Monthly Archives: March 2017
New Adult is a fairly new fiction ‘genre’ and one that is growing in popularity. Moving on from young adult which explores the lives of teenagers to seeing the lives of young people at university and starting work, and with more adult relationship content. Please find below an extract from chapter one of contemporary romance new adult novel In the Eyes of an Angel by Kimberly Livingston, and check out the other stops on the blog tour to find out more.
Camille Ryan is in her final year at Southern State University. Working as a bartender in a local establishment in order to support herself, she knows from her mother’s experience with her alcoholic father not to depend on anyone. That is until travelling businessman Rick Pantanelli decides to visit her bar. He is a handsome, well-off, successful professional and her senior by a full 17 years.
Camille is used to doing everything she is expected to do. But when she meets Rick she is swept away by his good looks, his charm and his ability to take care of her. Rick is used to getting what he wants. But when he meets Camille he is swept away by her beauty and her inner fragility. He finds himself believing he can take care of her. Is this belief strong enough to make him a better man?
Kimberly Livingston visited Disneyland for the first time as a young girl. Since then the magic has infused into her blood and she remains an avid Disney fan! She lives in Colorado with her own Prince Charming. In the Eyes of an Angel is Kimberly Livingston’s first published novel. On A Run is her second novel. Please connect on twitter @KLnovels
Thursday morning’s alarm went off. Camille for a moment could not think of what day it was or why there was that noise in her ear. She then realized the day, the time, and the fact that she had to get up to review her notes prior to taking her exam so she could pass. Dragging herself from her bed she crossed the ice cold floor of her dungeon-like room.
Camille shared a six-bedroom Victorian home near campus with five other girls; strangers, for the most part. She had moved in with some friends last summer, just having broken up with the guy she lived with and forced to find a new residence. After only a semester the friends all moved to different apartments. Camille couldn’t afford the security and rent deposits to move again so stayed, thinking that for another year it couldn’t be too bad. She was wrong. Luckily, she had the bedroom in the basement, which, though dark, was the largest. The basement had its own outside entrance and the bedroom door could lock. There was a bathroom just outside the room that the other girls rarely used because it was down the stairs and only a three quarter bath. Camille quit going upstairs altogether; even to visit the one cupboard that was technically “hers” in the kitchen. More often than not she found that when she put any groceries in the cupboard they would be gone by the time she wanted them. The same went for the refrigerator, which was disgustingly covered in food spills and generally only contained cases of beer, sour milk, and left over margaritas. Camille had bought herself a small refrigerator and microwave for her bedroom and kept what few snacks she had there.
This morning, Camille unsteadily stumbled to the door, which she unlocked with the key and went to shower. She had begun to rehearse what she remembered from the text but found herself thinking of other things instead. Standing in the shower Camille’s mind flitted with thoughts of her living situation; her lack of money; her future; her job; then just as subconsciously of the Chivas that ordered the night before. She smiled a rare smile
these days. She thought about his out of place looks in the bar. Too well dressed, too put together, too fine. Oh so fine.
The shower was getting cold. Someone upstairs must have begun to shower, stealing her hot water. Camille turned off the faucet and dried off. It was just as well, she was going to run out of time to study if she didn’t hurry.
Camille drove the four blocks to class today instead of walking, partly because she had to go to work right after her final hour and partly because of the cold. She thanked the parking lot gods for leaving her a space closer to her class than her house and went into the building. It was going to be a sunnier day today and she felt better for it.
Camille slipped into her seat at the back of the room next to her friend Jennifer.
“God, you look like shit !” Jen greeted her. “Did the girls have another party last night?”
Camille’s roommates were not in college due to scholarships. They did not even appear to be going for any particular reason other than to socialize late into each evening. The loud parties were infamous with many other non-scholarship receiving youth glad to be away from their parents’ watchful eyes, if not their wallets.
“Thanks, hi to you too. No, I had a late night at work. I didn’t get home until after three.”
“My god girl, how do you do it?”
“Pure necessity!” Camille replied, which was the truth of it. Her life, at the moment, seemed to be made up of necessities. She worked and she studied to stay in school and she went to school because…… because she hoped that someday it would get her to a point where “necessity” was no longer a word in her vocabulary.
Camille had picked a degree that seemed secure; one that would always provide her a job regardless of the economy, one that didn’t rely on too many other people. Accounting suited Camille’s ideals perfectly, she thought. She liked numbers. They were reliable, predictable, quiet. Camille always had difficulty telling people her major. Invariably she would get the comment, “You don’t look like an accountant.” She never knew what that meant. What did an accountant look like? Camille had no idea that what she looked like to others was a dancer, or a famous actress not yet discovered, or an angel. In fact, Camille had no thoughts as to her own beauty, inner or outward. This innocence was what made her so darn attractive. Somehow, she managed not to notice men looking at her. She kept to herself and always had. Perhaps it was a protective barrier she kept around herself to keep herself from getting hurt.
