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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lying To Meet You by Anna Garner (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with author Anna Garner, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual release day book tour event for Lying To Meet You!

Author Guest Post

Up, Up and Away!

Writing is such a curious thing. I’m what’s known as a “pantser”. I don’t map out my plot ahead of time, but I usually have a general idea of which direction it will head. There’s a lot of trial and error involved. I can be a bit ruthless when it comes to deleting scenes (wish I was that good about clearing clutter from my apartment!) but this method works for me—instinct leads the way with logic following close behind.

Because I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to my writing, sometimes I’m completely surprised by what I come up with, and the Superman theme in Lying to Meet You is one of these instances. There are two men in Chloe’s life: Ethan and William. Ethan is Chloe’s childhood friend, and William is a high-powered entrepreneur Chloe meets about a quarter of the way into the story. As I was describing William in the book, it dawned on me that I was describing Superman (with the ice blue eyes, ink black hair, and super taut muscles). The resemblance is certainly not lost on Ethan, who refers to William as Chloe’s “millionaire Superman” throughout the novel. In addition to the shared physical traits, William’s Superman-like qualities extend to his professional persona. He’s an industry titan. He’s a tycoon. He is, in effect, more powerful than a locomotive.

What’s even more freaky than the realization that William is Superman was the moment it hit me that Ethan is Clark Kent! I made him a journalist—for no particular reason other than the fact that I used to be a journalist, and I thought it’d be nice to add a touch of authenticity. Ethan also has a geeky side. He’s not as OTT nerdy as Clark Kent, but he’s a karaoke enthusiast, an It’s A Wonderful Life-loving Scrabble fan who can’t do a decent Bronx accent, but isn’t shy about attempting it.

Once I was able to see the parallels between my two characters and Superman/Clark Kent, I changed Chloe’s last name to Lane. I’m really excited about this theme—more so, I think, because the whole thing (except Chloe’s name change) came out of my subconscious.

The central question in Lying to Meet You is this: does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would be suitors? Without a doubt, this the question—the question that the whole novel is basically built upon. But… If I could just throw another question into the pot, it would be this: who would make a better boyfriend? Superman or Clark Kent?

About The Author

Born and raised in the Midwest, Anna Garner's adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she's since lived in Boston, NYC and London. For several years, Anna worked in fashion--first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper, and for a while she dabbled in design.

Although chick lit was her first love, Anna started writing quirky romances, and her first one, Fashioning a Romance, was published in May 2012 under the name of Libby Mercer. This was followed by two more quirky romances: Unmasking Maya and The Karmic Connection. Since Lying to Meet You is written in old school chick lit style and isn't a clear cut love story, Anna decided to publish it under her real name.

She currently lives in San Francisco and spends most of her time cranking out more stories.


Book Review

Lying To Meet You by Anna Garner
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: September 5, 2013
Format: eBook - 328 pages / Kindle - 1182 KB
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Lying To Meet You

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Book Description:

Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?

Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.


Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan’s theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she’s lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?

Book Excerpt:

After we order our meals, Ethan asks about last night.

Ah, yes. I tell him all about the night’s events up to and including the encounter with Veronica’s coworker and our theory about how being one half of a couple makes you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors.

When I’ve finished, Ethan is silent.

“Cat got your tongue?”

“No, sorry. I was just thinking about your theory. You know, I think there’s definitely something to it and not just with women in relationships. None of the women in my office ever looked at me twice until I started dating Alicia. And after that, things kind of shifted. I could be wrong about this, but it seemed like I got more smiles, more chitchat. I’m not sure, though.”

“No, you’re probably right,” I tell him. “So, what happened with these women after you and Alicia broke up?”

“Oh, by that time Leslie had met her fiancĂ© and Karen had gone to work for The Journal.”

He’s quiet again, staring at the painting above our table of a cottage in a field. I stir my glass of Orangina around with the straw. The ice is almost completely melted. I suppose they’re going for Parisian authenticity here, being stingy with the ice. Or something. Why is Ethan still staring at the painting?

