Climax by Christina George (Review, 5 stars)

It’s finally here, the long-awaited sequel to The Publicist! CLIMAX by Christina George is the final installment in the series. It comes in two parts:


The Covers

 

 

Here is the Bundled set version:

 


About the Book

Release date: December 15, 2014. You can pre-order now!

 

Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit.
Kate Mitchell has everything. She’s the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she’s about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career.
And that’s when everything falls apart.
Everything is perfect…until it’s not.
In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again.
Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended.
When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made.
Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.


About the Author

 

 

Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.


Let’s Revisit the Characters…

 

 

Some Fun Stuff!

Head on over to Kate’s site and listen to a sample of the audio book version of The Publicist and enter her Amazon gift card giveaway. She also has a playlist of songs for the book!
My Thoughts:
I absolutely loved the first two books in this series and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the sequels. They did not disappoint. Christina George has a gift for writing and storytelling. As in The Publicist, you will fall in love all over again with the characters. Expect a few surprises along the way this time.
I’m giving the sequels 5 stars. If you enjoyed the first two books, you’ll love these two.

Guest Post

True Confessions of a Book Launch

by Christina George

I used to tell authors that writing a book was the easy part, publishing and marketing it was tougher than you could even imagine. They’d nod, pretend like they understood (and I know they didn’t) and then chaos would ensue. Because what no one tells you, no one warns you about is this: book launches can be gut-wrenchingly hard. Why? Well maybe this analogy will help. I had an author once who compared launching a book to sending your kid to college. You raise them right, give them values, try to instill your own moral code into their lives and then, one day, they’re gone and the world awaits. So you pack them up, send them to college and, secretly, hope for the best because really in the end, that’s all you can do. Now they will either become scholars and spend all of their time studying to keep their grades high, or they will become partying pot-heads who keep forgetting to show up for class.

Most, however, land somewhere in between and that’s where the trouble really starts because they aren’t one or the other. They aren’t a total failure but they aren’t a wild success and when it comes to a book launch I find much the same thing. We push our books out there, we pray, light candles or do whatever ritual we do (sometimes drink) and then we wait, and wait, and wait and as the reviews start to pop up on Amazon we find our anxiety growing because for every person who loves it there will always be someone who won’t. And why is it that we forget all of the five star reviews and instead focus on the one 1-star review we got where someone we don’t even know said: Could be better. Now, hopefully your book launch experience won’t be this 1-to-1 ratio, meaning you won’t get a 1-star for every 5-stars but even so, the 1-stars are killers.

Welcome to a book launch. It’s a mind-numbing, emotional roller coaster that reveals every hidden issue (and sometimes phobia) we think was long buried and a few we didn’t know we had. In the end, we really just want to know: is it good enough? It’s hard you know because when a book gets out there, anything can happen with it. If you’re reading this nodding and recognize this situation from your own experience the only thing I can say is that you’re not alone. Book launches are mystical, mysterious experiences that leave us excited and baffled at the same time. We want it to be an endless stream of love we get from our readers, but sadly, that’s not always going to be the case. Some of the experiences will leave us euphoric while others, make us rock in a corner.

In the end, we want our “kid” to succeed, to be valedictorian, to lead the class because that’s what writing is all about. The beauty though is that we don’t know and often it’s in that not knowing where the real excitement lies. Every day that you push your book out there absolutely anything can happen with it but the key is that you have to keep pushing it. And that’s another secret of the book launch because in reality, they never end.

Climax (Part 1 & 2) Cover Reveal, author Christina George GIVEAWAY!

 

It’s finally here, the long-awaited sequel to The Publicist! CLIMAX by Christina George is the final installment in the series. It comes in two parts:


The Covers

 

 

Here is the Bundled set version:

 


About the Book

Release date: December 15, 2014. You can pre-order now!

 

Kate Mitchell has never forgiven herself for breaking Nick Lavigne’s heart. Now he’s back and he’s moved on, and it’s affecting Kate’s life more than she’s willing to admit.
Kate Mitchell has everything. She’s the head of a crazy successful publishing house, engaged to the traffic-stopping sexy Mac Ellis and she’s about to sign one of the biggest authors of her career.
And that’s when everything falls apart.
Everything is perfect…until it’s not.
In a city of 8 million people Kate manages to run into someone she never expected to see again.
Nick is handsome, impossibly kind, every girl’s dream, and Kate’s former fiancé. He’s also the brother of the rising star author she’s trying to sign. Now that Nick’s back in town and has moved on he insists he’s over Kate, but part of him still can’t get past how amazing they were, and his sister won’t let anyone forget how brutally it ended.
When Mac is dealt a life-changing blow, it forces Kate to question every single choice she’s made.
Follow Kate as she embarks on a journey of life and love, navigating through the decisions that will change it all forever.


