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The Weather Girl

The Weather Girl
The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine
Clean Adult Contemporary Romance
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin

Turbulence is in their forecast

Summer Raines knows when it’s going to rain. She can feel it. That’s why the local weather girl’s so good at her job. Too bad she couldn’t have foreseen the tumultuous arrival of Travis Lockwood, everybody’s favorite star NFL quarterback. Make that former star NFL quarterback. Sidelined back to Texas after an injury, the golden boy is trying to steal her precious on-air time. Summer is reduced to reporting fromÖfootball games. It’s enough to make her quit and become a storm-chaser like her parents. She’s stuck with a career that’s going nowhere and a man who delights in her refusal to be charmed. Falling in love isn’t nearly as easy as predicting the weather.

More about The Weather Girl and Amy Vastine

What is your motivation behind this series? Why did you want to write it?
Well, I wrote this story for Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest back in 2012. I wanted to get some feedback from an editor in the romance business and the contest seemed like a low risk way of asking for some. I figured it was a big enough thing that my feelings wouldn’t get hurt if I didn’t win or get any response. I didn’t win. I did however get some feedback, which was awesome and exactly what I wanted. I never expected them to like the story enough to want to publish it!

The story itself was written to reflect my love of sweet romance. I like a little angst now and again, but sweet love stories makes me smile. I like to sprinkle in some humor and create characters people can root for.

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?
I hope people walk away with the idea that love doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice who you are for someone else. When you follow your heart and your dreams, everything else will fall into place.

Do you have a favorite scene?
Oh that’s tough because one of the rules I heard about writing is don’t get too attached to scenes because those are usually the ones your editor will want you to cut! I do love a couple scenes, though. One is when Travis has lunch at Summer’s grandparents’ house and they are trying to get him to realize he knows exactly what he wants out of life but he is completely clueless. Mimi’s frustration with him is priceless. The other one is the very end of the book, but I won’t say what happens because that gives it all away!

Share something about you that is unique – maybe about how/where you write… or favorite snack foods?
Well, I am a school social worker by day, so I write at night and on the weekends. I’m not sure how interesting that is! I love monkeys? I mean, I love monkeys. I have a collection of them at work (thankfully I work in a middle school so it’s not THAT weird!) It’s like a jungle! I have stuffed monkeys, figurines, candles, pictures, cups, stickers. It’s quite a collection. My students give me monkey gifts, so it grows every year! This is what happens when you tell someone you like something!

Amy Vastine

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card, red umbrella, signed copy of THE WEATHER GIRL, umbrella bookmark, and decorative box (US Only)
– 5 ebooks of The Weather Girl (INT)
– April 21 – May 11

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Writer’s write, that’s what we do. Find out why and how in this new Blog Hop for 2014:

Thanks so much to J.R. Richardson for inviting me to join this blog hop. I have never done anything like this before so bear with me. I was supposed to find three people to tag at the end of this but didn’t manage that many. I did get two, though!  The hop hops on! 

1) What am I working on right now?

I actually just sent in the manuscript for my next book, The Better Man.  The story centers on a widow and mother, Kendall Montgomery, who is not only dealing with the death of her husband but her son’s difficulty coping with it. Simon is a selective mute. His anxiety makes it impossible for him to speak in front of anyone other than his mother. That is until he meets Max Jordan. 

This is my Max

Max has moved to Chicago to be closer to his son, Aidan. Max hasn’t been the father he wants to be and his ex doesn’t believe he’s capable of caring about anything but himself and his career. When Max meets Simon and Kendall, he’s surprised the little boy finds him so interesting and his mother looks at him like he has a third head. That may have something to do with the fact that … he looks exactly like Simon’s father/Kendall’s husband.  Let the drama begin!
With that off to my editor, I am beginning the second book in this series of three I am writing for Harlequin Heartwarming. The second book is tentatively titled The Better Plan.  The series follows Kendall and her two sisters, each dealing with their own drama and finding love where they never expected to find it. I am so very excited to share these new characters with the world!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That’s a great question. I have been writing for Harlequin Heartwarming, which is their clean romance line. I think what I bring to clean romances is a good mix of humor and drama. I’ve been told my sense of humor is a strength and hopefully that comes through in my writing. 

