Friday, May 9, 2014

Guest Post with Holly Gilliatt, author of 'Til St. Patrick's Day and a publisher #giveaway



So pleased to have Holly Gilliatt with us today to share
 her book, 'Til St. Patrick's Day, which is part of the
Love Finds A Way Boxed Set.
 
Thank you, Krista Ames, for having me on your blog today! I’m so excited about this Love Finds a Way boxed set, and honored to be a part of it with such a great group of writers. I think all the stories have a different feel, but they all have humor and of course—love. Each of the books explores women at different points in their lives…some are married, some single, some in transition. My book has a little of all of that.
 
’Til St. Patrick’s Day is a heartfelt but humorous look at the lives of three best friends in their late twenties: Jayne, Karen and Claudia. This is the first book in the St. Louis Sisters Series, and is centered more on Jayne’s journey. Book #2 is due out in late July and emphasizes where Karen’s life is going. Book #3 will release in 2015 and focus more on Claudia.
 
I thought it would be fun to learn a little more about these women and an interesting analogy would be to look at music—one of my favorite things (besides books, of course!). So let’s view each character through the lens of different songs, to get a better feel for them. I’m going to pair them up with songs that I think characterizes them…something they would maybe even use as a ringtone. If you’re not familiar with the songs and want to hear them, just click on the song title to hear it on YouTube. We’ll also hear some songs that would represent their relationship with their partners.
 
Are you with me? Let’s go!
 
First up: Jayne Asher. I’d almost best money that Jayne has one of two songs as the ringtone on her phone. Either Happy by Pharrell Williams or if she feels like digging into the vault, it might be Walking on Sunshine by Katrina & The Waves. Both songs epitomize what Jayne is all about—positivity, good vibes, and always seeing the glass half full. And she’ll be happy to refill that glass for you, if it will put a smile on your face. If you’re in a bad mood, either of these songs or a pep talk from Jayne will get you back on track.
 
Her relationship with her new boyfriend, Gray Brandt, isn’t exactly as bubbly and optimistic as Jayne herself. I think either Insensitive by Jann Arden or I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt characterizes where they stand. Don’t get me wrong, Jayne’s trying to change that. But the gut-wrenching, pain-filled vocals and agonizing lyrics are something she can certainly relate to when it comes to Gray.
 
Now let’s do an about-face and look at Karen Taggart. Karen would definitely roll her eyes at Jayne’s ringtone. Way too enthusiastic for Karen’s outlook on life. I would expect her personal ringtone to be something more like Criminal by Fiona Apple or Sarah McLachlan’s Fear. If you don’t know them, I can tell you that they’re not exactly happy little ditties. Dark confessions of an outwardly destructive, inwardly scared woman. With a hard exterior.
 
And her precarious entanglement with Rick Gordon can be felt in the mood and lyrics of Dark Road by Annie Lennox or maybe Come Home by Ryan Adams. Maybe deep down she wants to give in to her feelings (although she’d never admit it)…but she just doesn’t know if she can.
 
Claudia Knight is a classic beauty and has timeless style and grace. To capture her with a song, I’d go with something along the lines of Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra or What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. The classic, cozy feel of these songs suit her well.
 
Happily married to the man of her dreams, Claudia’s relationship with Sam can be captured with the current hit All of Me by John Legend, or again with something more timeless like It Had to Be You by Harry Connick, Jr. These songs are like buttah and are about two people that have found that elusive happily-ever-after. Now Claudia just wants a family to complete the love they share.
 
I thought it was appropriate to characterize these women with various songs, as the story idea itself was inspired by the John Mayer song, St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens to Jayne, Karen and Claudia as they traverse the holidays and make it to St. Patty’s Day. Hope you enjoy their journey! And if you do, be sure and pick up book #2 this summer.
 
Thanks again, Krista, for having me!
 Holly, it was my pleasure having you !!!  Pease stop back by when book#2 is out, we'd love to hear more about it   :)
 
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LOVE FINDS A WAY
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(Includes)
‘Til St. Patrick’s Day
by
Holly Gilliatt
 
For three best friends, one winter will change everything.
Chronically optimistic Jayne is surprised she’s still single at twenty-eight.  But as always for Jayne, there’s hope.  This time his name is Gray—a successful, gorgeous marketing VP that she can’t believe is going out with her.  She’s never given up on the belief that the right man for her is out there.  Maybe Gray could be the one…if she just works hard enough to make it happen. 
Her cynical friend Karen is suspicious of Jayne’s new guy with his model looks and over-inflated ego.   She’s concerned for Jayne, but has her own relationship to worry about.  Not that anything’s wrong with her boyfriend.  He’s actually perfect for her, which is why she’s terrified.  Not sure she can ever fully trust a man again, she considers bailing on yet another relationship.
Claudia is always there for her friends, mothering them like the children she craves to have.  Happily married, Claudia anxiously awaits the day her husband finally agrees it’s time to start a family.   
‘Til St. Patrick’s Day is a novel about the depths of friendship and what happens when love doesn’t go according to plan.
 
