MuseTracks plays host today to a world-traveling, cheeky author of Contemporary Romance, Serena Clarke. her debut novel All Over The Place released from Crimson Romance TODAY! And to celebrate, she’s brought us an excerpt.
WWW gives you wings – but don’t forget your roots
We’re so international these days. We zoom around the world by air – and by www. As soon as something happens, everyone knows about it. And while it’s happening, we’re sharing it on Facebook, or live tweeting it, or blogging about it. We’re plugged in and switched on. I don’t know about you, but I love feeling like I’m part of the world, no matter where or who I am.
But…could it be that having access to everything, all the time, is just too much? Too many choices, too many distractions, and too much to live up to?
In All Over the Place, Livi meets Journey, a free-spirited believer in ‘voluntary simplicity’, a movement that embraces happiness through simpler living and mindful consumption. Livi has left one country in search of a new life, only to find that you can’t always outrun your past – and Journey’s words hit home. “Maybe what you think you’re searching for,” she says, “is just something to keep you busy, so you don’t have to look for what you really need to find.”
Despite our aspirations and achievements out there in the world, so many of us struggle to find our own true home. The truth is, home isn’t just about where, it’s also about who. The people you have around you – and that one special person who can be so hard to find.
I’m not suggesting we give up our international online lives. After all, here I am on an American blog, promoting a book set in London, New Zealand and Paris, featuring American, British, New Zealand, Swedish and Australian characters! And I’d love to ‘meet’ you on Twitter or Facebook. But while we’re busy looking here and there – all over the place – we’ll probably be happier if we remember what counts the most. Then wherever you are, as Phillip Phillips would say, you can make this place your home.
About All Over the Place
Livi Callaway has fled back to London after a reality TV disaster in New Zealand. Safely anonymous in the big city, she’s determined to stay under the radar from now on. But her attempts to build a new life are complicated by unexpected visitors from her old one, and new dangers and temptations lie in wait.
Late one night, she meets a mysteriously sexy American on the Underground – and the events that follow take her from Pooh Bear to the golden lights of Paris, via a trail of rock stars dead and alive. A family in disarray, a determined Swede, a crazed Australian and a childhood friend (who might yet be more than that) have her all over the place as she tries to discover the American’s secret – while keeping her own.
With help – and occasional hindrance – from her friends, what she eventually finds is something unexpected…sometimes, running away can lead you to exactly what you didn’t know you needed.
Livi had her hands full the next day getting the salon back in order after her time away. It was remarkable how a place could fall into disarray in such a short time.
But all day the idea niggled at her. Should she ring him? What the hell would she say? “Um, hello, I was just wondering, are you planning to knock off a rock star tomorrow? If so, could you please not?” As though any decent would-be assassin would confess immediately and cancel his plans.
By the end of the day, she was almost convinced that she was the only thing standing between Fleet Donnelly and an untimely end. How would she feel if she was back on the couch watching the late news on Tuesday night, and the story was now ‘Fleet Donnelly victim of transatlantic killer’? Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Jim Morrison…would that trail lead to one more headline? Okay, maybe it was delusional—but could she take the risk?
Cass, of course, thought absolutely not, when Livi asked her that night. Something had to be done. And if it meant Livi seeing the divine Ryan Velez again, all the better. When Livi pointed out that the divine Ryan Velez could, after all, be a twisted, dangerous madman, Cass said really, she thought probably not, but did Livi remember any of her self–defence moves?
She thought back to Len. Maybe she’d play it safe after all. The police knew what they were doing, surely.
On Tuesday morning she made sure to watch the news before she left for work. She yelled out for Cass to come and see. A reporter was outside the prison as Fleet Donnelly was released, wearing his signature jaunty hat, but looking less drug–addled than usual after his stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure. He stopped to light a cigarette and give the waiting cameras a peace sign. Time away clearly hadn’t dampened his swagger at all. Then she was reassured to see several very large bodyguards get him safely to an anonymous black car.
“He’ll probably be all right,” she said. “Don’t you think?”
Cass nodded. “Oh, I think so. More than likely.”
Neither felt a hundred percent convinced.
Click the link to buy All Over the Place
Serena grew up in a family of itchy-footed readers and dreamers – not concentrating, reading the atlas and Narnia books, and planning to escape somewhere magical as soon as she could. When she was 16, she went from New Zealand to live in Sweden for a year. It was the beginning of many travels and adventures – and quite a few disasters! She didn’t know it at the time, but eventually she’d be grateful for all the downs as well as the ups. As writers say in the face of adversity: “I can use that.” She’s now living back in New Zealand, where she writes stories reflecting her determined belief in magic, possibility, second chances and happy endings.