Blog Tour: Talking As Fast As I Can

To celebrate the publication of Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham I was asked to share my favourite Lorelei Gilmore moment. But let’s be honest Lorelei is one of the characters who manages to make every episode feel like a favourite. So with that in mind I share with you several moments that allowed us to see the more serious side of Lorelei.

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Lorelei proves through the seasons that she is a woman who goes after her dreams and the best proof of  this is when she and best friend Sookie fulfil take over ownership of the Dragonfly Inn. Owning her own inn is something that Lorelei talks of from the very beginning.

My mother — she was here. I can feel it. Smell that? The room smells like guilt and Chanel No. 5.

While she was estranged from Rory (during season 6) Lorelei adopts a dog and calls him Paul Anka, I love Lorelei’ relationship with that adorable dog. Paul Anka comes into her life when she is struggling and needs her furry companion.

Seventy-five thousand dollars. Seventy-five thousand dollars. Oh my God, that’s like 150 pairs of Jimmy Choos.

When Rory graduates she dedicates her speech to Lorelei in what is one of the most touching episodes of the show, there isn’t a dry eye in the crowd and it is in that moment Lorelei realises the impact she has had on Rory.

“Everything in my life has something to do with coffee. I believe in a former life, I was coffee.”

For four seasons we were in a will they wont they haze and then finally in episode 22 Luke and Lorelei shared their first kiss and my heart burst and the birds were singing,and for a day I believed that love really is all around us.

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In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, ‘Did you, um, make it?’ She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (‘Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!’), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (‘It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout.’)

In ‘What It Was Like, Part One’, for the first time Graham settles in for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay ‘What It Was Like, Part Two’ reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (‘If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high.’), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (‘My bungee cords now earn points!’).

Complete with photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and – of course – talking as fast as you can.

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Claudia Carroll, The Inspiration for All She Ever Wished For.

Today I am delighted to welcome author Claudia Carroll to The Love of a Good Book to share with us the inspiration behind All She Ever Wished For.
 
​I’m often asked, ‘where do you get all your ideas from?’ And for All She Ever Wished For the answer, of all places, came from my life-long love of all thing court-related. I’ve always been a total sucker for any kind of a legal drama, you see. (I was nearly left bereft when I got to the end of The Good Wife on Netflix.)

Because there’s just something about a good, old-fashioned courtroom drama, isn’t there? It’s almost like there’s an inbuilt sense of tension already there – who’ll win, who’ll lose and more importantly, whose lying through their teeth?

Then I began to think about all of the super-high-profile court cases that you read about from time-to time. How they seem to just completely grip the public. Do you remember the Heather Mills/Paul McCartney case? Or more recently the Nigella/Charles Saatchi drama? It seemed like everywhere you went, people were talking about it and just about everyone seemed to have an opinion on who was guilty and who was innocent.

Coupled with all that, a long-running high-profile murder trial was ongoing here in Dublin in the Central Criminal Courts. It centered around a very well-to-do young architect – happily married with two kids – who was accused of brutally murdering a young, vulnerable woman who he’d met on a highly questionable website involving bondage and sadomasochism and all manner of boldness. Well, this case utterly gripped the nation for a few weeks; headline news everywhere you went and it seemed like you couldn’t get into the back of a taxi without being asked your opinion on it.

While I was researching All She Ever Wished For, I spent a lot of time at the Central Criminal Courts – a fascinating place, let me tell you. Like the best free drama going. Anyway, I used to get there early in the morning, about 7.30a.m., and couldn’t understand why there were always long queues patiently waiting to be admitted inside. Were this lot queuing for jury service, I naively wondered?

No, I was firmly told by the jury selection officer. The people queuing were actually in line for a seat in the public gallery at the architect’s murder trial. Ghoulish, I thought. Like the women you read about who sat around the guillotine in Revolutionary France and cackled as heads rolled. After all, guilty or innocent, these are real people with real lives – it’s not an episode of Judge Judy.

So then the idea came to me. What would it be like to be summoned as a juror to a super high-profile case? One that the whole country seems to be talking about and yet you as a juror, are expected not to have any opinion, other than based on what you hear in court? No going online, no talking about it, nothing.

What then?

