Hi Louisa and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Something Borrowed!
Hi there! Thank you so much for having me back-I love it here!
Please summarize the book for the readers here:
Please share the opening lines of this book:
It was meant to be the best day of her life, but for local business owner, Chloe Cassidy of Something Borrowed wedding planners on Colville Terrace, her special day ended up being something very blue instead. For, after waiting fruitlessly at the church for her dashing groom to arrive, Miss Cassidy was given the news that the ‘something’ her fiancé had borrowed was her best friend and bridesmaid, Amy Fisher.
Neither Miss Fisher nor the groom, Jason Hawthorn, attended the church to face the music, but as all reliable wedding fables go, it was best man, Vaughn Brooks, who arrived to break the news to the now very blushing and very jilted bride.
Please share a few Fun facts about this book…
- It is set in Notting Hill, London, England where I used to live
- It is book one of a series following the love-lives of three Cassidy women- Chloe, Jenna and their ghost-hunting mom, Bridget
- There is a very embarrassing bikini-waxing scene that made me laugh when I wrote it
- The post-bikini waxing scene is cringe-worthy too!
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
I adore Vaughn, the hero, so I would probably use the scene where he ‘saves’ Chloe from mortification at a wedding where she is the guest, the wedding planner and, unfortunately, the main focus of attention.
She looked up at him. ‘Thank you, Vaughn. Thank you for the photos and the support and for this. It’s good to know I have at least one… friend?’
‘I may live to regret this, but yes. You do. I’d like us to be friends.’ An eyebrow rose. ‘God knows what I’m letting myself in for. And remind me to keep well back from the bouquet throwing and table arrangements in there. I know what you’re like around flowers.’
‘You’re safe. For now.’ Although, she didn’t feel very safe at all. Dancing with him was a wild step into the unknown, and she felt as if the ground was shifting and she was losing her footing. She reached a hand to his shoulder and one to his waist, steadying herself, feeling his heat through the expensive linen. Feeling the honed muscles under her fingertips, making her breath hitch a little in her chest.
Because friends didn’t act like this. Did they?
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
That you have to be true to yourself, but keep an open heart. That all your ‘self talk’ may not be the truth.(In as much as Chloe believes that all men will leave her…but she ends up learning that some do actually stay).
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2016?
I have a new release coming out at the end of August (title to be decided)- this is a story about a woman having to go back to the place she grew up (and that she ran away from), facing her demons and finding a happy place inside her.
I’m currently working on a medical romance duet with Sue Mackay due out end of 2017.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: I’d love to send one e-book to someone, anywhere in the world!
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Have you ever been on a blind date? If so, how did it work out? If no, would you ever consider one (given you were single etc….)
Excerpt from Something Borrowed:
‘Yoo-hoo!’ The door rattled and, along with a whoosh of cool air, in walked Mum, arms full of sweet-scented baking and a basket of fabric swatches, thread and general haberdashery frippery. ‘Is it me or is it unseasonably cold today? Oh, hello gorgeous little girl. Girls.’ She beamed at them all in turn. Then homed in on Chloe. ‘You look tired.’
‘No, you’re not. Fretting over himself again?’ Her native Irish accent always came out when she was anxious.
‘For goodness’ sake, no. And I told you, stop talking about it. I don’t ever want to hear his name again. And stop looking at each other behind my back—I know what you’re doing.’ Chloe cleared a space on the overstuffed sofa, indicated for them all to sit, drew up the coffee table and then fetched plates and forks. As they began to eat, Chloe called the meeting to order. ‘Right, let’s talk Davidson and Wright. Where are we up to with the bridesmaid’s dresses? When’s the last fitting scheduled for?’
