Contest Alert!

Wanna win free stuff?? I’m giving away a $50 Amazon gift card as part of the Book Blitz for Ransom. I’ve been tweeting the participating blogs on twitter so follow me @Rems330 to see all the places you can enter!

We’re also doing a major giveaway for the Beyond Desire book bundle (which comes out on Monday!) The first prize is a Kindle Fire along with $25 gift card to shop at Amazon. You can find out all the information about the giveaway right here.

If you haven’t pre-ordered Beyond Desire, you can do so here on Amazon or here on iTunes (the bundle will also be available for Nook on Monday). For $.99 you get ten great romance novels by best-selling authors including my book, Escape In You. The bundle will only be available for a limited time so grab yours now!

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New Book!

*To check out my post for the Chick Lit Blog Hop, head over here.*

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is waking up safe and sound this morning. The images from Oklahoma are so heartbreaking. My prayers are with everyone who is waking up to so much destruction today. I encourage everyone to do what they can to help. You can visit the Red Cross here to see how you can help. I found that the easiest, fastest way to contribute was to simply text the word REDCROSS to 90999.

It feels quite insignificant on a day like this, but the news in my little corner of the universe is that Lovestruck in London is finally here. You can check it out for your kindle here or for your nook here. I’m still waiting on the iTunes link but I’ll let you know as soon as it’s live over there.

I’m closing the contest from last week and will be announcing the winner later this afternoon. Good luck to everyone who entered!

I’m doing one last contest to celebrate the release. I’ll be giving another $25 Amazon gift card to a random member of my mailing list. All you have to do to be eligible to win is sign up here for the mailing list. I only send out newsletters to alert members of new books, sales, and occasional contests. I promise I won’t clog up your inbox;)

Don’t forget you can also win ebooks and maybe even a brand new kindle by participating in the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop. Check out the details here.

Have a good day, everyone. Stay safe and give lots of hugs today!

 

 

Chick Lit Author Blog Hop!

It’s Blog Hop time! Before I get into all the details about the hop, I just want to remind everyone that there’s still two days to enter to win the $25 Amazon gift card in celebration of the release of Lovestruck in London. To enter, head over to this post and leave me a comment about your favorite book character along with your email address and you’re entered! (The contest is only open to people living in the United States, sorry!)

As promised, there are more chances to win something cool this week and the next one is a BIG one! May is Chick Lit month and I am once again participating in an awesome blog hop. The theme this year is “What’s On Page 25?” so I’ll be giving you a sneak peak of one of my favorite scenes in the new book (which will be available TOMORROW!). During the blog hop there will be chances to win lots of ebooks or even the grand prize of a FREE Kindle Keyboard 3G, with Free 3G + Wi-Fi, and a 6″ E Ink Display. That lucky grand prize winner will also receive a “chick lit starter library” filled with great chick lit books written by the indie authors participating in the blog hop.

Learn “How to Hop & Win!” New to blog hops? Want to learn how to win the grand prize? Find complete information here.

I definitely recommend clicking on the link above for full rules but the basic rundown is this: Over the course of the next week you’ll visit 25 blogs and collect “Secret Words” from each blog. You’ll then use the words you collected to enter in the rafflecopter contest linked below. It’s pretty easy and it should be a good time. I know in the past I’ve found a lot of great new authors through hops like this one. I hope you do too!

Additionally, I will also be giving a free ebook copy of my new book, Lovestruck in London, to a lucky reader. Just comment below and you’re automatically entered. If you comment on all the blogs in the hop you have a chance to win lots of books!

Once again, if you want more details on the hop and how you can win the Grand Prize, head over here.

You can find the participating blogs here.

Here’s where you enter your secret words to win:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Okay, I think that covers the details. So without further ado, let’s take a look at WHAT’S ON PAGE 25! This is actually one of my favorite scenes in the book. Lizzie has only recently arrived in London for her study abroad. On her first night out on the town, she meets an up-and-coming actor names Thomas. They hit it off right away. Keep reading to check out one of their earliest conversations. And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for my secret word!

I met Thomas at the velvet rope where he introduced me to a staff member named Bill. “Bill and I go way back,” he shouted in my ear as we shook hands. “He used to tend bar in my local.”

