Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Becoming Magic NBtM

Carole Barnes once believed she would make her own way in Hollywood, but those days are long gone, leaving behind only a dark, slimy secret that Carole has never shared with anyone. Now she hides in the bright sunshine of the Crystal Coast of North Carolina. As far away as she can get from Hollywood. But what to do when Hollywood comes knocking in the form of a sexy movie star?

Connor Wallace has everything going for him—looks, talent, a successful career—but what he really wants is to perform magic on stage. His love of magic leads him back to his mentor Walt Bryson. At first, he’s pleased when Walt suggests his assistant Carole produce a documentary of his transformation from movie star to magician. He’s worked with Carole before—but the ambitious girl who had a crush on him is gone now, leaving a beautiful, withdrawn woman.

It’s the perfect arrangement. Carole knows she can make a success of the movie and Connor wants to work with her. But as they grow closer, Connor determines to find out her secret. Can love overcome the boundaries of fear? Or will Carole’s past return to plague them both?

Connor pulled the linking rings back out of their velvet bag and began practicing with the engagement ring on them. “I may need your help, too.”

“With the trick?” She raised her eyebrows. “I’m not sure I’m the one—”

“Nonsense. You know how it works. You just have to catch it correctly.” He tossed the ring to her. She caught it neatly, but the engagement ring went flying.

“Damn.” She cursed softly. “I thought I could do that.”

“No, you weren’t sure. You said so.” He found the engagement ring and replaced it on the linking ring. He fixed her with a stern look. “Be certain.”

“Okay.” She shrugged, but she knew what he was talking about. Every movement in magic—or any showmanship, really—had to be done with certainty. No rethinking yourself or doubts allowed. The audience should never be aware that you might not know what you’re doing. And so she banished any doubts and looked at him expectantly.

“And don’t look at me like that.” He twirled the rings in the air, absently connecting and disconnecting them. She knew how it was done, but he’d gotten so good at it, she couldn’t catch him.

She laughed. “Why not?”

He paused in the act of juggling the rings, caught them and displayed them all connected with the engagement ring dangling at the bottom. “Because you make it hard for me to be certain.”

She tilted her head, wondering what he meant…

From #MeToo to…Happy Holidays?

I find myself in a somewhat unique position today. I’m still promoting Becoming Magic, but my new, holiday-themed book Dickens Magic came out last week. I love both of these books, but Dickens Magic takes place in my adopted hometown New Bern, N.C., and is based very loosely on my experiences with the community theater, so my heart is kind of with that book now.

It’s also a matter of turning from the dark to the light. These two books could not be more different. Becoming Magic has a #metoo theme, complete with a damaged heroine. It’s about leaving that damage behind and giving love a chance. Dickens Magic, while it too has its dark points, is, in the end, about second chances—for love, for life, for ambition—and family.

All of my Sleight of Hand books can be read as standalones. Becoming Magic and Dickens Magic are no exception. However, I think of them, along with Movie Magic (number 4 in the series) as a sort of trilogy. They all take place, at least mostly, near where I live. They all deal with other aspects of the entertainment industry beyond stage magic. This wasn’t an intentional thing, though. These books just took root organically and grew.

I’ve wanted to write a holiday-themed romance for a while, but, like everything I write, the theme needed to remain true to me. A lot of writers say they try to remain true to their readers, but I’ll be honest, I remain true to myself as a writer. Taking that into account, it makes sense that my first holiday-themed book would be inspired by my first foray onto the stage. Being “Woman 3” in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, was, without doubt, one of the most joyous experiences of my life. 

So, in a very real way, while Becoming Magic highlights the darkness I see in the world around me, Dickens Magic returns us to the light. And while we all know that the world is made up of dark and light and wouldn’t be complete without either one, who doesn’t prefer the light? Especially holiday lights?

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Michelle Garren Flye is an award-winning romance author of eleven novels and counting. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs, Opium.com, SmokelongQuarterly.com and Flashquake.com, among others. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet and Tattered Souls. Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina.

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Buy Links:
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  1. Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

  2. Thank you for hosting me today!

  3. Great post, sounds like an interesting book!

  4. Both books sound intriguing!


  5. Becoming Magic sounds so interesting, not the usual circumstances, with magic! Sounds fun! And I must know that secret...

  6. Would you ever like to see your book turned into a movie? I hope the book is a success. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  7. What book would you like to see a sequel to? I hope your book is a success. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com