I Have Never by Camilla Isley #BlogTour #Excerpt

Welcome to my blog stop! I’m delighted to share with you Chapter 1 of this wonderful romantic novel I Have Never where we’re introduced to Blair and her ‘P&P’ expectations for the day ;-).

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Title: I Have Never
Author: Camilla Isley
Release Date: July 13th, 2017
Genre: Chick Lit

Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more a girl with a list. A list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right.

When Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought…

A laugh out loud romantic comedy perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Sophie Kinsella, and Mhairi McFarlane. First Comes Love is a series of interconnected romantic novels. However, each book in the series can be read as a standalone novel.

 

Camilla is an engineer turned writer after she quit her job to follow her husband in an adventure abroad. She’s a cat lover, coffee addict, and shoe hoarder. Besides writing, she loves reading—duh!—cooking, watching bad TV, and going to the movies—popcorn, please. She’s a bit of a foodie, nothing too serious. A keen traveler, Camilla knows mosquitoes play a role in the ecosystem, and she doesn’t want to starve all those frog princes out there, but she could really live without them.

Excerpt 02

One

Never Make a Scene

The day it all goes wrong starts as a more or less ordinary one. My fit watch startles me awake at dawn and, forty minutes later, notifies me I’ve run five miles through Central Park. A perfect six-minute-per-mile time.

Back at Gerard’s apartment, he’s still asleep. I peel off my sweaty clothes, take a quick shower, and wake Sleeping Boyfriend with a kiss and the aroma of French-pressed mocha.

“Morning, sleepy head,” I say affectionately.

“What time is it?” he asks, still groggy.

“Six-thirty, time to go.”

Gerard groans and shuffles out of bed. We eat breakfast in the kitchen listening to the morning news. Me wearing a towel; him in boxer shorts.

Fifteen minutes later, I brush crumbs off my lips and get up. “I’ve better get going, big day today!”

“Oh, right. The announcement for the new junior editor is today.”

“Yes, this morning.”

“Nervous?”

“Positive,” I say, showing more confidence than I feel.

“Listen, babe,” Gerard says, jaw twitching. A sign he’s worried. “Why don’t we go out tonight to… mmm… celebrate?” He’s being awkward. Why is he so tense? “I want to talk to you about something important.”

Something important? Is Gerard finally going to propose? After three years together, it’s about time.

I smile slyly. “Sure, dinner out sounds amazing.”

P&P. Promotion and proposal all in one day. This is going to be the best day of my life.

“Now I really have to get ready for the office.” I kiss Gerard’s forehead. “Text me when you’ve made a reservation, yeah?”

He nods, and I waltz into his room to change. Many people hate their jobs, but I love mine. Well, not exactly the job I have—advertising—but the job I could have starting today. Junior Fashion Editor of Évoque Magazine, the top female media brand in the world. Marketing was just my way in—an editorial position has always been the end goal.

Unfortunately, almost everyone else working at Évoque shares this dream. But I still hope to beat the odds. Annabelle Visser, our Editor-in-Chief—yeah, the mean devil wearing Prada—more than hinted that sales numbers will have a weight in the decision. Since joining Évoque five years ago, I’ve worked like a slave to become the star of my department. So if not written in stone, my promotion has at least been stitched in silk.

On all fours, I retrieve my sleepover bag from under Gerard’s bed. One of my chief rules in relationships is don’t move in without a ring. So whenever I spend the night at Gerard’s house, I bring the essentials and leave nothing behind. This duffle bag is like an extra limb.

I shove my dirty running gear in a separate tote bag, then change into the working clothes I brought over: a black leather pencil skirt and emerald blouse that makes my green eyes pop. To intensify the effect, I shadow my eyelids to get that smoky look. At the office, exceptionally prim grooming comes with the territory and is expected of every employee.

Makeup done, I pull my natural strawberry red hair up in an intentionally messy bun, put on a bold shade of red lipstick, and wink at my image.

I’m the picture of a young, successful woman ready to conquer the fashion world.

From Gerard’s Park Avenue condo, I can walk to work. The weather’s perfect, and the late spring breeze only adds to my good mood. I wear foldable flats up to the edge of Central Park and then switch gears: plastic ballerinas for gel-cushioned pumps. I never show myself in public without heels. Not since that time when I went to Six Flags in my twenties wearing sneakers, and an attendant asked to check my height before he allowed me on a ride. For the record, I was a good six inches above the minimum.

