Guest Post: The Unexpectedness of Falling in Love

Hey, everyone! Today, Rachel Strong, the author of That Girl, is here to share her thoughts on falling in love! Hope you enjoy (and don’t forget to check out her book)!

The Un­expectedness of Falling in Love

‘It’s funny how we fall in love with the most unexpected person at the most unexpected times!’

I’ve only ever been in love once, and I’m really lucky that after thirteen years together I’m still as in love with him as I was all those years ago. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not always sweetness and light, he irritates me beyond belief and sometimes I could quite happily strangle him, but I still get the same excited feeling in my tummy when he comes home from work, just like I used to in the beginning ­ maybe not every day, but most days, but then maybe that’s because after a stressful afternoon with three kids, I’m just so relieved to have another adult around! (Only joking Greg)

When I met my husband, the last thing I ever thought would happen would be to fall in love with him. To be honest, despite fancying the pants of him, my first impression wasn’t great. He was very quiet, barely said two words to me all night and to me looks aren’t the most important factor, personality is! Yes, it’s nice to have someone nice to look at, with a nice body, but a man that makes me laugh win hands down ­ every time. Despite that first impression, this is the reason I fell in love with Greg ­ he made me laugh lots, most of the time I’m was more laughing at him than with him, but still, he made me laugh.

How I met Greg was so un­expected, I didn’t have a great track record with boys, I was barely eighteen and boys were all I could think about, I desperately wanted a boyfriend and went out with the most disgusting species of mankind that treat my appallingly, and by the time Greg meandered into my life, I had kind of given up and decided to enjoy being single and care­free!

For weeks my best friend and her boyfriend at the time were desperately trying to set me up with his friend, but I wasn’t interested, I was too obsessed with someone that liked to pick me up and drop me when he felt like it. I thought I was in love with him ­ I now know I wasn’t ­ and so I kept brushing them off. Eventually, after much persuasion, I agreed to meet this Greg ­ who my friend described looked like a pixie, which didn’t enthral me ­ and we arranged that Greg would come with the best friend’s boyfriend and meet us out on New Year’s Eve.

In the end though, Greg didn’t turn up, which was a good job really, if he had seen me that night I doubt we would be coming up to our eleventh wedding anniversary, he would have taken one look at me and scarpered. I was drunk and emotional, bouncing from the guy I was obsessed with, to some randomer I’d met the week before, and in the end I was put in a taxi and sent home, I didn’t even see midnight!

The best friend didn’t give up so easily ­ which I am very thankful for now ­ and so on the 10th of January 2003, I was conned into meeting the man who would eventually become my husband, my best friend and father to my three babies.

As I said earlier, by this point I’d given up on men (boys) and just wanted to have some fun with my friend, a few glasses of wine whilst watching a girlie film and lots of giggles ­ that didn’t happen! At the last minute she sent a text letting me know her boyfriend was joining us, to say I was hacked off was an understatement! I just wanted a good old fashioned girl’s night in, where I could rant to my heart’s content about how evil men were, not play gooseberry to the two of them.

Then, to make matters worse, to my absolute horror, when they came to pick me up, Pixie boy was in the car! But, as I turned and had a sneaky look, I thanked god that I’d made an effort and not just come out in my pyjamas, like I planned, because hell fire, he was hot!

That night was a bit of a drag to be honest, best friend and lover boy were all over each other, whilst hot pixie (he doesn’t look like a pixie at all!) and I sat awkwardly at opposite ends of the room, I couldn’t wait to escape!

When the gruesome twosome disappeared upstairs and left me with Greg, I just wanted to melt into the floor and disappear, he was so quiet and had barely spoken to me, I think he was as annoyed as I was about the trick they’d played on us. Eventually we got talking, he came across as a bit of a big head, a show off and, despite his hotness, I didn’t like him very much. But then, out of nowhere, he started to make me laugh, I mean proper belly laugh and I was hooked!

The night ended with us joined at the lips, sharing a taxi home and swapping numbers. He must have barely left my house before he texted me, asking me out the next night, which, despite me falling over on the way to his car, was the best date ever! And the rest is history!

The point I’m trying to make really, is that you never know when it’s going to happen, you can’t control when, how or even who you fall in love with, it just springs it’s self upon you, as James, one of the main characters in my new book, That Girl, found out. When he met Katie, he wasn’t in a good place, he’d just been dumped by long term girlfriend, Hailey, and he was heartbroken. But then Katie popped up in his life and he was hooked. He knew that his relationship with Katie wasn’t right and he knew he shouldn’t see her, but he couldn’t control his feeling for her. When you fall in love, you can’t just switch it off, you can’t control who you fall in love with!

About her book

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Title: That Girl
Author: Rachel Strong
Publisher: Self-Published
Format: Paperback or eBook
Release Date: June 9, 2016
Page Count: 278 Pages

Description:
After serving half of a three­ year prison sentence, James is out and ready to try and get his life back on track, which means forgetting about the girl who sent him to prison in the first place ­ despite the fact he’s still in love with her!

Katie knows that she can’t see James, but that doesn’t make it any easier. If she does it could send him straight back to prison, but, she still loves him and is desperate to make things right and tell him how sorry she is for ruining his life. After accidently bumping into each other, James and Katie can’t stay away from one another and so begin to see each other in secret. After a slight wobble on James’s part, when he decides he can’t take the risk of going back to prison, Katie decides enough is enough and it really is time to move on and put James behind her.

Heartbroken, James decides to try and get his life in order. But due to his conviction it’s not as straightforward as he would like, leaving him miserable and despairing at what his life has become. When a job opportunity comes up hundreds of miles away he doesn’t hesitate to head south and put his troubles behind him.

Can James and Katie forget each other and move on with their lives without one another?

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About the Author

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Rachel Strong is a romance author and lives in Lancashire, England, with her husband, three children and little dog Daisy. Rachel works part time as a Health Care Assistant at her local hospital, but her real passion is writing.

Ever since she can remember, Rachel has been writing stories but didn’t really take it seriously until summer 2012 when her husband discovered one of her stories, read it and convinced her that it was good. She loves writing and creating characters, sometimes a whole day can pass her by, just sitting at her laptop, typing away.

When she’s not writing, Rachel loves to read slushy romance novels, chick­lit and a good thriller. When she finds a spare moment she will be found curled up on the sofa with her nose in a book.

Rachel’s debut novel ‘Complicated Love’ is out now with her second novel ‘That Girl’ is due to be released this coming June.

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Or, go check out her website!

Happy Reading!

Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyz: Trailer Reveal + Giveaway

THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!! THE ARROWS TRAILER IS FINALLY HERE (BTW the cover for Arrows is GORGEOUS…GIMME)!!!!


About Arrows

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Author: Melissa Gorzelanczyk
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Penguin Random House

What’s Arrows About?

A modern cupid story set in present-day Wisconsin combining the fantastical elements of Greek mythology with the contemporary drama of MTV’s Teen Mom.

People don’t understand love. If they did, they’d get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can’t say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can’t stay angry with him . . . and can’t stop loving him. But there’s a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she’s been shot with a love arrow.

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma and Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma’s life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.
A clueless Karma doesn’t know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn’s fault . . . but he’s going to get a chance to make things right. He’s here to convince Danny to man up and be there for Karma. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return?

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(Infinite) Praise for Arrows

“This tale of Cupid meets teen mom is unique . . . for fans of fantasy fiction and mythology, such as Aimee Carter’s ‘The Goddess Test’ series or Rick Riordan.”—SLJ

“A sweet high-school twist on Greek mythology with added substance about teen parenting and breaking out of a bad relationship.”—Booklist

“A great mythological take on love, heartache, and teen pregnancy.”—VOYA

About the Talented Author

Melissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the SCBWI, The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2k16. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family.

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Website: http://www.MelissaGorzelanczyk.com

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Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US only.
Please see terms and conditions for full contest rules. Some restrictions apply.
1 Winner will get an amazing Arrows Valentine includes:
Signed hardcover of the book
Stella & Dot arrow wishing bracelet – “Adventure awaits. This Arrow bracelet is the perfect reminder to fulfill your dreams.”
The official Arrows makeup bag by Gracie Designs
A Valentine from the author

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Happy New Year

HappyNewYear

Another life
We promise ourselves
Year after year
That our hearts
Will take flight

Another kiss
We hope
For the flutter
Of lips across
Our cheeks

Another love
We pray to the world
Bow down, on our knees
With the plea of
A mended heart

Another Lie
January 1st
Is just
One step closer to
Oblivion

Yes, I admit it – this is a downer (and frankly not me at my best); I wasn’t planning on writing a poem today (I had a post planned for tomorrow), but a sliver of an idea creeped into my mind, and I had to go for it. Nonetheless, I hope you all like it.

Happy Reading!
Shouryaman 

Review: Under the Never Sky

I wrote this review roughly two and a half years ago for self-examination purposes (flashback to thirteen year old Shouryaman), and I’m finally releasing it to the world in all of its literary glory. Frankly, it’s the first legitimate book review I wrote, and I thought I would pay homage to the days I didn’t feel like the sky was going to fall. Without further adieu, voila:

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“Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive. A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption.

In alternating chapters told in Aria’s and Perry’s voices, Under the Never Sky subtly and powerfully captures the evolving relationship between these characters and sweeps readers away to a harsh but often beautiful world. Continuing with Through the Ever Night and concluding with Into the Still Blue, the Under the Never Sky trilogy has already been embraced by readers in twenty-six countries and been optioned for film by Warner Bros.”

Honestly, I’m slightly disappointed. Just slightly. Not because of the novel’s storyline (which was certainly distinct from the YA dystopian fiction slush pile) or characters, but rather because it has so much potential! The main issue I found with Under the Never Sky was its lethargic pace in the middle of the book, which continually dragged through shallow waters of lifeless scenes without even a sign of treasure gold, perhaps with the singular exception of Aria and Peregrine’s encounter with the Croven (and subsequent rendezvous with Marron). It took me FOREVER to finish, and I found myself struggling to flip the pages. Moreover, I thought Aria and Perry’s romance was clichéd, rushed (I felt like they hated each other one second, and the next, they were making out in a tree house), and somewhat demeaning to Aria’s admirable qualities, specifically her self-determination and independence.

However, in no way does Under the Never Sky’s pace or clichés undermine the originality and eloquence of Rossi’s storytelling, which demonstrates a masterful grasp of plot, diction and syntax that unfortunately only sporadically provide staccato, yet evocative, bursts of exhilaration. Rossi’s prose is ornate and elaborate, grounding her worldbuilding and characterization, but not overly florid, establishing a relatively “golden mean” that I absolutely adored, especially considering her previous career as an oil painter. Furthermore, Rossi’s characters are three-dimensional and complex with striking emotional depth, particularly Peregrine, whose strength of character is merely amplified by his manifest flaws and mounting struggles. The underlying message of the effects of political nepotism, governmental corruption, and technological dependence were equally refreshing and offbeat. Oh, and let’s not forget the dual perspectives! Frankly, these are often blatantly nauseating, but I thoroughly appreciated Rossi’s truly seamless switch between Aria and Perry’s (relatively) engaging voices.

All in all, I rate it a 3.5 (or maybe 4…I’m clearly bipolar) stars out of 5, but it definitely has the potential of a 5 star novel. Rossi unravels the grave realities of corruption, environmental degradation, and technological innovation with a steady and sure hand. Poised, resonating, and invigorating, Under the Never Sky is (fairly) memorable and (essentially) lives up to the hype.

Favorite Quote: “If there was no fear, how could there be comfort? Or courage?” – Aria

Favorite Fangirl Moment: When I recognized Rossi’s pure brilliance in naming Aria’s fictional world, “Reverie.” (Not really a fangirl moment, but you get the idea…right?)

Favorite Character: Cinder (let’s be real here: Cinder is epic)

Favorite Scene: the first scene, wherein Soren discovers the unparalleled exaltation of arson. Sigh.

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