Tag Archives: romantic comedy

New Release Feature: Cupid’s Arrow Anthology by Solstice Publishing

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Solstice Publishing, my very own publisher!

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This special romance collection, Cupid’s Arrow, officially released yesterday! Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats, everyone, on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Here’s a brief look at Cupid’s Arrow, just in time for that special romantic holiday tomorrow.

Valentine’s Day is filled with romance and special relationships. The sweetness of a couple coming together is perhaps the best part of this very special day. Will these couples share that very important first kiss?

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Fun cover!

This is the blurb for Cupid’s Arrow:

Will Millie be a victim of, hot, passionate, and fleeting war kisses?

Romance has no age barrier

The biggest mistake of Aly’s life could turn into the promise of new love…

Can love be rekindled after a lifetime?

Victorian diary surprises modern bride

Just when she thinks she’s through with love, Cupid aims his arrow at Nixie again.

Support your local bartender, Stacey Jennifer Longacre at Tough Luck Lounge.

There is nothing sweeter than pure, unrequited love.

Sweet romance, the moments leading up to the first kiss, a spark of love between a couple. E.B. Sullivan, Archimede Fusillo, Marie Lavender, K.C. Sprayberry, Debbie De Louise, M.A. Cortez, Lois Crockett, and Leah Hamrick team up to bring you eight tales of love in its early stages.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06X3VCF3V

getBook.at/CupidsArrowVol1

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/cupids-arrow-vol-1/

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6933779

Wow! ♥♥♥ This sounds like quite a romantic set of tales!😉

As an extra special added bonus, we also present When Jack Trumps Ace from Solstice Publishing Author Debbie De Louise!

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Here’s the blurb:

Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . . 

When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. A man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.

All bets are off . . .

After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?

Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . . 

Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06X8ZZCTH

Fascinating! ♥♥♥ It looks like a wild ride!😉

 

It’s great to find out about these two romantic books! I know I can’t wait to read them! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of the awesome Cupid’s Arrow Anthology!

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Filed under anthology, Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Historical, Historical Romance, Love, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, short stories, Writing

New Release Feature: New Year, Baby! – Philadelphia Love Series – by author Lilly Christine

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Lilly Christine, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, New Year, Baby!, officially released at the end of October! Yay! That’s awesome, Lilly! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

Lilly is giving us a look at her new, funny contemporary romance, New Year, Baby!, which is part of the Philadelphia Love Series, a great set of holiday novellas, today.

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Great cover!

This is the blurb for New Year, Baby!, the first book in the Philadelphia Love Series:

There were magical, moonlit kisses on the Schuylkill, when she was a freshman and he was a junior. . .

After years of friction, hipster filmmaker Jerk Derek and uptight divorce lawyer Pit Bull Mollie face off on a holiday commuter flight. Mollie can’t forgive him, so why is Derek still trying? It’s some weird kink! Sparks from the past turn explosive, and then combust, leading to the New Year’s Eve fireworks of a lifetime!

A little more about the rom-com series and Lilly’s take on it…

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I first fell in love with Philadephia as a child. Born there, I remember learning to read via Sesame Street, playing in Fairmount Park and our cozy city-block stone house with the deep front porch. We moved to the country before I was five, but I could explore all the city had to offer on visits  to grandparents and aunts. Wanamakers, City Hall, Independence Hall, Betsey Ross House, Ben Franklin Press, the Zoo and the Thanksgiving Parade were childhood delights.  It’s been great fun to set my Philadelphia love series in that city. I hope you are transported.

And here is an excerpt from New Year, Baby! to tease you with.

Mollie couldn’t help it. Her laughter turned to giggles, then snorts, so she had to pinch her nose to contain herself. Derek just smiled, lowering his lips to suck foam from his draft IPA. Mollie’s eyes followed the tousled hair to his neck, his sexy, man smelling, broad muscular neck. The buzzy glow that warmed her stomach burned a little hotter, and she couldn’t help glancing at his wrists, those perfect man-wrists, clad in the grey lambswool sweater he’d pulled over his t-shirt, thick beneath the cuffs of his thick, worn leather jacket.

Mollie felt her knees clench.

What am I doing getting blitzed with Jerk Derek?

