Friday, October 20, 2017

At Last in Laguna by Claire Marti (VBT, guest post, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT



I have the pleasure of sharing this guest post by author Claire Marti (and kudos to her)




Cancer Made Me Do It: How I finished my first novel

By Claire Marti

Like many authors, I’m one of those people who always said they’d write a novel. Who dreamed of creating a romantic story that would transport readers from the challenges of their daily lives into another world where hope exists, love wins, and dreams are fulfilled.

Like many authors, this straightforward plan took a long winding path to fruition. Establishing a writing schedule around a full-time job, family responsibilities, and a busy life isn’t for the faint of heart. Oh, I procrastinated. If I could just retreat to a cabin in the mountains for a few weeks, I’m sure I could whip out a romance novel, how hard could it be?

I’ve had several careers, but psychiatrist wasn’t one of them. But, I know the answer. Fear. Fear of failure. So, I procrastinated. I never made the time or space. Writing was part of my career as an attorney and I free-lanced magazine articles about my other passions like health and wellness and animal welfare. In 2009, I made the move from the corporate world to teach yoga and Pilates and write. I had more time, but I didn’t take the leap.

Then, on January 2, 2010, I found a lump in my breast. Unleash the most unwelcome rollercoaster ride I’d ever experienced. Denial: how could this happen to me? I’m healthy. I’m too young. Anger: how could this happen to me? Why me? Acceptance: This disease is happening to me. How do I navigate two surgeries, six rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, and daily radiation for almost two months?

I began blogging. Stuck inside the house for more time than I care to recall, I wrote. I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly—cue the music from one of Clint Eastwood’s best westerns. I experimented and benefitted from many alternative therapies like yoga, acupuncture, meditation, juicing, and Reiki.

I found my voice. People connected to my brand of truth around the disease and the battle that is often pink-washed. Once, someone actually told me I was lucky to “just have breast cancer.” Mind you, this was on a day when I’d just lost a friend from the disease. She was thirty-three years old. I was compelled to speak up.

Sharing my journey helped me cope and I’m told from people who followed my journey, helped them cope and also helped them understand what a loved one was experiencing a little bit better. Encouraged to learn I could help others in this manner, I compiled and refined the blog entries into a memoir, Come Ride with Me Along the Big C.

It took me facing my own mortality to finally find my voice. I determined that one thing I would do, especially if my remaining time on the planet were cut short, was to write the damn romance novel. The Finding Forever in Laguna series was born. I began.

Resistance erupted from unlikely places. During my time with cancer, I began teaching yoga for cancer patients, created a DVD, and also co-created the largest yoga fundraiser in Southern California called Yoga for Hope, to raise awareness and funds for City of Hope, a national cancer center. I spoke at conferences and cancer events. How could I be so frivolous to scale back my volunteering and time to write a romance? Didn’t I have more serious work to do?

Well, as I explained to a dear friend, I consider writing romance novels serious work. Important work. When I traverse tough times, reading is my solace. My escape. Heck, reading is one of my greatest pleasures, period. If I can live within the pages of a beautiful story that transports me to a place where love wins despite great odds, my heart is strengthened.

My intention and greatest wish is that my stories will provide the same comfort and escape for readers. Currently, I love writing stories that are fun, sexy, light-hearted with underlying important themes like releasing the past. Come visit Laguna with me.




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by Claire Marti

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Alyssa Morgan has secretly been in love with her older brother Nick’s best friend, Brandt Dempsey, since she was an awkward, lonely teenager. When she catches the bouquet at Nick’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and propositions Brandt to a two-week fling. He’s tried to ignore how Alyssa has blossomed into a strong, talented, gorgeous woman because as his best friend’s baby sister, she’s off limits. 

After they share a mind-blowing kiss, Brandt struggles to fight their undeniable chemistry. His tragic childhood scarred him, but he pushes it deep inside, only allowing the world to see a wealthy, carefree entrepreneur. Forced to work together on Brandt’s latest charitable venture, Brandt and Alyssa’s passion cannot be denied. Alyssa knows he’s the one. Can she convince him they belong together?



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EXCERPT

She'd give him the cold shoulder if it killed her.

And it just might.

He’d rejected her, so why was he opening doors, hovering, and acting like a pest? Practically breathing down her neck. She could swear he’d sniffed her. Sniffed her. He couldn’t conceal his awareness. If he were so attracted to her, he would’ve agreed to her proposition, right? Since he’d shot her down in flames, he could at least have the decency to ignore her today. Rude, infuriating man.

Inhaling a deep cleansing breath, she forced herself to concentrate on the center. Sunlight streamed through the abundance of windows and along with the high ceilings imparted a feeling of freedom and space, perfect for the planned occupants. Because they’d decided to wait to obtain her input for the more specific room layout, the building’s interior remained a shell. She’d add to her brother’s amazing design and ensure Tearmann House’s beauty and serenity.

Serenity. What a concept. Ha.


Buy links:

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. At Last in Laguna is the second book in her Finding Forever in Laguna series from The Wild Rose Press.


Twitter:  @clairepmarti


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GIVEAWAY





a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here






31 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading about your book; congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  2. Well, it's the last day of your tour and I must say I've enjoyed meeting you and getting to know you and your book. Hope to see you on tour again soon.

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  3. Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today!

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    1. I'm always happy to host for someone from the Garden! Thank you so much for taking the time to interact with my visitors. I apologize for the time delay due to the moderation, but I have been hit by spammers this week! Good luck on the release and thank you for sharing your journey. Hugs!

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  4. I have enjoyed the tour, the book sounds great.

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  5. Good excerpt - men can be so infuriating .....lol...thanks for a chance at the giveaway

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    1. Men--can't live with them, can't live without them. :)

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    2. Of course, I am sure they find us women just as infuriating sometimes, lol. Thanks for coming by, Maria!

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  6. Love this post, Claire. Writing is a great way to get through tough times, and so is reading. I agree that by writing HEA novels, you're definitely going to help someone through their tough time.

    Best of luck with this latest release and your new career as a romance novelist!

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    1. Thanks Katie! I appreciate the support so much.

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    2. Thank you for visiting, Katie!

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  7. Your strength is inspiring. Good luck with the books!

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  8. I've enjoyed following the tour and learning about At Last in Laguna. All of the posts have been fun to read and I'm looking forward to checking it out myself. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks Victoria. I hope I've tempted you into reading it and if you love it, hopefully reviewing it too. :)

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    2. I always appreciate your visits, Victoria! Great to see you.

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  9. Great post, Claire. I had my own similar experience with cancer and then the loss of three loved ones -women around my age. It certainly concentrates the mind. Congratulations on the tour and your latest release.

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    1. Hi Charlotte, it definitely does help you focus or re-focus as the case may be on what is truly important. Thanks so much for checking in on the tour.

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    2. Sorry for your losses, Charlotte, and congratulations on beating the odds. Thank you for sharing.

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  10. I have enjoyed following this tour and look forward to checking out this book!

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  11. I found your story inspiring, Claire. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. Sadly, most of us have a close friend or family member who have suffered in some way from C. Each of their journeys are different, but i know from a dear friend, that sharing really helps make the load lighter. Wishing you so many good things with your new Laguna release. Best, Anni xx

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  12. I hear you, Claire. I was an outdoor person with camping, hiking, rafting, etc. Now I'm housebound in a wheelchair without too much hope I'll ever walk again. All I can say is do what you can and keep going. Life is not without challenges. Great looking book, btw.

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