<— OMG Glitter on the Web sounds like so much tumultuous fun & the actual blurb alone had me gasping and yet so excited imagining all the possibilities!! So you can imagine how thrilled I am that Ginger (today’s newsletter sponsor!! 😀 ) put THIS one on sale, sent me over these amazing “fun facts” and is giving a copy away right here on the blog!!
Paula: Glitter on the web would have been 5* with an epilogue but then I see Ginger has said there is going to be another one!! Yippee!
Maryse: Yep!! And she explains below – in her Five Fun Facts – that there is more to come (and also, they’ve made appearances in a few of her other books in the meantime).
In fact: here’s the reading order:New books in 2020 <— See details below – AMAZING details!!! 😉
P.S. She’s also the author of the “Groupie Trilogy” that I devoured, and made me rant and rave back in my early indie days – so many of us buddy-read that trilogy, simultaneously experiencing a few “OH-NO-HE-DIDN’T” gut-punches yet absolutely titillated by that rock star guilty pleasure. Remember??? SO FUN!
What’s it about?
After rising to fame singing about “big girls with big hearts,” a cocky rock star is outed that he secretly despises fat chicks. He decides nothing will prove he’s not a phony like a plus-size girlfriend.
Enter his agent’s assistant, who can’t stand him. It’s perfect. No love. Just business. He makes an offer she can’t refuse. One lie. One year. One million dollars.
Now… tell me this blurb doesn’t get you in the *ooooomph*!!!
After Eli Blake’s viral video “Big Girl/Big Heart” shoots him right to the top of the charts, he rises to fame shamelessly tapping into this niche. Because of his striking good looks, all his faithful groupies want desperately to believe every word he sings, like he’s not another run-of-the-mill superficial jerk.
One little wrinkle. He totally is.
After a vindictive ex goes public that he secretly hates fat chicks, Eli must find a full-figured decoy pronto. Obviously the only way to save his rocketing career before it collapses under the weight of one lie is telling an even bigger one. Enter voluptuous Carly Reynolds, his agent’s assistant, who knows what kind of arrogant fake he is and can’t stand him as a result.
Still, a girl’s gotta eat, and it’s not every day you get a million bucks for telling one teeny tiny fib. Surely she can handle this lying, philandering opportunist for a year. It’s not like she’ll actually fall for the guy.
Or will she?
Five Fun Facts about “Glitter on the Web”
1. “Glitter on the Web” likely would never have happened had it not been for Macklemore.
The bestie and I share movies and videos with each other every weekend, which is pretty cool that even 35 years into our friendship, we find new things to share between us. We’re still teaching each other things, and he, inadvertently sometimes, purposefully other times, has inspired more than one story doing it. Many months back, he sent me the video for “Downtown” by Macklemore.
In the video, Macklemore shows some love for a bigger girl:
Now do you or do you not wanna ride with me
I got one girl, I got two wheels
She a big girl but ain’t a big deal
I like a big girl, I like ’em sassy
First thought: “Aw, that’s cool. Hope he means it.” So, being me, I dug a little deeper as I’m known to do, to find a pic of his wife to see if she, too, was a big girl. She wasn’t. It got the gears turning. What if a popular singer showed love for bigger girls, endearing him to that particular audience, but it was all a marketing ploy? Hence, Glitter was born.
2. GLITTER is my unintentional homage to Purple Rain.
This one happened by accident, really. It’s Eli’s fault. He started playing an instrumental piece early in the book, and it just felt right to give it the Purple Rain treatment. That movie makes the list of one of my favorite closing scenes ever, given the emotional payoff at the end. To have a musician struggle with an important piece of music, to figure out what he wanted to say, and say it when it had the most emotional payoff, made sense.
I had already given Eli a few Kid/Price-like qualities, including his teaching himself to play the piano, and producing/writing/performing all of his earliest work. So really, it was unintentional, but in the end I was proud to pay tribute to one of my idols, especially one who taught me so much how to be my own kind of artist. Little did I know at the time it would be a memorial. 🙁
3. It took me a long-ass time to title this book.
Names come to me relatively easy. It’s not so much a choice as it is a discovery. When I name my characters, I generally know who they are before they have a name to go with the character. So I go down a list of potential names that I keep (and add to,) until I find the one that feels right, like I’m looking for someone who already exists and I’m just waiting to have them step forward for roll call. (This is also why I generally don’t change names easily when I’ve found the one that clicks, and why working with anyone else creatively is so challenging because they typically want to change these names first thing. It’s like taking your kid to school and introducing them, only to have the teacher say, “Hum, we already have a Justin. Can I just call him Doug?”
