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Monday, August 5, 2013

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding by Elley Arden (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Crashing the Congressman's Wedding by author Elley Arden!

Author Guest Post 

Music: The Inspiration to My Writing
By: Elley Arden

Years ago, before I wrote fiction full-time, I wrote and edited non-fiction. I worked from home unless I was working at one of my satellite offices in Chicago or L.A. I spent a lot of time on my butt participating in conference calls. To offset the sedentary misery, I walked or ran (depending on how I felt when I crawled out of bed) every morning. It was a blessing and a curse. I got much needed exercise, but I also got an onslaught of story ideas while I listened to music during my workout. I’d come home, scribble like mad, and then race to the shower before sitting down to work. By the time I was done with job and family obligations, I was too exhausted to see where those story ideas would lead. 

Fortunately, these days I don’t have to curtail my daydreaming in order to focus on two-hour conference call. I can leave the music playing and let my mind wander. The results are exciting. Not only have I written some of my best scenes on the heels of hearing an inspirational song, but the idea for Crashing the Congressman’s Wedding came while I was singing along with Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now”. 

When I’m “blocked”, sometimes all it takes is the right song to unblock me, so I play close attention to the music my characters would like. For instance, I’m working on a story where the hero is in his mid-twenties and from the state of Washington. Knowing there’s an innovative music scene in the Pacific Northwest I did some research and discovered new-to-me bands like Blue Scholars and Common Market. Now, if my hero isn’t giving me enough to go on in a certain scene, I turn on music he listens to, and before I know it, the words are flowing. 

Recently, while I was standing in the middle of a screaming crowd at a Taylor Swift concert, another story idea appeared in my head. I whipped out my iPhone and despite the chaos managed to take detailed notes. Maybe one of these days I’ll get to writing that. That’s the beauty of music being my writing inspiration—I never run out of fodder.

About The Author

Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

Elley has been reading romance novels since she was a sixteen-year-old babysitter, sneaking Judith McNaught and Danielle Steele novels off the bookshelves of the women who employed her. She started her first manuscript when she was twenty-five, writing during babies’ naps. A total of three children and ten years later, the manuscript was complete. Little did she know, her journey to publication was only beginning…

Elley writes provocative contemporary romances for Crimson Romance.

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding by Elley Arden ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Reading Addiction Blog Tours

Book Review

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding by Elley Arden
A Harmony Falls Novel
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Publication Date: July 15, 2013
Format: eBook - 180 pages / Kindle - 389 KB / Nook - 855 KB
ISBN: 1440568316
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Crashing the Congressman's Wedding

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Reading Addiction Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Alice Cramer is tired of being pitied for her family’s transgressions, so she resolves to break out of the gutter and into the spotlight. As long as her local congressman can forget about their checkered past and help her secure a federal grant to open Harmony Falls Little Theatre, she’ll be the brightest star in town. But when Alice stands up in church and stops the congressman’s wedding, she dives headfirst into fresh scandal.

Why is Harmony Fall’s golden boy, Justin Mitchell, speeding down the interstate sans a new wife but with the local drama queen he’s been trying his whole life to avoid? Alice Cramer may have saved him the hassle of an arranged marriage to a woman he didn’t love, but she’s put a business transaction big enough to save an entire town in jeopardy–not to mention his reputation.

Soon Alice and Justin are dredging up and indulging in an attraction that threatens all their dreams and aspirations. But what if life together is the dream that matters most?

Book Excerpt:

Alice jumped a wave, and Justin was assaulted by a flash of creamy skin and black lace. She was swimming in her underwear. Catching sight of a pile of clothes out of water’s reach, Justin shook his head. Apparently, she had ditched her dress. Why was he not surprised?

“What are you doing?” he called above the surf.

She flashed him a smile he hadn’t seen in years. “I’ve never been to the ocean.”

His untucked shirt tails whipped in the wind, and with the strength of his hands he fought the chaos. “I guess that explains it.”

She stayed smiling, considering him with the same hypnotic eyes he knew as a child. Back then, he wondered what she saw when she looked at him. Now, he was afraid to know the answer.

