Summer reading & cocktails with Kate Riordan

This summer we’ve teamed up with Penguin Michael Joseph for their Summer Reading Campaign and three of their fabulous authors. We’ve paired a cocktail to each of the authors new books for three lucky winners to receive a book and a cocktail each month.


To be in with the chance of winning a complementary premium bottled cocktail and Kate Riordan’s new book: Summer Fever, please follow the competition entry rules below. Sip away and get lost in this amazing authors novel, while relaxing in your favourite reading spot with a delicious Swygge cocktail.


Follow Swygge on Instagram or Facebook

Like Swygge's competition post on Instagram or Facebook and Tag a friend

Follow Kate Riordan on Instagram

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Lastly, provide details of your submission on the link below. Submissions close 8th August 2022. Over 18's only.


July author and cocktail of the month with Kate Riordan and her new book Summer Fever. We’ve paired the classic cocktail ‘Picante’ with her book as it is a hot fiery relationship between four people.

Kate Riordan and her new book Summer Fever with Picante Cocktail

An interview with Kate Riordan

Kate Riordan  

Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist. She is an avid reader of Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie, both of whom have influenced her writing. She lives in the Cotswolds, where she writes full-time. Her previous novels include The Girl In The Photograph, The Shadow Hour, The Stranger and The Heatwave, which was a Richard and Judy Book Club pick. Summer Fever is her fifth novel.

  1. Tell us a little bit about your new book?

Summer Fever is the story of Laura and Nick who, in a bid to save their failing marriage, have bought an Italian villa to run as a guesthouse. But when the first guests arrive, a mysterious American couple with their own relationship complications, things quickly start to go awry...

  1. What inspired the idea for your book?

I'm a big fan of Channel 4's Escape to the Chateau and other programmes about couples leaving their normal lives behind to make a go of it abroad. But if your relationship is already in trouble, isolating yourself in a place where you know no one, and maybe don't even speak the language, is not going to help! I took this as my starting premise, added in some alluring strangers, and let the drama unfold!

  1. What part of the book was the most fun to write?

I really enjoyed the scenes where the two couples were together by the pool or over dinner, ostensibly getting to know each other, but actually seething with resentment - and forbidden attraction. I also loved writing the Italian backdrop, which I was doing when there were still quite a lot of Covid restrictions in place. It gave me a chance to travel in my head when I couldn't in reality.


4. If you could match a cocktail to your book, what would it be and why?

It would have to be something hot and sultry like the Picante. My favourite character was the American woman, Madison. She seems a bit ditzy at first glance but it quickly becomes clear that she has teeth and claws. She's also a southern girl so she would know her tequila!
  1. Do you relate to any of the characters in your book?

There are elements of narrator Laura that are based on me and some of my experiences. There are university flashbacks in the book which are very much based on my time doing my degree in terms of setting - though luckily not the actual events. But I also relate to Madison, as a fellow woman. All the female characters in my books are struggling in some way with being pigeonholed or held back, and I think most woman can relate to that in some way.


  1. What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

Weirdly, it's often premise and setting that come first for me. I always need to picture the scene! But I definitely do lots of character work before I start finessing the plot. If the characters are complicated enough, they will offer up plot opportunities for you.

  1. How many books have you written and which is your favourite?

Summer Fever is my fifth book for Penguin and was probably the easiest to write because I'd done much more planning before I began writing. But they're all dear to my heart in different ways.

  1. How do you like to relax when you read a book?

I live in the Cotswolds in a really old cottage and I'm lucky enough to have a lovely view across the valley. I love reading in the garden under the parasol when it's hot, surrounded by all that green.

Happy Swygging and reading.

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Katie Riordan: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

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