Saturday, August 17, 2013

40 for 40 - Victoria Parker

So today's post comes from the very last guest blogger in the  40 for 40 celebrations - and once again I want to introduce you to one of the newest Modern Romance/ Harlequin Presents authors.  Not quite as brand new as Michelle because Victoria Parker  has her second book out now. Which means she's got past that difficult 'second book blues; time - Congratulations, Victoria!

I read and enjoyed Victoria's first book - The Princess in the Iron Mask so I'm looking forward to her new title -  A Reputation to Uphold.  As I said, when introducing Michelle, the new writers are the 'new blood' of the line and I hope that Victoria has a long and successful career ahead of her.  I'm really happy to introduce her to you here today -
And to round off the 40 for 40 celebration in  true style - Victoria is celebrating her own wedding anniversary today.

So welcome Victoria. And  Happy Anniversary.

Firstly, huge congratulations to Kate and Steve on 40 years of wedded bliss! My hubby and I celebrated our 10th anniversary last summer so 40 years seriously boggles my mind and leaves me completely awed. I was very young when I first met my husband and little did I know then, we had a rocky road ahead of us. Lots of ups and down and wrong turns but we always found our way back to each other. I like to think our hearts were driving us and we were destined to eventually meet in the same place. And if I’ve learned one thing from our youthful encounters and subsequent marriage it’s that you have to love hard. We all change through the years and it takes a deep loyal friendship and mutual respect to grow together. That’s one thing I noticed most about Kate and Steve when I first met them – they are great friends as well as a truly loving couple.


It’s that perfect blend of two people coming together – being destined – that is always the starting point for my Modern Presents and oddly enough my latest release ‘A Reputation To Uphold’ was born around the time of my own anniversary.

On a whim we decided to fly out to Thailand to celebrate with my rather wonderful sister and her family and I knew I had the perfect setting for my next book. Question was; who could I picture here in paradise? Then, one day, we were all relaxing on James Bond Island, soaking up the sun and lush scenery and we all got to chatting about love at first sight – was it even possible or was it merely wishful thinking, a fairy tale of sorts? Naturally, the guys decided it was lust-at-first-sight wrapped in a pretty bow but here’s the thing… I’m a die-hard romantic, so of course I believe it is entirely possible. Then as always, I started thinking, what if. What if my heroine grew up wrapped in the arms of her parents love and always dreamed of finding The One? What if her fairy tale was a beautiful courtship and a white wedding with vows from the heart? What if she met her hero in the form of her older brothers best friend, was struck by the power of love at first sight and began to build castles in the sky? Then, what if life threw her off course and dealt her some hard heart-wrenching cards that meant she would forever be alone. Gone were the dreams as she crashed into reality. Life was not a fairy tale, she discovered. It was hard and love was a lie. Happy ever afters, she decided, did not exist – at least not for her.


That was how Eva St George was born. A series of what if’s. And as I painted her past I watched her bury that beautiful youthful innocence. I watched her make mistakes, just as we all do, but that makes her real and one of the many things I adore about her. When the story opens she’s fought past her turbulent years and is on the brink of becoming a hugely successful wedding dress designer. In truth, she makes other women’s dreams come true, happy to live vicariously through her clients. So there
she is, on the verge of success, creating a gown for the next Duchess and who should swagger back into her life to reap havoc and destruction but super sexy, inordinately powerful, Dante Vitale – the cynical brooding Italian who crushed her youthful heart. The man she’s always wanted. The man she can never ever have.


As soon as I started writing this book, I knew it would be chock full of romance, of all the wondrous elements love has to offer that Eva has denied herself for so long. I knew it would be teeming with a passion that has never died and I knew Dante needed to show Eva the light, even as he lived in the dark. They bring out the worst in each other but also the best and theirs is a true love story that will stay with me always as they both learn that life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Life isn’t a fairy tale but dreams do come true – you just need the courage to fight for them, have faith and believe.


I’m giving away a signed copy of ‘Reputation To Uphold’ to celebrate the power of love and life. Of making every second count.
All you have to do is leave a comment and tell me; What is the most romantic thing your partner has ever done for you?
Like Dante, did they drive miles out of town for your favourite ice-cream or vividly remember their first glimpse of you so many years ago. Or maybe they whisked you away for a secret rendezvous just to say ‘I love you’. The romantic in me would love to know!


JulieM said...

On our first Valentine's Day he bought me a copy of "Lord of the Rings" and inscribed it with the message that he hoped that I'd enjoy my journey into Middle-Earth as much he'd enjoyed his. That started my love of fantasy novels which is an interest we're still sharing nearly 30 years later.

Michelle Styles said...

Happy anniversary! You and your dh make such a lovely couple.
As you know I loved A Reputation to Uphold -- such a great story.
I'm looking forward to the next one and of course Presents is written in your writing DNA. I love how you have taken the Presents promise and made it your own.

Eli Yanti said...

