Author Guest Post
Learning To Believe In Happily-Ever-Afters
By: Darby Davenport
In the summer of 2012, I found myself moving to a new house in a new town to start my new single life. I was fully prepared to live out the rest of my days as a spinster recluse and had no doubt that one day neighborhood children would think I'm some kind of evil witch and thus be too afraid to even walk past my house.
Oh, well. At least I had my pets, my writing, and an active social life... on Facebook. That would be enough, right?
Sometimes rock bottom is a good place to be. As those annoyingly optimistic people like to say, "You can only go up from here." For once, they were actually right about something.
So I met a guy. A pretty great guy, actually. And I did everything in my power to friend-zone him. How rarely things go according to plan.
We grew closer and closer through a string of Facebook conversations, then started spending some time together in the real world. It didn't take me long to see that he was a genuinely kind man who liked me for who I am—warts and all.
My mind was blown.
After a month of chatting online, we spent a 4-day weekend together in constant company. At the conclusion of which, we shared our first kiss. Well, that was the end of my resistance to love. He practically moved in then and there, and we officially started living together within a month. Two months later, we snuck off and eloped in a beautiful ceremony in the park that was made even more special because it was just for us.
As of today, we've been together for nearly 7 months—more of it married than not. And you know what? I'm deliriously happy. Neither of us thinks we're worthy of the love the other gives, which makes us absolutely perfect for each other. While we do in fact live real life together—chores, financial decisions, and serious talks about the future—we also still whisper sweet nothings, slow dance in the living room, hold hands, and find special ways to express the love that's just bursting from both of our hearts.
What changed? How did I go from a future of certain spinsterhood to a love zealot?
I just happened to meet the right person. It seems so simple, yet so immensely difficult. If such a thing as soul mates exists, then we have—what?—a 1 in 3.5 billion chance of meeting our perfect other? I never believed it could happen for me... until it did and at the absolutely perfect time, might I add.
I learned to believe in happily-ever-after when I met and married the embodiment of mine. I love you, Falcon!
I'd like to welcome romance author, Darby Davenport, to the blog today as part of the celebration for the launch of her new novella, Walk Away With Me. You may know Darby under her other pen name, Emlyn Chand.
You're fairly well known as a YA author, why did you decide to start writing romance as well?
My life-long love affair with reading knows no bounds. I find it hard to write in only one genre when I enjoy reading so many. While I plan to right much more YA (I have to finish the Farsighted series, after all), I'm also drawn to romance in particular. Who doesn't love a happy ending that leaves the reader feeling warm and cozy? My cheerful romances help to counterbalance my dark and brooding YA. Together, they form the complete picture of who I am as an author. I wouldn't trade either for the world!
What are you doing differently with one pen name versus the other? Are you worried that the two different names will fracture your author identity?
It's definitely scary starting all over with a new pen name. I have 9 books out as Emlyn Chand, and this is just my first as Darby. YIKES! My publisher and I decided it would be best for me to take on this new romance alias to protect my younger readers from accidentally picking up a book they shouldn't be reading. My Bird Brain Book series is for readers ages 3 and up, while Walk Away With Me is really only for the 18+ crowd.
At first it was difficult figuring out where Emlyn ended and Darby began, but now I've really started getting into the whole multiple personalities thing. Yes, I have to start over with my author brand, but on the other hand... I get to start over! I've learned so much since first releasing Farsighted back in October 2011. I now have the opportunity to do everything better, stronger, faster. Maybe the lessons I learned as Emlyn will unlock a higher success for Darby. I don't know what the future holds, but I'm so excited to find out!
What is your favorite thing about the romance genre?
The idea that no matter how bad things get, everyone in entitled to a happily-ever-after.
You dedicated Walk Away With Me first to your dogs and then to your husband—why?
As much as I love my husband, this book really was written for the dogs. The two dogs in the book are modeled after our three dogs at home. My Lhasa Apso, Rugby, played a huge role in my love story with my husband. In fact, during our early days dating, Rugby would get so upset when Falcon wasn't around that he refused to eat, to play, to do anything but mope around and try to electrocute himself by chewing on cables. True story!
Dogs are such loving, intelligent creatures, and it breaks my heart that so many of them are without homes. Walk Away With Me isn't just an opus dedicated to my dogs but to all rescue dogs. There's even a special section in the back of the book where I talk about my lovable mutts, how they came to me, and why everyone should consider giving one of these wonderful animals a second chance at life.
What kind of reader will enjoy Walk Away With Me?
Obviously, I primarily had a female audience in mind, but if fellas are willing to give it a chance, I think they'll find Charlie is a woman they can get behind. Lovers of animals, nature, Thai food, and Cesar Milan will also enjoy the story :-)
About The Author
Darby, who also writes young adult and children's fiction under the pen name Emlyn Chand, lives in suburban Detroit with her own personal soul mate--fellow writer, Falcon Storm--and private zoo, which includes a music-loving Sun Conure, hyper-active Golden Retriever, and two scrappy little rescue mutts.
You can connect with her at www.DarbyDavenport.com.
Walk Away With Me by Darby Davenport ~ Virtual Book Launch Page
Virtual Book Launch Contest Giveaway
Win A Romantic Swag Pack
Romantic Swag Pack
What it includes: The special launch week swag basket includes items inspired by the book: Must Love Dogs DVD, a plush Rottweiler toy, Classic Love Songs CD, and two books– The RoMANtics Guide: Hundreds of Creative Tips for a Lifetime of Love and Easy Thai Cooking: 75 Family-style Dishes You Can Prepare in Minutes.
Who it’s for: Anyone who wants to participate!
How to enter: Just complete as many of the entry options as you can using the Rafflecopter form linked here: Romantic Swag Pack Giveaway for Walk Away with Me ... or use the Rafflecopter entry form below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Book 1: The Loving Nature Trilogy
Publisher: Evolved Publishing
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback - 104 pages / Kindle - 825 KB / Nook - 6 MB
Genre: Contemporary Romance
BUY THE BOOK: Walk Away With Me
Walk Away With Me is just $2.99 for the eBook and $9.95 for the paperback.
AMAZON - UK
BARNES & NOBLE
THE TRILOGY: The Loving Nature Trilogy
Book 1: Walk Away With Me (March 19, 2013)
Book 2: Skinny Dipping At Dawn (Summer 2013)
Book 3: Melt My Heart (Fall 2013)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book launch event hosted by Novel Publicity.
A man with a painful past, a woman who fears commitment, and a dog with only one more chance at life--together, can they find love?
What is Charlie Rockwell supposed to do when the sad Rottweiler's eyes connect with hers through the TV screen and work their way straight into her heart? She adopts him without a second thought or the slightest knowledge how to take care of the large, needy dog with the traumatic past.
Ethan Porter is not happy when a savage Rottweiler picks a fight with his mild-mannered Golden Retriever at the dog park. But his anger quickly dissipates when tears begin to form behind the eyes of the dog's beautiful owner--eyes that are far too familiar for his liking. Disregarding his instincts, Ethan can't deny her plea when she asks him to teach her the basics of dog ownership.
Can he ignore the fact that she bears a strong resemblance to his ex and finally learn to trust again? Will she find committing to both man and dog more exciting than the freedom of a single, unrestrained life?
"Lovable characters, compelling plot, and an exciting twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat as Charlie and Ethan find their happily-ever-after." ~ Lucy Kevin, New York Times bestselling author of The Wedding Kiss
My Book Review:
Walk Away With Me is a sweet romantic novella about two people who have fears and insecurities when it comes to love and relationships. When their lovable dogs brings them together at the local dog park, their attraction and chemistry leads them to confront their fears for a real chance at love and happiness.
Free-spirit Charlie Rockwell is afraid of commitments. Ethan Porter has a hard time getting over a past broken relationship. When Charlie adopts an unruly Rottweiler named Rugby, she didn't know the first thing about taking care of a dog who needs obedience training. A chance meeting occurs when Rugby charges after Tuck, Ethan Porter's Golden Retriever at the dog park, which leads Charlie to ask Ethan for help with Rugby's obedience training. Can a chance meeting and two lovable dogs bring together a relationship challenged couple for a chance at love and happiness?
In her debut novella, author Darby Davenport, aka Emlyn Chand, weaves a lighthearted and whimsical romantic tale written in the third person narrative with alternating points of view by Charlie and Ethan. Charlie and Ethan takes the reader along for the ride as their chance meeting prompted by their dogs develops into a romantic relationship that neither had been looking for, which eventually leads them to let go of their pasts and realize that they are meant for each other. Frought with personal struggles and conflicts, twists and turns, steamy romance, and two lovable dogs, Walk Away With Me is an enjoyable quick read that reminds the reader that anyone can find love at the most unexpected time!
Walk Away With Me is the first book in The Loving Nature Trilogy.
RATING: 4 STARS ****