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9 November 2015

Blog Tour: 'Meet Me in Manhattan' by Claudia Carroll!

I'm so incredibly excited and honoured to be part of the blog tour for Claudia Carroll's latest release 'Meet Me in Manhattan' today! 

In a New York minute, everything can change …
You don’t mess with aspiring journalist Holly Johnson! The man she fell for is not all that he seems – because sometimes dating online doesn’t quite go to plan. She’s decided to fly to the Big Apple to surprise him and to get some answers. And if her plan works she’ll also get the scoop of her career …
But as she steps out of her yellow taxi and the first snowflakes start to fall, it’s Holly who has the surprise of her life.
What should be a dream come true is looking a little like a nightmare. But Holly is determined to get her New York happy ending!

The e-book version of the novel was released on November 5th and the paperback version will follow on the 3rd of December. I love Claudia Carroll's work and already know this book will not disappoint. The cover is stunning and the description already sounds brilliant... I can't wait to read it! Luckily I already have a special extract from the novel to share with all of you today. So if you're not convinced yet that you need to add this to your wishlist right now, just scroll down to have a first sneak peak!
‘...Well what if you do meet The One, but he lives on the other side of the world? What then? OK, so you’ve got Skype and email and you can Snapchat all you like, but my question is... how easy or difficult is it to sustain a long-distance relationship with someone who you’ve only ever met virtually? After all, this kind of thing is changing our whole dating scene quite dramatically and I’m certain there must be plenty of couples out there who’ve been in that position and yet who’ve made it work, in spite of everything.’

‘Hmm,’ Aggie nodded thoughtfully. ‘It’s certainly a new take on the whole dating thing, alright. Long-distance online relationships; pitfalls and advantages of. Go on,’ she said, eyeballing me beadily. ‘Keep talking.’

‘We could get callers on to chat about how they’ve built up a relationship, even though they’re divided by conti­nents,’ I went on, encouraged that she hadn’t shut me down mid-flow. Not yet, at least. ‘Couples who say they met their soulmate online and refused to be put off by the fact that they lived in different countries. After all, if you’re going to limit the people you date online to just anyone who lives geographically close to you, then let’s face it, you’re fishing in a pretty shallow pool, aren’t you?’

‘You know what? That’s actually not a bad pitch,’ lovely Maggie from accounts with the Rebekah Brooks wild mane of hair chimed in from across the table. ‘Then we could maybe get people to phone in with stories of long-distance relationships which began online, but which didn’t neces­sarily run their course. In other words, we ask the question is it a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder, or out of sight, out of mind?’

‘It’s interesting alright,’ said Aggie, thoughtfully nodding away. ‘Plus I suppose we could always segue off to quiz listeners about how well they ever really get to know someone online. After all, you’ve nothing else to go on bar what the other person chooses to tell you about themselves. And vice versa, of course.’

‘Are you kidding me?’ I blurted out incredulously. ‘I think you can get a fantastic, three-dimensional picture of someone really clearly online! And take it from me, with a bit of practice, you soon learn to filter out the time-wasters from the genuine article.’

There was a divided chorus of ‘that’s complete rubbish!’ mixed along with a few more supportive, ‘yeah, I’d certainly go along with that,’ till Aggie raised her voice and suddenly there was total silence again.

‘Just out of curiosity,’ she asked, taking in the whole room. ‘How many of us round this table have actually met someone online who doesn’t live geographically close to you?’

All of us instantly shot our hands upwards. That is, all of us barring Maia, who just sat there smugly and muttered something about Hugo, her long-term boyfriend who she met back in college. (And who Dermot reckoned was secretly a cross-dresser. This based solely on the fact that he once caught him stepping out of Miss Fantasia’s. Chances were Dermot just invented the whole thing, as he frequently does, but still at the time, it was grade A office gossip.)

‘OK,’ said Aggie, taking all this in with the confidence of someone who’s been happily married with kids for the past fifteen years and therefore well and truly out of the dating pool. ‘So what are the rules these days? The dos and don’ts? Because now I’m thinking maybe we could segue from long-distance dating to the whole etiquette that lies behind online dating these days.’

‘Well, for starters, there’s your profile photo,’ said Jayne, our production assistant, shoving aside the dry rice cake she’d just been nibbling on, her usual mid-morning snack, while the rest of us were wolfing into bagels. But then, bless the poor girl, Jayne’d been on a diet for about as long as I’d been working here and had yet to lose as much as a single pound. ‘Oh God, but it all comes back to the photo, particularly with someone who lives overseas, because until you get to Skyping, that’s all you have to go on. Trust me; it’s make or break after that.’

‘Go on,’ said Aggie.

‘Rule of thumb is, you can’t bombard a guy with a whole holiday album full of them, no matter how skinny and tanned you happen to look. Three is the absolute max. Take it from one who knows.’

‘Preferably taken by a portrait photographer, with low- level lighting and professional hair and make-up on standby,’ Dermot chipped in, then as we all turned to look suspi­ciously at him, he hastily added, ‘well, not that I’ve done that myself, but I may just know one or two people who have.’

‘Remember though, a full body shot is essential,’ Jayne tossed back, then added, ‘sorry guys, but I didn’t lose two stone and go to Weight Watchers twice a week only to end up with a fatty. So is it too much to ask for a man who knows how to eliminate carbs?’

‘And maybe we could talk about how multi-dating is kind of frowned on in the real world, whereas online it’s actually considered quite OK,’ Maggie chipped in hope­fully. ‘I mean, we all do it, don’t we? After all, the way I see it, this is really just a numbers game. More guys you’re talking to and messaging, the more likely you are to get a score.’

Nods from a lot of heads round the table and I smiled, but was very careful not to look like I was agreeing.

Yeah, I thought to myself, a tad smugly. Multi-dating may be all very well and good. Right up until someone incredibly special like Andy McCoy comes into your life, and then? Trust me. All the other messers will completely fade into insignificance. / / Goodreads

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