3) Why do I write what I do? 
I often ask myself this considering that erotica seems to be the thing to write right now. Throw some sex in there and the book sells like hotcakes. I’ve chosen this genre because it was important to me that I could share what I write with everyone in my family, from my seventy-eight year old mother-in-law to my eleven-year-old daughter. I wanted something that my children could feel proud about showing their friends and teachers. One of my proudest moments was when my youngest son brought a copy of THE WEATHER GIRL to school to show his whole 4th grade class because he thinks it is so cool his mom wrote a book.

I write romance because I love putting my characters through all this drama only to find their happily ever after in the midst of all the darkness.  I’m a sucker for a HEA. 

4) How does my writing process work?

I love technology and I use a writing program called Scrivener. It is a fantastic tool that allows me to plot out the whole story on virtual note cards and move chapters and scenes around easily. But at the very beginning of any story, I always use an old-fashioned notebook and pen. I start out by writing an outline that simply consists of a sentence or two about the overall idea I want to get across chapter by chapter. Then, I write out more detailed notes on some key scenes and general character traits. What are the emotional stakes? Where is the hero/heroine at the beginning of the book and where do I want him or her by the end? Why are they the way they are?  What drives them? Sometimes those things end up in the story and sometimes they are just for me to better understand my character’s motivations. I even write out little bits of dialogue that I hear in my head so I don’t forget. Once I do all that, I transfer the info into my writing program and start writing. Things usually (always) change once I start writing. I love how things evolve when you get into the heart of a story. Sometimes the characters take me in another direction once I get to know them a little better. 

Well, that’s it for me. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Don’t be a stranger! 

For next week’s entry, I’ve tagged two lovely ladies to find out how they answer the same questions.  You won’t want to miss it.

Jennifer Garcia’s lifelong love for reading and writing was put aside for many years while she made her way in the world and nurtured her young family. Originally from Boston, she currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Even though she is older, and life never seems to settle, she’s finding her way while attending college full-time in pursuit of a B.A. in English Literature. She also runs a business, and is still caring for her family. Believing she can do it all, with the help of her family, she worked on her first novel during the late hours of the night while balancing the rest of her life during the day. Her hard work paid off, as her first novel, My Mr. Manny, was released August 2013 and her first novella, In My Mother’s Footsteps, was released July 2013.

Jennifer’s website:

Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. 
Carrie Elks lives near London, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of intrigue. At the age of twenty-one she left college with a political science degree, a healthy overdraft and a soon-to-be husband. She loves to travel and meet new people, and has lived in the USA and Switzerland as well as the UK. An avid social networker, she tries to limit her Facebook and Twitter time to stolen moments between writing chapters. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found baking, drinking wine or working out how to combine the two.

Carrie’s, England and writes contemporary romance with a dash of int

The Release

This is pretty much how I’ve spent the last nine days. 

My book is out there for the world to read and I still cannot believe this is happening. It helped when my box of books showed up a few days after Christmas. I may have stared at them for an inappropriate amount of time that first day, but can you blame me?  This is totally crazy. I signed my first autograph!

I so appreciate all the positive feedback and support I have received over the last couple days. My family, my friends, and my readers are the most awesome people in the world. It has been an amazing journey, one that promises to just keep getting better. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. My family has been more than generous and supportive.  My parents got me a storm cloud necklace and a framed Weather Girl picture. And for my upcoming birthday, my husband framed a copy of my cover. I did have to remind him that I am writing more books and we are going to run out of wall space if we poster-size all my covers! He says the first one needed to be big because this is BIG. And I couldn’t disagree. 

So now what? Now, I get busy writing the next three stories in my head. I am looking forward to promoting this book. The Heartwarming authors have lots of fun stuff planned all over social media. Giveaways galore! If you haven’t checked out our Goodreads group HERE, don’t wait. There are lots of fun discussions about who and what you love to read. 