Self-publishing allows me the freedom to allow my characters to be who they were supposed to be, something I got to know very early on in the creative process.) Book titles are even harder, because if you inadvertently name your book after a book that already exists, you can risk suffering from comparison. I knew I had to think outside the box with this one, because I really, really wanted it to stand out.
With GLITTER, I had my concept and my characters, but I had no idea what to name their journey. Finally I circled around to the “web” idea, given the story is about a big lie. What’s the only thing that could entice someone like me onto a web? My husband doesn’t call me a magpie for nothing. Also, GLITTER ON THE WEB leaves a little wiggle room if I ever want to revisit the story… like… GLITTER DOWN THE AISLE, or GLITTER IN THE CRIB… that kind of thing. Y’know… just in case… 😉
4. Eli is based on real men I’ve known.
If you’re really close to me, you probably recognize Eli. I really didn’t hide what I was trying to do with this character. While reading it, my husband turned to me and said, “You think So-N-So will recognize himself in your book?” My first thought was, “Probably not, because anyone who would really Eli me wouldn’t read the book in the first place.” Which is true. All I can say is I hope so, even though the So-N-So Steven referred to isn’t *technically* the whole inspiration for the character (though bad experiences involving him definitely worked themselves out in the book, as they tend to.) Truthfully, I hope every guy who has ever Eli’d me sees themselves in the book, because they’re all represented in every nasty thing Eli said or did. I threw it all into an Asshole Bouillabaisse as my way of saying, “How you treated me was not okay, and I only wish I had had Carly’s ovarian fortitude to tell you that.”
Everything Eli did or said to piss you off has happened to me at some point, just like it has probably happened to many, many women of size reading the book. Typically, these were the things I accepted and excused when I was too stupid to recognize my own value, and this was my way to rewrite things, to let someone else know that it isn’t okay of if someone treats them this way. Stand up for yourself. You can. And if the guy is worth having, he’ll cowboy the fuck up. (Many don’t, but that’s okay. If they can’t see your worth, they don’t deserve you anyway. Trite, but true.)
Honestly, it gives me great satisfaction when I hear that people hate Eli. I wanted you to. I wanted you to see how unacceptable this behavior is, so that we learn to nip that shit in the bud in real life. He is the voice of our media… he’s the voice of our society. It’s *our* job to stop accepting it as some kind of given and demand the respect and human courtesy we deserve.
5. Eli’s and Carly’s story isn’t over.
A lot of people wanted an epilogue but there’s a reason I didn’t include one. Their story isn’t over, and you get to see them in books like MASKED IN THE MUSIC, my first M/M romance, and FFF, the book that marries my Groupieverse and my Glitterverse. Their story will also continue in a brand new trilogy coming in 2020.
“So I take it you think you’re impervious to all my tricks.”
I laughed again. “I know I am.”
He ran his hand along my back until it rested on my hip. “What makes you so sure?”
I shrugged. “I see through the bullshit. There’s glitter on your web, Eli, but it’s a trap all the same. I’ve seen it. I’ve always seen it. When you see it for what it is then you can’t get caught up in all it’s not.”
He swung me around. “You sound so confident. Care to make it interesting?”
“Any more interesting than it already is?” I countered.
He laughed. “I guess you have a point,” he conceded. “But I still think I could make you fall in love with me.”
“Gee,” I said, completely in character. “And I thought I already was.”
It made him laugh again. “Touché,” he said before he kissed me on the lips. He deepened the kiss, and I responded. His eyes were cloudy as he straightened. “So tell me, OGWO. What am I thinking now?”
He kept me flush against his body, which I could feel come to life. “You’re thinking that you haven’t fucked anyone in a few months, and maybe I’ll do.” His eyes met mine. “But I won’t do. Not for one million dollars.”
I smiled and exited the dance.
“You really don’t care what people think, do you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Like today. I tell you to skip makeup, you put on sunglasses like it’s nothing. If I had said that to Rhonda, she would have spent the next ten minutes yelling at me in Spanglish, telling me I didn’t understand what it was like to be a woman in the public eye.”
“Big difference. I’m not in the public eye.”
“Yeah, you are,” he corrected. “You just don’t care. At the spa. On the beach. You just walked through a crowded lobby in beachwear, and don’t even notice if other people stare or talk behind your back. It’s like you’re a queen and they’re all beneath you.”
I chuckled. “Oh, I notice. But you’re right. I don’t care. I’m not defined by the opinions of others.”
His caresses grew even gentler. “Like a queen.” I said nothing. “It’s sexy,” he murmured, his fingers trailing over my shoulders and down both arms as he leaned closer. “You’re sexy.”
