Sunday, July 31, 2016

Blogiversary Excerpt and Giveaway : Down on Love by Jayne Denker

When it comes to love, she's a professional skeptic. Is it too late for a career change?

If there's one thing Georgiana Down is an expert in, it's bad relationships. That's what inspired her blog, Down on Love, where she gives snarky advice--usually along the lines of "dump him." In fact, George is abstaining from men all together. At least that's the plan--until she makes a trip back to her tiny hometown in the Catskills, where meddling is an art form...

George loves helping out with her new baby niece, but she's counting the days until she returns to Boston. Then she runs into Casey Bowen, her high school crush. The boy she once loved is now a handsome grown man--and suddenly George needs a little advice of her own. She's in the right place, because when she drunk posts on her blog, everyone in Marsden has something to say about George and Casey. It's like high school all over again--but maybe this time she'll get things right...

Billy—Will, whatever—watched her carefully as she tussled with the misbehaving straps. “George, you weren’t thinking of driving home, were you?”

“’Course not,” she scoffed. “I’m walking.” 

“That might not be very safe, either—” 

“I’m driving her home, Will,” Casey spoke up. “I’ll make sure she gets in all right. You have a good night, okay?” 

Casey grabbed her arm and steered her up the block toward Main Street. 

George dragged her heels and started to protest. “I don’t need—” 

“Now, now, none of that. Let’s get you home, Drunky McTesty. Before you get yourself in trouble.” 

“What’d I do?” 

“Get in the truck.” 

They stopped by Casey’s F-250 and he reached for the door handle, but George dodged around him and stumbled into the street, which fortunately was empty. He corralled her easily, since he was sober and she was wobbly, and he gently grasped her arm. 

“I can walk!”

“I don’t think you can.”

“Come on, let go! I want to see that.” She pointed with her free hand back toward the buildings nearby. 

Casey tightened his grip, probably thinking she might be trying to distract him so she could dart away again, then looked over his shoulder at where she was pointing. “What?”

“It’s another Marsdy. I wanna see it. Let go.”

Instead, he took her hand and let her lead him up onto the sidewalk outside the post office. Sure enough, right at the corner, in the pedestrian walkway leading to a parking area behind the building, there was another spray-painted picture on the sandstone, this time one of a stick figure “climbing” out of a crack in the building, holding a bunch of flowers.

“Oh, how cute,” George cooed. From somewhere in the back of her fuzzy brain she realized she might be sounding like an idiot. But it seemed perfectly suitable at the moment. She moved forward, but Casey stayed where he was. Their hands separated. She stared intently at the graffiti, then she reached out and touched it with a fingertip. She spun around. “It’s still wet! Hey, I’ll bet Marsdy is still around somewhere! Let’s go hunt ’im down!”


She ran back to him, tripped a little, and lurched into him. He caught her and held on.

“Come on. It’ll be fun! We can be detectives.” 

He sighed. “We’re not chasing Marsdy, Nancy Drew. It’s late, and he’s probably long gone, anyway. Let’s just get you home.”

“You are no fun at all.”

Casey herded her toward the truck. “Are you always like this when you drink?” 

“I don’t know. I don’t usually drink.”

“You don’t say.” He propped her against the truck and reached around her to open the passenger door.

“How come Officer Billy didn’t give you a hard time? You could be drunk too.”

“But I’m not. And he knows I’m not stupid enough to drink and drive.”

“Neither am I.”

“He knows me. He doesn’t know you.”

“Are you kidding? I’ve seen him in his footie pajamas.” George muttered, “I don’t need your help, you know.”

“Of course not. But I promised Officer Billy I’d get you home, so that’s what I’m going to do. And don’t worry about your car. Give me your keys and I’ll drive it to the house later.” 

She moved sideways and blocked him. “” She wasn’t sure what she wanted to say. Then she blurted out, “Stop being so nice.”

