Welcome today to Holly Gilliatt, author of ‘Til St. Patrick’s Day in the Love Finds a Way Boxed Set!
1. What do you write about? Tell us a little about your previously published works or works in progress.
I write about love—among families, friends and, of course, romantic love as well. Along with that is usually a good dose of humor. My story that’s included in the boxed set, ’Til St. Patrick’s Day, is romantic women’s fiction that follows three best friends and their lives and loves over the course of one winter. This is the first book of three in the St. Louis Sisters Series with a sequel due out in July, called Dreams, Interrupted. In the meantime, my latest release, Love in Sight, is about an attractive, funny, smart guy looking for his happily-ever-after…but is finding out that blind guys aren’t at the top of most women’s Most Eligible Bachelor lists.
2. How do you handle bad reviews?
It depends on if they just don’t like the book or something like that. That I can handle—tastes differ and not everyone will like my books. But if they have a specific criticism that I don’t agree with, then it eats away at me. I try to ignore it, but it always bums me out.
3. Tell us a little about your work in progress.
I’m currently writing book #3 in the St. Louis Sisters series. Not even sure what it’s going to be called yet, but it’s fun to see what the three besties—Claudia, Karen & Jayne—are up to.
4. Any advice for aspiring writers?
Just keep plugging away at it, and understand that the industry is in a lot of turmoil right now. So your route to publishing may not follow the traditional model from ten years ago, but there are new avenues to pursue and have your work get in front of readers. And be ready to plug & promote your work…the days of writing and leaving that up to someone else are over. Most importantly—write what you love.
5. Who are a few authors you look up to?
For humor and looking at the world from a different point of view—David Sedaris and Ryan Knighton. For women’s fiction—Jane Green and Claire Cook. And I’m in awe of Stephen King’s abilities to write just about anything.
6. What book are you reading now?
The sequel to Must Love Dogs—New Leash on Life by Claire Cook. It’s laugh-out-loud funny.
7. What books have most influenced your life most?
Some books that have stayed with me for years are: Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes.
8. Have you ever used characteristics from someone you know in one of your books?
Of course! So friends, family, co-workers—watch out. Sometimes I have characters that are amalgams of various different people. And there are bits of me in many of them as well.
Four unconventional love stories from popular and bestselling romance authors, each with sequels from Turquoise Morning Press.
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‘Til St. Patrick’s Day
For three best friends, one winter will change everything.
Chronically optimistic Jayne is surprised she’s still single at twenty-eight. But as always for Jayne, there’s hope. This time his name is Gray—a successful, gorgeous marketing VP that she can’t believe is going out with her. She’s never given up on the belief that the right man for her is out there. Maybe Gray could be the one…if she just works hard enough to make it happen.
Her cynical friend Karen is suspicious of Jayne’s new guy with his model looks and over-inflated ego. She’s concerned for Jayne, but has her own relationship to worry about. Not that anything’s wrong with her boyfriend. He’s actually perfect for her, which is why she’s terrified. Not sure she can ever fully trust a man again, she considers bailing on yet another relationship.
Claudia is always there for her friends, mothering them like the children she craves to have. Happily married, Claudia anxiously awaits the day her husband finally agrees it’s time to start a family.
‘Til St. Patrick’s Day is a novel about the depths of friendship and what happens when love doesn’t go according to plan.
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Jayne closed the door behind her and leaned against it, afraid to even move. She was pretty certain the last four hours had just been a dream, and if she dared to move or speak or even breathe too deeply—it might all go away. So she stood silently, desperately still.
When her cell phone blared from inside her purse, she jumped back, startled. Her heart started pulsating quickly, and she was relieved that so far, her night seemed perhaps to be real. She dug around in her oversized purse and grabbed her phone.
“Hey, it’s me.” Karen. Relief again. It wasn’t some dream fairy about to snatch away one of the best nights of her life. “Are you home yet?”
“Yeah, I just walked in the door.” Breathe, she reminded herself. Jayne pulled off the coat she’d worn to keep out the autumn cold that had begun to creep into St. Louis. She threw it over the arm of her couch before she plopped down.
“And? How’d it go?”
“Oh, he’s just…dreamy…” Her voice tapered off as a stupid grin flooded her face.