My eyes met his. “Surprised?”
He nodded. “Every day.” He leaned forward for another kiss.
Books in the entire Groupieverse (which marries the Glitterverse in FFF,) are in this reading order:
1. Love Plus One:
This standalone romance introduces us to Shannon, Dixie and Jorge, who pop up again in the Groupieverse in Mogul, which is Book Three of the original Groupie Saga. They also show up in the Fullerton Family Saga, starting in Book 2, Entangled. Jorge comes back often because I just love him.
Here’s where my most beloved character, Vanni Carnevale, makes his grand introduction. He has a prequel, Vanni, which you can read first if you’d like to get his perspective prior to going in. He’s a bit of a douchebag at first, so if you need a reason to root for him, you can start with his story first. It was written to work either way, however.
For those who are disappointed by my “big girl” stories starring smaller sizes like 12-16, Fierce introduces Jordi Hemphill, a size 20+ young woman who moves to L.A. to take Tinsel Town by storm. She ends up on Vanni’s radar, and is swept into the Groupieverse as a result. All your favorites pop up in this series.
This is another standalone which introduces the Bravos into the Groupieverse. Both Graham and Jace (from the Fierce trilogy) pop up to help tell this Texas tale about a bridezilla from hell and the hot Latin cook who is about to turn her world upside down.
My Groupieverse shares the stage with my Fullerton Family Saga, which is most beloved by my readers. The Fullerton family blends well with the Groupieverse, starting with Book 2, Entangled. Vanni pops up, as does Graham, Shannon, Jorge, etc. Most importantly, it introduces Alex and Jonathan Fullerton, who will come into play in later books/series. Young Jonathan will get his own romance book one day. If you’ve read Beauty and the Bitch (formerly Big Fat Bitch), you’ve already met someone who will be very important to him in the near future.
This is another standalone that introduces a character who will enter our Groupieverse: Meghan Lawless. Expect her to shake some stuff up when I publish Rewound, the next book in the Groupieverse, coming in 2019.
My southern rockers start in Texas, but by the ends of both SRB and SRC, they end up heading for the Golden Coast of California, where everyone in the Groupieverse is waiting to help make their dreams come true. Technically speaking, Boy and Chick are the same story from two different perspectives. They are not, however, a retelling of the same book. Southern Rocker Chick is most like the Danielle Steel books I grew up reading. It’s about Lacy Abernathy’s life, getting her to her HEA/dream come true. Jonah Riley just happens to come along and mess up all her plans.
This series stars L.A.’s rich and powerful, so naturally they orbit in the same galaxy as my Groupie/Fullerton Family Saga characters. Graham Baxter and Alex Fullerton actually come into play in a BIG way in Book Three, but Graham was sprinkling his fairy dust long before that. (I love that man.) It also introduces Caz Bixby, whom I love even MORE. This man is now my copilot. You’ll see him a LOT in upcoming books, including one just for him. (You’ve already met the woman who is going to rock his world, too.)
This series wasn’t really written as a series on purpose, but the characters insisted that they all be grouped together. It starts with Carly Reynolds meeting Caz Bixby, which opens the Groupieverse even more. Each of these TECHNICALLY work as standalones, because whether or not the couple in question get together is answered by the end of their specific book, but the world they’re living in is the same – so they’re linked as family. (And I like that.) If, however, M/M romance is not your cup of tea, or… if the reverse is true and M/F is not your cup of tea, you can skip the story. But FFF embraces both couples, so… it’ll help keep you up to speed to read them all.
Likewise, Beauty and the Bitch is a standalone, but we’re setting the stage here for other books coming next year, listed below:
11. Rewound -> Rebound -> Renowned (starting in 2020)
Here we pick up with Andy, Vanni and Graham, as well as Carly and Eli, Rudy and Tony, and, of course, Caz Bixby. If you prefer your HEA from the original book rock solid, you may want to take a pass with these. I’ve had to pick up some pieces of what happened in FFF, and it will throw our favorites into chaos for a while. But that’s the fun of it, am I right? When they’re blown apart, we can see if their love is strong enough to bring them back together again. And believe me, there’s nothing I like more than falling in love with Vanni all over again.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY !!
The author is giving away a signed copy of Glitter on the Web to one lucky commenter here!
How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below (or better yet – tell me your favorite fake relationship book) and by 10pm EST, Sunday October 20th, 2019, I will randomly select one lucky commenter as the winner.
The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond confirming their mailing address, so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance. The signed book will be sent to the winner directly by the author.