And so the spark for All She Ever Wished For took hold and as soon as it did, somehow it wouldn’t let me alone…

Excerpt: Embrace me 

Hudson spun to face her and within seconds Allie was in his arms, the hard planes of his body crushing her against the alley’s brick wall. Both hands framed her face as Hudson sealed his mouth over hers. His tongue pushed passed her lips, taking her in a lush, deep kiss she felt echo to her very core. Allie’s hands found their way into his hair, her fingers twisting through the dark waves, trying in vain to hold him to her when he broke their kiss.
​His face hovered mere inches from hers. “You’ve been a bad girl tonight,” he rasped.
​Just those few, roughly spoken words had her heart racing with excitement. Hudson was in control and she wouldn’t have it any other way. In the boardroom she stood her ground, going toe to toe with her stubborn husband on a wide range of issues. But in the bedroom he was her dominant lover and although there was a time she would have never considered such behavior a turn on, there was no denying the effect it had on her. There was a freedom in surrendering herself to him, a liberating sense of self unlike anything she’d ever experienced. With Hudson she was able to let go of her inhibitions and explore the wanton lust only he could evoke.
​A soft moan escaped her lips as he ran his tongue up the column of her throat.
She hadn’t expected him to show up at her bachelorette party and had certainly never imagined him dragging her out of the club cave-man style. But there he was, touching her, kissing her, and all she could think about was how badly she wanted him.
​“Did you enjoy having those men rubbing themselves all over you?” The hard ridge of his erection pressed against her though the soft fabric of her skirt. Behind them a muffled bass beat a hypnotic rhythm through the club’s darkened windows. It pounded through them, urging her to grind her body against him.
​“It’s only you Hudson. It’s always been only you.”
​“You can prove it to me when we get home.” He stepped back, leaving her warm and wanting, to reveal their limo idling behind him. He reached for the handle and gave the door a hard yank. “After you.”
​Allie slid across the leather bench with Hudson close behind. Before he had even settled onto the seat she was in his lap. “We don’t have to wait until we get home.”

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance 

that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy…

EMBRACE ME

A Chasing Fire Novella (#3.5)

Ann Marie Walker & Amy K. Rogers

Releasing September 20th, 2016

Berkley Intermix

Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair’s heartracing romance continues in this hot, new novella in the Chasing Fire series.

Return to the dangerous and seductive romance that got pulses racing in the Chasing Fire trilogy…


It took ten years for Hudson Chase and Alessandra Sinclair to find their happily ever after, and they’re not about to let anything get in their way…

Nothing could stop the passion between Allie and Hudson—not time or distance. Not even tragedy, betrayal, and blackmail. But now they’re facing a new challenge: wedding planning. And while Allie’s social status demands she put on the event of the century, her well-intentioned family and friends have her doubting her walk down the aisle…

Hudson knows tensions are pushing Allie to the brink, but he’s not letting her throw everything away over some flowers and cake. He has plans for his new bride, and unlike their last adventure, he’s determined that this time there will be no unwelcome surprises. But for all his determination and control, there’s one element Hudson Chase has never been able to predict—and she has some adventurous ideas of her own…

Praise for the Chasing Fire trilogy

“Exceptional…Seriously sexy and

sinfully steamy. Can’t wait for more from this writing duo!”–New York

Times bestselling author Tara Sue Me

“Walker and Rogers strike the

perfect balance between blistering physical desire and heartfelt

connections…”–RT Book Review  


Buy Now

  


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Though thousands of miles apart, Ann

Marie Walker and Amy K. Rogers are in constant contact, plotting story lines

and chatting about their love of alpha males, lemon drop martinis and British

supermodel, David Gandy. You can find them on twitter as @AnnMarie_Walker and

@Amy_KRogers. 



Amy K. Rogers

Ann Marie Walker

Start the Chasing Fire Series Now


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Q&A: Travelling with Katy Collins

Today I am delighted to welcome the wonderful Katy Collins to The Love of A Good Book!

About Katy:

As a qualified journalist with articles published in Company Magazine and The Daily Star she crossed sides to work in Public Relations before selling all she owned to backpack solo around South East Asia and finally put her thoughts into words, writing as she travelled.

katy-colins-022Katy currently lives by the sea in France where she is on a one woman mission to educate the French about the necessity and technicalities of making a good cup of tea. When she is not writing about romance, travel and adventure, she loves travelling, catching up with family and friends and convincing herself that her croissant addiction isn’t out of control – just yet.

