Lights, Camera . . . Love?

There’s something rather wonderful about a Hollywood romance, in both real life and as a story. Watching LaLaLand earlier this year brought that back to me. Although let’s not talk about that ending. Seriously, let’s not. I’m still in recovery.

So when I decided to write a new series based on four sisters, it seemed natural to have a hero who was a up-and-coming movie star — a huge contrast to the heroine who was a poor, wannabe playwright. And that’s how Sam Carlton appeared to me — almost fully formed before I even put pen to paper. A man who got his first big break at the age of 19, and has been part of the Hollywood machine ever since.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a romance book has ever been written about a movie star and a civilian (I wanted to say Muggle, but J.K. Rowling I’m not.) In fact, some of my all time favorite stories feature the clash of lifestyles between an ordinary girl and a famous star. There’s the hilarious The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton, that features the gorgeous Jack Hamilton wooing a very normal, and notably clumsy, Grace Sheridan. Then there’s the hot Hollywood Dirt by Alessandre Torre – soon to become a movie itself, courtesy of PassionFlix. Love Unscripted by Tina Reber — my very favourite modern Hollywood romance — features a hero (movie star Ryan Christiansen) who literally crashes into Taryn Michael’s small town bar, leading to a chemistry that sizzles off the page.

It’s not just in books that Hollywood Romances can be found, but also (in a rather meta kind of way) in the movies too. I’ve already mentioned LaLaLand, (oh Ryan, why did you break my heart so?) but of course this is only the latest in a long line of movies about movie stars. One of my favourites — and a classic by any measure — is Singin’ in the Rain, featuring a rather gorgeous Gene Kelly singing and dancing his way as he falls in love with Debbie Reynolds. Then there’s Notting Hill, where movie star Julia Roberts has orange juice spilled over her white top by a bumbling yet adorable bookshop owner, Hugh Grant.

What do all these stories have in common? I think in the beginning there’s a mismatch between the hero and heroine, or in this case the movie star and the muggle *ahem* civilian. It seems as though the movie star is out of their reach, and that a relationship can never work. And yet as the story unfolds, the star becomes more down to earth, and often is searching for somebody who will treat them as normal. Fall in love with them for their personality, not for their handprint outside the Chinese theater. In that respect it’s not so different to a traditional fairytale like Cinderella, where a rich royal falls in love with a poor maid. It’s a modern, up to date (and occasionally gender-swapped) version of all those stories we read growing up.

I think that’s what makes a movie-star romance so magical. It has all the glamour of a fairytale, but with the added edge of a Hollywood setting. For those of us who grew up with our eyes glued to the silver screen, it offers a fantasy that can whisk us away from modern life, and for me, romances don’t get much better than that.

Summer’s Lease is the first book in Carrie’s new Shakespeare Sisters series, and will be released on July 13th. For more details click here.

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A Love Letter to Berlin

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Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Berlin Loveletter Convention 2016. This is an event that brings together Romance writers, readers, bloggers and publishers, and I have to admit that it absolutely blew me away.

I was invited to attend because my book, Kiss You, will be released in Germany this June. And if you haven’t seen the cover yet, here’s a little gratuitous plug! (I love this cover!)

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My lovely German publishers, Ullstein Buchverlage, were kind enough to host me in Berlin, and provided excerpts of Kiss You to every attendee of the convention in this fabulous book. Though I can’t understand much of it, I’m so excited to see Richard and Hanna’s story in another language.

The convention took place over two days, and included a mixture of workshops, q&a sessions, meet and greets and a signing. Even though my book isn’t yet released, the German readers were so welcoming and kind, and it was a real pleasure to talk to them about our shared love of romance books.

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I also got to meet some of my own heroes, including the lovely Mhairi McFarlane, who I took part in a q&a session with. It took place at 10am on the Saturday (after a fairly heavy night out) but despite the early hour the audience threw themselves into the session and we had a lot of fun.

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On Sunday, I took part in a workshop about agents and authors. I was privileged to meet the amazing Simona Ahrnstedt whose book, Ein Einziges Geheimnis, has recently been released in Germany.

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As we had a break in the afternoon, my agent, Meire Dias, and I had the privilege to visit the Berlin Wall Memorial. Both the remains of the Wall and the stories of the German people who were affected by it were breathtaking and humbling. We were there for three hours and both of us were extremely moved by this tribute to Berlin’s recent history. It’s difficult to believe that such a historic and beautiful city was divided in such recent times (the Wall fell 26 years ago), and yet reading about the heroism and stoicism of those who lived there made me feel proud to be able to visit their lovely city.


