Spotlight & Author Interview: Ten Thousand I Love Yous + Giveaway

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Book Title:  Ten Thousand I Love Yous

by Lisa Slabach
Category: Adult Fiction 18+, 303 pages 
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher:  BookBaby
Release date:  February 2022
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M for handful of f-bombs and semi-explicit sex scenes; mature themes discussing sexual mores and adult relations; no abortion, violence or abuse.

Book Description:

In this humorously touching novel by the critically acclaimed author of Degrees of Love, a woman is blindsided when her high school sweetheart abandons her after eighteen years of marriage.

At sixteen, Kimberly Kirby thought the only thing she needed to be perfectly happy was to spend the rest of her life with Jay Braxton. Twenty years later, she still believes it. As they proudly watch their daughter, Haley, graduate from high school, she imagines her life is as perfect as anyone could reasonably expect. Jay is a formidable attorney, she a freelance writer, and their love as strong as ever. With Haley heading to UC Berkeley in the fall, Kimberly fantasizes about making love on the kitchen table. She has no clue that Jay’s bags are already packed.

Now divorced and determined to squelch her love for Jay, she accepts a gig writing a sex and dating blog for divorcees. As the Virgin Dater, she is on the hunt for love. No-strings-attached nights with a sexy fireman and moving to San Francisco are just what she needs to boost her battered ego and mend her shattered heart.

But just as she falls hard for a talented young chef, Jay fights to win her back. Torn between her bold new life and the comfort of Jay’s strong arms, she questions if there is too much to forgive. The ten thousand I love yous that had passed Jay’s lips can’t be dismissed, but nor can her newfound freedom and the knowledge that her happiness doesn’t depend on Jay.

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Author Interview:

What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

When my husband was in law school, I was the sole support for our family. At the time, I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue and made good money by retail standards and had a killer wardrobe thanks to a clothing allowance that was part of my compensation package. But I struggled to make ends meet with two toddlers in daycare and living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I took a risk, quit my salaried position, and in hope of making more money, accepted a straight commission sales position in the financial industry. I barely had enough banked to float us until my first commission check. Thankfully, it worked out!

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Yes, I wear many hats. I’ve worked in the financial industry for over twenty years and currently am a Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. I took a three-year hiatus from corporate life a few years ago and did a lot of writing and launched an on-line book business, which is still in operation. I keep telling myself that I’ll close down the book biz to give myself more time to write, sleep, and spend time with my hubby, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Where did you get your idea for Ten Thousand I Love Yous?

Growing up in a small farm community, many classmates and extended family married straight out of high school and started having children right away. Not all pairings ended well, but most couples I know have had successful lives and strong marriages. Marrying young doesn’t have to be a recipe for disaster. I thought it would be an interesting scenario to explore but with twist: what would it be like to split from the one and only person you’ve seriously been with?

Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?

The hardest character to write was Jay. The book starts with him leaving Kimberley, which completely crushes her. It would have been easy to leave him as a hateful ex who has wronged our gal, but I wanted him to be a good person who made a bad choice while going through a difficult time of life. The crawl back to show that he is a good guy while keeping him real and believable was a tough task. What made it even harder was having the entire story told from Kimberley’s point of view.

The easiest character was Joshua. From the time I started penning the novel, I could see and hear him clearly in my mind and knew exactly what purpose he served in the story. Of course, I love Joshua. He is also one of my favorite characters. The biggest challenge I had with him was trying to make him a little less perfect without blowing up his character.

Ten Thousand I Love Yous has been categorized as both Women’s Fiction and Romance. Which do you think it is?

I love a good Romance as much as anyone and understand why some reviewers reference the book as a Romance. It has romantic elements with an interwoven love story, but I wouldn’t classify it as Genre Romance. In my humble opinion, the focus of a traditional Romance is two people falling in love and overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles to be together. The struggle to unite is the main conflict. Ten Thousand is more about Kimberly’s personal journey and growth—more character drive than plot driven. Her happily-ever-after ending is not a forgone conclusion.

What advice would you give to help others create plotlines?

As an acting student, I had a great professor who encouraged his students not to decide what their characters wouldn’t do. The idea was to let the characters take over and react in the moment to what is in front of you. I think the same principle applies to writing fiction. It is very important to ask, “what if” and not decide what a character absolutely would or would not do. As one of my characters states, “… I really don’t know what I’m capable of until I’m in the situation.” It’s that unpredictability that keeps a story exciting.

Meet the Author:

Ten Thousand I Love Yous is Lisa Slabach’s second novel.

Prior to publication, her first novel, Degrees of Love was recognized as a Best Book of 2014 by Kirkus Review. Degrees of Love made its publishing debuted December 1, 2017 and was nominated for a 2017 Reviewer’s Choice Award by RT Book Reviews.

