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Friday, 23 August 2013

Sunny Days with Janna Gray

As it is now high summer and everyone is taking time out for holidays at Famous Five Plus we are going to share our web site with some wonderful authors in our special Sunny Days special feature.

Today we welcome, Janna Gray

Q: What is your favourite holiday memory?

A: I’ve been hugely blessed to have had many, many wonderful summer holidays, so had quite a tough time pinpointing one to share on Famous Five Plus.  It was my 40th, I was mega-stressed as I had just packed up our home in Singapore for the move to Thailand (the second move in 26 months!) so I wasn’t looking forward to spending August 18th away from close family and friends.

Knowing how much I missed Hong Kong, our home for six years before the move to Singapore, Simon my wonderful husband, arranged for a surprise trip there to celebrate the milestone year, see my youngest sister Debbie who was pregnant with her first child, and catch up with dear friends.

We stayed at the Peninsula Hotel, the Grande Dame of Hong Kong, with breath-taking views of Victoria harbour. The suite was splendid. Our personal butler appeared with a pillow menu, a tray of designer smellies and an ice bucket with Moet et Chandon, my fave tipple. (The chap in the photo is my husband, not the butler!) We enjoyed a sumptuous high tea in the hotel’s stunning foyer and later took a walk down busy, buzzy Tsim Sha Tsui for old time’s sake. My sister joined us for a perfect dinner, gorgeous presents were opened, the restaurant staff produced a flowers, a chocolate cake with fancy icing and my name spelled wrong (!) and a dear old codger asked if I was 21! J

The following day Debbie arranged a pool party at her house and again I was spoiled with presents and cards and flowers.  The weather was glorious (not a hint of a typhoon which so often blighted August), the company fantastic and I felt much loved. A great way to start my forties! And a reminder, if you carefully check the pic of me, of a bad habit (smoking) which I eventually gave up, much to Simon’s relief!

British by birth, Janna Gray grew up in Ceylon (the island now known as Sri Lanka) and was educated at boarding schools in Kodaikanal, South India and Derbyshire, England. She trained to be a teacher in London where she met and married her husband Simon.  His job took them to Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand where she raised two sons, worked at British and International schools and wrote articles for newspapers and magazines.
Currently living in the UAE, Janna was the Senior Mistress (a title which cause huge merriment among her colleagues) and Head of Pastoral Care at Repton School until 2011 when she traded her marking pens and report cards to complete her debut novel ‘Kilingiri’. She enjoys travelling and sailing and had a love-hate relationship with exercise until she discovered the joy of Zumba where the trainers turn a blind eye to her inability to remember dance sequences. She sings in the shower and with choirs, has an allergy to golf and recently discovered the allure of oils and acrylics – a delightfully messy way to express her inner artist.



1968, Srinagar, Kashmir and Nina is devastated by the death of her new-born baby girl. Sister Angela and Father Michael at the mission hospital step in to nurse Nina back to health but when the friendship between Nina and Father Michael turns to love, Michael makes a decision which will resonate through the years.
It is 1981 and in Kinsale, Ireland, Nina, devoted to her son Joshua, lives a loveless existence, but a chance encounter changes everything. Michael is back in her life, he leaves the priesthood and happiness is within their grasp.
But when past and present collide, their whole world is turned upside down.
Only by facing the consequences of what has gone before, can Nina and Michael embrace the future.

Twitter: @jannagray9
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Throughout, July and August we will be inviting more fabby guests, so please come back soon!


  1. Welcome to famous Five Plus, Janna. Liked your post.