Ah, second chances….
Return of the Runaway Bride by Nancy Fraser released last week in the Contemporary Romance – Steamy genre.
Five years earlier, Emily Bennett ran out on Chase Michaels on the eve of their wedding. At twenty-two, she wanted more than the island of Last Chance Beach could offer. Intent on making a name for herself as a world-class journalist, she left to take a job with a big city newspaper.
Chase Michaels left Last Chance Beach not long after having his heart broken and joined the Coast Guard in an effort to rebuild his life. Returning four years later for a family emergency, he decided to stay and go into business with his best friend.
Emily’s returning as well. Not as the journalist she’d hoped to be but as a bestselling romance author. One of her books is about to be made into a movie, and filming will take place on Last Chance Beach and in the mainland town of Summerville.
Will Emily’s return give them a second chance at the love they once shared? Or, will her ‘other’ reason for leaving put a wedge between three best friends that can’t be healed by time or intention?
The book will be $0.99 during the tour.
Pick-a-Read Bookstore, Boston, MA
Emily Bennett took a seat behind the cloth-covered table and waited for her publicist and good friend Mary to give her standard introduction. No matter how many of these events she’d done, to Emily they were never routine. Nervously, she adjusted and re-adjusted the angle of the ink pens and candy dish and fanned the bookmarks and other swag out across the tabletop.
Mary tapped the microphone, waited for the echo to stop, and then began, “Thank you all for coming to today’s book promotion event. Author E.M. Stephens will be here for the next two-and-a-half hours, and happy to sign copies of her New York Times bestseller, Love in the Surf, as well as early copies of her newest release, A Bad Boy for Willa.” Mary paused, then added, “For those who haven’t yet heard, Love in the Surf has been optioned for a movie and will begin filming within the next month.” Beaming proudly, Mary turned in her direction. “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the romantically gifted, E.M. Stephens.”
The queue of fans bent around the front of the bookstore and out into the mall, with tables set up inside the entryway and books stacked in piles of twelve. One-by-one, the towers of both books diminished quickly.
Two hours in, less than a dozen people remained in line. Emily’s hand was beginning to cramp, but she forced a renewed smile to her lips and raised her gaze to the young man who stood in front of her.
“Is there a name for an inscription?”
“Eileen, please.” He flashed her a smile. “It’s for my mom. She’s a big fan.”
Emily wrote a short note and signed her name. “Tell your mother ‘thank you’ for me.”
“I will,” he assured her before moving on.
Emily repeated the smile and sign process over and over again until—finally—the line was gone.
Mary gathered up the remaining bookmarks, empty candy dish, and a half dozen pens before leading the way to the back of the bookstore and into a small private room. The moment the door closed behind them, Emily released a long sigh and reached for the mid-length blonde wig that had been driving her crazy for the past hour, releasing her long brown hair to hang freely across her shoulders.
A quick change out of her bright red blouse, tight black leggings, and fancy rhinestone hoop earrings, and back into her faded jeans and vintage T-shirt had her feeling more like Emily, and less like her alter ego, E.M. Stephens.
“I don’t know about you, sweetie,” Mary said, a long sigh escaping, “But I could use a greasy burger, with an onion ring and frosty beer chaser. Why don’t we get out of here and go someplace dark and inconspicuous and kick back for a while?”
“As much as the idea appeals to me, I’ve got to finish packing and then load the car. I’m hoping to be on the road by six in the morning, if possible.”
“I don’t understand why you’re driving all the way to Last Chance Beach. Why not fly in to the closest airport and rent a car?”
She gave a quick shake of her head. “I’ve got too much stuff to drag with me. Besides, the drive will give me two days and a night to get my story straight and figure out how to explain everything to my parents.”
“I still can’t believe you never told your parents about your books. With all the success you’ve had, you’d think bragging rights alone would have prompted the discussion.”
“I grew up on Last Chance Beach before it became a tourist magnet. I went to high school on the mainland where they still do farmer’s markets and county fairs. It was bad enough I left under less than stellar circumstances. I’ve never been ready to explain why I gave up on a career as a serious journalist to write romance novels.”
Mary’s grin was followed by a very unladylike snort. “For the money, sweetie. The glitz, the glamor and the chance for a huge movie deal.”
Emily flexed her sore hand. Opening the door, she stepped back out into the store, totally unrecognizable to her adoring fans. “Glitz and glamor? Not according to my impending carpel tunnel.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.
Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.
Nancy has published over forty books in full-length, novella, and short format. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.
When Casting a Book is Like Casting a Movie
Always. As someone’s who’s written and published over forty books, I can tell you I always see my book as a movie with a cast of characters I’d love to know and befriend. This book was no different. I envisioned my characters first. However, I never base their looks or personalities on real-life stars. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve designed my characters around stock photos I found while looking for something else entirely.
So, since we’re talking casting…let’s meet the characters of Return of the Runaway Bride (Last Chance Beach Romance).
My heroine, Emily Bennett ~ Emily is a New York Times bestselling author who is forced to return to the island where she grew up to consult on a movie being made from one of her books. (We should all have this problem.) She has some fences to mend, some friendships to renew, but doesn’t expect one of them to be with the man she ditched on the eve of their wedding. Surprise! At twenty-seven, she’s a chestnut haired beauty who’s not afraid to eat. Fortunately, the hero loves her curves.
My hero, Chase Matthews ~ Hunky, of course. Fit. After all he’s a former member of the Coast Guard who still does reserve duty. He’s also a dive instructor and parasails. Chase has been cautious with his love life after being burned by the woman he once loved. Who are we kidding? He still loves her. He’s just too stubborn to admit it.
The best friend, Jared Wilson ~ Jared’s hiding a secret, even from his best friend Chase. Was he the real reason Emily ran out on the wedding? We won’t know until the big confession scene. However, despite his reluctance to share, Jared is the perfect best friend. Forever loyal, trustworthy, and just as hunky as our hero. No wonder people wonder what part he played in the bride’s cold feet.
Emily’s parents Bill and Colleen Bennett, and Grandma Winnie ~ They’ve never given up on the belief that Emily and Chase will get their happily-ever-after. The typical loving family, they offer their unconditional support to not just Emily and Chase, but to Jared and their friends as well.
In addition to the handful of integral characters, we have our assortment of friends and rivals. There’s also the expected spurned woman who wants to help Chase pick up the pieces of his broken heart, and the added bonus of a fictitious movie cast, director, and even a sexy-cute script writer.
Finally, we have the island itself. Location, location, location. Since the island will be the setting for at least twenty, multi-author books, its importance can’t be understated. We invite you to come dip you toes in the surf and enjoy yourself on Last Chance Beach with a new book releasing every six weeks!
This post is part of a tour. The tour dates can be found here:
- a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC