Tuesday, 23 May 2017

*** RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY & REVIEW & AUTHOR INTERVIEW *** EXCESS BAGGAGE by Laura Barnard

💜💚EXCESS BAGGAGE RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY!💜💚
Grab your copy now -  myBook.to/ExcessBaggageLB
Win a SIGNED PAPERBACK & Amazon voucher (Details of giveaway below).

'An absolute must read this Summer!' Lady Living in Bookland
'Quintessential British humour, I felt like I was on a girls holiday with my own chicks.' Persuing Princesses Book Blog
'Almost made me pee myself I laughed so hard!' Shelly's Book Corner

Synopsis
Stuck in a dead-end relationship, Erica Bennett finds herself daydreaming of her first holiday romance. She was fifteen, it was exciting, new and full of possibilities…and Jack Lawson was hot as hell. That kind of thing leaves a mark.

So when her friends suggest a girls holiday to Luna Island, it’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off things. What she doesn’t expect is to spot Jack – a much older, hotter version of him – across the hotel lobby.

Their attraction is still there and it isn’t long before sparks fly, but fifteen years is a long time. They aren’t the same people they were back then and besides, it’s only a week, right?

Is it a second chance at something real or will their excess baggage ruin their shot at love after they leave Luna Island?
myBook.to/ExcessBaggageLB
Check out the reviews on Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34994195-excess-baggage?from_search=true

Hi Laura, 
  I appreciate your time.

 1.    Are you a full-time writer?  If not, can you share what you do and/or does your job give your ideas for your books?
Yes, I write full time around my four year old daughter. 

2.    Tell us something about yourself that you don’t usually include in your bio?
I can sleep for England!  Seriously, if allowed I could probably sleep eighteen hours a day. 

3.    What draws you to the romantic comedy genre?  What people find funny is so subjective.  Do you think it is harder to write rom-com than drama?
 I find it quite hard to be completely serious and luckily people seem to find me funny.  It is subjective and my humour is very British, so I just try to write a book I'd enjoy to read.  If you start trying to please everyone  you can end up with a very boring book.

4.    Do you have an embarrassing moment that you included in one of your books?  Will you share the moment or do you want your readers to guess?
 I have several embarrassing moments that I've put into my books - too many to count!  I'm very accident prone.  Readers that have met me at signings can attest to that.  In Essex I was sporting an infected knee from trying to save my puppy from getting run over and in Dublin I fell over for no reason whatsoever cutting my leg and hands.  I'm a nightmare! 

5.    Excess Baggage, your current release, is a second chance romance.  Second chance romances are my favorite romance trope.  What inspired Excess Baggage?
 I actually had my own holiday romance when I was a teenager and I've often found myself wondering what he's up to now.  Would we like each other if we met now?  It got me thinking and before I knew it I was writing a book.

6.    Are any of your characters based on real people?  Do they know they inspired a book character? 
 No, I never base a character solely on a person.  Saying that, there are lots of little traits I steal from people and put into a character.

7.    Are you a people watcher and make them into characters or write stories around them?
 Oh yeah, I do this!  I love to people watch and imagine whats going on in their lives.

8.    Of all your characters, do you have a favorite or one who spoke to you the loudest?
That's like asking me to choose between children!  When I'm writing it I get completely immersed with them. 

9.    Is there a story you’ve written but don’t want to publish?  Why?  If so, will you revisit the project later?
 There's no story I'm scared to publish, but there's a few unfinished projects that I plan to go back to.

10. What is the first book you read that made you laugh?  Did that book inspire your writing career?
 I remember reading a Jacqueline Wilson book when I was a teenager and finding it funny.  Then as an adult Sophie Kinsella made me howl laughing.  I always dreamt of writing a book but didn't particularly say I'd make people laugh.

11. Who or what is your inspiration today? 
 My inspiration today was my daughter.  Without her I don't think I would have got out of bed today as I'm completely exhausted at the moment.  I always am when I've finished a book and I'm promoting it.

12. Is there an author that you always read when his/her books are released?  Do you read primarily romantic comedies and chick flicks?  If not, what is your favorite genre to read?
I like to read all genres, except for fantasy/paranormal.  Anything with a baseline of romance and I'm there.  Saying that, chick lit is still probably my favourite.  I wish I had the time to read as much as I'd like to, but with writing I don't so unfortunately there isn't an author I drop everything for.  But if it was, I'd probably say Kat French.  Her books are amazing. 

13.  Do you believe in a happy-ever-after or do you like to write HEAs because they are so elusive?
I love happily ever afters!  I think they're different in every character's case, but I think when you invest in a book you want to finish it feeling satisfied. 

14.  Some authors have rituals when writing or when they are preparing to write.  Do you? 
 I wish!  Mine is more like any spare minute I have out come's the laptop.  

15.  What do you like most about the writing process?  What is the least favorite aspect of writing?
 I love when I first get going and have loads of ideas.  I hate having to write the last few bits when you're exhausted and desperate to move onto the next one.

16. Do you Google your name or books?  If so, do you like what you see? 
 I look up my name in the amazon store to see how my sales are doing, but that's it.

 17.  Most readers try to encourage authors and write constructive reviews.  Lately there are a plethora of reviewers who are negative and nasty.  Is it difficult to read the negative reviews?
Of course!  It's never easy, especially when it feels like they've gone out of their way to be nasty.  However, I'm lucky enough to have grown a thicker skin over the years.

 18.  Do you attend book signings?  Do you plan on attending one soon?
 Yes, I love to meet readers.  My next one is this weekend, Saturday 13th May at the White Rose Author Event in York.

19.   Are you working on another book?  What can you tell us about it?
I'm working on two books at the moment.  One is a sequel to a book and one is a standalone with another author. I can't say too much about them though. 




Excess Baggage is a cute second-chance love story by Laura Barnard.  Erica and her gal pals are taking a much-needed vacation to have some hot fun.  Erica’s mom is on the mend after chemo, and the girls want her to let loose and enjoy a week of relaxation.  Unbeknownst to Erica, also on a week’s vacation with the guys is Jack her first love. 

Erica and Jack met on a family vacation when they were young teens, hit it off, and thought they could continue a long-distance relationship.  As typically happens in these cases, it is hard for young love to stay focused and in touch for an extended period of time and the couple said and did some things to hurt the other, and the relationship fell apart.  Now fifteen years later, the old fires start to burn again.  The question now is whether this is going to be a vacation romance or will they find a way to work out the long-distance pitfalls that still hound the couple?

Erica is a fun character.  She is funny and a little wimpy and a lot of klutzy.  She treats her boyfriend badly but in her mind, they aren’t going anywhere.  For the most part, Erica a barrel of laughs and relatable.

I like Jack a lot, even though he did treat Erica poorly years ago they were fifteen and sixteen at the time.  He has grown into a good man.  Since the story is told in duel points of view, Jack struggles with doing the right thing.  Honestly, I feel bad for both characters because neither one would address the elephant in the room until it is almost too late.

Erica’s and Jack's friends are a nice mix of personalities that adds tremendously to the story.  My favorite character is Brooke and Tom is a perfect complement to her character.  She knows how to have fun and doesn't take life too seriously.  She encourages Erica to do the same. 

Evelyn, Erica’s best friend, is pretty much a “B” -itch.  I must agree with Brooke on this one, sometimes we outgrow a relationship and Erica needs to move on.  I get that Evelyn watched Erica fall apart years ago when Jack and Erica broke it off, but they were kids.  I don’t get the grudge at all.  Evelyn doesn’t know how to let it go and live in the present. 

My biggest criticism, is one I make a lot—it takes until the end of the book to find out Jack’s big secret.  I don’t know why so many authors think this is a good story-telling methodology.  To be used effectively, the big secret needs a reason to carry it on forever.  

In this case, it is the secret that will keep Jack from trying the long distance again.  Here’s the thing.  It is easy for the reader to guess so why prolong the inevitable discussion?  Honestly, isn’t that big a deal, in my opinion.  In most cases, if the characters aren’t axe murders the problems can be discussed and worked out before eighty percent of the book is over.  That is just entirely too much pushing away by one or the other characters for me.

Finally, the ending is entirely too quick.  The majority of the book deals with these two people trying to figure out what their relationship will be now and in the future.  Can they realistically make a go of the distance or will it be a repeat of the disaster they faced fifteen years prior?  Then BAM!  With approximately nine Kindle pages (medium size font) or 95% through the book, the problem is discussed and solved, and the story ends.  Really?  There is no time spent showing how this works.  I believe part of the reason is that Ms. Barnard is setting up a second book (that I want to read by the way) and may visit Erica and Jack some more but I do feel slightly cheated.

Regardless of the negatives I mentioned, Excess Baggage is a good, lighthearted romance.  It held my interest with a sometimes sweet, sometimes funny, second-chance romance.  I enjoyed reading Erica’s story.  Now, I am very interested in Brooke's and Tom’s story.  These two characters have a lot of potential for hot, angst-filled fun. 

4 STAMPS


GIVEAWAY!
Head on over to Laura's facebook page to enter her release day giveaway to be in with a chance of winning a signed paperback of EXCESS BAGGAGE and a £5/$5 Amazon gift card.


Connect with Laura

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3490836.Laura_Barnard