Neither of them moved, even though they were only inches apart. George felt the heat from his arm near her waist, as he grasped the door handle. Her heart rate picked up. She cursed her traitorous body and took a steadying breath.

Casey studied her closely. “Is that what you like? Guys who aren’t nice?”

“No,” she said in what she hoped was a scoffing tone.

“Because that’s not me.”

“Ain’t that the truth.”


“There’s such a thing as too nice, you know.”

“Get in the truck, George.” He finally moved her aside, a little roughly, and yanked open the door.

“You bug me,” she grumbled, but she let herself be tucked into the passenger seat.

He tossed her a brilliant, genuine smile as he clicked her seat belt into place. “No, I don’t.”

“Stop telling me what I think, mister. You don’t know me.”

Then his hand wasn’t on the latch of the seat belt, but on her waist instead, his fingers and palm pressing into her. He pinned her with his gaze, a bar of shadow in the darkness. “Oh, I know you, Goose. I know you better than you’d ever admit.”

The heat of his hand through her blouse was like a brand. She fought through the fog that swept over her brain, eventually managing to stammer, “You haven’t seen me in my footie pajamas.”

“Is that an invitation?”

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Jayne Denker divides her time between working hard to bring the funny in her romantic comedies and raising a young son who's way too clever for his own good. She lives in a small village in western New York that is in no way, shape, or form related to the small village in her Marsden novels Down on Love, Picture This, and Lucky for You. When she's not hard at work on another novel, the social media addict can usually be found frittering away startling amounts of time on Facebook.  

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Blog Tour Stop - Find You In Paris by Alix Nichols

Book Tour (1)
FYP Kindle 3 512kakrO31L
 Find You In Paris (this book has two covers, one for the eBook & one for print) By author: Alix Nichols (Alix is an Amazon #1 Bestselling Author) Genre: Chick Lit/Romantic Comedy Release Date: July, 9th 2016
True spite. Fake marriage. Real romance.
If there’s one man that fledgling art photographer Diane Petit really, really, actively hates, it’s fragrance mogul Sebastian Darcy who stole her father’s company–and wrecked the man’s health in the process.
But the arrogant SOB had better brace himself because Diane has vowed revenge.
And revenge she will have.
Buy the Book:
About the Author:
Alix Nichols
Alix Nichols is a caffeine addict and a longtime fan of Mr. Darcy, especially in his Colin Firth incarnation. She is a Kindle Scout and Dante Rossetti Award winning author of critically acclaimed romantic comedies.
At the age of six, she released her first rom com. It featured highly creative spelling on a dozen pages stitched together and bound in velvet paper.
Decades later, she still loves the romance genre. Her spelling has improved (somewhat), and her books have made Amazon bestseller lists, climbing as high as #1. She lives in France with her family and their almost-human dog.
Find her here:
Check out the full tour:
Book Tour (1)
July 24th
Jenna Books - Book Review/Promo Post 
Hello...Chick Lit - Book Excerpt/Promo Post
July 25th
The Writing Garnet - Book Review/Guest Post 
July 26th
The Ultimate Fan Blog - Book Promo Post
 Karan Eleni - Book Excerpt/Promo Post
July 27th
Grass Monster - Book Review  
Gabriela Cabezut - Book Review/Promo Post
July 28th
He Said Books Or Me - Author Guest Post/Promo Post
 Sweet Little Pretties - Book Excerpt/Promo Post
July 29th
 Book Lover in Florida - Book Review/Promo Post
July 30th
One Book At A Time - Book Review/Promo Post
 These Words: A Blog - Book Review/Promo Post  
Liz Marid Author - Author Guest Post

Blogiversary Giveaway with the Awesome Jenn Farwell, author of Rock Star's Girl

Emily Watts just wants a weekend break from the workaholic hours she's taken on to keep her business--a popular fashion-snark website--up and running. What she gets is overnight celebrity and a career-killing media scandal.

