Friday, December 11, 2015

The Evans Trilogy (+$25 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Book 1: Set Me Free

Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the café next door.
But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.


~Try an Excerpt!~

 The Evans Gallery was his last stop before he called it a day.

A little golden bell above the door tinkled daintily as he walked in. He noticed two things immediately: the intriguing painting on the wall to his right and the beguiling woman smiling lazily at him from behind a sleek-looking asymmetrical 1960s Danish-styled desk. Unsettled by the pair of slightly smoky grey eyes that came with the lazy smile, he moved directly toward the painting to take it in.

The canvas was large; it took up almost a quarter of the wall. The image was a view down a narrow alley corralled by stark grey skyscrapers that, thanks to the wash of the paint strokes, appeared to be crumbling. At the end of the alley, a small dog with a broken tail lay beside an old-fashioned dustbin, chewing a small, bright red ball.

‘Hi,’ welcomed the woman behind the counter. Her voice was as tired as her eyes and smile, but there was still something smouldering under the surface, like a combusting rain cloud. ‘Can I help you with anything in particular or would you just like to browse?’

‘Can you tell me anything about this piece?’ he asked, unwisely. She stood up to join him, swinging her hips as she walked, subtly but hypnotically. This might turn out to be the hardest conversation of them all; particularly given he was struggling to keep his eyes on her face and off those swinging hips. He looked up. Nope, no respite there.

Book 2: Open My Eyes

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.
Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.

~Try an Excerpt!~
‘What the hell is she doing here?’

Ben Cameron froze mid-swipe of the café table in front of him. He focussed on the cloth in his hand. It had been some time since he’d heard her voice. Two long months of convincing himself she didn’t matter any more. But now, the sound of her huffing and puffing behind him brought everything back in a flash flood of frustration.

He straightened and turned towards her slowly. ‘Hello, Emily,’ he said.

Her hands were on her hips and she was glaring at Cassie behind the espresso machine. Memories best forgotten returned. He pushed them aside, wanting – needing – to see her differently.

Her long dress swirled around her slightly fuller figure. Her hair hung loose, a new fringe framing her face perfectly. Yes, outwardly different, but there was something all too familiar about the rush of his blood and the ache in his chest. He steeled himself, mustering some indignation of his own, while her sea-green eyes moved between him and Cassie.

When she didn’t return the greeting, he checked to see if her foot was tapping.

Book 3: Bring Me Back
Andy Evans is on the move. For six long, lonely years, he’s been running from his past, leaving his family and his life as a drug-addicted rock star far behind. His latest move takes him to the sleepy seaside town of Oamaru, New Zealand, to sell cigar-box guitars to tourists. The only running he’ll need to do will be training for the half-marathon in nearby Dunedin. But when Andy sets eyes on Steampunk HQ, Oamaru's main tourist attraction, he realises his days of running might not be over, especially if a certain Steampunk fan from his past catches up with him.
Annie Martin is on the cusp of great success. Her career as a Steampunk academic is about to take off, as long as she can convince one disagreeable, New Zealand-based Professor to sign up to the anthology she’s putting together. Thankfully, Annie is a master at maintaining her poise and few people, no matter how nasty, can rattle her. Not any more. In fact, it’d been a good six years since anyone had gotten under her skin, after her best friend’s brother had vanished into thin air.

When Annie finds her future career on a collision course with her secret past, Andy Evans is the last person she expects to find tangled up in the mess. With a vengeful drug-dealer or two hot on his heels, and a vindictive academic determined to ruin her credibility, can Annie bring Andy back to his family before it’s too late? Annie and Andy are used to being alone, but if they don’t work together, there’ll be much more at stake than her livelihood and his sobriety.
~Try an Excerpt!~
‘You’ll be able to play that one day if you keep practising,’ David told him when he set the guitar down.

‘Do you think so?’

‘I do.’

‘I think my mum’s here,’ Genjii said, looking towards the door that led to the shopfront.

‘Is she? I didn’t hear the bell.’

‘She came in while you were playing.’

Guitar case in hand, Genjii led David through to the front of the shop. On the other side of the door, he stopped unexpectedly, and David crashed into him.

