Friday, November 21, 2014

Out in the Open by J.B. Glazer ♥ Fun Facts, Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Contemporary Romance)

Out in the Open
Advertising executive Lexi Winters had a plan, but leaving her cheating fiancΓ©, her beloved New York, and a successful career weren’t on her agenda. At twenty-seven she faces the harsh reality of starting over again. She returns to her hometown of Chicago and lands a new job, where she meets Jake Hartman, the agency founder’s captivating nephew. Their chemistry is undeniable, but Lexi is protective of her fragile heart and isn’t ready to date again. Jake is on the fast track to leading the company and has vowed to his uncle never to let anything—or anyone—get in his way. What begins as harmless flirtation soon crosses a line that threatens to destroy Lexi and Jake’s promising careers. In a relationship plagued by secrets, will they risk everything to be out in the open?
During the research process before publishing my book, I was told it was important to get an outside perspective. So I had a handful of friends serve as beta readers for my novel. It’s funny because each of them found aspects of the book that they felt were inspired by our past. My friend, Rachel, who I’ve known since grade school, loved that I based some characters’ names on her family members such as Seth, Marianne and Nancy. My friend, Jodie, loved the reference to Lexi’s award-winning apple cobbler, because she hosts an annual apple pie bake off where a group of us make pies to take to our Thanksgiving dinners. And my cousin, Kate, knew the Lynne Sachman benefit was a tribute to my late mother-in-law. Some of these references were intentional, whereas others were likely the work of my subconscious. While I had a general premise for the book idea, my life experiences filled in the rest. From big influences such as the Chicago setting and Lexi’s career choice, to small details such as her lucky heart charm bracelet, these decisions were inspired by my background. For example, I bought myself a Tiffany heart bracelet when I began my first job. While my husband and I were dating it mysteriously went missing. I thought he took it to have the charm monogramed as a surprise for me. It turned up a few weeks later buried under some papers in my desk drawer. In hindsight he probably didn’t know I owned the bracelet nor was he likely aware the monogramming service existed. But I always liked the sentiment of the idea, so the Tiffany bracelet worked its way into my book as a symbolic thread of love, trust and luck.

I think I was also influenced by other books I was reading during the writing process. I had just finished the Fifty Shades series, so I felt compelled to take my intimate scenes up a notch, or two. It’s mortifying knowing people are reading sex scenes that I imagined and described in detail. While I felt it was important to show this development of my characters, people think it’s inspired by my love life. It’s not, for the record, though my husband would like me to say otherwise.  It also swayed small decisions. I had initially envisioned Jake playing the piano, but I did not want there to be any similarities between him and Christian Grey, so I changed it to the guitar. This worked out better because it inspired my decision to have him play in a band. I had also planned on naming Jake’s mom Grace, which coincidentally was Christian’s mom’s name. So I changed it to Nancy in honor of my sister’s mother-in-law, who I am very fond of. Sorry, Rachel.

Lastly, many people say that they see a lot of similarities between me and my protagonist, Lexi. We both work in advertising, we both played tennis growing up, we both hate sushi, and our physical characteristics are similar. So I can see why some would believe that she is me. My friend emailed me and said, “You’d really forgive someone who lied to you about something so big?” Umm, no. That would be Lexi. But it’s not a big stretch because there are parts of myself reflected in her character. I suppose she’s an idealized version of how I’d like my life to be. She is much more driven, fashionable, and charitable than I am. And she’s a good 4” taller. So there, not me. For my first novel it was helpful to create the setting and characters based on what I know. Now I’m in the midst of writing book number two, which has taken me out of my element and my comfort zone. The book follows Tara Winters, Lexi's younger sister, on her journey to finding "the one." It’s a candid and entertaining look at a singleton’s dating journey when she must say yes to any guy who asks her out because of a pact. Bonus: readers will learn about Jake and Lexi's fate along the way. Considering I haven’t been a part of the dating scene for over ten years it’s been a fun challenge. Perhaps I’ll have to go on Tinder, for research purposes only, of course. I would be happy to come back and share some behind the scenes facts from that experience. I’m sure it would be much more interesting! For now, this will have to do.
“I like your dress,” Jake says, lightly touching the fabric on my shoulder. He slides his hand down the length of my dress, grazing my breast, and rests it on my knee. I raise my eyebrows at him.

“You don’t mind, do you?” he asks in a low voice.

“No,” I say, meeting his gaze.

He stands up, and I stand up too, thinking we’re leaving. “Wait here,” he says, then closes the curtains to our seating area, giving us complete privacy. He makes his way back toward me wearing a determined expression that makes my heart beat wildly in my chest. Is he going to kiss me here, in the middle of the bar? He looms over me and takes the drink out of my hand. I feel the color rise in my face, and my breathing becomes ragged. Jake tilts my chin so I meet his gaze and leans in close when suddenly the curtains part and Brad walks in. “Sorry, dude,” he says to Jake, “but Maurice just informed me there’s a girl here looking for you. She says you work together, and she’s on her way down.”

Jake’s demeanor immediately changes. He fully opens the curtains and moves to the other side of the couch, putting some distance between us. I look at him questioningly, but his flirty smile is gone, replaced with a cool stare. Then I see a brunette talking to the bouncer, and I’m guessing she’s looking for Jake. She makes eye contact, and he motions her over.
   
***Publishing this book was J B’s wish come true. Now she’d like to help some very deserving kids fulfill their wishes, so she’s donating 5% of the royalties from the sale of each book to a national children’s charity***
Bio B
J B Glazer followed her passion for writing to the University of Illinois, where she graduated with a degree from the College of Communications. She pursued a career in advertising, a field that provided an outlet to express her creativity. She has fifteen years of experience at the renowned Leo Burnett advertising agency in Chicago, which served as inspiration for her novel. She’s also a wife, mom, marketer, referee, short-order cook, maid, chocoholic, shopaholic, and multitasker extraordinaire.
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@JBGlazer @GoddessFish http://goo.gl/T8uPEf pic.twitter.com/8YOXVG3LEJ

13 comments :

  1. I really enjoyed the excerpt. This sounds like a really good book.

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  2. Good morning, thank you for hosting me today! I will check back in to answer any questions that come up. Happy Friday!

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  3. Thanks - it was hard to choose but I went with that scene because it's from my favorite chapter.

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  4. Going on my TBR list! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thx for the giveaway! πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

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