Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CHASING CHRIS CAMPBELL { blog tour + character conversation } by Genevieve Gannon

AUS Impulse | June 1, 2015 | 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?

{ about genevieve gannon } .

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

{ excerpt } .

When I first moved in after the motorcycle fiasco, I only planned to stay at Mum and Dad’s for a few nights to cool off. But after the big bust-up at the Tanner house party the weeks had passed in a blur of bars and hangovers. Soon I was several weeks into the new year with nowhere else to go.

One Saturday night, when I couldn’t face going out again, my fourteen-year-old brother, Zach, came into the room and lay on the end of my bed.

‘Cass, why is Vy sad?’ he asked my sister who was watching me from my bedroom door.

‘It’s nothing Zachman,’ I said. ‘I’m just sleepy.’

Cass joined Zach on the end of my bed.

‘Cass, what am I going to do? For the past few years my plan has been to start a life with him.’

‘Make new plans,’ she said gently.

‘My whole life I’ve been waiting get married. To have children. It’s all been a waste.’

Cass didn’t say anything.

The past weeks had been stereo chaos. In between late night parties, I’d somehow managed to unshackle my life from Michael’s. In a haze of hangovers and tears I’d divided our books, our CDs, our crockery and finally our finances. Now, all that was left of my white-picket future was my couch, half a cutlery set, and $22,000.

‘You should take a trip,’ said Cass. ‘You’ve never even left Australia. There’s plenty of time for buying a house and having children later. This is an opportunity to get out on your own. Figure out who you are.’ She opened her laptop. ‘What about a European adventure? Or Poland, Vy? You could visit Nan’s old town.’

I took the computer from her. ‘Maybe. I’d want to go somewhere hot.’

‘But we’ve got family in Poland. They’d take care of you.’

‘No,’ I shook my head. ‘I don’t know.’

After Cass had gone to bed, I went to my laptop and sifted through some of the travel pages she’d bookmarked. My room was dark and silent. The only sign of life was the glow of the laptop screen and the tap of my fingers on the keys. Pictures of spotless beaches flickered before my eyes. I imagined how the fine sand would feel against my skin. She had flagged pages and pages of suggestions. Next came tiny mountain villages full of houses with thatched roofs. Then the grandeur of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, its yellow plains pocked with the entrance of tombs. I put my face close to the computer screen, trying to see what lay beyond the tombs’ shadowy entrances. I looked around at my childhood bedroom. I was twenty-seven and it was one of only two homes I’d ever known. The dolls I’d nursed as a child still sat on top of my bookshelf.

A bell heralding a new email rang out, making me jump. When I looked at it my breath caught in my throat. It was from I quickly clicked on it. The connection stalled.

‘Come on, come on,’ I whispered.

The email opened up on the screen:
Hey Vy,
Great to see you the other night, albeit briefly! Where did you run off to?
Shame we couldn’t catch up. I’m back in Hong Kong now. Working short term contracts while I try to find a real job. I do some hospitality shifts to make a little extra travel money – the Shangri-La and a few others places. Wherever they’ll have me. The night life is amazing here. You should visit some time. You’d love Asia. Come to Asia!

My hands were shaking. Chris Campbell had written to me. He had wanted to spend more time with me. I read it twice. I thought about what he’d said to me and the opportunities I’d missed. I thought about Michael and his need to control everything, his jealousy and bloody-mindedness. I replayed in my head the way Chris had perfectly articulated the way I felt about him. He was the one that got away. But it wasn’t too late. I read the email again. Come to Asia.

Cass’s voice echoed in my head. Figure out who you are. I licked my lips.

Then I booked a plane ticket to Hong Kong.

One way.

{ conversation with cass & violet } .

Violet and Cassandra Mason are identical twins on the outside, but on the inside they couldn't be more different. Cass is artistic and well-travelled while Violet has been too busy working as a research scientist and saving for a house with her boyfriend Michael to ever leave their home city of Melbourne. So when Violet suddenly decided to cash-in her home savings for a one-way ticket to Asia, Cass felt it was her sisterly duty to grill Violet on her decision to make sure she knew what she was getting herself into.

Cass Mason: So let me get this straight, you're dropping everything to fly to a country you've never visited for a guy you've hardly spoken to in years?

Violet: Yes. I know it sounds mad. I've never been overseas before. I've only ever left Melbourne once. Remember that trip to the science research centre in Canberra? I got lost coming out of the airport and then a security guard confiscated my apple, saying it breached interstate quarantine regulations. But I know it’s the right thing to do.

Cass: But, you're just going to pack up your life, leaving behind your boyfriend of five years and a good job to chase after someone you’ve hardly seen since high school?

Violet: Basically. I hated my job. I was only doing it to earn enough money to buy a house with Michael. And as for Michael, well, he’s my ex-boyfriend now I guess. You know what happened there. I told you about that awful thing he did with the ... Well. I won't go into it again. Anyway, I was at a Christmas party, miserable, trying to drown my sorrows and I saw him....

Cass: Him being …?

Violet: Chris Campbell. The one that got away. As soon as I saw him all the memories of how much we had adored each other, what great friends we had been, came flooding back. He flew back to Hong Kong the next day. He's working there now. I thought it was the end - again. But then I got an email from him telling me I should come visit.

Cass: And you decided to go right away?

Violet: Well, yes. This summer has been a disaster for me. My whole world fell apart. For the last five years my plan was to marry Michael and build a life, start a family. But that's over now. I have a second chance with Chris. But it's more than that. I have to get out of Melbourne. I need a holiday and a break. I need to expand my horizons. The email from Chris just helped me decide the destination.

Cass: But what happens if you arrive in Hong Kong and he's not there?

Violet: I guess I haven’t really thought about that. But, I’m sure it won’t be a problem. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen …?

{ giveaway } .


  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?