Fix You – The Ideas Behind The Book

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Only 5 days until FIX YOU releases in the US and Canada! Today I’m sharing some insights into what inspired the book, and whether there is ANY resemblance between me and Hanna (apart from the fact we’re both in love with Richard!)

What inspired you to write Fix You?

Every new year the family and I travel to the Cotswolds to spend a couple of days with friends in a beautiful cottage. In 2012 we were drinking champagne on New Year’s Eve and reminiscing about the millennium. That conversation led on to how things have changed (the rise of the internet, 9/11, social media etc) and it planted a little seed in my mind. From that seed grew Richard and Hanna’s story, a relationship that spanned a decade that has seen enormous change, and the rest is history—their history!

Are there any parts of the novel that have special personal significance to you? Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship?

I met my (now) husband at university (Nottingham—the one that Hanna attends) and in the *cough* few years that we’ve been together, we’ve had our fair share of travels and working in different parts of the country. In our twenties we spent two years apart which had its ups (I could watch Pride and Prejudice on TV without him moaning) and downs (frozen meals for one). This was back in the day before Facebook, texting and cheap phone calls. We even wrote each other letters. By the way, whatever happened to love letters? Sigh.

I think the other thing that I really enjoyed writing about was New York. I’ve had a love affair with that city since the first time I visited when I was 21. Since then I’ve been back about ten times, and still can’t get enough of it. Although at the start of the story Hanna really doesn’t enjoy travelling to see her father in Manhattan, I really enjoyed writing about the sights and sounds of the city

You have lots of details about world events and things happening at the time the book is set. Was it important to you that these were accurate?

I did a lot of research when writing the book. Some of it was really hard to read, such as survivors’ recollections of the aftermath of 9/11, but other parts were more light-hearted and fun. I drove my family mad with all the snippets of information I found (“Hey, remember when mobile phones used to look like bricks!”), but to me they were golden. One of my favourites was when I discovered that The Strokes were playing in the Mercury Lounge at the same time Hanna was visiting Richard in New York. I hadn’t planned it, but as soon as I read that, I knew it was meant to be.

Music features heavily in Fix You. Are you a music lover? How did you choose which songs and bands to include in the novel?

I have a big love of music, mostly thanks to my husband, who considers himself a bit of a muso. Pretty much every song in Fix You is on my iPod, and I played them incessantly when I was writing the book. My tastes aren’t quite as eclectic as Richard’s (I don’t run the gamut from the Prodigy to Puccini), but between my husband and me, we have around 800 albums.

I think my favourite bit about music in the book is where Hanna tries to explain to her mum about a band she’s been listening to. Although I don’t mention the band’s name, the fact they lose a grand and eventually find it behind the TV should be enough pointers to work out who I based it on. If you can’t guess, tweet me. I might give you some clues.

Do you have a favourite character in the novel? Are there any similarities between you and Hanna?

It’s a bit obvious, but I fell in love with Richard while I was writing the book. Between 1999 and 2012 we watch him grow up to be a strong, good man who does his best to keep everybody happy. He’s alpha without needing to dominate, and strong without needing to boast about it. My kind of guy!

As for Hanna, apart from the fact we’re brunettes and went to university in Nottingham, I don’t think there are many similarities between her and me. She’s a lot more impulsive than I am, and can be prone to making questionable decisions, but she’s also kind and loveable. While she’s not based on me, she’s definitely somebody I’d like to have as a friend. I think she’d liven up any party!

What was the biggest challenge of writing the novel?

As with many authors, it was probably time. I work, have a family, and am almost certainly the world’s greatest procrastinator. When the internet is on, I have the attention span of Dory in Finding Nemo. I find I have to switch off the router, make myself a vat full of coffee and hide in my bedroom with my laptop if I want to get anything done.

The other difficult thing was editing my original manuscript. It started out at a whopping 140,000 words (almost two books’ worth), and deciding what to keep and what to take out was very tricky. I hope I got it right!

Which romance authors do you most admire?

This is a hard question, mostly because I can read anything up to 3 books a week, so I tend to have a lot of favourite authors. In fact, I’ve just browsed through my kindle and it currently has 698 books on there, which is scary, not to mention expensive!

