Building Attraction by Monique McDonell
Hers has been a life of too many responsibilities and his has been a life of too few. Could the thing that initially repelled them from each other finally be the ultimate source of attraction?
Holly Adams has two jobs in the city, two petulant teenage sisters to support, a farm with a big mortgage and a terrible secret that propels her forward. Brad Winchester has a reputation for being a spoilt playboy who has abandoned his family business but he also has a secret that has finally brought him home.
When they are forced to together at work (Holly works at the cut-throat PR Consultancy that handles his family’s account Winchester Homes – They don’t build homes, they build dreams”) a series of misunderstandings has them at odds.
Still while working together they learn they have more in common than either might have imagined – common friends, family loyalty and dreams of something different. When life keeps pushing them in each other’s paths they must decide whether this is an attraction that might be worth building on after all.
9/22/2013 0 Comments
Today I'm interviewing Angela Panther, from Unfinished Business An Angela Panther Novel by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson. See what Angela has to say about what's happened in her life lately.
So, you've gone through some serious changes lately. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, well, I'm not overly comfortable talking publicly about it all but I since I signed up for this interview, I guess I should just get it out there.
I lost my mother recently, to lung cancer and the night she died, she
came back as a ghost. I thought I was dreaming, I mean, it's crazy, right?
Crazy. Ghosts don't just pop in during the middle of the night and blame you for stuff, right? Well, my Ma did. She was pretty adamant about it, too. So now Ma dead mother pops in, unannounced, all of the time and let's just say, it's been a challenge. I'm glad she's back but unfortunately she didn't come alone.
Care to elaborate on that?
Apparently Ma re-opened a long ago closed portal between the after world and me. A portal I didn't know a thing about but apparently she did. I guess when I was younger I had the gift of sight but she wanted me to lead a normal life and just didn't put a whole lot of effort into it sticking around. Eventually it went away. I honestly don't even remember
ever having it so it must have gone away when I was pretty young. But apparently good old Fran, my mother, opened that portal up with her re-entrance into this world and now I'm dealing with all kinds of ghosts. It's not that I don't want
to help them. Okay, it is that I don't want to help them but it's not because I'm mean. It's because the whole thing just freaks me out. One day I'm living my life, eating a cupcake or two, hanging out with my best friend, Mel and then
within only four months my whole life absolutely went bonkers. It would been nice if I didn't have to dive head first into this, you know?
It must be hard. Do you have anyone to support you?
Yes, I do and I'm so grateful to them. I have my husband, Jake who is absolutely amazing. It was hard to tell him but I
did. I also told my best friend, Mel. Actually, I told her first. It's not that I didn't think Jake wouldn't believe me, because I knew he would, it's that I knew Mel wouldn't even bat an eye. And she didn't. There is no better friend than Mel. She brings me cupcakes. How can I not love her?
My son, Josh, he's only ten and he also has the gift. He sees Ma, too but he doesn't see any other ghosts, thank God. I'd hate for his life to be a mess like mine. He's too young. But I'm glad he can see Ma. She adores him and I'm glad they still have time together.
You have a daughter too, right?
Yup. Teenager. Some days she's a joy to be around but more often than not she's all drama.
How does it feel though, to have your mother back? It's got to be wonderful.
Oh, it is. I'm not complaining about that, except of course, when she purposefully tries to make me look like I'm crazy or
plays some kind of ghostly trick on me. But to know that I have this time withher, I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful that is. Ma was always the life of the party, you know? The one who got up and danced, the one who did
shots at the bar, the one who made everyone laugh. That personality didn't die with her and as much as she drives me insane, I wouldn't trade having her around for anything. I can't imagine what it would feel like to lose her entirely. I feel terrible for people who've lost loved ones.
Are you enjoying helping the dead?
Ugh. It's not that I don't want to help them, honest. I do. It's just that I'm put in a really bad situation. Have you
ever walked up to a complete stranger and told them, "Hey, your dead so and so is here and has a message for you"? Seriously, people think I'm crazy. And then I look like I'm talking to myself all of the time. It's embarrassing. I did
recently meet this British ghost at Starbucks. He cracked me up. He died old, so he's an older-looking ghost and he runs through the Starbucks parking lot, naked, juggling. Funniest thing I've ever seen.
Did he want your help?
Nope. Just wanted to say hi and tell me he's there often and that he's always naked. He thought Mel was hot. It was
What lessons have you learned from your gift? How has it changed you?