Camille had had only a few relationships in her life. After high school, she met someone early in her freshman year at the University. He was older than her by ten years and what some would call a professional student: always in school, never graduating. He had changed majors so many times he could hardly remember what they all were. He lived off of student loans, and as long as he stayed in school he didn’t have to pay them back. Camille was invited to move in with him soon after they began to date. She did so because half the rent was cheaper than paying for the dorms. He seemed like the “right one” to her. After a while, though, she realized that she was just helping him to pay for his way of life. He drank, which began to become more noticeable, and Camille was fairly sure he was unfaithful, though she never had evidence. While at first he had seemed romantic, she soon found that he was the type to forget her birthday, forget her at all it seemed. After going home for the summer of her sophomore year, she broke up with him. She did it over the phone. She did it from home. He kept pleading with her not to leave, and when she
arrived at the airport he was there with flowers and candy waiting. Too little too late.
If this sounds like your type of read you can find it on amazon kindle.
Following on from the guest post from Holly, as part of the Forever Geek blog tour on Wednesday, I have decided to do an overview of the entire series, a rundown of the characters and some highlights of the Ultimate Geek Girl Party. Please read with caution because there may be some SPOILERS included though I’ve tried not to give major spoilers, especially not for the final book.
Way back when I also interviewed Holly about her geekiest traits so do take a look back.
The entire series were 5 out 5 star reads for me and Holly has a beautiful and easy to read writing style with a strong voice. Geek Girl is about family, friendship, being flawed, it’s funny, fantastic and familiar (Reading about Harriet feels like coming home and I love the Harry Potter and book references throughout).
|Book||Main Setting/Modelling Assignment||Synopsis||My Thoughts|
|Geek Girl (#1)||The Clothes Show Live – Birmingham – being spotted
Moscow – Russia – Baylee shoot and runway show
|Harriet is discovered by the fashion world – and us.||The message – that it’s ok to be yourself.
Check out my full review here –
|All Wrapped Up (#1.5)||London – Ice-skating
PE class – Netball
|How to handle a first date.
Also includes some bonus Christmas themed features and the short – Team Geek
|Short, sweet, romantic in a geeky way. Christmassy. Loved it.
Check out my full review here.
|Model Misfit #2||Perfume shoot
Tokyo – Japan – new label campaign – with co-model Charlie the octopus and Sumo, Manga Arcade Game and Mount Fuji.
|Harriet is due to be a big sister, and with all attention on the baby, Natalie sent away for the summer and a lack of Lion Boy! Harriet jumps at the chance to head to Tokyo with her grandmother Bunty as “chaperone”.
|My favourite character, Toby – Harriet’s stalker, reduced me to tears in one scene, and I nearly hugged myself because of ‘all the feels’.
Check out my full review here.
|Geek Drama #2.5||Infinity Models London – Brink Magazine Casting and Shoot
Drama – Hamlet auditions
|Short story published for #WorldBookDay in which Harriet gets persuaded to audition for the school play (set in the middle of Model Misfit).||A fun school based short story where we get to learn more about Harriet and her classmates.
Holly gets to share her love of Shakespeare with us.
|Picture Perfect #3||New York – LA MODE magazine spread at a fairground
Party at Gotham Hall
|On exams results, moving away, governesses, turning sweet sixteen, and long distance relationships.
|Harriet navigates America and the modelling world. A more gently paced story, apart from the rollercoaster, but still the same loveable Harriet. I like the exploration of the family relationships.|
|All That Glitters #4||Back Home in Hertfordshire – Mount Fuji shots released.
Marrakech, Morocco – Levaire jewellery commercial with Richard!, and Dancing in the Sahara Desert.
Party – Night of Stars
|On starting sixth form, stardom, bullying and friendship. Annabel accompanies Harriet on her trip.||So emotional. I wanted to protect Harriet all the way through this one. Alexa is at it again. Totally empathise with her diving into books as a solace.|
|Sunny Side Up #4.5||France – Paris Fashion Week
Fashion yacht party
Gothic Catacomb fashion show
|Novella length story where Harriet joins Paris Fashion Week but is she in the City of Lights, or in the Dark?
In the short scene we get to meet our characters through Nick’s POV.
|Love this book. Favourite fashion scenes yet. Most embarrassing disaster??
The short excerpt was great and I laughed out loud at Nick’s ‘Intro to Toby’.
|Head Over Heels #5||London – New modelling agency castings
How to Be a Perfect Model Training
London – Lucky 7 castings??
British Vogue Sisters Shoot
India – Fizzy Drink Campaign
|This time she’s got a foolproof plan and a social team. Hasn’t she?