In front of my office’s skyscraper, I pause for a second to admire the building. Working at Northwestern, the publishing powerhouse of Manhattan, always gives me a thrill of pride. This is the place everyone wants to be. The building itself screams luxury and power from every glass panel and metal joint.

Ahead of me, the automatic doors sweep open, a strong, cool draft tightening my pencil skirt against my legs. Even the air feels expensive. As usual, I’m the first one in. Good. I always enjoy working in the quiet hours of the morning.

I stuff my duffle bag out of sight under my desk and turn on my laptop.

Will HR call me? Or will it be my new boss? This is the first time I’ve been promoted to a different department, so I’m not sure if the procedure is similar to same-department promotions. In the past, my current boss always delivered the news, but since I’ll no longer work for her…

My landline trills, jolting me out of my thoughts.

I inhale, exhale, and then answer. “Blair Walker, Évoque Magazine.”

“Miss Walker, this is Emilia Peterson from Human Resources. Please come up to my office right away.”

“Absolutely, I’ll be there in two minutes.”

Emilia is our Talent Manager Coordinator—and she wants to see me. With a cheek-aching smile on my face, I rush to the elevators.

One floor up, I knock on Emilia’s door, my stomach knotting in anticipation.

A muffled voice comes from behind the panel wall. “Come in.”

If voices could be described as lipstick shades, Emilia’s would be a Chanel Rouge. Suave. Confident.

I step into the office. Emilia—tall, platinum blonde, and lethally thin—lifts her icy gaze from some papers and says, “Ah, Blair. Please close the door and sit down.” She gestures at the white chair in front of her white desk. Cold blue eyes settle on me. “Would you like some water?”

More some champagne. “No, thanks. I’m good.”

“Very well, let’s get straight to it.” She folds her hands and sighs. “As you know, the position of Junior Fashion Editor was extremely coveted…”

Was? Is it mine now? I can’t wait for her to say it, but I politely let her continue with her perfunctory speech. I can wait a few more minutes before I ask about the pay rise and extra benefits.

“…the race was tight, and you were an honorable runner-up…”

I nod my approval before my thoughts screech to a halt. Wait, what? Isn’t this the part where she congratulates me and assigns me a new corporate phone? I was really hoping to get the new iPhone.

“What do you mean runner-up?”

“I mean you were an outstanding candidate.”

“But not the winner?” My voice isn’t nearly as steady as I’d like it to be—it projects a 99cents lip balm at best, regardless of the actual shade I’m wearing.

“Unfortunately, no. You didn’t get the position,” Emilia confirms, never taking her eyes off me.

“Who?”

“It doesn’t really matter—”

“It does matter. Annabelle herself said sales figures would count toward the final decision. My numbers are better than everybody else’s!”

“Your numbers are good, but not the best.”

“No other sales manager signed as many contracts as I did this past year. I’ve put in more overtime and weekends to make sure of that. No one beats my numbers.”

“Someone did,” Emilia insists, her tone severe.

“Who?” I ask again.

For the first time, the corporate witch lowers her gaze, a shadow of guilt crossing her face. “Aurora.”

“Aurora?” I repeat. “But her figures are awful!”

Emilia looks at me again, impassible. “One of her long-standing clients increased their expenditure considerably… it tipped the balance in her favor.” Again, I sense she’s holding something back.

Comprehension hits me. “You mean her mother bought the editor position for her!”

Aurora’s mother, Rebecca Vanderbilt, is an iconic fashion designer with the power of old and new money combined. I never stood a chance against that kind of firepower.

“I know it might seem unfair…”

Are my ears functioning? Is our dear Talent Manager Coordinator trying to deny the injustice?

“Because it is unfair,” I say, “You’re ignoring the best employee to promote the one with a pedigree.”

Emilia’s nostrils flare. “We’re promoting the employee who brought the magazine the most business, regardless of how they got it.”

No point in arguing further. It’s clear the decision is irrevocable. Emilia’s immaculate white desk blinds me as I fight the tears threatening to shed. I take a few moments to steady myself before asking, “Is that all, am I free to go?”

“I understand you want to get this over with. You’ll see we’ve put together an extremely generous severance package…” Emilia switches to a brisk, down-to-business tone so quickly it dizzies me.

