other books had to jump the queue, but it's a book that's very close to my heart for so many reasons. That fortnight was our first holiday at the Mareblue Beach and look what's happened since!
Top 5 Greek treats?
1. Metaxa brandy – the smoothest brandy in the world. A nectar from the gods!
2. Olives – I LOVE olives! Black, green, purple, with everything and anything!
3. Kumquat liqueur – a Corfiot speciality that must be tried
4. Dolmades – cold or warm these rice stuffed vine leaves are delicious
5. Feta cheese – breakfast, lunch, dinner and any time in between
What’s the one must-do thing for a first timer on the island?
That's a tough one! I think I'm going to have to say a boat trip. Getting out on the water in Corfu is something I do every time I go. It's the best way to see Corfu. Hidden coves, those huge mountains and that gorgeous sea!
What’s your idea of a perfect day (in Corfu of course!)?
It would start with an all-inclusive breakfast, followed by a boat trip up the East Coast including lunch at a local taverna and some time for sunbathing on the beach. Head back to freshen up for dinner and a Greek night including bouzouki music and plate smashing! Metaxa and coke to accompany it all!
And for those who have already devoured ‘Truly Madly Greekly’, what are you working on next?
I've just finished the first draft of my second book for Bookouture which should be coming out in the Autumn. It's a Christmas read set in New York! Snow and bagels!
Mandy Baggot’s latest release ‘Truly, Madly, Greekly’ is out now, and you can buy it from -
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Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.
With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.
But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?
‘So, what do you think, so far? Is it the place? For my wedding?’ Lacey asked. She dragged her body into a sitting position.
‘It’s a beautiful spot. The mountains of Albania just across the water, the sea, the sand … not forgetting the water platform.’ She levelled a smile at her sister.
‘It’s pretty special,’ Lacey agreed, nodding.
‘But no matter how special the place, it has to be right. You and Mark have to be right.’ Ellen faltered on the last part of the sentence. This was so hard. How could she understand how Lacey was feeling? And what qualifications did she have for guiding her? Years trying to be the mother she really wasn’t. That was it. Nothing else. It was exhausting.
‘It feels like we’ve been engaged forever,’ Lacey admitted.
‘It feels like we’ve been planning the wedding forever.’
Lacey sighed. ‘I need to be sure that when the cake’s been cut and eaten … when the doves have been released and all the goody bags have been given out … when the disco’s playing “Run” by Leona Lewis … I need to be sure it still feels special.’
‘Volleyball! We have volleyball in five minutes over on the sand court!’
Sergei’s voice had broken into the conversation, booming the next part of the animation program through the microphone.
‘Lace, if you need the thought of a big wedding … if organising the party of your life is the only thing making your relationship special, then …’ Ellen started.
‘It isn’t … I don’t think. I’m just not sure how to be sure.’ Lacey stopped talking and put a smile on her face at the sight of Sergei striding towards them.
‘Why are you smiling at him like that?’
‘Like a drunk celebrity on Alan Carr: Chatty Man.’
‘Drink your drink. Good morning,’ Lacey purred as Sergei arrived next to them.
‘Good morning. How are you?’ Sergei’s eyes were fixed firmly on Lacey’s bikini top, his dark hair perfectly gelled back, sunglasses on his face.
‘All the better for seeing you looking so energetic and ready for action.’
‘Don’t stand too close, Sergei. She’s been vomiting since seven.’ Ellen put her empty cocktail cup down.
‘You have too much last night?’ he inquired.
‘Too much what?’ Lacey batted her eyelids.
‘Please! Just tell us what you’d like us to sign up for before I start being sick.’
‘Volleyball. In five minutes.’
Within a couple of minutes her sister’s mascara would be running down her face and her hair would resemble Seal in his dreadlock phase. Surely that would make her less attractive to Sergei.
‘I won’t. I can’t. I don’t know how to,’ Lacey protested.
‘I teach you,’ Sergei assured.
‘Great. That’s you occupied. I’m going to see if they have space left on the coach trip.’ Ellen got up from the lounger.
‘What coach trip?’ Lacey asked.
‘It was on the board outside the restaurant.’ She began to gather her things up together. ‘Some place beginning with “S”. I’m not sure. I don’t care. It looked nice and it isn’t volleyball,’ Ellen stated.
‘But we’ve only just sat down,’ Lacey protested.
‘And until you’re ready to make decisions one way or the other about this wedding I’ll be in the place beginning with “S”.’
‘Well, what am I going to do?’
‘I don’t know. Just try not to get pregnant.’