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Monday, January 29, 2018

London, Can You Wait? by Jacquelyn Middleton - Book Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Review by Anniek

Alex believed that she could do it and she did. She's living in London and is a playwright. The play she wrote has been doing well and now the public is awaiting her next success. When Alex first arrived in London she had an awful start, but she's found great friends and has been in a steady relationship with Mark. Mark is everything Alex ever dreamed about and their relationship moves to the next level when she meets his family. Is Mark the happily ever after she always hoped she'd find?

Mark is an actor and when a role in a British TV show hits it big he becomes famous overnight. This means that Alex has to share Mark with the public and this is not always easy. Mark is away a lot and he finds it difficult to say no to the suggestions of his agent. Now that Mark is a big star his life is looking bright and positive. Alex has had problems with anxiety attacks before and they've come back with a vengeance. Not wanting to ruin Mark's success she keeps this from him. How much will Alex keep to herself before she has to make a choice to bend or break?

Alex is such a sweet and kind person. She is also terribly naive, but she knows this about herself. She always gives everything in relationships and friendships, only to get hurt most of the time. She struggles with her self-confidence. Her mother isn't supportive of her choices and Alex has a hard time dealing with the emotional consequences. Mark has been her rock and I loved how caring they are towards each other. Alex is not afraid to be tough when she needs to be, but this often costs her a lot. Mark has been hiding a secret and I was hoping for him to find the courage to tell Alex what happened in the past.

London, Can You Wait? is a beautiful love story about two people who are so right for each other. I always love to read stories which are based in London. I've been there several times and all of my wonderful memories came to the surface while I was reading London, Can You Wait? Jacquelyn Middleton's writing is realistic and I could easily sympathize with the main characters. I loved her debut novel London Belongs to Me and with London, Can You Wait? Jacquelyn Middleton has written another great story that I highly recommend. London, Can You Wait? is a delightful story with fascinating main characters, many interesting emotional layers and brilliant writing.

Advice

London, Can You Wait? is the second book in the London Belongs to Me series. It can be read as a standalone, but if you want Alex's complete story you should start with London Belongs to Me. These stories are the perfect choice for readers who love romantic stories set in London. 

About Jacquelyn Middleton


Hey guys! My name is Jacquelyn but feel free to call me Jackie. Everyone does! As a little kid who was just learning how to write, Jacquelyn felt so long and complicated. Add in my surname and it’s even longer. My mum didn’t want my name shortened, but it ended up that way. It was just easier and the shortened name stuck. I did make a promise to myself though that if I wrote a novel, I would use my ‘proper’ name. My mum always believed in me, always said I would write a book, so I feel like I’m honouring her by using the name she so lovingly bestowed on me. I’ve dedicated London Belongs to Me to her. She passed away a few years ago, and I miss her every day. I hope that she’s proud of me. I did it, Mum!

I live in Toronto with my British husband and Schipperke dog. I’ve spent most of my adult life working in television (at CHUM Television: Citytv and MuchMusic; and at Alliance Atlantis Broadcasting: Discovery Health Channel, Slice, and National Geographic Channel), but I’ve been writing full-time now for about eight years. In that time I have won several national writing awards and have been published by several of the most popular magazines, newspapers, and websites in North America including USA Today, Canadian Living, Best Health, National Geographic Travel, The Toronto Star, Psychology Today, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, and Flare. I’m also the creator of AUTHORS CELEBRATING AUTHORS, a column in my blog featuring Q&As with my favourite authors. K.A. Tucker, Jill Santopolo, and Penelope Douglas have been among my esteemed guests.

Pop culture favourites—I have so many! Sherlock, Humans, Doctor Who, Outlander, Riverdale, Gossip Girl, and Gilmore Girls live on my iPad. I love hockey and soccer/football, comic cons, and have an unhealthy fascination with London, England. Music is also a huge part of my life. I even named both London Belongs to Me and London, Can You Wait? after favourite songs (by Saint Etienne and Gene, respectively and yep, they’re from London, of course!). Give me British milk chocolate, magazines, and tickets to a play, and I’m a happy girl.

I’m a proud member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Canadian Authors Association, and the Romance Writers of America.

London Belongs to Me is my debut novel. If you want to read more about how it almost didn’t happen, check out my blog post about how the book came to be. My second book, London, Can You Wait? was published on October 26, 2017. It can be read as a stand-alone novel; however, if you’ve read London Belongs to Me, you will have a deeper understanding of the characters and their world in London, Can You Wait?. Because there are more sexy times in London, Can You Wait?, I would recommend it for readers 16+.

Links

Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Interview

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Jacquelyn Middleton and I’m an award-winning writer and author living in Toronto, Canada. I’m a stereotypical Canadian in that I love hockey (Go Leafs Go!), Tim Hortons donuts, and say “sorry” far too much, but my heart belongs to London. I’ve visited more than thirty times and feel most at home there. My husband is from England and we live in Toronto with our very crazy and clever Schipperke dog. I love books, movies, am addicted to Doctor Who, Sherlock, Outlander, and Humans, and have a thing for chocolate and cheese (but not together—never together).