You can find out more about Katy, her writing and her travels on her blog http://www.notwedordead.com or via twitter @notwedordead

Using only three words can you describe Destination Chile? Exotic heart-warming escapism

Georgia is allowing us readers to travel the globe with her, where else will her journey take us? In Destination Chile we are shown a different side to Georgia as she is faced with yet more challenges and certainly feels way out of her comfort zone. Being half the way around the world doesn’t always mean you leave your problems at home.

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? (FYI I would choose Ben *swoons*)  

Ben is a good call (*dreamy sigh*) but I think I would have to choose Shelley or Marie. Having a squad of friends who ‘get you’ and support you no matter what mistakes you make or how much you embarrass yourself is so important. Plus, they would be great fun to hang out with!

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Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from the series? I think that has to come from Georgia’s dad who says that that even when you don’t feel brave just pretend you do, no one will tell the difference. It’s something I try to listen to myself when I’m in an unfamiliar situation and just want to run and hide. By feeling the fear and doing it anyway it pushes you out of that comfort zone!

What is your dream destination? I am desperate to tick Japan off my list and also want to see the northern lights in Iceland. My problem is that there are too many amazing places out there and no time to fit them all in!

Can you share some facts about your first ever trip abroad? I admit that I was very nervous when I travelled alone for the first time but I knew how lucky I was to get to do this and wanted to make the most of every day. I made some mistakes with paying too much for trips, not haggling tuk tuk fares very well and tried to cram too much into each day but going travelling is a learning curve that helps you to grow in confidence for the next journey!

For those preparing to go backpacking, what five essentials would you advise them to take? Apart from your passport, tickets and money I’d say antibacterial hand gel, an e-reader, a torch, a scarf that works to warm you up and cover you up, and a notepad and pen to keep a travel journal. Trust me you don’t need as many clothes as you think you do.

What’s your writing routine? When I’m travelling I carry a lightweight tiny netbook and 51pq87ylh0l-_ac_us160_try to jot as much down as I can which is fine in the planning stage but by constantly moving locations it’s hard for your brain to switch off and focus! When I’m back in the UK I write in a small office and tend to outline the novel on post-it notes cluttering the walls. I write quickly and then have the fun of edits to polish it until it shines.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), what section would we find you in and with which book in hand? A dream indeed! I would of course head to the travel section, I love reading about other people’s adventures in remote places but I am also partial to the self-help section. I think mindfulness and self-awareness is a great way to take a step back from your busy life and appreciate it all. Then no trip to a bookshop would be complete without filling your arms with novels and I love escaping with rom-coms, psychological thrillers and women’s fiction.

51kjjvpr8l-_ac_us160_The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? The world is your oyster. I was told this many times when my relationship ended and I had no idea what I was going to do next. I think this advice doesn’t just mean to travel but also that anything is possible for you to achieve, if you work hard enough to make it happen.

The Lonely Hearts Travel Club is being given its own cocktail (or cupcake) what are the ingredients? Oh that would be great! Hmm, it would be something with exotic fruits, a dash of spice and served with a cute umbrella!
Destination: Chile by Katy Colin’s is out on 22nd September (Carina, £7.99)



Blog tour: YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE by Julie Cross & Mark Perini

Be a #ModelCitizen and Enter to Win!

YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE

Julie Cross & Mark Perini

Releasing August 2nd, 2016

Sourcebooks Fire

Bestselling author Julie Cross teams up with international model Mark Perini to create You Before Anyone Else, a poignant and authentic contemporary YA novel and companion to Halfway Perfect.

The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high-paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.

Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once in a while?

Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else… 


BUY NOW

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& N | Google | iTunes 

Julie Cross and Mark Perini, along with Tasty Book Tours, are celebrating those who have taken the steps in Breaking the Mold on society’s expectations, like Finley, the heroine from YOU BEFORE ANYONE ELSE!  We are looking for anyone who would like to share their story and be entered to win a 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner!

Head over to fb.me/TastyBookTours and leave a comment with your story.  Feel free to share picture of your journey and use #breakingthemold at the end of your comment!

Entries must be in by 11:59pm, Aug 15th, 2016.  No purchase necessary to enter.  If under 12 years old, you must have approval by a guardian to enter.   

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Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).

She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

Mark Perini is a New York City based author debuting his first YA novel, Halfway Perfect.

