Monday, October 1, 2012

Blog Tour: Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey: Q&A and Excerpt

Follow the tour HERE
                   Book Description

Can you ever really go back to the past?

On her fifth anniversary with boyfriend Derek, Jamie Ross finds herself in a Montreal hotel room wondering how the carefree guy she met in a Chicago bar has turned into “the quintessential metrosexual.” Weighed down by Derek’s disdain for her second hand wardrobe, her unusual family and her low-paying job as an associate producer of a daytime talk show, Jamie reaches a breaking point. And when her new boss plans to reunite lost loves on the show, she remembers Lucas— the boy she’d loved and lost ten years earlier. What follows is a quest that is at times hilarious and at others disastrous as Jamie’s life transforms from run of the mill to absolutely crazy. But will finding Lucas give Jamie everything she’s looking for?


"Jamie Ross? That is you!"
No. Please no. Not when I'm red-faced, sweaty and looking like an electric blue sausage. I recognize that husky, snide voice instantly, and I slowly turn around. Yup, it's Claire Howard. The high school nemesis I was just talking about last night. The one who stole Lucas right out from under me. Who was it who said that when you talk about someone you see them?  
And she's breathtaking. Still. Long, shiny, strawberry blonde hair, startling grey eyes and porcelain skin. Not the pasty, dehydrated kind, but the creamy, smooth kind. Diamonds drip from the sparkling studs in her perfectly adorable earlobes to her little toe ring.
I look at Derek. He's staring; his mouth, hanging open slightly. I want to smack him. She kisses my clammy, crimson cheek with cinnamon lipstick. Just to leave a mark, I'm sure.
"God, Jamie, how long has it been?"
"Fifteen years, Claire."
Like you don't know, you man-stealing slut. I probably wouldn't be so angry if Lucy hadn't dredged up all that stuff about Lucas last night. But now it feels like it just happened yesterday.
"You look exactly the same," she tells me, moving her left hand in front of my face just so I can catch the massive rock on her finger.
She is not giving me a compliment. I've already mentioned my unfortunate awkward years, and to add to the pear-shaped body, I also had glasses and braces. But I was smart and funny, and that's what got me Lucas. I'm sure the adoring gazes I'd constantly shot in his direction didn't hurt any. But, Claire had the Southern Belle accent (her family had moved to Chicago from Savannah) and the DD chest.
Looking at her now, the chest looks suspiciously higher and firmer than it should be after all of these years. With small boobs, you never really worry about sagging and future nips and tucks.
"Jamie, introduce me," Derek says, scowling.
"Oh goodness, how rude of me. Derek, this is Claire, a, um, girl from high school. Claire, this is my boyfriend, Derek."
Her eyes are huge with amazement that I could have a boyfriend who looks like Derek. Clanging warning bells go off in my head. What if she does it again? Steals him too? If I turn my back for a second, she might toss him over her satiny shoulder and walk right out. Maybe that's not such a bad idea. They're both looking at me strangely. Perhaps because I'm grinning like an idiot and laughing to myself.
"Do you live around here, Claire?" Derek asks, slipping an arm around my waist.
Considering we weren't even speaking two seconds ago, I know this means he wants me to invite her over. I know that he doesn't know who she is to me, but can't he see how stiff and uncomfortable I am? After five years, you'd think he'd be able to read my body language.
"Oh no, not down here," she says, eyeing me up and down and smoothing her yellow wrap dress so it hugs her curves even more tightly. "I was at a breakfast meeting for my new marketing campaign. I'm the advertising director at Goldman Sachs. We live in the Gold Coast. Do you know the new gated community?"           
I wish I had a sweatshirt to cover my huge butt.

Author Bio
Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but a lifelong passion to write was born.

After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a fulltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other writers.

Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on and many other publications. Samantha also has a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics. 

She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.

Connect with Samantha!

Twitter: @perfectpen


Hi, Emily, thank you so much for having me here.

Q. What inspires your writing?
I’d have to say everything. My friends, family, conversations I shouldn’t eavesdrop on but do, current events. I love to hear about people’s lives, and though I never break a confidence, real stories are much of the inspiration for my writing. My friends love when they read something that might have been (loosely) based on them.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Most people don’t get the chance to live their dreams, and I do, every day. Being an author is something I’ve wanted for as long as I can remember. That people actually read Finding Lucas and like it makes me giddy with excitement. It also allows me to be with my kids more, which is something I treasure. Not an easy juggle, as any mom knows, but so worth it.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?
That’s an excellent question because there are a lot of tough parts. The self-promotion ranks up there quite high because I have never exposed myself on the Net so much. I used to lurk in online writing communities, too afraid to actually say anything because I didn’t know if anyone wanted my opinion.
Another difficult part is that it has become a fulltime job on top of my two other fulltime jobs—I’m a freelance writer/editor and a work at home mom. Balancing it all can be a struggle, but it’s a welcome one.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?
I’d love to say rocket scientist, but since that is an absolute impossibility, I think I’d be a relationship therapist. I find people’s relationships fascinating, and I’ve been told I’m easy to talk to. I like to listen (and talk!) to people about their problems .

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
Juggling it all. Oops, I dropped my balls.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
This is such a hard question because there are so many that have touched me, and I’ve never forgotten them. I love both serious and funny books so I’d have to say Mercy Among the Children by David Adams Richards, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The Lorax by Dr. Suess and Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding.

Q.  Which part of your book was the easiest to write?
For me, the beginnings are always the easiest. Once I have that opening line, I just write and write. Of course, I change it all later!

Q.  Which part of your book was the hardest to write?
The ending. I had a few different versions until I finally chose the one that I liked the best.

Q.  Which character from any book are you most like?
I am probably a combination of all of the characters. I can be insecure like Jamie, a neurotic list maker like Derek, a bit flaky like Leah, talkative like Amy and like Lucy and Hanna, have no filter.

Q. Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind your book cover?
I have always liked simple, bright covers with an image or picture that hints at the story inside. I spent months thinking about what the cover should look like, and it was very hard for me because I am not a visual person at all. I can’t even draw a straight line. But, in the end, I wanted the three things that represent Jamie’s journey: her high school yearbook, a photo of Lucas and old letters he had written her.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
Summer! In Canada, we have about eight months of winter and an almost non-existent spring.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your books.
Well, Finding Lucas opens with quite a bang so I think it’s very funny when my parents’ friends tell me they’ve read the book, and then they look down at the floor, blushing, refusing to meet my eyes. But, I so appreciate that they bought and read it!

Q.  Are you working on something new?
Yes. I’m working on my second novel and hope to have it out by Christmas, but with my work and kids, it might be a bit later than that. It’s chick lit, but has a more serious tone than Finding Lucas. Anyone who has ever wanted to have a baby will relate to it. I hope!

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
I can’t thank you enough for your support, especially of indie authors. The readers, author friends, bloggers and reviewers who have bought and read Finding Lucas or who have welcomed me into their lives mean so much to me.


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Emily, AKA Mrs. Mommy Booknerd

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