Today I’m excited to share a review for a new release by one of my favorite authors in addition to an exclusive guest post written by the author herself!
Playing House by Laura Chapman
I loved this story of Bailey. She starts off as an assistant designer on a reality TV show that is being filmed in Texas. Bailey slowly becomes an important fixture in the crew and in their lives. But things aren’t always how they seem. There’s little secrets that pop up along the way and Bailey wonders if she’s getting more than she signed on for.
One of the main themes of the story is family and the lengths we will go to protect the people we care about. At the end of the day, the most important thing is taking care of the people we love and its always in our best interest to be open and honest in what we do.
This novel was highly entertaining and I wish there was another one to follow in a series, but I believe it currently is a stand alone novel. Can’t wait to see what Chapman brings on next.
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
I received a complimentary review copy via the author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.
Guest Post by Laura Chapman: Tour of My Office
In my latest novel, Playing House, we go behind the scenes of a hit home improvement TV show. In that spirit, I thought I’d take you readers on a tour of my favorite room in my house: my office.
This is the room I have put the most work and time into. Every piece has a purpose and a story behind it. I’ll share some of those tales. Incidentally, despite my best intentions, my office also tends to be the room in which I spend the least amount of time. Well, after the guest bedroom, which I primarily use to hide clean laundry from my cats before I fold it. I tend to be nomadic with my writing, which means my laptop, notebooks, and I roam the house rather than hanging in my beautiful office.
With that disclaimer, let me show you where the magic (theoretically) happens . . .
I was going to tidy up my desk a bit before I snapped this photo, but I figured this is more honest. Also, I’m in the middle of promoting my newest release and writing a new series. I need to cut out as many procrastinating distractions—like shuffling papers around—as I can.
When I moved into the house more than a year ago, one of my first steps (after shampooing the carpets and scrubbing every surface) was to paint this room. I went with minted lemon from Behr. A friend turned me onto their primer and paint and one, and it is truly a Godsend. It takes just one coat, which is about all I have the patience to do. I wanted something both comforting and classy, and I fell in love with this color right away. Even the woman who mixed it fell hard and made a note to remember it the next time she painted at home.
My furniture is a mix of a black desk and black and white office chair from IKEA paired with black bookshelves picked up at Target over the years. I assembled all of the pieces myself, because I need to use my pink tool-set for something.
The shelves are particularly important, because they hold my (alphabetized) collection of fiction novels as well as my writing resources and copies of my books sold at signings. Organization—when I can manage it—is crucial to my Type A-minus self’s sanity.
I also have a loveseat, which I bartered for with one of my dearest friends, who moonlights as one of my first-sight beta readers. I sanded it down, painted it white and sewed new slipcovers and pillows for the cushions with fabric ordered off of Fabric.com.
What really makes this room mine and inspirational—beyond those shelves of books—is the varying pieces of art and memorabilia throughout.
On the wall opposite my desk, above the loveseat, I have movie posters for Jane Eyre (2011) and Fifty Shades of Grey (2015). I bought the Jane poster as a 29th birthday present to myself. The Fifty Shades poster was a gift from one of my best friends. It’s actually a one-of-a-kind mounted piece, created by the studio for a promotional event and given to him—then passed on to me. He knew how much I liked this poster, and I had no words beyond “Oh my God, oh my God,” when it was delivered to my door. Both are book-turned-movies, which motivates me to (hopefully) one day write a book-turned-movie. Also, I really like to stare at Michael Fassbender’s face and Jamie Dornan’s back.
Other literary touches throughout my room include the Persuasion poster my sister gave me to celebrate The Marrying Type’s launch back in 2016. It sits next to a framed Emma quote given to me by that same friend/beta reader who traded me the love seat . . .
A quote from Three & Out designed into laugh-out-loud cuteness by my cousin . . .
A poster designed by Katie Nieland, the cover artist for The Marrying Type and Playing House . . .
And various other pieces I’ve picked up over the years that screamed “romance writer’s office” when I saw them.
The room was designed and assembled on a budget, but ultimately with the goal of being a place where I could celebrate my life as a reader and writer. Until I have a house big enough to install a Beauty and the Beast-replica library, this room is my literary heaven and haven.
About the Book
Title: Playing House
Author: Laura Chapman
Published: March 9, 2017
Book Blurb: She’s a work in progress . . .