There are a few writers who are my ‘must reads’ anytime they bring out a book. They include Marian Keyes, Mhairi MacFarlane and Samantha Young. All of them manage to combine an emotional, compelling story with a lightness of writing and humour that is a joy to read. I love stories that have flawed characters who go on a journey toward self-discovery, and these three give me that in spades!

fix-you-teaser-6Pre-Order Fix You at these stores:

Kindle US  |  Kindle CA |  Nook  |  iBooks

Coming Soon: Google Play  |  Kobo  |  Kindle CA

Also available to buy here: Kindle UK  |  Kindle AU

The First Kiss #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Tracey Gee’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week we’re talking first kisses. Do we remember them? Who were they with? What were they like?

So I guess we’re not talking about platonic kisses, right? We’re all romance writers and readers here, and while we know such things exist (hell, we probably kiss our children / parents / friends platonically on a daily basis) these aren’t the things that rock our boats. Hell no. What we’re talking about are lip-smacking, goosebumps-inducing, shiver-making kisses that curl our toes and take our breath away. And that’s just when we read about them!

Ah, yeah. I don’t think my first kiss was like that though. Let’s call him J. He was young, sweet, and to be honest I don’t think he was that in to me. His kiss was perfunctory at best, a peck that barely gave me enough time to close my eyes.

On the plus side, I was seven years old at the time!

Fast forward to my second first kiss. This time we were teenagers. He had hormones, I had a curvy body, it was bound to work, right? Er wrong. Again it was quick. It didn’t make me swoon. It just made me wonder why he tasted of cinnamon.

It’s no wonder we read romance novels to fulfill our kissing fantasies. I just took it one step further and decided to write them too. Here’s a little teaser of the first kiss between Richard and Hanna in my book Fix You, which releases in the US and Canada on Dec 13th:

 

Everything felt different, and everything felt the same. He was her old friend; someone she had laughed with, and played with. But the Richard standing in front of her was all man. And that suit, oh God that suit; when she first set eyes on him as he walked into the restaurant earlier that day, it was like her whole body had been lit on fire. She was stuck somewhere between familiarity and discomposure, feeling strangely anxious and yet knowing that no matter what happened, she wouldn’t regret this.

“Are you sure?” His hand pulled her toward him, closing the gap, until her chest was just touching his abdomen, the rest of her body barely skimming his. She couldn’t see his face, her eyes reaching only up to the dip in the base of his neck, slightly exposed by the unbuttoned crisp collar of his white shirt.

“Absolutely.”

She wanted to bury herself in his skin, inhale his scent. She softly pressed her lips to the exposed part of his chest. She kissed him harder, sucking gently at his skin, letting her tongue drag its way along the soft dip under his collar.

“Hanna.” His voice cracked, and he placed his thumb under her chin, pulling her face up as he bent down, until they met in the middle. She placed her hands on his shoulders, her fingers splaying across the white of his shirt, using him as leverage to bridge the final gap between his lips and hers.

When there was only a millimeter between them, she felt him sigh against her. He crushed his mouth to hers, any gentleness forgotten in the need to touch, to taste, to consume. His hand pressed hard against the back of her head, pulling her closer until their teeth were almost scraping together, her mouth opening as soon as she felt the tip of his tongue running along her lip.

She brushed her hand against his cheek, touching the soft emerging stubble peppering his skin. Her mind was feverish as she pushed her body against his, wanting to feel his reaction, hoping that he was as aroused as she was.

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Kindle US  |  Kindle CA |  Nook  |  iBooks

Coming Soon: Google Play  |  Kobo

Also available to buy here: Kindle UK  |  Kindle AU

 

 

 

 

So yeah, that’s the kind of first kiss I’d like to have, if the glorious Mr Elks and I ever decide to part ways. But in the meantime I’ll just keep reading about them. Because books don’t mind if you’ve just been eating garlic bread!

Now let’s hop over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog to find out about her first kisses! While you’re there, check out her fabulous book, Texas Summer!  I love that cover!!

