Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gillian Felix's FAMILY PORTRAIT SERIES Blog Tour & Giveaway

Guest Post 


Gillian Felix
The Birth of Family Portrait Novels
As a child I used to hate doing the dishes (I still do), to get out of doing them, I used to bribe my younger sister with a story if she’d do them for me. While she did them, I would pull up a chair, and tell her stories of cool American kids who lived in Los Angeles. Why LA? I don’t know, I didn’t know anywhere else, plus we used to get television shows filmed in Hollywood and everything seemed so sparkly and nice. And so the Banovic, the DaCostas and the Malone family was born.

Over the years the story has evolved, the Banovic, DaCosta and Malone kids have grown up and started families of their own. With all the family history between them I figured it would be fantastic to capture that in a story. I’d written the story from so many angles over the years and in 2010, I decided to focus on their off springs, living in the present time.

When I queried the first book to agents, I had written the main character, Adriana Banovic as a young, hot, up and coming actress making a name for herself on the Hollywood circuit. Several rejection letters later, I decided to turn it into a television series.

Made for TV

In the TV version I wrote Adriana as a 15 year-old, washed up soap star, forced to fit in at a prestigious high school. I pitched it to a couple of production companies and got interest but they wanted it to be more of a half-hour comedy format.

I had already written 2 seasons worth of material with it as a dramedy, and changing it to their format would completely change where I felt the story could go. I had envisioned a Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, Beverly Hills 90210 type show. At that time I entered the pilot script into a British TV writing competition and it place in the top 10 out of 4000!

Fast forward to 2013, frustrated with Hollywood and traditional publishing, I decided to self-publish.

Birth of the novel series

I changed the pilot script into the first novel, Changes. Readers enjoyed it and expressed interest in reading more so I released The Banovic Siblings and shortly after Bastard’s Brew. The forth novel The Perfect Escape will be released later this year.

While the novel series has its funny moments, it is much darker than the script. I made Adriana an angst ridden teenage trouble maker, and bumped up her eldest brother Kevin’s character into a drug dealing bad boy, who gets himself tangled up with the wrong woman. There is still a lot of drama to come with the Banovic, DaCosta and Malone kids all leading up to the final book, where Adriana is a 21 year-old up and coming actress, who has made a name for herself in Hollywood.

I hope readers will enjoy Adriana's journey to adulthood and stardom.

Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of

playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.
In this new adult novel you'll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana's father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother's disappearance. You'll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack.
You'll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

Excerpt: Down the hall, Adriana waited for her turn to audition. The place still had lots of girls even though the process seemed to be going by quickly. She got up to stretch her legs and get some water at the water fountain down the hall.

She noticed a photo shoot taking place in the room adjacent to the water fountain. Curious, she headed toward the window and peered through the glass.

Everything was random, large floodlights illuminated a gray backdrop cloth. The room was divided into two parts by a portable screen room divider with an opening at either end. The dimly lit back room was closest to the room entrance; there was a table with a laptop and camera equipment, story boards, a notebook and other items.

Adriana spotted the photographer, a handsome-ish petite Italian talking to his butch assistant, dressed all in black. She was about to walk away when she spotted Haze. Her eyes fixated on him. He emerged wearing jeans and a graphic tee. Adriana was simply mesmerized by him. He was the handsomest man she had ever seen. She entered the room for a closer look. ‘Was he for real?’

The photographer instructed Haze on the next set-up. At first no one noticed Adriana as she stood in the shadows. She was unable to take her eyes off him. ‘Who is he?’ she wondered.

The photographer received his freshly reloaded camera from his assistant. Just then Adriana noticed a Polaroid of Haze on the floor; she picked it up and stared at it. Her fingers traced his smile. His brown eyes were lit up, and a naughty but sweet smile blanketed his face. Adriana felt her inside get soft and mushy; she felt a flash of heat and excitement. This was new territory for her. Whoever he was, she knew she would never forget him.

The butch assistant interrupted her thoughts with a disapproving tone. “What are you doing in here?!”

Adriana was startled.

“You're not supposed to be in here. This is a closed shoot! Get out!”

Adriana slipped the picture into her pocket, then left.

The Banovic Siblings
College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him

perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.
Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?
Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.
The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving.

Bastard’s Brew
When L'Wren's ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to

help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L'Wren's heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L'Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.
“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi
Kevin desires to be the man that L'Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L'Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?
Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he'd be damned if he let her have his heart.

Purchase Links: Amazon ~ B&N ~ smashwords ~ iTunes

Author Bio:
I have been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I enjoy creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.Originally from the island of Trinidad and Tobago, I moved to the United States in 1998. Since then I have been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years.
I am an entrepreneur and advocate for women and children’s rights and I enjoy being in nature and volunteering.
I always wanted to work with Aaron Spelling because I grew up watching his shows, but he died before I got the chance, so in a way my books are an ode to him. I know he would have loved them. I tip my hat to him.

Author Links: Website ~ Newsletter ~  Twitter ~  Goodreads

What people are saying about the series

“I see a huge following for this new series! I know I'm going to watch for more!” Di Bylo – Amazon Top Reviewer

“Gillian Felix is truly wonderful in the way she writes and captivates her readers. She has a true gift and I guess anyone who reads her books will be waiting for the next book as eagerly as I am." Namrata Ganti - Red Pillows

“There are love, lies, secrets, and desires that rival any soap opera out there.” Karen-Anne Stewart, Author

“This series is like the Sopranos meets Nashville. It was gritty and realistic whilst entertaining and dark.” Rachel P

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