Bill unhooked the rope and stepped aside so Thomas could lead me up a short flight of stairs. I found myself in a small loft area overlooking the dance floor. We could still hear the music, but velvet drapes around our booth muffled the sound quite a bit.

“That’s better,” Thomas said, settling into the booth. “I can at least hear you now.”

“Do you come here a lot?” I asked, amazed that this section of the club existed without anyone below knowing it.

Thomas shook his head. “To be honest, this isn’t really my scene. I’m much more of a pub guy when I want a drink.”

I grinned, glad to hear it for some reason. Maybe Thomas wasn’t too glamorous for me after all. “What about you?” he asked. “Pub or club?”

“Uh,” I felt suddenly uncomfortable. “Pub, I guess. But I don’t really do much of either.”

“A university student who doesn’t go to the pub? I’m shocked.”

I shrugged. “I should warn you right now, I’m kind of a goody-two-shoes.”

“Me, too!” Thomas cried, looking thrilled. He leaned into me and spoke in mock confidential tones. “Would it shock you to know that I spent last New Year’s Eve in my flat studying lines for a film I was about to start shooting?”

I laughed. “I spent last New Year’s Eve at a party at my uncle’s house, so I’m not one to judge.”

“One time my brother convinced me to steal a Coke from the newsagent down the road,” Thomas countered. “He said he would tell all my friends I was a baby if I didn’t. So I did.”

“You returned the Coke an hour later, didn’t you?”

“Twenty minutes,” he said, grinning. “And I cried.”

I laughed, wondering why I had felt nervous about talking with him. He was wonderful.

“Tell me about school,” he said. “Why London?”

“I’ve always wanted to come to London,” I said.

“Are you enjoying it so far?”

“We haven’t seen much of the city. We were stuck in orientation sessions the first few days, and were suffering crazy jet lag at night. Then we had this whole apartment fiasco. It hasn’t been quite what I expected.” I paused, not wanting to admit the underlying disappointment I had been feeling about my London adventure so far. (Win the grand prize! The 12th secret word in the 25-word sentence is: lit) Anyhow. This is our first night really off campus.” 

“So you’ve been here all week and you haven’t seen the city yet? We’ll have to fix that.” The implication in his words made my heart thud in my chest. I couldn’t seem to wipe the smile from my face.

“I think the big draw for me was the literary history here,” I went on, trying to control the giddiness that threatened to overwhelm me. “My favorite authors are British; I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would want to study literature.”

“Funny, my favorite authors are mostly American,” he said, taking a sip of his beer. “Patterson, King, Grisham.” He gave me a rueful grin. “Not exactly high-minded literature.”

“There’s nothing wrong with genre fiction,” I said firmly. “Take it from an English major; people who only read the classics are usually boring and uptight.”

“Cheers.” Thomas rapped his bottle lightly against my glass. “Did you study literature at your university in the States as well?”

I nodded. “My BA is in English. I also have a teaching certificate.”

“A teacher, eh? My mother was a teacher.”

“So are my sisters,” I said, feeling depressed suddenly. “But I have a ways to go. This program is nine months long.”

“Nine months is a long time to be away from home. Where is home, by the way?”

“Detroit, Michigan. You know, where they make the cars. Motown, Kid Rock.”

“I’ve seen Eight Mile, you know. I’m quite familiar with Detroit.”

I laughed. “Well, I don’t actually live in the city. The suburbs. Sterling Heights, to be exact. Much more Pleasantville than Eight Mile.

“Thank you for putting things in movie language for me,” he said, winking. “Taking pity on the brainless actor is kind.”

“You started it!” I cried, smacking his hand as he laughed. “So where are you from?”

“I grew up in Surrey, but the family’s all up in Edinburgh now.”

“Oooh,” I sighed. “I can’t wait to get up there.”

“It’s a beautiful city,” he said. “They moved right when I started working in London, so I never lived there full time, but it’s really nice to be able to visit them now.”

We chatted for a while about family. I learned that Thomas is a middle child, his older brother is married and living outside Edinburgh, and his younger sister still lives at home. He seemed fascinated by the idea of my five siblings, and wanted to know all about my family, cousins and aunts and uncles included.