“Severance?” I repeat.

“Yes. This might seem like a setback at first, but I’m really doing you a favor here.”

“A favor?” I sound like a talking parrot, only able to repeat the words I’m hearing.

“Yes. Advertising is not your field. You don’t like marketing, and I don’t know when there’ll be another editorial position available.”

“Why are you firing me?” I ask, still in disbelief.

“Motivation is an important aspect of your job, and you wouldn’t be able to bring your best effort to the table after today.”

“Is it just me, or are all the other applicants being fired as well?

“Some other senior advertisers are being let go. Of course, I can’t disclose their names,” she says without batting an eyelid. “As I said, motivation is key—”

“Meaning you can no longer dangle the carrot of an editor position in our faces to have us slave for you day after day. What’s next? Are you hiring college grads to string them along instead?”

“Your replacement does not concern you.”

“Oh gosh, that’s exactly what you’re doing!” I nearly shriek. “Are you trying to run for worst employer of the year?” The words leave my mouth before I can swallow them back.

“No, Blair, we run a business. I thought you were sensible enough to know that. And honestly, I expected you to behave like a professional. If anything, this behavior just wiped away any regrets we might have had about not promoting you. Really, Blair. There’s no need to make a scene.”

Those last words slap me harder than if she’d actually hit me. Making petty scenes goes against my creed, against my list of dos and don’ts. The list that’s helped to keep me focused on my life goals and out of trouble since I was a teenager. I carry it wherever I go; it’s the secret to my success. Until now, anyway. With Emilia’s words still ringing in my ears, I picture the number one item on the list: never make a scene.

That thought is enough to bring me back from blind rage to controlled fury. Emilia’s right, I don’t need to humiliate myself any further. I’m going to leave in a dignified way and my head held high.

I school my expression into one of neutrality as Emilia slides a brown envelope over her stupidly white desk and taps it. “In here you’ll find all the info about our offer. Please review it. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.”

I take the manila envelope without opening it.

“I’m sure you did the best you could,” I say. No point in trying to negotiate a better deal. When you get the ax, Évoque Magazine gives you what they deem fair and not a cent more. “Is that all?”

“Yes. It’s understandable if you want to leave before everyone else gets in. A security officer will escort you back to your desk to collect your belongings and will take your security pass on the way out.”

Security, seriously? Are they afraid I’ll steal a Birkin on my way out?

“Very well. Goodbye, Emilia,” I say in the most civil tone I can muster.

Outside the office, a guard is already waiting for me. With a deep breath, I prepare myself for the most humiliating fifteen minutes of my life.

***

“You didn’t get the promotion.” Gerard’s mouth hangs open. “I really wanted you to get it.”

Oh? When did he start caring so much about my career? Being a corporate lawyer, he always seems so focused on his job. But the concern in his eyes is genuine and so sweet.

“Me, too, honey.” I take his hand across the restaurant table. “But I don’t want to ruin our night brooding over my lost job.” I spent the entire day crying, curled in a ball on my couch, and only the prospect of tonight kept me sane.

Gerard looks aghast. “I thought this would be the best day to tell you… that you’d be happy…”

He’s worried my job’s demise is going to ruin his proposal. “You can tell me anything,” I reassure him. “It doesn’t matter what happened at work. We can talk about whatever it is you wanted to discuss.” Or you could just give me the diamond ring and be done with it. “I won’t be sad, I promise.”

Gerard frowns. “I’m afraid you will be.”

“Be what?”

“Sad.”

“Sad?” He has it all wrong. Wedding planning is exactly the kind of distraction I need from the pile of CVs I’ll have to send to find a new job. Right, let’s focus on the half of my life still going according to plan. “Why would I be sad?”

“Blair.” Gerard sighs. “I think we should take a break.”

“A break?”

The talking parrot is making a comeback.

“Yeah, we should see other people.”

“Other people?”

“Yes, I’m not sure we’re compatible.”

I blink. “After three years?”

He nods. “Yes, you’ll agree w—”

I narrow my eyes at him. “Who is she?”

“S-she? There’s no one else,” Gerard stutters defensively.

“Is it Laura?”

After endless arguments about my “unwarranted” jealousy for his secretary, I’m not going to pull any punches.

Gerard shakes his head frantically. “No.”

Still, he dares to deny it.

“You’re lying,” I hiss. “How long have you been screwing her?”

