New Adult Contemporary
Released September 2014
When a TV production company decides Dogwood, Virginia is the perfect location to shoot their new teen series Bittersweet, the town is abuzz with excitement. But twenty-one-year-old local girl Cathy Johnson has too much going on in her life to waste time being star-struck. Her mother walked out on the family when Cathy was a young girl and her brother Carl was barely out of diapers. She’s always felt a sense of responsibility to help raise him, and skipped college after graduation following her father Joe’s life-threatening heart attack. Now three years later, she works full-time in the family restaurant to help make ends meet. Life hasn’t exactly been peachy, but Cathy is OK with it. She loves her hometown, and doesn’t want some fancy TV show coming in and changing everything. To her, ‘bittersweet’ is just the word that sums up her love life after her relationship with her high school sweetheart ended in disaster. But since then she’s hardly had time to brush her hair, let alone think about romance – even the kind being played out in front of the cameras by twenty-something actors posing as teenagers.
But all that changes for Cathy when charming, intense, impossibly sexy outsider Greg Moran arrives in Dogwood along with the Bittersweet cast and crew. She and the mysterious New Yorker have undeniable chemistry, but if Cathy thought she was guarded…? Greg blows hot (very, very hot) and cold with her romantically, leaving Cathy’s head in a spin. If she’s willing to drop her emotional walls, why can’t he? What is it in Greg’s past – or present – that means he’s keeping her at arm’s length?
One thing’s for certain: Cathy and Greg are magnetically drawn to one another, but they’ll have to fight to keep their relationship from turning sour.
If it’s hard to let go of the past, falling in love can be BITTERSWEET…
Bittersweet is my first attempt to write a New Adult contemporary romance, although I guess the main emphasis is on the contemporary romantic element; I’m not too into labels! I started from the basic idea of a romance between a waitress and a handsome stranger, with the background of a TV show being filmed in a small town. It took a few different tries to nail down the direction Cathy and Greg’s story should take, but once I got the basic outline down it was great to just go for it and follow their love story. I was keen not to make either of their characters follow a cliché ‘bad boy/good girl’ dynamic, but to make sure that the reader really cared about the ups and downs of their relationship – I know I did while I was writing! In fact, a lovely friend helped me do an actual graph of their ups and downs, because she’s good at that sort of stuff – I was skeptical at first, but it really helped in terms of plot!
I’ve always been really into so-called teen-oriented TV shows like Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, The Vampire Diaries, and if it counts, Friday Night Lights too. So it was fun to imagine the background scenario of how filming a show like that might affect the town in which it’s shot, and how it might give opportunities for culture clash and people of different backgrounds colliding. Though Cathy and Greg soon learn they aren’t necessarily from backgrounds that are so different. I think it will be in the next book in their story, LOVESTRUCK, that they’ll start to feel the really challenges, as changes in their careers take place. Greg will become more well-known, and Cathy will start to take the reins of her own restaurant career more too.
I wanted Cathy and Greg’s relationship in BITTERSWEET to have that sexy, sparky fizz of first romance with a new person, but also feel real in terms of the insecurities and issues that relationships can face. As Cathy says, “Everyone’s got baggage; ours isn’t special. It’s just… ours.” Hopefully that relatable but sexy and romantic feel is part of their story’s appeal. Although, much as I’d like it to be true, not every guy you meet in the street is as gorgeous and mysterious as the delicious Greg Moran…
About the Author
Sunday James is the pen name of author Sareeta Domingo, when writing the New Adult contemporary romance series BITTERSWEET. She lives in London and works as an editor at creative book packager Hothouse Fiction, squeezing writing into her mornings, evenings and weekends – but promises she has a life…
She loves all things American – literature, history, popular culture – so much so that she even lived and studied in California, but somehow missed out on being swept off her feet by a devastatingly handsome but mysterious actor while she was there. Luckily, writing BITTERSWEET has allowed her to live that dream.
The author is offering (1) $10 USD Amazon Gift Card and (1) $5 USD Amazon Gift Card.