About the Author

 

 

Christina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it.


Let’s Revisit the Characters…

 

 

Some Fun Stuff!

Head on over to Kate’s site and listen to a sample of the audio book version of The Publicist and enter her Amazon gift card giveaway. She also has a playlist of songs for the book!
So which team are you on? Want to know who Kate ends up with?

 There’s a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Publicist Character Trading Cards! Win a set now!

I reviewed The Publicist and Shelf Life not so long ago – both GREAT books. I am back with a set of Character Trading Cards to giveaway!

To win a set (there are 2) just leave a comment with your name and email!

You and read my review here:

http://mylifeonestoryatatime.com//?s=the+publicist&search=Go

***********************

 

ANOTHER AMAZING OFFER!

Author Christina George has​ created the Exclusive Reader Buzz Club, to offer you an insider’s chance to get an advanced review copy of The Publicist: Book Three (official title pending).

To become a member of the Exclusive Reader Buzz Club here’s all you need to do:

​1. ​Write a review for the Book One and Book Two bundle on Amazonwww.bitly.com/thepublicist

​2. ​Email Christina George​ a link to your review: authorchristinageorge@gmail.com

​3. ​If you haven’t reviewed it and want to, email​ Christina George​ and she​’ll send you the eBook bundle for free! Once you read it and review it,​ email her​ that link.

 

 

 

Win a Copy of The Publicist and Shelflife by Christina George!

When I say that this is a book you’ll want to read – believe me! THE PUBLICIST AND SHELF LIFE will pull in and not let go of you. (Read my review below and others on Amazon) The books are fascinating just for the inside information on publishing – throw in a romance and it is a winner! Book 3 is due out this summer and I am eagerly anticipating it!

ANNOUNCEMENT!!! Drum roll please! I have TWO – not 1, but TWO copies to giveaway!  Your choice – Paperback or E-book! Just leave a comment with your name and email (for contact purposes) to be eligible to win a copy. 

 

 

 

 

 

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.


Enter the star editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author—now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single, and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. 


As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more romance and sex, more celebrities, and more scandal. 


Includes Book Two: 

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long? 

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure…. 

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

 

Christina GeorgeChristina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it. 

Website: http://www.thepublicistnovel.com
Twitter@publicistgal
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kate.mitchell.528316

BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON HERE:

My Review:

I’m not sure how much is accurate about the publishing world – but it sounds pretty accurate – from the little I know. I’ve been reviewing books for a long time and I’ve not only met and mingled and conversed with authors, but with publishers, and public relations people and the book is on the money with what I’ve learned. I still found it fascinating because the publishing world is just that – fascinating; the fast paced dog eat dog world – and will the book get published and will it be a success.

Christina gives us a peak into the publishing world and what it means to be a publicist dealing with out-of-control over-the-top authors and the chaos that surrounds them. As a book reviewer, I am contacted on a regular basis by publicist to write reviews. The book, as well as giving us an outstanding love story, tells a story about a side of publishing few of us will ever see. Having been to New York City and roamed the streets of Manhattan, I was familiar with some of the landmarks mentioned in the story and the street vibe depicted in the story is something to be experienced. The book came alive for me and I was drawn in hook, line, and sinker.

The humor in the book is laugh out loud funny. This is from a scene where Kate is talking an author from jumping off a roof.

But I just bought Armani! Kate was silent for a moment, a line officers standing behind her. She wasn’t sure what Haley was talking about. ‘Haley,’ she began, ‘what do you mean?’ ‘I bought Armani for the show. An outfit, you know. Clothes?’ Her sarcasm was dripping, and it was all Kate could do not to slip her foot in front of one of Haley’s expensive shoes and topple her off the roof. Kate thought for a moment about leaving Haley on the ledge and walking over to the nearest bar to watch the rest on TV while she sipped a Cosmo. But she didn’t. She stayed.

