Friday, September 7, 2018

#GuestPost & $15 #Giveaway for Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski!! @fiction_chris #YA @EntangledTeen #Romance @chapterxchapter #books #booklovers #WIN

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Love and Other Secrets by Christina Mandelski
Publication Date:  September 3, 2018
Publisher:  Entangled Teen Crush

Star lacrosse player Alex “Kov” Koviak has it all. Or so everyone thinks. He’s real good at pretending his life is perfect...until he meets Bailey. The girl challenges him and pushes him and makes him laugh like he’s never laughed before. Their friendship is their little secret, and he’s happy to keep her to himself.

Between school, two jobs, and trying to get into NYU film school, Bailey Banfield has zero time for a social life. But then she meets Alex in her express lane at the grocery store, and their secret friendship becomes the only place she can breathe. She refuses to complicate that with more. No matter how charming Alex can be.

When Bailey decides to film outrageous promposals for her NYU application, she enlists Alex’s help to plan an over-the-top, epic promposal to someone else. Too bad the only prom date Alex wants anywhere near Bailey is him.

For a guy who seems to have it all, he’s about to lose the only thing he’s ever wanted.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Crush contains a cocky lacrosse player in over his head with his secret best friend, unexpected midnight kisses, swoon-worthy slow dancing, and movie-night cuddling that’ll make you ache. You’re going to want an Alex of your own!


The world of … (World Building)

World Building in Romance – Dragons Need Not Apply

Of all the perks of writing romance (the chemistry, the swoony romantic moments and funny banter), one of my favorite aspects of crafting a romance novel has very little to do with breathless kisses -- I love to world build.

Yes, I write contemporary fiction, not fantasy or science-fiction, so you might wonder how important world-building is in this genre.

In my opinion – very. If I want you to know my characters, you have to know where they come from and see how they fit into their world (and believe that they do.)

In my new book, Love and Other Secrets, the two main characters live in the same small Florida town, but essentially come from two different worlds – Alex is super wealthy and lives in a mansion built by his robber baron ancestors. Bailey lives in a trailer park next to a dried up finger of lake that may or may not be infested with alligators.

Part of their journey to romance involves them embracing their differences. Even though Bailey’s house is not at all grand, Alex feels more comfortable there hanging out with her family. In contrast, Alex’s family mansion is empty and, though it provides a good place to watch movies and eat good food, really comes to represent what Alex is missing in his life (namely his parents). I mean, really, his closest confidant is the chandelier that hangs over the foyer.

For me, it was a blast building the world of Edinburgh, Florida, because I’ve been there before. The town is loosely based on Inverness, Florida, where my great-grandparents and grandparents’ had retirement homes when I was a kid. I spent time on the side of that lake (which did eventually, sadly, dry up), in cozy trailer homes with the family that I loved. I also remember driving through the historic part of town, where big, white, columned houses loomed large in my imagination. I wondered what it was like inside of them, and what it was like to live in one.

In writing this book, I got to find out! Not only does Alex have the big house (ballroom, library, big kitchen, parlor!) – one of the bedrooms also has a room filled with all his grandmother’s old gowns. Who wouldn’t love to take a peek into that closet?

It’s important, I think, to create believable worlds, no matter the genre. Even if there aren’t dragons and castles, my hope is that I’ve made Edinburgh, Florida a place you want to go to meet my two friends-to-lovers, and watch their love story unfold.


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Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush. Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!) She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing. Visit her at

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  1. This was a pretty cute romance. I really enjoyed the friendship between Bailey and Alex, and I loved all the teen movie references. A lot of fun!

  2. sounds like a fun one


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