Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sway Blog Tour ~ Excerpt & Giveaway!

Happy New Year, Everyone! I'm excited to be part of Sway Blog Tour! Today, Melanie Stanford is here with an excerpt of her new book Sway! I'm so happy to see a Persuasion retelling!

Thanks Candy for having me on your blog today!

So I’m obviously a huge PERSUASION fan, and writing a retelling was lots of fun. I have to admit, my first draft stuck really close to the original story, so I had to go back in and make the story more believable in the modern world, and make it more my own, which included slashing some characters (sorry Henrietta Musgrove, Charles Hayter, and Lady Dalrymple). You can see in the excerpt below though, that SWAY still has a big cast of characters. I had an especially fun time writing this scene where my main character Ava finds out who will be renting the family mansion. Hope you enjoy!


“So, I’ve got huge news which I’ve been dying to share,” Mari said, bouncing in her seat.

“You’re pregnant,” Beth said.

“You’re getting a divorce,” Aunt Rose said.

“You finally lost those last few pounds of baby weight,” Dad said.

Mari scowled at him. “Noooo.” She paused for dramatic effect. “Charlie found someone to rent Kellynch.”

Dad’s fork clattered onto his plate. His mouth opened but no words came out.

“Who is it?” Aunt Rose asked.
“It better not be some twenty-year-old bum who plays video games all day,” Dad said, “like that husband of yours.”

“Dad,” I warned.

“You know what? Never mind. Find someone yourself.” Mari pushed away from the table. “Some fifty-year-old bum who slathers lotion on himself all day.”

Mari!” I barked. Wow, things really hadn’t changed at all.

“Sit down, Mari,” Aunt Rose said, “and apologize to your father.”

For a moment, Mari just glared at Aunt Rose. I thought she would storm off, but instead she gave my dad a slow but graceful, “I’m sorry,” and returned to her seat.

I blinked. Maybe some things were different after all.

“Now, tell us about this renter,” Aunt Rose said.

Mari glanced at me. “It’s a couple in their forties. Married, no kids.”

Mari’s insult hadn’t fazed Dad at all. He seemed more shaken up about the possible renter. “Who are these people? What do they do for a living?”

Mari swallowed even though she had no food in her mouth. Her eyes darted to me again. “He’s a music producer. She’s a nurse.”

Something tickled at the back of my mind.

“Music producer? No. Absolutely not.” Dad jabbed his finger on the table with each word. “I’m not having some strung out hippie with long hair and tattered jeans living in my house. And a nurse?” He shuddered.

“Dad,” I objected. “You have no idea what he looks like.” Dad was the exact opposite of a hippie. Tall, handsome, dark brown hair lacking a single gray, few wrinkles, and always decked out in immaculate designer clothing. Never a thing out of place, like George Clooney.

Dad ignored me. “He probably chain smokes. Our handmade furniture, the curtains I bought in Greece, everything will reek of cigarettes.”

“Some music producers dress really nice and drive expensive cars and stuff,” Beth said. “I’ve seen it on reality TV.”

“Like that guy from that show,” Shelby said.

Dad’s expression brightened.

“He’s definitely handsome,” Mari said.
Dad gave a harrumph.
“From what Charlie says, he’s semi-retired now. They’re very well-off. They seem eager to settle in this neighborhood.”

“Well who wouldn’t?” Dad sliced his chicken a little too vigorously. “And Kellynch is the best house in the Hills.” His frown lessened. “What’s his name? Maybe I’ve heard of him.”

Mari hesitated, she glanced at me yet again. “Croft. Richard and Sophia Croft.”

Chicken caught in my throat. I coughed. I gagged. Tears sprang from my eyes.

“Someone hit her on the back,” Beth said with a sigh.
“Croft?” Aunt Rose repeated, trying to place the name.

Still coughing, I held up my hand to tell them I was fine. Not that anyone was rushing to my aid.

“Why does that name sound familiar?” Dad asked, tapping his fork against his lips.

I downed half a glass of water and gasped.