Additionally, Mark is a featured author in the NA anthology, Fifty First Times.

Mark began his career as an international fashion model when he was 18 years old, while simultaneously obtaining a business degree from Seton Hall University. He has a passion for traveling the world, and he’s made a blood pact with friends to see all seven ancient wonders of the world before he’s thirty. Four down three to go.

Excerpt

FINLEY

“What are you so afraid of?” Summer asks.

I take a sip of the beer Dima brought me a few minutes ago. “Oh, I don’t know, addiction, overdose, puking on some innocent victim’s shoes, random drug testing by the agency…”

Summer laughs. “Drug testing on models? Yeah, that’ll be the day.”

Okay, so maybe I just don’t want to do it. Even if I should be in my so-called experimental phase.

I wouldn’t exactly label myself a rule follower, but I guess I’m just cautious. I haven’t always been this way. Not that I’ve done drugs, but before high school, I was all about ballet. Let’s just say I had a rep for being the sassy troublemaker. My mom being my ballet teacher may have had something to do with my behavior. My fingers immediately move to the cross dangling from my neck—I’ve only removed it a couple times over the last four years. Somehow, it’s always warmer than my hands.

I debate texting my dad to ask him if he’s done coke or molly. He’d probably tell me. But I wouldn’t want to freak him out. Seems like a conversation better reserved for a weekend visit instead of late on a Friday night when I could be too far gone to help, for all he knows.

I glance around the room and finally spot someone I know: my friend Alex and his girlfriend Eve. Alex and I did a big Calvin Klein shoot last year, and Eve was the photographer’s assistant. Actually, Eve used to be a model too, another preteen/teen phenom like Elana, who headlined that CK shoot along with Alex. My part had been fairly small, and still, that was my biggest job ever.

“Have you met Alex?”

Summer shrugs, grabs two more shots of vodka, and hands me one. “Like I would remember.”

I down the shot quickly and prepare to talk to Alex and Eve. Maybe they’ve done drugs and can advise me. But my buzzing phone distracts me. I pull it out of my purse and glance at the new text. 

JASON: Yeah, it’s so weird to be home again. But I missed it. 

My stomach flip-flops. He replied to my text. Hours later, but still…this could mean—

“Oh lord, you’re pathetic.” Summer is leaned toward me, reading over my shoulder. “That’s probably enough for you to live off of for another six months or so, right?”

I glare at her and shove the phone back into my purse.

“No comeback? Wonder why…” She pretends to be in deep thought. “He said he missed it. Not you. Cut the fucking cord already. It’s not healthy.”

If only it were that easy. When you’re in a relationship with someone for four years, you get so comfortable with that person. It’s daunting to start all over again.

I make my way across the room to see Alex and Eve, who are leaning against the back of the couch, more absorbed in each other than anything else.

“I heard Elana’s back from France?” Alex asks me, keeping his voice low.

“Yep, her and her mom. I think her mom is driving her crazy, but that’s to be expected. French Mama is driving me crazy too.”

They both laugh at the mention of French Mama, but I can’t take credit for that title. Summer made it up.

“I can’t believe her parents let her come back to New York,” Eve says.

Alex smiles at her. “You’re just upset that they’re here and not in France where we can hit them up for lodging.”

My gaze travels back and forth between the two of them. “You guys are going to France? Are you going for Fashion Week?”

Eve shakes her head. “Nope. I did the Prada shoot, and I’m done for good. Got tuition for next year covered.”

Even though Eve had supposedly quit modeling a few years ago, she pulled a one-last-job stunt last spring to cover her tuition at Columbia. She’s a photography student with a lot of experience under her belt.

“We’re doing the cheap travel, backpacking in Europe but without actual backpacks thing,” Alex explains.

Across the room, another beer pong player is being requested. This could possibly be the most adventurous thing I’m willing to do here. I turn to Alex and Eve again. “Well, good luck in Europe. I’m gonna go play beer pong.”

“Hey.” I grab Dima’s shirt sleeve. “You need another player?”

He looks me over, deliberating. “Sure. Be the new guy’s partner.”

“The new guy?” I glance around. What does that even mean? New to the party, like he just walked in? I’ve been here fifteen minutes.

“He’s new to the agency,” Dima says. “First casting, and he books some big job.”

