Thursday, June 5, 2014

{Blog Tour + Guest Post + Review + Giveaway} The Lucky Charm (Portland Series #1) by Beth Bolden

 photo LuckyCharmJPEG_zpsf121b46f.jpg

 photo Book-Cover-Nook-v2_zps8acd75d5.jpg

Title: The Lucky Charm (Portland Series #1)
Author: Beth Bolden
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publication Date: April 30, 2014
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.


  IT ’S THE BOTTOM OF T HE NINTH . . . Izzy Dalton’s about to strike out. Her new job as the sideline reporter for the Portland Pioneers major league baseball team is problematic on several levels:
  1. Baseball is her least-favorite sport. Falling behind golf, tennis, and maybe even curling.
  2. What Izzy knows about baseball could fill about three minutes of airtime.
  3. Her last experience in front of a camera was in college. Six years ago.
  4. The Pioneers’ second baseman has a wicked sense of humor and even wickeder blue eyes.
AND A FULL COUNT. . . Jack Bennett couldn’t be more uninterested in a little sideline action. He just wants to show up at the park and win baseball games. Izzy is the one woman he should steer clear of, but she’s also the key to his success–and his heart, too. All Izzy has to do is convince her misogynistic boss she’s competent, learn what the heck an RBI is, and stay away from Jack Bennett. Izzy tells herself it’ll be a snap, but 162 games is longer than she ever imagined and Jack more irresistible than she counted on.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Character Inspiration for Jack Bennett

I’d really love to take full credit for Jack Bennett, the lead male protagonist of The Lucky Charm, because I’ve been told more than once that he’s a pretty awesome guy. Not only is he a baseball player, which let’s face it, is a pretty kick ass profession, but Jack plays second base. I have a serious thing for second basemen.

Okay, honesty time, I have a thing for one second baseman in particular, and he was my original inspiration for Jack Bennett.

Meet Dustin Pedroia.  Or the Muddy Chicken, as he’s fondly called.

Yes, you read that right. I based my romantic male lead on a man nicknamed the Muddy Chicken. I might actually be crazy.

Here’s the thing about Dustin, or Pedey as he’s also known. He’s short. He’s not the most athletically gifted individual on the earth. But there’s one thing he does have and it’s determination and guts. Last year, he tore a ligament in his thumb  in the first game of the year and helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series by playing through the injury. He’s one of the guys you look at and just know, he’s the heart of the team.

But it wasn’t just Pedey’s undersized body and oversized ego that made me want to write a character inspired by him.

He’s also got the wickedest sense of humor and isn’t shy about displaying it. He’s always got a sly, funny response to every stupid press question.

Like when his teammate David Ortiz was having a rough time at the plate, and reporters kept asking Dustin what he thought. Finally he says, “It happens to everybody, man. He’s had 60 at-bats. A couple of years ago, I had 60 at-bats, and I was hitting .170, and everyone was ready to kill me, too. And what happened? Laser show. So, relax.”

This particular quote was the first time Dustin ever referenced himself as having “laser-like” line drives and home runs, and it’s become his catchphrase.

We hear a lot at the beginning of The Lucky Charm about how Jack likes playing his own games with the press, but when he meets Izzy, suddenly he wants to be interviewed.

Of course, we see the real evidence of Jack’s playful personality later in the book when Izzy interviews Corey Rood, who complains about a particularly annoying pastime of Jack’s. I won’t give spoilery details, but while I’d love to take credit for this particular plot point, I have to give major props to my husband, who actually suggested it.

And speaking of my husband, that’s really where the third part of Jack Bennett’s personality comes into play. I never set out intentionally to write characters that remind me of people in real life, especially people I know, but I ascribe to the belief that as an author, parts of your real life will seep into your books in unexpected and often surprising ways. I certainly didn’t set out to insert my husband into Jack, but it happened anyway. It wasn’t until I finished the first draft and was talking about it with some of my beta readers that I realized the streak in Jack that makes him so attractive to Izzy—that caring, sweet, loyal streak—that is pretty much exactly how my husband is.

So many books I’ve read over the last few years have substituted seduction and sexiness and flirtation for love. Don’t get me wrong; I totally love reading about seduction and sexiness and flirtation. I just don’t confuse those particular aspects of a connection with love. So when I set out to write Izzy and Jack’s love story in The Lucky Charm, I consciously thought about what means love to me and tried to write that.

That’s why Jack doesn’t push Izzy to have sex before she’s comfortable with the idea. He courts her, takes care of her when she needs it (even when she doesn’t want it), supports her when she’s down, and values the things about her that make her her—her intelligence and her gutsiness, along with her dark hair, gray eyes and great legs.

I really believe that these beliefs of Jack’s, along with his crazy strong sense of self, are what makes him so unique and why so many readers have fallen in love with him.

About the Author

Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with one cat and one fiance. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. If only the Portland Pioneers weren’t only figments of her imagination. After graduating from university with a degree in English, Beth unsurprisingly had no idea what to do with her life, and spent the next few years working for a medical equipment supplier, a technology company, and an accounting firm. Now Beth runs her own business as a Girl Friday for small business owners, assisting them with administration, bookkeeping and their general sanity. Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. Her first novel, The Lucky Charm, will be available in the beginning of 2014. In her nonexistent spare time, she enjoys preparing overambitious recipes, baking yummy treats, cuddling with the aforementioned cat and fiance, and of course, writing. She’s currently at work on the The Lucky Charm‘s sequel, featuring Noah Fox. She hopes he’s a lot easier to wrangle than Jack Bennett was.

Connect with the Author: Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

{Details} ebook, 329 pages. Published May 4th 2014. Ebook provided in exchange for an honest review, many thanks to Beth Bolden and Literati Author Services

{Rating} 4/5 -- I really liked it!

"When Isabel Dalton was five years old, she proudly boasted to her parents that when she grew up, she was going to be a famous movie star." (page 1, line 1)
Such a fun read. Adorable and likable characters, a lovely romance, an evil boss, a bit of intrigue and a happily ever after.

I absolutely love Jack. He's kind, persistent, thoughtful, adorable, patient, charming, and he's got a great sense of humor. I liked the way Jack sees Isabel. He sees her drive, values her strength and intelligence. And the way he feels when he makes her smile...

Isabel is a strong and determined woman. She's been thrown into a new job, a job she doesn't like, doesn't want, and is subject to an evil boss who hates her. Despite all that, she gives it her all, and is determined to succeed. But her feelings towards Jack are putting everything in jeopardy.

Jack and Isabel have great chemistry, a common outlook and drive, great banter and they understand each other like no one else ever has. I love the way they support, trust and respect each other. But their relationship is anything but easy, their careers - and their stubbornness - gets in the way. All the obstacles they face force their relationship to develop slowly, for them to become friends, to get to really know each other before things become romantic.

Can I say how much I loved Jack's best friend, Noah Fox - Foxy? Foxy is sweet, charming, fun, a bit of a matchmaker, and he loves kitten videos! I really hope Bolden is working on his book, he deserves a happy ending too.

I really enjoyed Bolden's writing style, she makes the reader feel the love not only between Jack and Isabel but of baseball, the heat, the excitement in the stands, even the smell of the ballpark, even for a non-sports fan like me. I'm very excited to read future stories in Beth Bolden's Portland series.

No comments:

Post a Comment