Back when Chloe had bought this flat with Jason, he’d worried about being so close to her mum and sister who lived on the next street across. He’d laid down strict visiting rules, which they’d all had to abide by. He didn’t want them popping in uninvited, in case Chloe and he were having mind-blowing sex on the kitchen table. Not that they ever had either. The sex wasn’t mind-blowing, although it had been perfectly fine. Well, maybe not so frequent towards the wedding, but she’d been busy, and they’d had a lot to discuss. You can’t talk and have sex, he’d said. One or the other. As if making love to her had been something he’d had to focus on very carefully.
And definitely never on the kitchen table. Why would we do that? he’d said. We have a perfectly fine bed. Do they have to be here all the time? he’d moaned. It’s like living in a goldfish bowl.
Now she was grateful of her family’s proximity—they popped in and out whenever they wanted, sharing keys and food, and everything. They supported each other but had some space. Right now, she was very glad they were here.
They got through the business in record time. One thing Chloe was proud of was her ability to keep everyone focused and on task. Unfortunately, having so little on her books meant that there was too much time left over to discuss their favourite topic. Her love life.
It was her Mum who started it. ‘I should have throttled him, really. I should have gone round to his house and cut off his—’
‘Mum!’ Jenna shook her head. ‘Children present.’
‘I was going to say, cut off his buttons. It was a lovely suit. Those buttons were gorgeous, the perfect shade of grey.’
‘Yes, Mum, we know. Like polished steel,’ the sisters chorused together. Jenna leant in and whispered behind her hand to Chloe, ‘Wait for it… wait for it. I bet you a fiver she’ll mention the Cassidy curse.’
‘Such a shame. Neither one of you is settled now.’ Their mother leant back and crossed her arms. ‘Of course, it’s the Cassidy Curse, you know.’
‘We know,’ they chorused back. Jenna hissed, ‘You owe me.’
‘No chance. It was a no-brainer.’
‘Happened to your grandmother. Then me. And look at you two. Not a husband between you.’ With what could only be described as relish Mum looked over to her grand-daughter, knee-deep in building bricks. ‘Not that either one of you is to blame. We’re just unlucky. We need to break it if Evie’s ever going to have a chance at being happy.’
Chloe collected the plates up. ‘That is, of course, if you believe a woman can only be happy with a man. I, for one, think you can be perfectly happy on your own.’
‘And you’re proving that, aren’t you? Being grumpy with clients, moping around, refusing dates…’ Her mum’s tone had turned a little darker. After all, she’d been on her own for nearly thirty years. And they all knew she was lonely, but she’d never admit it. Hence the cruises and the ghost hunting. But she’d stepped over the line when she’d arranged a blind date with one of her friend’s sons.
‘Mum, I will not go out with someone you set me up with.’
‘He was a good catch.’
‘If you like middle-aged, dour funeral directors with more than their fair share of dandruff.’
Her mum shook her head and tutted. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers. You can always invest in medicated shampoo or white suits. Give him a chance. Or why don’t you sign up for that Timber thing on your phone? Maggie says her daughter’s using it to find men.’
Chloe shot her sister a look that begged her to change the subject, but she wasn’t biting. Traitor. ‘It’s Tinder, and no one uses it for dating, anyway. It’s just for hook-ups.’
‘Isn’t that the same thing?’
‘No, Mum. It really isn’t.’ She would not go into the literal ins and outs of a dating app with her mother. In a moment of drunken weakness, she’d downloaded it and given it a very brief play. Chloe had been horrified to be rejected by men she’d liked the look of, and had tried not to take it personally. But really? How dare they left-swipe her? It was just rude. ‘Now, please can we not talk about this? How about Jenna? Let’s talk about her love life instead.’
Jenna looked up from stacking bricks, panic all over her face. ‘Too soon. Really. Just too soon.’
‘It’s been over three years, honey.’
‘Exactly. Way too soon.’
Mum rummaged in her sewing basket and brought out some buttons she was covering in the palest pink silk, then sat back with that telltale, self-satisfied look on her face. ‘Then looks like it’s all eyes on you, clever Chloe.’
Clueless, more like.