“So we hate him then, right?” I joke. I turn around to head toward the game table and run right into a guy about my age with wild, dark curly hair and designer jeans.

“This guy,” Dima says to me and then turns to the new guy. “Got you a partner. Finley. She lives in the agency apartment downstairs.”

They exchange a look that says I’ve been mentioned before. I’m not liking that too much, but usually, I don’t come to these parties. Instead, I bang on the door at two in the morning to tell them to

stop thumping around like elephants. Maybe I got a bad rep.

While we wait for Dima to find a partner, I snatch two beers from a nearby cooler and offer one up to New Guy. “So, Dima said you’re new, but he didn’t say where you’re from.”

“Uh…the Midwest.”

“The Midwest.” Okay. Someone doesn’t want to get personal. “Like Wisconsin or like Chicago?”

“Chicago…well, not in Chicago, but around it, you know?” he says.

“Right.” I pop open my can and take a drink. “What’s your name? I’m sorry, I don’t think Dima said…”

“Eddie.” He lifts his gaze again. “Eddie Wells. And you’re Finley Belton, the girl who lives downstairs.”

Summer breezes past me but stops when she spots me holding the beer pong ball. “Beer pong? Oh, you wild animal…grrrr.” She holds up her tiger paws and growls at me.

I give her the finger and then turn back to Eddie. “I’m one of the girls who live downstairs.”

“One is too bitchy, one is too underage, and one is nice,” he recites, most likely quoting Dima.

This is exactly what I’m trying to escape tonight. “Dima called me the baby bear?” I’m secretly hoping he catches my reference to Goldilocks.

“No,” Eddie says. “He called you Finley Belton, but I added the nice part, because you brought me a beer. And it is just right, not to mention you’re talking to me instead of staring and whispering to other people about me.”

Points for his fairy tale knowledge, and I’m sure the whispering is the result of whatever big job he’s landed. Too many models at this party.

Eve tries to be Dima’s partner, but he refuses and tells Alex to play with him. Eve opens her mouth to protest, but Dima holds up a hand. “Don’t even. I know your type. You’ll engineer some fancy trick shots. No Ivy League players showing me up. I got a rep to protect.”

“Fine,” Eve snaps. “I’ll just stand here and look pretty. And I’m definitely rooting for Fin and…” She gestures toward the new guy.

“Eddie,” I fill in for her. “Eddie from Chicago.”

“Eddie from Chicago,” Eve repeats. “Good luck.”

Summer returns and stands beside Eve, both leaning against the back of the love seat.

“Fin makes a great partner,” Summer says to Eddie. “She knits. Lots of finger dexterity.”

I shoot her a glare and will my face not to heat up. So not cool.

Don’t miss the companion novel

                     HALFWAY PERFECT

COVER REVEAL! – Chasing What’s Already Gone – Michael Ross

Book Cover full wrap

Blurb:

Danny Pearson is cruising through life on the edge of contentment—even in his marriage…

His wife seems distant, yet perfectly happy. They work on different schedules and pass like ships in the night. But that’s how marriage is after so many years, right?

When Danny meets a mysterious girl, his idea of the meaning of love shatters at his feet…

She’s not extraordinary, but somehow she’s so much more than just another girl. When he catches her gaze, he knows deep in his gut that she’s the one—the love of his life. But being a decent guy, he holds his feelings in check, and there is no ulterior motive when he shares a coffee with her. As she leaves, she gives him a business card. That’s all there is to it.

Her name is Ella. And after that, she is nothing more than a fond memory.

Danny puts Ella out of his mind and moves on with his life—until his world falls apart…When his wife confesses to having an affair and demands a divorce, his life is thrown into chaos. It’s a challenge adjusting to the single life, but it’s not impossible. As time passes, he continues to reminisce of his brief encounter with the woman he’s sure was his chance at true happiness.

How far is Danny willing to go in the pursuit of love? How far would you when, in all probability, you are only…

Chasing what’s already gone?

Teaser 2 with cover.

Teaser 3 with cover.

Teaser 6 with cover

Chasing What’s Already Gone will be available on Amazon on July 26th!

About The Author.

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publishing of my second novel.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent my adult life in business, the majority of that time marketing cars. I eventually owned the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a divorce put an end to that part of my life.

This led me to leave Bristol to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys, start a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attend creative writing classes in Cardiff.