10:17 pm

“Boy’s Club?”  Derek was enjoying the pleasant buzz Mollie Ireland gave him, especially after a few beers.They were on the street now, waiting for a cab. “You pinned me as a Boy’s Club guy?”

“Undoubtedly,” Mollie said primly, busily tucking her scarf snugly into the collar of her double breasted sky blue merino wool coat.

“That’s right, you’re a lawyer,” he said, realizing the problem. “The practice where you work is inundated with Boy’s Club types, eh?”

“It is,” she admitted ruefully. “And I was married to one.”

“Who did you marry?” he asked.

“Win Calloway.”

“Oh, God…Win Calloway? How long did that last?”

“Two years. It was my starter marriage. I got a lot of really nice china and serving pieces out of it, which, of course, I never use.”

Looking disarmed and defenseless, her breath encapsulated in white puffs against stark night air, Mollie shivered, so Derek took his black wool watch cap from his jacket pocket and pulled it over her copper curls, down past her ears. Corkscrew tendrils streamed from it at odd angles as Mollie’s curious, pensive hazel eyes gazed at him from her heart-shaped face. Nervous now, she licked her lips, then caught the upper one in her teeth.

Something stabbed at his chest.

Mollie was no pit bull. Mollie looked a lot like the girl he’d kissed on the dock. Prettier, if that was possible.

Steering her towards the cab, Derek felt his smile broaden. After three old fashioneds and two draft IPA’s, he was feeling pretty good. “I’m sorry that things went south with Win Calloway, but after him, you should recognize me as Most Definitely Not Boy’s Club,” he told her.

“You are so Boy’s Club, Derek,” she asserted. He held her elbow as he grabbed the cab door. “You just don’t see it. Boy’s Club boys never do.”

They were in the cab now; space was tight. Mollie was lush and warm next to him, her hair coiling against his chin. He couldn’t understand how five feet five inches of non stop curves could be so sober after five drinks. The cabbie loaded her bag in the trunk, and when he got behind the driver’s seat, Derek gave the cabbie his address.

Mollie was not just sober. She was lucid, and if he wasn’t mistaken, she was warming up for a fight. Recognizing the gleam in her eye, he braced himself. Mollie raised a hand. Sticking one expensively gloved finger up at a time, her words came in condemning rapid-fire. “White-Educated-Good Looking-Way Too Confident-Oozing with Charm. That’s not Boy’s Club?”

All five of her fingers were in the air, but her voice sounded amused. “Admit it,” she charged, giving him a little grin, rolling her hazel eyes. “You’ve gone through life absolutely fawned over by mothers and teachers and nurses and secretaries.”

That was true. But, still. “It doesn’t make me Boy’s Club.”

They were at his corner now. He grabbed Mollie’s attache and his camera from the cab, and after the cabbie got her bag, they headed towards his place. Pulling her own suitcase, Mollie walked a straight line, her red bow- festooned pumps click-clicking on the sidewalk. “The females you come in contact with never say no. Guys like you always get your own way, Derek.”

He laughed, slipping the key in his lock. “If you say so.”

Mollie’s brow furrowed. “Wait. What are we doing here?”

Derek sidestepped the real question. “This is my place. I’m opening the door.”

“No, wait.” She waved a gloved hand in front of her face, foggy. “What time is it?”

“Just nine-thirty,” he lied, switching the light on. It was quarter to eleven. “I thought I’d feed you.”

“Oh, you thought?” she said, the ‘aw’ of the word thought too soft, almost slurred. “Like you thought you’d feed me three drinks on the plane and two more in a dive bar near Thirtieth Street Station?”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MG69KQX

Print Version:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/1519035926

Wow! The sparks are really flying here! What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like a fun ride!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Lilly! I know I can’t wait to read this romantic comedy series! And I look forward to seeing the sequels to New Year, Baby! 🙂

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Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

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Author Bio

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Lilly Christine’s debut novel, Crashing Into Tess, won TRW’s 2013 “Catherine Award”,  was a 2014 finalist in DRW’s “Best First Book”, and “Best Contemporary” categories, and is the first in the popular McGreers Series. Lilly returns to her birthplace for the setting of “Philadelphia Love!” an exciting new urban rom-com Holiday Novella Series! In 2017, look for Valentine, Baby!, Sing It, Baby! and Independence, Baby?