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On Monday, I had to return home, as both work and my family called. I left Berlin feeling very honoured to meet so many lovely readers, writers, publishers and bloggers, and also knowing that I will be returning to that lovely country as soon as I can. Germany, thank you so much for your lovely hospitality. I loved every minute that I spent there.

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Kiss You will be released in Germany in ebook on 17th June and in paperback on 9th September by Ullstein Buchverlage.

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Danke,

Carrie Pink

New Release – Canada Square

It’s CANADA SQUARE Release Day!!!

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
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SYNOPSIS

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.

WHERE TO BUY

AMAZON

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KOBO 

NOOK 

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Cover Reveal – Canada Square

COVER REVEAL

Today I’m delighted to share with you the cover for my next release. Canada Square is the third in the Love in London Series, but like the rest of the books can be read as a standalone novel. Scroll down for the blurb and excerpt, and don’t forget to add to your Goodreads page! The book will be released on April 7th, and I’ll be sharing lots of teasers and excerpts on my Facebook page, so drop on by and say hello!

And if you would like to receive an email when the pre-order is live, please click here

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Title: Canada Square
Series: Love in London #3
Author: Carrie Elks
Genre: Adult Romance
Release Date: April 7th, 2016
Cover Designed by: Sylvia Frost

SYNOPSIS

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.

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EXCERPT

“I’m the youngest of three. Nothing’s ever just about me.”

He blinks slowly, eyes heavy lidded. “Something should be.”

The moment twists, the humour dissolving in the frisson that grows between us. I feel it crackling and buzzing against my skin, and all I can think about is that kiss.

Soft, sure. A brief moment of everything.

“Something?” I ask, a little breathlessly.

He catches my gaze, holding it without trying. In that instant I know for sure that whatever I’m feeling for him isn’t one-sided. It weaves between us, soft as silk, unbreakable as iron. It makes me feel delighted and downright scared. I can cope with a crush, enjoy it even. Treat him like the eye-candy he is, a piece of deliciousness to look forward to when I enter the office. But mutual attraction? That’s dangerous. It’s a lingering force that threatens everything; my job, my degree, my hopes for the future.

Here be dragons, but rather than run away from the flames, I’m letting them consume me.

IN THE SERIES

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

Sneak Peak – Fix You

To celebrate my facebook page getting 500 likes (511 as I type – and if you haven’t liked already, the link is here: http://www.facebook.com/carrieelksauthor) I’m posting a sneak peak of Fix You. I love this excerpt. It’s set in Hyde Park, which is my favourite of the Royal Parks in London, and sees Richard and Hanna drinking a little too much wine and being playful. I hope you enjoy it!!

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THEY WERE RESTING near the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, blanketed by the warm summer air. Richard lay back, his head propped on his rolled-up jacket. Hanna lay curled up beside him, her cheek resting on his chest. An empty bottle of expensive wine lay on its side next to them. They were both feeling a little drunk.

“Ruby will be home soon,” he murmured, his hand tangling in her hair, playing with her loose tendrils.

“Mmm.” Hanna’s eyes remained closed. He could feel a slight moistening of his t-shirt where her mouth was.

“Are you dribbling on me?” He lifted his head to get a better look.

“I don’t dribble.” She was suddenly awake, whipping her head around to catch his eye, surreptitiously wiping her lips with the back of her hand. Richard laughed at her tell-tale gesture.

“Come on, admit it, I make you salivate.”

“Your modesty is scaring me.” Staring up at him, she bit her lip to restrain a smile before poking her tongue out and licking his t-shirt. “But if you’re going to accuse me of something I haven’t done, then I’m going to do it, anyway.”

Clocking the expression on his face, she jumped up and grabbed her bag, running over the open grass. She passed the statue in the middle of the lawn, heading toward the wooded area surrounding them. Grabbing his coat, Richard ran after her, his long, fast strides allowing him to catch her before she even reached the first oak.

“You’ve got no chance,” he laughed. Hooking his arms around her waist, he pulled her body back to his. He could feel the softness of her stomach rising and falling in line with her short, sharp breaths.

Hanna tried to wriggle against him, tugging at his arms, trying to escape. He held firm, keeping her body contained within his embrace, fighting off her attempts to get free. Her breathing slowed. He could feel his own heartbeat starting to calm after the unexpected burst of activity.

RELEASE DATE – FEBRUARY 2014

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