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One Apple Tasted: Reviews and Comments

@PublicityBooks Happy New Year all! Read several books over the holiday and one of the most enchanting was @JosaYoung’s One Apple Tasted. Wonderful escapism.

RHIAN DAVIS WRITES: ‘Did you – like me – relish the novels of Mary Wesley back in the 80s into the early 90s? Well, if this is so I have good news for you. Josa Young has picked up the baton on that unique blend of eccentricity, no holds barred life and love among the titled, the well-off and the not so well-off.’ READ MORE

THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE: In One Apple Tasted Young displays one of the most charming talents of classic English writers, the ability to laugh affectionately at their own way of life whilst nevertheless being deeply in love with it. Quirky, unique and fun. We expect great things from Josa Young.

MRS TREFUSIS RECOMMENDS: ‘One Apple Tasted follows its magazine journalist heroine, the endearing, sweet and single-minded Dora through the hopes and disappointments of first – and last – love. The object of her affections is feckless in the Willoughby mould, yet it’s part of the skill of author, Josa Young, that you see him through Dora’s eyes, and love his flaws as much as his more obvious attractions.’

EMMA HAGERSTADT WRITES IN THE INDEPENDENT 13 AUGUST 2009: ‘Following in the footsteps of once-popular novelists Rose Macaulay and Margaret Kennedy, Josa Young debuts with an entertaining and charming romance about love, sex and the upper-middle classes behaving badly.’ READ MORE

JULIE MYERSON WRITES: ‘Funny, warm, touchingly eccentric and irresistibly readable.’

ISABEL WOLFF WRITES: ‘Compelling, original, cleverly plotted and funny, One Apple Tasted reads like a Virago Modern Classic.’

FABRICE PATAUT WRITES: ‘You can’t forget Dora. You’re with her all along – in many senses of that phrase. The twist in the tale works very well. It’s completely unexpected.’

CHERYL PASQUIER WRITES: ‘Will somebody please get Cupid signed up for some archery lessons pronto, because his magic little love darts seem to be way off the mark pretty much all through the book !’ READ MORE

HELEN HUNT WRITES: “As you read this novel, you’ll love spending time in the company of Dora Jerusalem, Guy Boleyn and the rest of the large and well-drawn cast.” READ MORE

One Apple Tasted: Outtake

Deleted end of Chapter 26:

…After a bit, Uncle Eric took his stick, and began to stand up. Dora moved across to help him.
‘Thank you, my dear.’
‘Now I must have a rest. I do hope you will join me for dinner.’
‘I need to go out and do a bit of shopping if you don’t mind.’
‘No, not at all. Salim will tell you the best places.’
He walked slowly but steadily out of the room. It was interesting for him too meeting family again after all these years. He lay down on his bed and dozed. Meeting Dora had brought his family vividly back into his consciousness. As he drifted on the edge of sleep, an incident came back to him that he had not thought about for years.
It must have been early June 1940. Eric had been alone in his rooms in Trinity Great Court, asleep with his head on a book just as dawn was breaking. A slight noise had woken him. He’d looked up, surprised to see a khaki leg draped casually over the arm of his fireside chair.
He’d been listening to the news on the wireless constantly for days, worried sick about his father and his twin retreating with the British Expeditionary Force ahead of the German advance. Feeling impotent and helpless that he was not there.
So who was the soldier in his room so early in the morning? Eric remembered fear, then relief when he recognised his brother’s voice. It didn’t seem in the least bit strange at the time. He had felt filled with affection and a sense of parting. When he had woken again, it was broad daylight and no one was there. Probably a dream brought on by his intense engagement with events in France.
A few days later, when his brother’s commanding officer had arrived back from Dunkirk, he had telephoned with the news that George had died on the beach. He had lost his mother as well around the same time. All his life since he had mourned, but the cloudy memory of that strange farewell comforted him now. Of course it wasn’t possible, was it?

One Apple Tasted Interview

This interview was written in 2009 when One Apple Tasted was published.

Q. You are a new author. What was it like to get your first book deal?
A. Wonderful. The first draft of One Apple Tasted was written a few years ago, and then slung in the proverbial bottom drawer after my agent could not find a publisher – although he was very enthusiastic. Like so many authors, I had to wait and read numerous rejection letters before publication.
Q. Food and fashion play big parts in One Apple Tasted. Are these big interests of yours?
A. I have always loved fashion, its cultural and social history as well as current style. I am fascinated by what fashion represents, and what clothes tell us about the people wearing them. And starting my career at Vogue helped foster this interest. As for food, I worked my way through Cambridge and low income periods as a cook, doing smart dinner parties and business lunches. I also published an online organic cookery book in the 1990s, which we are going to relaunch as a blog.
Q. Why did you initially decide to self-publish One Apple Tasted?
Quite by chance, I was interviewing the PR guy from US self-publishing giant Authorhouse, which had just launched in the UK. He was trying to explain the process and asked if I had a manuscript to upload to test it. I remembered OAT and off we went. But I didn’t complete the process or produce or promote the actual book until I had landed a real publishing deal.

