20 February, 2020

#GuestPost :: Why set the series in a bookshop? by @SadiraStone

About the Book:
Check out the Book on Amazon
She hates average...he's as average as they come.

High school history teacher Doug Garvey is trying to enjoy his last few weeks of summer vacation, but receiving his final divorce decree hits him harder than expected. After a brief fling fizzles, he fears love just isn't in the cards for him. If only he could find someone who's real, someone interested in something beyond herself…maybe a new running partner who can keep up with his more carnal appetite. When sexy, straight-talking Laurel runs across his path, he dares to hope again.

He's done with social-climbing posers...she's ambitious and has big dreams

Fired from an art gallery, Laurel Jepsen shelves her pursuit of an art career in San Francisco to help her beloved great aunt Maxie move into assisted living. While out on a morning run, she's harassed by a group of teens until a tall, broad-shouldered hottie steps in, pretending to be her boyfriend with a kiss that makes her wish it were true. But she's only passing through, not looking for a relationship.

Their fierce chemistry burns up the sheets—and the couch, the shower, the forest—but falling in love would ruin everything. Laurel can't stay in Eugene, and he can't leave. Doug's only hope is to convince her the glittery life she's after could blind her to the opportunities already in her path.

Thanks so much, Debdatta, for hosting me today, and for this chance to meet your readers and talk about my Book Nirvana series, steamy contemporary romance set in Eugene, a university town in Oregon, U.S.A. This series centers around a small bookshop named Book Nirvana and the women who work there—plus Lulu, the shop cat. What sets this shop apart from its competitors is an extensive collection of—well—adult books, historical literature, books of artwork and photography, and social sciences, all kept in a small room behind a locked red door.

Here’s an excerpt from Book 2 in the series, Runaway Love Story, in which new employee Laurel visits the red room for the first time:

   Laurel rolled the cart to the rear, gulped, then turned the key. The door swung open into darkness. A fat silk tassel dangled at chest level. She tugged the cord, flooding the little room with pink light.

   “Oh. My. Goodness.” A scene from a fairytale greeted her. On the floor, a faded Persian carpet in rosy hues. In the center, an antique settee, upholstered in faded red velvet, whose S-curved seatback would place a couple shoulder to shoulder facing opposite directions. She imagined lounging there, leaning over the divide to gaze at a book in a handsome man’s lap. Maybe a tall man with a shaved head… [She’s thinking of the hero of this story.]

   On three sides, volumes of erotica packed the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. A wooden stepladder stood ready to help patrons reach the highest shelves. She half expected a secret door to creak open, revealing some brocade-clad hero from a romance novel, with mischief in his eye and a most ungentlemanlike bulge in his tight buff breaches.

Why set the series in a bookshop?

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of owning one—a dream I probably share with booklovers around the world. I had tremendous fun concocting the Book Nirvana shop from the many wonderful small bookshops I’ve visited—from Shakespeare and Company in Paris to, to the booksellers in Oxford, to the many quirky, colorful bookshops I’ve visited on the West Coast of the U.S. What better place to spend the thousands of hours it takes to write a novel than ensconced in a cozy, colorful (if imaginary) bookshop peopled with loveable, eccentric employees and customers? And there’s a coffee shop right next door!

Through the Red Door, Book One in the series, features Clara Martelli, the shop’s widowed owner, who’s struggling to keep her shop afloat. Her best chance: the shop’s extensive collection of erotica books. Her late husband curated that section, and she’s not yet ready to face the painful memories behind the red door. But when her dastardly landlord raises the rent, she finds the help she needs in two men: a visiting professor who reignites passion she thought she’d never feel again, and a sweet local guy who makes her feel safe and comforted. Choosing between them is wrenching. Just when she makes her choice, she uncovers a scandal that shatters her trust. Meanwhile, her shop’s about to go under…

Book Two in the series, Runaway Love Story, features Laurel Jepsen, a tall, lanky runner and aspiring art gallery owner who loves art but believes she has no talent. Her biggest fault: when the going gets tough, she runs away. On her way to San Francisco, she detours to Eugene to help her great aunt Maxie move into assisted living. 90 years old with flaming red hair (what’s left of it), wacky outfits, and a wicked sense of humor, Maxie is the only member of Laurel’s family who supports her artistic dreams.

Doug Garvey, a high school history teacher, is the quintessential beta hero: a dedicated runner like Laurel, tall and lanky, with a shaved head and a golden scruff of beard, he’s not really handsome at first glance, but his dazzling smile melts Laurel’s reserves. Their connection sizzles, but she’s just passing through, convinced a sparkly, big-city career is what she needs to be happy. And he’s tethered to Eugene, where he cares for his elderly parents.

Sparks fly. So do clothes. But the clock is ticking down to good-bye—until unexpected success, a viral Twitter story, and a long-overdue confrontation with her parents shake Laurel’s assumptions about success and happiness.

Book three in the series, Love, Art, and Other Obstacles, features Margot, Clara’s young shop assistant, and Elmer, a cocky, bearded ceramics artist introduced in Runaway Love Story. This book will be published in the spring of 2020 by The Wild Rose Press.

Rejected by her family for her unconventional lifestyle, graphic artist Margot DuPont yearns for a life with no fences, no limits, and no family ties. Between college, work at Book Nirvana, and side hustles, she barely has time for her part-time girlfriend.

Dumped into the foster system at a young age, ceramics artist Elmer Byrne craves a big, loving family of the heart. His artist tribe almost fills that need—but something is missing. Until Margot. When he offers his heart, her thorny defenses shatter him.

Thrown together in an art competition that could jump-start her career, or his, but not both, their irresistible attraction forces them to reconsider the meaning of success. 

About the Author:
Check out Author's Amazon Page

Ever since her first kiss, Sadira’s been spinning steamy tales in her head. After leaving her teaching career in Germany, she finally tried her hand at writing one. Now she’s a happy citizen of Romancelandia, penning contemporary romance and cozy mysteries from her home in Washington State. When not writing, which is seldom, she explores the Pacific Northwest with her charming husband, enjoys the local music scene, belly dances, plays guitar badly, and gobbles all the books. Visit Sadira at www.sadirastone.com.


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  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today, Debdatta, and for this chance to meet your readers!

  2. Love your Book Nirvana series, Sadira - and great getting to know you a bit better from Debdatta's blog!

  3. I love that your series is set in a bookshop, Sadira! Looking forward to all the titles in the series :)

  4. What a great setting. Who doesn't love a good bookstore? I can get lost in them for days.