“My grandparents on both sides immigrated from Mexico,” I explained. “My mom’s mom moved back there after her husband died, and my dad’s parents are both gone. But we have a huge family all nearby, more than a dozen cousins, and I don’t even know how many second and third cousins. It gets pretty crazy when we’re all in the same place, which happens all the time. We have more family dinners and parties than anyone you’ll ever meet.”

“Wow,” he said. “I only have three cousins all together.”

I laughed. “Then your house is probably much more peaceful than mine at Christmas.”

“I think it would be nice to have a bigger family,” he said. “You must have had lots of built-in playmates when you were little.”

“I did,” I agreed. “My best friend is actually my cousin Sofia.” I felt a pang. It had only been a week but I missed Sofie like mad.

“It’s pretty brave of you, coming all this way on your own, for such an extended stay.” I looked up and saw that he was watching me closely, something about his expression making me think he could tell what I was feeling. Slightly embarrassed, I reached for my drink.

“I don’t know about brave,” I said, after I’d drained the rest of it. “But my family sure wasn’t thrilled about it.”

“They thought it was too far?”

“They thought I should be putting my hard-earned education to work getting a real job, not spending more loan money on something frivolous.”

“Higher education is frivolous?”

“It is to them.” I reached for my drink again, my hand coming up short when I realized it was empty. Talking about my parents’ expectations always stressed me out.

Thomas noticed and gestured for a waitress. “Another gin and tonic and another Heineken, please.”

“Thanks,” I said, grateful.

“You’re welcome. We can change the subject if you want.”

“No, it’s okay. I just have some guilt issues when it comes to my career,” I laughed lightly, hoping I didn’t sound too melodramatic, but Thomas only said, “I can relate.”

“My parents are big on stability. They saw their parents struggle so much when they came to America. My dad worked a bunch of terrible jobs before he got hired at Ford. For him, a job with a good union, good benefits, that’s like the holy grail.”

“Your brothers and sisters agree?”

“Oh God, yes,” I laughed. “Two brothers are at Ford with him, another is an electrician, and both the girls are teachers.”

“So you followed in their footsteps?”

I was saved answering by the waitress’s return with our drinks, and it was a good thing, too. I had been about to admit that the thought of teaching had lately filled me with a panic I couldn’t explain. I hadn’t admitted that to anyone, not even Sofie or Callie. What was it about Thomas that made me feel so chatty?

“What about you?” I asked, eager to stop thinking about my career prospects. “What did your folks think about acting?”

“They’re supportive, now. It was a different story at first. They sent all three of us to really good schools, education was really important to them. I think they had visions of all three of us becoming barristers, like my dad.”

“What does your brother do now?”

“He’s a barrister.” Thomas laughed. “He’s the good son. But my sister is making noise about wanting to give acting a shot. They’ll really kill me then.” He winked at me, making my tummy flip all over again. I found that I was staring at his eyes while he talked. They were the most expressive eyes I had ever seen, flashing and twinkling, their green depths seeming to darken depending on his tone. If I spent enough time with him I could read his mood in his eyes, I thought. Without him saying a word.

“You said they weren’t thrilled with the acting at first. Weren’t you really young when Darkness came out?”

“I went to an open call when I was seventeen,” he said. “I actually auditioned for Cooper.” When I looked blank, he laughed. “Jackson’s part. I take it you aren’t a fan?”

I blushed to the roots of my hair. “Um…”

He laughed again and patted my hand, the contact sending a rush of shivers down my arm. “Don’t worry about it. It’s actually pretty refreshing. Anyway, I went to the audition kind of on a lark. I really liked drama in school, and kept telling my parents I wanted to study it at university. I figured if I could manage a callback in a major show, they might take me seriously. I was blown away when I was cast.”

“And they let you do it. That’s pretty cool.”

“At that point, they couldn’t have stopped me,” he laughed. “I had visions of Hollywood superstardom in my eyes. I was impossible for months.”

Just then, my phone beeped. I groaned as I looked down at it. “The girls are leaving.”

Thomas sat up straighter. “I could take you home,” he said. Was I imagining the eagerness in his voice?