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Canva & authors own.

Fix You – A Few Questions Answered!

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With the US & Canada Release of Fix You only 12 days away, I thought it would be fun to share a Q&A about Richard and Hanna with you! Read on to find out more about the book, characters, and what’s coming up for me in 2017!

 

Tell us about “Fix You”.

Fix You tells the story of Richard and Hanna. They first meet on 31st December 1999 when he’s an American student visiting his father in London, and she’s a Brit who is being paid to work at his parent’s New Year’s Eve party. Over the next 12 years their connection grows, leading to an explosive revelation in his Manhattan office when she reveals a big secret. The story is set against a backdrop of real-life events that took place over these years, with lots of pop culture references, taking readers on a journey of twists and turns!

 

What inspired you to write the story spanning such a wide timespan?

I wanted to write a modern story, but to somehow incorporate the type of book I loved growing up, which tended to follow characters over a number of years. Fix You was my attempt to mesh the two! The beauty of a longer timespan is that you can really explore how relationships change as people grow up and mature, and I think we get to see this with Richard and Hanna.

 

How did you decide the different times and paths for the characters?

Before writing I did a lot of research, because even though this is recent history it’s amazing how much I’d forgotten. Once I’d researched each year, and knew the events, technology and music that were key, I drew out a very long timeline. The next bit was easy; by this point Richard and Hanna were very much fleshed-out characters in my mind and combining their traits with the events that took place meant they more or less decided the storyline for themselves.

 

Did you find it hard writing as both Hanna and Richard throughout the book?

No, I loved writing both their points of view. They are very different characters—Hanna is impulsive and emotional, whereas Richard tends to be more reasoned and traditional—yet there’s aspects of both of them that I really enjoy. To paraphrase Jerry Maguire, they ‘complete each other’. It just takes them a while to realise this!

 

Did you go into writing the book wanting to explore a particular theme?

When I first started writing Fix You there were a few things I wanted to explore, but the first thing I wanted to do was write a prologue that really grabbed the reader. From the beginning, we learn what Hanna’s secret is, but we don’t know why or when it happened, or what the fall-out will be. It’s this mystery (I hope) that keeps the reader going through the story, in spite of the ups and downs that Hanna and Richard experience.

 

What were you doing on New Year’s Eve 1999?

I was lying in bed with a new-born baby, so I managed to miss out on most of the celebrations! I did manage to wake up for midnight, so I saw the millennium in, but I definitely wasn’t out partying like Richard and Hanna were!

 

 What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on a new series called ‘The Shakespeare Sisters’. It follows four British girls who are looking for love. The first book in the series, Summer’s Lease, will be released in July 2017.

 

How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child, but never really managed to finish a project until I reached my thirties. I think the reason for this is that I discovered an online community of writers and readers who provided me with a lot of support. Once I started writing regularly I found I couldn’t stop.

 

What’s the best feedback you’ve had?

“I couldn’t put this down.” I’m not sure there’s much that tops that!

 

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to write a book?

Write it! It sounds easy (and it isn’t) but unless you get the words down on the page you’re never going to get there. It took me a good ten years to complete a project, then less than a year to write my second, so when you’ve done it once (and accepted that you CAN do it) everything gets a lot easier. I’d also advise any new writer to find a community of writers where you can work together, critique each other’s writing, and also provide each other support on the bad days. I wouldn’t be here without my online friends, and I’m very thankful for them.

 

fix-you-teaser-2Pre-Order Fix You at these stores:

Kindle US  | Kindle CA |  Nook  |  iBooks

 

Also available to buy here: Kindle UK  |  Kindle AU

 

What I’m Writing Right Now #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Leslie Hachtel’s blog, thanks for joining me, and don’t forget to check out her books!

This week’s the fabulous Lyra Parrish asks us: “Lyra Parish – How many projects do you currently have started? Can you give us a quick sentence description of each one.”

I’ve been writing steadily for the past year, and I have a LOT of works in progress. All of them are at different stage of the writing / publication process, which can sometimes be hard to juggle. But here’s a quick run down of where I’m at, and what I’ll be releasing over the coming year!

