#100DaysOfGreatBooks – Smitten By The Brit

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#100DaysofGreatBooks  #SummerOfBookLove

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Day 23 – SMITTEN BY THE BRIT by Melonie Johnson

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Hi friends ~

Just a reminder that from May 24th through the end of August (Read-A-Romance Month) I’ll be spotlighting one book a day.

On Fridays (though today, it’s Saturday, because WordPress didn’t like me yesterday!) through July, I’ll be including an author answering the Q&A from RARM 2018.

Melonie Johnson had her debut this year with GETTING HOT WITH THE SCOT, but her next two titles came out in the next two months.

I’m focusing on SMITTEN BY THE BRIT because it’s the most recent release, and it was just delightful!

(Both of the first two books were delightful. I haven’t read the 3rd one yet. But aren’t those covers too cute?!)

SMITTEN BY THE BRIT

DEFINITELY, MAYBE…OR LOVE, ACTUALLY?

English professor Bonnie Blythe expects her life to play out like her favorite novels, especially now that her long-term boyfriend has finally proposed. So when a shocking discovery leads Bonnie to end her engagement, she decides to close the book on love. But the plot thickens when a brand-new character enters the scene—and quickens Bonnie’s heart.

With his brilliant blue eyes, sexy accent, and irresistible charm, Theo Wharton is like a romantic hero straight out of a Jane Austen novel. When fate places Bonnie in England for a summer—conveniently close to Theo—she realizes a hot friends-with-benefits fling is exactly what she needs to start a fresh chapter. Just as Bonnie begins to believe she’s falling in love, an eye-opening revelation into Theo’s life makes Bonnie feel like she’s wandered into one of her favorite books. Will Bonnie have the courage to risk her heart and turn the page with the dashing Brit to find her true happy ending after all?

#HappyReading  #100DaysofGreatBooks  #SummerOfBookLove

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2018 RARM Questions:

Why do you write books? 

A lifelong reader, stories have always been important to me. An actress, I enjoy the craft of dialogue and word play. The path to becoming an author began when characters started popping into my head doing stuff, and the only way I was able to find out what happened next was by writing it down.

What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

At first, I was going to say when I decided to graduate high school early and start college at sixteen, but even though that was scary, I was excited to jump into the next phase of my life more than anything else. Thinking more about it, I believe it was when I was in junior high (quite possibly the most terrifying time in anyone’s life). I had made the cheerleading squad, and suddenly found myself part of the “popular” crowd—eating lunch with the cool girls and getting invited to all the parties—but over time I realized how shallow and empty these friendships felt and even though I knew it jeopardized my social standing and all the perks that came with it, I decided to stop hanging out with those girls and to go back to my “old” friends, my real friends. I had no way of knowing if they would welcome me back and was risking being alone—an outsider of both groups—but it was a risk I knew I had to take, and lucky for me, they took me back like the true friends they were.

Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

Nothing affects me the way watching two people discover they have feelings for each other does. It is a joy to write stories where I get to play with how this happens and create this journey on the page.

Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.)

When my husband (then boyfriend) surprised me by asking me to marry him when we took a spur of the moment trip to New Orleans for the turn of the millennium. We drove from Chicago to NOLA, and he acted so odd the entire drive. As soon as we got to our room in the lovely historical hotel in the Garden District, he dropped to his knee and proposed. That was why he’d been acting so strange! The ring had been burning a hole in his pocket and he was a bundle of nerves. I am so glad he asked me as soon as we got there, because it made the rest of our trip extra special, celebrating as a newly engaged couple.

If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

This applies to both myself as a woman and a writer: never let someone else’s opinion of you affect your opinion of yourself.

Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

So many things, but I think one of the most interesting was the lives of the modern-day British peerage. There are some fascinating documentaries about members of the aristocracy and the lengths they’ve gone to maintain their vast estates. It’s also very interesting to see what has changed (and what hasn’t) in the mindset and mannerisms of these title-holding families.

How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? 

What has helped me when another character or story idea intrudes while I’m working on something, is to jot whatever is trying to take over my thoughts down—whether it’s a character sketch or a bit of dialogue or an entire scene—I’ll unload my thoughts in a rush of scribbled words so it’s out of my head. Then I’m (usually) able to return to the story I was currently writing. The only problem is I need to be more organized about how I file these other ideas so I can find them when I’m ready to turn my attention to the next story!

What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?Why?

I want to fall into a Jane Austen novel and spend a summer attending country house parties with strolls through the gardens, picnics on the lawn, afternoon tea, and evening dances.

If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

It’s been amazing to have readers reach out and let me know how much they’ve enjoyed my stories, how much they’ve laughed, and how they love the friendship shared by my group of girls. Books have often been my escape in times of need…and knowing I’ve helped provide an escape for someone else is really the best feeling ever.

Melonie recommends:

Laura Kinsalewww.laurakinsale.com@Amazon

Her historical romances are among my favorite. Tortured heroes and flawed heroines who heal each other and fit together in unique and surprising ways.

Sonali Devsonalidev.com@Amazon

Her books are poetry in prose form, and her detailed descriptions of food and family envelop you and make you ache to be part of the story.

Morgan Llywelyn@Goodreads

I fell in love with her books when I was a teen, starting with her take on such Celtic legends as Cuchulain and Brian Boru. Her Irish Century series is fascinating and heartbreaking, an in-depth look at the Irish fight for independence over the course of the 20th century. Drenched in historical detail, but with a cast of fictionalized characters so raw and real you feel like you are living through these moments with them.

After earning her Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago, Melonie Johnson—aka #thewritinglush—taught high school English and Theatre for several years. An award winning author and a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, she writes smart and funny contemporary romance and moonlights as an audiobook narrator under the pseudonym, Evelyn Eibhlin. She lives happily ever after with her husband, two redheaded daughters, a dog that’s more like a small horse, and a pair of hermit crabs. She is the author of the Sometimes in Love series which includes Getting Hot with the Scot, Smitten by the Brit, and Once Upon a Bad Boy.

Buy Melonie’s books:

availableon-amazon
availableon-nook
availableon-kobo

*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and text links connect to an affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!