Welcome to today’s stop on the I See London blog tour! We have a lovely guest post from the author, Chanel Cleeton, on her inspiration for I See London’s main character Maggie, and a fantastic giveaway!
I SEE LONDON by Chanel Cleeton
February 3, 2014
Harlequin HQN (Digital First)
New Adult Contemporary Romance
Maggie Carpenter is ready for a change— and to leave her ordinary life in South Carolina behind. But when she accepts a scholarship to the International School in London, a university attended by the privileged offspring of diplomats and world leaders, Maggie might get more than she bargained for.
When Maggie meets Hugh, a twentysomething British guy, she finds herself living the life she always wanted. Suddenly she’s riding around the city in a Ferrari, wearing borrowed designer clothes and going to the hottest clubs. The only problem? Another guy, the one she can’t seem to keep her hands off of.
Half French, half Lebanese, and ridiculously wealthy, Samir Khouri has made it clear he doesn’t do relationships. He’s the opposite of everything Maggie thought she wanted…and he’s everything she can’t resist. Torn between her dream guy and the boy haunting her dreams, Maggie has to fight for her own happy ending. In a city like London, you never know where you stand, and everything can change in the blink of an eye.
This is a New Adult romance recommended for readers 17 and up.
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My Inspiration for Maggie from I SEE LONDON
By Chanel Cleeton
From the beginning, I knew I wanted I SEE LONDON to be the story of a girl who was transplanted from her somewhat ordinary life to a glamorous university in London. In a lot of ways it was a story I identified with. I moved to London at seventeen to attend an international university. I wasn’t precisely a small-town girl like my heroine, Maggie, but pretty close.
From the moment my plane landed in London, my life radically changed. Suddenly I was exposed to a whole new world. My university had students from countries I’d never heard of—students who came from royal families and grew up all over the world. It was a crazy, amazing, eye-opening experience for a girl whose life had been decidedly unglamorous. It was also a huge adventure.
When I started writing I SEE LONDON I knew that the “fish out of water” storyline would play a big role in my heroine’s transformation. New Adult is all about having new experiences and venturing into unchartered waters. I not only wanted her to move across the pond and start university, but also to find herself surrounded by classmates who were completely different from anything she’d ever known. Writing this transformation for Maggie, from small-town girl to city girl, was so much fun.
Originally the book started off as inspired by my own university experience. But the more I wrote and got to know my characters, the more they began taking over the story and making it their own. Maggie was one of those characters. The more I wrote, the more I learned who she was and what her dreams were.
I love that she is such a dreamer. She’s a little naïve on the surface but she’s tough and she’s a fighter. I loved watching her grow more confident as she struggled to survive in the, at times, cutthroat world of the International School. Her transformation is really the essence of what New Adult is to me—learning to stand on your own two feet despite the challenges life throws your way. It’s also a huge adventure and I loved writing hers. I can’t wait to share it with you.
What does New Adult mean to you? What characteristics do you like to see in your New Adult heroines?
Originally a Florida girl, at seventeen Chanel moved to London to attend an international university. In the four years that followed, she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, learned how to dance, travelled through Europe, and made lifelong friendships. Chanel fell in love with London and planned to stay there forever. But fate intervened on a Caribbean cruise, when an American fighter pilot with smooth dance moves, swept her off her feet.
Now, a happily ever after later, Chanel is living her next adventure in South Korea. An avid reader and hopeless romantic, she is happiest curled up with a book. She has a weakness for handbags, puppy cuddles, and her fighter pilot husband. Chanel writes New Adult contemporary romances and Young Adult thrillers. Her New Adult debut, I SEE LONDON, will be released by Harlequin (HQN) on February 3, 2014, followed by a sequel, LONDON FALLING, later in the year.
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