FIX YOU

Tells the story of Richard and Hanna, star-crossed lovers who are divided by wealth, geography, and a secret that threatens to break them both.  It’s due to release in the US and Canada on December 13, and is available for pre-order here.

It’s already for sale in the UK, Australia, Italy, Brazil, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. For more information, click here. 

SUMMER’S LEASE (The Shakespeare Sisters #1)

This is the first in my 4 book ‘Shakespeare Sisters’ Series. It tells the story of Cesca, a down-on-her-luck writer, and Sam, a glamorous American movie star. Sparks fly as soon as they meet in a beautiful Italian Villa on Lake Como.

I’m currently working with my publisher on edits for this book, and will hopefully have a cover to share with you in early 2017! Summer’s Lease will be released in July 2017. For more information, subscribe to my newsletter.

BY VIRTUE FALL (The Shakespeare Sisters #2)

This is Juliet and Ryan’s book, the second in the Shakespeare Sisters’ series. The first draft is written, and it’s undergoing revisions. I’m in love with these two! By Virtue Fall will be released in November 2017

I’m also writing the third and forth books in the series right now. They will be released in 2018.

LOVE ON THE WATER (San Martino Bay #1)

The first in my new San Martino Bay series, set in a Southern Californian beach town, Love on the Water is Caitlin and Breck’s story. This book is written and edited, but no release date set yet!

Wow, there’s so much going on in my writing life right now, and I’m LOVING IT! With Fix You releasing next month, and the Shakespeare Sister series coming in 2017, it looks as though I’m going to be a busy author. I hope you enjoy the books when they come out – let me know what you think!

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Pre-Order Fix You at these stores:

Kindle US  |  Kindle CA |  Nook  |  iBooks

Coming Soon: Google Play  |  Kobo

Also available to buy here: Kindle UK  |  Kindle AU

Now let’s hop over to A.S. Fenichel’s Blog to see what she’s working on.

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

 

We are so excited to be part of the Re-release Blitz for Best Selling Author Lisa Helen Gray’s debut novel If I Could I’d Wish It All Away
 
 

When you hit rock bottom the only way forward is up, right? 

When Lola Lawson escapes her abusive boyfriend, she goes back to the only place that’s left to go. She returns to the one place where the memories of her parents will comfort her. 

It’s taken Lola sixteen years to return to Cabin Lakes where her parent’s best friends Mark and Lilly live. 

What she wasn’t expecting was for her childhood crush and best friend, Dean Salvatore to be grown up and sexy as sin.

As Dean Helps Lola come to terms with moving on, Lola finds something she hasn’t had in a long time, family.

Just when Lola feels like she finally has the one thing she’s always dreamed of, her past comes back to haunt her.

With a storm brewing, can Dean get to Lola in time to shelter her? Or will she forever live in the past she fears?

 

 
 
 
Malik ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK /  Kobo / Nook
 
Mason ~Amazon US / Amazon UK / Kobo / Nook
 
Myles ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK / Kobo  
 
Evan ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK / Kobo 
 
Max ~ Amazon US / Amazon UK /  Amazon CA
 
Maverick ~ Coming Soon
Better Left Forgotten ~ Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo / Nook
 
Obsession ~ Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo / Nook
 
Forgiven ~ Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo / Nook
 
 


Lisa Helen Gray is Amazon’s best selling author of the Forgotten Series and Carter Brother series. 

She loves hanging out, but most of all, curling up with a good book or watching movies. When she’s not being a mom, she’s been a writer and a blogger. 

She loves writing romance novels, ones with a HEA and has a thing for alpha males. 

I mean, who doesn’t!

Just an ordinary girl surround by extraordinary books




 
 
 
 

Release Day – Break the Cycle

Hi all,

Today I’m proud to announce the release of a new anthology. Break the Cycle attempts to expose the myths around bullying, and to scrutinize ways in which we can all make a difference. I was delighted to submit a story to such a worthwhile cause. Do the Right Thing tells the story of a young social worker, and the difficulties she faces trying to protect a vulnerable child.

