Monday, August 3, 2020

Book Blitz and Giveaway: August Fog (August Fog #1) by A.L. Goulden

Title: August Fog
Series: August Fog #1
Author: A.L. Goulden
Publication Date: August 1st 2020

Print Length: 272 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction

Monica Waters has 31 days to choose between the love of her life or her soulmate. Juggling an unglamorous Hollywood career and a clumsy injury with an endless cocktail of antidepressants and dull daily routines, Monica moves through her thirties in a fog, avoiding the pain of her damaged marriage, broken body, and fragile mind.

Until he comes along.

When emerging artist Quinn Matthews moves next door, just coping with the downward spiral of life is no longer feasible. Their powerful connection ignites a relationship that will tip the boundaries of their perfectly balanced lives, sparking a mutual obsession and life-altering affair.

Monica tosses her prescriptions, striving to be free of their control, but with each passing summer day, dangerous secrets seep into their quiet suburban life, inching toward disaster. Sometimes the truth is hidden for a reason.

“This is a contemporary tale of a woman’s struggle to navigate love and mental illness, while defining where and how she will land on her own feet.” –Independent Reader

“A raw and honest look at the ugly secrets behind a flawed marriage and the stigmas of depression.”

The cab ride to the university was quiet and slow. Midday traffic was a nightmare thanks to a parade and Monica had to keep reminding herself that it was the original purpose of her visit, not just an annoyance.

“So you and Jack were a thing, huh?”

“What?” She turned like she’d just woke up.

“It’s obvious.”

“I’m sorry I should’ve—”

“Please stop apologizing for everything.”

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“That you have exes? No. We’ve covered this, haven’t we?”

The box of photos with Quinn’s past made her smile. “I guess we covered your side.”

“Well, I have no illusions that your past isn’t just as full.”

She ran her finger along his chin to feel the stubble he’d left. “Can I start calling you Mr. Awesome Cool Cucumber?”

“If I can call you Ms. Positive Monkey.”

“Hey I didn’t use Littleman.”

He slid his head onto her shoulder and gave her a small kiss. Then he stayed there, resting on her. Quinn gave solace in addictive doses.

“I’m sorry about the neighbor artist friend thing. God, I’m an idiot.”

“It wasn’t smooth.”

“F*ck. I had weeks to prepare and could never decide how to introduce you. I wanted—”

“It’s fine.” He gave her another kiss, this one confirming he meant it. “You don’t have to talk about him or any of the past, but I’m always open to it.”

Feeling alone was a reflex, like blinking. Even when a lover was a friend, Monica hid details and memories, keeping them isolated inside. Little by little, Quinn tested those borders, sending the dominoes of separation rocking… and she was ready for them to fall, but terrified he wouldn’t stick around after.

“Jack and I started having sex after five years of friendship, which was a mistake. We started fighting all the time and it made life too complicated for everyone.”

“Why did you fight?”

She shrugged. “He’s Irish. That’s what he does.”

“Oh, come on... What did you fight about?”

“Mostly our relationship. I didn’t want to be in anything too serious.”

“And he did.”

“He thought he was in love.”

Quinn lifted his head. “He’s still in love with you.”

“God, I hope not.”

“Come on. I know you’re not blind. You probably want to be, but he carries it on his sleeve.”

“Yeah, f*ckin’ literally.”

He squinted. “What do you mean?”

Monica pointed to her right forearm, trying not to get choked up. It was the stupidest thing anyone could do and she hated that it made her feel guilty. “He tattooed my name on his arm.”

“Oh f*ck.” Quinn sat up to take that in, then turned in his seat. “So Rianne has to see that—”

“Every day.” She nodded. “She’s a very spiritual person so I’m sure she’s fed herself some babble to accept it… but I can’t imagine how it affects things.”

“You didn’t go to their wedding.”

“No. Which killed me because Ri and I were so close and they all came to my…wedding.” The word croaked out like a faint afterthought. “I love Tristan, but Ri is the one I could talk to. She keeps things real and secret and has always been there for me and I ditched her because of that idiot.”

The cab stopped at the school entrance and Monica got out.

“Can I ask something you won’t like?”

“Sure,” she said, bracing herself.

“Could it be that you still have some feelings for him and you’re pushing them away to save Rianne from more pain?”

Monica wasn’t sure she liked being with a man who could read her like a book. It made her feel simple sometimes, and no one liked that. When she didn’t answer, he took it as confirmation. “I’m no mystery apparently.”