‘How does one decide what to wear to a suicide? Kate pondered. ‘I’ll never get past this – I’m ruined. Oprah cancelled on me! No one will ever speak to me again!’ …’You don’t know my friends.’…’and the next time I’m cast aside, discarded by some lowlife producer and replaced by some bleeding-heart novelist.’ Kate rolled her eyes. Jesus this girl. If she wasn’t so close to the edge of the roof, Kate would rush over and give her a good wallop. Oprah was off the air, but her name still sounded like magic to many authors.

 

Can you imagine being a publicist and having to deal with so much drama? The book also shows the softer side of working with authors who are easy to please. Everyone wants their book to be a best seller. That is as evident in the book as it is in real life – by some of the review requests I receive from authors.

Then, there’s the love story. While Fifty Shades left little to the imagination, I enjoyed the way author Christina George did leave some to the imagination. It’s always much more fun that way. There are a few hot love scenes – nothing that compares to the Red Room in Fifty Shades – but then again, do we actually need that every day? No. It gets redundant. It you are talking about sex, then Fifty Shades comes out on top. If you want a story, read The Publicist and

Kate sighed. The rest of her life. She had imagined it very differently. But that’s the irony, isn’t it? We make plans and God laughs. He was certainly laughing now.

I wrote my original review before I read Book 2. I loved the extension of Book 1, and I am looking forward with anticipation to the release of Book 3. I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers away and I just hate regurgitating the book blurb, but I will tell you the books are enjoyable and you will love them. I’m giving The Publicist five stars.

Kate, darling, listen to me carefully. If you really wanted to get rid of him, you could. You’d tell him to go, and he’d believe you. My sense is that you told him, and he knows what I know – that you’re not over him. Men can sense that, you know. We’re piranhas.” “Maybe if I ignore him, it’ll just go away.” “I think some weary banker once said that about the crash of Wall Street.

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

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The Publicist – The New Fifty Shades? (Review) by Christina George

 

 

 

 

Can one woman change an age-old institution like publishing? Probably not, but Kate Mitchell sure wants to try. As a publicist with a large, respected New York publishing house, Kate finds herself at the mercy of a broken publishing system, books that don’t sell, and author egos that are often, well, as big as the island of Manhattan.


Enter the star editor, MacDermott Ellis: Tall, handsome, charismatic, married, and ready to save the day. Then there’s Allan Lavigne, once a revered author—now as forgotten as last year’s bestsellers and his nephew Nick: Tall, gorgeous, sweet, single, and ready to sweep Kate off her feet. Kate wants to do the right thing but her hormones seem to be driving her decisions. 


As Kate tries to navigate the landmine of publicity, over-the-top author expectations, and the careful dance of “I’m sorry, your book isn’t on the bestseller list this week,” she also finds authors who are painfully overlooked by a publisher wanting more romance and sex, more celebrities, and more scandal. 


Includes Book Two: 

Publishing: An industry of out-of-control of egos, unrealistic expectations, and books with the shelf life of milk. This is Kate’s world, but for how long? 

When one of Kate Mitchell’s star authors is carted away in handcuffs, she thinks it’s only the beginning of her troubles. As her world crumbles around her, Kate desperately looks for anyone to hold onto but finds that happy endings are truly works of fiction. When her career and love affair hit their expiration date, Kate sets off on a new adventure…. 

Starting over in California is easy, but Kate soon learns that leaving her old life behind isn’t. Nicholas Lavigne is eager to help her forget, but two things still own her heart, the dream of discovering the next great American novel, and MacDermott Ellis. As Kate tries to rebuild her life she finds a surprising gift that reboots her career in a new and unexpected direction. Suddenly her name becomes synonymous with one of the biggest bestsellers publishing has seen in ages and she’s welcomed back with open arms. At the height of her success the ghosts of her past come back to remind her of the world she’d been trying to forget and the man who never let go of her heart. Behind the book, there’s always more to the story. 

iRead Book Tour Logo Medium

 

Christina GeorgeChristina George has worked in publishing for twenty years (give or take). Here’s what this book isn’t. It’s not a slam against publishing (though it is broken) and it’s not a slam against authors (though some of them are crazy). This book is not autobiographical though many of the stories are true. No you won’t know which ones, cause it’s more fun to guess, right? George continues to work in publicity and helps authors because at the end of the day she does love books, she loves publishing, and she loves authors. She hopes you’ll enjoy this romp through Kate’s world as much as she enjoyed creating it. 