“Thank you, but I should go with Callie. The other girls don’t live on our side of town, and we’re too new here for me to be leaving her on her own.”

“You sound like a nice friend,” he smiled at me, and I noticed, for the first time, that he had dimples. Or maybe they only appeared when he smiled a certain way. I had already mentally catalogued at least four different smiles to obsess over when I was alone.

He stood with me to walk me down the stairs. As soon as we were out of our protective alcove, the club noise hit me all over again. I had to lean up to yell right in his ear for him to hear me, brushing my arm across his as I went. I wasn’t complaining. “Look, I’d introduce you but I’m afraid Callie will go all fan girl on you. Are you up for that tonight?”

“Hmm, can I take a rain check on the fan-girling?”

I laughed. “Sure.”

As I scanned the room for Callie, Thomas took my hand. I looked up at him, surprised, as a rush of warmth shot through my fingers. “I’d like to see you again,” he said, leaning down so I could hear him. “Would that be okay with you?”

I couldn’t speak. Being so close to his face, his hand holding mine so firmly, I was overwhelmed with the desire to reach up and kiss him. I’d barely have to stretch at all. Instead, I nodded wordlessly, earning another grin from Thomas.

Five distinct smiles, I thought to myself. I wonder what they all represent.

“Tomorrow?”

I nodded again, pretty sure that my grin had turned downright goofy looking.

Thomas squeezed my hand before releasing it. “Text me when you get home then, we can set a time and you can give me your address.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

He nodded across the room. “I think I see your friend. Talk to you soon?”

Before I could respond, he was brushing his lips lightly across my forehead, squeezing my hand one last time, and turning away. I stood gaping after him, still feeling his lips on my forehead.

###

If you have any questions about the Hop don’t hesitate to ask. Remember to leave a comment to enter to win a copy of my brand new ebook, Lovestruck in London. And don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for the grand prize kindle!

Keep hopping! Click here to return to the list of blogs.

Cover reveal! Title reveal! Contest! Exclamation points!

Thank you guys so much for being so supportive of the Three Girls and a Baby sale! The book was downloaded quite a bit yesterday and it was so fun to see it show up on some best-seller lists. For a while Baby was the #16 ebook on BarnesandNoble.com! Weee! The sale will continue through next Monday so if you haven’t grabbed a copy yet there’s still time to get it cheap;)

The big news for today is that I am finally ready to reveal the title and cover of my next book. Without further ado, I present…

rachelschurig_lovelondon_eBook_final

Lizzie Medina went to London to reinvent herself. Tired of being the quiet baby sister, and in no hurry to settle into a boring existence in surburbia, she escapes from home at the first opportunity. When she settles in London for a year of post-graduate studies, Lizzie is sure she’ll be able to start a whole new life. Immerse herself in the books she loves. Explore a new country. Work on her dream of writing a novel. She might even be able to find a little bit of excitement for once.

But falling unexpectedly in love with up-and-coming actor Thomas Harper causes Lizzie to re-think her wishes for excitement. When Thomas’s career suddenly explodes to superstar levels, Lizzie finds herself forced to navigate the fame game of red carpets, catty co-stars, gossip magazines, and paparazzi. When she wished for a new life, she had no idea it would be anything like this!

Lizzie must now determine if her love is strong enough to get her through the complications of dating a movie star. Even if she and Thomas are able to pull through before she leaves London, how will she deal with the inevitability of returning to a life at home that no longer feels like her own? Will the changes Lizzie made in London be enough to help her find true happiness?

Find out in Lovestruck in London, available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iBookstore Tuesday, May 21st 2013!

I am so excited to release this book! I researched it and started writing during my trip to the UK last fall. It seems so crazy to me that a book I started while sitting in Hyde Park one afternoon, worked on while cruising across the ocean, and finished after moving into my new house will actually be published. I really hope you guys like it as much as I do! I think the thing I’m most excited about is introducing a whole new set of characters. I tend to get really invested in my characters–in fact, I kind of refuse to believe that Kiki Barker Thompson is not a real person and my actual friend. I hope you guys will enjoy meeting Lizzie and her friends because I’m so excited for you to get to know them!

