Can't Always Get What You Want
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Date of Publication: January 13, 2015
Number of pages: 359
Cover Artist: Caroline Teagle
Fans of Ruthie Knox, Rachel Gibson, and Molly O’Keefe will love this deeply romantic and uplifting debut novel about losing everything you thought you wanted—and getting exactly what you need.
Sophie Richards has been looking forward to a much-needed girls’ night out: a Rolling Stones tribute-band concert, a few drinks, a distraction from her grueling nursing shifts in acute care. But when her best friend bails, Sophie gets stuck with a blind date.
Although Brett Nicholson may be the hottest carpenter alive, and Sophie may technically be single, she isn’t exactly on the market. Six years ago she found The One. He was everything Sophie dreamed a man could be—and then she lost him. In an instant, her whole life changed, and she forgot all about happily ever after.
But as she gets to know Brett, Sophie starts to wonder about the future for the first time. With a broken heart still clouding her mind, jumping into a new relationship feels impossible. When she’s in his arms, walking away feels even harder. Now Sophie faces an impossible choice: living in the past or choosing love in the here and now.
It’s about a twenty-minute drive from Samira’s house to mine. We both live on the south side of Edmonton. She’s in a newer area, while I live in an older, (ahem) more mature area.
I love my little house, an old bungalow that I bought last year.
It used to have olive green shag carpet.
It was even in the main-floor bathroom.
Between that, the faux wood paneling, and the purple bathtub and toilet, I felt like I was walking through a reject set of That ’70s Show. But the horrible interior worked to my advantage: nobody else wanted it.
Aside from the strange color choices and even stranger bathroom flooring, the house was well built and could be modernized quite easily. I put an offer in that day, and it was mine.
Opening the door to my house, I can’t help but admire what a transformation it has gone through. The past year has been a complete whirlwind. Between working all the time (sometimes double shifts to cover staff shortages) and renovating my house (often myself to save on costs), I haven’t had much time to do anything other than get through the day.
I stand alone in my house, lean against the front door, and survey the work that I should feel so proud of.
But I just feel empty.
Like it’s all been a big waste of time.
It’s a gorgeous afternoon in June. Before I leave, I do a quick check of my outfit in the mirror by the front door. My long blond hair is up in a ballerina-type bun. I’m wearing a new, knee-length, mint green dress that is fitted at the waist and gently flares out.
I grab my purse and check that I’ve got everything.
Oh God, what am I thinking? I hate meeting new people. I should just go to the concert by myself.
“Stop it,” I say aloud. “It’ll be fine.”
I find a spot to park by the zoo and follow the dusty river valley trail to Hawrelak Park. People are streaming toward the amphitheater, hoping to get good seats. Scents of the street vendors’ salty popcorn and sizzling hot dogs fill the air.
I walk toward the boathouse, where Brett and I arranged to meet. I’m ten minutes early. I crane my neck to see if he’s already there, but there are about thirty other people standing around the vicinity.
As I approach the boathouse, my cellphone buzzes.
It’s a text from Samira.
Have u met Brett yet?
I hit a quick reply:
Nope. Almost at our meeting place. How’s your night going? Anything sparkly on your finger yet?
Not yet. But there might be soon. We’re on our way to the Hotel MacDonald. We’re having supper, and he’s rented a room for the night.
Wow. The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald is one of the fanciest places in Edmonton. Famous people like Celine Dion and the Rolling Stones stay there.
You lucky duck. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t pop the question. At the very least, you’ll get a nice meal and a night of rambunctious sex. Keep in touch! And good luck!
You too, sweets : )
A few seconds later...
Giggling to myself, I return my phone to my bag and recall my previous (and only) conversation with Brett. Brett described himself as tall and blond and said he’d be wearing a white shirt and ball cap. Samira told me that he’s twenty-eight years old, and really cute.
Scanning the crowd around the boathouse, I notice that there are about ten other guys with light brown or dark blond hair wearing white shirts. And ball caps.
And most of the young women are wearing some shade of mint green.
I mentally kick myself for wearing something trendy. Maybe I should’ve come wearing a purple, faux fur coat? Or a gorilla costume? He’d have noticed that in a crowd.
Today, we welcome Chelsea Krause to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give a big Geeky welcome!
Thanks! I love big geeky welcomes!
(Seriously. I am SUCH a geek. I love watching historical documentaries, and can pretty much quote the entire Princess Bride.)
Let's start with some writer specific questions before moving into the fun stuff. That way everyone can really get to know the person behind the writer. We will finish things off with a round of Think Fast. Ready for the interrogation to begin?
Is your writing style more plotter or pantser?
At first, I tried to avoid plotting out “Can’t Always Get What You Want.” I was heavily influenced by Stephen King at the time, and in his book, “On Writing,” (which is absolutely fabulous, btw), he gives a strong argument against plotting. And since, he’s freaking Stephen King, I tried to follow his advice.
I got about five chapters in before I got completely frustrated and said, “Screw it!” and plotted out the rest of the novel.
I’ve come to realize that there’s no “right or wrong” when it comes to writing. Everyone has a different approach.
I’m a planner. I like knowing where the story is headed, and enjoy using index cards. Each card represents a scene in the book, and I jot down little details on what happens in each scene.
