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Theatricks by Eleanor Gwyn-Jones - Book Tour + Giveaway

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Title:   Theatricks
Author:  Eleanor Gwyn-Jones
Genre:  Contemporary Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Age Group:  25 - 50
Publication Date:  December 3, 2013
Publisher:  Omnific Publishing
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Enna Petersen has never been good at making personal decisions, particularly when she has to choose between her passions.  As a theater director, the stage is her world, the spotlight her vitamin D, the waft of greasepaint her oxygen.  However, when her handsome American businessman boyfriend proposes and paints the picture of a luxurious life in Pennsylvania, she has to tear her heart in two and give up on her theatrical dreams. 

But as she navigates the visa gauntlet at the US embassy in England, she meets Will, a charismatic, erudite actor who encourages her to not give up on her dilapidated and much beloved theater. She is torn, tormented by the thought that her departure will certainly lead to Ashtead Theatre’s demise, but she follows her heart, says goodbye to her homeland, and begins her new role as Cole’s fiancée in America.

However, homesickness soon strikes. Enna longs for the English countryside, her theater, and the passion that Will has inspired in her. After her American dreams fall apart, she is reunited with all three back in the UK, and with Will's help, she soon finds her theater more successful than she ever thought possible. She has everything she's ever wanted, including a gorgeous man in her bed to share it with, so why is it she can't stop thinking about Cole?


 Purchase Links:  Not Available at this time.  We will have the purchase links posted on the tour page as they become available.

Deleted Scene:

It wasn’t as if I had never been in love, in lust, infatuated before.  Of course there were Could Have Beens before Cole, one’s that had ignited my fire, one’s who had simply fanned other flames by their deficiencies.  Disappointments had caused quite the protective layer of scar tissue, but Cole had seared through that.  Maybe it was the distance he dated me from, it made it ‘safe’ at first, so I allowed him that little space, but he continued to make such effort, and that little space expanded, and before I knew it my armor, my scar tissue was all but gone.
It was shocking really, this sudden realization that I was older and yet more open; I thought I had learned to defend myself very well.  I had hardened, galvanized, steel-plated myself after that very first trauma.  I close my eyes and picture his face, still etched deep in the back on my eyelids, burned into the rods and cone of my retina.  And yet, it had been years since I’d allowed myself to think of him, but now, as I force myself to, he is clearly there, his absent presence still haunting. 
He marched into the parade square, the warm September sun shining at his back, illuminating the bronzed tuft of hair just peeking out from under the tightly sculpted beret.  Squinting into the sun—not an attractive look on anyone—I stood rigid focused on the features of this gilt and haloed authority.  Without a word, I felt his presence, his gravitas.  I could feel my eyes literally radiate, like solar panels absorbing his image, the electricity firing from optic nerve, to brain, to stomach, to knees, coursing through me and into the asphalt beneath.  I’m alive, I recall thinking, and who is that?
He strode between the ordered ranks of soldiers in silent inspection, passing in and out of the shade.  I kept my head frozen forward as I’d been told to do, but I couldn’t help the rebellion of my eyes, following, wishing they could turn corners.  Out of the sun’s glare I could see his face for the first time, the bruiser big lips, wide face and big oak brown eyes. 
He was not like the pretty boys who my friends shrieked and giggled about, the ones in the bland boy bands, with the obligatory surfer tan and beach blonde curtains—Christ, where would you find Californian Chet in leafy Surrey anyway?—but there was something rougher, more earthy and far more exciting about the boy—the man—walking with deliberate measure.  
It wasn’t a scorcher, it was September in England, and yet the thick starched shirt, trousers and hideous jumper were clinging damply to me.
“’Tennnn Shun.”  His bellow filled the entire square, ricocheting off the surrounding high brick buildings.  In unison, there was a collective of stomps, chest thrusting and arm weighting; the sea of khaki swelling and resting, all silent, still and ramrod straight.   Seconds behind, I reeled my eyes in and willed them again around corners, so I could see what the hell I was supposed to do.  Dad had told me to stand tall, to look forward, to polish boots, but he’d missed this out.  Anna, on my right was similarly surprised by the explosion of noise and movement, but her quick improvisation skills had kicked in and her fractional delay had gone unnoticed.  I had been too mentally attentive to keep up physically, and the startled lagging boot came down too late.  The rubber tread of the highly-polished boots smacked down on the hard tarmac, its single unaccompanied report calling me out.
Oh God, I’m going to die, I recall thinking.
I kept my eyes fixed into the beret in front and listened as the thump of footfalls came closer and closer and then stopped.  He eclipsed the beret and stood directly in front, I could smell him, my eyes now boring into the scratchy green yarn pulled tightly across his chest. 
“Beam me up, Scotty,” I murmured, desperately trying to alleviate the tension.
“What was that?”  He bellowed.  I could feel the warmth of his breath as it hit my cheek. 
Oh.  My.  God.  First day of cadets and I’m being singled out for being retarded and generally crap by the Army Adonis.  
“Just trying to be funny.”
“I said, I was just trying to be funny, lighten the mood, sort of thing.”
“Are you a clown?”
“A clown?”
“Yes, a fucking clown, big red nose, scares children.”
“No.”  I said contritely.
“Then stop fucking acting like one.”
“Look, I’m not really used to army practices, and this is my first day.”  I said, before leaning slightly towards him—feeling the pull of his tractor beam—and whispered, “I’m new.”  I smiled again, hoping to soften him with my white crescent of enthusiasm.
“Name?”  He asked, his tones still falling like granite.
“It’s my name, Enna.  Petersen.  Pleased to meet you, Sir.”
He scowled, his brow furrowed with creases on his otherwise immaculately starched person.
“Petersen.”  Thank God for a noun!  “Petersen, don’t ever answer back.  You will say ‘yes, Sergeant.’ And you will stand up straight, not like the frigging Tower of Pisa. Got it?”
“Oh… right.”  I replied taking in the solid instruction.
“Shit.  I mean… I apologize, Sir.  I mean, Sergeant.  Yes, Sergeant.  Sorry Sergeant.”  I lifted my eyes—which given half a chance would be liable to spill over at any moment—ready to absorb the next mortifying embarrassment, and he smiled.  He smiled, those big bruiser lips, not so big or bruising when fashioned into a warm smile.
He turned on his heel and his footfalls echoed as he moved further away.  I snatched a breath—had I forgotten to breathe?—and I fainted.
   Not an auspicious initial exchange and yet that did not deter my ambitious sixteen year old heart. He was not the tallest in his class, but he carried himself as if he was.  He was Captain of the rugby team, Sergeant in the army corps, Head of House and cock of the roost.  Tom was made to lead.  He had the kind of charisma that would make people jump off mountains without parachute or harness.  He only had to ask.
I had joined this unconventional activity for a number of reasons; to get out of the Friday double sports period; to please my father; and, probably the most influencing factor, to meet boys.   From the first parade square I knew that I had met him, and there would only be one for me.
For a whole year I yearned from the ranks, polishing my leather boots for hours in the hope that he would pass by on parade and notice flat-chested, pale-freckle-faced me. 
Every week I would tell myself that this could be the Friday when suddenly he would look into my eyes and confess that he had loved me all along, forget the buxom blonde Chloe with the dazzling blue eyes rimmed in thick black liquid eyeliner, whom all the other boys loved and adored, it was me he longed for and me he would ask to take to the Sixth Form Ball!
The Ball came and went.  He went with a shorter blonder girl, who I learned—by my great skills in underground intel—he was “nuts about.”  I thought my little pulmonary organ would burst. 
The situation was made no better when we were presented with our badges for passing our St. John’s Ambulance First Aid Course.  Tom was sorting us into lines ready to receive our badges in alphabetical order.  He looked over his list and handed it to his second in command. 
“Morris, Murphy, Newman, Opie, Petersen?   Which one is that?”
He didn’t even know my name.