While taking time out to attend a concert in support of friend Jesse Cinder, a struggling musician, Emily meets Cory Sampson, the lead singer of a chart-topping rock band. When she agrees to a date with Cory, making entertainment headlines is the last thing she expects. Even so, it's a minor surprise by comparison to her discovery that in the music world, media notoriety trumps all. Tabloid allegations erupt when Cory and fame-hungry Jesse use Emily for personal gain, and her tarnished image spells disaster--personally and professionally. To save the website and writing career she's made her life and dream, Emily must go from being a pawn in the Hollywood headline game to becoming the media mastermind.

The latest beach read tale of fame and love in Hollywood from Jennifer Farwell. Read Hiding Out in Hollywood on its own, or as the sequel to Rock Star's Girl! 

After her very public romance with superstar singer Cory Sampson nearly cost Emily Watts her career, she's thrilled to be bouncing back with a new fashion column for the nation's top entertainment website. More than that, she's happy to be out of the media spotlight and is determined to never make tabloid headlines again. So when her new yoga classmate, Raine Kingston, wants to see Emily outside of class, she isn't sure what to do. Raine is funny, madly attractive, and he's one of the most charming men Emily has ever met. He's also a sought-after actor who tops Hollywood's A-list, and Emily knows being seen with him will destroy the privacy she's worked so hard to get back. 

She can't deny their connection, though, and Raine is willing to spend time together in places they won't be seen. Just when Emily is on top of the world with her new romance, her past finds its way back into the headlines, thanks to a music partnership between Cory and indie band guitarist Jesse Cinder, someone Emily counts among her enemies. With all eyes back on her, it gets harder to keep her dates with Raine a secret, and Emily is forced to choose: stay with Raine, who makes her the happiest she's ever been, and have her life back in the headlines, or give up the best relationship she's ever had to keep the privacy and normal life she craves.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

Blogiversary Guest Post: All About That (Luna) Bay by Lynsey James

All About That (Luna) Bay

I didn’t plan to write a series.
    Whilst I was writing my second book, The Broken Hearts Book Club, turning it into a series wasn’t on my radar for a really long time. It was only when I realised how much the characters and setting had pulled me in that I decided I wasn’t quite ready to leave Luna Bay just yet. Luckily, my editor felt the same and we have two more Luna Bay books coming your way in 2016!
    So with that in mind, let’s take a little guided tour of Luna Bay and all it has to offer…

First stop is the Moonlight Café. Run by Diane, it offers the perfect place to stop and grab a quick cup of tea and a humungous slice of cake and is just a stone’s throw from the magnificent beach. Whatever is troubling you, sampling the café’s delights will sort you out in no time!

Next is the Purple Partridge. No village would be complete without the local pub and this is no different. Jake and Lucy invite you to grab a booth or table, order a drink and allow your cares to slowly melt away. Beware though, the pub is often the scene for some pretty intense village dramas!

Trying to heal a broken heart? Luna Bay has you covered! Join the Broken Hearts Book Club and lose yourself in some enchanting stories. Lovely Lucy is the chairwoman and there’s always an extra space at the table for any lonely hearts that wander into the village.

Finally, we come to the last stop on our tour of Luna Bay: Sunflower Cottage. This charming little B&B is run by Rose and is the perfect seaside escape for anyone looking to get away from it all. Local hunk Noah Hartley can often be found helping out and there’s even talk of there being a breakfast club. But why is Emily, a high-flying hotel executive really staying there?

I hope you’ve enjoyed our little trip round Luna Bay. If you’d like to explore a little more and get to know some of the residents, The Broken Hearts Book Club is available now and The Sunflower Cottage Breakfast Club will be out on 20th June.
Link to Purchase:

About Lynsey 
Lynsey James was born in Fife in 1991 and has been telling people how to spell her name ever since. She's an incurable bookworm who loves nothing more than getting lost in a good story with memorable characters. She started writing when she was really young and credits her lovely Grandad- and possibly a bump on the head from a Mr Frosty machine- with her love of telling stories. She used to write her own episodes of Friends and act them out in front of her family (in fact she's sure she put Ross and Rachel together first!)