I’m a very visual person, and I like the index card method because it allows me to see the overall arc of my story. Once the scenes are all laid out like this, it becomes easy to see plot holes, rearrange the order, or delete entire scenes all together.
This works great for me because it allows my plot to be flexible. Sometimes a new character or a plot twist or interesting detail will surprise me, and I like being able to physically see (by lining up my index cards) just how it will affect the flow of the story.
When is your favorite time/place to write? Do you write structured or patchworked?
I write best at night. I put my kids to bed, usually waste an hour or two on Pinterest or listening to podcasts, and then I get to work.
I wrote “Can’t Always Get What You Want” in my basement (and kitchen). But, I’ve recently found the most awesome secretary desk ever from the Goodwill (solid wood for $25. Can you believe that!?!?). I prettied it up, and it’s where I do all of my writing now.
And, because I love it SO much, I totally have to show you what my “office” area looks like.
I was very structured with “Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and wrote linearly. But, I’ve had a more relaxed, patchwork approach to my second book. I’m interested to see how the two will compare when it comes to editing.
How do you deal with Writer's Block?
I think people get writer’s block for several reasons:
1) You try to write better than you actually can.
2) You care too much about what other people will think.
3) You are fresh out of ideas.
4) You have TOO MANY ideas, and can’t make sense of the chaos.
I wrote about how I get around writer’s block on my blog. You can check it out here.
How involved are you with Social Media and self-promotion?
Pretty darn involved!
I’m on my author Facebook Page the most. It’s where I share reviews of my books, funny pictures, art promoting my book, etc.
I have a Pinterest board dedicated to “Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which you can check out here.
I’m currently working on a fan newsletter (coming to you soon!!!), which I hope to send out quarterly to let fans know about book sales, giveaways, behind the scenes stuff, and more.
I check my social media often, so feel free to get in touch!
Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
OOOOhhhhh yeah. I love the funny, conversational style of books written by Sophie Kinsella, Helen Fielding, Paige Toon, Clodagh Murphy, and Gemma Burgess (to name a few). Although I enjoy books from many genres, I always go back to the romantic comedies.
What was the last movie/concert/show that you saw?
Mockingjay, Part I. I freaking LOVE “The Hunger Games” series.
(Btw, I’m a bit disturbed at how much I love Effie Trinket).
Also (SPOILER ALERT!), I’m still totally pissed that Katniss doesn’t end up with Gale.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
The ability to speak every language. Latin, Hindi, Russian, French. You name it.
Now, at first, this may seem like a lame superpower. I wouldn’t be invisible, or able to fly, or make spider webs, or whatever. But think for moment about how much easier life would be, and how many doors would be opened to you, if you could communicate to every single person on the planet?
That, and it would be fun to show off at parties. :p
What was the name of the last book you read?
Frog Music, by Emma Donohue. I loved it. Emma Donohue creates the most vivid mental pictures. I love her simple, yet clear writing style.
You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
Tweezers: You never know when they might come in handy. Splinters, picking coconut meat out of the shell, plucking errant eyebrow hairs (and chin hairs…) lol
A Book: I know this is clichéd, but I would SO want a book to read. Narrowing it down to just “one” book would be the tricky part.
Antibiotics: The nurse in me wants to be prepared for tooth abscesses, open wounds from chasing wild boars through the jungle, and the inevitable fights with pirates.
What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
Nothing all that interesting (I just cleaned it out yesterday). Umm, there’s some left over salmon, half a bottle of Rootbeer Schnapps, and about seven different kinds of yogurt.
Elvis or Sinatra? Elvis.
Sorry to break your heart, Frank, but I have a long standing relationship with Elvis. I mean, he’s just so damn pretty. And those dance moves? That crooked smile? That southern charm? Mmmm.
Who could resist?
Fun fact: I’ve been watching (and collecting) Elvis movies since I was a teenager. One of my spare bedrooms used to house all of my Elvis memorabilia.
AM or PM? PM. I’m totally a night owl. That’s when I’m the most productive.
Mountains or Sea? Sea. My “dream house” would be a beach front cottage.
Meat or Veggies? Meat.
I’m from Alberta (possibly the most redneck province in Canada). If I don’t say, “I love steak,” they’ll lynch me, lol
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I used to be one of those people who hated coffee. And, then I had kids. I now have a rather serious Starbucks addiction.
Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thanks for having me! Hmm. Words of wisdom? Try to do something new every day. It’s amazing how big, colorful, and fantastic the world is when you open yourself up to different options.
That, and buy my book. If you want to laugh and have a good cry, you’ll love it.
$25.00 Book Seller eGift Card and Loveswept Mug & Tote
I was born and raised in Canada, and live with my husband and two children. I’ve been a nurse since 2009. An essay I wrote on intercultural nursing has been published in a nursing anthology.
I love thrift shops, repurposing old junk and learning new belly dance moves. I can’t decide if my favorite movie is either “Bridget Jones’ Diary” or “Fight Club.”
I’ve always wanted to be a writer and in the spring of 2013, I finally sat down and wrote my first book. Now that that’s done, I’m working on my second.
I believe that the best way to become a great writer is to read.
And then read some more.
I absolutely love books and would live at the library if they’d let me.
To connect with the author online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads