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Released: July 2015
ISBN: 9781310701337
ASIN: B00ZGPSKWY
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LIVING THE DREAM
Author: Celia J. Anderson
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Price: $4.99

When dreams and reality crash and mingle, escape can be the hardest challenge of all.

Longing to get away from her troubled marriage, the opportunity to cross America by train seems like a dream come true for Vita Craythorne. But charismatic travel agent Moriarty Miles has other ideas; by replacing their mutual friend Jack on the trip, Vita has unwittingly set herself up as a guinea pig for Moriarty's mind-blowing and potentially dangerous virtual-travelling project. His plan is to give clients the holiday of a lifetime without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes. It's exciting. It’s time-saving. It's innovative. Maybe this trip is just what Vita needs? That is, if she can avoid becoming trapped inside her own, miraculous dream world.

 

Excerpt
My husband is leaving his body to medical science. Sometimes I wonder if they’d like it sooner rather than later.

I used to think Ronan was the nearest thing to perfect this side of Colin Firth. When we first met, I’d imagine him coming out of a lake soaked to the skin, rivulets of water pouring from his clinging white shirt. He would throw me to the floor and tear the clothes from my body, regardless of buttons, zips or other tricky fastenings. He would never, ever ask me if I’d paid the electricity bill yet or if I could lend him a tenner.

Now, if I daydream at all, it’s of a cottage of my own, with a log burner, a shaggy dog called something quirky like Nigel or Beryl, and a huge, soft sofa. My house would have exposed beams, one tiny bedroom, and a patio with just enough room for a swinging hammock and a few geraniums in tubs. The kitchen and living area would be all in one room and have soft lighting and candles. Each evening, I’d work my way through my mum’s recipe book, scaling the quantities down to make just enough for one. Visitors would be by invitation only. It would be bliss.

You might have guessed from all this dreaming that I’m not enjoying my life right now. For one thing, it isn’t easy looking so much like Kylie Minogue. People don’t take you seriously. Not that Kylie herself isn’t sensible – she’s probably very level-headed and organised – but she definitely hasn’t got the image of your everyday pillar of the community.

My name is Vita Craythorne and I’m a marriage guidance counsellor, so it’d be better if I was a dead ringer for someone who was a bit more sturdy and sensible. I’m quite good at giving marital advice even though I’m only thirty-two, which is ironic because my own marriage is about as much fun as a car crash.

It wasn’t always this way. Ronan and I used to love doing the same sort of things – long train journeys to Scotland or Cornwall (let’s face it, everywhere’s a long way from the Midlands), hot curries in the back streets of Bradford, late nights cuddled up in front of the fire watching black and white films, Sex on the Beach. The cocktail, not the actual thing; we never got round to that. Who knows where the sand might end up? But over the last few years, while I was nursing Mum, things went downhill in a big way for us.

Anyway, enough of this rambling. The stop press news of the day is that Ronan’s body is one day going to help others less fortunate. He made the announcement this morning just as I limped into the bedroom, still damp from the shower and with my left foot dripping with blood after standing on my razor. He’d taken ages in the bathroom so I was already late for work. He usually waits until he hears the door slam behind me before he even sticks a toe out of bed, but today he sneaked in there while I was making a cup of tea.

This isn’t the first time that Ronan’s seemed preoccupied with his own death. The idea that he’s not long for this world has been brewing for a week or two, ever since he had that dizzy spell when he was bending over to get the last bottle of vodka from the bargain bucket in Sainsbury’s.

‘I’m away into town to the solicitors to make my will,’ he said, frowning at the trail of blood on the cream carpet, ‘just in case you forget the details of what I want when the time comes.’

‘I’m not sure why you’re bothering. It’s bound to be a really boring will. Our flat’s rented and we haven’t got any children or savings, have we? Unless you know something I don’t?’
What the reviewers are saying
Cracking storyline!
What a brilliant storyline! . . . As I was reading it, I was thinking what a great film it would make. Lovely cast of characters and some great scene-setting - the author clearly did her American research fantastically. It's not all love, lightness and laughter though; there are plenty of emotional thought-provoking dilemmas to give the novel the perfect balance. A top read! MrsRave, Amazon

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Wonderful Read
Living The Dream is a wonderful read, with laugh-out-loud moments, intrigue, emotion and a few dark paths. Celia Anderson's imagination and flowing writing takes the reader on a journey through America and a trip through the heroine's mind. The description of the train had me tucked up in the sleeper section with the characters, and I followed Vita, the heroine, to her desert island . . . If you're looking for a story that makes you believe in what should be impossible, Living The Dream is for you. Strangelybzar, Amazon

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Third book from this exciting new author with a nice link to one of her previous books. This contemporary romance takes a very dark twist that keeps you gripped and would appeal to murder/mystery fans too, I think we are witnessing just the beginning of exciting writing from this relatively new author and can't wait to see which direction she goes in next. ~ Foxy Roxy, Amazon

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Wow!! Fantastic feel good read, with a few unexpected twists!!
Absolutely love how Celia has incorporated her other book Sweet Proposal into this book, wasn't sure how it would work out with Vee, Belle and Janie having their " special dreams" but it works so well. This story has kept me intrigued right from the start and I have loved all the different twists in it. I would thoroughly recommend this book not just as a holiday read but a must have read!!! Well Done Celia. ~ Scooby, Amazon

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A cocktail of intrigue, suspense and soul searching, with a dash of romance
Wow!! What more can I say. I read this book in two days as I couldn't bear to put it down at the end of a chapter. An intriguing story line of romance ( but not your run of the mill slushy stuff), soul searching and moving on, all wrapped in curiosity, suspense and more than a few unexpected twists and turns. Totally believable characters and and a fantastic storyline. If you have read Celia's other books you will recognise some of the background characters too. This book will have you on the edge of your seat one minute and on the edge of tears the next . . . Celia J Anderson is one very talented lady. ~ Amazon Reader

 

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