Harriet switches roles and aims to be Wilbur’s fairy godmother.
|I love re-entering Harriet’s world and really enjoy seeing all the unreliable threads come together. It’s great fun being ahead of her.|
|Forever Geek #6||Sydney, Australia – MAKE NAT A FASHION ICON
Impromptu casting and The Great Barrier Reef
Sydney Australia For Yuko’s The Show To End All Shows
|Nat and Harriet head down under with Bunty.
Will Harriet end up with Nick or Jasper and when will her transformation from Geek to Model be complete?
Will we have a happy ending even though we have to say goodbye?
|This book made me cry. Perfect Conclusion. NO SPOILERS for this one – just enjoy the finale.|
Harriet Manners – knower of lots of facts turned model – the titular Geek Girl and my favourite unreliable narrator.
Natalie “Nat” Grey – the best friend, wannabe model and fashion fan/designer – part of Team JINTH
Toby Pilgrim – Harriet’s Stalker and Fellow Geek – part of Team JINTH
Nick Hidaka/Lion Boy – love interest and male model, met under a table
Alexa Roberts – Harriet’s school-based nemesis
Wilbur “not iam” – modelling agent and inventor of the most fun descriptors
Yuko Ito – fashion designer who gives Harriet her big break, and Nick’s Aunty.
Richard Manners – Harriet’s Dad, works in advertising – witty
Annabel Manners – Harriet’s Stepmother, a lawyer – wise
Bunty Brown – Harriet’s Step-Grandmother, a loose cannon if ever there was one
Tabitha Manners – Harriet’s Baby Sister
Hugo and Victor – Manners family dog and cat
Fleur – model Harriet has a run-in with – literally in Russia, America and the final book.
Rin – Japanese model and friend
Kenderall/Siren – model and miniature pig owner
India Perez – new girl to Head Girl – part of Team JINTH
Jasper King –foe to part of Team JINTH and love interest
So it is time for Harriet to hang up her Geek Girl glasses (for now at least) so I’m now planning a re-read (and have recently listened to the first two books on audio as well – great narration by Katy Sobey). I’m going to aim to note down Harriet and Toby’s outfits and Wilbur’s isms. If you’d like me to share let me know.
Ultimate Geek Girl Party – 4th March
I was very honoured to get an invite to the party especially because the launch of Geek Girl was my first ever Blogger event. It appears that Holly’s book parties seem to have a need for fancy lighting. Check out my post on the blogger launch of Geek Girl, and do take a look at my instagram photos posted today in celebration. I’ll always remember her swamped by that enormous squashy chair. For the Ultimate Party we had cupcakes, mocktails, face paints and nails. Holly spoke about the series, got understandably emotional and gave us a reading from Forever Geek. We were each given a goodie bag including tote, bookmark, sweets, signed copy of the final book and a copy of the first book to pass on. I got mine signed and gave it to a young girl on the tube – and it turned out to be her birthday. Hope she loves it as much as I did.
Here’s highlights of the notes I took from Holly’s speech:
Harriet isn’t Holly but there are certain aspects of Holly’s life that have influenced the books. In fact the whole series was written as part of a dare to write about her experience of being a teenage model. Holly wrote the first sentence and got shivers. Huge thanks go out to that friend!
The part where Alexa says ‘hands up who hates Harriet’ happened, modelling didn’t transform Holly. Richard is actually based on her dad (and as a side note her grandad is the biggest geek she knows).
This is a book about being an outsider but by sharing it Holly was surprised and honoured to find people identified with Harriet. She has met amazing, brilliant and unique girls who understand and empathise with her character and who have ‘blown her away’.
Originally Geek Girl was going to be a stand alone, and the end of book 6 was going to be the end of book 1. Thanks to a wise editor suggesting a series would be possible we are a few books better off than we would have been. Holly has had 9 years of writing, loving and living with Harriet Manners, she feels like a little sister, precious, brave, silly but also selfish and does stupid things. Her advice to Harriet is the series, but also to keep growing and looking around you. Sad to say goodbye (cried through about a third of the final book) but she’s off to sleep now. Well, actually she’s off to China. And Holly has not completely closed the cover – she may return, in the future, if it seems right.
There are hopes for Geek Girl to be filmed and Holly is working on a script, however the concept has to be right, and Holly is passionate about keeping the essential British schoolgirl nature of Harriet. She thinks a Netflix series would be good – maybe we should tweet Netflix with the hint.
What Holly would say about her next series is that it will be a comedy about more than one girl. I know I’m going to be reading it.
The Geek Girls’ thanks to Holly
Finally, here is a picture of Holly and I, I decided to turn the tables and go as Toby’s Stalker complete with binoculars and flask. And why is there a polar bear on my T-shirt? You’ll have to read the books to find out.