Thursday, December 6, 2018

Jacquelyn Middleton's Top Five of 2018...plus a book giveaway

We're pleased to have Jacquelyn Middleton back at CLC to tell us her top five happy moments of 2018. Her latest novel, Until the Last Star Fades published last month. Thanks to BookSparks, we have one copy to give away!

Jacquelyn Middleton is the award-winning author of LONDON BELONGS TO ME, LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT? and UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES.



LONDON BELONGS TO ME (a contemporary coming-of-age story) won an honorable mention in the mainstream/literary fiction category of the 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, and LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT? (contemporary romance) captured the GOLD prize in the ROMANCE category of the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards. UNTIL THE LAST STAR FADES, her latest novel, blurs the line between women's fiction and contemporary romance.

Jacquelyn is also a national award-winning freelance writer with articles published by several of the most popular magazines, newspapers, and websites in North America including USA Today, Canadian Living, Best Health, National Geographic Travel, Psychology Today, The Toronto Star, Reader's Digest, Chatelaine, Today's Parent, and Flare.

She previously worked in television broadcasting and lives in Toronto with her British husband, however, she spends much of her time in London, walking in the footsteps of her characters, hanging out with friends and family, going to plays, and soaking up the atmosphere in her favourite neighborhoods. (Bio courtesy of Amazon.)

Visit Jacquelyn online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram


Synopsis:
In her senior year at NYU, Riley Hope appears to be on top of the world. With a loving mother who makes Lorelai Gilmore look like a parenting slacker, ride-or-die friends, and a long-time boyfriend destined for the National Hockey League, she puts on a smile for the world. But behind it, Riley’s drowning. Racked with fears for the future, she battles to stay afloat amid life in the shadows of a heartbreaking illness.

And then, Ben Fagan comes crashing into her life. Twenty-three-years-old, British, and alone in the Big Apple after a disastrous pilot season in LA, the struggling actor is looking for an escape: booze, mischief, sex—minimum commitment, maximum fun—anything to avoid returning across the pond.

As they form an unlikely bond, Riley keeps her reality from Ben so that he remains a happy refuge. But how long can she hold back the truth…and is Ben keeping his own secrets, too?
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)


Five Happy Things that Happened to Me in 2018

1. Visiting the Orkney Islands

Do you have a place you’ve always wanted to visit? For me, that’s Orkney, an archipelago of 70 islands off the northern coast of Scotland. Not only is Orkney home to 5,000-year-old Neolithic treasures: standing stone circles (eat your heart out, Outlander), burial tombs, and Skara Brae—a preserved Stone Age village dating back to 3,200 BC (yep, it’s older than Egypt’s pyramids), but it’s also my ancestral home. My great grandparents came to Canada from Orkney, and as a genealogy geek, visiting my Scottish/Norse homeland has topped my bucket list for years. And it exceeded my expectations. I visited the homes my ancestors built and lived in, gasped in awe at history you can actually reach out and touch, and shed a few tears at my family’s seaside graves. Truly life-changing, and I cannot wait to go back.

2. My second novel won an international gold medal

The notification sat in my spam folder for three weeks! It took a phone call and a voicemail message to alert me—London, Can You Wait?, my second contemporary novel, had won the gold medal for romance at the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Would I come to the award ceremony in New York City in late May? A celebration of books including mine? Do you really have to ask? It was an incredible experience accepting a gold medal, seeing my book cover up on the screen beside books by my peers, and celebrating in Times Square…I was (and still am) so grateful.

3. Until the Last Star Fades was published

All my books are a labour of love, but Until the Last Star Fades is really personal. It’s a slow-burn, friends to lovers story set in New York City about Riley Hope (a college senior struggling with depression), and Ben Fagan (a flirty Scottish actor afraid to go home). I didn’t attend NYU or fall in love with a failed Brit actor, but my novel’s parallel storyline about Riley’s loving relationship with her mom, Maggie, came from my heart. Maggie deals with heartbreaking health challenges that shadow Riley’s happiness and future. In writing their story arc, I pulled from my own experiences with my mom. I can’t lie. I cried while writing this story so many times, reliving emotions and events. They felt so raw all over again. This book also gave me the opportunity to write honestly about smiling depression, a mental health issue I deal with daily that few people understand.

4. I finally met my friend Kristin

Kristin and I became friends first on Instagram, sharing a love of books and all things British. Kristin’s a published author, too, and her novel The Legacy of Us is one of my favourites. She also runs Royally Broke, my go-to website for all things British royalty. A trip to New York City meant we could finally meet—and we had a blast! We wandered around the Strand bookstore (aka, the mothership), stuffed our faces at DŌ in Greenwich Village, and laughed our way through Kinky Boots on Broadway. I was so happy to see she’s just as funny and warm in person as she is online. I can’t wait to hang out again—she’s absolutely wonderful.

5. A Grey’s Anatomy star shared my book on social media

I did a crazy happy dance when I was told that Katherine Heigl, star of Grey’s Anatomy, Roswell, and Suits shared Until the Last Star Fades on her social media feed and her beautiful website, Heavenly Days. Her unboxing, her holding MY BOOK, saying its name…I was a giddy mess for the rest of the day! Things like this don’t happen to indie authors like me. Then, a few days later, Until the Last Star Fades appeared in The Hollywood Reporter magazine in their column about books that should be made into movies. I’m still smiling!

Thanks to Jacquelyn for chatting with us and BookSparks for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

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Giveaway ends December 11th at midnight EST.

11 comments:

traveler said...

My most favorite song is one by the late Leonard Cohen who was an exceptional human being. Hallelujah.

Rita Wray said...

I heard the song It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas the other day. It's been stuck in my head ever since. That's okay, I love Christmas songs.

Milena Mutter said...

Hurricanes by Dido, just because she hasn't released any music in so long!

jean602 said...

My all time favorite is White Christmas.

Janine said...

I don't know the name of the song, but it's a country song and when my husband hears it he turns it up. It's something about having a good girl. He said it reminds him of me. That makes me happy because he doesn't always make me feel appreciated.

susieqlaw said...

Oh, Holy Night

dstoutholcomb said...

Dustin Lynch Good Girl

Mary Preston said...

I do love to hear the Christmas music as I shop.

Dianne Casey said...

I like hearing some Christmas music this time of year.

bn100 said...

can't think of any

Kelley B said...

I enjoy Mary Did You Know?