Two Brilliant Women on Dating, Love, and the Unexpected

 I recently had the lovely pleasure of reviewing two fantastic new reads! Check out Girl Ghosted: A Penny Wade Mystery By Lucy English (New Sun Press, August 2017) and Links by Lisa Becker (Desert Breeze Publishing, August 2017). I must say they both were stellar and definite page turners I couldn’t put down! Although interesting and different in story lines per se, they both encompassed the single girl angsts in regards to dating, finding that ultimate love and that balance when it comes to matters of the heart.

Girl Ghosted is a story of mystery, intrigue and heart tugging matters. Penny endures quite an adventure when taking an interest in an online suitor!

Links is a story of reconnecting and the true meaning of love… unrequited love in the rarest form. You will love the connection between Garrett and Charlotte! Here’s hoping for it myself!

Girl Ghosted: Penny Wade is a young social worker in South Boston, earnestly trying to help others, while also hoping to find love.  Online dating seems like the perfect way to meet new people, and distract her from a painful past.  After a string of disastrous first dates, she finally meets a man and tumbles into love with him. Her happiness is short-lived, however, when digital dating turns deadly as a killer scans dating profiles to select his targets. Penny must manage her challenging caseload, including a particularly heart-tugging case in which she’s working to support a depressed young mother and assess allegations of abuse, while also trying to find a murderer before she is “ghosted” for good. Page-turning from the first sentence, this book will appeal to fans of traditional thrillers, but is full of surprises as English infuses humor and tenderness into the everyday interactions and relationships in Penny’s life. Penny’s experience as a social worker is expertly wrought, as English draws on her own experience to bring the everyday heroism of social workers to the forefront.

About the Author:

Lucy English (PhD) is the Managing Director of Institutional Research for Horizons Workforce Consulting former sociology and criminal justice professor and single mom to two boys.

Q& A with Lucy English: 

Tell me about your background and how you got started?

I’m a regular working single mom with no super-powers, so I started slowly. I chose the mystery genre because it provided a lot of structure, making the blank page less scary. I found that that over time the characters and stories came to life in a very real way for me. Now it’s as if the characters are actual people and the stories sometimes tell themselves to me.


What is the inspiration behind your book and how did you come up with the storyline?

I’m inspired by people who work in helping professions, thus my social worker heroine. Social workers come across a lot of crime and intrigue, so Penny really is the perfect accidental sleuth.  She’s had some bumps in her love life, but wants a long-term partner, so it made sense that she would pursue online dating in this book. I have plenty of experience to contribute, and I find the whole thing a great source of humor. In Penny’s case, it’s also a source of tragedy.

Describe your writing style in three words. 

Authentic, thoughtful, funny

What is the most important thing you learned after starting your career?

I learned the importance of having critiques from other writers.  I work with a number of great writers who help me make my stories the best they can be. My ego wasn’t quite prepared for how much revision my writing would need, but in many ways writing is about humility and vulnerability and I’m ultimately good with that.


What do you want your readers to take away from reading your book?  

Most of all I want them to feel like they got to spend some time in a great city with fun characters and to enjoy the adventure. I hope the story finds resonance for people. I hope they can see themselves in the characters and laugh at the absurdity of life, while also reflecting on how we deal with pain, and what makes a life well-lived.

Links: In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist, with Steven Spielberg vying for the role of director in her book’s film adaptation.Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending shoulder injury. Links is a truly feel-good novel that will satisfy everyone who picks it up, and give hope to even the most jaded among us.

About the Author:

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right Click. The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites. She is happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

Q& A with Lisa Becker: 

Tell me about your background and how you got started?

I’m a public relations professional by way of education and career. But I remember writing short stories and poems as a little girl and always told myself I would write a book someday, though I didn’t really know what that would be.  After my husband and I met on a popular online dating website, I started thinking back to the funny experiences I had with dating and stories from friends. I started writing them down and my first novel, Click: An Online Love Story emerged. After receiving a plethora of rejections from literary agents and publishers, I decided to self-publish my first book.  I figured my parents would buy a copy or two and could brag that their daughter “wrote a book.” It wasn’t until I started receiving complimentary emails from strangers who were eager for a sequel that I realized I could really be a writer. Links is my fifth novel and the first to be released by a traditional publisher.

What is the inspiration behind your book and how did you come up with the storyline?

As I was looking to write a new love story, I thought about the types of love we encounter and recalled the unrequited high school crush, which was as much a part of the teen years as football games, acne, proms and final exams.  I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life is over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush as a confident, successful woman.  A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte Windham reconnects with her unrequited high school crush, star athlete Garrett Stephens, years later.

Describe your writing style in three words. 

Conversational, clever and calibrated, with a fourth being alliterative 😉


What is the most important thing you learned after starting your career?  

The most important career lesson I learned was during graduate school. I had interviewed Charles Rosen, one of the producers of the original Beverly Hills 90210, for an alumni magazine article while I was in graduate school. And I’ll never forget what he told me, “Don’t fall in love with your words, because somebody above will probably change them. For nearly 20 years, I worked in the public relations industry with some of the biggest consumer companies in the world including McDonald’s, Ford, Sony and Gatorade. I spent countless hours writing news releases, bylined articles, marketing proposals, advertising copy, public service announcements, radio copy, mat columns, fact sheets, photo captions, media alerts, pitch letters, letters to the editor, video news releases, etc.  And, I carried Mr. Rosen’s words with me every day as colleagues, bosses and clients “changed my words” sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.  A successful writer, whether you’re writing a novel or a brochure, needs the following:  creativity, time to write, a great editor and a willingness to alter what you’ve written to make your story stronger, better and clearer.


What do you want your readers to take away from reading your book?  

Before I even tell people what Links is about, I ask them to raise their hands if they’ve ever had an unrequited high school crush. More than 9 times out of 10, the person raises one hand or both. It’s such a relatable topic and I’ve taken care to make sure the theme is addressed with humor, realism and a lot of heart.  The ultimate takeaway is that you never know when and where you’re going to find love. It’s important to be open to it so when cupid does strike, love sticks.

Where Wear will we be next…..

Always reading,

A

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