                             
 
 
Excerpt: 
November
Jayne closed the door behind her and leaned against it, afraid to even move. She was pretty certain the last four hours had just been a dream, and if she dared to move or speak or even breathe too deeply—it might all go away. So she stood silently, desperately still.
When her cell phone blared from inside her purse, she jumped back, startled. Her heart started pulsating quickly, and she was relieved that so far, her night seemed perhaps to be real. She dug around in her oversized purse and grabbed her phone.
“Hello?”
“Hey, it’s me.” Karen. Relief again. It wasn’t some dream fairy about to snatch away one of the best nights of her life. “Are you home yet?”
“Yeah, I just walked in the door.” Breathe, she reminded herself. Jayne pulled off the coat she’d worn to keep out the autumn cold that had begun to creep into St. Louis. She threw it over the arm of her couch before she plopped down.
“And? How’d it go?”
“Oh, he’s just…dreamy…” Her voice tapered off as a stupid grin flooded her face.
“So I take that to mean it was good.”
“No, it was fabulous.” She closed her eyes, visions of the night running through her mind.
“Give me the rundown.” Karen was always to the point, one of the things Jayne loved best about her.
“Okay, well, first he took me to dinner in the city. That new trendy place in Lafayette Square. It was really great inside, and the food…well, you know how I love food. And it was delish.”
“Did he open doors for you and all that?
“Yeah, yeah he did. It was nice.” All night long, and now too, she couldn’t believe that Gray Brandt had asked her out. He was impossibly attractive—wavy black hair, dimples, a ridiculously bright white smile, and perfectly toned body. She wasn’t sure what she’d noticed about him first…his captivating bright blue eyes or his six-foot-two Adonis-like body.
“Then what?”
“Then we went to a movie, and afterwards we went downtown and actually went for a horse-drawn carriage ride.”
Karen groaned. “How cheesy.”
“You are so jaded. It wasn’t cheesy. It was romantic.”
“He was just trying to get laid. Did he?”
“No, but he got a goodnight kiss.” Jayne giggled. “But I would have done it if he wanted.”
“Well, I guess there’s nothing wrong with a little hot sex from time to time.” Karen sighed. “But a carriage ride?”
“I liked it. I thought it was sweet and romantic and touching.”
“Yeah, if it’s your senior prom and you’re wearing a corsage.”
“Oh, stop. Next time I won’t give you all the details if you’re going to just belittle them.”
“But it’s so much fun,” Karen said, laughing. “I’m sorry. I know you like all that shit.”
“Yes, I do. I still can’t believe he actually went out with me!”
“I can’t wait to see this guy. I mean, he sounds like the love child of Johnny Depp and Maks from Dancing with the Stars. If they were gay lovers, and if gay men could procreate together, that is.”
Jayne couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s actually a pretty good assessment. And did I ever mention to you that he has the most beautiful deep blue eyes I’ve ever seen?”
“Only a dozen times or so.”
“Well, he does,” she said, grinning. “So he said he’d call me tomorrow to make some plans for the weekend.”
“That sounds promising. If you actually hear from him.”
“He’ll call.”
“I hope for your sake that he does. Well, it sounds like you had a great time.”
“We really did.” Jayne yawned. “I better get to bed…it’s late and I have to work in the morning. Some of us have real jobs, you know.”
“I have a real job. I just make my own hours. Jealous, eh?”
“Completely.”
“Well don’t be. I worked my ass off on a proposal all day yesterday and presented it to the potential client today. And I could absolutely tell he’s not going to do business with me.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I can just tell. He was disinterested, polite but not friendly, and he didn’t really ask any questions.”
“Well that sucks. Was it a big customer?”
“Decent.” Karen sighed. “But in this economy I’ll take whatever I can get.”
“You are good at what you do, you’re smart and tough. Don’t give up—you never know.”
“You’re an eternal optimist, Jayne. It’s what makes you so lovable and irritating all at the same time.”
“Not sure if I should say thank you or call you a bitch for that,” Jayne said with a chuckle.
“How about, ‘Thanks, bitch’?” They both laughed. “Well, I’ll let you go…are we still on for Saturday lunch with Claudia?”
“Of course. See you then, if we don’t talk before.”
“Okay. G’night.”
“’Night.” Jayne hung up the phone, put it on the charger, and sauntered to her bedroom. Yawning as she pulled off her clothes and slid a sleep shirt over her head, she crawled into bed without so much as brushing her teeth. The incessant dripping sound from the bathroom faucet that normally drove her insane didn’t bother her at all. Unlike most nights, she barely noticed it.
She was tired and wanted nothing more than to fall asleep and have dreams of Gray.
 
 
 
A Self-confessed music, movie and accessories junkie, Holly Gilliatt's passion has always been writing.  Give her an Algebra quiz and she'll curl up in the fetal position.  But throw a test requiring all essay answers her way and she's in heaven.  Between the day job, husband, three kids, two dogs and a cat--it's not easy to find time to write.  So she sacrifices the laundry pile to spin her tales of laughter, friendship and love.  She's proud to call the St. Louis area her home.
 
Links:
 
 
Buy:  Love in Sight     Buy:   'Til St. Patrick's Day
 
 
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