A careers adviser at school once told Lynsey writing wasn’t a “good option” and for a few years, she believed her. She tried a little bit of everything, including make-up artistry, teaching and doing admin for a chocolate fountain company. The free chocolate was brilliant. When Lynsey left my job a couple of years ago, she started writing full-time while she looked for another one. As soon as she started working on her story, Lynsey fell in love and decided to finally pursue her dream. She haven’t looked back since.

When Lynsey's not writing, eating cake or drinking tea, she's daydreaming about the day Dylan O’Brien FINALLY realises they're meant to be together. It’ll happen one day…

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Blogiversary Guest Post: Can running away ever solve anything? by Lily Graham author of The Summer Escape

Can running away ever solve anything?

We’re often told that running away rarely, if ever, solves anything, and that you take yourself with you, and your problems too. But I don’t think it’s a binary issue. For many people, changing their circumstances … and yes, running away, really is the answer. Abusive partners, dangerous cities, and situations … sometimes true freedom is only achieved by getting the hell out.

It’s a question that intrigued me at a very difficult period in my life, and helped shape what would later become my first finished novel. Like, Ria, the main character in my novel, The Summer Escape, I was stuck in a job that I despised, and going through one of the most difficult periods of my life, with my mother battling breast cancer, eight years ago. Running away, then was not an option, of course, but a part of me desperately wanted to run away from all the pain and heartache we were going through as a family. I think that’s when for the first time I turned to writing fiction as a means of release and escape.

I used to drive past the airport lane on the way to work. I had a boss, who enjoyed micromanaging a browbeaten team. Some days I’d be late for work because I was trying to get myself to just get out my car.  I would imagine what would happen, if just once I didn’t go in, if I took that airport lane by mistake. It got me thinking about what would really lead someone to run away.  So I started writing what was back then my first women’s fiction novel. Before that my fiction was mostly fantasy based. Still a love of mine, but if I didn’t go through what I had, I’m not sure I would have ever written in the genre. The story didn’t really work back then. But it helped me process some of my emotions. It also helped me to quit my job, which I did one day, after my boss had crossed one line too far, when she couldn’t understand why I would want or need to be with my mother when she was undergoing treatments.

Running away from that, was one of the best decisions I ever made. Though, of course, everyone, myself included was shocked that I’d quit without any prospects lined up. I cannot describe the freedom, the delicious wrongness I felt in leaving. Or the fear. Soon enough though, I’d gotten a job as a reporter for my local newspaper, and my mother was on the path to recovery. In many ways, that decision to run away, was the turning point for me. It also really set me on the road to becoming a journalist and later an author.

Which is why, when a few years ago, I dusted off that old manuscript – with some gentle prodding from my best friend, and started working on the book again. I realized as I wrote it, that I’d needed some life experience to really write it, as I’d been through my own experience of it.  This time, truly understanding, why sometimes, very occasionally, you really do need to run away, to find yourself again.

The Summer Escape is available now!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blogiversary Guest Post and Giveaway: Why Summer in Paris makes me fall in love with the city all over again by Isabelle Andover, author of Cocktails at Le Carmen

