Cover Reveal * Sneak Peek * Sale News
November 22, 2019
Happy Friday!!! Since Barnes and Noble is being so great about offering a sale on pre-orders of PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA, my first stand alone romantic comedy, I thought I should share the bargain with my readers (because I have no idea how long it will last)! Simply click the title or the pic to go order the book. Yay!
Over the years, I have frequently heard authors talk about the "book of their heart". And up until I wrote this book, I thought every book was a "book of my heart". But then this one appeared, fully formed, in my head in the five minutes I sat in my car, waiting for a Hooligan outside a Circle K, while he bought himself a morning beverage. This never happens! Not the waiting outside a Circle K, but the other, the book appearing fully formed in my head. I had just come back from the funeral of a dear one the night before, we were late for school, I was stressed, and then BOOM. Chelsea Martin and her life, which was at a critical crossroad of looking back at her past to move forward with her future, appeared in my head and I was taken in, taken under, and taken over. It's been a heck of a journey writing this book. Side note: I'm pretty sure it gave me shingles. But I poured everything I am into it, and it is my hope that it will make you laugh and cry as much as it did me while I was writing it. More laughing than crying, I promise!
Still on the fence? Okay, then. Here's a sneak peek of the opening pages:
"I'm getting married."
"We've already picked our colors, pink and gray."
"Um...pink and what?"
"Gray. What do you think, Chelsea? I want your honest opinion. Is that too retro?"
I stared at my middle-aged widowed father. We were standing in a bridal store in central Boston on the corner of Boylston and Berkeley streets and he was talking to me about wedding colors. His wedding colors.
"I'm sorry, I need a sec," I said. I held up my hand and blinked hard, while trying to figure out just what the hell was happening.
I had raced here from my apartment in Cambridge after receiving a text from my dad, asking me to meet him at this address because it was an emergency. I was prepared for heart surgery not wedding colors!
Suddenly, I couldn't breathe. I wrestled the constricting wool scarf from around my neck, yanked the beanie off my head, and stuffed them in my pockets. I scrubbed my scalp with my fingers in an attempt to make the blood flow to my brain. It didn't help. Come on, Martin, I coached myself, pull it together. I unzipped my puffy winter jacket to let some air in, then I focused on my father.
"What did you say?" I asked.
"Pink and gray, too retro?" Glen Martin, aka Dad, asked. He pushed his wire frame glasses up on his nose and looked at me as if he was asking a perfectly reasonable question.
"No, before that." I waved my hand in a circular motion to indicate he needed to back it all the way up.
"I'm getting married!" His voice went up when he said it and I decided my normally staid fifty-five-year-old dad was somehow currently possessed by a twenty-something bridezilla.
"You okay, Dad?" I asked. Not for nothing, but the last time I checked he hadn't even been dating anyone never mind thinking about marriage. "Have you recently slipped on some ice and whacked your head? I ask because you don't seem to be yourself."
"Sorry," he said. He reached out and wrapped me in an impulsive hug, another indicator that he was not his usual buttoned down mathematician self. "I'm just…I'm just so happy. What do you think about being a flower girl?"
"Um…I'm almost thirty." I tried not to look as panicked as I felt. But seriously, what was happening here?
"Yes, but we already have a full wedding party, and you and your sister would be really cute in matching dresses, maybe something sparkly."
"Matching dresses? Sparkly?" I repeated. I struggled for air. It was clear. My father had lost his ever lovin' mind. I should probably call my sister. Dad needed medical attention, possibly an intervention. Oh, man, would we have to have him committed?
I studied his face, trying to determine just how crazy he was. The same brown-green hazel eyes I saw in my own mirror every morning held mine, but where my eyes frequently looked flat with a matte finish, his positively glowed. He really looked happy.
"You're serious," I gasped. I glanced around the bridal store that was stuffed to the rafters with big, white fluffy dresses. None of this made any sense and yet here I was. "You're not pranking me?"
"Nope." He grinned again. "Congratulate me, peanut, I'm getting married."
I felt as if my chest was collapsing into itself. Never, not once, in the past seven years had I ever considered the possibility that my father would remarry.
"To who?" I asked. It couldn't be...nah. That would be insane.
"Really, Chels?" Dad straightened up. The smile slid from his face and he cocked his head to the side which was his go-to disappointed parent look.
I had not been on the receiving end of this look very often in life. Not like my younger sister, Annabelle, who seemed to thrive on "the look". Usually, it made me fall right in line but not today.
"Sheri? You're marrying Sheri?" I tried to keep my voice neutral. Major failure as I stepped backwards, tripped on the trailing end of my scarf and gracelessly sprawled onto one of the cream colored velvet chairs that were scattered around the ultra feminine store. I thought it was a good thing I was sitting because if he answered in the affirmative I might faint.
"Yes, I asked her to marry me and to my delight she accepted," he said. Another happy silly grin spread across his lips as if he just couldn't help it.
"But…but…she won you in a bachelor auction two weeks ago!" I cried. "This is completely mental!"
A thirty-year-old woman retraces her post college gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love—and herself—in this hilarious and heartfelt novel from New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay.
It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong post-college European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one pesky coworker, Jason Knightley, her status is unquestioned.
When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died, and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her gap year. Inspired to retrace her steps—to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy—Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago, can help her find it again.
From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.