Which reminds me, my Goodreads giveaway ended on publication day and The Weather Girl has now gone worldwide. I had a winner from Canada, Malaysia, and Belgium (thanks to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, who live over there and took it back with them to save me some postage!)

Lastly, I hope to have some news about a book blog tour soon. It’s going to be fun, fun, fun. Thank you again for your support and I hope The Weather Girl provides a little bit of entertainment to those who have picked up a copy!


Christmas Countdown

One week until Christmas! The presents are bought. None of them are wrapped. And despite my son’s attempt at finding them by searching every hiding place in the house, they have remained hidden. It helps that most of them are in the trunk of my husband’s car or at my mom’s house!

This means TWO WEEKS until The Weather Girl officially goes on sale. I still haven’t received my box of books and I’m becoming as anxious as the kids are about Christmas. I’m so impatient! It doesn’t help that my husband texts me everyday asking if they came, forcing me to reply with a no and a sad face 😦

I’m still hopeful they will arrive before Christmas. So, besides the Goodreads giveaway – which you can still enter by clicking on the link to the right – I am also giving away a copy over at the Heartwarming Authors blog today.

Head on over HERE and see what I have to say about the Christmas season … one commenter over there will be chosen at random to win a book and ornament, so get going!

Happy holidays, everyone!!

Sharing the Love

Another week, another blog post. December is flying by! With all the holiday preparation, I can barely keep up. Our tree is up, our stocking are hung, and a few of the gifts have been bought. But I still have a LOTS to do!

The gift I’m most excited to give this year is The Weather Girl, of course. I got word this week that my copies of the book are being shipped any day now. I won’t deny that I am constantly checking outside the front door for the big box to arrive. I cannot wait to hold a copy of this book in my hands.

The big news this week is that once they get here, I want to share them with some of you! If you look to the right, you’ll see a link to a Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win one of THREE signed copies of The Weather Girl! 

Yep, you can get a copy fo’ free if you have a Goodreads account starting today.  The contest runs until January 1st. If the link isn’t working today (since I set it up last night) keep checking back. It should be up sooner than later! 

But if you need something to read in the meantime, I have couple suggestions.

Since Christmas is coming, I decided to read something to get me in the holiday spirit. Fellow Heartwarming author, Jennifer Snow, and her novel The Trouble With Mistletoe was exactly what I was looking for. 

This is the first book in Jennifer’s Brookhollow series. This one introduces us to Luke and Victoria. These two were childhood sweethearts who were engaged to be married twelve years ago. Victoria, believing she needed to get out of Brookhollow, called the wedding off and moved to New York City to pursue her career. Luke didn’t follow. Now, she’s back in her hometown and has to face the man she left behind. The man she still isn’t quite over and who isn’t over her either. 

I loved this story. It was sweet and funny and had a great supporting cast of characters (something I love about the Heartwarming line in general!) And Luke … well, I’ll admit I’m definitely a fan. He’s everything a girl would want and then some. If you need something fun to read over the holidays, this will do the trick! You can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE or get the paperback by clicking HERE.

My other reading recommendation is a Christmas anthology that  includes a short story written by one of my very best and very dear friends. The anthology is called All I Want for Christmas is a Soulmate and the story I read and loved was Lost in Christmas.

J.R. Richardson, aka Jo, is one of my most favorite people and authors in the world. She has a way of writing characters who leap off the page. Their internal dialogue always cracks me up and she is a master of weaving together the most amazing mysteries with the sweetest romances. 

In this short story, she introduces us to Crystal Springfield, a single lady who’s spending Christmas with her most trust companion … a Golden Retriever named Berkley.  Away in mountains, she’s enjoying her solitude until a tall, dark, and handsome stranger gets lost and ends up stranded on her doorstep just before Christmas. 

