Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ WHO SAYS YOU CAN'T GO HOME? by Andria Henry

Who Says You Can’t Go Home? (Camden Lake, #1)
by: Andria Henry
Series: Camden Lake
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 23, 2022
Publisher: Champagne Book Group

When Toronto party girl Kylie is fired from her perfect job, she's forced to do the one thing she never wanted to do: go home. Returning to her sleepy hometown is her definition of failure. She drags herself back to the lakeside town of Camden with her tail between her legs, and she'll do whatever it takes to get back to the big city.

When Derek runs a routine traffic stop on a speeder, the one person he never expects to see in Camden again is Kylie. In fact, he barely recognizes her. She doesn't look like the quiet, sweet girl he had a crush on in high school.

Kylie's brother offers her a job back in the city if she can prove she’s changed her ways. She finds the perfect opportunity, but it means working with Derek to save the town’s waterfront. Can she look past their feud and get the job done?

Can she avoid falling in love with him and complicating her plans to return to the big city?

Hi Andria. Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews. How are you?
I’m doing great thank you! And I’m so excited to be part of your blog today. I’m having so much fun with this tour!

I’m happy to have you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the tour. Congratulations on the release of Who Says You Can’t Go Home? What can you tell me about the story?
Thank you so much! Who Says You Can’t Go Home? is a book that somehow turned into a love letter to my home town. It has all the small-town quirks (and quirky characters) you’ll love if you enjoy stories like Gilmore Girls. Our main character, Kylie, left home after high school looking for a fresh start, but found herself in a cycle of trying, and failing, to keep up with the fashionable party life in Toronto. She is forced to return to her hometown of Camden to start fresh, but her first stop is getting pulled over for speeding by the town’s only officer, Derek, who just happens to be Kylie’s high school crush. Too bad he turned into a total jerk.

Derek doesn’t have time to deal with his mixed feelings over Kylie, who he used to like, but has turned into a complete city snob. He’s got to focus on helping his sister raise her little boy and save the town’s waterfront from development.

Hijinx and bickering most definitely ensue.

Sounds fun. Tell me more about Kylie and Derek.
Kylie worked as a social media manager for the children’s hospital in Toronto until she got fired in the most embarrassing way. It was a job she was good at and very passionate about, and now that it’s gone, she feels lost. She can no longer afford rent in Toronto or to spend time with her supposed friends, so she has to move back in with her parents, tail between her legs. But she still has drive and her keen fashion sense, and she’s determined to find her way back to the city.

Derek puts all his time and energy into taking care of others. He helps his sister out and loves being a pseudo-parent to his sweet nephew. He focuses on his job, protecting the town and keeping the peace between neighbours as the one and only law enforcement officer, but he took it a step further by becoming the youngest member of town council to protect his town from bad decision-making as well. He doesn’t really have time for other distractions.

What do you think makes them right for each other?
Despite their initial hate for each other, they only need a little push to see that Kylie cares just as deeply about the town and its people as Derek does and that Derek really can be as tender as Kylie needs him to be.

If I’m not mistaken, Who Says You Can’t Go Home? is the first book in your Camden Lake series. What can readers expect from the series overall?
Yes! It’s Camden Lake book 1! The series will be 4 books, each following a different person from Kylie and Derek’s group of friends, and each taking place in a different season. I really wanted to showcase how the town changes throughout the year. Who Says You Can’t Go Home? takes place in the spring as the lake warms up, gardens are growing, and the town prepares for the onslaught of summer cottagers that triple the town’s population for three months. Book 2 is taking place in the autumn. Think Canadian Thanksgiving, football games, changing leaves, back-to-school, and Halloween!

What’s your favorite part of Who Says You Can’t Go Home? to write, any why?
Hmmmm how to say this without spoiling too much. Let’s say that Kylie and Derek missed out on a chance to dance together in high school, but they make up for it in a tender moment alone in town hall. That was a really sweet scene for me to write. I may have cried (okay, I totally cried).

Oh wow. That has to be a pretty amazing scene. Tell me about one of your favorite scenes from the book, and why is it a favorite?
One of my favourite scenes in the book is when Kylie is visiting her new friend Forrest at the retirement home and she’s feeling lost and confused about what she’s supposed to do with her life and where she’s supposed to be. He gives her this advice:
“When I was in the navy, sometimes the condition of the seas would shift without warning. A storm would drop in on us, or we’d see one coming our way. We’d have to change our course according to the condition of the seas. It seems to me like you’ve hit rough seas, and maybe this is an opportunity to change course.”

