Tuesday, December 20, 2022

J.J. Maya warms up our winter...plus a book giveaway

We're thrilled to have J.J. Maya at CLC today. We featured her debut novel, Warpaint, a couple months ago and we are now sharing her second book in the Beauty Shop Girl series, Willow. It can be read as a standalone, but there may be some spoilers for Warpaint, so you may still want to read that one first. J.J. is here to talk about her books and share some holiday favorites. She even has THREE copies of Willow to give away!

J.J. Maya was born in a beautiful remote Scottish village. At the age of 19 she went to live in London and has been living in big cities ever since.

She graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University with a Masters Degree in Television Fiction Writing. Her Interiors writing has appeared in Wallpaper*Magazine, The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and I-Escape.

In collaboration with her American Editor, Amy Tipton, J.J. writes laugh-out-loud British Romantic Comedy set in the USA. As a result, there are endless discussions over the correct spellings of words!

J.J. draws upon her experience working as a Flight Attendant and Makeup Artist as the inspiration for her romantic comedy debut novel, Warpaint. (Bio courtesy of Amazon.)

Visit J.J. online:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

(may contain spoilers for Warpaint):
The beauty shop girl is back … and she’s on a new mission!

When Willow’s former boss, Mrs. G, invites her to Tallulah’s Tearoom for a chat, she can’t believe her luck. Good old Mrs. G only wants her to set up three new beauty pop-up stores in London, New York, and San Francisco!

She’s come a long way since her days behind the make-up counter in Glasgow, and she knows it.
Still reeling with excitement, she returns home to tell her boyfriend Jake about Mrs. G’s generous offer. But for some reason, he’s not happy. Typical Jake! Thankfully, she’s had just about enough of men and decides to leave her disastrous love life behind. The following day she jets off to the West Coast, brimming with optimism and excitement.

Soon-to-be-divorced and Jake-free (thank goodness for that!), she knows what she must do.

Put herself first.

Put her love life on the back burner.

And make Mrs. G’s pop-up stores the latest talk of the beauty world.

With only herself and her career to focus on, this is Willow’s chance to shine.

Will she succeed?

Or will Lady Luck interfere and throw another life-changing quandary in her way?

Find out in this light-hearted and laugh-out-loud adventure as Willow juggles business, mishaps, make-up, ex-lovers and much, much more. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?
This is one of the latest reviews on Willow and I really like the wording:

"Once again J.J. Maya is soothing my brain with her lovely flowing writing.
I love Willow’s character – her strong decision making and leaps of faith. She’s accepting that bad things do happen but life’s too short to slow down. She’s kind and works hard but doesn’t let others take advantage of her. She embraces life but always with glamour!
The story of Willow's latest adventure is told effortlessly and at a continuous pace. And of course all the underlying humour is uplifting for a reader. I could read a book of J.J. Maya's every week!"

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing both Warpaint and Willow?
Warpaint was originally seeded as a TV pilot while I was working on my MA TV Fiction Writing master’s degree at Glasgow Caledonian University. I developed the script into a screenplay, which subsequently received a table reading at Working Title Film in London. Their advice was to write the book and reconnect with them when it was finished. But I couldn’t end the story at Warpaint, I was enjoying the characters so much, my Editor, Amy Tipton at Feral Girl Books urged me to write the sequel, which is now Willow. I wrote Willow, intending to complete The Beauty Shop Girl trilogy by this time next year.

If Warpaint and Willow were made into a TV series, who would you cast in the leading roles?
The Scottish actress, Kelly McDonald, (Trainspotting) is my original Willow. I could see and hear Kelly when I was writing Willow’s dialogue. I am also intrigued by Anya Firestone in Bravo TV’s Real Girlfriends in Paris. I love her character and her iconic style. My Willow loves to dress up in her ‘widow’s wardrobe of black dresses.’

The actor Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine) was my Rick, love him or hate him, I’m sure Paul would do the ‘bad boy’ role justice. In my dreams, Cillian Murphy would play the part of Jackson, who is Willow’s best friend. I would style him with long black hair, a floppy fringe, black nail polish and black leather winklepickers. There’s a new character in Willow, but I don’t want to give too much away. His name is Patrick, that’s all I’m going to say about him!

What is your favorite winter holiday movie?
My favourite winter holiday movie has to be It’s a Wonderful Life, mostly because it is so heart-tugging but also because James Stewart reminds me of my grandpa! Love, Actually and Klaus would be my second and third choice.

What is your favorite winter holiday song?
My favourite holiday song is "Christmas Wrapping" by The Waitresses.

What is your favorite winter holiday treat?
Hot chocolate and churros from Chocolateria San Gines in Madrid would be my memorable winter holiday treat.

Thanks to J.J. for chatting with us and 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

Giveaway ends December 26th at midnight EST.

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Listen to this book on Speechify!


traveler said...

A favorite holiday treat is Lemon squares.

Rita Wray said...

Hot chocolate with lots of whipped cream.

satkins said...

My favorite holiday treat is rum cake

Mary Preston said...

Hot chocolate for me too.

Suburban prep said...

eggnog chocolate chip cheesecake bars

Mary Patricia Bird said...

My mom's refrigerator cookies made with Corn Flakes, butterscotch chips and peanut butter. Everyone loves them so I continue to make them every year.

Lindsey said...

My favorite winter holiday treat was my Grandma’s divinity and fudge. My current favorite is Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes.

Nancy P said...

Pumpkin pie

Xia Lee said...

Peppermint bark

Lelandlee said...

Frosted sugar cookies

bn100 said...

hot cocoa

rubynreba said...

Frosted sugar cookies!