5 Reasons Why I’m Excited For Summer!

 

I’m British, which means I’m obsessed by the weather. It’s a national pastime that I’m more than willing to take part in — be  it complaining about the rain, or speculating about the possibility of snow. But when the sun comes out, I tend to go into overdrive. Sunny weather is my happy place. It means long days out on our deck, with an ice-cold cocktail in one hand and a summery book in the other. Summer is about vacations and the sea, the beach and a barbecue. More than anything, warm weather is about spending time with family and friends — and it doesn’t get much better than that!

So since the sun decided to take a peek out from behind the clouds this weekend (and as I write, my weather app is telling me that by the time this blog is posted the rain will be back — sorry!) I decided it was high time to write a summery blog. So read on to find out my FIVE favorite things about summer!

1. THE FOOD

I’m one of those crazy people who love salads. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not about being healthy or calorie counting. After all, my favorite kind of salad comes doused with dressing and  with a side of french fries. It has to start out with a base of green salad leaves, then a healthy sprinkling of onion and cucumber. On top of that I love me some croutons and maybe some cajun spiced chicken, as well as a creamy dressing — be it caesar, thousand island or just yummy french oil. It has to be hearty, tasty, and full of the taste of summer.  Delicious!

2. THE DRINKS

There are so many different drinks that really come into their own in the summer. If you like your refreshment with alcohol, then Pimms is definitely the queen of summer drinks. This quintessential British punch-style drink is based on gin and red vermouth, with a large douse of lemonade, all poured into a jug filled with mint, strawberries, cucumber and apples. And it tastes absolutely delicious.

But Pimms isn’t the only good drink to have on a hot summer’s day. There’s also Prosecco, margaritas, and of course  an ice-cold beer. All these things make me feel very happy indeed.

3. THE BOOKS

For me, summer isn’t complete without a lovely summery story in my hand. Preferably set on a beach, with a pretty girl and a gorgeous guy who try to deny the attraction between them. This year there are a whole load of summer books being released — from Holly Martin’s Summer at Buttercup Beach to Heidi Swain’s Coming Home to Cuckoo Cottage and Sarah Morgan’s Holiday in the Hamptons. Oh, and did I mention I have a summer book coming out too? If you enjoy love stories set in Italy, with good food and a splash of wine (do you sense a theme here), along with a movie-star hero and a smart mouthed English writer, then check out Summer’s Lease. 

4. THE MOVIES

Summer movies are all about sun, sand and lots of love. The first one that springs to mind is the iconic Dirty Dancing. An uptown girl and a downtown boy meet at a Summer Vacation spot, and love grows on the dance floor. I won’t mention the remake (because really, no), but the original is well worth a re-watch. But if Baby and Johnny don’t do it for you, then check out Grease, Roman Holiday, One Day or Mama Mia, all of which feature scenes in the hot summer sun!

5. THE VACATIONS

Where better to enjoy summer food, drink, books and movies than on vacation? I love going on holiday with my family — it’s a chance to kick back, relax and spend quality time with those I love. Whether it be in Spain, Turkey or Italy (our most recent three vacations) the real draw of a holiday is being able to take ourselves away from real life and all the worries it brings, and start to relax, if only for a couple of weeks.

So those are the reasons I love summer. How about you? Are you a sun lover or more of a spring person? Let me know in the comments, or send me a tweet!

Love,

A Few of My Favorite Things #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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

This week we’re talking about things we can’t live without. We need to list five things. ONLY FIVE. Oh my, let’s see if I can whittle it down!  

1. MY FAMILY

They may drive me crazy. They may see me as Mom’s Taxi Service. They may think I’m a walking, talking ATM who also happens to whip up a great dinner, but I love them to bits. Plus they gave me an awesome Mother’s Day gift on Sunday (it was Mother’s Day here in the UK) so all is forgiven.