Jenna had started playing another game with Evie. ‘Okay, sweetie, let me think… Oh, I know! I spy with my little eye something beginning with… red. Oh, look, oh…’ Her gaze was fixed on a man walking past the window. Chloe followed her line of vision and then closed her eyes as her gut contorted in panic.
Muffled against the wind, he wore a thick, dark grey scarf around his neck and an overcoat pulled up to his ears. All that was visible was a mess of dark hair, as if he’d literally just got out of bed, and an aura of something exotic. ‘Isn’t that… Chloe, come here. Is that Vaughn Brooks?’
At the mention of his name, Chloe went cold. The last time she’d seen him, he’d been nursing a lump on his head from when he’d hit the church tiles after her rugby tackle. Last thing she’d heard, he’d gone overseas to open one of his restaurants. He had a chain now. London, Manchester and Paris, apparently—which she’d hoped meant she’d never lay eyes on him again.
She barely afforded a glance out of the window; it was all she could manage as she slunk down on the sofa, hoping against hope he wouldn’t see her. ‘I wouldn’t know. Or care. That guy looks like his hair needs a decent comb, so it could be, I guess. Come away from the window.’
‘Pretty good looking, though, right?’
‘I never noticed, to be honest.’ Well, actually she had. On a good day, he might be described as dishevelled. He had dark, swarthy skin as if he’d been brought up in full Mediterranean sun. A smug glower. She hadn’t noticed if he’d smiled but was pretty sure he hadn’t, so she had no idea what his teeth were like.
But thinking back… maybe her sister had a point. There had been that one look he’d given Chloe as she’d left the police station that could have been construed as genuinely sorry. ‘Anyway, the exotic look isn’t my type.’
‘So what is then?’ Jenna leant in, suddenly interested.
Someone who might turn up to his own wedding would be a good place to start. Chloe shrugged. This was the last thing she wanted to talk about. ‘I haven’t got one.’
‘When we played with that phone app you left-swiped a lot of dark-haired men. So I guess you like blonds?’
‘You reckon? Jason is blond. I hate blond.’
‘You hate Jason. That’s a different thing altogether.’ Jenna had a strange look on her face as she tapped her biro against her lip. ‘So… no blonds or brunettes. Doesn’t leave us much to go on. Redheads. Baldies. Short-to-average heights are out, given you’re five foot six.’
Whoa. This was all getting too personal. ‘What are you doing?’
Jenna raised an eyebrow. ‘Casual conversation. Come on, you used to spend hours dreaming of the ideal man.’
‘Aged ten until, what, sixteen? Then you met Jason, and you declared you’d found him. Or you were hell-bent on turning him into Mr Perfect.’
‘I was not.’
Her mum looked up. ‘Yes, you were.’
‘Geez, great, you’re all ganging up on me. Evie? Help me out here?’
‘Ribbit,’ she gurgled.
Great support there from the three-year-old.
Jenna’s eyes were on Chloe again. ‘You like a laugh, so sense of humour is very important, yes? Well turned out. Successful. Definitely own income. Kids? Would you mind taking on someone else’s kids?’
‘I don’t know. Should I mind? What is this?’ She watched her sister write something down on her notepad. ‘Why are you taking notes?’
‘Me? Hmm, I’m not, just something for my… shopping… list.’ She shoved her pad back into her bag but not before her cheeks pinked. ‘It’s getting late. I suppose I should go and give Evie her bath. Come on, sweetheart, let’s get you home.’
Taking in her sister’s under-eye dark circles and her mum’s steady focus on the pink buttons, Chloe decided she’d do them both a favour. ‘I can bath her here if you like? I love bath time with my niece. We could have a story and milk and a cuddle because I think I’m owed a few.’
Jenna smiled wearily, her shoulders sagging. ‘That would be so lovely. To be honest, I’m knackered. She had me awake at four this morning wanting me to sing to her. I am so over ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, but she loves it. Oh, and would you mind if I borrowed your laptop while you’re in there? I need to check something on my email.’