“It’s not like that.” His entire face turns red. “We’re…”

“What? In love?” I scoff. “An affair with your secretary—seriously? You’re such a cliché.”

“Blair, lower your voice. People are staring.”

I sweep the room with my eyes and, indeed, more than a couple of heads have turned our way.

“Am I embarrassing you, Gerard? Is that why you brought me to this nice restaurant to talk, so we’d be in a public space?”

“Blair, we can discuss our problems like the two civil adults we are. There’s no need to make a scene.”

No. Need. To. Make. A. Scene.

My head begins spinning, filled with a whirlwind of memories. My mother admonishing me whenever I threw a tantrum: “Blair, a well-educated young woman should always behave properly. We don’t make public scenes. That’s not what we do.”

I remember the speech my ballet instructor gave me when I didn’t get the lead role in The Swan Lake: “Blair, real ballerinas take setbacks with their heads held high. They don’t make scenes.”

Emilia this morning. Gerard now.

The vortex stops on a clear image of the list’s number one item: never make a scene.

It’s all been for nothing. All the sacrifices I made. All the times I said, “No,” to anything even remotely fun. All the lost opportunities… to live rather than just behave. The list, my secret recipe for success, is worthless. At twenty-nine, what do I have to show for it? Nothing. No job. No boyfriend. Everyone thinks they can walk all over good old Blair because she’s too polite to say anything. No more.

Rage takes over. My fury bubbles up and I vomit years of repressed feelings and self-imposed restraints on Gerard. “A scene? You don’t want me to make a scene?” I get up and throw my napkin on the table. “Well, guess what! You’re out of luck.”

“Blair, don’t—”

“Why?” I scream. “So you can run to your office’s side dish with a clean conscience?”

“Don’t talk about Laura that way. I won’t allow it!”

“Do you prefer boyfriend-stealing bitch?”

Everyone in the room is staring at us now.

Gerard’s ears turn a deeper shade of red. “Blair, please sit down, you’re embarrassing yourself.”

“I’ve nothing to be embarrassed about,” I yell. “I’m not a cheating, lying bastard! Ladies and gentlemen, please give a round of applause for Gerard Wakefield and his mistress, the secretary, Laura.”

A server arrives at our table and stares at us, perplexed. “Spaghetti Marinara?”

In a crazy impulse, I say, “Mine.” I grab the plate and before I know what I’m doing, I tip it over Gerard’s head. “How’s this for a scene, Gerry dear?”

Gerard shoots to his feet, his head, face, and suit dripping marinara. “You crazy bitch!” he shouts, dabbing the sauce off his face with his napkin. “It’s hot sauce! You could’ve blinded me. I’ll sue you for this.”

“Please do,” I shout back. “But be prepared to fight me in court. I’m sure the managing partners at your firm will be thrilled to learn of your extracurricular activities with their employee. They’ll fire you on the spot!”

That shuts him up. Gerard opens and closes his mouth like a gaping fish. To stare at his spaghetti marinara-covered head would almost be funny, if the situation wasn’t so tragic.

With one last glare, I storm out of the restaurant. Utterly lost and with no idea where I’m going, I run outside into the night. Oh, it felt so good to let it all out. Gerard’s spaghetti-splattered head flashes before my eyes again and I can’t help but laugh. A crazy, hysterical, uncontrollable laugh. Not being in control is great. Not holding back is fantastic. I should’ve done it a long time ago. I should’ve done so many things. All my life, I’ve had it backward. I’ve spent years caged behind the bars of the list, never allowing myself a moment of fun. That’s over. The list’s regime ends now.

I fish the page out of its honorific pocket in my bag and do a quick scan of all the taboos there.

“You’re a fraud,” I accuse it. “You’re a useless piece of nonsense.”

Years spent always being good, always being in control, always working hard—and for what? I have nothing.

My first instinct is to tear the sorry piece of paper into a million pieces, but a more powerful, self-destructive impulse takes over. Tearing the list is not enough; I need to completely overthrow it! Each line, each forbiddance, each bit of life I’ve denied myself will be experienced, starting tonight!

I scan all the don’ts in search of something stupid and reckless. My eyes stop on a vicious-looking set of words. I nod. It’s as good a start as any, and I can tackle it right away.