Why summer in Paris makes me fall in love with the city all over again

There’s something about summer in Paris that I love. The sunshine, the bright blue sky, that feeling of wanting to be outside all day, every day (not so great when you work in an office, but hey, the cat needs luxury cat food, so I’ve got to go out and earn a crust).
It’s in summertime when Paris changes the most. In August, many Parisians take a whole month off work and decamp to other parts of the country or abroad. You’ll never see the city so quiet away from the tourist hotspots. Of course, this also means that you can’t get anything done in August, either. You might find that your local bakery is closed, your bank manger has buggered off to Biarritz, or key transport lines are shut for engineering works, meaning that your daily commute in a sweltering hot metal bucket takes that much longer.
photo by Carin Olsson CC BY
The whole pace of life seems to slow, and suddenly, you feel like doing nothing more taxing than relaxing in a park with a jambon-beurre sandwich and reading a good book. And where better to do so than in Paris? There are plenty of green spaces to choose from—be it Champs de Mars by the Eiffel Tower or the Jardin de Tuileries by the Louvre museum. There’s even a beach, if that’s your jam; the Paris Plage, where each year thousands of tonnes of sand are deposited along the banks of the River Seine and beach umbrellas and sun loungers suddenly spring up too.

You needn’t feel bad for not being as cultural as you should be. It’s such a lovely day, it would be a shame to waste it indoors in a museum. Although they do tend to be lovely and cool, and some have beautiful gardens so I’d recommend the Musée Rodin and the Palace of Versailles.
In the evenings, you’ll feel like being sociable well past your bedtime. Whether it’s drinking wine on the riverbank with a view of Notre Dame or sitting on a café terrace enjoying a coffee, it’s at moments like this that you realize how much the city has to offer.

Of course, some people will think I’m nuts. Many people, Parisians mostly, think that summer in the capital is awful. It’s hot, it’s sticky, everything is closed, there are too many tourists (the list of complaints is lengthy, given that moaning is said by some to be France’s national sport). But summer is my favorite season in Paris. The city sparkles under the sunshine, everyone seems in a good mood, and you can’t help but walk with a spring in your step, all the way to the Ile Saint Louis for a Bertillon ice cream cone.
photo by Ashley Jarvis CC BY

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Blogiversary Excerpt and Giveaway: Links (a new book coming soon) by Lisa Becker, author of Clutch


Charlotte Windham did a quick check of her teeth in the small compact mirror hanging from her key ring before knocking on the oversized wooden door.  She undoubtedly had some remnants from lunch trapped within the metal wires of her braces.  She pulled out a piece of apple peel from her right incisor and patted down her dark brown hair, which despite what seemed to be an impossibility, was both simultaneously stringy and frizzy.  She exhaled loudly and knocked on the door.
A housekeeper, wearing a grey uniform, opened the door and welcomed her in.  She led her past a formal entry way and proper living room into the kitchen – a large, modern space with granite countertops, light wooden cabinets and enough kitchen gadgets to stock a Williams-Sonoma.  Despite coming here twice a week for the past three months to tutor the Stephens brothers, Charlotte always stared in awe at the amazing home which was such a far contrast from the small two bedroom apartment she shared with her mom.
“The boys will be right down,” said Norma kindly, gesturing to the kitchen counter which housed an array of soft drinks and snacks.  Charlotte fidgeted with the silver locket around her neck – a gift from her father who died in Somalia when she was a young girl while serving in the Marines.  Before she could dwell on it further, Garrett and Marcus bounded down the stairs and into the kitchen.
“You’re such a fucking pussy,” said Garrett, punching Marcus in the arm. 
“Dude!” Marcus countered, reaching out to swat his twin brother, but finding him already out of reach.  “Oh, hey Charlotte.”
“Hi Marcus,” she said, giving him a little wave.  “Hi Garrett,” she breathed, looking at him for a nanosecond, before shifting her eyes to the floor.
“Hey Glasses,” he responded.  Charlotte instinctively adjusted the oversized black frames that were perched atop her nose.  The glasses were a necessity since age 8.  While she would have loved to get contact lenses, they were a luxury her mother couldn’t afford.  She looked through the slightly smudged lenses and took in the sight before her. 
Marcus and Garrett Stephens were identical twins but couldn’t have been more different in Charlotte’s eyes. 
At age 16, both Stephens brothers were already five foot nine and if their growth patterns and genetics were on track, they were well on their way to being more than 6 feet tall.  Hazel eyes were offset by dark eyelashes, the kind women aspire for.  Straight white teeth since having their braces removed last year were the centerpiece of a dazzling smile punctuated by a large dimple on the left cheek. 
To the untrained eye, it was difficult to tell them apart save for the small cleft in Garrett’s chin, which she mused the gods left as their mark, making him one of their own.  And to Charlotte, he was a god of perfection (unless you counted his lackluster academic performance.) 
The personality differences between the twins were a bit more stark than the physical ones.  Both boys were exceptionally ambitious about their future goals.  Garrett was determined to be a professional golfer.  As a junior, he was already the star player of his high school team.  The intense schedule of practice, private lessons, matches and rigorous weight training sessions coupled with his disinterest in school left him teetering precariously between a pass and fail in several classes, most notably, English.   Without keeping his grade to at least a C, he would be forced off the team, on the bench and out of the sightline of those who could make his dreams of playing college and eventually professional golf, a reality.  Hence his need for a tutor – Charlotte. 
Mr. and Mrs. Stephens had originally hired a local teacher to assist Garrett, but found the attractive young woman to be too much of a distraction.  When Lindsay, their daughter, brought  her friend Charlotte to work on a school newspaper project, they quickly realized the mousy teenager would pose no distraction to Garrett and would serve as the perfect tutor because the two were in the same English class.