I've learned to always wear my ear buds with my iPhone because ghosts are everywhere and it at least looks like I'm
talking on the phone instead of to myself. I'm kidding. I've learned that everyone wants more time, both the living and the dead. They all want one more chance to tell the people they love something, to let them know something they couldn't say before. I've learned there is a lot of regret for the living and just as much for the dead, too. I've learned I should tell my family and my friends I love them more and not let the little things get to me but you know what? I still do. And I don't tell them I love them enough. I take it all for granted just like most people. I wish, if I could impact anyone, it would be
with that, to get them to understand that not everyone has a second chance like me and to take advantage of the time they have with the people they love.
What's in store for you next? Where do you see your life going?
Oh gawd, I have no idea. I'm still trying to deal with raising my kids, not going crazy because my daughter is female and a teenager. I'm still trying to keep them on the right path, be there for my husband but still have my own identity, too. I have no clue what tomorrow will bring and honestly, that scares me. I had no clue I had this gift so I've learned that life can change on a dime. You know though, I don't want mine to change anymore. I've dealt with some serious changes lately and I'd like an opportunity to kick back and relax a bit.
Thank you, Angela and thank you, Carolyn, for allowing Angela to talk with me today.
An Angela Panther Novel
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
Sometimes the dead need our help and sometimes, we need
ANGELA PANTHER HAS A PERFECT
A lovely home, an attentive, successful husband, two reasonably behaved children, a devoted dog and a lot of coffee and cupcakes. But while her life might border on mundane, she's got it under control. Until her mother, Fran dies-and returns as a ghost.
It seems Fran's got some unfinished business and she's determined to get it done.
Now Fran's got some nifty celestial superpowers and isn't opposed to using them to levy a little ghostly retribution on her granddaughter's frienemies and even her own daughter, which doesn't make Angela happy.
While Angela's shocked and grateful to have her mother back, she's not thrilled about the portal to the afterlife Fran opened upon her return. Now every ghost in town is knockin' on Angela's psychic door, looking for help-and it's a royal pain in the butt.
Now Angela's got to find a way to balance her family life
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is the author of two novels, Unfinished Business An Angela Panther Novel
and Unbreakable Bonds An Angela Panther Novel, both of the chick-lit and paranormal genres.
Carolyn wrote her first novel, Unfinished Business shortly after her mother died. She felt the need to let the world know a little about the woman who drove her absolutely crazy but loved her with an intensity unknown to normal people. While some of the book is loosely based on events surrounding her mother's death, the author swears she'll never tell if she really did bury her mother illegally.
An avid fitness buff, Carolyn writes a monthly health and fitness column for Northside Woman Magazine. She also writes
several freelance articles monthly for various Atlanta area media outlets including the Forsyth Herald, the Milton Herald,
The Revue and News, The Johns Creek Herald, Countyline Magazine and many Internet publications. She's
written notebooks full of great story ideas from the entertaining people she's met as a journalist. If you know one of them,
don't mention her books to them, just in case.
Carolyn has written hundreds of guest blog posts ranging from humorous to serious about varying aspects of parenthood and marriage. She considers herself an expert at not being an expert parent and works to spread her lack of expertise far and wide.
Dogs and recently cats too, are Carolyn's preferred companions. She loves their loyalty, unconditional love and inability to talk in a language of which she understands.
A native of Indiana, Carolyn called the northwest Chicago suburbs home for over eighteen years but because she hates the way snow sounds when she walks on it, has spent the last sixteen living in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband, son, two dogs and a cat. Her two daughters live close by.
One day she plans to retire to a peaceful home with a fantastic view of something other than her neighbour's house with a plethora of rescue animals by her side. Oh, and her husband too.
Keep in touch with Carolyn
Twitter: @awritingwoman firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been pondering this question this week. what makes a romance a romantic comedy?
If you go to a bricks and mortar bookstore or onto Amazon there are thousands upon thousands of romance novels and a great many of these fall into the contemporary romance category.
Within that category some are romantic comedies but certainly not all. So what are the hallmarks? I was thinking about this in relation to movies. There are far, far fewer (I would argue) movies that are straight romances most have a somewhat whimsical element to them.
In fact I was struggling to think of too many contemporary ones. I came up with the Before Sunrise series with Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke but couldn't think of too many other contemporary examples that didn't seem to involve input from one Nicholas Sparks who favours romance through tears over romance through laughter - death, abuse, war, sickness are his paths to true love.
Try and think of movies that are romantic comedies and you don't struggle at all - and we can all name the actresses to look for as well - hello Kate Hudson, hello Meg Ryan (the early years), hello Anne Hathaway (pre- Les Miserables), hey Sandra Bullock (pre Oscar) and how are you Katherine Heigl?