Check out the full tour-
July 13th

Rachel Brimble Romance – Author Q&A

A Beautiful Book Blog – Book Review

Writing Pearls – Book Review

With Love For Books – Book Review

For the Love of Chick Lit – Book Review

July 14th

 

Kristin’s Novel Cafe – Book Excerpt

JenaBooks – Book Review

He Said Books or Me – Author Guest Post

Judging More than Just the Cover – Author Q&A

July 15th

I Heart Fictional People – Book Review

Chrissi Reads – Book Review

Books and Photographs – Book Review

Rebecca Book Review – Book Excerpt

Monique McDonell-Author – Book Excerpt

July 16th

One Book At A Time – Spotlight Post

CosyCuteKnits – Book Review

The Writing Garnet – Book Review

July 17th

The Belgian Reviewer – Book Excerpt

Girl vs Books – Book Review

kraftireader – Book Review

July 18th

Reading Is My SuperPower – Book Review

THE CHLOE DOUGLAS BLOG – Book Review

July 19th
 

Simona’s Corner of Dreams – Author Guest Post

Bookish – Book Review

July 20th

TheBlossomTwins – Book Review

Grass Monster – Book Review

Chick Lit Central – Author Q&A

Living Life with Joy – Author Guest Post

July 21st

ItaPixie’s Book Corner – Book Review

Rae Reads – Book Review

Novelgossip – Book Review

Whispering Stories – Book Review

Ali – The Dragon Slayer – Book Review

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Book Review

Steamy Book Momma – Book Excerpt

July 22nd

BookLoverWorm – Book Review

Pretty Little Book Reviews – Book Review

Book Lover in Florida – Book Excerpt

 

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Until It Fades by K.A. Tucker #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

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What’s it about?

Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season).

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?

amazon uk amazon com

Atria Paperback | ISBN: 9781501133381 | On sale: June 27, 2017 | 368 pages | $16.00
Atria eBook | ISBN: 9781501133398 | On sale: June 27, 2017 | 368 pages | $7.99

Giveaway

K.A. Tucker and Simon & Schuster are giving away 5 signed paperback copies of this brand new novel! 

All you have to do is ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

About the author

K.A. Tucker

 

K.A. Tucker is the author of He Will Be My Ruin and the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.

 

Connect with the author

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Review

star three and a half

I read two novels by K.A. Tucker in the past, and still have fond memories of reading those to this day, so I didn’t have to think twice when I saw an opportunity to read her newest novel Until It Fades. Its promise of some swoonworthy romance was everything I wanted to hear. Her other novels also have plenty of romance but this one definitely is a little different and a bit of a lighter read, she says so herself in the acknowledgements.

The worlds of the two main characters couldn’t be further apart, one of them is constantly in the spotlight and the other tries to avoid all public attention. Catherine was the talk of town at the age of 17, a time she really doesn’t want to be reminded of and she’s quite happy that everyone has moved along and the attention has faded. Agreeing to one (bad) date changes everything though because on her way back home she becomes a witness to a car accident. When she gets home a media storm breaks out because the guy she helped out of the car is a famous hockey-star, Brett Madden. She tries to keep her identity a secret because she really doesn’t want any attention on her person but Brett is determined to find the woman who saved him. When he does, he finds more than he was looking for. But will this fairytale stay or will it fade?

I really liked Catherine, besides from being a heroine, she’s such a strong person in general and I enjoyed reading about her past, it was given a lot of attention and made me really get to know where she was was coming from. She’s not had an easy life but she’s positive and she made it all by herself. I really liked Brett as well, he’s rich, very rich but stays grounded and he’s considerate, caring and of course very yummy, but the person I liked perhaps most of all was Brenna. She’s a feisty 6-year old who always knows the right things to say and holds more wisdom in her little body than you could imagine.

This novel was definitely a slow-burn in the romance department but I wouldn’t necessary call it a bad thing that Catherine took her time. With all that she’s been through it would only be odd if she were to jump right in. She has learned to protect her heart and you can’t just let your guard down after someone’s giving you a few crooked smiles, right?

This novel is most of all about a girl who has learned a lot already in her young life and is trying to trust people again, it’s about how deep her family and friendship ties run in the end, it’s heart-warming and a fun read. Maybe, and this is just the smallest remark, I might have missed a little more drama and a few surprises along the way. There was one intended twist but I knew how that was going to play out right from the start really. I was really curious though what the consequences would be when this would have to be explained but as I said, there’s a lot of love and friendship to go round in this one.