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Monday, July 25, 2016

Blogiversary Guest Post and Giveaway: Anniversaries - Laura Chapman, author of Going for Two

Anniversaries, like birthdays, are a beautiful thing. They’re a chance, once a year, to remember that something important, something special happened. They’re a chance to give that moment its due. And they’re about treats. (At least, I think that’s what these traditions are all about.)

My family has always done a good job of celebrating birthdays and holidays.

When I turned four, my mom made a beautiful butterfly cake covered in pink coconut. I had seen a picture of it in a magazine, and I desperately needed it for my birthday to be complete. So she made it. And because she knew that at three going on four I didn’t like coconut, she made me a bonus angel food cake so I’d actually have something to eat.

For my sixth birthday, my whole family banded together to throw me a raging Dinosaurs-themed carnival in our backyard. I’m not just talking about the ginormous animals that are ever-popular with kids. I’m talking about the TV show about Earl Sinclair and his family. My brother—a super talented artist—drew Earl’s face on a piece of poster board. He cut out the mouth, and we used it for a bean bag toss. My other brother manned the ring toss, which featured actual figurines from the series as the targets. My dad ran the cake walk. My mom decorated another cake. All of the kids from the neighborhood came, and it was a truly wonderful memory created by my family.

At ten, I had a sleepover complete with makeovers and lip-synch battles. At fourteen, I had a pizza party in the park. At twenty-three, a group of friends helped me recreate a twenty-first birthday experience. And so on. Every year, friends and family have always been so good at helping me celebrate… me.

Like this blog, I’m celebrating a birthday this month. A big one—the big three-oh. (Or the Dirty Thirty if you like. And who doesn’t like a good rhyme?)

I’ve been conditioned to make birthdays a little special—and even a little nerdy—so I’m celebrating in a kind of unique way. With my birthday falling almost exactly halfway through 2016, I decided to spend the year re-reading my thirty favorite books (and in a few cases series). I’ll admit, as I’m writing this, I haven’t made the best progress on this. (Thirty is a lot of books, and I already had a big to-read pile.) But it has been so much fun. I’m cherishing childhood favorites, like Roald Dahl’s Matilda, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series. I’m reconnecting with ones from my older adolescence, like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. And I’m saying hello again to more recent reads, like Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? and Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games series. It’s a long and somewhat daunting list given the timeframe, but you know what? I’m having so much fun.

As a writer, sometimes books can seem like work. It’s the best work I know, but it is still work. By reconnecting with these favorites—old and new—I’m spending the year remembering why I fell in love with stories and why I wanted to become a storyteller.