Then I went to summer camp at the army base in Longmore and I was assigned to Tom’s section.  I felt so sure that he would see the inner passion burning within me, it was not too late.  He spent most of the week laughing at me. 
At the organized paint-balling game, he hid in the bushes and waited.  I had almost grabbed the flag and won the game for my team, before he shot me at close range.  You only needed to be shot once to be out of the game, but Tom shot me repeatedly, once in buttocks and three times in the upper thigh.  My flesh burned, like it had been slapped, hard, and hot wet tears rose to my disbelieving eyes.  He thought it was a massive joke.  I watched him through my foggy Perspex goggles, laughing loudly, and I retreated to Dead Man’s Alley.  I bit my quivering lips and sucked my tears back in.
On the Assault Course, I was the last girl to go, hanging back so that I would be the one left alone with Tom.  Not having learned from my Sports Day horrific hurdles attempt years earlier, I envisaged myself effortlessly leaping across high beams, scaling up walls, down rigging, winning his praise with every gazelle-like stride.  This was for Tom, my body would not let me down this time!
As we waited, he didn’t speak, and neither could I, until,
“You’re next Petersen.”
“Yes Sergeant.” I ran up the ramp of the ten foot wall, Tom running alongside, cheering me on with abusive shouts.  Whoa.  It was much higher than I thought it would be.
“Get on with it.”
I wobbled across the high wall, trying to look straight in front, as we had been instructed, but finding it impossible not to look down and check that my feet were still in contact with the bricks.
“Fucking move it.”
With hesitation, I dropped from the end of the wall, bending my knees as I landed, but still managing to land with my face in the mud.  From there I crawled to the canvas-covered tunnel.
“Get low, get low. Petersen.  The enemy have just shot off your fat arse,” and with his mud-covered boot, he pressed my buttocks to the ground.  “On your elbows, crawl!”
Through the tunnel, I remember hearing his shouts as a muffled blur, drowned out inside my metal cylinder and I repeated my mantra,
“Don’t cry.  Don’t cry. Please, oh God, don’t cry.”
The light blinded me as I broke through the canvas flap at the end of the tunnel and as I grappled to my feet, Tom was standing right above me, ready with his welcoming cheer,
“Jesus Petersen, my baby sister could have crawled quicker than that.”
I sprinted to the wall and threw myself, arms reaching for the top, ready to drag Self victoriously over.  My commitment was greater than my skill however, and my mind could not will any upward thrust.  Instead, I waggled, kicking my legs for momentum, but it was no use, my sprawled fingertips were losing their grip on the brick, grazing my pads and palms and I slid all the way back down to the mud.
“Jesus, this is pathetic!”
I took another run up, determination burned my face as I focused on the wall.  In films, this is when the underdog would have overcome her obstacle and cleared the wall with feet to spare, she would be proclaimed a hero, impressing and winning the love and adoration of her former nemesis.  As I hit the wall a second time, my grip even less strong than before, I knew this cinematic ending would not be mine.  I fell yet again to the bottom of the awesome wall, my digits swollen and bloody.
“Petersen, what did I do to get you in my section?  Bloody pathetic.” And with a hoist from his perfect-formed, bulging biceps, he picked up one of my feet, lifted me off the ground and over the wall.
The monkey bars were my last challenge; hanging ten feet from the ground, the horizontal ladder was suspended above a stagnant, and none too fragrant, mud bog pit below.  Enna you can do this, you have to do this.  You can show him.  You can’t fail!
With jaw clamped so tightly I thought I would break a tooth, I launched myself at the bars, frantically kicking my legs, as if I were on an imaginary bicycle.  I heard the sounds of my section cheering me on,
“Come on Enna, a minute to go and we’ve broken the record,” Anna screamed.
I focused on the next bar, but my legs had already stopped pedaling and I wasn’t even half way.  I tried swinging: my left hand on the next bar, my right on the one behind, and I extended my right hand and reached as if my arm would pop out of its socket, but it was too far and I missed it.  I clutched on to the same bar as my left hand, my pendulum now completely halted.  I wiggled my hips to try and excite more momentum, but my arms could not lift me, and I dangled like a limp strand of spaghetti.  I remember looking down, and seeing my fate, a greenish brown mud pit topped with a swarm of mosquitoes licking their proboscises.
“Come on Petersen, you can do it!”  I heard whispering through my struggle.  I looked to the welcome sound of encouragement and, holy shitballs, it came from the ground to the side of me, from Tom, who smiled kindly and repeated, “You can do it.”
With unstoppable tears now streaming down my red cheeks, I took a swing, extended my right hand, reached for the bar, glanced it, grazed it with my swollen fingertips and splatted to the thick cess pit below.
There was a collective gasp from my section,
“Oh God, poor Enna.”  Nobody else had suffered such indignity.
“I bet she’ll stink!”
“She’s bloody blown it now!”
“No, she hasn’t.” Tom rallied in my defense.  “Now Petersen get up, wade through and fucking run.  You’ve got twelve seconds, you can still make it to the line.  GO!”
In shock, covered in mud, I got to my feet and put one heavy water-logged foot in front of the other.  It was like wading through molasses. 
“Go Enna, Go!  Go Enna, Go!” cheered the section, and as I defied probability and others’ expectations, I picked up my leaden feet and thumped the ground like an escapee convict with ankle chains.  I dived for the line, cutting my lips, re-grazing my wall-scuffed knees and hands, straining my neck and pulling a muscle, but it was worth it. 
“Well done Petersen.  I’m proud of you,” he said.

 About the Author

Eleanor Gwyn-Jones lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but originally hails from Surrey, England.  Huzzah!  She studied biology at Southampton University before taking to the stage as an actress, agent and administrator of a touring theatre company.  She performed in theatres, studios, schools and festivals across the British Isles before moving to the States.  It was whilst visa-dangling and unable to take on acting work that she started to write and decided she far preferred it to anything else in the world!  In 2008, Eleanor started her own ‘at home’ business to afford her more time to be with her ‘book babies.’  Now she spends her time writing by day and teaching ladies to look fabulous at night.  She is a travel junkie—it’s research, darling, research!—a gourmand, a yogi, a sometime blogger and she adores her family and friends beyond all measure.  She is currently putting the finishing key strokes to the sequel to Theatricks, due for release in 2014.

If she weren’t writing, she’d like to think you’d find her in Downton, The Paradise, or having a goblet of wine with Tyrion in King’s Landing.

Connect with the Author:  Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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