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A Conversation with Beth Ciotta, Author of MARRY POPPINS (Impossible Dream #3) with a New Release Review and Giveaway!

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Award-winning author Beth Ciotta presents Marry Poppins, the third book in the contemporary fairy tale series—Impossible Dream—celebrating hope, love, and the magic of the human spirit!

What 5 things should readers know about you?

  • Even though I’ve lived on the bustling Jersey Shore for more than 25 years now, I grew up in rural Indiana. You can take the girl out of the country, but… Hence my penchant for writing in small towns.
  • My background is in entertainment. I made my living as a performer for 30+ years (I started in my teens!) as a singer, actress, and dancer. Naturally several of my stories have highlighted some sort of ‘artist’ or some aspect of an artist’s life. All of my stories feature quirky and colorful characters—probably because my real life has been so full of them!
  • I love animals. All animals. But I really love my dogs and cat. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter and you’ll easily spot the photographic evidence of my obsession.
  • Although I spent much of my life on stage, and although I’m extremely outgoing in social media land, in person I am quite shy and relatively quiet.
  • Everything makes me cry. Okay. Not everything. But a lot of things. Happy movies. Sad movies. (Same for happy/sad books). Commercials with kids or animals in need. Sappy greeting cards. Singing the Star Spangled Banner…. You get the idea. That’s not to say I’m a sad person. In fact, for the most part, I am disgustingly cheerful.

OMG, I am with you on the crying! Sometimes it’s embarrassing what will set me off…

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I work part time at my local library as a Senior Library Assistant. One day a patron brought a copy of Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers to the circulation desk, wanting to check the book out for her daughter. A word play on the title popped into my head—MARRY POPPINS—and it stuck there for two years. I was working on another series at that time. Later, when considering a new series idea, I thought again about MARRY POPPINS and instantly knew I wanted to write a series inspired by fairy tales and children’s classics. MARRY POPPINS (A nanny arrangement that leads to a marriage-of-convenience) ended up being the third book in the series but it was the inspiration for the entire Impossible Dream saga.

Wow, great story! 🙂

How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

Around 1992/93, I rediscovered my love of reading romance novels and high-adventure fiction.  One night as I reached the end of one of these tales (a Johanna Lindsey historical), I thought, “I want to write stories like this. I want to make people feel the way I feel right now.” That “feeling” was and is a powerful motivator. I started writing my first novel soon after that and have been going strong ever since.

Fantastic!

 

What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m presently working on NO PLACE LIKE NOWHERE—the 4th book in the Impossible Dream series. As you can probably guess the inspiration comes from The Wizard of Oz. Let’s just say this will be the most “adventurous” of the ID tales and I’m having a blast writing it. This story is slated for release this summer.

Also scheduled for this year is the launch of a supernatural suspense trilogy—The Elite Society of Characters Assassins. Book one is entitled—THE ASSASSIN’S PRODIGY. I’m crazy about this new and additional direction in my career and look forward to sharing these adventurous tales with readers.

Yay! Book four—can’t wait! I’ve been a Wizard of Oz fan for forever. (And I have time to get caught up with 1 and 2; excellent!)

And, woot–I know what that means! “adventurous” = Emma 🙂

 

If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

MARRY POPPINS, a modern-day fairy tale celebrating dreams, love, complicated relationships, and the power of forgiveness!

Perfect!

 

Beth Ciotta is an award-winning author who specializes in quirky romantic adventures. Dubbed “fun and sexy” by Publishers Weekly, her work includes contemporary, historical, and paranormal romantic fiction. Beth lives in New Jersey with her husband, two zany dogs, and a crazy cat.A retired professional performer, Beth now pours her artistic passion into her writing. To learn more about her colorful life, visit her website at www.bethciotta.com

MARRY POPPINS
Impossible Dream #3
Beth Ciotta
Released February 27th, 2016
BC Ink


When fate bobbles your dream, sometimes you have to make your own magic…

She wants a family.