In addition to writing, Lisa is a Fintech Relationship Executive for a Fortune 500 Company. She is a long-time resident of Northern California and lives with her husband, one-hundred-forty-pound puppy and numerous goldfish. In her free time, she enjoys wine tasting, shopping with her daughters, and cooking in her pink kitchen.

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Tour Schedule:

Mar 28 –
Working Mommy Journal – book review / giveaway

Mar 28 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Mar 28 – Kam’s Place – book review
Mar 29 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 30 – Ravenz Reviewz – book review / author interview / giveaway
Mar 31 –The Phantom Paragrapher – book spotlight / giveaway
Mar 31 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Mar 31 – JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 5 – My Fictional Oasis – book review / giveaway
April 5 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 6 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 7 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
April 8 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
April 8 – Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
April 11 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
April 12 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – book spotlight / giveaway
April 12 – @twilight_reader – book review / giveaway
April 13 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
April 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway
April 14 – The Page Ladies – book review
April 15 – Bookish Trisha – book review / author interview / giveaway
April 19 –Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / giveaway
April 20 – mysweetenedlifebychix – book review / giveaway
April 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
April 21 – My Reading Getaway – book review
April 21 – The Eclectic Review – book review / giveaway
April 22 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway
April 22 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:


Spotlight & Excerpt: The Nantucket Beachfront Inn + Giveaway

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The Nantucket Beachfront Inn
(Sconset Beach Book One)
by Ainsley Keaton
Genre: Women’s Fiction

She’s 54, broken-hearted, and starting over….

High-powered New York attorney Ava Flynn finds herself without a job or a future. Unemployable at her age, and broken-hearted by a husband who left her in the lurch, she desperately needs a Plan B. Her prayers are answered when a wealthy benefactor wills her a large house in the ‘Sconset Beach area of Nantucket. She heads out to the picturesque New England island with her two best friends, Luna and Mila, going along for the ride.

One catch…her estranged daughter also lives there. Charlotte Killeen, Ava’s daughter, is battling a crisis of her own. Her new husband, Matthew, wants a divorce, even though the couple have a newborn baby. Charlotte needs her mother more than ever, but the two have never seen eye to eye. Her marriage on the rocks and with few prospects for income, Charlotte is near the end of her rope. Then a life-threatening illness brings into focus what’s important after all.

Ava’s other daughter, Samantha, also lives on Nantucket Island, with her best friend and roommate, Grayson. Samantha suffers from a lack of direction in her life, and longs to meet a rich prince charming who will sweep her off her feet. When she meets the man of her dreams, she’s leaving behind the one man who loves her unconditionally – Grayson.

Jackson, Ava’s son, is an aspiring actor in Hollywood. Everything has always come easy to him, that is until Willow, Matthew’s cousin, shows up. Free-spirited Willow is just the kind of girl to break Jackson’s heart, which is difficult to do, as Jackson is always the heartbreaker.

And speaking of Willow…she’s a feminist island witch and artist. She and Jackson have been through many, many lifetimes together. Yet, Willow wants nothing to do with Jackson in this lifetime. She has no desire to give up even an ounce of her power, not even for her soul mate. Willow also is hiding a devastating secret from Jackson. A secret that is guaranteed to upend his life for good.

Mila, Ava’s best friend, is battling a devastating illness, information that she hasn’t shared with Ava and Luna. She never wants to be a burden, so she just doesn’t ask for help. But she’s going to need all the support she can get. She finds this support in a very surprising place, and, in doing so, gets closer to her own destiny.

Ava busies herself with fixing up her beautiful new beach home, so that she can open up a bed and breakfast. Contractor Deacon Cromwell, whom Ava hires to do the renovation, is the man who might thaw Ava’s cold heart, if only she’ll let him. However, he’s almost 20 years her junior and, Ava believes, out of her league. Can Ava overcome her insecurities and allow herself to love again?

In this feel-good beach read with a touch of magick, Ava and her friends and family will become your best friends. Come and share their joys and heartbreaks, their tragedies and triumphs. For fans of Susan Mallery, Jude Devereaux Nantucket Bride series and Elin Hilderbrand!

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As much as she hated for her work to be interrupted, she never turned anybody away. Even if the person was a walk-in, as this girl was.

She didn’t have to be thrilled about it, though.

The girl knocked, and Willow threw open the door. “Dude,” she said to the girl, whose name was Sara Delacorte, “I see you’re back. My spell worked. Jamie came back, right?”

Sara nodded her head, tears in her eyes. “Yes. He came back. But now he’s gone again, and I-”

Willow shook her head. “No. Not again. Not this time. Listen, I think you have to get it in your head that some things aren’t worth saving. I worked that spell, against my better judgment, I might add, and he came back. It was up to the two of you to keep things together once my role was done. Free will and all that. Sorry, but the universe obviously doesn’t want you with that jerk.”

