Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon ♥ Fun Facts, Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Contemporary Romance)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon ♥ Fun Facts, Book Tour & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Contemporary Romance)

Violet is saving money: living on rice and beans and denying herself chocolate eclairs all in the name of saving for a home deposit. Once they save enough, she and Michael can buy a house, settle down and live happily ever after. But when Michael does the unthinkable, Violet is forced to rethink her life choices.

A chance encounter with Chris Campbell (first love, boy-next-door, The One That Got Away) spurs her into travelling to exotic locations she never dreamed she'd explore - Hong Kong, Vietnam, Varanasi - on a quest to catch up with Chris and lead a life of adventure. Armed with hand sanitiser and the encouraging texts of her twin sister Cassandra, will Violet find true love before it's too late? Or will the nerve-wracking experience of travelling send her back to Melbourne in search of safety and stability? Can she work out what she really wants before she is left with nothing?

If you read my romantic comedy about naïve, young, hypochondriac Violet Mason who takes off on a wild goose chase around Asia after the one who got away, you might find yourself wondering why she gets injured and sick so often. The reason is that when I was trying to introduce a little drama into her ill-planned adventure I started thinking about my own travel experiences and I realised, the best way to ensure I get ill is to go on holiday.

I get sick when I travel no matter what the situation. I spent a week in India sweating and miserable in bed. I have vomited into both the river Nile in Egypt and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. I’ve had the flu in Dublin and bed bugs in Florence (not technically an illness, but ask anyone with bed bug bites and I assure you they’d gladly trade them for a nice ear infection). I got chicken pox camping in central Victoria and tonsillitis in a Paris hostel.

But it's not just backpacking that makes me unwell. A night burned into my memory as one of the all-time worst took place in a five-star hotel in Miami with my parents when I was a teenager. Dad got an award, I got food poisoning. My ability to become incapacitated with illness can defy even the most luxurious, pristine establishment. Another night that that springs to mind was at a different five-star resort. This time in Abu Dhabi where I was supposed to be writing a series of travel articles.

The Abu Dhabi resort was hands-down one of the most opulent, lavish places I’ve ever seen, let alone stayed in. It had several infinity pools, spas, multiple restaurants and stunning views. My king-sized room had three chaise longues, which was lucky because I needed plenty of places to lie dramatically when I, again, got food poisoning.

I never base plots on my life, but there are a lot of little anecdotes from my travels that have made their way into Chasing Chris Campbell. In one scene, Violet suffers burns on her leg after grazing a motorcycle exhaust pipe. They puff up like soufflés growing out of her calf. If the description sounds vivid and painful, it's because it is based on my own experience in Goa. If it sounds fanciful and over-the-top, I have photos I can show you to prove it happened. In a chapter that follows Violet visits a hospital in India. This scene was based on a combination of emergency wards in Bangkok and Angeles City in The Philippines – both of which I have found myself in.

In Chasing Chris Campbell, Violet grows when she overcomes the challenges her backpacking adventure throws at her. I know travelling definitely made me more resilient. I’m not sure it was necessary for my personal development to have quite so many holidays ruined by being burned and poisoned. But at least it made fodder for a good story.

My heart was galloping as I drove from Mum and Dad’s home in Essendon to the place Michael and I rented. We shared a little terrace in Coburg in Melbourne’s inner north-west with another couple. It had fireplaces and ceiling roses, bad plumbing and dodgy wiring. It was as old as Federation, and every time we got more than a few millilitres of rain the kitchen flooded. The house wasn’t really big enough for four people, but it was nice and cheap. Michael and I saved ten dollars a week each by opting for the smaller of the two bedrooms. Our room didn’t have any windows and shared a wall with the bathroom and its ageing pipes that moaned like a dying donkey every time someone took a shower. But Michael had insisted, because ten dollars a week was more than a grand over two years.

‘There you are,’ he said when I walked in the front door. ‘Did you go all the way to Azerbaijan for those sprats?’

‘I’ve been at Mum’s,’ I said dully.

He kissed my cheek and took the shopping. ‘Dinner’s nearly done.’

We didn’t have a dining table, there was no room. Each night we ate on the couch, balancing our plates on large coffee-table books covered in tea towels.

This is how Michael and I sat on that eve of Christmas Eve – eating bowls of lentils off The History of the World’s Killer Diseases (mine) and Erotic Art through the Ages (our housemate Lydia’s).

‘It’s quite economical, this no-meat thing of yours,’ Michael enthused, scooping some lentils into his mouth.

I murmured in agreement. Even my own sister couldn’t bring herself to eat my vegetarian cooking. It was a weekly custom for her to try and tempt me with some of Mum’s Sunday roast.

‘Are you sure?’ Cass would say, holding a cube of pink, tender meat on the end of her fork out to me.

I’d have to turn my nose away and remind myself of the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Britain that had been one of the reasons I’d taken up vegetarianism. The accounts of the victims of the human strain had been enough to put me off cow for life. Pain. Depression. Certain death. No burger was worth that.

‘You don’t have to worry about organising anything for tomorrow night,’ Michael continued. ‘I thought I’d cook dinner.’ As he spoke he used his knife to divide his lentils and rice into half, then half again and again until he had a series of small, bite-sized spoonfuls.


‘Sure. It’s our anniversary,’ he said through a mouthful. ‘And I feel bad. I know you hate that job. I know you only took it because you wanted to earn more for the house.’

‘That’s not true, I wanted a change.’ I put my lentils and the disease book onto the couch next to me. If I ate one more lentil, one more grain of rice, I would scream.

Michael leaned over and kissed my forehead. ‘I know you hate it,’ he said.

Until recently I had been a research assistant at Victoria University, caring for mice used in the testing of treatments for multiple sclerosis and motor neurone disease. Each day I’d had to remind myself of the lifesaving therapy my boss had already helped develop. Professor Sach’s office wall was a collage of gold plaques, certificates, and smiling children who’d benefited from her work. But I still felt sorry for the test subjects who had to die so we could study them. I always made sure their beds were filled with dry, soft sawdust and that they had fresh water and carrots and lettuce leaves, as well as the pellets. It tore at me when the time came to euthanise them. But I told myself that if I didn’t do it, someone else would, and they may not have been as gentle. It was my job to make their short lives as happy as possible.

My new job involved allergy testing for a cosmetics company called Lustre Labs. I was working on their chemist label, CityPrity; a cut-price brand that tried to market its metallic eye shadows and glittery body creams as the height of metropolitan sophistication. The money was almost double what I was being paid at the university and the hours were steady. Plus they didn’t test on animals. But Michael was right. I hated it.

‘It was my choice,’ I said.

As an insurance salesman, his salary was almost double mine. He picked up my bowl and took it into the kitchen. I could hear him putting my leftovers in Tupperware so I could eat them for lunch the next day. I sighed, wishing I’d bought the éclair and crammed the whole thing into my mouth in the shopping centre car park.

‘Besides,’ he said, standing at the door. ‘I have a surprise for you.’

I looked up sharply. ‘You do?’ The éclair was forgotten.

‘Yeah,’ he smiled at me. ‘It’s a big surprise. I think you’re going to really like it.’

‘What is it?’

‘Uh-uh.’ He waggled a finger at me. ‘All will be revealed tomorrow night.’


Genevieve Gannon is a Melbourne-based journalist and author. She wrote stories for music and fashion street press magazines while at university before moving to Canberra to do a journalism cadetship.

In 2011 she joined the national news wire, Australian Associated Press, where she covered crime, politics and entertainment. Her work has appeared in most major Australian newspapers including The Age, The Australian and The Daily Telegraph.

She currently lives in Melbourne where she is a court reporter. At night she writes romantic comedies


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  1. Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?


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