He needs a wife. A marriage-of-convenience solves a myriad of problems for unlucky Georgie Poppins and down-on-his-luck Bryce Morgan. Falling in love wasn’t part of the bargain so no one is more surprised than Georgie and Bryce when sexual sparks ignite a full-blown romance. Unfortunately, as love swells, trouble mounts, including a glitch at Impossible Dream.com—an Internet company designed to match people with their most avid desire. Maybe Georgie and Bryce weren’t meant to be after all.

 

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Excerpt-Banner 

Most of her waking moments didn’t seem real. Visiting places she never dreamed she’d see in person, alongside the man she once dreamed she’d marry. Not only that, they were rooming together and sleeping together—albeit platonically.

Aside from that one unexpected and amazingly perfect kiss, Bryce had kept his lips to himself. Georgie would have been disappointed except his attraction was evident. She felt it. She sizzled with it. Something was building. Something was going to happen between Georgina Lou Poppins and Bryce-The Bullet-Morgan. The anticipation was exhilarating. The ultimate foreplay—and the most he’d done was hold her hand while navigating crowds. Or palming the small of her back while guiding her through an entrance.

His touch had been warm and welcome. He made her feel safe and cared for, as if she were his to worry about. Every brush of his hand felt like a lover’s caress.

Maybe they weren’t destined for forever, but they were destined for at least once.

She didn’t want to jinx it. She didn’t want to cheapen it with girlish, gossipy exchanges with her friends. She didn’t want to rush it or force it—patience recommended—so she played it cool. No easy feat. Especially when they were first waking up or preparing for bed. Or basically anytime they were alone in the hotel suite—that king-sized, pillow-soft mattress screaming for action of the horizontal-mambo variety.

Sort of like now.

“Are you sure there wasn’t anything else you wanted to do tonight?” Bryce asked as he shrugged out of a suit jacket and draped it over the chair.

A loaded question, considering, yeah, she’d like to jump his bones. Georgie answered cautiously as she sat on the sofa and unbuckled her left strappy heel. “Not for anything, but these shoes weren’t made for walking.”

“No, they weren’t.”

Georgie glanced up and caught Bryce staring at her legs.

The sexually charged air crackled and Georgie had to bite her tongue as she fumbled with the buckle of her other—not exactly, but as close as she owned—FMPs.

Bryce had treated her to dinner and a show. A musical playing in Leicester Square, which was sort of like New York’s Times Square albeit it more quaint (according to Bryce, who’d been to New York City, unlike Georgie).

Even though Bryce had assured her not all people dressed up for the theater, Georgie couldn’t resist going all out. Fortunately, Angel had supplied her with two dresses suitable for finer entertainment. Georgie had settled on a simple black halter dress and strappy red heels. The same heels she’d worn to Bryce’s non-wedding. The difference was her non-wedding dress had skimmed her knees. This hemline stopped mid-thigh. So, yeah, her legs were on prime display.

Feigning innocence, she asked, “Anything wrong?”

“I should go.”

“Where?”

“Anywhere. I need to walk this off.”

It was all she could do to stay seated, to feign calm. He looked gorgeous and miserable and she wanted to tackle him to the floor. “Walk what off?”

Bryce palmed the back of his neck and rubbed. He blew out a breath. A tense breath. A really tense breath.

Georgie practiced extraordinary patience.

“That dress. Those shoes. You. The past few days.” He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his trousers, studied the toes of his boots.

Georgie waited.

“You look hot, dammit.”

Her pulse kicked. If only he didn’t sound so disappointed. “Thank you. I think.”

“I can’t be here. This—and don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about—can’t happen.”

Heart pounding, Georgie took a leap of faith. Enough patience. Time to initiate derring-do. She rose to her bare feet and closed the distance between them. “Okay. No pretending. Let’s face this head on.” She inched closer, pressing her body to his, acknowledging his oh-so-noticeable package. “Why can’t this happen?”

He remained frozen, staring down at her in stoic silence.