Lilly currently resides in Reno, Nevada. When not writing, she can be found walking her Daschahuahua rescue puppy on the Truckee River.

Sign up for Lilly News

I’m always available for book-signings, readings and appearances, especially to benefit my reader’s favorite animal shelters and rescues. Contact me at LillyChristine13@gmail.com, or find me on Facebook!

Reader Reviews are Important! If you enjoyed “New Year, Baby!” please post a reviews on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBook and Goodreads. “Like” the Philadelphia Love FaceBook Page and find me on Twitter @LillyChristine1.

Author Links

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lilly.christine.71

https://www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaLove1/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lilly-Christine/e/B00GLY93A2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276542.Lilly_Christine

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilly-christine-a4839bbb

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lillychristine1/

 

Thanks again, Lilly! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

 

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Holiday, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.

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For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating!❤

This is my scoring system:

I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

Lizzie Nichols has a problem: she can’t keep anything to herself. And when she opens her big mouth on a trip to London, her good intentions get her long-distance beau, Andrew, in major hot water. Now she’s stuck in England with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date on her nonrefundable airline ticket. Fortunately, Lizzie’s best friend and college roommate, Shari, is spending her summer catering weddings in a sixteenth-century château in southern France. Who cares if Lizzie’s never traveled alone in her life and only speaks rudimentary French? She’s off to Souillac to lend a helping hand!

One glimpse of gorgeous Château Mirac—and of gorgeous Luke, the son of the château’s owner—and Lizzie’s smitten. But thanks to her chronic inability to keep a secret, before the first cork has been popped Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and Château Mirac is on the road to becoming a lipo-recovery spa. Add to that the arrival of ex-beau Andrew, who’s looking for “closure” (or at least a loan), and everything—including Lizzie’s shot at true love—is in la toilette . . . unless she can figure out some way to use her big mouth to save the day.

A few choice lines from the book:

He has to be here somewhere, he
swore he’d be here to pick me up–
Oh
my God, that can’t be him, can it? No, of course it’s not. Why
would he be wearing a jacket like that? Why would ANYONE be wearing
a jacket like that? Unless they’re being ironic. Or Michael
Jackson, of course. He is the only man I could think of who would
wear red leather with epaulets. Who isn’t a professional
breakdancer.
That
CAN’T be him. Oh, please God, don’t let that be him….
Oh,
no, he’s looking this way…he’s looking this way! Look down, look
down, don’t make eye contact with the guy in the red leather jacket
with the epaulets. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, it’s a shame
about his having to shop for coats from the 1980s at the Salvation
Army.
But
I don’t want him to know I was looking at him, he might think I
like him, or something.
And
it’s not that I’m prejudiced against homeless people, I’m not, I
know all about how many of us are really only a few paychecks away
from being homeless ourselves. Some of us, in fact, are less than a
paycheck away from being homeless. Some of us, in fact, are so
broke that we still live with our parents.
But
I’m not going to think about all that right now.
The
thing is, I just don’t want Andrew to get here and find me talking
to some homeless guy in a red leather breakdancing jacket. I mean,
that is so not the first impression I want to give. Not that, you
know, it will be his FIRST impression of me, since we’ve been
dating for three months, and all. But it will be the first
impression he’ll have of the New Me, the me he hasn’t met
yet….
Okay. Okay, it’s safe, he’s
not looking anymore.
Oh,
God, this is awful, I can’t believe this is how they welcome people
to their country. Herding us down this walkway with all these
people LOOKING at us….I feel like I’m personally disappointing
each and every one of them by not being the person they’re waiting
for. This is a very unkind thing to do to people who just sat on a
plane for six hours, eight in my case if you count the flight from
Ann Arbor to New York. Ten if you count the two-hour layover at
JFK–
Wait. Was Red Breakdancing
Jacket just checking me out?
Oh
my God, he WAS! Red leather jacket with the epaulets totally
checked me out!
Oh,
God, this is so embarrassing. It’s my underwear, I KNOW it. How
could he tell? That I’m not wearing any, I mean? It’s true I don’t
have any visible panty lines, but for all he knows, I could be
wearing a thong. I SHOULD have worn a thong. Shari was
right.
But
it’s so uncomfortable when they go up your–
I
KNEW I shouldn’t have picked a dress this tight to get off the
plane in — even if I did personally modify it by hemming the
skirt to above the knee, so I’m not hobbled by it.
But,
for one thing, I’m freezing — how can it be this cold in
AUGUST?
And
for another, this silk is particularly clingy, so there’s the whole
panty line thing.
Still, everyone back at the
shop said I look great in it…though I wouldn’t have thought a
Mandarin dress–even a vintage one–would actually work on me,
seeing as how I’m Caucasian, and all.
But
I want to look good, since he hasn’t seen me in so long, and
I did lose those thirty pounds, and you wouldn’t be able to tell
I’d lost all that weight if I got off the plane in sweats. Isn’t
that always what celebrities are wearing when they show up on Us
Weekly
‘s “What Were They Thinking?” page? You know, when they
get off a plane in sweats and last year’s Uggs, with their hair all
crazy? If you are going to be a celebrity, you need to LOOK like a
celebrity, even when you’re getting off a plane.
Not
that I’m a celebrity, but I still want to look good. I went to all
this trouble, I haven’t had so much as a crumb of bread for three
months, and —
Wait. What if he doesn’t
recognize me? Seriously. I mean, I did lose thirty pounds, and with
my new haircut, and all —
Oh,
God, could he be here and not recognize me? Did I already walk
right by him? Should I turn around and go back down that walkway
thingie and look for him? But I’ll seem like such an idiot. What do
I do? Oh, my God, this is so not fair, I just wanted to look good
for him, not be stranded in a foreign country because I look so
different my own boyfriend doesn’t recognize me! What if he thinks
I haven’t shown up and just goes home? I don’t have any money —
well, twelve hundred bucks, but that has to last me until my flight
home at the end of the month —
RED
LEATHER JACKET IS STILL LOOKING THIS WAY!!! Oh, God, what can he
want from me?
What
if he’s part of some kind of airport white slavery ring? What if he
hangs out here all the time looking for naïve young tourists
from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to kidnap and send to Saudi Arabia to be
some sheik’s seventeenth bride? I read a book where that happened
once…although I have to say the girl seemed to really enjoy it.
But only because at the end the sheik divorced all his other wives
and just kept her, because she was so pure, and yet so good in the
sack.
Or
what if he just holds girls for ransom, instead of selling them?
Except that I am so not rich! I know this dress looks expensive,
but I got it at Vintage to Vavoom for twelve dollars (with my
employee discount)!
And
my dad doesn’t have any money. He works at a cyclotron, for crying
out loud!
Wait,
what is this booth? Meet Your Party. Oh, great! Customer
service! That’s what I’ll do! I’ll have Andrew paged. And that way,
if he’s here, he can come find me. And I’ll be safe from the Red
Leather Breakdancing Jacket, he won’t dare kidnap me and send me to
Saudi Arabia in front of the pager guy —
“Hullo, love, you look
lost. What can I do for you, then?”
Oh,
the booth guy is so nice! And such a cute accent! Although that tie
was an unfortunate choice.
“Hi,
I’m Lizzie Nichols,” I say. “I’m supposed to be being picked up by
my boyfriend, Andrew Marshall. Only he doesn’t seem to be here,
and–“
“Want me to page him for
you, then?”
“Oh!
Yes, please, would you? Because there’s a guy following me, see him
over there? I think he might be homeless, or a kidnapper, or the
operator of a white slavery ring–“
“Which one?”I
don’t want to point, but I do feel I have a duty, you know, to
report Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket to the authorities, or at
least to the Meet Your Party booth attendant, because he DOES look
very odd in that jacket, and he IS still staring at me, really
rudely, or at least suggestively, like he still wants to kidnap
me.
“Over there,” I say,
nodding my head towards Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket. “That one
in the hideous jacket with the epaulets. See him? The one staring
at us.”
“Oh,
right.” The Meet Your Party booth attendant nods. “Right. Very
menacing. Hold on, then, I’ll have your boyfriend over here, giving
that git the thrashing he so richly deserves, in a second. ANDREW
MARSHALL. ANDREW MARSHALL, MISS NICHOLS IS WAITING FOR YOU AT THE
MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. ANDREW MARSHALL, PLEASE FIND MISS NICHOLS AT
THE MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. There? How was that?”
“Oh,
that was great,” I say, encouragingly, because I feel a little
sorry for him. I mean, it must be hard to sit in a booth all day,
yelling over a loudspeaker. “That was really–“
“Liz?”Andrew! At last!Only
when I turn around, it’s Red Leather Breakdancing
Jacket.
Except.Except that it WAS Andrew,
all along.
And
I just didn’t recognize him, because I was distracted by the
jacket–the most hideous jacket I’ve ever seen. Plus he seems to
have had his hair cut. Not very flatteringly.
Sort
of menacingly, in fact.
“Oh,” I say. It is
extremely difficult to hide my confusion. And dismay. “Andrew.
Hi.”
Behind the glass of the
Meet Your Party booth, the attendant bursts into very, very loud
laughter.
And
I realize, with a pang, that I’ve done it.