What makes these romantic comedies is the somewhat zany situations the main characters seem to get in and that rather than weep your way through the movie as the protagonists find true love you laugh, or at least chuckle. Often it's not just the situations they find themselves in but the supporting cast of friends, relatives and co-workers that create the humour.
I think that's actually true for real life as well. It's the funny story about your friend's wedding, they day your car broke down on your way to that important meeting, the time your co-worker tripped coming into a meeting and spilled coffee everywhere, the time you rescued a friend from a terrible date or your crazy relative going nuts at a party (I'm loathe to cite a example that might incriminate me) that makes your own life funny. These are the stories you share over a drink, these are you "remember when" stories that you rehash and recall when you're together with friends and family.
I think romantic comedies - whether they're books or movies - are made up of these stories. The ones that make you smile when you remember them, they're the stories you want to revisit as opposed to the ugly break-ups, the broken hearts, the horrible boss who fired you for no good reason, the tragic car accident - those stories are best forgotten.
Romantic comedy takes looks at life through the prism of laughter and there's nothing wrong with that.
My romantic comedy Hearts Afire is currently on sale at Amazon for 99c.
So I haven't been a very good blogger this week. Sorry.
If you look at the photo here you can see why. I've been marking up changes on Building Attraction so that I can send it off to my lovely proof reader on the weekend.
I know I've had some complaints about my books not being proof read before which I take on board. Everyone of my books has actually been read by more than one person for errors - and I don't count myself in that obviously - so while I take those comments on board it hasn't been lack of care or concern that has let errors slip through.
Anyway I worked with my new proof reader on another project where I had two people reading and she certainly caught a ton or errors the other professional missed so I have high hopes for Building Attraction. First having put all those stick notes on there I now need to make all the changes myself before the book heads off.
Meanwhile I have the lovely Lisa, my cover designer, working away on covers for a Christmas novella I have planned (Snowbound is the working title) and also the cover for A Fair Exchange which has just come back from the BETA readers. I also have another fun project Lisa is working on the designs for.
So I'd like to stress I haven't been doing nothing at all. I also have to do my day job which happened to ramp up again this month after a rather lovely lull. I'm very grateful to have the work but it's a mild adjustment.
Next week I will do the cover reveal for Building Attraction at long last! I also really, really hope to get my first newsletter out too oh yes and have some fun people stopping by the blog too!
Lots going on...I'll be back!
So there was a $10 Amazon gift card up for grabs with this one.
Like I said in the original blog post I like to do things old school.
The rules were you needed to comment and tell me your wish.
There were some lovely wishes but I have to say I'm especially happy that we pulled this winner from the hat!
First I wrote all the names on business cards.
Then I had my daughter pick a name out the hat. She had no clue why she was doing this or whose names were in there so I don't think she can be accused of bias.
Anyway Lee's wish was that she "find a job". I can't help with that but a $10 Amazon GC might brighten your day Lee.
(Side note on this hat. It's huge and fabulous but I can't wear it and walk as it removes all peripheral vision and is thus an accident waiting to happen. I've nearly been run over, tripped over a stroller and walked into people in this hat. I think it's designed just for looking mysterious and blocking out the world while sitting on the beach!)
My first indie book has now been out in the big wide world 22 months. I guess that makes that book a toddler. It certainly has fallen over and scraped it's knees along the way, more than once. I suspect it's also resentful when I give it's younger siblings my time but that may be another post.
When I had my daughter (back in the day!) I joined a mother's group. They were like a support group for me. They got me out of the house and I could talk about my daughter and the trials of motherhood without boring my friends, who for the most part didn't yet have children. (Ok I'm sure I did still bore them but hopefully a little less than I would have and as they largely went on to have their own kids I must not have scared them off the idea!)
Anyway, when I released my first novel I did a similar thing. I found groups of people online who wrote what I wrote, or reviewed what I wrote and started to build a lovely network of people around me with whom I could discuss writing and books and writing comedy and writing chicklit and writing contemporary romance.
If you follow my blog at all you'll probably see that I've done cover reveals, interviews and guest posts from lots of wonderful authors. I've been involved in group promotions and give-aways as well.
Lots of these people have reciprocated and hosted me or retweeted my sale days, new releases etc,
So every so often (it'll be like totally random) I'm going to just alert you to the books of some of these people.
I'll just pop a cover or two up here as suggestions of nice people who write books who might appreciate you downloading their book and having a read. They won't all be women's fiction but lots will be because that's who I write for and who I seem to mostly have connected with.
If you read and enjoy their books let me know - or even better - let them know. Authors love that!