Bailey Meredith has had it. As an assistant at a prestigious interior design firm, she’s tired of making coffee and filing invoices. She’ll do just about anything to get out from under the paperwork and into the field for real experience. Then she sees an ad for a job that seems too good to be true.
He’s a fixer upper . . .
Wilder Aldrich knew she would be perfect for the crew the moment he saw her. His hit home improvement show only hired the best, and Bailey had potential written all over her. It isn’t just her imaginative creativity and unmatched work ethic that grabs his attention. There’s just something about her.
With chemistry on screen, it’s only a matter of time before sparks fly behind the scenes as well. But with Bailey’s jaded views on romance and a big secret that could destroy Wilder and everyone he cares about, are either of them willing to risk it all for love?
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Excerpt from Playing House
Keeping a close distance, she followed Waverly up the cracked path to the house. Bailey took quick mental notes of her surroundings. The exterior needed a lot of work. The sagging roof missing gutters made her think they’d find the inside in similar disarray. They stepped through the front door, nearly tripping over Wilder Aldrich, who was measuring the entryway.
“Hey!” He sprang to his feet and out of their way. “What did I tell you about waiting until I gave you the all clear?”
“You were taking for-frickin’-ever, and some of us were freezing our tits off.” She pursed her lips and took on a warrior stance, seemingly daring him to say something else.
Conceding victory to her, Wilder turned and flashed an apologetic grin at Bailey. “Hey.” He offered a hand. Warmth permeated through the thin material of her glove. “Welcome to Casa de Waverly.”
Giving him a smug grin, Waverly sipped her coffee and faced Bailey. “Do you have a smart phone?”
Bailey stared blankly for a second, still dazzled by seeing Wilder up close. But she quickly snapped to attention and dug her phone out of her coat pocket.
“Good,” Waverly said after inspecting it. “While you’re on the job, I’d like you to snap some photos for our social media accounts. I’ll want to vet everything before we post it, but we need to start building the buzz for the next season while we’re filming. In exchange, we’ll cover your phone payments to take care of your data usage. Understood?”
“I can do that.”
“Good. Now . . .” She pulled out her own phone. It was the latest model that had come out on the market a month ago. With all of its reported bells and whistles, it put Bailey’s poor phone to shame. “I’m going to make a quick call. I’ll be back in a few minutes, and we can get started on,” she gestured around her, “this mess.”
She spun on her heel and waltzed out of the room, cooing into the phone.
Wilder cleared his throat, and Bailey turned to give him her full attention. She estimated he was only a couple of years older than herself—maybe in his late twenties or early thirties. He looked younger in real life than he did on TV. He was leaner and a little shorter—though she still had to crane her neck a little to meet his gaze.
He was also more handsome. Not the GQ model, your tongue-sticks-to-the-top-of-your-mouth kind of sexy. But he was hot in the same way the guy you sat next to in Chemistry was. It was enough to distract you from formulas and Bunsen burners every so often, but not enough that you’d ever set the lab on fire or forget to finish your final exam.
So far, he seemed much more serious. Where was the guy who scared Waverly with a stuffed dummy in a closet in the last episode she’d watched before calling an end to the marathon?
He was, she realized, studying her every bit as closely, with those hazel eyes speckled with green. Noting that, she didn’t feel quite as rude taking mental notes on the man in front of him.
At least she looked good. She’d laid out three outfits that morning in the hotel room. The first was a long, silky turquoise tunic that she’d paired with a pair of black leggings and knee-high boots. It was similar to the clothes Waverly favored on screen—only hers weren’t name-brand knockoffs. Then she had the casual jeans, a gray T-shirt that she could dress-up with a navy blue blazer. And there was option three: dark-wash, fit jeans, a chambray shirt, and a scarf. It was an ensemble that fell somewhere in the middle. It was the one that looked the most like her when she inspected herself in the mirror.
It was the one that felt most like her now in the middle of the foyer.
She wondered what he saw when he looked at her. Did he see a confident young woman ready to tackle major projects adeptly? Or did he see someone who was desperate to create, no matter what happened? Both were correct, but which one shone through right now?
Like a light switch, that triggered something in her. She offered her hand again. “We haven’t officially met. I’m Bailey Meredith.”
About the Author
Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, The Marrying Type, and Playing House. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. She loves talking to readers. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also get the latest news from her website, blog, and monthly newsletter.
This month, during the Playing House blog tour, you can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win one of 1 free Audible copy each of The Marrying Type, First & Goal, Going for Two or 1 $20 Amazon gift card.
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