Again.

My Score:

OMG! How embarrassing. Still, you can’t help feeling sorry for the girl. And seriously, who can’t be attracted to this book? Not that you can physically be attracted to a book, though I’ve heard some people like the smell of new books. Oh, geez…I have to blame Lizzie’s character for making me babble. 😉

Well, anyway, this one sounds hilarious and irresistibly cute! I love when a good comedy is paired with a romantic tale! And, ooh…Lizzie gets to go to France? This girl is jealous.

Sign me up, though. I’ve always wanted to travel all over the place.

I just added this title to my Amazon Wishlist, and it looks like a real winner! 😀

I give it four hearts, for originality and I can’t say ‘no’ to a FMC (female main character) who sounds as clumsy and as weird as me! LOL.

four hearts

Oh, and it looks like there are two more books in the series! 😉

babble sequels

 

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Reviews, Romance, romantic comedy

4th Anniversary Party at TRR!

The Romance Reviews is having their 4th Anniversary Party this month. All month long, you can stop by their site and win cool prizes!

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The event started on March 1st and will run ALL month long so hurry, get in there and compete for prizes! With more than 350 participating authors and publishers, and more than 350 prizes up for grabs during the whole month of March, plus a $100 Gift Certificate as a grand prize, you just can’t go wrong!

Here is the event page:  http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php

To compete for prizes, you will need to register and be logged into the TRR site. Registering is painless, I swear, and this site gives you access to lots of great books!

Here is the prize list:  http://www.theromancereviews.com/event.php?prize=1 And this is not even the entire list! How great is that? Each book will have a simple Q&A with instructions to compete for the prize and you will be contacted if you win. Woo hoo!

And, on March 11th, you also get a chance to win my latest release, Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series! Yay!  🙂

SecondNature-final cover

So, stop by today, and every day whenever you have a moment. But, especially stop by on March 11th for a copy of Second Nature! I’m excited about this! Aren’t you?  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Historical Romance, Love, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, Women's Fiction, Writing

A Character Interview with Kathleen from KATHLEEN’S UNDRESSED plus a conversation with author Celia Kennedy!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Adrienne Davenport’s character on February 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Celia Kennedy, the author of Kathleen’s Undressed:  Book 2, The Accidental Enigma, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kathleen Ehlers, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Celia in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kathleen Ehlers!

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Marie Lavender:  Hello, Kathleen.  Please have a seat.

Kathleen Ehlers:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Kathleen:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Kathleen:  I love my job! I am a Business Acquisition Lawyer for L’Oreal Paris, at the main headquarters, in Clichy, France. I live in Paris, can afford to wear incredible clothes, and it is the perfect balance between the detailed and creative.

Our rate at acquiring new businesses has increased over the last few years – everything from The Body Shop to designer perfumeries. I enjoy research and number crunching. I also enjoy knowing we are putting our quality control behind all these name brands.

Am I any good at it? My goal is to be the EVP for Administrative and Finances, and I believe that it is a very achievable goal.

[Currently there is only one person between Kathleen and that title.]

Marie:  That’s great! So, what is your family like?

Kathleen:  Growing up, it was just me and my mom; no siblings. I had a great childhood though. My mother and I were very close, we still are.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Kathleen:  Great question! I grew up in Seattle, Washington (the state, not Washington D.C.). I grew up in the Ravenna Neighborhood – small bungalows on small lots – there were buckets of kids living in my neighborhood. I always had someone to play with.

My mom still lives in the house.

As for the house itself… I think it might be around 900 square feet. Small – two bedrooms, one bathroom, a tiny living room, and an even smaller kitchen.