“Please,” Sara said, her huge blue eyes glistening brightly.

Willow came out on the wooden porch instead of inviting Sara in. That was her way of creating boundaries with women, like Sara, who were becoming pests. Ever since word got out about her abilities, she was constantly fending off silly women like Sara who were desperate to hang onto men who weren’t worth the wax in the candle that Willow used for her love spells.

“Tough love,” Willow said as she took a seat on the stoop of her porch. She patted the space next to her, gesturing for Sara to join her.

Sara sat down next to her and put her head on Willow’s shoulder. “Please,” she said again. “This’ll be the last time, I promise.”

About the Author

Ainsley Keaton lives in Southern California with her husband and two fur-babies, Bella and Annie. When she’s not binge-watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Downton Abbey and Succession, she’s reading historical and women’s fiction or scouring the beach for sea glass and sand dollars.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Everyday Magic + Giveaway

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Welcome to the book tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s novel Everyday Magic. Read on for more info and a chance to win a paperback copy of the book!

Everyday Magic Front cover FINAL

Everyday Magic

by Charlie Laidlaw

Publication Date: May 26th, 2021

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Ringwood Publishing

Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it.  She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.

But something has been changing in Carole’s mind.  She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her.  She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.

 Instead, she’s taken on an unlikely journey to confront her past, present and future.

Everyday Magic is an uplifting book filled with humour and poignancy, and reminds us that, while our pasts make us who we are, we can always change the course of our futures.

What Readers are Saying…

Everyday Magic’ serves as a wake-up call for us readers to find the sparks of joy we have lost along the way and live while we can‘ – Zany Bibliophile

‘It’s an uplifting read that shows us that if we want to change then we can but we have to do it for ourselves… [it might] help people realize they are not alone‘ – Echoes In An Empty Room

Charlie writes stories that touch a reader’s soul… I highly recommend you to read this book. Witty, thought-provoking and charming story‘ – Rekha, Goodreads

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Chapter One

When Carole was little, she found a magic clearing in the woods near her home.  She had been exploring, surrounded by oak, birch, and hazel trees, picking her way carefully between bramble and nettle.  There was birdsong, squirrels darting across branches, and patterns of sunlight on the woodland floor.  She had been looking for bilberries, and her hands were full of small black berries.  She stopped to sit on an outcrop of rock by a wide stream that, in winter, could quickly become a torrent of brown water.  In summer, it was comforting; in winter, treacherous.  She ate her bilberries, the stream cascading over a small waterfall; the sound of water in her ears.  It was summer and the stream bubbled crystal clear.  The woodland rose in folds from the stream, and she climbed steadily upwards.  Here, the trees crammed in on her; it was darker.  When she looked up, she could only see sunlight trapped on leaves far above.  It was a part of the old woodland that she’d never been to before, but she pushed on, feeling that she was on an adventure and might suddenly come across a gingerbread house or wizard’s cottage. 

At the top of the hill she found herself in a small clearing.  It was only a few yards across, framed with oak trees, and perfectly round.  Sunlight from directly above made the clearing warm, and she stood at its centre, wondering if she was the first person to have ever discovered it.  Each of the oak trees around the clearing seemed precisely set, each one a perfect distance from the next, and she walked around them, touching each one, wondering if someone had planted the oak trees, or if the clearing really was a magic place.  She still sometimes believed in magic.  Then she stood again at its centre, wondering at its symmetry and why a long-dead sorcerer might have planted the oak trees.  Then, realising that the sorcerer might not be dead, and that she had walked uninvited into his private domain, she hurried away, not sure whether to be frightened or excited.  It was a place she often went back to that summer, and on following summers, sometimes alone and sometimes with her little brother.  They would sit in the centre of the woodland circle, eating bilberries, hoping to meet the sorcerer who had built the clearing.  She wasn’t frightened of him anymore; the clearing was too peaceful to have been made by a bad wizard.  It was their secret place, but mainly Carole’s, because she had found it.  It was a comforting place: it was somewhere she would go if she was sad or angry about something, because the woodland circle and its shifting half-shadows offered calm and new perspectives.  She could almost hear the trees speak to her, the wind in their branches making the leaves whisper, but so softly that she couldn’t understand.  She would listen, eyes closed, the leaves rustling, but she never understood what they were saying.  The circle of trees stood solid and immovable, dark and stoic, old and wise, and each one the colour of stone.

Available on Amazon

Ringwood Publishing

About the Author


Charlie Laidlaw lives in East Lothian, one of the main settings for Everyday Magic. He has four other published novels: Being Alert!, The Space Between Time, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and Love Potions and Other Calamities. Previously a journalist and defence intelligence analyst, Charlie now teaches Creative Writing in addition to his writing career.

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