This was a sweet and lovely story, maybe a tad less memorable than her other novels, but with the same easy and enjoyable writing and a cast of lovely characters that are her signature style.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Single-Minded by Lisa Daily #BlogTour #QandA

I’m excited to be on the blog tour today for Single-Minded, a wonderful funny and heart-warming romance novel! I’m sharing today with Kristin @Kristin’s Novel Café who is sharing an excerpt so go and take a look at hers too!

If you want to know the name of the novel Lisa Daily wishes she had written herself, do read on!

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Title: Single-Minded
Author: Lisa Daily
Release Date: June 27th, 2017
Tour Dates: June 27th – July 4th, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Alex has planned and executed her life with laser focus since she first met her future husband at the play-doh table on the first day of kindergarten. They have a terrific life, a gorgeous house on the bay, and fantastic careers they love. There’s only one problem: Alex’s husband Michael is gay, a fact he neglected to mention in the 23 years since they first met.

Now, Alex’s perfectly planned life has completely fallen apart, her biological clock is starting to feel like the timer on a nuclear device, and she finds herself drooling over her completely-dreamy-but-definitely-off-limits client, a star chef opening a hot new restaurant. Armed with dating guidance from her oddball collection of advisers—including her gay ex-husband, a foul-mouthed political consultant, a perkily masochistic yogi, and a pot-smoking octogenarian—Alex navigates the booby-trapped world of modern dating, in her search for a second chance at love.

Buy the Book:

AmazonUS | AmazonUK | AmazonAU | AmazonCA

Continue reading

Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown #CoverReveal

Book Cover reveal

Title: Little Gray Dress
Author: Aimee Brown
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Release Date: August 2nd, 2017
Pre-Orders Available: Early July

Blurb

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.

From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.

When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!

Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another grand appearance when she least expects it?

Pre-Order the Book in early July

*for a notification when the books pre-order is up, sign-up for her author newsletter.

About Aimee Brown

Aimee Brown is a writer and avid reader, often blogging her thoughts on chick lit books. Little Gray Dress is her first novel published. She’s currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree in English Writing. She spends much of her time writing her next book, doing homework, raising three teenagers, binge watching shows on Netflix and obsessively cleaning and redecorating her house. She’s fluent in sarcasm and has been known to use far too many swear words.

Aimee grew up in Oregon but is now a transplant living in cold Montana with her husband of twenty years, three teenage children, and many, many pets.

She would love to hear your thoughts on Little Gray Dress! If you want to chat with her she’s very active on social media.

Author Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest |
Sign-Up for her Newsletter

So here is… THE LOVELY COVER of Little Gray Dress:

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Participate in the Book Tour:

Aimee would love to have you as a part of this upcoming release day book tour!

If you’d like to sign-up to review the book during the tour or post a feature, author q&a, author guest post, excerpt, or giveaway, click the image below to sign-up.

Or — sign-up here —> http://authoraimeebrown.com/little-gray-dress/

Second Chance Tea Shop by Fay Keenan #BlogTour #Q&A

 

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What’s it about?

Second chances, new loves and scrumptious cakes, in this heart-warming novel. Perfect for all fans of Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Cathy Bramley.

Folllowing the tragic death of her beloved husband, Anna Hemingway decides it’s time for a fresh start. So Anna and her three-year-old daughter Ellie move to a picture-perfect cottage in the beautiful village of Little Somerby, and when she takes over the running of the village tea shop, Ellie and Anna start to find happiness again.

But things get complicated when Matthew Carter, the owner of the local cider farm, enters their lives. Throughout a whirlwind year of village fetes and ancient wassails, love, laughter, apple pie and new memories, life slowly blossoms again. But when tragedy strikes and history seems to be repeating itself, Anna must find the strength to hold onto the new life she has built.

This beautiful, life-affirming debut novel marks the beginning of the Little Somerby series, and promises to make you smile, cry, reach for a cream tea, and long for a life in the perfect English countryside.

Buy links

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

About Fay Keenan

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Fay Keenan was born in Surrey and raised in Hampshire, before finally settling back in the West Country. When Fay is not chasing her children around or writing, she teaches English at a local secondary school. She lives with her husband of fourteen years, two daughters, a cat, two chickens and a Weimaraner called Bertie in a village in Somerset, which may or may not have provided the inspiration for Little Somerby.