Website: http://www.thepublicistnovel.com
Twitter@publicistgal
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kate.mitchell.528316

BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON HERE:

My Review:

I’m not sure how much is accurate about the publishing world – but it sounds pretty accurate – from the little I know. I’ve been reviewing books for a long time and I’ve not only met and mingled and conversed with authors, but with publishers, and public relations people and the book is on the money with what I’ve learned. I still found it fascinating because the publishing world is just that – fascinating; the fast paced dog eat dog world – and will the book get published and will it be a success.

Christina gives us a peak into the publishing world and what it means to be a publicist dealing with out-of-control over-the-top authors and the chaos that surrounds them. As a book reviewer, I am contacted on a regular basis by publicist to write reviews. The book, as well as giving us an outstanding love story, tells a story about a side of publishing few of us will ever see. Having been to New York City and roamed the streets of Manhattan, I was familiar with some of the landmarks mentioned in the story and the street vibe depicted in the story is something to be experienced. The book came alive for me and I was drawn in hook, line, and sinker.

The humor in the book is laugh out loud funny. This is from a scene where Kate is talking an author from jumping off a roof.

But I just bought Armani! Kate was silent for a moment, a line officers standing behind her. She wasn’t sure what Haley was talking about. ‘Haley,’ she began, ‘what do you mean?’ ‘I bought Armani for the show. An outfit, you know. Clothes?’ Her sarcasm was dripping, and it was all Kate could do not to slip her foot in front of one of Haley’s expensive shoes and topple her off the roof. Kate thought for a moment about leaving Haley on the ledge and walking over to the nearest bar to watch the rest on TV while she sipped a Cosmo. But she didn’t. She stayed.

‘How does one decide what to wear to a suicide? Kate pondered. ‘I’ll never get past this – I’m ruined. Oprah cancelled on me! No one will ever speak to me again!’ …’You don’t know my friends.’…’and the next time I’m cast aside, discarded by some lowlife producer and replaced by some bleeding-heart novelist.’ Kate rolled her eyes. Jesus this girl. If she wasn’t so close to the edge of the roof, Kate would rush over and give her a good wallop. Oprah was off the air, but her name still sounded like magic to many authors.

 

Can you imagine being a publicist and having to deal with so much drama? The book also shows the softer side of working with authors who are easy to please. Everyone wants their book to be a best seller. That is as evident in the book as it is in real life – by some of the review requests I receive from authors.

Then, there’s the love story. While Fifty Shades left little to the imagination, I enjoyed the way author Christina George did leave some to the imagination. It’s always much more fun that way. There are a few hot love scenes – nothing that compares to the Red Room in Fifty Shades – but then again, do we actually need that every day? No. It gets redundant. It you are talking about sex, then Fifty Shades comes out on top. If you want a story, read The Publicist and

Kate sighed. The rest of her life. She had imagined it very differently. But that’s the irony, isn’t it? We make plans and God laughs. He was certainly laughing now.

I wrote my original review before I read Book 2. I loved the extension of Book 1, and I am looking forward with anticipation to the release of Book 3. I wouldn’t want to give any spoilers away and I just hate regurgitating the book blurb, but I will tell you the books are enjoyable and you will love them. I’m giving The Publicist five stars.

Kate, darling, listen to me carefully. If you really wanted to get rid of him, you could. You’d tell him to go, and he’d believe you. My sense is that you told him, and he knows what I know – that you’re not over him. Men can sense that, you know. We’re piranhas.” “Maybe if I ignore him, it’ll just go away.” “I think some weary banker once said that about the crash of Wall Street.

 

My Life. One Story at a Time. is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small fee is earned when purchases are made at Amazon through the link above. A free book was provided by the source in exchange for an honest review. Views expressed by authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of My Life. One Story at a Time. My opinions are my own. This provided in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 55. 

 

 

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Review: Sophie’s Encore by Nicky Wells

Her rock star is waiting in the wings, but will he get a second chance?
It’s all change for Sophie Jones—only this time, there is more at stake than just her happiness.

Rock star extraordinaire, Dan Hunter, has been her patient and caring friend through the highs and lows since her wedding day, but now he figures it is time for her to start over. By stealth, the rock singer draws Sophie into the behind-the-scenes work for his band’s latest album. Through the days and weeks spent together at the mixing desk, Sophie discovers whole new horizons for her life, yet before she can even begin to explore them, she faces the very real threat of losing her rock star for good.