At what point did Kylie and Derek and their love story become real for you?
This might be a terrible answer, but they actually didn’t become real for me until I started going through the story with my editor. She pointed out spots where things the characters were saying or doing didn’t match their personalities and that’s when I really started examining how I’d written them and getting to know them and what drew them together on a deeper level.

Was there a time during the writing process that you were really surprised by the story or the characters?
I didn’t really plan for the characters of Forrest and Edna at all. They are residents of the retirement home who Kylie befriends while doing deliveries for the bookstore. They both took on a life of their own in such a delightful way! And it turns out they’re fan favourites! During release week, I had more people asking if there would be more of Forrest and Edna in book 2 than anything else!

I love when secondary characters work their way into my heart. What do you most want readers to take away from reading Who Says You Can’t Go Home?
Comfort and a smile. This book is meant to be a warm hug, like a Hallmark movie, and readers say that I hit the mark. But I also hope you laugh, because there are some ridiculous moments and lots of witty banter.

Andria, thank you so much for answering some questions for me.
Thank you so much for having me! This was a lot of fun and I hope your readers enjoyed it as well!

“Maybe she’s on the lam from a shady business deal gone bad.” Cate dunked her hands back into the soapy sink to grab another dish.

“Really.” Derek took a plate from the dish rack to dry. Maybe he shouldn’t have told his sister about running into Kylie.

“Or she had an affair with her boss and needs to hide to raise their love child in peace.”

“You watch too much TV.”

“Why else would she be in town when it’s not Christmas?”

“She’s probably just visiting her parents or something.” Derek put the plate away.

“Well did she say anything to you?”

“Mostly she apologized for speeding then yelled at me when I gave her the ticket.”

“She’s lucky you didn’t throw her in jail.” She flicked dish water at him.

“Speeding isn’t exactly an indictable offense.”

“I’ve seen you throw folks in the cell for less. Someone endangering the citizens of Camden by driving like that?” She side-eyed him. “Are you going soft?”

“What? No.” He took another plate to dry.

“Wait, are you still sweet on her? It’s been like ten years.”

“Did you just say, ‘sweet on’? Am I eighteen again? No. She seems to be even more of a snob now than she was back in school.”

She huffed and fished around in the soapy sink for the cutlery.

“Besides she’s so…different. I didn’t even recognize her at first.”

“But she looked good, right?” She grinned and bumped her hip against his.

“She looked, well, like too much.”

“Uh huh.”

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Andria Henry is the author of adult sweet romance and romantic comedy, as well as young adult and middle grade science fiction and fantasy. She firmly believes that coffee is a food group, the holiday season starts on November 1st, and that stories are our most important resource. She lives with her husband, kids, and furkids in Hamilton, Ontario.

Places to find Andria Henry:

You can follow Who Says You Can’t Go Home? Blog Tour here.

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  1. Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! This was a really fun interview and I hope your readers enjoy it!

    1. Thank you so much for doing it, and for stopping by.

  2. sounds like a nice read. looking forward to it

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by the blog!

  4. I enjoyed reading the interview and getting to know you a bit, Andria, I also enjoyed the excerpt and Who Says You Can't Go Home? sounds like a fantastic book for me to read!

    Thanks for sharing it with me and have a splendid day!

  5. fun excerpt, looks like a great book

  6. Thank you for sharing your interview, bio and book details, I have enjoyed reading about you and your work and I am looking forward to reading Who Says You Can’t Go Home? I am happy to see that this book is the first in a series, do you have a specific number of stories planned for the series or will you let the characters take you where they will?

    1. Thank you for asking! I have 3 more books planned, one to display each season in Camden. Book 2 is set in the fall during Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween. Book 3 will be a Christmas story and Book 4 will be during the summer season when the town floods with cottagers.

    2. They all sound like wonderful stories and I will keep my eye out for them. Thank you for responding to my query.

  7. I love Gilmore girls, I'll definitely have to read this book!

  8. Isn't Gilmore Girls the best??? My goal was to capture some of the witty banter and all the quirky cast members of Stars Hollow!


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