Let Me Burn – Release Day Blitz!

Title: Let Me Burn
Author: Carrie Elks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2019
Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber

She isn’t looking for love. He’s not planning on staying around. But when they meet, sparks fly…

 As a big city firefighter, Lucas lives for his job. Forced to take extended leave following an accident, he returns to his small hometown to stay at the beach cottage his grandparents left him. The problem is, he’s not used to having so much time on his hands.

 After a broken engagement, Ember isn’t ready for love right now. Though her heart might be mended, she prefers to keep herself busy with her family and work; that way she won’t get hurt again. But she didn’t count on meeting a handsome firefighter with that dimpled smile. After Lucas saves her from one awkward situation too many, she can’t stop thinking about him.

 Ember finds Lucas impossible to resist. And he’s determined not to let her. As long summer days melt into sultry, passionate nights what begins as a fling develops into something much deeper. Until the day Ember’s ex-fiancé returns to town and threatens to destroy the fragile connection that’s building between them.

 

 

 

Excerpt

 

“Will you do something for me?” Lucas asked, leaning his hand on the car and glancing up at her.

“Um, maybe?” She blinked, trying to focus. “I guess it depends what it is.”

With one hand steadying himself on the car, he ran the other across his closely cropped hair. “It doesn’t matter.”

Ember tilted her head, the smile still playing at her lips. “You can’t do that. I’m intrigued now. What is it you want me to do?”

“I… ah…” He shook his head. “You’re gonna think I’m crazy.”

She lifted an eyebrow to let him know she already did.

“But I really don’t want you to go on that date.”

 

Advance Praise For Let Me Burn…

‘The perfect mixture of romance, humour, and that hint of angst we all love.’ – MB, Goodreads reviewer

‘A captivating book…’ – Bev’s Books Blog

‘I couldn’t put it down…’ – KarenJ, Goodreads reviewer

‘5 Beautiful, Soul Binding stars!!!’ – Alison Parkins Reviews

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carrie Elks Headshot

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/CarrieElksAuthor/

FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarrieElksWaterCooler/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/CarrieElks

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/carrie.elks/

NEWSLETTER: http://www.subscribepage.com/e4u8i8

WEBSITE: https://carrieelks.com

Cover Reveal – Let Me Burn

COVER REVEAL

Title: Let Me Burn
Author: Carrie Elks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2019
Cover Designed by: Najla Qamber

 

SYNOPSIS

She isn’t looking for love. He’s not planning on staying around. But when they meet, sparks fly…

 As a big city firefighter, Lucas lives for his job. Forced to take extended leave following an accident, he returns to his small hometown to stay at the beach cottage his grandparents left him. The problem is, he’s not used to having so much time on his hands.

 After a broken engagement, Ember isn’t ready for love right now. Though her heart might be mended, she prefers to keep herself busy with her family and work; that way she won’t get hurt again. But she didn’t count on meeting a handsome firefighter with that dimpled smile. After Lucas saves her from one awkward situation too many, she can’t stop thinking about him.

 Ember finds Lucas impossible to resist. And he’s determined not to let her. As long summer days melt into sultry, passionate nights what begins as a fling develops into something much deeper. Until the day Ember’s ex-fiancé returns to town and threatens to destroy the fragile connection that’s building between them.

Goodreads Button

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carrie Elks Headshot

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/CarrieElksAuthor/

FACEBOOK GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CarrieElksWaterCooler/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/CarrieElks

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/carrie.elks/

NEWSLETTER: http://www.subscribepage.com/e4u8i8

WEBSITE:

Why I’m Ready For Autumn!

There’s no denying it, here in the UK the temperatures have definitely dipped. My summer dresses are still hanging in the closet, but every time I open the door they stare at me forlornly, knowing that they’ll be passed over for their warmer, cosier cousins. But rather than be sad at the change in seasons, I have to admit it’s put a smile on my face. I love autumn (or fall as you guys call it). It’s one of my  favorite seasons. And in case you need some persuasion, here’s a few reasons why Autumn rocks…

1. Sweater Weather

I love sweaters. I love the way the wool feels against your skin, I love the way that as soon as you pull it over your head it’s like carrying around your own personal body warmer, and I love the way I can eat a few more things *ahem* without having to worry about the extra poundage showing. You can dress them up with a skirt or a pair of smart pants, or down with your favourite jeans. I have a closet full of them and they make me very happy!

