Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for Stranded in Love by Victoria Grant. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Follow the blog tour by clicking on the banner image above. Commenting on blogs increases your chance of winning. Please only comment once per blog (unless it’s active conversations with an author, multiple comments from the same person will be deleted.)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
If a gold medal was awarded for Worst Day Ever, Laney Calderone would win it today, hands down. She’s just discovered she’s pregnant, her fiancé abruptly dumps her when she tells him, and her new car refuses to start as a brutal snowstorm hits Toronto.
Good Samaritan Tyler Hammond offers to take her home; however, with the heavy snow falling and his patience dwindling, Laney’s gold medal day isn’t over yet.
Storms intensify both outside and in as Laney finds herself inexplicably attracted to this tall, dark and very handsome but infuriating stranger.
Can Laney fight her unwanted yet increasing desire for this man long enough to get through the relentless storm? And will Tyler let her walk out of his life as easily as she came into it?
Please tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired the themes in your story?
Stranded in Love is about two people who try their hardest not to fall in love. How can they? Their lives are in turmoil. Laney’s just found out she’s pregnant and her fiancé dumps her when he finds out. Tyler’s divorce is not proceeding at all well, and his business is losing clients. When they get stuck together during the worst snowstorm of the decade, the electricity goes out but the sparks fly.
The primary theme in the novel was inspired by real life events of a former colleague. Her story had a happy ending, and so does Stranded in Love, but not before Laney and Tyler experience all the highs and lows that come with risking everything to fall in love.
Do you outline before you write? or just dive right in?
I outline and plan. A lot. For my Calderone Family Romance Series, I created spreadsheets for the entire family (including their likes/dislikes, birthdates, what car they drive, etc.), I even have a seating plan for the huge Calderone dining room table – just so I can see at a glance where each character sits (it has to be the same for every novel or it would be too confusing for the reader). I also have spreadsheets for each individual novel focusing on plot lines and family dynamics. I may never put some of this information in the book, but I find it helps that I know it.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading?
To get my romance/chic lit fix, I adore Sophie Kinsella and Jennifer Crusie. In the mystery genre, I enjoy reading Martha Grimes, Elizabeth George and fellow Canadian Louise Penny.
Currently I’m in the middle of the Fifty Shades series because…well, I had to read it eventually, right? J
If you could visit any setting from one of your books, which one would it be and why?
I would love to have a grand tour of the Calderone family mansion. I see it very clearly in my mind’s eye, but to actually step through those double doors into the fabulous white marble floored entrance hall, to see the white concert grand piano at its center, framed by two winding staircases – it would be a sight to behold.
This entrance hall plays a key role in every book of the series. I’ll even drop a mega-hint and tell you that one of the brothers exchanges wedding vows in this entrance hall on Christmas Eve. It’s spectacular!
Who are your celebrity inspirations? If you were to cast your characters, which actors would you choose?
I think all celebrities can be an inspiration for me, it just depends on what specific attributes I’ll need for my next character.
If I were to cast the characters from Stranded in Love, I would choose the beautiful actress Julie Gonzalo as Laney Calderone and the handsome Henry Cavill as Tyler Hammond. For Laney’s parents, I know Susan Sullivan and James Brolin are perfect. Laney’s eldest brother, Stephen, could be played by the good-looking Dylan McDermott. For Laney’s ex-fiancé, Ramone DeSantis, I think Nicholas Gonzales works well, and for Tracy, Tyler’s soon-to-be ex-wife, I like Nina Dobrev.
How do you come up with the names of your characters?
I scan the credits when I watch movies and television shows. If I see a name that’s unique, I add it to my Name Lists – one for heroes, one for heroines. I’ve always been a very organized person (I was a wedding planner for six years and in that job, you absolutely have to be organized to stay on top of things), so lists are my life. I have lists of colours too – for eyes, hair, skin tone. You name it, I’ve probably got a list for it.
Name one item you can’t live without.
My laptop. Not only does it enable me to create my story almost as fast as the ideas pop into my head (I’m a pretty fast typist), but it’s my connection to the world. Being a writer can be a lonely occupation, so to be able to connect with my family, friends and fans through social media any time, is such fun and I enjoy every minute of it!
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to read (I’m a firm believer that you can’t be a good author unless you love reading), I also enjoy crocheting, my grandma taught me when I was 10. And I love to plan and host theme parties and I’m a pretty good cook, too. My specialties are a dynamite five cheese lasagna and a wickedly decadent chocolate trifle.
If you were presented with the opportunity to travel through time, which period would you choose and why?
Great question! I’d love to travel back to Hollywood in the 1930s and 40s. I’m a huge Cary Grant fan and love the movies he made back then. I’m also a Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers admirer (which comes through in Stranded in Love) and a Bogie & Bacall addict, too, so to actually see any of these iconic stars in action or meet them face to face would be truly amazing.
What’s next for you?
The Calderone Family Romance Series will continue with Book #2, Write to Love. It’s scheduled to be available next year, and tells the story of the youngest brother, Noel, and the family matters that intervene when he finds the love of his life – mystery author KC Dunlop.
I’m currently working on Book #6, the final book in this series, which tells the story of the parents, Eve and Boyd, and the obstacles they had to overcome to have their happily ever after.
Thanks so much for letting me be part of your Blog, I enjoyed my visit!
They finished their lunch without any conversation, just enjoying the music. Laney got up to clear away her dishes, and as she neared the counter, she felt Tyler’s hand on her shoulder. She turned to see his smiling face.
“Come dance with me,” he said softly. He took her hand, as his mesmerizing energy propelled her down the kitchen steps and into a dream world. Spellbound, she felt his skilful arms take control, one sliding firmly around her lower back, the other gently clasping her hand. They began to sway to the music and Laney felt his body stir and seductively caress hers as they moved effortlessly around the room, his tempting scent swirling around her. Laney closed her eyes filling her senses with this wondrous moment.
The song ended and she opened her eyes to find Tyler staring at her. He bent slightly and lowered his lips to hers.
Laney waited for her offended sense of decency to come storming through and push him away, but instead, her arms found their way around his neck, fully savouring the sensation of his strong body pressed against hers. Unlike his first kiss, which was rough and raw, this one was warm and soft. His tongue tenderly probed her mouth sending a provocative invitation to all her senses. Her knees nearly buckled as she answered his invitation. Tyler sensed her hunger, caressing her tenderly in his arms. She moaned softly and felt him shudder slightly as he moved his body closer to hers in a fascinating rhythm.