Got a rose and chocolate from partner and I always dream of it :)

Laney4 said...

My immediate response was, and still is, the twinkle in his eyes, only for me. To me, THAT is romance.
Upon further reflection, when trying to answer your question with something he DID, my first thought was our 30th wedding anniversary two years ago. We left on a Monday around 10 am, drove to a city an hour away (while holding hands whenever possible), took a ferry to an island (where I read my book while he roamed the hot deck - which I can't do due to medication not reacting well with the direct sunlight), drove slowly around the island, necked like teenagers alongside the road when no traffic, had a lovely lunch in a "new to us" restaurant, ate my homemade brownies and/or cookies, necked some more, read more on the ferry back, toured the city, ate supper in a favourite restaurant, took another ferry towards home, read some more of course, ate ice cream cones in a nearby town, and got home by 9 pm. It was a LOVELY day!
BTW, I read your first book and loved it! I kept wondering how I was going to get my HEA when the end of the book was coming up fast, but you did it! And well! I enjoyed the conversations, and I liked "watching" everyone's layers being peeled away. Am looking forward to reading lots of your books now!

Caroline said...

Hi Victoria, great to see you here, and a happy anniversary to you too. It's been a blast reading and commenting on kate's anniversary 40 for 40 blog. So sad its the last one but kate deserves a rest now! Caroline xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle! Lovely to see you here, thank you so much for coming over to say Hi. So thrilled you loved Eva and Dante and yeah, you're right, Presents is in my blood. It's so amazing to finally be here.

DH says Hi right back!


Anonymous said...

Hi Julie! I love Lord Of The Rings - what a lovely idea! And it's so great to have shared interests, right? My hubby and I share a serious love of fast-cars and racing and it's great to get excited about the same things and think up excuses to get to various Grand Prix. Kind of like... "Maybe Ben (our son) would like Monaco?" "Yeah, of course he would, great idea" ;)

Thanks so much for popping over, Julie and I wish you many more fantasy filled years together.


Anonymous said...

Good evening Eli! Roses and chocolates - definitely a way to my heart too. Thanks so much for calling by. I hope the sun is shining where you are ;)


Anonymous said...

Wow - hey Laney! How are you? Lovely to see you here. I am so pleased you enjoyed Princess and yes, I enjoyed keeping people on their toes with that HEA. It suited them so well, I thought. I hope you love Eva and Dante just as much :)

Now, that twinkle. I could not agree more, Laney! Going back to Dante, it was the little things that he did for Eva that spoke the most to me. The way he remembered exactly how she looked or exactly what she said at one point in time years ago. That speaks volumes, don't you think?

And lol - I absolutely loved your day out too! Had to laugh at all the necking ;) Great! That beautiful day will stay with you always and I wish you both many more to come.


Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline!

Thank you! Where else could you find an amazing collection of blog posts by truly wonderful authors but right here with Kate. She has been amazing, as always, and truly does deserve a rest, as well as the very best life has to offer.

Thanks for posting Caroline. Hope you are having a wonderful day.


Kaelee said...

Happy Anniversary Victoria.

I've been married for 45 years and there have been a lot of romantic moments over the years. I love getting flowers and lately my husband has been buying me orchid plants. I love getting greeted with a hot cup of coffee in the morning because I'm a night owl and he is an early bird. I love how he fills the bathtub for me. I could name more.

However I think the most romantic thing has got to be how he gives me a kiss and a cuddle after my hot temper gets loose. It's not always him that's the cause of the boil over but he always makes me feel better and loved.

bn100 said...

cook a meal

Mary Preston said...

Wishing you a very Happy Anniversary Victoria!!

One moment comes to mind. When my son was born the three of us were all lying huddled together on the hospital bed. The Mister gave me a small blue card with the words 'Thank You' written on it. It was such a perfect moment in every way.

Anonymous said...

ohanHi Kaelee! Thank you! And I love your best moments, they're beautifully real. Orchids are my fave flower ever and always remind me of our wedding day - they were everywhere - just stunning. Funny you should mention bath tubs, Dante fills one for Eva too but thinking about it, I'm not sure about my dh. Think I'll give him a nudge on that - lol.

Thanks so much for posting, Kaelee.


Anonymous said...

Hi bn100! Thanks for calling by. Nothing better than a guy who cooks, right? I often wish I had married a chef as it's really not my forte ;)


Anonymous said...

Hi Mary! Oh, that is one of the sweetest things I've ever heard. What a wonderful memory to hold to your heart - I love it!

Thank you so much for posting and for the Anniversary wishes. Wishing you many more perfect moments ahead.


lidia said...

The evening that we came home from the hospital with our newborn baby daughter my husband cooked a special dinner. My favorite part was the dessert -- chocolate souffle with strawberries.

We had a candlelight dinner in our dining room. I was in my nightgown sitting on a "donut" and our baby daughter was in her infant chair on the table.

All three of us celebrated her birth together.


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