GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
by Lizzy Charles
Perfectly Messy has just been released and is the sequel to Effortless With You (ON SALE for $0.99).
Perfectly Messy is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for a guest post and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Popularity isn't everything it's cracked up to be. Justin Marshall knows this better than most. For the captain of the basketball team, small business owner, and son of Minnesota's next governor, life can get pretty overwhelming. But Justin can handle anything as long as he has Lucy, the girl who fell for the man he’s trying to be.
But for Justin and Lucy, finding time together proves challenging. Stolen kisses and whispered promises just aren't enough. That is, until scandalous photos of the couple are leaked to a press intent on creating a juicy scandal during Justin's dad's gubernatorial campaign. And when Lucy becomes fair play for the tabloids and gossip pages, Justin does the only thing he can to protect her: he breaks her heart.
For Lucy, junior year is everything she hoped it would be: new friends, second chances, and a boyfriend she can’t stop kissing. That is, until the boy she’s pretty sure she loves chooses the life his family wants for him, over her.
Now it’s up to Lucy to teach him what it really means to have everything. Because for Justin, being who everyone needs him to be just might cost him the one person he can’t live without.
Fantastically written sequel! Such a great story you can't put down. Lizzy Charles brings you back to first love with her writing. I completely felt 16 again! Nothing beats those first feelings of falling in love and Lizzy nailed it! Can't wait to read more from her!
Guest Post by Lizzy Charles
When You Hit the Wall
Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be here to celebrate the release of Perfectly Messy, the sequel to Effortless With You.
I want to talk about something super frustrating today, overcoming writer's block! I’ve shared before that Perfectly Messy was a well-planned out novel - well, it was for me. That four paragraph summary was my north star as I battled to get the draft complete.
The problem with that miniature summary was that I left out all the "how to" parts. (I do not advise this when drafting a novel! Take the time to properly outline how you get from point A to B.) There was one instance where I couldn't figure out the right path to reveal the true nature of a few new characters. Each route I tried, sent me flying into a brick wall.
I was beyond frustrated. I’d had a stressful day, having just thrown my sister’s bridal shower that morning. The most frustrating part of the shower had nothing to do with the games or the ginormous stack of dishes.
Nope. It had to do with ham. A spiral cut, honey ham. After tugging on that stupid ham packaging, I attacked it with a knife. It spun out of control, spraying its juices all over my adorable shower dress.
I was at war with the one food that I demanded I couldn’t throw a brunch without. That stupid ham totally exposed my lack of patience, in front of every sweet shower attendee. Needless to say, I looked very graceful.
So, since I had no idea what to write, I thought “What the heck, if I could endure it, I’m sure Lucy can too!” That poor girl. I made her live out my own ham experience, but twice as worse.
I fully intended to trash the scene during edits. But my critique partners and editor loved it. Here I wrote a fake scene, in an effort to draw a temporary line from point A to point B and it ends up being a favorite moment in Perfectly Messy!
Funny how that works. Anyway, here’s a sneak peak of that exact ham moment that helps Lucy really meet Justin's parents.
“Lucy, I hope you don’t think it’s rude if I ask you to help?” Mrs. Marshall asks with a look that’s so much like Justin’s. That smile wasn’t at the fundraiser dinner. Seeing it now helps.
“Please do! What can I do?” Yes, helping is way easier. Better than just sitting and staring.
“There’s a spiral ham in the fridge. Do you mind cutting it up?”
“Absolutely, no problem.”
I scoot off the stool and open the stainless steel vault they call a fridge. On the bottom shelf, I find the ham in a netted bag. Nine pounds. Whoa. This is a family-only brunch, right?
“There’s a cutting board in the lower left drawer. You’ll find the serving platter and knife over on the back counter.”
“Thanks.” I slide my fingers through the netting, lifting the ham up on the countertop.
Okay, cutting a pre-sliced spiral ham? No problem. I easily pull open the netting, thankful for the rebuilt muscles from my summer of painting. I’ll slice up and arrange the most impressive spiral ham Justin’s folks have ever seen.
I dig the knife in, slicing quick to release the plastic wrap. Water squirts back at me, spraying my sweater and pooling over the cutting board. Towel-less, I try scooping the water into the middle of the board. Without any edges to the board, the battle turns on me. I bite my tongue as it oozes out, spilling over the countertop and onto the floor. Crap. Crap. Crap.
I clear my throat and force my voice to be steady. “Justin, where can I get a towel?”
“Use the one hanging on the oven, dear,” his mom replies instead. Thankfully, she doesn’t look over.
Oven door. Okay, that’s five steps away, max. I abandon the ham to walk across the kitchen, super-calm-like. Three steps away, then suddenly, SPLAT!
My gut tightens as I turn around. No, please no.
Like a top, the ham spins on the floor.
“Oh my gosh.” I lunge for the ham. Five-second rule!
My foot doesn’t land though. Instead it slides on the puddle of ham juice. I gasp as my back hits Justin’s kitchen floor. A cool wetness slides under my head and neck. Ham juice. Nasty.
“I’m so sorry,” I gasp as I roll, grabbing the ham from the ground. I hold it over my chest and squeeze my eyes shut. Is this really happening?
A moment passes before Justin leans over me and I peek upward. “You okay down there?” he asks, biting back a gorgeous smirk.
“Oh, give her room.” Mrs. Marshall pushes him aside and helps me up.
“I’m so sorry, Mrs. Marshall. I didn’t mean to ruin your ham.” I ring out juice from the back of my sweater, debating how I can save face. As the juice drips out of my hair, the smell of ham overcomes me. Screw it. There’s no way I can make this okay.
I take a deep breath. “Okay, I’m sorry. Listen, that girl you met at the fundraiser in that pretty lace dress? That’s not me. This,” I twist my hair, squeezing the rest of the water from it, “is me.”
Then Mr. Marshall begins to laugh. “Well, that guy in the suit who’s politically correct, also not me.”
“Same with that woman in the red dress.” Mrs. Marshall smiles and nudges me.
Justin steps closer then, pulling me into his arms. “Mmm, you smell like pig. Delicious.”
About the Author
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win some great prizes.