2. Hot Chocolate and Log Fires

There’s nothing better than a warm cup of melting chocolate in front of a blazing log fire. Sadly, in 80 degree heat, that thought isn’t so enticing, but as soon as the the air gets cooler, the fire goes on and the chocolate gets hot. It’s like a warm, sweet hug in a mug, and I can’t think of anything better. It beats cold lemonade and strawberries hands down!

3. The Fall TV Schedules

Let’s face it, TV in the summer is rubbish. Old re runs, terrible reality shows, and nothing that is even worth turning the TiVo on for (do people still have TiVo? I’ve no idea!). All we watched this summer was Netflix. But as soon as the children are back at school, it’s as though the TV schedules wake up, and the new season programmes are fabulous. Here in the UK I’m watching The Bodyguard (Gorgeous and yet troubled bodyguard tries to save the Home Secretary) and The Great British Bake Off (a cooking competition – as British as it sounds, but lovely too!). How about you? What’s your favourite new programme?

4. Halloween

ghost_house_orange

Candy, scary movies, cute costumes and more candy. What’s not to love about Halloween? As soon as the summer’s over, it’s the next thing to look forward to. I can remember when my children were little, we’d spend hours choosing costumes and watching classic films, trying to wait for the day that they could go out and get their buckets filled with sweet goodies. For me, Autumn IS Halloween and Halloween is Autumn. It’s as simple as that.

 

Are you a fan of Autumn? Why not check out my book, By Virtue Fall, which releases next month? It’s a heartwarming love story about a single mother and the guy next door, and I think you’re going to love it!

  

UK BUY LINKS:

Amazon UK  | iBooks UK | Kobo UK | WHSmith

US BUY LINKS:

Amazon US | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google Play (to come)

 

 

(this piece was originally posted on the Spice Aisle blog)

From Italy with Love… more on Summer’s Lease

Like many good things, my latest book, Summer’s Lease, started off with a ghost of an idea. What if a girl who’d lost everything came face to face with the man who’d ruined her career. And what if he’d had more success than he’d ever dreamed of? From that little kernel a story started to grow. As the heroine – Cesca – is a playwright, I wanted the setting to be secluded, almost like a theatre in itself. That’s where the idea of an isolated villa came from. It had to be behind gates, with no connection to the outside world, and yet beautiful enough for the seclusion to feel luxurious.

And on top of that, there had to be a reason for the heroine to be thrown together with the hero — Hollywood superstar Sam Carlton. And what better reason than the fact they both thought they’d be the only person at the villa? So when Sam, the man who caused Cesca’s fall from grace, turns up at his family’s villa on Lake Como, all hell breaks loose. And thus begins the story of Summer’s Lease.

When it came to researching the location, I felt truly blessed. I also managed to do it a little back-to-front. I started off with my good friend, Google, spending hours on trip advisor and travel blogs, soaking up the hot atmosphere of Lake Como, and becoming hugely jealous of all those rich people and celebrities who spend their summer there. I also spent a lot of time researching the food – finding out about the local produce, some of the best restaurants, as well as the luscious wine that’s produced in the region.

When I finished the first draft, I realized I’d not only fallen in love with the hero and heroine, but also with a whole country. So I turned to my long-suffering (but lovely) husband and said, “can we go on holiday to Italy this year?”

Thankfully, he said yes.

In the end, we agreed that Lake Garda was more suitable for our family of four than Lake Como. So last summer we hauled ourselves and our bags to our local airport and flew out to Milan, where we picked up a hire car and drove across to the lakes. And in a weird way I felt a bit like a girl going to meet a boy she’d met online. I was nervous that it wouldn’t be as beautiful as the pictures and descriptions had made it out to be. That somehow I’d been cat-fished by a country.

But of course it was MORE than I ever thought possible. The lake was as sparkling and blue as I’d hoped it be, the scenery as breathtaking, and the food as mouthwatering as I try to describe in the book. And when our two weeks were over, I got back onto that aeroplane knowing that I’d be back very soon.

And since a picture paints a thousand words, I’ll leave you with some photographs of our time at Lake Garda, and maybe you’ll fall a little in love with it, too.

        

Summer’s Lease will be released on July 13th, in eBook and Paperback. For more information please click here.

