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Tour: Once In A Lifetime by Jill Shalvis

Sunday, February 23, 2014

ONCE IN A LIFETIME by Jill Shalvis (February 18, 2014; Grand Central Publishing Mass Market; $6.00)

SOMETIMES WRONG IS OH-SO-RIGHT
After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniel tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he's back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she's not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.

Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben - even though he has absolutely no idea what she's done . . .

Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?

Displaying JillShalviscropped.JPGAbout the author:
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

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Q&A with Jill Shalvis

Your main character Aubrey is remodeling her aunt’s bookstore so it can be a haven for other booklovers as it was for her when she was younger. Did you have a special place growing up (or do you have one now?) where you love to read?
I always had a soft spot for bookstores.  And libraries.  They were my special hideaway haven.  I really went back and forth on using a bookstore in today’s day and age, but in the end, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite places on earth.  J

Where did you get the idea for Aubrey to go back to the people she’d wronged and make amends?
I’ve always wanted to take a “mean” girl and turn her around.  There’s no easy way to do that except to start at the beginning and make amends.

Describe Ben in 3 words
Ben: sexy, grumpy, alpha

What’s the most interesting way you got around a plot problem?
I wrote myself into a corner in Once In A Lifetime, twice.  I wrote XX happens here and it will be brilliant and funny.  And then I accidentally left that in when I sent it to my editor.  I’m sure she wasn’t as amused as I was. 

If you owned a bookstore, what book would you make sure was in stock?
All of them.  And let’s just say the romance section would be VERY well stocked.



Excerpt #1

A few snowflakes floated lazily out of the low, dense clouds.  One block over, the Pacific
Ocean carved into the harbor, which was lined by three-story high, rugged bluffs teeming with the untouched forestland that was the Olympic Mountains.  Around him, the oak-lined streets were strung with white lights, shining brightly through the morning gloom.  Peaceful.  Still. 
          A month ago, he’d been in South America, elbows deep in a project rebuilding a water system for the war-torn land.  Before that, he’d been in Haiti.  And before that, Africa.  And before that … Indonesia?  Hell, it might have been another planet for all he remembered.  It was all rolling together.
           He went to places after disaster hit, whether man or nature made, and he saw people at their very worst moments.  Sometimes he changed lives, sometimes he improved them, but at some point over the past five years, he’d become numb to it.  So much so that when he’d gone to check out a new jobsite at the wrong place, only to have the right place blown to bits by a suicide bomber just before he got there, he’d finally realized something.
          He didn’t always have to be the guy on the front line.  He could design and plan water systems for devastated countries from anywhere.  Hell, he could become a consultant instead.  Five years of wading knee deep in crap, both figuratively and literally, was enough for anyone.  He didn’t want to be in the right hellhole next time.

          So he’d come home, with no idea what was next.

Excerpt #2
It was dark outside when she got back to the Book & Bean, and she stopped short just 
outside the door. She’d locked up when she left and turned off the lights.
But the door was unlocked now, and the lights on. She went still, then pulled out her phone and dialed 9-1-1. She didn’t hit send but kept her thumb hovered over call. Taking a step inside, she paused. “Hello?”
“Hey.”
The low, slightly rough voice wasn’t what had her heart pumping. That honor went to the fact that there was a man on a ladder in the back of her store.
Ben.
He was in jeans with a tool belt slung low on his hips, his t-shirt clinging to him. He seemed a little irritated, a little sweaty, and just looking at him Aubrey got a whole lot hot and bothered in places that had no business being hot and bothered by this man at all. “What are you doing in here?” she asked.
“I work here.”
“What are you talking about? Get out.”
“Sorry, Sunshine.” He wasn’t even looking at her, but using some sort of long, claw-like tool to pull down a ceiling tile above the wall she’d been working on. And his tool worked way better than hers.
His movements were agile and surprisingly graceful for a guy his size. Not that he was bulky in any way. Nope, that tall, built body was all lean, tough muscle, and it screamed power. And with each subtle movement, his body made it clear that it knew exactly what to do with all that power. “The owner of this building hired me,” he said. “Said you were making a mess of things because your pride was bigger than your wallet.”
This caught her completely off guard, both the insult and the information. “My uncle owns this building,” she said.
He smiled thinly. “Yep. Happy Birthday.”
“It’s not my birthday.”
“Then happy you’ve-got-a-great-uncle day.”



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