2. MY FRIENDS

Both online and in real life, my friends are my rocks. Whenever I need them, they’re there, and I hope I do the same for them, too. I’ve been lucky enough to build up a supportive tribe, and I know I couldn’t live without them. I’m glad I don’t have to!

3. MY KINDLE

Duh! Well of course. Without my Kindle, I feel as though I’ve lost a limb. The thing goes everywhere with me. The bath, the garden, on holiday. The list is endless. If I’m picking a child up from a club I take it just in case I have to wait for five minutes – because goodness knows I wouldn’t want to waste it! Luckily for me it’s also fully loaded — with around 200 books that I’ve downloaded but haven’t read yet.

4. CHOCOLATE

I’m a chocoholic. There, I’ve said it. I prefer milk over white or dark, but apart from that I’m not very fussy. I like it in boxes, in a bar (the chocolate, not the alcoholic kind), in a cup when hot and in ANY kind of cake. Without chocolate I don’t think I’d be very happy. Please don’t take it away from me!

5. WINE

If you follow my Instagram account, you probably could have guessed this one! For me, a glass of wine (preferably white, but I can live with red) signals the end of a long day and the beginning of a restful evening. When the children were small I’d put them to bed at 7 and then sigh as I poured myself out a glass. Now they’re older I have to time my glass around my taxi service (see above!) Sometimes I may not get to pour it until 9 or 10, but it’s still just as welcome. Cheers!

So yeah, those are a few of my favorite things. If I could combine them all (A chocolate and wine party with my family and friends where we just talk about books) I think I might internally combust!

 

Now let’s hop over to Dani Jace’s blog to find out what she can’t live without! While you’re there, check out her HOT AS BLAZES excerpt. I love that cover!!

Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Canva & authors own.

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.

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.

What’s on TV? #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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

This week we’re talking about the fall television schedules. What TV shows are we watching, and why do we love them?

I’m a sucker for a good TV show. I think I was born with square eyes, and my earliest memories (apart from reading) revolve around great television shows. Of course in those days there weren’t a lot of Kids TV programmes, but I didn’t care. As long as it moved and was on the screen, I was happy to watch it.

Nowadays I’m a little more discerning, but as soon as the Autumn TV schedule starts, I’m still like an over-excited puppy with a new toy. Here are a few of the shows that have grabbed my attention this autumn, and the reasons why!

1. The Fall (BBC)

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This BBC crime drama stars Gillian Anderson (with a British accent that is 100% better than mine) as a talented police detective, and the rather scarily good looking Jamie Dornan as the serial killer she’s hunting. Over here it’s on the third series, and the first episode begins with Jamie’s character, Paul Spectre, in hospital with a gunshot wound, while Stella Gibson (Gillian’s character) is being questioned for her poor handling of his shooting.

I’ve loved this show from the start (and if you have Netflix, you can catch up on all the seasons). Its dark portrayal of Belfast as a city under the threat of a serial rapist and killer has me on the edge of my seat. It’s scary, thrilling, and easy to get lost in. Can’t miss TV!

2. Victoria (ITV)

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Copyright: ITV

I’ve always been a fan of historical dramas, and this portrayal of a young Queen Victoria (from her rise to the throne at the age of 19), is fast becoming one of my favourites. It has all the elements; a coming of age story, as Victoria grows into her role, a romance between Victoria and her German cousin, Albert, plus some drama and intrigue as various enemies conspire against her. In my books, I love writing about strong heroines with mountains to climb, and they don’t get much stronger than this!

3. Marvel’s Luke Cage (Netflix)

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Copyright:Netflix

I’m secretly a bit of a comic-book lover, and when Marvel’s Luke Cage came onto Netflix this fall, I added it to my list of things to watch straight away. The story of an ex-convict who has superhuman strength (and skin a bullet can’t pierce) it’s the ultimate story of good versus evil.

Now let’s hop over to S.C. Mitchell’s blog to find out what he’s been watching this fall. And don’t forget to check out his wonderful books on Amazon! 

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Canva & authors own.