My interest in English literature flourished and I have won several prizes for my short stories. My first book, ‘Twenty Short Stories – Settling a score,” reached No 6 in the Short Stories Best Sellers and is still available. My second novel, a romantic thriller entitled Hand Over Fist was released earlier this year

Chasing What’s Already Gone evolved from a short story Carpe Diem in my second anthology Twenty One Short Stories. I could not get the two main characters out of my head and I had to find out what happened to them after the end of the short story.

I now live very happily halfway up that mountain in the Welsh Valleys with my wonderful partner, Mari, and our rescue dog, Wolfie.

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/michaelross.writer

Twitter https://twitter.com/mikerosswriter

Website http://www.michaelrosswriter.com

eBook GC

FANCY A FREE EBOOK OF ‘CHASING WHAT’S ALREADY GONE’ & A $5 AMAZON GIFT CARD?

All you have to do is like the below Facebook pages & a winner will be picked on July 29th.

www.facebook.com/michaelross.writer

www.facebook.com/LifestyleAndLiterature

  

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Sunset in Central Park by Sarah Morgan

Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Fisher. After witnessing the fallout of her parents’ divorce, she’s seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that’s strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he’s known forever, and doesn’t want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

Sunset in Central Park cover

‘Sunset in Central Park’ is the second book in the From Manhattan with Love trilogy.

The story reunites us with the three friends who we were originally introduced to in ‘Sleepless in Manhattan’ Book two joins Frankie, Paige and Eva as they embark on launching Urban Genie an events and concierge business that is the brain child of the threesome.

I absolutely loved being reunited with the girls and discovering Frankie’s story. 

There were times when I found myself relating so much with her. Despite her backstory being very different to my own I found her stubbornness and the way in which she is around men struck many a cord with me.

But unfortunately I’m not lucky enough to have a Matt in my life. Now this ladies and gents is one of the reasons why Sarah Morgan is one of my favourite authors; for she has the ability to create amazing men. If I had a little black book of book boyfriends I could guarantee there would be at least ten men in it that walked from the mind of this incredible author.

Truth be told it isn’t just the men that Morgan creates who I long to have in my life, it’s the girls who have solidarity with us, women who encourage each other and strive to succeed. 

This book is romance, friendship and modern day girl power! 

A huge thank you to Cara at Mills & Boon for sending me a copy to review.

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You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson

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Full of sultry summer nights, hilarious moments and plenty of adventure, You Had Me at Merlot is a romantic, funny and wine-fuelled novel that will have you crying with laughter one moment and nodding your head in agreement the next.

Elle and Laurie are the last ones standing: they’re single, they’re not having babies any time soon and their weekends aren’t filled with joyful meetings about mortgages. For Elle, this is fine. She likes her independent life, but Laurie wants love and she wants it now.

So when Laurie begs Elle to come with her on a singles holiday to a beautiful vineyard in Tuscany, Elle is reluctant. She has no intention of swapping her perfectly lovely life for someone else’s idea of her Mr Perfect, but ten days under the Italian sun with her best friend and lashings of wine? How bad could that be?

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You Had Me at Merlot introduces us to workaholic Elle and her best friend Laurie. Laurie is recovering from another disastrous relationship and on a quest to cheer herself up she talks best friend Elle into a singles holiday! 

Laurie maybe in search of her Mr Right. Elle however, is more than happy to enjoy the sunshine and wine, after all no man would fit into her perfect single life.

I absolutely adore Lisa Dickenson’s writing style, her humour and descriptiveness have you captivated within the first page. Her characters are real and striving for what they believe they should’ve achieved before they hit their thirties. Laurie longs for the dream wedding and the babies that most of their friends seem to be having. Where as Elle is more career driven and focused on putting in long hours at work, she isn’t striving for a prince but instead a promotion.

I love Elle, she is very easy to relate to and It is fantastic seeing her let her hair down and enjoy the sunshine, the wine certainly seems help.

I think a special mention should go to Jamie, the HOT, incredible Jamie. The only thing that put me off this fine specimen of a man was the fact he shares the same name as my brother (ewww) but I certainly wont hold that against him as I dream of holding myself against him.

I also love the way in which Dickenson sets the scene, for not only am I left with my mouth watering imagining those wines but I also feel as though I have been to Florence taking in the art, culture and gelato.

