Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.
At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores.
It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.
The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He’s a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?
All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?
Today I have a wonderful guest post from Cassandra O’Leary, the author of Heart Note…
Perfumes, purpose and pretty things
Earlier this year, I had a crisis of confidence as a writer. After my debut novel was released last year, I’d been having slow year on the writing front. I had added words to a draft novel manuscript earlier this year but it wasn’t working. The story wasn’t coming together, the characters weren’t talking to me and I wondered if I should toss the manuscript in the bin.
Then one day at my writing group, I brainstormed another idea that had popped into my head. I finally had another fresh idea! And I thought it was good. My writer friends agreed and told me to start writing. The concept for Heart Note was born.
Perfume as inspiration
Years ago, I’d worked as a ‘spritzer chick’ and later a sales assistant and beauty advisor on perfume and cosmetics counters at some of Australia’s largest department stores. As part of my training on the job, I learned a lot about perfume.
One of the things that came back to me was the analogy of getting to know someone, a potential new love, with letting a perfume unfold on the skin to reveal its secrets. The top note, the middle note (or Heart Note) and the base note.
Only the top note is immediately obvious, maybe an instant attraction. But real love or a relationship takes time to develop with many complex layers. The romance writer in me perked up. The world of perfume was the perfect setting for a love story.
Purpose for a writer
I had a serious think about why I’d started writing fiction and which direction I want to pursue. I considered a few important questions:
- Why was I writing?
- What did I want to achieve?
- Was this business all about churning out words, or something more?
I came to the conclusion that for now, I wanted to write something easy and fun that I would enjoy writing. A romcom that readers would enjoy.
I hired a cover designer, a friend I’d met through Romance Writers of Australia. I set her a brief based on the type of book covers I like and also perfume ads in glossy magazines. I think she did a fabulous job – the Heart Note cover is getting an absolutely amazing response.
I hope to work on the next novella in the series soon and will hopefully have another pretty cover to share in early 2018!
All about Cassandra
**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader’s Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**
Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things.
In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.
Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.
Where to find Cassandra
There are 5 E-Copies of Heart Note for a chance to win one click here
Buy a copy of Heart Note here…