 

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My Writing Year – a Six Monthly Review

Credit: Depositphotos

As a dyed-in-the-wool planner (and an ex-HR practitioner) I’ve always set myself targets, in fact it’s often the only way I get things done. If I don’t have a daily things-to-do list written down, then I feel lost. Or rather, I feel entitled to make myself a cup of coffee, sit back and get lost in my latest read. Either way, I need to have goals in order to motivate myself,

That’s why back in January I wrote a post about my writing goals for 2017. To give myself some accountability, and to have something to measure myself against at the end of the year. And a bit like reading an old diary, it’s fun to look back and see what I was thinking a few months ago.

In HR, we always used to preach that objectives are only useful if they’re regularly reviewed. And though I no longer have a ‘boss’ to sit me down for a bi-annual appraisal, that doesn’t stop me from rating myself. So let’s see how I’ve done so far this year.

Target 1 – Edit & publish Summer’s Lease, the first in my new series.

Result – Done and dusted. Well almost. The book is fully edited and will be released on July 13th this year. It’s already getting some lovely reviews on Goodreads, and is available right now to pre-order for 99p / 99c.

Goal achieved. YAY!

Target 2 – Revise & submit A Winter’s Tale – the second in my new series.

Result – achieved. In fact, I think I overachieved this one. Not only has it been submitted, but it’s been through revisions, line edits & copy edits and is just awaiting a proofread. It will be released in November, and I can’t wait for people to read this one!

Target 3 – Write the first draft of Book 3 in the Shakespeare Sisters series

Result – target achieved. I spent most of the first 3 months of the year writing this book (tentatively titled Absent in the Spring), and since then have set it aside. One of my targets for the next couple of months is to revise and submit it to my publishers. I’m slowly learning to love the revision process (or certainly the outcome) but it’s still damn hard work. Wish me luck!

Target 4 – Write book 2 of my super-secret project

Done! Wish I could tell you more, but my lips are currently sealed. As soon as I can share, I promise I will 🙂

Target 5 – Attend author events to publicise new books

Result – partially achieved. I talked in this post about an author signing I attended in Newcastle, which was amazing. I also got to network with some fabulous authors at the RNA Summer Party, and at Goldsboro Books’ Romance in the Court. In August I’ll be attending Chaptercon, a multi-author/reader/blogger event in London, and I’ll be going to my first RNA Summer conference, too.

In 2018 I’ll be attending a number of author events, and I’m really excited about them!

So What Haven’t I achieved?

As it’s only half way through the year, there are a lot more targets that I need to achieve by the end of December 2017. These include:

  • Write book 3 of my super secret project
  • Plan release events for A Winter’s Tale
  • Complete revisions & publisher edits for book 3 of the Shakespeare Sisters series
  • Make plans for 2018

But my biggest goal, and one I haven’t spoken about much yet, is that I need to really working on marketing these books. I’ve started to work with the fabulous Social Butterfly PR, who will be helping to coordinate the release of both Summer’s Lease and A Winter’s Tale, along with helping me plan sales, special events and other things to make my readers happy.

By the end of 2017 I’ll have 6 books published, with at least another 2 to come in 2018, and it’s time to make sure they get as much attention as my new projects do. Balancing writing the next book with marketing my backlist is always a hard job, but one I’m determined to work on in the latter part of 2017. Want to know how I get on? Check back in December for my review of 2017!

So that’s it for my half-yearly review. After that I think we all deserve a drink down the pub. I’ll buy the first round, see you there!

Love,

 

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My Favourite Italian Drinks

It’s less than 3 weeks until Summer’s Lease is released in Ebook and Paperback (shameless pimp – sorry!) and the reviews are starting to come in. One thing all of them have in common is that they love the Italian setting, and in particular the food and drink I describe in great detail.

Researching (and tasting) Italian culinary delights was one of my favourite parts of writing Summer’s Lease. We even spent our summer holiday on the banks of Lake Garda, and then in Venice last year — and it proved to be the best way to make sure that my research was accurate (or a really good excuse to eat and drink my way through Italy!)

Drinking wine on the hills overlooking Lake Garda (credit: author’s own)

So, as a result of this extensive research, I bring you my five favourite Italian tipples. Have I missed your favourite out? Let me know in the comments.

1. NEGRONI

Classed as an ‘aperitivo’, which basically means you get to drink it before you eat (yay!), a Negroni is fast becoming as popular in the UK as it is in Italy. A blend of one part campari, one part vermouth and one part gin, it’s served over a generous amount of ice in a glass tumbler, along with a slice of orange. In Summer’s Lease, the hero, Sam, makes Cesca a Negroni, and she’s suitably impressed. As would I be if anybody made me one (hint hint!)