‘Your phone can do that quite well. I thought I’d shown you?’
‘Er… no, my phone’s playing up.’ Jenna’s eyes darted away, and Chloe got a strange feeling in her belly.
‘What are you up to?’
‘Me? Nothing at all.’
‘What. Are. You. Doing?’
Her little sister didn’t bat an eyelid. ‘See, the thing is, if you don’t believe in love, you can’t be happy for anyone else in love. Ergo, you can’t do your job properly. And we need you to do that. You need to do that. You worked so hard for your wedding planner’s diploma. You work so hard, full stop. So what we need to do is find you someone to love.’
The panic she’d seen earlier in her sister’s face now rebounded in Chloe’s chest. Why couldn’t they all just leave her alone to wallow? ‘Oh, no we don’t. That is some strangely skewed logic. FYI, I’m never doing the relationship thing again.’
‘Well, you won’t if you sit here. And why do you still have that there?’ Jenna was pointing to the newspaper article on the pinboard.
‘To remind me never to make the same mistake again.’
‘So, I’m over this. You need an intervention. This is it. The end. New chapter.’ Jenna stormed across the room, ripped the paper from the pin and tore it into tiny pieces. It floated to the floor like confetti, a strange, sad irony that Chloe didn’t miss.
‘Yes. I want my lovely sister back. Well, most of her; you can keep the bridezilla bit.’ Jenna looked at her, a mix of frustration and love in her eyes. ‘You need to start believing in the thing you sell. You need to have a good time, get laid. Sorry, Mum. Have fun. And then you need to fall in love. Hopelessly and totally.’
The panic spread to Chloe’s tummy. ‘I don’t want to. It isn’t fun; it’s terrifying. I don’t want to go back out there and get on the horse or whatever else you’re going to try to tell me to do. Leave me alone.’
‘I did leave you alone, for three months. But now it stops. You need cheering up. You need to meet some guys—play a little. Remember what it was like to want to know someone so badly your heart hurts? When thinking about them makes you smile, randomly, for no real reason except… because. When you can’t get enough of their smell. When you argue over who puts the phone down first.’
Chloe shrugged. ‘Most people communicate by emojicons these days. It’s hardly, ‘You put the phone down first… no you… no you. I love you. I love you more.’ It’s more like, smiley face, love heart, thumbs up, now where are the grumpy cat memes?’
‘Cynic.’ Jenna wrapped her into a hug. ‘They’re not all bad. Ollie was a good man. A very good man. There are plenty of good men out there. You just have to find someone.’
‘No, I don’t.’ Chloe took Evie by the hand and motioned her towards the bathroom. ‘How am I going to do that if I’m not even interested in looking?’
‘Oh.’ Her sister gave a nonchalant raise of her shoulders and spoke so softly Chloe could barely hear her over her niece’s happy giggles. ‘I’m sure we’ll find a way.’
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Something old. Something new…?
When Chloe Cassidy is jilted at the altar it’s all her nightmares rolled into one. Her mother is convinced she’s the victim of the family curse. Her sister believes she just hasn’t found The One yet. But Chloe’s not listening; she’s too busy taking her humiliation out on the infuriating best man, Vaughn Brooks.
Three months later, Something Borrowed—her wedding planning business— is failing. In a last ditch attempt to save it, Chloe is forced to swallow her pride, and work with the enemy: too-hot for his own good, award-winning chef Vaughn. She soon realizes the sparks flying between them are nothing to do with their dubious past, but from something else altogether…
Meet the Author:
Originally from England, Louisa now lives in Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband, two teenage sons and two male cats. Writing romance is her chance to covertly inject a hefty dose of pink into her testosterone-dominated household.
When she’s not writing or reading Louisa loves to spend time with her family and friends, enjoys traveling, and adores eating great food. She’s also hopelessly addicted to Zumba®.
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