In fact I am in love with every part of this story, the atmosphere, the characters, the setting…. the list is endless

You Had Me At Merlot is a sensational summer reads that brings friendship and love into your life and leaves you drunk on happiness.

A big thank you to Clara at Little Brown for sending me a copy to review

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Talking Lad-Lit with Steven Scaffardi 

Today I am pleased to welcome Author Steven Scaffardi to The Love Of A Good Book

Steven Scaffardi is the author of the Sex, Love and Dating Disaster series. His first novel, The Drought, is the laugh-out-loud tale of one man’s quest to overcome the throes of a sexual drought. After the stormy break-up with his girlfriend of three years, Dan Hilles is faced with the daunting task of throwing himself back into the life of a single man. With the help of his three best pals, Dan is desperate and determined to get his leg-over with hilarious consequences!

The Drought and his new novel The Flood – a comedy about one man trying to juggle four women at the same time – are both available for just 99p on the Kindle at Amazon.

Follow all of the fun on his blog tour by following him on Twitter @SteveScaffardi or by using the hashtag #LadLitBlogTour. More information about Steven and his books can be found on his blog.

Can you describe the Sex, Love and Dating Disasters series in one sentence?
Sex, Love and Dating Disasters is the laugh-out-loud series of books that exposes just how hopeless men are when it comes to the opposite sex!

Where did the idea come from for this series? It actually all started after my wife made me watch one romcom film too many! I can never relate to the male characters in these films and often find myself shouting at the TV screen “But a man wouldn’t do that!” I felt it was time to set the record straight. Romcom’s and chick lit have been setting the bar far too high for men for too long now – I felt it was time to shout to the world that men are not hopeless romantics, we are just hopeless at romance!

If you could choose one of your characters to spend the day with, who would it be and why? Great question! My favourite character is Jack, but I’m not sure I’d want to spend the whole day with him as he can be a cocky little so-and-so. I think I’d actually choose Kelly to spend the day with. She’d be great fun and she is actually really good at offering advice on how to deal with women, and my wife often tells me this is something I need!

In your words, how would you describe Lad-Lit: Lad lit is best known as the male equivalent of chick-lit, primarily written by men exploring relationships, emotions and day-to-day life experiences from the perspective of a male protagonist. Often told with humour, charm and wit, lad lit leaves many readers laughing out loud at the scenarios men get into.

Can you share with us one of your favourite quotes from the series? Dan attempting to justify dating four girls at one time in The Flood: “What it all boiled down to was greed, plain and simple. I was like a chocolate thief with an obesity problem at Willy Wonka’s house and the temptation was all too much for me.”

Are any of the characters in the book anything like you? Yes, unfortunately they are! I would say that Dan is closest to me. In fact, a lot of what happens to Dan in The Drought was based on my own personal experiences. Of course, I embellish and exaggerate with certain stories for comedy value, but then again, some of the stories did not need to be changed…!


 They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on? It has been tough at times, especially being an indie author where I have to do pretty much everything! In that respect, the toughest part is not writing and publishing the book, it’s all the promotion that comes after it! You need all the help you can get, which is why I’m so grateful to each and every book blogger who takes the time out to review my books, interview me or allow me to write guest posts. Thanks guys J

 What can we expect next, any more books in the pipeline? I’m working on the third book in the Sex, Love & Dating Disaster series. The working title is The Pact and this time it follows Dan and his friends to Latvia where they are searching for a girl who dated Dan’s best friend Rob. It’s quite different to the first two, and a bit of a tribute to one of my favourite books, The Book With No Name. In this book, the boys get mixed up with a Russian Mafia Don, two Wham loving corrupt cops, a sleazy hotel boss and his strange wife, a pimp who is stuck in the 70s, and a henchman called Ray The Local.

 What’s your writing routine? When I am writing a new book I try to write 1,000-1,500 words a day, but having a one-year-old daughter means that doesn’t always go to plan. One thing I find that really helps is creating a music playlist to go with you book – a bit like a movie soundtrack. It really helps me come up with new ideas.

