"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!" (Mary Quallo, St Louis)

"Who in their right mind wouldn't want to read a book by Mark Barry!"  (Mary Quallo, St Louis)
Coming next week - Carla Eatherington

Monday, 16 June 2014

Rebecca Raisin launches The Bookshop on the Corner...around the Cauldron!

Sarah Smith had an addiction — she was addicted to romance novels. The meet-cute, the passion, the drama and the gorgeous men! Now this wouldn’t have been such an issue if she hadn’t been the owner of the only bookshop in Ashford, Connecticut.

Ever since her close friend Lil, from the Gingerbread Café, had become engaged she had been yearning for a little love to turn up in her life. Except Sarah knew a good man was hard to find — especially in a tiny town like Ashford. 

That was until New York journalist, Ridge Warner, stepped into her bookshop…

Love could be just around the corner for Sarah, but will she be able to truly believe that happy-ever-after can happen in real-life too?

Rebecca Raisin

"Hi Wiz. I’m a writer from Australia! Under this name, my real name, I write romantic comedy, often with a foodie theme. I’m a disorganised but happy mum of twin boys who are like mini-hurricanes (hmm there’s a story idea). And I love reading as much as I love writing. (Which is a lot!)"

Rebecca Raisin talked to the Wizard in January - Click HERE


Sample Extract from The Bookshop on the Corner by Rebecca Raisin

Snuggled in the cozy bay window of the bookshop, I looked up from my novel as the first golden rays of sunshine brightened the sky. Resting my head against the cool glass, I watched the light spill, as though it had leaked, like the yellows of a watercolor painting. Almost dawn, it would soon be time to switch on, and get organized for another day at The Bookshop on the Corner.
Every day I arrived at work a few hours prior to opening to read in the quiet, before customers would trickle in. I loved these magical mornings, time stolen from slumber, where I’d curl up with a book and get lost inside someone else’s world before dog-earing the page and getting lost in mine. Sure, I could have stayed in bed at home and read, but the bookshop had a dream-like quality about it before dawn that was hard to resist.

I turned back to the inside of the shop to watch shards of muted sunlight settle on piles of books, as if it were slowly waking them. The haphazard stacks seemed straighter, as if they’d decided when I wasn’t looking to neaten themselves up, dust their jackets off, and stand to attention. Maybe a customer would stumble across one of them today, run a hand lovingly across their covers, before selecting a book that caught their attention. Though my theory was books chose us, and not the other way around.

The bookshop was silent, bar a faint hum — were the books muttering to each other about what today would bring? Smiling to myself, I went back to my novel, promising myself just one more chapter.

When I looked up again the sun was high in the sky, and I’d read a much bigger chunk than I’d meant to. Some stories consumed you, they made time stop, your worries float into the ether, and when it came to my reading habits I chose romance over any other genre. The appeal of the happy ever after, the winsome heroine being adored for who she was, and the devastatingly handsome hero with more to him than met the eye tugged at my heart. And I’d read about them all: from dashing dukes, to cocksure cowboys, I never met one I didn’t fall for.

The sounds of the street coming alive filtered in, roller shutters retreating upwards, cheery shop owners whistling as they swept their front stoops. Lil, the owner of the Gingerbread Café across the road, arrived, hand in hand with her fiancé, Damon. They stood on the pavement in front of her café, and kissed goodbye, spending an age whispering and canoodling.

I tried to focus on my book, but couldn’t help darting a glance their way every now and then. Each morning they embraced almost as though they’d never see each other again, yet they worked only a few short steps away. It was as if they were magnetically drawn to each other; one step backwards would draw the other person forwards. I bet they couldn’t hear the sound of shops opening or cars tooting hello. They had their own kind of sweet music that swirled around them as if they were in some kind of love bubble.
Feeling as though I was intruding on a private moment, I swiveled away from the window and padded bare foot down to the back of the bookshop to make more coffee. My feet found the familiar groove in the wood; the path was so well trodden it was bowed. The feel of the polished oak underfoot with its labyrinth-type trails exposed around stacks of books was comforting. It’d weathered traffic for so long it was indelibly changed by it.

Taking the pot of coffee to the counter, I poured a cup, and sipped gingerly. Lately, I’d felt a little as though I was at a crossroads. You know that frustrating feeling of losing the page in your book? You didn’t want to go too far forward and spoil the surprise, and you didn’t want to go too far back, so you kind of stagnated and started from a page that didn’t seem quite right, but you read it a few times just to convince yourself…that was how I felt about my life. A little lost, I guess you could say.