Join Sophie and Dan in Sophie’s Encore to find out how their journey will end…

The author:

Nicky Wells, an ultimate rock chick author. Signed to US Publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing, she writes Romance That Rocks Your World, featuring the rock star and the girl next door. Her books offer glitzy, glamorous contemporary romance with a rock theme ~ imagine Bridget Jones ROCKS Notting Hill! If you’ve ever had a crush on any kind of celebrity ~ rock, pop, movie or other ~ you’ll connect with my heroes and my leading ladies!

Connect with Nicky at http://nickywells.com/ and on Twitter (@WellsNicky) 

My Review:

Having read the two previous books of the Rock Star Trilogy by Nicky Wells, I was anxious to see what the third and final book, SOPHIE’S ENCORE, of the trilogy would reveal. Would Sophie stay married or would she end up with her rock star. Needless to say, I was blown away by the first few pages. It was not at all what I had expected and was an indication of the story to come.

While the language is quite different from the American English that I am used to, it did not present a barrier while reading. Nicky Wells not only finished with a bang, but the entire trilogy is wonderful.

I am giving SOPHIE’S ENCORE, as well as the entire trilogy, a four star rating. Although the story-line is good and the characters interesting, I felt at times the story tended to get bogged down in the little details. If you are a fan of trilogies, you will definitely want to pick this one up.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Purchase on Amazon by clicking the book:

Amazon.co.uk Kindle | Amazon.co.uk Paperback | Barnes & Noble Paperback | Nook

NickyWells_Border_

 

How to Get Over Your Ex by Nikki Logan – A Harlequin Romance

Being rejected is one thing. Being rejected live on radio takes it to a whole new level!

 

After her on-air proposal is turned down by her commitment-phobe boyfriend, Georgia Stone must learn to survive singledom. Unfortunately, thanks to a clause in her contract, she has to do it under the watchful gaze of brooding radio producer Zander Rush.

 And so begins the Year of Georgia! Lurching from salsa classes to spy school, Georgia discovers a taste for adventure. Her biggest thrill so far? Flirting with danger—aka the enigmatic Zander. But admitting she’s ready for more than just a fling…? Definitely Georgia’s scariest challenge yet!

 Next month, look for the second book in this duet: The Guy to Be Seen With by Fiona Harper. Harlequin KISS has 4 new fun, flirty and sensual romance books available every month.

 

 

Nikki Logan

Image of Nikki Logan

Nikki Logan lives amongst a string of wetlands in Western Australia with her partner and a menagerie of animals.

For many years she worked in advertising and film distribution before finally settling down in the wildlife industry. It wasn’t until Nikki had six months off work in 2007 that she applied herself to writing her first novel. Well and truly bitten by the writing-bug, she wrote more novels after her return to work and hasn’t looked back since.

Nikki was contracted to the Harlequin Romance line in December 2008 and has written fifteen books for them as at end 2012. The latest will come out around the world in time for Valentines 2013.

Nikki also writes Romantic Suspense for Entangled Publishing and her debut rom-sus “Wild Encounter” is out now.

Connect with Nikki at http://www.NikkiLogan.com.au

Enjoy an Excerpt: (from Amazon)

 Valentine’s Day 2012

 Close. Please just close.

 A dozen curious eyes followed Georgia Stone into Radio EROS’ stylish elevator, craning over computer monitors or sliding on plastic floor mats back into the corridor just slightly, not even trying to disguise their curiosity. She couldn’t stand staring at the back of the elevator for ever, so she turned, lifted her chin…

…and silently begged the doors to close. To put her out of her misery for just a few blessed moments.

Do. Not. Cry.

 Not yet.

The numbness of shock was rapidly wearing off and leaving the deep, awful ache of pain behind it. With a humiliation chaser. She’d managed to thank the dumbfounded drive-time announcers—God, she was so British—before stumbling out of their studio, knowing that the radio station’s output was broadcast in every office on every floor via a system of loudspeakers.

Hence all the badly disguised glances.

The whole place knew what had just happened to her. Because of her. That their much-lauded Leap Year Valentine’s proposal had just gone spectacularly, horribly, excruciatingly, publicly wrong.

She’d asked. Daniel had declined.

As nicely as he could, under the circumstances, but his urgently whispered, “Is this a joke, George?” was still a no whichever way you looked at it and, in case she hadn’t got the message, he’d spelled it out.

We weren’t heading for marriage. I thought you knew that…

 Actually no, or she wouldn’t have asked.

That’s what made our thing so perfect…

 Oh. Right. That was what made it perfect? She’d known they were drifting in a slow, connected eddy like the leaves in Wakehurst’s Black Pond but she’d thought that even drifting eventually got you somewhere. Obviously not.