2. APEROL SPRITZ

One of my favourite discoveries during my time in Venice, an Aperol Spritz is one of the most famous cocktails in Italy. To make the perfect Spritz, you need to combine 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol and a splash of soda. Like a negroni, it’s served on the rocks with a twist of orange. I spent a lot of time drinking this during my stay in Italy, and have wonderful memories of sitting in a paved piazza with my ice-cold drink in hand, whiling the afternoon away people-watching. If you haven’t tried one yet, I highly recommend it.

 

Aperol Spritz (credit: Deposit photos)

3. PROSECCO

Anybody who knows me (or has checked out my Instagram page – here: https://www.instagram.com/carrie.elks/) knows I love white wine, and in particular the fizzy variety! During the summer Prosecco is my fizz of choice. It’s crisp, delicious, and downright tasty. There’s really nothing bad to say about it, which is why it makes my top 5. Chin chin!

4. VALPOLICELLA

In Summer’s Lease, there’s a wine cave set in the side of the hill behind the secluded villa where Sam and Cesca stay. Inside is a treasure trove of Italian wine, and the one that stands out is the Valpolicella. Sam uses his knowledge of wine to impress Cesca, and at one funny part of the book he also uses it to show how well he knows her. Just don’t drink the 2002 vintage – it’s not the best!

5. LIMONCELLO

Another favourite of mine from my stay in Italy was the post-dinner lemon-flavoured liqueur, Limoncello. It’s thick and sweet, and the perfect way to round of an evening of pasta or risotto. It’s traditionally made from Sorrento Lemons, and should be drunk in small measures. Otherwise drunk will be the operative word!

So there you have it, a list of my top 5 Italian drinks, some of which you’ll find hiding in the pages of Summer’s Lease. The book releases on 13th July, and I highly recommend reading it in the garden (or at the beach) with one of these tipples in hand!

Overlooking Lake Garda (credit: Author’s Own)

Cheers!

 

 

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Multi-Author Signing Events

This week I’ll be heading up to Newcastle (approximately a 6 hour drive away) to attend the Dedicated Ink Author Signing Event. Multi-author signings are a relatively new invention in the book world, created in part as a response to the fact that for independent authors it’s always been difficult to arrange events in bookshops, which makes it hard for authors to meet their readers face to face.

I first became aware of events like these in 2013, mostly taking place all over the USA. These events attract hundreds, and sometimes thousands of readers and bloggers, and can be an amazing way to find new fans and make connections. In the UK they’re a relatively new phenomenon. I attended my first as an author in April 2015, when I attended the BRITISH BOOK AFFAIR in London. As a relative newcomer (I think I still am really) I was awed by authors like Christina Lauren, Abbi Glines, Samantha Young and so many more who were kicking it at writing and selling amazing books.

Since then, I’ve attended another 3 signings in York, Leeds, Berlin and Southend-on-Sea, which makes Newcastle my sixth event of this kind. For those of you who’ve never been to a multi-author event like this, they tend to look a bit like this:

Multi-Author Events

Authors are there not only to sell books (and in fact this is often the lowest on their list). Instead they’re there to connect with readers, to give out a whole lot of free swag, and to make sure we all have a good time. The signings tend to last all day — long enough for readers to make their way around the big hall that usually holds anywhere between 50 to 100 authors — and then afterwards there’s usually an evening party where authors, bloggers and readers all mingle together. This is usually the best part  of the day for me — a time when we can finally relax and enjoy talking about everything to do with books.

Signing After Party

Preparing for an event often involves spending time in a Facebook group where we get to know the readers who will be attending, ordering swag (see below for a picture of some of mine), making sure I have enough books and also setting up pre-orders for those who like to pay before the day. And because Newcastle is so far away, it also involves making travel arrangements, booking hotels, and making sure the kids and the dog are looked after while I’m gone!

Some of the Swag I’ll be taking to Newcastle!

After Newcastle, I’ll be attending ChapterCon in August (which is not only a signing, but also an author conference) and then in 2018 I’ll be heading to Belfast, Leeds, York, Edinburgh and Brighton. I’ll also be heading over to RARE in London as a reader! Busy times.

So how about you? Have you been to a multi-author event before? If you haven’t would you consider going? And if you have, what event will you be attending next?

And if you want more information on where to find me, check out my News and Events page.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks

Summer’s Lease

by Carrie Elks

Giveaway ends July 13, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway