Friday, November 27, 2015

The Evans Trilogy series: Set Me Free, Open My Eyes, and Bring Me Back by Jennifer Collin (VNBtM, guest post, excerpt and GIVEAWAY) GFT

I have the pleasure of having a guest post from author Jennifer Collin.  She answers...

What would be your dream place to visit and why?

Like many Australians, I’m reasonably well-travelled. There must be something about being stuck down here at the bottom of the earth that drives us to get on a plane and see the world. The characters in my Evans Trilogy have this is wanderlust as well. Book One, Set Me Free, opens with Charlotte returning from a jaunt to Italy, where, like I did many years ago, she walked the hiking trail along the Cinque Terra. Book Two, Open My Eyes, begins in Kyoto, Japan, another place I’ve visited that has stayed with me. And finally, half of the action in Book Three, Bring Me Back, takes place in New Zealand. My husband and I went to New Zealand on our honeymoon and we often daydream about relocating there.

I’ve ticked many places of my bucket list and most of them met my expectations. In addition to the above, some of my favorite places in the world include Ireland (just all of it), the Scottish Highlands, London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Amsterdam, Krakow (Poland), Prague, Tokyo and Hanoi (Vietnam).

I’ve had misadventures in Paris, where I was accosted beneath the Eiffel Tower by a man who wanted to take me back to his apartment, slip me into some silk trousers, and take photos of me with poking my bottom up in the air. Eww! There was also the time my friend and I were stumbling back to our hut in a northern Thai rice paddy field when two men in full military gear suddenly appeared out of nowhere to watch the spectacle of the drunk westerners. “Did you see that!” we stage-whispered to each other, giggling manically and completely oblivious to the danger we were in.

There are many places I still want to go. I want to see a white Christmas in Canada and pound the pavement in New York. I want to see the west coast of the USA and some of the big landmarks, like Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon. I want to go to Chile, and Brazil and Argentina. I want to see the craziness that is Mumbai (India) and waltz through the Winter Palace in St Petersburg (Russia). I want to see the Terracotta Army in Xian, China and the futuristic cities of Beijing and Shanghai. And I want to take my kids on safari somewhere in Africa and to the Great Pyramids in Egypt.

The world is such a big, beautiful place with so much to see, I’m not sure there is any one dream place for me. I want to see it all. But if I could check out for a few months to go anywhere I wanted to immerse myself in a novel, I dream of overlooking either the lush, green, rolling hills of Ireland in summer, or the snow-capped Remarkables in Queenstown, New Zealand, with a fire warming my back and a cat purring on my lap. Ahh…         


by Jennifer Collin


GENRE:  Chick Lit



Book 1: Set me free

Disastrous love life aside, Charlotte Evans is rather content with her life. Her quaint little art gallery is plodding along nicely, and her sister Emily’s artistic career is about to take off, thanks to her tireless promotion. She even gets to see her best friend every day and drink his delicious coffee in the cafĂ© next door.
But when dastardly property developer Craig Carmichael comes along, threatening to demolish her gallery and take everything away, Charlotte has an unexpected fight on her hands. Not only is she battling to stop Craig’s development, she’s also struggling against the mysterious magnetic pull that has her on a collision course with Craig himself.
Craig Carmichael is fighting the Battle for Boundary Street on more than one front. The tenants of the building he wants to knock down are mounting a strong case against him and in a hot-headed moment he put his career on the line for a project that is threatening to fail. If the project doesn’t succeed he will lose everything, but for some reason he’s having trouble maintaining his focus.
As their worlds begin to unravel around them, anyone could win. It’s what they might lose that has Charlotte and Craig wondering what it is they really want.

Book 2: Open My Eyes

Everything happens for a reason, they say. And sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions. Sleeping with her sister's best friend is one of the dumbest things soon-to-be divorcee Emily Evans has ever done. But she's determined to put it behind her and move on. She's walked away from her cheating husband, managed to make a new friend, and found herself a real job and somewhere to live so she doesn't have to couch-surf any more. Everything should be falling into place but for one problem – there are some mistakes from which you can't move on.
Meanwhile, Ben Cameron is getting on with his life. After all, it's the only thing to do once your heart has been stomped on by the woman of your dreams. Expanding his business and getting cosy with the girl next door are proving welcome distractions. He's even happy to babysit his nephew, as long as he can to hand him back when he's done! And thankfully, Emily Evans, the woman with the heavy boots, is avoiding him like the plague.

But Emily can't avoid him forever, and when she drops a bombshell that turns Ben's world upside-down, suddenly, getting on with his life takes on a whole new meaning.

Book 3: Bring Me Back
Andy Evans is on the move. For six long, lonely years, he’s been running from his past, leaving his family and his life as a drug-addicted rock star far behind. His latest move takes him to the sleepy seaside town of Oamaru, New Zealand, to sell cigar-box guitars to tourists. The only running he’ll need to do will be training for the half-marathon in nearby Dunedin. But when Andy sets eyes on Steampunk HQ, Oamaru's main tourist attraction, he realises his days of running might not be over, especially if a certain Steampunk fan from his past catches up with him.
Annie Martin is on the cusp of great success. Her career as a Steampunk academic is about to take off, as long as she can convince one disagreeable, New Zealand-based Professor to sign up to the anthology she’s putting together. Thankfully, Annie is a master at maintaining her poise and few people, no matter how nasty, can rattle her. Not any more. In fact, it’d been a good six years since anyone had gotten under her skin, after her best friend’s brother had vanished into thin air.
When Annie finds her future career on a collision course with her secret past, Andy Evans is the last person she expects to find tangled up in the mess. With a vengeful drug-dealer or two hot on his heels, and a vindictive academic determined to ruin her credibility, can Annie bring Andy back to his family before it’s too late? Annie and Andy are used to being alone, but if they don’t work together, there’ll be much more at stake than her livelihood and his sobriety.


Book 1 Set me free

‘You know I’m going to fight you in this development, don’t you?’
‘I do.’ 

They walked in silence until they rounded the corner into her street and crossed the road in front of her building.

Charlotte stopped. ‘You lied to me,’ she accused, finally seeking out his eyes.

‘No I didn’t. Not technically. I failed to tell you something, but I didn’t lie.’ Was he teasing her?

‘Same thing,’ she snapped. ‘I don’t like liars. And I’m not very fond of people who are out to ruin my life,’ she added.

‘I’m not going to ruin your life,’ he said, not looking away, holding her with his dark brown gaze.

‘Well that means that you are because you’re a liar.’

He chuckled softly and gently. ‘Your argument is not sound.’

Charlotte withheld a grin. He was right. She sounded like a petulant child. She decided not to bite back.

‘I’m going in now,’ she said. ‘Thanks for seeing me home, I guess.’

He shrugged. She paused, and her gaze fell on his lips. When the corners of his mouth started to turn, so did she, on her heel, to stomp up the stairs to her apartment.

‘Goodnight, Charlotte,’ he called.

Throwing him one final glare, she closed her door on him and made a beeline for the shower to wash away the sinful desire threatening her good judgment.  

Book 2 Open My Eyes

They walked back to the car, side by side, a little closer this time. It felt normal, like it used to be between them.  Comfortable and safe.  She reached for his arm and wrapped her fingers around his bicep, feeling his muscles twitch beneath her touch.  She rested her head against his shoulder.  He reached around her and pulled her closer, kissing the top of her head, sending a shower of tingles down her spine and all the way to her toes. Keeping her eyes on those toes, she soaked up his warmth.

When he pulled up outside her new home, he asked, ‘So, do you want to book in that shopping trip then?’

Emily didn’t want to get out of the car. She wanted to stay there with him. It was so quiet and peaceful and toasty. It felt like home.

Emily closed her eyes. She could hear the hum of the car engine, the faint sounds of the radio not quite turned all the way down. Another car drove past. And there was Ben’s breathing. The slow intake of air and the whisper of his exhalation.

There had been other days, other times like this, late last year after she split from Geoff, when Ben was the centre of her universe. Back then he was always there, when she didn’t even realise she needed him. Even before she split from Geoff he’d been there, always there to make her laugh, keep her company when she was lonely, amuse her when she was bored. Ben had always been there, but she hadn’t seen him until it was too late.

She could see him now.

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Book 3 Bring Me Back
‘You’ll be able to play that one day if you keep practising,’ David told him when he set the guitar down.

‘Do you think so?’

‘I do.’

‘I think my mum’s here,’ Genjii said, looking towards the door that led to the shopfront.

‘Is she? I didn’t hear the bell.’

‘She came in while you were playing.’

Guitar case in hand, Genjii led David through to the front of the shop. On the other side of the door, he stopped unexpectedly, and David crashed into him.

‘I guess it’s not your mum,’ David murmured, taking in the woman staring at the row of cigar box guitars on the wall. Another Steampunk freak, come to check out Oamaru’s famous HQ. David’s heart began to pick up speed. A handful of them had wandered in since he’d been in the shop and they’d put him on edge every time.

From behind at least, this one wore her Steampunk well; the corset cinching her waist rounded her hips nicely. Her long skirts brushed the floor. Unlike the others, who’d always seemed uncomfortable in their costumes, this one looked like she belonged in Victorian England. This one stirred memories of the Steampunk freak he’d left in his past, the one he didn’t want to see again. He shook his head and reminded himself the probability was low. Six months. He was only here for six months.

Then the woman turned around.

David’s heart stopped. His heart, which hammered constantly these days, even when he wasn’t running or remembering, just stopped beating. The rumble of his thoughts, the white noise he was never able to clear, fell into silence.

The woman froze, staring at him, brow gradually puckering. David knew he was staring back, but he was unable to tear his eyes away. It felt like minutes passed, but it must have been only seconds, before she stepped towards him.

‘Andy?’ she said. It came out in a gasp. Her chest rose and fell in short bursts, and the colour drained from her face. She swallowed. ‘Is it you?’


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jennifer Collin writes quirky, and sometimes gritty, love stories about ordinary people dealing with what life throws at them.

She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband, two noisy children and a cantankerous cat.

She used to party, but now her idea of a good time is an uninterrupted sleep. These days, her characters do her partying for her, and she doesn't necessarily let them sleep.




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  1. I enjoyed the post, sounds like a great trilogy, thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like an awesome trilogy. Loved the excerpts.

  3. Sounds like a great series, thanks for sharing the excerpts

  4. I love discovering new romance authors. This series is right up my alley. :)

  5. What are some of your favorite books?

  6. Love finding out about new Aussie authors and this series sound great.

  7. Wow! Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the guest post and all the excerpts. This book series sounds like such fun and interesting reads! Looking forward to checking out these books!

  8. I enjoyed all of the excerpts. Thank you.