May 1, 2019

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker - Spotlight

Book details
Series: London Celebrities (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Carina Press; Original edition (April 30, 2019)

Book description
In which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.

*if those people were being nice

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.

“There’s more drama offstage than on, the writing is outstanding, and the bit of mystery blends well into the romance. Theater fans will devour this lovely contemporary romance.”-Publisher’s Weekly, starred review, on The Austen Playbook

“The London Celebrities series-some of the wittiest, smartest dialogue to come down the romance pike in years.”-Kirkus ReviewS of London Celebrities series

Purchase Links
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Meet the author - Lucy Parker
Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Connect with Lucy
Website | Twitter | Instagram

1. THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK is book #4 in the London Celebrities series. Did writing any secondary characters inspire you to give them a standalone romance?
Yes! I don’t usually go into a new book with the intention of making a secondary character a future main character, but very shortly into the process of writing THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK, I realised that Freddy’s TV presenter older sister, Sabrina, was going to become the next heroine. And I’m very fond of Griff’s polar-opposite, charming, happy-go-lucky younger brother, Charlie, so I have an idea in mind for him as well.

2. If you could be cast in ‘The Austen Playbook’ live-action TV event, which Jane Austen character would you want to play?
I might have to go with Anne Elliot, just to be the recipient of Captain Wentworth’s infamous letter!

3. You’ve been teasing London Celebrities book #5 online, can you tell us anything about the next book?
The fifth London Celebrities book, HEADLINERS, is the story of Freddy’s sister, Sabrina, a fiery, sophisticated London TV host. Sabrina experiences some significant ups and downs in THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride to her happy ending in HEADLINERS, as she’s forced to form an alliance with her main professional rival and work towards a common goal. Neither trusts the other an inch, they’re used to trading barbs on air, and they’re increasingly frustrated as the public insist on believing that romance — and not mutual antipathy — is sparking.

4. How much of yourself is reflected in your books/characters?
People who’ve known me for a long time read the books and tell me they can strongly hear my voice in the narrative, so apparently the books reflect me quite a lot! Certainly, I think my sense of humour is threaded throughout the stories, and different sides of my own personality come out in various characters — including the grumpy ones! The character who I personally identify with most is Sophy, the heroine of ARTISTIC LICENSE, my first book, that I wrote under the penname Elle Pierson. She’s a shy introvert, and her inner struggles, the way in which she navigates her space…there’s a lot of me in Sophy.

5. What advice would you give to any aspiring romance writers out there?

Read. Read a lot. Work out what tropes and plot points you enjoy; and it’s a clichĂ©, but do write the book you would want to read. The story you’ve been wanting and can’t find. Nobody is going to read your book more times than you’ll have to throughout the writing process, nobody is going to spend more time in that world than you will, so make it a place you want to be. Make it a treat to return to it, a refuge from all the stressful things happening in your life outside of your book. Don’t think too much about possible rejections and bad reviews and all the rest of it until you’ve finished the book. One step at a time.

And if you can, find some writer friends online, because having that support community is invaluable.

6. Would you like to share a favorite moment from your writing career?
One favourite moment was discovering that somebody wrote a fanfic based on one of my books. I’ve been part of the fanfiction world for a long time; I honestly think it shaped me as both a person and a writer in my teens and early twenties, and it was a surreal moment for me to see that somebody cared enough about that book to invest their time and effort into revisiting the characters in a fic.

And having somebody with chronic illness tell me that my books are comfort reads for them. That’s a really big deal for me, and one of the best things I could hear, because as someone who also relies heavily on my comfort books as part of chronic illness management, I know how important it is to have that.

7. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
My favourite movie (or mini-series, technically) probably remains the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. A close runner-up is The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. My favourite TV shows are primarily British comedies like The Vicar of Dibley and Jeeves and Wooster, but I also love Gilmore Girls.

8. What would be your dream vacation?
Probably a couple of weeks during the summer in Oxford and Edinburgh. Although — those old classic mysteries where people went on tours around country estates and ate lots of scones and jam. Er, yeah, I would actually love that. Preferably minus the inevitable dead bodies that crop up in those books.

9. If you could host a dinner party with three fictional characters, who would you invite?
Dominique Richard from Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Touch, but only if he’s bringing a large selection of his chocolates for dessert. I’d better invite his heroine Jaime as well, because I don’t think he’d come otherwise. And Lucy Eyelesbarrow from Agatha Christie’s 4:50 From Paddington, because I want to know who she ended up marrying.

Lucy Parker’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Sunday, April 21st: @tlcbooktours – giveaway
Monday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 22nd: @_ebl_inc_
Monday, April 22nd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Tuesday, April 23rd: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Wednesday, April 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Thursday, April 25th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 25th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, April 26th: @book_hangover88
Monday, April 29th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, April 29th: Becky on Books
Tuesday, April 30th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, April 30th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, May 1st: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, May 1st: A Holland Reads – spotlight
Thursday, May 2nd: The Lit Bitch
Thursday, May 2nd: Amy’s Book-et List
Thursday, May 2nd: Fuelled by Fiction
Friday, May 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, May 3rd: Books & Bindings

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