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Blogaversary Celebrations - Win a copy of Hope Breaks

26 Jun 2013

Hope Breaks by Alice Bello



 Hope Jones has two problems: one is new, the other is depressingly old.

The new problem: the bestselling author the publisher she shoots romance novel covers for hates her newest batch of covers. She has until the end of the week to come up with a breathtaking shot or she’ll be replaced. And there’s a sudden model shortage; they’re out of season.

The old, depressing problem: she hasn’t had a date, sex or a relationship in over two years.

She also has one hell of a headache.

Hope finds the cures for her two problems during a search through Wal-Mart for a painkiller to kill her headache.

Turns out the aisles of the retail giant are rampant with hot young model worthy specimens. And when her trusty Ford Taurus breaks down in the parking lot, a hunky mechanic in the Tire and Lube Express department fixes more than just her car.

Seemingly her troubles are good as gone…but then her new, fabulous cover is rejected, and in a desperate moment she has to choose between keeping her job and keeping the man she’s just starting to fall in love with.
Try it for yourself: Amazon | Amazon UK

Not Scarlet

by Alice Bello
A few months back I was inspired by a novella by Raine Miller called Naked. Not the actual story, because I lost interest when the heroine started fainting from low blood sugar. I gave it ten more pages before I just had to stop.

But the story of Raine’s inspiration for the book stayed with me.

Raine found this amazing photo of a nude woman during one of her searches for a cover image for another book. The photo lit a fire in her mind, and the story of Naked just came tumbling out of her fingers.

So, since I’d always wanted to graduate from writing short stories to writing novels, I decided to try a novella.

I searched the internet,,… the usual photo emporiums, until I came across a truly gorgeous image of a naked woman sprawled elegantly across a black couch. It was all tinted in a lovely caramel light. I downloaded the picture and let my imagination run rampant.

I wanted something evocative and stunning, a story of power, of sensuality…another Fifty Shades rip off in the making, I guess.

The thing was, I hated every character I wrote, and I loathed the story lines.

So I opened a new word file, closed my eyes and waited for something to happen.

And then I heard it: a woman calling out the name Scarlet.


Oh, I really liked that name. So very Gone with the Wind and the absolute opposite of Grey (or gray.)

I heard that woman calling out my heroine’s name over and over, impatiently… through an answering machine.

And from there my heroine came to life, her story forming in my mind’s eye, her newly blossoming career circling the drain as her boss demanded a new cover for her biggest selling author—the last one having just been unceremoniously rejected by said author.

I wrote it all very quickly, and came in about five thousand words over the word count I’d been aiming for. I put it aside for about two weeks before I started to rewrite it.

About the third time I read through it I got this terrible feeling, though. At first I couldn’t put my finger on it…and then I started my fourth read through.

It was her name. Scarlet is a fantastic name, an iconic name, a name to savor and relish and rejoice.

It just wasn’t my heroine’s name.

This stymied me. I’d already made a cover out of the original image. I’d already given it a title.

But I had to come to grips with it—the title, the cover, my heroine’s name just didn’t fit the book I’d written.


I raged in impotent… rage. It just sucked.

But then again I had a book I had loved writing, that I giggled every time I reread it, and I couldn’t wait to get published.

So I sat at my laptop, again, the beginning of my novella before me, “Scarlet?”deleted.

And I listened.

I thought of everything that was going to happen to her, everything she felt, everything she would do… and would decide to do.


That was the name that came to me. Simple. Strong. Something that without it life would be unbearable.

Plus I could so hear her pushy boss yelling it through the answering machine.

Hope it was.

The name just fit her perfectly. And before I could even think about it, I knew what the title would be. Hope Breaks. And then came the other two titles. Hope Entangles and Hope Rises.

I searched—again—through and and finally found a series of images that, though they didn’t exactly match what I saw my characters looking like in my head, they did fit the story… and they had that look I was going for.

So I sent my story to the best-editor-for hire in the business, Stephanie T Lott (aka Bibliophile).

I Smashworded a cool looking ebook to send out to reviewers, and then started writing the next novella in the series.

I love Hope. Her story isn’t what I’d thought it would be. It’s not about some Sadistic CEO handing out spanks and roundabout romance to a woman bent over his desk.

Hope Breaks is about a young woman trying to hold onto the career she just began. It’s about the newness of love, and how easily it can break. It's about the past, good friends, good food and laughter.

I hope you like it too.


In celebration of my blogaversary Alice has given me some ecopies of Hope Breaks to give to you! They aren't your average copy either. At the back are a few exclusive posts and teasers just for you! Isn't that exciting? Enter in the rafflecoptor to win one of 10 ecopies of Hope Breaks. All my normal giveaway rules apply.
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1 comment:

  1. Not entering the giveaway, but I LOVED Hope Breaks! Thanks for the insight Alice on how you came up with the name (and as much as I love the name Scarlet, Hope is a better fit).


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