“Because I’m Ryan’s sister?” she prodded. “Because you’re on the rebound? Because you don’t love me and you don’t want to complicate matters with meaningless sex? Because you’re conflicted about the twins and your future and you need me to be there for them and for Arlo so you can honor your charity commitments and pursue whatever?”

She rattled off everything she could think of because there wasn’t one forthcoming bone in Bryce’s infuriatingly hunky body. The man guarded his innermost thoughts as if they were a flipping national secret.

He worked his jaw. “Yes.”

“To what?”

“To everything.”

She wanted to punch him—the big stubborn, noble, ex-jock. “What if I told you meaningless sex is all I’m interested in? What if I told you I have no intention of bailing on your nanny job—no matter if this happens or not—because that job is the only thing keeping me afloat until my dream job comes through. Which—in case I didn’t mention it before—should be soon.”

If she said it often enough, maybe it would happen. Maybe she’d get that golden email from Impossible Dream alerting her of a wondrous opportunity. As it was, the only notices she’d been getting were from bill collectors.

Jerking her thoughts back to pleasant ground, Georgie dug in. “Here’s the thing. Ignoring this attraction won’t make it go away, Bryce. Addressing it might. If it helps,” she lied, “I meant what I said that day at Grace Chapel. This isn’t a matter of the heart. This is purely physical.”

And that was about all she could muster in the derring-do department without sacrificing her pride.

Bryce closed his eyes and cursed.

When he reached for his jacket, Georgie turned her back. He was leaving. Fine. “Go for your walk. Forget I said anything,” she said while fumbling with the zipper at the back of her dress. “I’ll be in bed by the time you get back, sleeping this off.”

She heard the door open…

Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Do. Not. Cry.

…and shut.

“Dammit,” she swore when the zipper wouldn’t budge and her temper overflowed.

“Screw it.” Bryce cupped her shoulders and turned her in his arms.

Review-Banner
Such a sweet story! I love older brother’s best friend/unrequited teenage crush stories, and Marry Poppins is a great example of one 🙂

At the book’s start, both Bryce and Georgie aren’t having the best of luck. Bryce has just gotten custody of his twin niece and nephew, five-year-olds he didn’t know existed until his sister died and left them in his care. Oh, and he’s about to get dumped…a few yards shy of the actual altar, so that’s better, yes? Georgie’s bracing herself to watch the guy she’s been in love with for years walk down the aisle with someone else–she’s dressed to kill, but she’s also written to ID.com (the series titular Impossible Dream) to try and salvage her greatest desire…four weeks ago. Complete radio silence in return. Oh, and she’s out of work and about to be evicted from her apartment. Can’t anything go right?

Then Bryce gets dumped, Georgie offers to move in as his nanny. Next thing she knows, she’s whisked off to London on the honeymoon-that-wasn’t, and sharing closer quarters than she’d planned on with her new employer. Surely nothing could go wrong here? 😉

In the timeline of the story, Bryce and Georgie’s relationship moves pretty fast, but since they’ve known each other forever it’s pretty believable. Some of the events stretch the boundaries of believability a bit (their reason for marrying so quickly, for example, and Bryce’s blowup near the end) but the rest of the story is so darn cute and Bryce and Georgie are so clearly supposed to be together it’s easy to forgive the clunkier bits. There’s an absolutely awesome secondary romance going on throughout as well–I kind of wish those two had gotten their own book as well, but am willing to admit it worked nicely into this book. (And woot! It was a great example of the opposite of one of my pet peeves, which was fantastic :))

Overall this was a sweet read that will leave you with a happy case of the warm fuzzies. It worked fine as a standalone as well–though naturally now I want to read the first two ( Beauty & the Biker and Enchanting Christmas ) as well. Now I just have to find time to do so before Emma’s book ( No Place Like Nowhere ) comes out…

Rating: 4 stars/ B+

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Looking for more Impossible Dream Romances?

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2 Comments

  1. Lovely review and interview. Thank you for hosting MARRY POPPINS today!

    Crystal, Tasty Book Tours

    • Thank you! And thanks for visiting 🙂

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