To help Bethany celebrate her blog’s birthday, I’m offering up a signed pair of First & Goal and Going for Two to one lucky reader. (U.S. or Canada only, please.) I hope these first two books in my Queen of the League series will become some of your new favorites.

Laura Chapman is the author of Going for Two, First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work also appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and the holiday collection All I Want For Christmas from Marching Ink. She loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Laura makes her home in Nebraska, where she is penning her next novel. Be sure to connect with her on social media.

Harper Duquaine is back for another season of fantasy football! This time she’s a year wiser and prepared to dominate the league. But while she finally seems to have her fantasy life in order, reality proves more challenging.

Her plans to peacefully play house with her boyfriend come to a halt when the high school suddenly names Brook its head football coach. The promotion comes with more responsibility on the field and less time at home. It also unexpectedly means more work for Harper, who already has her hands full helping a friend pull off the perfect proposal (while dodging questions about when she and Brook are going to get hitched already). Plus, a new development at work could leave her—and half of the fantasy league—jobless.

With the complications of her career and being “Mrs. Coach” adding up, Harper wonders if she’s committed to the life she’s already building or if there is something else out there.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Blog Tour Stop:The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin

Book Information
Title: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 2
Standalone?: Yes
Release Date: June 30, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…
Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.
Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…

Book Links

Author Biography
Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.
Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

Social Networking Links

The most rewarding part of my job was seeing a customer’s eyes light up when they took delivery, their hands finding their face, mouths hanging open, and the still of the moment, as if time stopped as two worlds collided.
Past and present. Then and now.
Using the hutch, I knew that Marie would have an epiphany, an idea that hauled her from the well of writer’s block; was it her subconscious, or was it Anaïs, giving her a ghostly hand up when the words wouldn’t flow?
 You would have been surprised how many customers called me with shy voices and told me stories about their antique, and how they were visited by ghosts – the former owners checking in. As if every now and then, they traveled back from their fluffy perch in heaven to check their beloved antique was still being cared for.
It was especially true for antiques used by artistic people. They found it that much harder to let go and move to the next place. A violin from the early 1800s was heard during the night, the soft lament of the strings ringing out as the new owner was roused from sleep and followed the sound, catching the curtain shiver once or twice, even though the windows were locked tight, and the door bolted.
Or a typewriter, once used by some robust, whisky-fueled writer, would suddenly come to life, its keys clacking in the dark of midnight. It was just a brief visit to touch base with the precious medium that made their art immortal. The clink of a glass to whisky bottle heard, a goodbye, before silence enveloped the room once more.
Even I’d had a visit. I had an old clock, once owned by a fifties’ French actress who was notorious for arriving late on set, and then staying up all hours with whatever beau took her fancy. When I first took the grandfather clock home, it would tick tock louder at the witching hour, as if it was greeting her, and I wondered if I sprinted to the living room if I’d catch her curvaceous shadow caught in moonlight as she revisited the one thing that always beat her in her life – time. She died tragically, young and beautiful, and in the afterlife chased the thing that had evaded her.
Ghosts visiting their prized possessions? It was all sorts of crazy, and I’d be dubious myself, if I hadn’t seen it firsthand. I wondered if Anaïs would be there in spirit today, whispering to me through the ages…

Blogiversary Guest Post: Once Upon A Typewriter by Katie Oliver


                ONCE UPON A TYPEWRITER

When we got married, my husband Mark knew I liked the Beatles, feared spiders, loved Woody Allen movies, and loathed oysters. He knew I was painfully shy and geeky and that I pretty much hid behind my long brown hair.

And he also knew I 'liked to write' and that I had 'a few things' that I'd written in my spare time.

My single claim to publication fame at the time was a letter I'd sent off at fourteen to the editor of the now-defunct Washington Star newspaper. Oh, and I'd had a couple of stories published in the high school newspaper, The A-Blast (our football team was the Annandale Atoms, go Atoms!), and that was it. It wasn't much of a writing resume (although in my defense, I hadn’t sent anything out to publishers yet).

