26 Jun 2017

Until You by Bridie Blake

Until You by Bridie Blake
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Published by Evernight Teen
Release Date: 26th May 2017

Ellie Foster lives and breathes normal. She’s the responsible one, the girl everyone depends on.
Jason Holden doesn’t know the word normal. Star of the hit Planet Gazers films, his every move is watched by millions.
A chance encounter between the pair leads to a deal that will change their lives.
Ellie needs money for her family. Jason needs a girlfriend for the world tour of the final Planet Gazers movie. It’s a match made in Hollywood heaven.
But what happens when the lines between their act and reality become blurred? Can they figure out what is real and what’s fake?

Until You - The Idea
The inspiration for Until You came from a Season 1 episode of Nashville, where Hayden Panettiere’s character, Juliette Barnes, is set up with a straight-laced football player to help improve her public image.
Yes, this is now the second book I’ve written where the inspiration came from Nashville. What can I say? I was obsessed those first two seasons. I watched them non-stop and the soundtrack was on repeat on my iPod. I have since sought help, i.e. moved onto other shows to obsess over. There’ll be a book about a girl handing out roses to all the boys she likes until there’s only one left standing coming soon. Kidding!!
That storyline in Season 1 was one of my favourites and I found myself watching those episodes again and again until one day the voice of Ellie popped into my head. To my surprise she wasn’t a popstar or famous actress, but an ordinary girl from a normal upbringing and with a normal life.
At the time I was working on a potential follow up to my previous novel, A Distant Voice, so I tried to ignore her. She was a persistent thing though and it wasn’t long before she had company. The moment I heard Jason’s voice I was a goner. They weren’t going anywhere until I’d written their story.
Plus, I have to admit, I was super intrigued by the idea of fake relationships in Hollywood. And I was curious as to what goes into these relationships. I imagine contracts in place, photo opportunities, PR stunts and I couldn’t write a story about it all without taking into account how social media plays such a huge role in winning the public over. One of the key elements in Until You is how effective social media can be, even when it’s not entirely truthful.
Another source of inspiration for me is music. I listen to music when I walk to work, at work, walk the dog, drive, write, cook. Any chance I get, really! It could just be a lyric, or the entire song, that gets me thinking of a particular scene or character. There was one song that I kept going back to while writing Until You. ‘Will You Love Me Tomorrow’ by Carole King. The lyrics really resonated with the character of Jason, and his fears that people only want the movie star and not the person.
I’d never attempted a story like Until You before. A Distant Voice had tackled some heavy subjects and the idea of writing a romance was foreign to me, but I was so giddy about these two characters that I dove in head first and never looked back.
I toyed with the idea of basing the book solely in LA and that lasted all of a second! I’m a romantic and I love to travel. Sending them on a whirlwind trip overseas was a no brainer and it allowed me the opportunity to show the world of 5 star hotels and restaurants, and red carpet treatment from the eyes of a seasoned professional and a complete novice. Things that Jason took for granted were experiences someone like Ellie would never have the opportunity to do. And I wanted to explore how someone who was new to the world of celebrity would cope with suddenly being thrust into the spotlight.
Plus it gave me an excuse to scroll through all my old holiday photos from Paris, London and New York in the name of research instead of sadly reminiscing about holidays past and wishing I was back there! That is what we call living through our characters:)
For a genre I’d never written in before, I have to say that I had a blast. I’ve honestly never had so much fun writing a story. Ellie is a really refreshing character who is still so innocent and naive in a lot of aspects, and Jason, while a few years older than Ellie, often comes across as the immature one in the relationship. But they both have such big hearts and a real desire to be accepted for who they are, faults and all.
I hope that people find them, and their story, as endearing as I do.


The Excerpt
I pulled my head back. “You’re not sleeping in here,” I mumbled as I tried to keep my lips as close together as possible.
He grinned slowly, his dark eyes fixing on mine as he inched his face closer. “What happened to me nursing you?” The trace of alcohol on his breath made my stomach roll.
“That was all Lacey. Go to your own room.” I placed my hands on his chest and pushed, but it was such a weak attempt he didn’t seem to notice.
“What are we watching?” He pulled my laptop closer toward him. “Oh, it is Friends? Great, I haven’t watched this in years.” He rolled onto his back and crossed his hands behind his head with a wink. His shirt had ridden up, and my eyes traveled down to the smooth patch of skin showing. Was it still as soft as the last time he was shirtless? Not that he was shirtless now. He’d only revealed a tiny patch of skin. And no way was I touching him to see how soft it was. “Just a couple of episodes and then I’ll go back to my room. Deal?”
I dragged my eyes away from his stomach. “Fine. But no touching.”
His nose wrinkled as shifted away from me. “And risk you throwing up on me? No, thank you. I’ll stay on my side.”
I pushed a pillow between us as a barrier. “If you so much as put a hair over this line you’re in big trouble.”
“You’re the one we should worry about. Don’t think I’ve forgotten how much you ogled me that night in your kitchen.”
“Ogled?” I stammered. “Who even says that?”
“Don’t try to change the subject. You’re attracted to me, and you know it,” he slurred, a slow smile taking hold of his face.
“I bet you think every girl in the world is attracted to you.”
He laughed and rolled onto his side again, his eyes drilling into me. “Not every girl. Just you.”
“You’re drunk.” I gently nudged his shoulder, hoping he’d roll back over and quit staring at me. Of course, I was attracted to him. I had eyes, didn’t I? But I wasn’t stupid enough to fall for his act. I knew guys like him. I’d dated guys like him. One minute I was the most important person in the world, the next he chose girls like Natalie Miller.
“Just a little,” he whispered and settled onto his back. “I don’t need every girl to be attracted to me. Just you, fake girlfriend.”
“Be quiet and let me watch Friends, fake boyfriend,” I said, desperate to end this conversation before it headed into dangerous territory.
“Your wish is my command. From now on I’ll be the best fake boyfriend you’ve ever had.”
“Shh,” I hissed and pointed at my laptop. I rolled my eyes as he mimicked zipping his mouth closed and tossing away the key. We’d see how long his promise of being committed to our “relationship” lasted.

Bridie Blake lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companions Poppy and Mac at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews.
Bridie is the author of the YA fantasy novel, THE JEWEL OF KAMARA, and YA contemporary novels A DISTANT VOICE and UNTIL YOU.
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6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Bridie! I plan to read when I get a break. I like sweet romances. I find inspiration from watching series too, especially ones with teen characters..keeps me young at heart :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharon! I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets inspiration from TV shows:)

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    2. Thanks Sharon! I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets inspiration from TV shows:)

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  2. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the guest post and the excerpt! This book sounds like such a fun, exciting, and interesting read! Looking forward to checking it out!

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