“Earth to Ethan...”

Snapping out of his reverie, he fixes me with a wicked smile and says, “Chloe, I am having a brainwave. What if you and I dated?”

“Oh, Ethan, I never knew!” I bring both hands to the side of my face and pretend to swoon.

“Come on, I’m serious. Think of it as an experiment that’ll put your theory to the test and could provide some really, really wonderful results. We might as well give it a try. Both of us have been single for ages.”

“Speak for yourself.”

He raises an eyebrow at me.

“It’s so deceitful,” I point out.

“Well, a little, but it’s really no one else’s business how we want to define our relationship, right? If I want to call you my girlfriend or you want to call me your boyfriend, that’s our choice. People can assume we’re in a traditional relationship all they want.”

I shrug.

“Think about it, Chloe. You’ll always have a date for parties and other couple-y things. It’ll probably be a lot of fun, spending more time together.”

“I suppose that’s true.”

“So, what do you think? Are you game?” He cocks his head and flashes a giant, toothy grin.

“I don’t know, Ethan. It could be fun, but I just don’t have time for a relationship these days—real or fake.”

“Aw, come on. It wouldn’t take up that much time. But if it did, we could always break up.” Wide-eyed, he waits for my answer.

“I’ll think about it.”

I pick up my glass and take a sip. Ethan watches me with woeful eyes. Hmm.

“What’s up? Why the urgency?” I ask.

He shrugs. And then it dawns on me.

“You already have someone in mind, don’t you? Someone you want to parade a fake girlfriend in front of. Am I right?”

Oh, I’m right. He scowls and avoids eye contact when he says, “Well, there’s this new woman at work…”

I giggle. Poor Ethan. Okay, I guess it couldn’t hurt to try this fake relationship thing out. I’d be helping out a friend, plus it’d get Isabel off my back about being single, not to mention my mother.

“Okay,” I tell him. “I’m in.”

My Book Review:

If you are looking for an entertaining Chick Lit story set in New York City and filled with fashion, food, romance, drama and humor, then author Anna Garner's Lying To Meet You is the book for you!

Written in the first person narrative, the reader follows Chloe Lane as she juggles her busy fashion designer / boutique owner career, being a judge on the reality show The American Dream, and looking for love with the right guy.

On the cusp of turning thirty, friends Chloe, Isabel and Veronica are still single and having a hard time finding Mr. Right. After a night on the town is fruitless in finding a guy to hook up with, Chloe tells longtime childhood friend Ethan Webster about her plight and the interesting theory that people who are in relationships are more appealing to interested parties than other single people. It's got to be the challenge of someone who is unavailable and off-limits that makes the chase more exciting. Ethan suggests that they test that theory with an experiment: engage in a fake relationship with each other and see if they become attractive and pursued by other people. Ethan wants to test the theory because he is interested in Lila, a woman he works with at The New York Times. Chloe goes along with the experiment and soon finds herself attracted to fellow reality judge, millionaire businessman William Shannon. Will Chloe and Ethan's fake relationship experiment help them find their true loves? Or will their secret experiment based on a lie backfire on them?

Lying To Meet You is such a fun story to read! From the beginning Chloe easily draws the reader into her world filled with fashion, food and romance woes. This story has everything that Chick Lit fans could ever ask for: sassy friendships, family drama, romance, humorous dialogues and interactions, fashion and media references, and yummy food all set in the town that never sleeps, New York City. You can't help but want to follow along as Chloe and Ethan's experiment takes them on a journey to find their respective other half, it's a journey that includes hilarious antics, mishaps and dilemmas that keeps the reader laughing out loud.

With a sassy cast of characters who are downright funny, a richly detailed description of the New York City setting and the fashion industry, and a lighthearted romantic storyline that will make you giggle and smile, Lying To Meet You is Chick Lit at its very best!


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