Connect with Fay

Facebook: FayKeenanAuthor
Twitter: @FayKeenan
Instagram: @FayKeenan
Website: http://www.faykeenan.com

Q&A

Firstly, could you please tell us a little about yourself?

Well, I’m a nearly-40-year-old author and I also teach English at a local secondary school, as well as being a mother of two small daughters and surrogate mother to a large Weimaraner! Oh, and I’m a wife, as well, so I wear a lot of hats. When I’m not being all those things, I love reading, watching films and, of course, writing.

What was your favorite scene to write?

That’s a tricky one! I think it was Matthew and Anna’s first proper kiss on top of the cider vats – I had that idea in my head from quite early on, and I wanted to make it a really intense moment for them.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That there is always a silver lining, even in the darkest of times, and that sometimes that lining can appear when you least expect it. Hope is a powerful thing!

How did you come up with the idea of writing The Second Chance Tea Shop? What inspired you?

I’m inspired by the landscape and the features of Somerset, where I’ve lived on and off for twenty five years. It’s a county full of quirks and idiosyncrasies and I wanted to put some of those in a book. I also had a very specific memory of the massive cider vats at one of the local cider producers, that pretty much triggered off the whole story.

Was it difficult to write about the subject of loss and death of a loved one or did the words and emotions come easy? Was it difficult or not to find the right balance between laughs and tears in this novel?

It was difficult to know if I was striking the balance correctly, as I was writing from the heart, so I knew it felt right to me, but I hoped it felt right to other readers. Loss is something that everyone experiences, unless they’re incredibly lucky, and although I’ve not been through (thankfully), what Anna has, I’ve definitely felt the loss of people close to me, so I tried to draw on that. I found that a lot of the time my characters spoke for themselves, so all I had to do was listen very hard to them!

What’s the best compliment/quote you’ve received about The Second Chance Tea Shop? / Any funny critisism yet?

A couple of people have mentioned a particular scene with a particular piece of furniture to me, which raised an eyebrow or two, and that was pretty funny, although definitely not a criticism! So far I’ve had ‘I couldn’t put it down,’ quite a lot, which I take as a huge compliment. I’m sure there will be actual criticism at some point, it’s inevitable, but as an English teacher I’m well used to giving out constructive criticism so I’m pretty well able to take it, too.

Are you working on a new novel yet? Can you tell something about it?

I’m currently working on the next of the Little Somerby novels, which will pick up on an existing character’s journey. This character is definitely someone who is great fun to write, and, hopefully, fun to read, too!

Check out the other stops on the tour too. Next stop tomorrow: The Great British Book Off! 

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Love Me Tinder by Nicola May

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What’s it about?

Cali Summers decides that the only way to get over her broken marriage is to hit the world of fast love on a dating app.
Using room 102 in the hotel where she works as her dating ‘lair’, she quickly discovers that passion and excitement are mixed with danger, lies and deception.
With a charming F1 engineer, a handsome army officer and her adulterous ex all on the scene, a predictable love match is far from on the cards.
Will she choose dull security or risky freedom ? Join Cali on her dating adventures and see if a modern Cyber Cupid’s arrow is still on aim.

You can buy a copy of this novel on Amazon UK | Amazon US.

Review

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I’ve never tindered in my life. In my younger years you only met your new love interest through friends or you just had to pluck up the courage to step up to a complete stranger. That’s also how Cali met Jamie, but after 12 years and being married a little over a year he traded her in for ‘their’ personal trainer. And now times have changed and Cali has to catch up with modern dating if she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life stuck at home with a foul-mouthed parrot.

I loved that Cali’s emotions are not your usual cliche which I have to read about more often than not. She’s angry at Jamie but still loves him too, her feelings are clear and she’s not trying to hide it from herself or the reader. She doesn’t get hung up on a revenge angle though nor trying to get him back at any cost.

This novel isn’t a string of all the weird dates she finds through this dating app.. well the first one inevitably is but soon after there is some real potential. There’s Will, the handsome military officer, there’s Mario, a very hot Formula 1 pilot and I had a feeling that Jamie aka Big Boy J, as her hilarious parrot calls him, might be having second thoughts too as he seems to find all sorts of reasons to turn up at her place unannounced quite a few times. Who will she choose?