With all proceeds going to the NSPCC, please do whatever you can to support our book!

 

Carrie Pink

 

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Featuring short stories by new and established authors:

Andrew Lynch

Anna-Maria Athanasiou

Blake Rivers

Cameron Lincoln

Carrie Elks

Charlotte E Hart

Cliona Woods

David E Gordon

Eleanor Lloyd-Jones

H. A. Robinson

LJ Stock

Muriel Garcia

Sarah Michelle Lynch

Victoria L. James

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OUR CHOSEN CHARITY IS

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BUY LINKS

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

AMAZON CA

AMAZON AU

***

BLURB

break_the_cycle_an__cover_for_kindleTo coincide with National Anti-Bullying Week in the UK, 14 writers have come together to write about bullying from a variety of perspectives. We think this is still an issue that needs more of a spotlight – now more than ever unfortunately. Forget what you read in the media, these stories will tell you what is really going on in schools, behind closed doors and in places you never thought to look. The pressures our social workers face when it comes to bullying and abuse are immense but it doesn’t stop there. Sometimes bullying gets brought to the attention of head teachers, or the police, then the parents (of both the bully and bullied). Maybe a friend steps in. Maybe a stranger steps in. Or even a family pet. So many people are affected by the malicious acts of one or more instigators and the cycle threatens to repeat.

Perhaps, bullying doesn’t stop though. Ever. Maybe it ends in death. Maybe we can’t break the cycle, or can we? Perhaps bullying isn’t straightforward; maybe it’s sometimes mistaken for jest. You really need to read on… because bullying isn’t an issue limited to childhood. It’s all around us and sometimes escalates into devastating abuse. Sometimes it’s verbal, sometimes physical, maybe even both, but whichever form it comes in, it always has an impact. These stories might make you reach out to a certain person in your life you’ve never really questioned until now – because most victims are still suffering in silence. This is for them.

elj

http://mybook.to/BTC

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Retreat, Retreat!

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This week I’m at a writing retreat in South Devon. Set in the hills between Bovey Tracey and Hennock, I’m surrounded by farmland and peace – the perfect setting to do the developmental edits for my next book (A Summer’s Lease, the first book in my new Shakespeare Sisters series). There aren’t many places you can go to in England that have more animals per acre than humans but this old farmhouse in the west country is one of them.

Run by Urban Writers (hats off to the lovely Charlie), this retreat feels like a home from home only infinitely better. Mainly because I don’t have to cook, clean, or scream at my teenagers (though I have to admit I quite miss doing the latter). On arrival I was shown to my room (see pics below) – a lovely attic turret complete with King size bed, slipper bath, and the perfect window seat for an avid reader. I arrived at 5pm, which gave me 3 hours until dinner, which I spent writing this blog.

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My bedroom for the week!
img_0782My desk with a view!

Having been here before, I didn’t need the grand tour this time around. But our host is always willing to help out with suggestions of places to write, pretty walks, and of course she is the beloved bringer of food.

In the evening we met in the living room for wine and nibbles, and introduced ourselves. A few people have been here since Friday, but there are four of us who arrived today (Monday), and it’s nice not to be the only newbie. Once dinner was ready, we sat down and ate, drank and were generally merry. Everybody’s work is very different – there are people writing a screenplay, editing non-fiction books, and finishing a first draft. It gives us a lot to talk about when we’re taking our breaks.

The evenings are fairly quiet. Most of us retreat to our rooms to either work, take a bath (did you see my slipper bath?) or read. I expect some of us even get some sleep! All ready to get up first thing tomorrow to start all over again.

There’s something about a retreat that makes me feel very productive. Perhaps it’s because I don’t need to walk the dog (although I DO walk – it’s to beautiful around here not to). Or maybe it’s because I don’t have to interrupt myself to make food (it’s all laid on for me) or do the laundry. Whatever it is, I have to admit I love it here. And since I’ve now written this blog, I’m already beating my targets. How’s that for overachieving?

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The view from my bedroom window

Urban Writers Retreats run residential stays in Devon around 8 times per year. They also run one day retreats in central London. For more information see their website here.

Carrie Pink