2) Could you describe the main characters of London, Can You Wait? in six words each?

I love this question! It sounds like one of the things I do to create my characters! Before I start my books, I write detailed ‘bibles’ on each character, answering a laundry list of questions as well as discovering their main traits, flaws, wounds, and what they think of the other characters. As per your request, in six words, my characters are:

Alex Sinclair: introverted, creative, courageous, anxious, strong, impatient

Mark Keegan: charismatic, loving, kind, forgetful, patient, workaholic

Lucy Hardy: outspoken, loyal, honest, spunky, pushy, protective

Freddie Ryan: funny, tolerant, charming, nosey, extroverted, flirty

Simon Desjardins: mature, loyal, smart, opinionated, creative, secretive

Harry Manville: loyal, generous, confident, hospitable, happy, oblivious

Tom Chadwick-Smythe: flirty, lazy, funny, sensual, friendly, playful

Niamh Keegan: kind, loving, sensible, sentimental, nurturing, decisive

3) How did your writing journey start?

As much as I’ve always loved books growing up, I never wrote stories. I liked to draw cartoons and at first I thought I would be a cartoonist. But when I drew my cartoon characters (and I still have the binders full of characters—over a hundred), I also made up stories and created my own little comic books, so I was writing in a roundabout way. Through school, I was all about writing articles for the school newspaper and that journalist spark almost led me to a journalism career, but I ended up heading for TV instead. I did my first professional writing for one of the TV channel’s websites and from there my freelance writing career took off. When freelancing grew quiet due to magazine layoffs and budget cuts, I decided to make that leap and try writing a novel. London Belongs to Me was the end result and a happy one, too! It’s sold thousands of copies around the world and I’ve received fanmail from the most incredible readers in the US, Canada, the UK, Estonia, Slovakia, Argentina, Mexico, Germany, Spain, France, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and more—it’s been amazing and I’m so thankful.

4) Do you have a specific writing routine?

I make a point of writing every day. Most of my life, I worked in television broadcasting, so when I switched gears and became a freelance writer working from home, it took some adjustment. It’s so easy to go fold laundry, play with the dog, or organize your closet when you’re at home and should be writing. So many distractions! But I think my years freelance writing were great training for being an author—they got me into the habit of having a definite writing schedule at home and I rarely deviate from it. I write during regular business hours. I also write on weekends and major holidays—I even wrote for an hour or so on Christmas day. But I’ll never be one of those writers nursing endless coffees at the local café, though. The bustle in a coffee shop would be too distracting and I wouldn’t be able to concentrate. Plus, cookies and muffins…my weakness. Must. Stay. Away.

I also think writing isn’t just sitting at your laptop. I come up with some of my best ideas when I’m not at the computer. Ideas seem to come to me while I’m on the treadmill, listening to music, in the bath, walking the dog…doing tasks that let your mind wander are great for creating characters, stories, and twists. I also listen to people when I’m out and about. You never know when you’ll hear a great piece of dialogue you can use.

5) On your blog you do Authors Celebrating Authors. Which I absolutely love!
How did you come up with such a fantastic idea?

Thanks so much! I’m glad you like it. Yeah, I’m a total bookworm and I fangirl over so many authors. Too many times I stay up super late, reading until I finish a great book and then I’m left with an epic book hangover. Ugh! All I want to do is talk about the characters, the plot—spend more time in that book’s world. I just don’t want to leave the characters behind!

Authors Celebrating Authors was my way to feed that need, and I knew if I felt that way about books, my fellow readers would, too. I’m still new to this whole author thing so I’m jaded or beyond gushing over people who inspire me, so I thought, why not use your author platform to shine the light on fellow authors? I think we are at our best when we look outward and applaud others. In this age, we can be so me, me, me with social media. It’s nice to celebrate someone other than ourselves and let them speak about their art and creative process. To date, I’ve featured Q&As and signed book giveaways with Nicole Trilivas, Jill Santopolo, K.A. Tucker, Karen Swan, and Penelope Douglas. I still have pinch me moments because I adore all of these women and it’s been such a treat speaking with them. To read about the fabulous authors I’ve featured so far, please visit my website at www.JacquelynMiddleton.com and click on the blog link.

6) If your book was made into a movie, who would play the lead characters and why?

I’ll never tell! When I’m writing, I cast people as my characters all the time, but I never share that info. Why? Readers create the characters they want to see in their own minds and I would hate to tell them “no, you’re wrong. She’s this person.” One of my favourite authors once mentioned who she saw as the male love interest in one of her books and I didn’t agree at all. In a way, it kind of ruined who I saw in my own mind, so I vowed never to share my character picks—unless someone guesses, and so far, only one person has correctly identified one of my characters.