‘I guess it’s not your mum,’ David murmured, taking in the woman staring at the row of cigar box guitars on the wall. Another Steampunk freak, come to check out Oamaru’s famous HQ. David’s heart began to pick up speed. A handful of them had wandered in since he’d been in the shop and they’d put him on edge every time.

From behind at least, this one wore her Steampunk well; the corset cinching her waist rounded her hips nicely. Her long skirts brushed the floor. Unlike the others, who’d always seemed uncomfortable in their costumes, this one looked like she belonged in Victorian England. This one stirred memories of the Steampunk freak he’d left in his past, the one he didn’t want to see again. He shook his head and reminded himself the probability was low. Six months. He was only here for six months.

Then the woman turned around.

David’s heart stopped. His heart, which hammered constantly these days, even when he wasn’t running or remembering, just stopped beating. The rumble of his thoughts, the white noise he was never able to clear, fell into silence.

The woman froze, staring at him, brow gradually puckering. David knew he was staring back, but he was unable to tear his eyes away. It felt like minutes passed, but it must have been only seconds, before she stepped towards him.


‘Andy?’ she said. It came out in a gasp. Her chest rose and fell in short bursts, and the colour drained from her face. She swallowed. ‘Is it you?’
~Capturing Paradise~
Recently, I’ve been tweeting about the little things that bring me joy. I’ve been taking a moment each day to be grateful for things like my cat purring on my lap, the smell of spring rain and that first sip of coffee in the morning.

On my way home from work last light, I was soaking in my city, and thinking about the subtle things about where I live that bring me joy.

I live in Brisbane, Australia. It’s a tropical city in which the summers can be unbearably humid and the winter so mild it really only pops in for a month at best.

My Evans Trilogy is set here. The series begins with Set Me Free, a David verses Goliath story of a small-time, independent art gallery owner taking on the developer who wants to knock down her gallery. Because the story centres on urban development, the city plays and important role in the novel, it’s a character in its own right. When I started writing, I contemplated a different setting for the novel, but ultimately, because I needed my readers to fall in love with the city, Brisbane seemed an obvious choice. The subsequent novels in the trilogy are also set here.

There’s much to love about Brisbane, from the explosions of jacaranda flowers that color the city lavender every October, to the ever-impressive Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art which inspires and excites every three years.

Some of the little things I love about Brisbane which made it into the Evans Trilogy include:

· The golden orange glow of the autumn (fall) sunset and the way it lights up the city buildings

· The soothing embrace that is the smell of jasmine at the end of winter

· The abundance of good quality coffee – a good coffee is only ever a block away from where ever you are

· Similarly, Vietnamese food is plentiful and impressive

· The enormous river that snakes its way through the suburbs, past the CBD and out to the bay

· The birdlife, that wakes you up in the morning and later in the day perches on your clothesline to keep you company in your backyard.

Brisbane is a city that kindles all your senses. I’ve lived here for just over twenty years. Every now and then I think I need to live a little: pack up, relocate and experience something different. But it’s hard to leave paradise.

Can you tempt me? What are some of the little things about where you live that bring you joy?

~Meet Jennifer!~
 
Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat.


She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.
 Jennifer will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the jacaranda. Just stunning when they come out. My city is famous for it's parks and gardens. Got to love that.

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    1. Parks and gardens are so important. They're good for the soul :)

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  2. I really enjoyed the post, sounds like a terrific series, thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for having me, Andra. Your blog is so beautiful xx

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  4. Really great post - thanks for sharing :)

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  5. I often think of Oprah's Gratitude Journal from many moons ago. I started writing down five things each day for which I was grateful. Eventually, maybe two years later, I quit writing them down, as by then (and to this day) I think of dozens of things every single day without fail. Today has included the beautiful non-December-like weather we are enjoying, getting our Tom-Tom car charger to work (was missing a piece we finally found), full pantry/freezer, a paid-off house, feet not being sore, good night's sleep (bet you hear me on that one, LOL), and the list goes on and on....

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  6. I enjoyed the entire post! Thank you.

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  7. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

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