Now that I think about it, my mom was partial to white walls and cabinets. I never asked her why. I was always partial to a lot of color, so you’d think I would have wondered about this before now. Anyway, the white didn’t stop the house from being cozy and a place where I felt happy and safe.

Marie:  Well, that’s good!

Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kathleen:  People think this is crazy, but I love remodeling apartments. It all started when I was in graduate school at Oxford – in England. The pokey little flat I rented had been painted green through-out. So, I bought some paint… and I got hooked on improving the places I lived in.

Since I’ve lived in Paris, ten years now, I have bought and remodeled a few apartments. I try to do most of the work myself; tiling, painting, woodwork – everything that doesn’t required an expert, like plumbing or electrical.

Given the hours I work, there isn’t a lot of time for hobbies beyond my on-going remodeling projects.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Kathleen?

Kathleen:  Another great question! My greatest dream… [Laughs.] After becoming EVP? I suppose my dream is to finish remodeling my current apartment. Gosh, that makes me sound dull! I suppose if I were being really honest, spending more time with friends would be fantastic.

Marie:  What kind of person do you wish you could be?  What is stopping you?

Kathleen:  I think everyone wishes they could be a little more carefree, I know I do. I read, when I was quite young, that if you write down your goals, they are more likely to come true. In graduate school, I set a list of goals for myself and I’m making great progress towards them. Achieving my goals is very important to me, but they do require long hours at work.

Marie:  That’s the truth!  😉

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Kathleen: [A wistful look quickly passes across her face, and I find her answer surprising.] Who’s to say I’ve had a first love?

Marie:  So secretive! But, I’ll let you get away with it.

Kathleen, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Kathleen:  [Stares down at her hands for quite some time, before answering.] Honestly, I cannot answer that. [The confidence and grace that Ms. Ehlers has exuded up to this point, deflates briefly.]

Marie:  All right. I won’t press.

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Kathleen nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Kathleen:  Gosh! I was such a pragmatic child. It probably came as no surprise to my mother when I announced I wanted to be a lawyer! [Here, she pauses briefly, before answering with a twinkle in her eye.] I loved to paint as a child – not walls – canvases. If there is a dreamer in me at all, I suppose I dreamt of being a painter. The pragmatist won out.

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Marie:  So, who is your role model?

Kathleen:  My mother, of course. She’s a wonderful woman, who taught me to reach for the stars. I never felt like I couldn’t do something, if I set my mind to it.

Marie:  That’s awesome!

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kathleen: Des Bannerman!

[Readers might remember the scandal in the tabloids last year between The King of Romantic Comedies, with an unknown American woman. That woman, Charlotte Young-Molloy, is one of Ms. Ehlers’ closest friends.]

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Kathleen: To be fearless, to make my goals a reality – the goals I wrote down eleven years ago! To be a loving and supportive friend… maybe take up painting again someday.

Marie:  So…let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Kathleen:  Loneliness!

Marie:  Well, we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Kathleen.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Celia Kennedy on the stage today. Hi, Celia!

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Author Celia Kennedy:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kathleen. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Celia:  Kathleen earns her enigmatic title because she is both confident but afraid – she’s reached the upper-echelons of her career ladder – but she’s unable to reveal her emotional scars. Kathleen is an independent woman, financially and emotionally, but perhaps to her detriment. She works long hours to get the career reward, but the price she pays is that she is quite lonely and unable to be vulnerable.

Marie:  So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Celia:  I think I am quite a bit like Kathleen. I have a lot of confidence in myself when it comes to trying new things; learning, making connections, being a responsible co-worker. I put a lot of work into being competent. When I am invested, I’m all in.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Celia:  Kathleen’s greatest weakness is that she fears being alone. The way that she handles it is by isolating herself, before she can be left.

Marie:  I see. 

What are some of her favorite foods?

Celia: Kathleen loves to eat! That is one of my favorite things about her – she is a foodie. Highly contrasting flavors and textures delight her; hot curries with pickled chutney’s or tart cherries in a sweet dough (this is a Clafouti and makes a guest appearance in Kathleen’s Undressed).