I won’t say much more because that would give everything away, but I loved the snowball fight and the way she told a satisfying story in just a few pages. This is a quick read and, I won’t lie, it kind of left me wanting more. I guess I’ll have to wait for her full length novel coming out in March! 
Jo has highlighted and reviewed some of the other stories in the anthology on her website and blog, which you can find by going HERE. You can also pick up your own copy of this anthology for your kindle or e-reader over at Amazon by clicking HERE.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Happy Friday!


Countdown to P-Day (Publishing Day!)

Sunday is December 1.  This may mean several things to many of you.  For my brother, it means two more days until his birthday (Happy early birthday, Adam!)  For lots and lots of good little boys and girls it means 23 more days until Santa comes to visit late at night.  For me, it means ONE MONTH until my debut novel is published.  

I may be feeling a little bit like this …

To say I’m excited may be a bit of an understatement.  
So, I feel the need to spread the excitement around.  Someone suggested I start posting once a week until the book is released.  I decided that is a fantastic idea.  I can introduce you to some of the characters, give away some prizes, and share some fun little bits from the story.  
Sound like a good plan?
Rob says yes.  And really, that’s all I need to proceed.
This week, I have decided to introduce you to some of the characters from THE WEATHER GIRL.  If you have ventured onto my Pinterest board for the book, you have seen some of the things that have inspired me.  But WHO inspired some of the characters in the story?  Let’s see…
This is my Summer. She’s beautiful but doesn’t really have a clue how beautiful she is because her looks are the least of her worries. She’s usually more focused on what’s going on in the world of weather. Summer grew up chasing storms with her parents. She’s been all over the country and didn’t have a very traditional upbringing. She’s socially awkward and besides being able to feel when it’s going to rain, she also tends to rattle off random weather facts when she’s nervous. Luckily, Travis Lockwood finds that kind of adorable. 
This is Travis.  Yeah. He’s also adorable. You know, if adorable means the same thing as totally hot.
Travis was the star quarterback for the Miami Dolphins until he was permanently sidelined by a shoulder injury. The worst part is that he has no idea what else to do with his life. Football is all he knows, all he was allowed to ever know. His dad was a little … intense. He takes the job at the station because he’s got no other options. It doesn’t help that he totally sucks at his new job and the Weather Girl hates him. 
The story may be named after Summer’s character, but I think this novel is about Travis’s journey of self-discovery even more than it’s about Summer’s search for something more in her life.
Excerpt you say?  Okay, here’s a little snippet of Summer and Travis:
“Do y’all say break a leg or something before you go on?” 

“Um, no. No one says that,” Summer replied, trying not to laugh. The sound assistant adjusted her mic while Pete, one of the engineering techs, made sure the lighting was right. 

“Well, good luck, then, Weather Girl.” Travis started to walk toward the news desk but stopped. “You should wear blue every day.” 

Her mouth dropped open. “Huh?” 

“It looks nice. Makes your eyes stand out.” He pointed at her face as though she’d forgotten where her eyes were located. “You have amazing eyes.” 

Summer was momentarily speechless. She looked over at a scowling Rachel, who practically had smoke blowing out her ears. “Funny. I was actually encouraged not to wear blue today. It kills bears in Chicago or something.” 

Rachel pinched the bridge of her nose and shook her head. Travis’s brow furrowed. “The color blue kills bears? For real?” 

“I think. Maybe not. I heard that somewhere, but that person was probably wrong because why in the world would blue have anything to do with bears? I mean, that makes no sense, right? I’m sure bears like blue,” Summer rambled. How she wished she’d remained speechless.
Her nerves took over. “Did you know that even though Chicago is called the Windy City, it doesn’t even rank in the top ten windiest cities in the U.S.?” 


“Really. Blue Hill, Massachusetts, is actually the windiest city.” 

“Blue Hill?” Travis smiled. “Are you messin’ with me?” 