‘For God’s sake, will you close?’

She wasn’t usually one to talk to inanimate objects—even under her breath—but somehow, on some level, the elevator must have heard her because its shiny chrome doors started to slide together obligingly.

‘Hold the lift!’ a voice shouted.

She didn’t move. Her stomach plunged. Just as they’d nearly closed.

A hand slid into the sliver of space between the doors and curled around one of them, arresting and then reversing its slide. They reopened, long-suffering and apologetic.

‘You mustn’t have heard me,’ the dark-haired man said, throwing her only the briefest and tersest of glances, his lips tight. He turned, faced the front, and permitted them to close this time, giving her a fabulous view of the square cut of the back of his expensive suit.

No, you mustn’t have heard me. Making a total idiot of myself in front of all of London. If he had, he’d have given her a much longer look. Something told her everyone would be looking at her for much longer now. Starting with all her and Daniel’s workmates.

She groaned.

He looked back over his shoulder. ‘Sorry?’

She forced burning eyes to his. If she blinked just once she was going to unleash the tears she could feel jockeying for expression just behind her lids. But she didn’t have the heart for speech. She shook her head.

He returned his focus to the front of the elevator. She stared at the lights slowly descending toward ‘G’ for ground floor. Then at the one marked ‘B’, below that—the one he’d pressed.

‘Excuse me…’ She cleared her throat to reduce the tight choke. He turned again, looked down great cheekbones at her. ‘Can you get to the street from B?’

He studied her. Didn’t ask what she meant. ‘The basement has electronic gate control.’

Her heart sank. So much for hoping to make a subtle getaway. Looked as if the universe really wanted her to pay for today’s disaster.

Crowded reception it was, then.

She nodded just once. ‘Thank you.’

He didn’t turn back around, but his grey eyes narrowed. ‘I’ll be driving out through the gates. You’re welcome to slip out behind me.’

Slip out. Was that just a figure of speech or did he know? ‘Thank you. Yes, please.’

He turned back to the front, then, a heartbeat later, he turned back again. ‘Step behind me.’

She dragged stinging eyes back up to him. ‘What?’

‘The door’s going to open at Reception first. It will be full of people. I can screen you.’

Suddenly the front-line of the small army of tears waiting for a chance to get out surged forward. She fought them back furiously, totally futile.

Kindness. That was worse than blinking. And it meant that he definitely knew.

But since he was playing pretend-I-don’t, she could, too. She stepped to her left just as the doors obediently opened onto the station’s reception. Light and noise filled the elevator but she stood, private and protected behind the stranger, his big body as good as a locked door. She sighed. Privacy and someone to protect her—two things she’d just blown out of her life for good, she suspected.

‘Mr Rush…’ someone said, out in the foyer. The big man just nodded. ‘Alice. Going down?’ ‘No, up.’

He shrugged. ‘I won’t be long.’

And the doors closed, leaving just the two of them, again. Georgia sagged and swiped at the single, determined tear that had slipped down her cheek. He didn’t turn back around. It took only a moment longer for the elevator to reach the basement. He walked out the moment the doors opened and reached back to hold them wide for her. The frigid outdoor air hit her instantly.

‘Thank you,’ she repeated and stepped out into the darkened parking floor. She’d left her coat upstairs, hanging on the back of a chair in the studio, but she would gladly freeze rather than set foot in that building ever again.

He didn’t make eye contact again. Or smile. ‘Wait by the gate,’ he simply said and then turned to stride towards a charcoal Jaguar.

She walked a dead straight line towards the exit gate. The fastest, most direct route she could. She only reached it a moment or two before the luxury car. She stood, rubbing her prickling flesh.

He must have activated the gate from inside his vehicle, and the large, steel lattice began to rattle along rollers towards her. He nudged his car forward, lowered his window, and peered out across his empty passenger seat.

She ducked to look at him. For moments. One of them really needed to say something. Might as well be her.

‘Thanks again.’ For sanctuary in the elevator. For spiriting her away, now.

 His eyes darkened and he slid designer sunglasses up onto the bridge of his nose. ‘Good luck’ was all he said. Then he shifted his Jag into gear and drove forward out of the still-widening gate.

She stared after him.

It seemed an odd thing to say in lieu of goodbye but maybe he knew something she didn’t.

Maybe he knew how much she was going to need that luck.