But Mark snuck a few of my stories out of the box where I kept my typewritten pages hidden and read them. And he thought they were pretty good.

'Not,' he informed me, 'that I normally read that kind of stuff.' ('That kind of stuff' being romance or romance fiction. He was, and still is, a non-fiction, World War II, History Channel kind of guy.)

Still, he believed in me enough to go out when we were still young and financially struggling and buy me an Adler electronic typewriter.

Now, this wasn't your mother's IBM Selectric. This was a state of the art (at the time) save-an-entire-line-of-type typewriter. You could type a line of text, save it, delete it, or change it before you committed it to the page.  It even had a spell checker. And it was very expensive. Money-we-really-didn't-have expensive.

Yet my husband, bless his heart, bought it for me because he says he knew - he just knew - that my stories would be published one day.

If that isn't love, I don't know what is.

So the pressure was on. I had to make good on his faith in me, and get my stories published. In those days, the only alternative to a traditional publisher was a vanity press. Which meant YOU paid THEM to print and publish your book; selling and promoting it was also entirely up to you. There was a stigma attached to publishing a book this meant you were (a) desperate or (b) unpublishable.

I tried to produce a book worthy of publication, I really did. But writing - much less finishing an entire book - proved difficult to impossible with the demands of a full time job, a commute, two small boys to care for, and a household to maintain.

I ended up with what I called my 'box of crap' (which I still have, BTW), a typing paper box crammed with my mostly unfinished efforts - regencies, romantic suspense, a Civil War historical (I actually finished that one), a supernatural novella, and even some vampire erotica. I was nothing if not eclectic in my attempts at fiction.

Finally, in frustration at the lack of writing time, with a lot of drama and tears and shouting, I shelved the idea of writing, of being a writer. For several years I wrote nothing. Zilch. Squat. But...I continued to read voraciously. I bought Romantic Times magazine and read each and every article, every month. I learned the mechanics of writing – the craft of putting together a plot, characterization, creating suspense, and building conflict into every story. I read books about writing. I thought about writing. I missed writing.

Fast forward several years later, after working and raising kids, when the kids finally flew the parental coop. I began to write again. And boy, did it feel good.

When things slowed down at work, I had time to sit at my desk, catch my breath, and I start writing my first book.

I ended up eight months later with Prada and Prejudice. I thought it was pretty good. My husband thought it was pretty good. My friends at work thought it was really good. So I took a deep breath and decided to find myself a literary agent and see if she thought it was good.

She did.

Eventually Nikki sold my book – and two more – to Carina UK, Harlequin’s new digital imprint. I got the news over the phone at work, in an empty conference room on the first floor. To say I was giddy with excitement is an understatement. I walked on a cloud of happiness for weeks afterwards. I think I may have even had little bluebirds twittering and flying around me, like Cinderella. As a writer, I’d finally found my happy ending.

The moral of the story? If you aren’t published yet but want to be, don’t give up. Keep writing. Persevere. Read everything you can, and don’t just read it – study it. Learn the craft of writing – pace, plotting, conflict, foreshadowing – and apply it to your own writing. Don’t let anyone discourage you. Seek writing critiques from your friends – and pick friends who’ll be honest with you (honest enough to tell you the truth if your story really sucks).

But mostly – and I know this is a cliché, but it’s a cliché because it’s true…believe in yourself.

And then sit down, and write.

Katie Oliver loves romantic comedies, characters who "meet cute," Richard Curtis films, and Prosecco (not necessarily in that order). She currently resides in South Florida with her husband, two parakeets, and a dog.

Katie has been writing since she was eight, and has a box crammed with (mostly unfinished) novels to prove it. With her sons grown and gone, she decided to get serious and write more (and hopefully, better) stories. She even finishes most of them.

Here's to love and all its complications...

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