Marie:  So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Celia: She’s fiercely loyal – when everyone else is second guessing themselves, their friendships, she is the one in the group who reminds them of their history, of their commitment as friends.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Celia: I think they will love her. When you meet her she is a little reserved, aloof. But as you read her story, you begin to understand that it is a self-protection mechanism, and then you fall in love with her, because just below the surface, she is warm and committed to those in her life.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Kathleen Ehlers, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kathleen’s Undressed?

Celia:  When I read Book One of The Accidental Series, Charlotte’s Restrained, after it was finished, I realized that we learn very little about Kathleen. While she plays a pivotal role in that book, I didn’t explore her background, her story, as much as I did the other characters. In thinking about why I’d done this, I decided to take that lack of development and create a reason behind it.

Marie:  That’s great! I had something similar when I reread Upon Your Return. I knew there was a larger story at work, and now that I’m well into writing the third book, so much is happening.

So, Celia, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Celia: Every time I write a book, my style changes. My natural predisposition is to daydream about the characters and the plotline – mull over different options and opportunities. I have learned to write down, very vaguely, the purpose for each chapter and work from the outline. As I think of questions or try to weave the threads of all the characters’ storylines, I end up with a bunch of scribblings and loads of arrows!

While I write, it is literally as if I am watching the movie, the story unfolds in front of my eyes and I am lost in the experience.

Marie:  My notes are pretty messy too, and I hear you about being in the zone.

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Kathleen’s Undressed or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Celia:  I learned a great deal from writing Charlotte’s Restrained, my first book. I did it all backwards. I had a book, but no readers, no connections, no writing community. I didn’t have it edited or design a book cover. It’s scary how much I didn’t know. So, my advice to new writers is to develop your community while you write – don’t be afraid to ask for critiques, find beta-readers and have them give suggestions, make connections with book reviewers, bloggers and readers – but these need to be sincere relationships. You are making as big a commitment to them as you want them to make to you. Your work and your community will only benefit by it.

Marie:  What great advice! Thank you, Celia!  🙂

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Kathleen’s Undressed appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by Celia Kennedy, a very talented author!

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Here is the blurb for Kathleen’s Undressed:  Book 2, The Accidental Enigma.

The ladies from Charlotte’s Restrained are back together! Joining Kathleen in Paris, France, for Fall Fashion Week, the ladies and their men mingle with celebrities, royalty, and the fashion elite.

Kathleen’s thrilled to have her friends in town, but what should be a week of camaraderie and fun is about to take a darker turn. Because Kathleen has secrets. Dark secrets her friends would be devastated to learn.

A special someone enters Kathleen’s life who urges her to reveal what she’s kept hidden. It becomes clear she will have to make a choice when the group reunites for an unexpected wedding.

Will Kathleen continue deceiving her friends at the risk of their friendship — or reveal the truth at the risk of herself?

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Kathleens-Undressed-Accidental-Enigma-Book-ebook/dp/B00SAP05QG/

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00SAP05QG

About Celia Kennedy

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Celia Kennedy was born in Wurzburg, Germany on a military base. Her parent’s penchant for traveling has stuck with her, she’s lived in and traveled through several countries.

The imagined world has always fascinated Celia. She has studied Art History, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Architecture. Her thirteen year career at UW in Seattle ended in 1996. Not wanting to be homeless, she left the academic world and worked as a Landscape Architect, married the love of her life, became a mom, has been PTA President, Girl Scout leader and Boy Scout leader.

The unimaginable wealth in her life is the most fascinating thing to her.

Her love of travel, the designed and natural world, friendship, self-discovery, wine, chocolate, AND love are the foundation of her books.

Celia published her first book, Charlotte’s Restrained, The Accidental Stalker in December 2012, Venus Rising in August of 2013, Sugar It’s Cold Outside, Cupid on the Loose Anthology, April’s Fool, Fool’s Rush In Anthology, 2015 AND Kathleen’s Undressed, The Accidental Enigma on February 23, 2015. Three other works are in progress.

Celia’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Celia Kennedy, here are some of her author links:

Website:  www.celiakennedy.weebly.com

Blog:  www.womanreinventsself.blogspot.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/CMKAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KennedyCelia

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Celia-Kennedy/e/B00AW5KEZO/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/celiakennedy/

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/u/0/106475224814075459757/posts

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kathleen Ehlers, the female main character of Kathleen’s Undressed, and Celia Kennedy, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here!

Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release! 🙂

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