Q. Where did the idea for One Apple Tasted come from?
Like most writers of fiction, ‘what if?’ is a strong plot driver. You think of situations in the lives of people around you, and extrapolate what might have happened if things had been just that tiny bit different.

Q. Why did you decide to write a romantic novel?
A. It wasn’t really a decision, the story just poured out. And there are only a very few plots out there – between three and seven is the usual consensus. And the female reading audience is way bigger than the male, so it made a kind of sense.
Q. Are your characters based on real people?
A. We can only write about what we know about, and characters are built of blocks that include people we have met both in real life, in books and in newspapers and magazines.

Q. Are the locations real places you have actually been?A. Of course. I am not writing fantasy fiction yet! Although I am thinking of setting a story on the planet Disrobia any time now.

Q. What are you working on now?
A. I am now working on my new novel, Sail Upon the Land. It is a painstaking process that includes waking up in the middle of the night and scribbling things in my notebook, and then not being able to read my writing in the morning.

Sail Upon the Land

Josa Young’s second novel Sail Upon the Land is published in December 2014.

Bestselling author Rachel Hore had this to say about her preview read: ‘Josa Young writes with warmth and wisdom about the complexities of motherhood in this captivating tale of four generations of women that sweeps eighty years of English history. Her eye for period detail is masterly and her characters so vivid they dance from the page and into our hearts.’

The paperback edition is available on Amazon now. The Kindle edition launches on Monday 1 December 2014. In selected bookshops soon. On all other platforms in 2015.

Read the first review here

Buy Sail Upon the Land


Welcome to Josa Young’s Author Website

Welcome to Josa Young’s author website. From 9 July 2018 she has reverted to her maiden name Josa Keyes for all purposes, and forthcoming publications will be published under that name.

Josa Keyes has completed two novels: One Apple Tasted was published in 2009 by Elliot & Thompson.

Sail Upon the Land is available as a paperback through all online bookshops, and on your Kindle.

Sail Upon the Land has received more than 300 positive reviews across Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, blogs and more, and has been long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016. Read their review.

!! HNSIndieLonglisted2016.

‘A sweeping multi-generational tale that will catch your heart.’ SUNDAY TIMES NO 1 BESTSELLER KATIE FFORDE

‘Love love love this book!’ HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY

‘A well-written historical novel that will entertain readers with its sharp, insightful observations.’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

The writing was gritty and real, particularly the parts concerned with birth and motherhood and women’s vulnerabilities at these important times in their lives.’ JANE PEPLER, GOODREADS

‘It is Damson’s journey more than that of any other character that holds the novel together. Her story is full of drama, pain, suffering, steadfastness and ultimately redemption.’ HELEN WALTERS, AMAZON UK

‘As the book travels back and forth in time, Young shows extreme skill that cannot be ignored in how seamlessly past and present connect… I recommend this book to anyone who wants something with real heart and meaning.’ TAHLIA GILLINGS, GOODREADS

‘When I grow older, I hope I have the resilience of Sarah, who is my new literary heroine. Her quiet courage in the face of so much inspires me.’ JOY, GOODREADS

‘Unusually well-written….It succeeds in something unusual, which is making good people interesting.’ AMANDA CRAIG, HALL OF FAME REVIEWER, AMAZON UK

Sail Upon the Land is a novel that unveils the complexities of motherhood and feminine experience, something which is rarely written in such a raw and true way. The level at which the characters are relatable is remarkably deep. Absolute winner.’ IMMOLATER, AMAZON UK

Please get in touch if you would like to receive review copies of Sail Upon the Land.

Follow Josa on Twitter @JosaKeyes

Cover of Josa Young's One Apple Tasted

One Apple Tasted

For Dora Jerusalem, fresh out of Cambridge with a head full of Victorian novels and romantic dreams, landing a job at Modern Woman magazine seems like amazing luck. But her sheltered background hadn’t prepared her to resist the charms of rich, spoilt kids with nasty habits and nothing to lose. Inevitably she falls in love with art dealer Guy Boleyn, but it isn’t the right time, place or circumstances for either of them.

All the while a long-buried secret lies in wait to booby-trap any attempt at happiness. Kicking off in Eighties London, One Apple Tasted explores the pain of young love, the influence of family on our life choices and the joy of redemption.

Buy One Apple Tasted