Hell.

 That was the longest elevator ride of Zander’s life. Trapped in two square metres of double-thickness steel with a sobbing woman. Except she hadn’t been sobbing—not outwardly—but she was hurting inwardly; pain was coming off her in waves. Totally tangible.

The waves had hit him the moment he nudged his way into her elevator, but it was too late, then, to step back and let her go down without him. Not without making her feel worse.

He knew who she was. He just hadn’t known it was her standing in the elevator he ran for or he wouldn’t have launched himself at the closing doors.

She must have bolted straight from the studio to the exit the moment they threw to the first track out of the Valentine’s segment. Lord knew he did; he wanted to get across town to the network head offices before they screamed for him to come in.

Proactive instead of reactive. He never wanted someone higher up his food chain to call him and find him just sitting there waiting for their call. He wouldn’t give them the satisfaction. Or the power.

By the time he got across London’s peak-hour gridlock he’d have the right spin for the on-air balls-up. Turning a negative into a positive. Oiling the waters. The kind of problem-solving he was famous—and em-ployed—for.

The kind of problem-solving he loathed.

He blew out a steady breath and took an orange light just as it was turning red in order to keep moving. None of them had expected the guy to say no. Who said no to a proposal, live on air? You said yes live and then you backed out of it later if it wasn’t what you wanted. That was what ninety-five per cent of Londoners would do.

Apparently this guy was Mr Five Per Cent.

Then again, who asked a man to marry her live on radio if she wasn’t already confident of the answer? Or maybe she thought she was? She wouldn’t be the first to find out she was wrong…the hard way.

Empathy curled his fingers tight on the expensive leather of his steering wheel. Who was he to cast stones?

He’d recognised that expression immediately. The one where you’d happily agree for the elevator to plunge eight storeys rather than have to step out and face the world. At least his own humiliation had been limited to just his family and friends.

Just two hundred of his and Lara’s nearest and dearest.

Georgia Stone’s would be all over the city today and all over the world by tomorrow.

He was counting on it. Though he’d have preferred it not to be on the back of someone’s pain and humiliation. He hadn’t got that bad…yet.

He eased his foot onto the brake as the traffic ground to a halt around him and resisted the urge to lean on his horn.

Not that he imagined a girl like that would suffer for long. Tall and pale and pretty with that tangle of dark, short curls. She’d dressed for her proposal—that was a sweet and unexpected touch in the casual world of radio. Half his on-air staff would come to work in their pyjamas if they had th…

My Review

Imagine feeling confident enough in your relationship to actually propose on air. Even as much I love my Hubby and know that he loves me, I never would have done it. 

 This seems to be poor Georgia’s lot in life. Her boyfriend’s sister convinces her to enter a contest at the local radio station to win a free wedding and the chance to propose on air on Valentine’s Day. As luck would have it, she wins. Georgia not only proposed, but got turned down – with a long explanation as to why. Could it have been more humiliating? 

 This leaves the executive, Zander Rush, in a pickle. How can he possibly spin  the disaster to not only save his job, but the contest. And, as if his day couldn’t get any worse, he steps onto the elevator with the devastated young woman from the contest.

 Knowing exactly how Georgia feels, he comes up with what he thinks is a fail-proof plan to help her get over her ex and fulfil the year long contract she signed with the station; and he plans to document the entire year! What follows is a story about finding out exactly who you are and what you love to do. How to Get Over Your Ex is also about finding love in unexpected places. It was everything you expect of a Harlequin Romance novel. It was light-hearted, fun, interesting, and had great characters. I loved the cover and thought it represented the book.

 “We plan to keep you so busy you won’t have time to wallow.” Wallow? Anger rushed up and billowed under her coat. But she didn’t let it out. Not directly. “Busy with what?” she gritted. “Makeovers. New clothes. Access to all the top clubs…You name it, we’ll arrange it. EROS is making it our personal business to get you back on your feet. Total reinvention. And on your way to meeting Mr. Right.” She stared at him, aghast. “Mr. Right?” “This is an opportunity to reinvent yourself and to find a new man to love.” She just stared. There were no words.

 “I’m going to take a year off life to just get back to who I really am. To avoid men altogether and just remember what I liked about being myself.” The idea blew across her mind likes the leaves on the gravel path ahead of them. But it felt very right. “It will be the year of Georgia.”