Ashford was buzzing with good news recently, love affairs, weddings, babies, but I was still the same old Sarah, nose pressed in a book, living out fictional relationships as if they were my own. I was waiting for something to find me. But what if that something never came?

What did heroines do when they felt like that? Broaden their horizons? I imagined myself swapping Ashford for Paris, because of the bookshops and the rich literary history. But really, I’d never ventured far from my small town, and probably never would. My bookshop was a living, breathing thing to me, and there was no one to look after it even if I did want to do something spontaneous. Should I take up a hobby? I’d be the girl stuck line dancing with the octogenarian. Instead of dreaming of the impossible, I set about opening the shop, and shelved that line of thought for another time.


What’s the difference between working for a publisher and doing it yourself? What are the perks? 

I’ve never self-published, so I can only guess, but for me – a complete techno-phobe –   I can imagine trying to format, or whatever it is you actually do to get the words in a book and uploaded, as some kind of special hell. I have a unique ability to destroy any techy-device simply by sitting near it. 

"You may not believe me, but I’m up to my third e-reader in two weeks…and this THIRD one has problems but I’m too scared to take  it back in case they think I’m some kind of  munchausen e-reader weirdo." 

Already it’s been asked if the sales guy is cute… It’s a sales girl, and she’s been very understanding, but still! But back to the question at hand…I LOVE my publisher, and especially my editor. I think I’m really lucky because we have the same vision for future stories, and are working to certain goals. 

Her skills in bringing the story back into focus, are amazing, (as you can see above it doesn’t take a lot to get me side tracked) and when we edit, we go back and forth a number of times, until we’re both happy.  I guess the best part is, I trust her decisions one hundred percent, so it makes what can be a tricky process, easy. 

I love bookshops. Do you have one near you? Or are they an endangered species?
I have the BEST bookshop a few minutes away from my house. And it’s not just about the books but the people who sell them. The girls from my local Dymocks are so sweet, and I visit them at least once a week and talk about well…myself. I was in there last weekend with my family, and pointed to a well-known book and said, “Oh I know that author on Facebook!” 

And my partner shook his head and said, “You are SUCH a name dropper.” 
But the girls are just as enthusiastic about writers and it’s a nice place to visit and buy books. 

Which do you prefer? E-book or paperback
Both! When my e-reader works, I really enjoy reading on it – I guess IT decides what I’ll be reading, and when.  

Who is your favourite character in ANY book? And who is your favourite character in YOUR books?
I’d have to say Bridget Jones, she is just SO relatable. And hilarious. And makes us mere mortals feel like any embarrassing or awkward situation can be turned into a great story over drinks with the besties. 

In my books, hmmm, it was CeeCee, my no-nonsense funny southern woman, but now I think Sarah might have claimed the title! I think anyone who loves reading will find common ground with Sarah, and I’m no different. I relate to all her book-ish foibles, and falling in love with fictional characters. I mean, I actually fall in love with fictional characters I write – I throw them into conversation, and day dream about what they’re doing – then with an almighty thud I’m back to reality when I remember they’re not real. It’s a little odd. 

Can you share with us your bookcase? Photo – forget this one if you don’t have a bookcase
These are two out of the 12 bookcases I have! We are in the process of building a library, so I have books all over the place. As you can see I really do like books more than shoes.

What are you reading at the moment? What music are you listening to? What was the last film you saw?
I’ve just finished “My Salinger Year” and I really loved it! 

And on the e-reader “Not Quite Perfect” by Annie Lyons, which I’m loving! 

The last film was, sigh, Frozen. If you like I can belt out ‘Let it go’ I know all the words…

I understand you have a naughty novella out there you have been keen to bury in the sagebrush? Or am I misinformed?

Ha ha!!! I knew, KNEW, this would come up (err) eventually! 

Yes, I have a 10K story called The Heart of Bali, which was my first foray into romance writing…I kind of thought you had to write sex back then. So I did. 

And to this day I blush when it’s even mentioned. Mainly because I used the term WET FOLDS. It’s just easier if I get it out there. There. Now you know. 

Rebecca is featured in Maestro's of Modern Romance - Click HERE

And finally, what do fans of Rebecca Raisin have to look forward to next?

Next, is a SWEET romance! The final book in The Gingerbread café series. It’s set over Christmas and has a few big surprises! I’ll be so sad to say goodbye to these characters, so I imagine there’ll be lots of tears when I type The End. But they’ll make cameos in other stories…I am sure! 

See you later, Rebecca. Best of luck with The Bookshop on the Corner!

Thanks for having me, Wiz! You’re the best! 

Find The Bookshop on the Corner here:

Find Rebecca here:

The Bookshop on The Corner blog: http://thecornerbookshop.wordpress.com/

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