On Tour with Prism Book Tours.
Girl in the Spotlight
by Virginia McCullough
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming
The daughter they never knew
When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can’t believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago? He has to find out.
Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise. As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.
Mesmerized by the real world of characters–brought to life beautifully, I found myself entranced by this thoughtful, delightful, sad, and joyous, novel about second chances and all forms of love. The situation, characters, and consequences left me shedding happy tears at the ending. — Casey Clifford, award-winning author
A compelling love story crafted with characters you’ll fall in love with. Miles and Lark’s journey to be reunited with their child captured my heart, as did their blossoming romance. The best book I have read this year! —Lily Silver, author of Dark Hero
McCullough is always adept at creating suspense on multiple levels. In Girl in the Spotlight, the intrigue builds from page one and doesn’t let up until the end. But she understands that readers need relief from tension, and through her masterful storytelling and perfect pacing, McCullough delivers satisfying outcomes along that way. The relationships she’s developed are complex and realistic, and their evolution is deeply satisfying. — Lynda McDaniel, author of A Life for a Life
Girl in the Spotlight swept me away to Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan shore and reminded me of loves left behind. McCullough invokes deep emotions through her writing, which will pull at your heart. More than a romantic love story, it is a love story of parents for their children. A must read.” — Anne Parent, author/reviewer
Let’s Go to the Movies! What are Your Favorite Second Chance Movies?
So many all-time favorite movies have a second chance theme. Maybe this is why big fans have watched them multiple times. Here are a few of my favorites.
“The Cutting Edge” always came to mind because if you like romance and figure skating (raising my hand here), this movie never fails to entertain.
The lives of former hockey player, Doug (D.B Sweeney) and Kate (Moira Kelly) come down to this one chance to fulfill their skating dream to win Olympic Gold. At first it’s their only connection. She’s temperamental, he’s impatient, but fans keep going back to this movie because their struggle is worth watching! Their story theme is along these lines:
Never be afraid to start over because it’s a new chance to rebuild what you want.
“You’ve Got Mail” is another personal favorite. The characters needed more than one second chance to get it right. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) knows his bookstore chain is threatening the indie bookstore of secret email pal, Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan). Kathleen and Joe need more than one second chance to make a first impression. They need a second chance for love, and Kathleen needs a new career. No matter how many times I see the movie, I smile all over again when Kathleen learns Joe is her email buddy and they win their second chance at love and life.
Here are a few more of my all time favorites:
Apollo 13: Not a romance, of course, but every time I watch it, I still worry that the crew of Hanks, Paxton, and Bacon won’t get their second chance to return to earth. It’s a “whew” movie, I exhale when they make it home, as if I hadn’t known they would.
Pretty Woman: Another classic second chance movie, Vivian (Julia Roberts) and Edward (Richard Gere), are opposites, but they both need what the other offers. It’s a feel-good second chance story.
Out of Africa: This love story might be my most favorite movie, in part because of the landscape of the Serengeti Plain and the movie’s music score. Talk about getting lost in another world and time (early 20th century)! The story premise is based on Karin Blixen (Meryl Streep), also known as writer Isak Dinesen, taking a chance and moving to Africa to raise coffee. Falling in love with Denys Finch-Hatton (Robert Redford) is her second chance for love. I call it a love story and not a romance, because the relationship entanglements get pretty complicated. But once I heard Meryl Streep’s voice opening the movie with: I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills, I was hooked.
An American President: This one is fun, because lobbyist Sydney (Annette Bening) and Andrew (Michael Douglas), the President, need a second chance to begin their romance and a second chance to recapture it after it goes wrong, very wrong.
War Horse: Okay, not a romance, but oh, what a joyous second chance this horse and his owner get! World War I transforms everyone, but it doesn’t destroy this battlefield horse, Joey, or the young soldier, Andrew (Eddie Redmayne), who never gives up hope he’ll find the horse he raised.
Immediate Family: Tear jerker alert. This is an adoption movie that brings to life the heartbreak of infertility and longing, birth parents’ hopes and sacrifices, and making peace with choices. It has a first rate cast: Glenn Close, James Woods, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Kevin Dillon.
So, what are your favorite second-chance movies? I’d love to hear about them.
About the Author
A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.
Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.
Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.
June 5th: Launch
Katie’s Clean Book Collection
Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford
Book Lover in Florida
Reading Is My SuperPower
Nicole’s Book Musings
Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader
Becky on Books
Rockin’ Book Review
A Baker’s Perspective
It’s All About the Romance
Hearts & Scribbles
The Bookworm Chronicles
I Am A Reader
Valerie J. Clarizio, Romance Author
Thoughts of a Blonde
June 12th: Grand Finale
1st Prize (US only): Tea & Contemplation, a collection of favorite things, starts with an uplifting message from “Seize the Day” Pop Open Cards. Fill a ceramic thermal mug to sip Lavender Chamomile Tea while you contemplate your ideas and dreams. Write your thoughts in a journal, whose guiding words are: When Your Heart Speaks… take good notes! A Wish pen is included. Finally, pick a place to display a large piece of gemmy rose quartz, a stone long linked to matters of the heart. It’s said when rose quartz is nearby, love (of all kinds) comes along to keep it company. These items will be arranged in a “keeper box” and delivered to your door.
2nd Prize (open internationally): You will receive a $35.00 Amazon eGift Card, and a digital copy of GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, plus one digital copy of another of Virginia’s five award-winning novels—it’s your choice.
Ends June 16th