 Georgia watched the woman walk away from her. Heels. They did something very special to a walk, even on gravel and grass. Pity she didn’t have a single pair above a serviceable inch. Maybe that was something she could put on her Year of Georgia list. ‘Learn to walk in heels.’ And not because men liked them – though the distracted glances of two groundsmen passing the woman confirmed that they did – but because heels were a side of herself that she just never indulged. Heels and pole dancing. They could go on the sidelist she was quietly developing. Tough both could easily break her neck.

 “I’m saying all the classes in the world aren’t going to make your life better, because life isn’t something you apply like make-up. It’s something you grow and tend. Like a garden.”

 “What fills your life?” His answer was immediate. “Work. Running.” The only two things he did. They couldn’t both be gap fillers, surely? “What are you filling?” He stared. “A whole lot of empty.”

 “It’s not stupid to want to spend your life with someone. It’s brave.”

 The Year of Georgia was supposed to have taught her who she was. It was supposed to have given her a taste of what was possible and highlighted the deficiencies in her life. And it had worked. She was Georgia Stone. For better or for worse. Weirdly obsessed with plants, content to walk alone amongst Roman ruins, uninterested in cooking or wine appreciation or shoes, but a crack shot with a blankpistol and the fastest code-cracker the spy school had ever seen. Terrible at the contrived sexy steps of salsa but a natural at the private undulations of belly dancing. A decent rower but a terrible swimmer. She was a lab rat and a loyal and ethical employee.

 Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation – monetary or in kind – has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm.

 

 

 

My Crazy Life –The Makings of a Book Review

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon


January 3, 2012

Sitting here with nothing to do … and if you believe that, I have some swampland to sell you. I was actually winding up several hours of work putting together book reviews for my blog and I began thinking that the process might make a great story – well an okay story at least.

Most of us who have blogs are also writers – published and non-published – so we all know that writing is a process and takes time – lots of time. I admire those who have managed to string together enough words to make a book and then to go through the publishing process. Then, once the book is published, book reviews are needed. That is where I (and others) come in.

When I receive a book for review, before I even sit down to read the book, I will spend at least an hour on the computer researching the author and previous books written by them. I then begin putting together my book review material and setting up my document sections so that when I complete the book, I can sit down and concentrate on writing my review. I find a picture of the book (not always provided), the date published (not always provided), author information and picture (again, not always provided), where the book is being sold, and the book blurb.

Once I have my information ready, I begin reading the book. Reading a book can take anywhere from 6-8, and sometimes more, hours to read. Add to that, the time needed for writing notes for the review. Using my Kindle comes in handy for this part. It is easy to mark passages that I want to quote in my review as I read, as opposed to having a gazillion pieces of paper sticking out of a book.

When I finish reading a book, I begin my writing process. I will bring up all of the passages on my Kindle that I highlighted during the course of reading and decide which quotes I think will draw the reader in or make them laugh, etc. Sometimes I will try to use just a little bit of a quote to throw the potential reader off and to make them think, “I really need to read this book.”

It is at this point, if the author and I have not already agreed on a Q@A or guest post, I will contact the author and request one or the other. I will also set up a giveaway of their book to go along with the review. I will try to find out the sites where the book will be for sale (not always provided) so I can post my completed review on those sites. I also encourage the author to tweet the review and stop by for a visit and comment. The readers like the personal attention that authors give to the review.

Waiting for information from the author sometimes takes a while, depending on how busy they are. While waiting, I begin the process of posting my reviews on the different sites (sometimes 4 to 5 sites). This process can take upwards of two hours, depending on the number of sites. As I post, I also add the book to my blog’s sidebar to be permanently displayed – example: Shelfari, Goodreads.

Once the author returns the guest post or Q@A information, and I add it to my review, the post goes live on my blog. I take the time each day to tweet and post the review to face book and other sites for exposure. I belong to one website that thousands of other book reviewers belong to, which means I have access to thousands of other bloggers. I am a member of twenty groups on this site and I promote the books I review on each group’s page. What this means to an author, is I promote their book to thousands of potential buyers on this one site. I have memberships on several different websites, and I spend a lot of time promoting books.

I think most authors appreciate the work we do, and the exposure that book review blogs can offer. I am not sure, however, how many realize the time and effort some of us put into the review process. That is the reason I decided to write about the book review process. I spend an average of eight to ten hours on each book I agree to read and review.

So…no I have no swampland to sell – wouldn’t have the time if I did – I’m reviewing your book. I would love to hear feedback from authors and book reviewers on this topic.

 

Donna

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