His forehead crinkled with confusion. “What are you talking about? You’re a basket of contradictions, remember? I’m constantly intrigued and confused.”


He got close and lowered his voice. “I don’t think anyone in this world sees you the way I do… and that doesn’t make me feel like pounding my chest or wielding some kind of powertrip, it makes me honored to have found one person I can truly know. I’m steps away from being forty having never really known anyone until now.”

“You don’t know all of me. If you did, you’d run.”

“No, I wouldn’t. I can’t. I won’t.”

And the dominoes tumbled.

Monica kissed him as the city’s song vanished. She hadn’t let herself accept him fully, guarding herself from impending pain, but she knew him, too. Quinn was kind and thoughtful, impulsive and receptive, but on the deepest level he was burdened by his intellect and passions. He was so far ahead of everyone around him that she wondered how he slept, how he kept from being bored with life’s tedium. Above all, she couldn’t grasp how fate had chosen her, a woman anchored to routines and calendars and medications, who was scared to death to be a quitter or a dependent.

“I keep expecting you to disappear,” she whispered.

“Not unless you want me to.”

“I don’t.” She touched his face. “I really don’t, but I don’t know how to give you what you deserve.”

“You’re not expected to give anything but yourself. You get all of me and I get all of you.”

He made it sound so simple, like a man who had never been in any relationship. That had her stepping back and resetting boundaries.

Author of the “most realistic, often hilarious, and wonderfully romantic” (Rosie Malezer, international best- selling author) Chasing Swells returns with another emotionally charged and complicated love story about a Hollywood editor struggling with depression who meets her soulmate while she's married to her high-school sweetheart. This unique trilogy takes you through one woman's mid-life crisis as she stumbles and falls apart before realizing she's the only one who can put her pieces back together.

5 Things I learned while writing August Fog:

1. I did a lot of research on medications used by chronically depressed people and was intrigued by the side-effects. Those horrible conditions that are blitzed by us in pharmaceutical commercials are so daunting when incorporated into a character’s life. I learned what doses and time frames each medication takes to affect various outlets of a person’s life like sleep and sex drive. It only deepened my sympathy for those who struggle to live with the disease.

2. I went down a Tears for Fears wormhole one day. I remembered the songs on one of their albums was based on a psychologist’s therories but I had no idea even the band’s named was derived from The Primal Scream, psychologist Arthur Janov’s detailed theory of neuroses that adults carry from repressed childhood trauma. To me, even though this was deeper than I planned to go, the nerdy fact fit Monica’s younger personality. I used this knowledge to connect to Quinn’s own intellect and fuse them into a serious conversation about the past.

3. Love really is complicated. I spoke to a few people I knew that went through infidelity and asked them about their feelings looking back on the affair. There was never a cut and dry answer and never one without threads to other problems. I used the idea of those threads in Quinn’s art and in his observation of Monica’s eyes. Little details to show how intricate our connections are and how easy it is to overlook them.

4. I can’t write to what the market wants or expects. The subject of infidelity and love are seldom tackled in a realistic way in mass-market fiction but I’m okay with that. I needed to get this story out of me and create this epic love-story that is never easy. It’s never neat and clean. But it’s so right that all the wrong turns to capture it are worth the risk.

5. Humor is inherently part of my writer’s voice. Even when the story is at its most serious, I instinctually throw in humor or sarcasm. I was raised to laugh even at the bad stuff and when I’ve tried to stifle that part of me, my writing becomes stale and robotic. I usually have at least one character that is a bit of a smartass, but in this one, you’ll get a few who’ll make you smile.
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  1. I like the cover. It has great artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  2. The cover is interesting. The book also sounds interesting.

  3. Sounds like a great romance story. I love the cover! It's really eye catching.

  4. This sounds like a book that would make an interesting read.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting. :)

  6. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Thanks for sharing the excerpt. It sounds interesting.

  8. Nice cover! Sounds like a must read.

  9. I really like the cover, all of us are just many pieces of a big puzzle!

  10. It sounds like an intriguing read! Love the cover!

  11. How long did it take you to write your book?

  12. Sounds like an awesome read! The cover has exceptional graphics. It's really striking

  13. sounds like a fun one

  14. Loving the art work; almost has a chilling effect

  15. Really like the cover of the book! I've added this to my wish list!

  16. What a cool looking cover! I love it!

  17. I struggle with mental illness so i love that i can relate to this!

  18. The book cover looks really cool and the story sounds good!