“Because Sophia Croft is the sister of…” Mari stopped and looked at me, as if waiting for my permission to say his name.

“Eric Wentworth,” I choked out. “Sophia Croft is Eric’s older sister.”

Every eye in the room zeroed in on me.

I fled the table and ran upstairs.

Tears stung at the corners of my eyes but I told myself not to cry as I flopped onto my bed, face-first.

Rolling over, I stared at the ceiling. It had been a long time since I’d cried over Eric Wentworth. It was second nature to squash all memories of him the moment they appeared. Like curtains covering an ugly view, I would use an imaginary hand to push the memory out of sight and back into the recesses of my mind.

Not this time. My heart pounded a painful beat. I couldn’t get him out of my head. The last time I saw him, the last look he gave me, still tortured my soul. Unable to stop it, I stretched my mind back further, to our beginning, rather than our end.


She’d be happy to forget…if the past would just stop hitting “replay”. 

Ava Elliot never thought she’d become a couch surfer. But with a freshly minted—and worthless—degree from Julliard, and her dad squandering the family fortune, what choice does she have? 

Living with her old high school friends, though, has its own drawbacks. Especially when her ex-fianc√© Eric Wentworth drops back into her life. Eight years ago, she was too young, too scared of being poor, and too scared of her dad’s disapproval. Dumping him was a big mistake. 

In the most ironic of role reversals, Eric is rolling in musical success, and Ava’s starting at the bottom to build her career. Worse, every song Eric sings is an arrow aimed straight for her regrets. 

One encounter, one song too many, and Ava can’t go on like this. It’s time to tell Eric the truth, and make a choice. Finally, let go of the past, or risk her heart for a second chance with her first love. If he can forgive her…and she can forgive herself.  

Product Warnings 
Contains an actor whose kisses taste like chocolate, a pianist with scores of regret, and a sexy crooner who just wants his ex to cry him a river.

Buy: Amazon • Samhain Publishing
Add to Goodreads

FTC Disclaimer: Link to Amazon. I am an Amazon Associate. Should you purchase a copy of the book through the link provided, I will receive a small commission. Thanks! 

Author Bio: 

Melanie Stanford reads too much, plays music too loud, is sometimes dancing, and always daydreaming. She would also like her very own TARDIS, but only to travel to the past. She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband, four kids, and ridiculous amounts of snow. You can find her on TwitterFacebook, and her website

* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

Melanie is giving away a signed copy of Sway! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter below. Open Internationally!

  • This is a group blog tour giveaway.
  • One person will win one signed copy of Sway.
  • Open Internationally.
  • Last day to enter is January 12th.
  • For more stops on Sway Blog Tour click here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much, Melanie, for being here today, sharing an excerpt, and for the giveaway!! I'm looking forward to reading a Persuasion retelling! Congratulations on the release of your debut novel!! Very exciting!

How about you? Are you excited about reading a Persuasion retelling? Let us know! 

Have a safe and fun New Year's Eve!


  1. Has to be Pride and Prejudice. I love the characters so much. Though Sense and Sensibility is a close second runner up!

    1. Hi, Helen! I love Darcy and Elizabeth so much, too! Persuasion is another of my favorites, followed by Northanger Abbey. :) If you get a chance to read Sway, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is a definite on my TBR list; not only do I love Persuasion but I really enjoyed Melanie's story in the 'Then Comes Winter' anthology.

    1. Hey, Ceri! Sway is going on my TBR list also! It does sound good, doesn't it?

  3. I got the chance to read this one already. I thought it was a strong and emotional retelling. Loved it!

    1. Oh! Thanks, Sophia Rose! I'm so glad to hear that! Now I'm more excited to read it! :)

  4. Sounds interesting, can't wait to find out what Captain Wentworth'a profession is!

    1. Hi, tgruy! It does sound interesting, doesn't it! I hope you get a chance to read it soon!

  5. I love Mary Crawford's lines but stillElizabeth Bennet is my favorite always.

    Btw am enjoying SWAY. Congrats on a great debut!


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