Giving it Up #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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

This week we’re talking about giving things up. If we had to give up something, what would it be, and how would we handle it?

You only have to follow me on Instagram or Twitter to know how much I love a glass of wine (or two!) When my children were younger, and after they were in bed, pouring a small glass of white would be my signal that my working day was over and I could put my feet up and relax for a moment — at least until it was time to make their school lunches, tidy the kitchen, and get everything ready for the next day.

Nowadays my children go to bed after I do. I still love a glass of wine, though, especially on a Friday night. And if that glass somehow expands into  bottle (between the two of us, because I’m not that bad…) then so be it. It’s my favourite indulgence, and it tastes blooming good, plus it’s the perfect accompaniment to some good company (thanks Mr. Elks) and a good movie or TV programme.

So if I had to give up something, then wine would be it. And I know I’d find it hard. In fact, only last night Mr. E and I were talking about giving wine up for October. A whole month without wine? How would we last?

And then we remembered that we’re going out for dinner on October 7th. Plus we’re going away for a few nights on October 22nd. Neither of these things can happen without a glass or two of the best stuff. So in actuality, we’re giving up wine from 8th to the 21st October. We can’t even manage 3 weeks.

Because we are bad.

There you have it. If I had to give up something it would be wine. Except I can’t give it up because I like it too much and it makes me happy. Which, if you think about it, isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

 

Now let’s hop over to Brenda Margriet’s blog to find out what she’s planning on giving up! While you’re there take a look at her fabulous book, When Time Falls Still.

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Canva & authors own.

When Writing is In-Tense… #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

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

This week we’re talking about craft. How we decide what tense and point of view to use, and whether we have written a book that breaks all the rules.

I never used to notice tense or point of view until I became a writer. As a reader I didn’t care less about the mechanics of the writing, as long as it was a good story, with good characters, and a plot that kept me hooked. Any more information than that, and it was like looking behind the Wizard of Oz’s curtain, and discovering how mundane the crafting of a story can be. But when I started writing stories, my eyes were opened to how many choices a writer has to make about how their story is formed, and how these choices can influence the reader’s perception. As Stephen King so wisely said in his memoir, ‘On Writing’, “you must not come lightly to the blank page.”

When I first started reading romance books (just after papyrus was invented), many of them shared the same basic framework — written in third person, with both the hero and heroine’s point of view, and always in the past tense. Of course the occasional book would be written in first person, but often those would veer more into the Women’s Fiction genre, with more emphasis on the heroine’s journey, and less on her budding romance with the hero.

Nowadays, though, there are so many choices in how to approach the story. There are books in first or third person, in present or past tense, and the choice of whether to show one or both points of view can depend upon the story. I love the diversity this offers both reader and writer, and I myself have written in different styles. Fix You is more traditional, written in third-person past, with both Richard and Hanna’s point of view. The three books in the Love in London series are different — they’re written in first person present, giving an immediacy to the heroine’s journey, and a more intimate viewpoint of the budding romance between her and the hero.

When I wrote fan fiction, I liked to push the boundaries, and have written in third person present (not a combination you see in books very often) and even had an attempt in writing in second-person present. For those who haven’t had the joy of second-person, take a look here. All I can say is that by the time I’d finished writing, it somehow morphed into first person. Probably a good thing not many books are written in second!

While I don’t really have a preference on tense or viewpoint, recently I’ve found myself veering more into third person than first. For some reason I’ve found it suits the story better, and allows me to give a fullness and weight to the plot that first person wouldn’t allow. I know some people say that third person is more shallow and less emotional than writing in first person, but I think that you can still fill a scene with feeling and depth regardless of the point of view. You just need to use the right words in the right order — it’s that easy, and that hard!

How about you? Do you have any preferences for tense and point of view when you’re reading (or writing a book). Let me knowing the comments.

Now let’s hop over to Jenna Da Sie’s Blog to find out how she deals with tense and pov.

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.