While she’s making her way through a few dates, learning through trial and error that some men aren’t really looking for love, there’s also a thing or two happening at work with her colleagues. The drama and entertainment level was quite high in this novel and I couldn’t wait to find out what was waiting around the corner (or page here). The only thing that was extravagantly outrageous was Lady P, the parrot – well African Grey – with her foul mouth. Lady P was a fantastic addition to the story and that bird was able to make me smile every single time something came out of its mouth.

Even though I wouldn’t have made some of the choices Cali makes – she is a bit naive after all and I’d like to think that I’m not – I could connect very well with her. I was on pins and needles to see if she’d make the right choice and choose the right guy in the end but I can only say all’s well that ends well eventually. This was a perfect distraction and a serious beam of sunlight on what originally started out as another dull day.

I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Whatever happened to Vicky Hope’s Back-up Man? #Blogtour #Guestpost

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What’s it about?

Twenty-one and insecure, Vicky Hope comes up with a plan on the eve of travelling the world with her high flying friend, Kat Lloyd: if she isn’t married by the time she’s thirty, she’ll marry her geeky best mate Mikey Murphy.

Fast-forward eight-and-a-bit years, Vicky, now Vee wakes up on her thirtieth birthday in Brighton, expecting a proposal of marriage from her arty boyfriend Jez. Instead he tells her their relationship is over and she has no choice but to return to her parents’ home.

Devastated and alone in her childhood bedroom, she decides she has nothing to lose and tracks down her two old mates. With shock, she discovers Mikey, now Murphy, is a successful app designer driven by his tragic upbringing. Kat, or Kate, never made it – but she hides a devastating secret, which threatens the happiness of all three.

Buy links

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Laura’s previous book

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is available now:

AmazonKoboiBooks | Google Play

About Laura Kemp

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Laura lives in Penarth, Cardiff with her supportive husband, gorgeous son, playful dog and ancient cat. Writing is compulsive to Laura. With 15 years journalistic experience and several successful books to her name, writing is her escape and her love.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Guestpost

Reaching the mythic age of 30.

A year or so before I turned thirty, I had no reason to fear it. I was engaged, a homeowner and I had a great job.

Marital bliss and kids awaited. Or so I thought because a few months later, I woke up one morning and the niggles I’d ignored were in big, shouty headlines: he’s not the one for you. As painful as it was to untwine our home, our friends, our families and our lives, it had to be done. Because I was approaching thirty and in my mind that was a pivotal age – a landmark when I entered proper adulthood.

You see, I’d spent my twenties doing exactly what I wanted to without worrying about consequences. It had all been a huge laugh and even when it wasn’t, good times would come round again because I was young and rising on the thermals of hope and ‘who cares?’ And this was how I had fallen into the relationship with the man I was going to marry – it had started off as a holiday fling and became a huge dramatic adventure.

But as the big 3-0 loomed, I began to ask if this was what I wanted for the rest of my life. The heart-breaking answer was no. It would’ve been easy to stick, not twist, but I worried that if I didn’t end it then my doubts would mushroom and by then, children could be involved. And that was a different matter all together, that was serious.

A few weeks later, I celebrated turning thirty with my gorgeous friends, putting a brave face on being alone. Then I did what I always did in the face of upset: I curled up to lick my wounds then relaunched myself into orbit. But it was all hollow because I realised I wanted to grow up. I wanted a soul mate, not what was on offer: temporary flings and game playing.

That’s the trouble with thirty – it’s a crisis in what you have versus what you want, a reckoning of how far you’ve come and where you still need to go.

In the end, I poured it all into my work on the news desk at a Sunday paper and that was the love of my life… until I met the love of my life six months later. Phew.

So is it any wonder why books often focus on this period in our lives?

The age of thirty is such fertile ground of emotion, decisions and lessons learned and that’s exactly why WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VICKY HOPE’S BACK UP MAN? picks up with three friends circling thirty who get back in touch after drifting apart. It’s not straight-forward for Vicky, Kat and Mikey – when is it ever? And each of them has a back-story of why they’ve ended up where they are, which they have to reveal to each other to explain – and atone for – their actions… no spoilers though – you’ll have to read it!

Thank you Laura for stopping by my blog and writing such an interesting guest post about the big 3-0 upon my request.  

Check out the previous blog stops too:

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