“I never mess around about the weather.”
2014 is set to be one of the best years yet.  I’ve just been offered a contract  from Harlequin Heartwarming for THREE more books.  Yep, not one, not two, but THREE more books.  Cue that overexcited baby gif one more time!  My youngest son and I did jump up and down in the driveway after I got off the phone with my editor.  I cannot wait to have a whole bookcase filled with books that have my name on them.
For now, I am anxiously awaiting the first of January and the very first book with my name on it. I hope you are too!  


After months and months of waiting, the time is finally here.  The official US cover for The Weather Girl has been released.  I seriously cannot believe there will be a book out there with my name on it.  A book with my words printed inside of it.  This is absolutely an unreal moment!  

Without further ado, here is the cover …

I couldn’t resist posting it LARGE.  Summer and Travis look like they’re falling in love, that much is for sure.  I love the red umbrella.  I love that my name is right there.  I wrote this book.  I did it.  

How does Harlequin create the perfect cover for each book?  Well, here’s some inside information.  Authors are asked right away to fill out an Art Fact Cover Sheet.  This is where we list all the things we can think of about our book.  Who are the main characters, what do they look like, where does the story take place, what are the characters interesting traits and hobbies.  They ask about everything.  You can even post pictures of people you imagine your characters to look like.  

Now, the art director isn’t going to get Alex Pettyfer to pose for my cover (darn it), but they dig in their stock photos and try to find something that fits the story as close to your descriptions as possible.  I would say they did a pretty good job with this one!  

Okay, enough about the outside.  How about a peek inside?  Here’s a little excerpt from The Weather Girl.

“Weather Girl.” Travis was all smiles as he sat on the corner of her desk. “Did you have a good weekend?”

“I had a great weekend,” Summer said, taking a good look at him. His hair was shorter, a lot shorter. It made him look older, less like a boy and more like a man. “It looks like someone attacked your head with some clippers.”

Looking sheepish, he rubbed his clean-shaven jaw with his knuckles. “I got a haircut,” he said, stating the obvious. “My aunt Kelly’s neighbor’s book club apparently thought it was too long. Kelly agreed and called my mother, who called me and said she wasn’t going to bake any red velvet cupcakes when I came to visit if I didn’t get it cut.”

“She drives a hard bargain.”

“You have no idea. Her cupcakes make me cry,” he whispered.

“Interesting,” Summer said, not interested in the least.

“I’ll ask her to bake you some. She likes you.” He cringed and closed his eyes. His cheeks turned pink. “I mean she watches you and likes you, you know, as a weather girl.”

If anyone knew about sticking her foot in her mouth, it was Summer. “If it makes you feel any better, my grandmother thinks you’re cute,” she confessed to ease his embarrassment.

“She does?” His eyes were bright like the clouds had lifted. “And would you say you consider your grandmother a wise woman?”

“Oh, Mimi is completely off her rocker. I mean, she is more than a few cards short of a full deck. Bonkers. Mad as a hatter. Crazy as a—”

“Okay, okay!” Travis put his fingers on her lips. “I get it.”

Summer’s heart skipped a beat, then flew into overdrive. Before she could process this unexpected physical reaction, Travis pulled his hand away and shoved it deep in his pants pocket.

“Did you know that the highest temperature ever recorded was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in Azizia, Libya?” she blurted out. “Can you imagine?”

His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down. “That’s crazy hot.”


I can’t even begin to tell you how much I can’t wait for this thing to come out and for everyone to read it.  There’s also a part of me that is completely terrified, by the way, but the excited part is winning right now.  The awesome news is that you can pre-order the ebook version now! 

But if you want that real book in your hands, on January 1, 2014, you can go to the Harlequin website and buy the paperback or the ebook HERE!  As of right now, the Harlequin site is the only place where you will be able to purchase the paperback version.  The editors of the Heartwarming line are hopeful that the line will go mass market paperback and all you’ll have to do is browse your local Target or Walmart for The Weather Girl!  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this happens.

Until next time!


All cover art used by arrangement with Harlequin Ent. Copyright © Harlequin Enterprises. All rights reserved. ® and ™ are trademarks of Harlequin and/or its affiliated companies, used under license.