Juliet Shakespeare is done with love. With a growing floristry business and an adorable daughter to raise, life after separating from her husband is complicated enough.
But when handsome single father, Ryan Sutherland, arrives in town, everything changes. As much as she tries to distract herself, Juliet can’t help but be drawn to the easy-going Romeo next door and the way he makes her feel.
Photographer Ryan is only back in his hometown for a few months so there’s no point falling for someone he’ll just have to say goodbye to. But he didn’t account for Juliet – the intriguing and beautiful, red-haired woman next door. And in her, he might just have found everything he ever wanted . . .
A gorgeous Shakespeare Sisters romance from the bestselling author of Fix You.
This story is amazing, beautiful, intense, sweet & loving. So need more of this series..’ – Teresa, Goodreads Reviewer, Five Stars
‘Carrie Elks is an excellent story-teller.’ – Steph N, Goodreads Reviewer, Five Stars
‘Oh wow Elks has written another book that has blown me away.’ – Donna, Goodreads Reviewer, Five Stars
‘What a blissful read.’ – Shelley, Goodreads Reviewer, Five Stars
‘An outstanding read.’ – Evonne, Goodreads Reviewer, Five Stars
‘Carrie Elks has a way with her words that takes me into another world and leaves me breathless.’ – Melanie Moreland, New York Times Bestselling Author
About the Author
Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.
Do you love Christmas stories? I do, and when I was asked to be part of this fantastic anthology and help raise money for charity, I jumped at the chance. The 12 Nights of Christmas Anthology releases on October 15th, but is available for pre-order now. It will be on sale for a limited time, so make sure you get your copy!
Want to know more about the anthology and the stories inside? Read on…
Twelve bestselling and award-winning authors each bring you a sexy night of romance, fun and a little magic. ‘Tis the season for falling for the right guy! Can a magical fruitcake be the special ingredient for falling in love?
Christmas is nothing but a reminder of Eva’s tragic past. To make matters worse, her boyfriend invites his entire family over…so she goes into Scrooge mode. When three ghosts visit her, will she be able to remember the joy in her heart and the true meaning of Christmas?
She let him go to pursue his dreams without telling him she was pregnant. Five years later, he’s back in town and her secret’s out. Can they get over past hurts to seize a future for their small family?
When Ashley Webbar meets Zane Fletcher, it’s insta-lust, but she soon suspects he’s already smitten with someone else. Ashley is so busy matchmaking that she might miss out on her own happily-ever-after…if something doesn’t intervene first. This just might call for a Christmas miracle.
When two strangers are stranded at a rest stop in the middle of Nowheresville—thank you, Mr. Bus Driver—they’re forced to spend the night together. But when morning comes, they both find themselves asking one question. Will they see each other again, or was their connection for one night only?
Every year, Steve has been cheering up his army buddy’s widow with popcorn and zany movies on the anniversary of her husband’s death. Will a little holiday magic make Steve and Hannah more than friends?
Donovan survived combat, but can he survive being stranded over Christmas with the girl of his dreams? He swore he’d stay away from his best friend’s kid sister years ago, but after a helicopter crash, this sailor knows second chances don’t come around often. Loving Bailey would mean risking not only his friendship but his heart.
Branna and Drex are over…or at least they thought they were. But a little time trapped in an enclosed space with a magical fruitcake might just change that.Branna and Drex are over…or at least they thought they were. But a little time trapped in an enclosed space with a magical fruitcake might just change that.
When Detective Elizabeth Cross’s high school crush and star of her what-ifs shows up at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve ready to take her on a trip down memory lane, she’ll have to decide if this is a second chance at her happily ever after or the start of another broken heart.
Cassie Delk isn’t having the best holiday season. With her ex-husband about to get remarried, she’s not thrilled about still being single. The last thing she expects is for a second chance at love to turn up on her doorstep.
Nothing infuriates Melanie more than the one-armed, ex-army hunk who chucks her mail at her book shop door. When Nick delivers a special package at the end of the day, a blizzard strands them together, and the fruitcake delivery sparks magic between them instead. Melanie isn’t sure what she wants to give him—a piece of her mind or all of her heart
From the moment Hanna Vincent meets Richard Larsen at a glamorous London party, they are drawn to each other despite their differences. He’s the handsome son of a wealthy New York family, she’s the poor black sheep with a contagious love of life. On paper, they are complete opposites.
As she becomes the nanny to his younger sister, the attraction between them grows, though the differences between them are too much to overcome. Until the day they meet in New York and everything changes. After a passionate night together, they try to make things work, but neither of them can imagine the ways their love will be challenged.
Then one day, Hanna walks into Richard’s office and reveals an explosive secret. One that rocks the foundations of his world. Richard must decide if he can ever forgive her, and they both need to choose whether to take a risk on happiness, or if their broken love is beyond repair.
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!
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.
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!
Featuring short stories by new and established authors:
To 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.
I’m so excited to finally be sharing this new book with you. A year in the making, it was one of my very favourites to write. I hope you will enjoy Amy and Callum’s story as much as I have!
Here’s what advanced reviewers have been saying:
There is just something special about this story, Carrie has managed to interject the right levels of drama, twists, mean-girls, silly-boys, sexy-times and snarky asides and two really likeable and relatable characters that just keep you turning the pages. – Claire, Goodreads reviewer
I loved Amy; young and sweet with a quiet strength and temerity and she has a realistic outlook on life. And Callum; every time the man opened his mouth I fell a little bit more for him. – Nicola, Goodreads reviewer
This was a really great read and I can’t wait to go back and read Carrie’s other books. I could not put this down. The characters draw you in and refuse to let got until you have their entire story. –Joanna, Goodreads reviewer
Secrets have a way of coming out…
Amy Cartwright isn’t sure who she’s supposed to be anymore. Her family thinks she’s flighty, her ex believes she’s a walkover (the bastard) and her friends think she’s plain crazy. But there’s a different side to her that nobody sees, nobody but the cool, sexy Scotsman who just happens to be her boss.
Callum Ferguson isn’t looking for excitement; he’s had that and it almost ruined him. He likes things calm and predictable – everything that his new PA turns out not to be. But from the moment she walks through his office door it’s as though the light has come back into his life, and he can’t get her out of his mind.
Fighting against the inevitable, they both try to ignore the attraction, but the flame of desire is too bright. They’re soon drawn into a steamy love affair that they have to hide from everybody, knowing the revelation could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard for, including each other.
Author note: Canada Square is the third in the Love in London series, but can be read as a standalone book.