Synopsis of “Facebook Jeanie” by Addison
It's Bridget Jones meets "Groundhog Day"...
Ever wonder if you made the right choice? What if you could go
back and find out?
31-year-old Clara is in a steady relationship—with Facebook.
Every night after her depressing bureaucratic job (so much for saving the
world), Clara comes home to her empty apartment (yes, she was dumped) and settles down with a pint of ice cream for some good, old-fashioned Facebook stalking. It's her college boyfriend, The One Who Got Away. With the bod of a God and a net worth of umpteen bamillion, he now has the perfect life—everything she could have had if she hadn't been so, so stupid.
But, wait. Jeanie from Facebook shows up at Clara's job. There's a new app they're beta-testing and Clara's perfect for it. That night she clicks on it and... nothing happens. But the next morning when Clara wakes up at noon, hung over, listening to her roommate blow-drying her hair and singing "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It", she realizes she's back in college. With the chance to do it all over again.
Back in the world of frat parties, BFFs, and long-suffering, overlooked lab partners, join Clara as she discovers what it really means to hit the reset button on life. What could possibly go wrong? And, this time, can she get it right?
Facebook Jeanie will be out October 1st.
About the Author
Addison Westlake made her debut as an author at age 13 by rewriting the "Sweet Valley High" series. Despite copyright violations, she maintains that her rendition of Elisabeth and Jessica Wakefield as preteens in a British orphanage is a classic. Between then and now she went to some fancy schools, swapped out the East Coast for the West Coast, and had oodles of kids. Some of her favourite things in life include coffee, Aretha Franklin's inauguration hat and the sleepwalking scene in "Step Brothers."
Addison's first romantic comedy, “Christmas in Wine Country,” spent six
weeks on the bestseller list in women’s fiction, humorous fiction and
humor. And it’s only $0.99, y’all.
She would like to thank MCM cover design, email@example.com, for the awesome “Facebook Jeanie” cover. And for the unfailing patience with questions such as “should she have an earring” and “do her pinks clash?” Addison loves to hear from readers, so please find her at:
Today I’m participating in the Three Wishes Blog Blitz, hosted by author Juliet Madison! From 2nd to 6th September you’ll have the chance to win some awesome prizes at all the blogs participating in the blitz, including mine. All you have to do is follow my instructions below for winning the prize I have on offer, and then you can click over to Juliet’s blog to enter her prize draw, and see the list of all other blogs taking part and enter their giveaways as well. How cool is that?
Why is it called the Three Wishes Blog Blitz? Juliet’s new romantic comedy release, I Dream of Johnny, is about three wishes, a high-tech genie in a lamp, and one very unfortunate typo that proves magic isn’t all it cracked up to be…
Today's blog post is to be on the topic of three wishes so I thought I'd stick with wishes that pertain to books and writing.
If I could rub the genie's bottle I would ask for the following:
Wish number one: I would like a big fat advertising budget for my books thanks Genie. I'd love to do an experiment and see if I had the money to spend if it would help more people find my books. I can't change what they think of them, but I think there are people out there who'd like them who simply don't know they'd exist. Thanks.
Wish number two: I would like every little girl (or boy) who has a story to write to be encouraged to do so, thanks Genie. We have competitions where kids are lauded for kicking balls and singing songs and even for walking down runways with too much make-up on and that's encouraged. Let's have a world where using our imagination is encouraged. I bet it would be a nicer one. Thanks.
Wish number three: I would like every person who leaves a book review to realise how hard it is to write a book and how easy it is to say "this book is rubbish!" I'd like them to keep that in mind when they write their reviews. Nobody minds honest well-thought out opinions at all (I certainly don't and you hope that feedback is constructive and mindful) but people being unkind well, the world can do without that. Thanks.
That's it thanks Genie...those are my three wishes.
I'm giving away a $10 Amazon giftcard as a prize - all you need to do is tell me what one of your wishes would be. (It doesn't have to have a bookish focus! You can go World Peace if you like. :) )
I'm not a fan of Rafflecopter so we'll be doing it old school - I'll be pulling the names out of a hat.
Once you’ve entered my giveaway, visit Juliet’s blog & enter her giveaway too, and visit any or all of the other participating blogs to enter more prize draws. You could potentially win a whole heap of prizes! Good luck! Visit the official Blog Blitz post here: http://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/3-wishes-blog-blitz-official-post/
NOTE: JULIET'S LINK is live from 12 noon Australian Eastern Standard Time. I'm a weeny bit early posting as I'm working all day and in meetings...so don't click on it and get all cranky if you're early too.