The feel-good read of 2019, perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Karen Swan!
Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling…. Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.
So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?
Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…
Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2Mba8DC
EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK!
It’s 6 a.m. and I should be online stoking the flames of my social media train and littering the internet with my sexy book covers. After all, who doesn’t want to look at a gorgeous, half-naked man with an eight-pack at this time of the morning? Well, the truth is me, for one. Unless it’s the real thing, of course.
Instead, I hop out of bed and slink downstairs to make a strong cup of coffee and grab a packet of biscuits, before I head back to write. Which is ironic, because I haven’t written a word now for over a month. Well, not one that still exists on the blank page beneath a rather lonely looking title, as they’ve all been consigned to the electronic bin.
I have no idea why I can’t seem to break this cycle which feels as if I’m going around in a never ending circle. Write, delete; write, delete. And I’m even hiding myself away from everyone – except the enigmatic Jude Law, of course, but I don’t think that counts. It’s been weeks since I ventured outside. Apart from brief exchanges with the postman and the online supermarket delivery guy, I’m turning into a virtual recluse. I haven’t looked at my inbox for days now and I can’t remember the last time I wore anything other than PJs or a tracksuit.
I’m supposed to be working towards a deadline, but the line is well and truly dead, with a zero word count so far. I mean, this inability to settle down and make a real start can’t last forever, can it?
With a dozen plus novels under my belt, over half of which are international bestsellers, the expectations of me are high. I’m a professional and if I can’t fill the screen with meaningful words then it’s over and the bills won’t get paid. I don’t have a back-up plan if the day job goes awry and I don’t think I’m capable of doing anything else. It’s the only job I’ve ever had and therein lies the problem, I suspect. Do all writers eventually run out of things to say, the spring of inspiration reduced to a dribble? Or in my case, drivel.
Come on, Brie, pull yourself together. Have a shower, brush your teeth and your hair and instead of lying in bed battling with a string of words that aren’t inspiring you at all, sit down in front of that very expensive desk of yours.
Maybe I need to feel the part again, rather than glancing in the mirror and wondering why it doesn’t shatter when I see that Medusa head staring back at me.
Make this the day when things start to pick up, lady. The little voice inside my head is adamant. There is a story in there somewhere, but it isn’t the one my agent, or publisher, is expecting. I groan out loud. The price you pay for not being true to yourself is that it’s rather like wearing a mask. At some point it could slide off and that’s precisely why I’m in this mess now.
When your birthday just happens to fall on the fourteenth of February you are pretty much marked for life. It was my fourth birthday and the memories are still vivid in my mind. After I’d opened a stack of presents, my dad gave my mum a large bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates tied up with a big red bow. I’d never even heard of Valentine’s Day, until a friend broke the news later that day. Well, she was more of an acquaintance really: the playground is a tough place and kids can be crushingly mean.
‘You aren’t special at all,’ Carol Ann had taunted. ‘They aren’t happy just because you’re another year older. No one really cares about that. Everyone has a birthday!’ And in a split second the party was over.
But as time passed the significance became an ever increasing thrill. So many people expressing their love at the same time: sending a wave of good karma rippling outwards to warm the hearts of even the least romantic folk amongst us. I also came to believe that I had been doubly blessed; I hadn’t just been born a true romantic at heart, but also an eternal optimist. I awaited each birthday with eager anticipation because it was a day when a lot of people were very happy. To be surrounded by couples pledging their love and giving each other thoughtful gifts, flowers, and even engagement rings, was special. And that made me feel extra special too, as if the promise of finding a perfect love had been bestowed upon me. I simply had to bide my time until our paths crossed. And, of course, I would instantly know he was the one I was destined to be with forever.
My first crush was a brief and painful experience; he broke my heart by not reciprocating my overwhelming feelings. I was distraught for a while, but my heart eventually healed. My second crush, Lucas, happened when I was nine years old and he broke my heart, too. The pattern was set and as the years rolled on, so the former boyfriend count continued to mount.
The problem with being a dreamer and a wistful romantic is that it’s hard to find a man to live up to your dreams. At the tender age of fifteen I began writing and creating my own heroes. Four years later I finally had a manuscript worthy of getting some attention and after an editor knocked off the edges and corrected my erratic punctuation, it was good to go. My first publisher believed in the sort of stories I wanted to write, but three novels later the sales figures weren’t exactly setting the charts alight. And I was still living at home with my parents. Then I met my agent, the awe inspiring, Carrie Preston. She is the definition of a bubbly personality and an uber confident person. So much so, that she has become the role model for my feisty heroines. Our first meeting was brutal. She didn’t hold back.
‘The truth is, Brie, that sex sells books. Do you want to earn some money, or languish in the charts and scrape by?’
I remember recoiling in horror. Sex? As it turned out, what I lacked in experience I made up for in imagination. Well, aided by a copy of the Kama Sutra, which turned out to be a tax deductible item – according to my accountant. I let my imagination run riot. It was bestseller time and I enjoyed basking in the glory.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucy lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy. Her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Lucy won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.