To help spread my excitement, I’ll be giving away a $20 Amazon.com gift card to one of my readers. To enter, all you have to do is comment below and let me know your email address and who your favorite literary character is. The contest is only open to those living in the United States, sorry!  I’ll randomly select a winner the day of the book release, Tuesday, May 21.

I’ll be doing at least two more contests throughout the week in anticipation of the release. One will be open to newsletter members only, so if you haven’t already, sign up to be on the email list here. I only send out *occasional* emails regarding new releases, sales, and contests, promise! I will not clog up your inbox because I hate that as much as the next girl;)

I’m still working on the last minute polish of the novel so I better get back to work. Hope you all have a lovely Tuesday. Good luck with the contest!

CONTEST NOW CLOSED. CONGRATS MARY DOWNING ON YOUR $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

Chick Lit Author Blog Hop 2012: My Life in Chick Lit

It’s Blog Hop time! Are you as excited as I am? I hope so! If you’re not familiar with the rules, head over here. Otherwise, let’s get started (don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for my italicized secret word!)

***

I love chick lit.

It’s always been my favorite genre to read, and it’s definitely my favorite genre to write. Any time I visit bookstores, used books sales, or garage sales, the very first thing I do is search out the chick lit. Don’t get me wrong, there are many genres that I enjoy reading. In fact, there are few things that I won’t read. But 9 times out of 10, give me a tummy-flipping romance with a slew of strong characters and a dash of humor and I’ll be a happy girl.

I think the main appeal of chick lit for me is a combination of escapism and relatability. My favorite books are those that combine relatable characters with some element that exists outside of my realm of experience. I’ve never been to rehab like Rachel Walsh in Marian Keyes’s Rachel’s Holiday, but I know what it’s like to get overwhelmed by my mistakes. I haven’t run away from my career and home like Samantha did in Sophie Kinsella’s Undomestic Goddess, but I have experienced the yearning for a fresh start. I’ve never lived in New York, the way the girls do in Candace Bushnell’s Sex in the City, but I definitely know what it feels like to create a second family with the best friends a girl could ask for.

There’s a shelf in my office here in Michigan filled with many of my favorite chick lit books.

I own many more in ebook form. Looking through these brightly colored pretty covers is like talking a walk down memory lane. I can remember where I was when I read many of these books, or what was going on in my life. I can also point to the exact element in each book that I felt a connection to, what made the book stick enough that I would want to keep it on my shelf and re-read it time and time again.

In celebration of International Chick Lit Month, I thought I would talk a little bit about five of my all time favorite chick lit books and how they relate to my own life. The books I’ve chosen are written by different authors and feature characters at different stages in their lives and careers. What do they have in common? Each is funny, romantic, and, most importantly, FUN! So let’s get started!

5. A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans.

I love this book! If you haven’t read anything by Evans stop reading this and get yourself to Amazon. I have yet to read something by Harriet Evans that I don’t love. A Hopeless Romantic was actually the first Harriet Evans book that I ever read. I bought it before I traveled to England for the first time. You might notice that all the books on my list are by British authors–there’s a reason for that. I’m kind of obsessed with the UK! Obviously my first trip to London was a huge deal for me. Before I left I got my hands on as much British chick lit as I could find to get myself in the mood. I fell in love with this story about a young woman whose obsession with romance has caused numerous problems in her life. The book is set both in London and in the British country side–bonus! And to this day, every time I read it I remember the feeling of overwhelming excitement as I planned my first trip to England.

4. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella

You really can’t have a best-of list about chick lit without mentioning Sophie Kinsella. She really is the epitome of the genre. Can You Keep a Secret is probably my favorite Kinsella book, but it’s a close one! Can You Keep a Secret is the story of a young woman who accidentally confesses her deepest, darkest secrets to a stranger. This omission, of course, comes back to haunt her! My friends and I always talk about our “secret shames.” You know those movies or songs or TV shows that you secretly love but don’t want to admit to because they’re embarrassing? Yeah, I have A LOT of those. From Vampire Diaries to High School Musical to my all time favorite band (which will remain nameless) my list of interests are a hodge-podge of things that no self-respecting 30-year-old should ever admit to. Can I relate to Emma Corrigan? You bet I can!