7) What makes your heart beat faster?

Visiting London! Going to plays, seeing my favourite bands, exploring New York City, when the Toronto Maple Leafs or Manchester United win! New episodes of my fave TV shows, hearing a new song from my favourite bands for the first time, making a genealogy breakthrough, reuniting with friends who live half a world away, playing with my dog, spending time with friends and family, and my lovely husband. He’s my best friend and so much more.

8) You write romantic stories, what does true love mean to you?

I love romantic stories and putting happiness out into the universe. There’s so much bad, scary news out there, it’s nice to escape. That said, my books aren’t all sunshine and roses. Romance is messy, angsty, and often painful, and my books show all that for better or for worse. The show love realistically.

True love is several things to me. It’s people who always have you in their hearts. You might not see them every day, but they make sure you know you’re loved through texts, cards, even a funny GIF. My husband and I had a long-distance relationship for several years (before Skype, and before I owned a cell phone or laptop), so I know firsthand if you care for someone and can’t be with them, there are ways to stay connected and let them know you care. I also think true love is someone who supports and loves you through the triumphs and the tragedies. People who don’t scatter when the going gets tough, and that can be romantic love, family love or platonic love between friends. People who listen and show up when you need them—that’s true love to me.

9) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I know everyone says just write, but it’s true. I wanted to write a book for ages and it was one of those things that was on my to-do list and never happened. You have to make the time to write. Now three years later, I have created this world of characters who feel like old friends—I love them so much. Writing my two books was such a joy—sure, there were tears and lots of anxiety along the way, but it was such an amazing experience, and now my two books have earned amazing Kirkus and RT Book reviews, received awesome author blurbs, and have connected with readers around the world. I am so grateful to everyone who has read my books and helped spread the word through word of mouth, blogs (like yours!), YouTube, and Instagram. To think I could still be procrastinating right now! So, my fellow authors out there…stop procrastinating, just do!

I also think writers shouldn’t give up if they aren’t signed by an agent or a traditional publisher. There’s more than one route to becoming a published author these days. Trust your talent, persist, and forge your own path if you desire to do so—that’s what I’m doing as an indie. Indie books and authors are thriving, and sometimes do much better than many traditionally published works. Your readers are out there, trust me. It’s a ton of work—it’s not easy—but if you like having control over covers, release dates, and marketing, it’s a good path to take. And it’s so satisfying when a reader tells you they loved your book. All that effort is so worth it.

Even if you don’t sell millions (very few writers do), or end up on the ‘best of the year’ lists (which are totally subjective), you will have created something special from your heart. It’s yours!

10) What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m currently working on my third novel, another contemporary romance scheduled for release fall 2018. It’s not a continuation of London, Can You Wait?, but it takes place in the same world, so the characters you know and love from London Belongs to Me and London, Can You Wait? might be mentioned and some may show up and say hi!

Giveaway

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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive signed paperback copies of London Belongs to Me and London, Can You Wait? & three exclusive bookmarks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

30 comments:

  1. These sound like wonderful books, I like that they take place in London.

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  2. Both books sound like they have all the markings of a great chick-lit story with just the right combination of adventure, romance and strife, as well as given a look into modern London life.

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  3. I love that the author is from Canada but writes about England (London). I love all things British and I live in Texas, so people don't always understand! :)

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  4. Thanks for the introduction to this book.

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  5. Sounds like an awesome read! Wpuld love to get my eyes on it.

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  6. This looks like a lovely series.

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  7. These sound like really good books to delve into. I had to check out what a Schipperke dog was, that was interesting too. :-)

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  8. Awww, the love stories sound so sweet, and it's wonderful to hear that your husband is your best friend!! :D Mine is too!! ^_^ Thanks so much for the encouragement about writing. I feel the same way - I don't want to be super famous; what I want is to share the stories I love with people who appreciate them, and make people happy through them. :D So glad the indie route is out there. Maybe one day soon...!! ;) Take care, Jackie, and have a lovely 2018! :)) xx

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  9. Sounds like a good book and I'm so in love with the cover..

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  10. love a good romance, especially this time of year! xx

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  11. Always great to read about the author. Great review

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  12. My kind of books - Thanks for the chance

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  13. Adding to my TBR list! Sounds so good.

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  14. Sounds lovely!! I love romances i would definitely check this one!

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  15. I've been looking forward to read this ones

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  16. I like that your stories show real life love.

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  17. I've been looking forward to reading these since the first one came out but I've never been able to get my hands on them! lol They sound like amazing books.

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  18. I love books set in London, I don't know why, because it's not a city I like to visit...

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  19. I've read the sample of this book on my Kindle and I'm in love with it! I love London and I hope to visit one day hopefully soon!

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  20. This sounds like a wonderful book 🙌

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  21. Oh this sounds so good! Jacquelyn Middleton is a new author for me! Both of these look like something I would LOVE!

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  22. This sounds like a great book, looking forward to reading it :)

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