You are trapped in a book shop (isn’t that living the dream), what section would we find you in and with which book in hand? Ooooh, tough question! My reading lists can vary depending on what mood I’m in. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find me standing there with something like High Fidelity by Nick Hornby in my hands, but equally you could find me searching through the thriller section for something by Jeff Abbott.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? My mum always used to say to me: “If it makes you happy, then it’s the right decision.” Simple but effective advice to live by.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? It would be to Maui in Hawaii. That is where my wife and I spent our Honeymoon, and it was like heaven on earth. A good relaxing place to read and write a book too!

Who or what inspires you? It is a bit of a cliché, but I’m lucky to have a wonderful family who inspire me each and every day. My little girl makes getting up out of bed in the morning all the easier. Apart from when she hasn’t slept at night. Then I wish I could stay in bed all day!

Name one of your favourite places in the world? Las Vegas. I love the buzz of that city and here is something there for everyone. If Las Vegas was a book, it would tell the best stories in the world!

 Please would you share who your 5 dream dinner party guests would be? Ricky Gervais because I think the man is a comedy legend, David Beckham because everyone loves Goldenballs, Robbie Williams because I’m a huge fan, Leonardo Di Caprio because he is my favourite actor, and Stephen King because I think the man is a genius!

 Sex, Love and Dating Disasters is being given its own cocktail (or cupcake) what are the ingredients? Probably the opposite ingredients to what they put in Sex on the Beach, because poor old Dan in The Drought does not have any luck in that department!

 

Blog tour: Jennifer Joyce presents Lauren’s Online Dating Tips

Today I am very excited to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for The Wedding Date. 

A big thank you to author Jennifer Joyce for stopping by.

   

Will you…date me?

Delilah James, singleton and smoothie-addict, has six months to find a date for her oldest friend’s wedding. Oh, and to prove to her ex, best man Ben, that she has totally moved on since he dumped her out-of-the-blue nine months, eight days and seventeen hours ago…

So, with her two BFFs playing Cupid, Delilah launches herself into the high-tech, fast-paced and frankly terrifying world of dating. Luckily there’s the hot new guy at work, Adam Sinclair, to practice her flirting on – even if, as a colleague, he’s strictly off-limits!

Yet time’s running out and date after disastrous date forces Delilah to tell a little white lie – and invent a fake boyfriend! But will her secret crush on Adam ruin everything? Does she even care about Ben anymore? And is it too late to untangle her web of lies and take a real date to the wedding…?

 

Lauren, Delilah’s BFF in The Wedding Date, has been single for quite a while (read: ages. Aeons) so she’s picked up a few dating dos and don’ts along the way. While encouraging Delilah to give online dating a go, she’s also keen to point out the dangers and pitfalls of dating an unknown and she’d like to share some tips with you today.

Keep Personal Information To A Minimum

This is the most important piece of information I can give you. Never, ever give too much of yourself away during those initial online chats. Under no circumstances do you want your potential date to know you’re a massive fan of The Bee Gees before your first date. He may forgive your fondness for high-pitched, beardy blokes once you’ve wowed him after a few dates but there’s less chance of him turning up to that first date if he thinks you’ve got the same music tastes as his mum.

This bit of advice isn’t restricted to The Bee Gees, of course. The general rule is, if you think it’s a bit uncool, keep it under wraps until he’s at least half-smitten with you.

It’s Ok To Be Picky

Having deal breakers is good and saves a lot of time, effort and heartache later on. If he’s got three cigs stuck in his gob in his profile pic and you think smoking one is a revolting enough habit, it’s probably best to swipe left and move onto the next potential match.

Always Arrange To Meet Up In A Public Place

It’s much easier to blend into the crowd, check the dude out and scarper if he isn’t what you were expecting if you’re out in public. Which brings me to my next point…

The Camera Never Lies

But filters and Photoshop do so be wary when it comes to online profile pics. Don’t be too surprised if you set up a date with David Beckham and David Brent shows up instead.

Dress To Impress

You’ve probably spent hours, days, weeks, months trawling the internet and dating apps to find someone even close to datable so you deserve to treat yourself to a new hair do, fake tan, entire Boots counter of make-up, not to mention an entire new outfit including handbag and dangly earrings. And it doesn’t matter if you usually slob about the house in your pjs and slippers. Potential Date Dude doesn’t need to know that just yet. Just like your Bee Gees hankering, it’s our secret for now.

Jennifer Joyce is a writer of romantic comedies who lives in Manchester with her husband and their two daughters. Her latest novel, The Wedding Date is out now. You can find out more about Jennifer and her books on:

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