3. With or Without You by Carole Matthews.

Okay, I admit that it’s kind of weird to say I can relate to a book about a woman who ditches her job and home in order to go trekking around Nepal. I’ve never been trekking anywhere, and I’ve certainly never been to the Himalayas. In fact, I’m pretty terrified of heights and I have a hard time even driving through mountains, let alone trying to climb one. But I can’t help but be drawn in to the story of a woman whose life is not going according to plan. When Lyssa’s life starts to fall apart around her, she decided to chuck it all and take off, alone, to Nepal for a month. While there she realizes she’s a much different, stronger person than she ever imagined herself to be. The world is bigger than Lyssa realized, and there’s so much more to living than she could have dreamt of.

A little more than a year ago I found myself feeling really unsatisfied with where my life was going. I was bored, lonely, and unfulfilled. I didn’t feel like my life was where I had imagined it would be on the cusp of turning thirty. After feeling bad for myself for a while, I decided to do something about it. I published my book, Three Girls and a Baby, last July and haven’t looked back since. In doing so I learned more about myself, and the life I want to live, than I ever had before. There’s a big world out there, and I’m so excited to finally be living in it to my full potential!

2. Making Mischief by Elizabeth Young.

It makes me sad that Elizabeth Young isn’t better known amongst chick lit readers. She is, by far, one of my favorite authors. I highly recommend you check out some of her stuff. You won’t regret it! I first read Making Mischief in my pre-England chick lit craze, but that’s not what I think of when I re-read it now. Making Mischief is set at a resort in the Caribbean and features white sand beaches, turquoise blue water, fruity cocktails, and, obviously, an adorable love story. Naturally, I took this book with me when my best friends and I took a cruise to the Bahamas a few years ago. When I re-read it now, I’m immediately taken back to sitting on a lounge chair, the sun shining above me, the ocean spread out around us, a drink in my hand, and my very best friends all gathered around me. Ahhh.

1. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

This should be a no brainer. Bridget is kind of the Grandmother of Chick lit. There’s a good reason for that–the book is hilarious, romantic, and focuses on my personal favorite theme typical of the genre: friendship. I love this book. I love Bridget’s urban singleton family, I love her crazy parents, I love the roguish Daniel, and I love, love, love Mark Darcy. I love that my best friends and I continue to quote lines from this book in our every day conversation. I love that as I get older I relate more and more to this character, this every-girl who struggles with her weight, her career, her relationships. The first time I read this book I was in my early 20’s, positive I would be married with babies before I reached Bridget’s age. Things haven’t worked out that way. In fact, I’m much more like Bridge than I ever thought I would be. And I’m totally okay with that! And who knows, maybe, just like Bridget, I might find my own Mr. Darcy someday.

So that’s my list! What do you think? What would be on your ultimate chick lit list? Leave a comment and let me know (or maybe take a guess at my secret-shame favorite band), and you’ll automatically be entered to win a free Amazon ebook copy of my new book, In Search of a Love Story! Make sure you leave your name and your email address with your comment. I’ll be announcing the winner on May 21st. The contest is only open to those living in the United States, sorry!

That’s not all! Don’t forget about the Sephora gift card. $150! That’s not bad! Check out the details below. Good luck, and VIVA LA CHICK LIT!

***

For a chance to win the Chick Lit Author Blog Hop Grand Prize of a $150 Sephora gift card, simply do the following:

  • Collect all 34 of the secret words (you will find a secret word in each of the blog posts on the hop.)  The word will be italicized, so it will be easy to locate.  ***HINT***The secret word in my blog hop post is near the picture of my bookshelf!
  • Submit your list of 34 secret words toCLABlogHop@aol.com before midnight on Sunday, May 20th and you will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing!
  • The Grand Prize winner will be announced on Monday, May 21st, and the $150 Sephora gift card can be redeemed online, or at any Sephora store in the US.
  • Chick Lit Author Blog Hop contests are open to residents of the United States only.
Please see the link below for a Linky list with all 34 participating authors/blogs.  You will have an opportunity to win a different e-book at each blog hop stop.  Good luck!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…