“I’m going to get the bags and the dog out of the car, and then I’ll bring you a towel. Be careful. No further. You hear? In fact, stay closer to the beach. The undertow is strong, and I’d like to avoid another rescue.”

A few steps up the beach and her wail hit his back. “I don’t need to be rescued.”

But she did. Somebody had to keep her from making rash decisions, like stopping weddings and swimming in the ocean half-dressed. He slowed his pace and closed his eyes. That someone couldn’t—shouldn’t—be him. On an inhale, he opened his eyes and returned to the surf. “Fine. No more rescues.”

“Good, because I’m not a baby. I can take care of myself. Stop telling me what to do. Stop treating me like you’re my father or my brother. You’re not. You’re just a guy. I’m just a girl. And you make life too complicated.” She raised her arms to her side and fell backwards into the sea.

Justin’s heartbeat quickened as he searched the choppy water, waiting for her to surface. Her father died an alcoholic and her brother looked destined to follow. Not being lumped in their category was a good thing, but where did that leave him?

Relief flooded him when her head broke the surface. She pushed soggy curls from her face, and raising her arms over head, spun until a wave knocked her off her feet. She was definitely not a baby. But if he was just a guy and she was just a girl, then bringing her with him was an even bigger risk. He had obligations, expectations and an image to uphold. In trying to avoid a scene at the church, he’d put himself in one hell of a compromising situation.

My Book Review:

Can the local drama queen from the wrong side of the tracks follow her dream and win the heart of the Congressman that she has loved since childhood?

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding is an entertaining romance story that follows the trials and tribulations of Harmony Falls, PA drama queen Alice Cramer and local Congressman Justin Mitchell.

Alice Cramer's family has always been viewed as outcasts from the wrong side of the tracks in Harmony Falls, but she is determined to follow her dream and step into the local spotlight by opening the Harmony Falls Little Theatre. She is one step closer to opening the theater if she gets approved for the federal grant from the Arts Foundation.

Alice has been in love with local Congressman Justin Mitchell since high school when he was friends with her big brother Charlie. But her love is unrequited as Justin comes from a wealthy political family from the right side of the tracks, while her family isn't good enough and doesn't have the right connections.

Justin has always followed his father's plans for power and political dominance. He has been methodically focused on making good on his late father's wishes to win the local Congressional seat which could bring life back to the dying town through business enterprises, and by going along with the carefully planned arranged marriage with Morgan Parrish, the daughter of the Mayor of Harmony Falls. The marriage would be politically advantageous and align the two most powerful families in the state, but there is just one little problem, he is not in love with Morgan. Putting love aside, Justin is prepared to do his duty and go through with the wedding.

On Justin and Morgan's wedding day, Justin is looking anything but happy at the altar, knowing this, Alice stops the wedding when she states that Morgan has cheated on Justin with her brother Charlie. All hell breaks loose in town when Justin calls off the wedding and goes off in search of answers, creating a new scandal when he runs off with Alice. Will the repercussions of the scandal cost Alice her dream and derail Justin's political career? Or will the scandal bring them together and allow them the chance to realize what they really want in life?

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding is a sassy and fun modern day Cinderella romance story. Author Elley Arden weaves an entertaining and lighthearted tale written in the third person narrative, that mixes theater and politics, and is filled with humor, drama, and romance. The reader can't help but get caught up in Alice and Justin's story as their love story unfolds. With lots of laugh-out-loud moments from Alice crashing Justin's wedding, to flashbacks to their past, mixed with the dramatic twists and turns that come out of the scandal that they created when they run off together, the reader follows Alice and Justin as their reluctant attraction develops into a romance with a HEA ending. This is a quick light read that the reader can enjoy during a sunny summer afternoon.

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding is an enjoyable contemporary romantic story about two people discovering themselves, finding each other, and making a choice on what will bring them happiness in life.

Crashing the Congressman's Wedding is the first book in the Harmony Falls series.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Author Elley Arden is giving away a $25 Gift Card via SpaFinder.

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