“So I take that to mean it was good.”
“No, it was fabulous.” She closed her eyes, visions of the night running through her mind.
“Give me the rundown.” Karen was always to the point, one of the things Jayne loved best about her.
“Okay, well, first he took me to dinner in the city. That new trendy place in Lafayette Square. It was really great inside, and the food…well, you know how I love food. And it was delish.”
“Did he open doors for you and all that?
“Yeah, yeah he did. It was nice.” All night long, and now too, she couldn’t believe that Gray Brandt had asked her out. He was impossibly attractive—wavy black hair, dimples, a ridiculously bright white smile, and perfectly toned body. She wasn’t sure what she’d noticed about him first…his captivating bright blue eyes or his six-foot-two Adonis-like body.
“Then we went to a movie, and afterwards we went downtown and actually went for a horse-drawn carriage ride.”
Karen groaned. “How cheesy.”
“You are so jaded. It wasn’t cheesy. It was romantic.”
“He was just trying to get laid. Did he?”
“No, but he got a goodnight kiss.” Jayne giggled. “But I would have done it if he wanted.”
“Well, I guess there’s nothing wrong with a little hot sex from time to time.” Karen sighed. “But a carriage ride?”
“I liked it. I thought it was sweet and romantic and touching.”
“Yeah, if it’s your senior prom and you’re wearing a corsage.”
“Oh, stop. Next time I won’t give you all the details if you’re going to just belittle them.”
“But it’s so much fun,” Karen said, laughing. “I’m sorry. I know you like all that shit.”
“Yes, I do. I still can’t believe he actually went out with me!”
“I can’t wait to see this guy. I mean, he sounds like the love child of Johnny Depp and Maks from Dancing with the Stars. If they were gay lovers, and if gay men could procreate together, that is.”
Jayne couldn’t help but laugh. “That’s actually a pretty good assessment. And did I ever mention to you that he has the most beautiful deep blue eyes I’ve ever seen?”
“Only a dozen times or so.”
“Well, he does,” she said, grinning. “So he said he’d call me tomorrow to make some plans for the weekend.”
“That sounds promising. If you actually hear from him.”
“I hope for your sake that he does. Well, it sounds like you had a great time.”
“We really did.” Jayne yawned. “I better get to bed…it’s late and I have to work in the morning. Some of us have real jobs, you know.”
“I have a real job. I just make my own hours. Jealous, eh?”
“Well don’t be. I worked my ass off on a proposal all day yesterday and presented it to the potential client today. And I could absolutely tell he’s not going to do business with me.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I can just tell. He was disinterested, polite but not friendly, and he didn’t really ask any questions.”
“Well that sucks. Was it a big customer?”
“Decent.” Karen sighed. “But in this economy I’ll take whatever I can get.”
“You are good at what you do, you’re smart and tough. Don’t give up—you never know.”
“You’re an eternal optimist, Jayne. It’s what makes you so lovable and irritating all at the same time.”
“Not sure if I should say thank you or call you a bitch for that,” Jayne said with a chuckle.
“How about, ‘Thanks, bitch’?” They both laughed. “Well, I’ll let you go…are we still on for Saturday lunch with Claudia?”
“Of course. See you then, if we don’t talk before.”
“’Night.” Jayne hung up the phone, put it on the charger, and sauntered to her bedroom. Yawning as she pulled off her clothes and slid a sleep shirt over her head, she crawled into bed without so much as brushing her teeth. The incessant dripping sound from the bathroom faucet that normally drove her insane didn’t bother her at all. Unlike most nights, she barely noticed it.
She was tired and wanted nothing more than to fall asleep and have dreams of Gray.
A self-confessed music, movie and accessories junkie, Holly Gilliatt’s passion has always been writing. Give her an Algebra quiz and she’ll curl up in the fetal position. But throw a test requiring all essay answers her way and she’s in heaven. Between the day job, husband, three kids, two dogs and cat—it’s not easy to find time to write. So she sacrifices the laundry pile to spin her tales of laughter, friendship and love. She’s proud to call the St. Louis area her home.
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These 4 great authors are giving away a $25 Gift Card to Turquoise Morning Press.