Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunny Days For Sam Blog Tour: guest post, excerpt + Giveaway

Sunny Days for Sam
by Jennifer Shirk
Genre: contemporary romance
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 6th 2012 by Avalon Books

BLURB: Sunnyva “Sunny” Fletcher is a firm believer in fairy tales. With the recent debt she’s acquired, the hope of something magical happening in her life is the only thing keeping her going. She needs a job fast. So when Sunny learns the sexy new vacationer in town is looking for a nanny, she starts to believe she just may have a fairy godmother after all!

Internet guru Sam Calloway is only in town for the summer and needs a nanny for his two small children. However, the beautiful and inexperienced Sunny is not exactly the kind of caregiver Sam has in mind. It doesn’t take long for Sunny’s tenderhearted and bubble-blowing ways to soon have the children—and Sam—enamored with her. She’s a dream come true. But after what Sam’s been through, he’s stopped believing in fairy tales long ago.

Sunny manages to work her way into Sam’s closed-off heart, but at the end of the summer, will the workaholic dad go back to his life in New York City, or will he decide his days are much sunnier here with Sunny?

GUEST POST: Fairy Tales in Romance

Hi, all! Jennifer here. 

We often see aspects of fairy tales in books we read, but especially in romances. 

Why do you think that is? 

I think it’s because every romance reader wants to find their fictional prince charming. The ultimate fantasy. That’s what it’s all about for them. What is more romantic than the idea of a “prince charming”? If you take out pirates, Navy SEALS, and cowboys, NOTHING is more romantic. J 

I happened to be in the Magic Kingdom of Disney World when I came upon the idea that my heroine would start off as an amusement park princess. I figured those women need romances too! So the whole Cinderella theme stuck with me when I began writing SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM. Then, before I knew it, I had a down-on-her-luck fake princess landing a job as a nanny for her handsome employer’s two adorable children. 

The whole Cinderella theme has been used upside-down and sideways by writers, but I think one of the reasons they gravitate toward it is because it’s timeless. No matter how often we see it, the theme always resonates with people. We’re always going to root for the underdog until the heroine finds her prince and thus her happily ever after. When she finds all that by the end of the book, it gives the reader hope and makes us believe in what’s good too. And isn’t that the ultimate happy ending for a reader? 

Thanks so much to Reader Girls for having me today! I hope you all have a chance to check out SUNNY DAYS FOR SAM and experience Sunny’s happily ever after too!


Kim kicked her under the table, signaling her to say something about the nanny position before he disappeared. 

“Ow!” Sunny scowled at Kim. Rubbing her shin, she turned to Sam. “Uh, look, I was wondering since I need a job now, and you’re, well…” 

A dawning of realization sparked in Sam’s eyes, and his expression grew several degrees colder. “Ah, I see what this is all about. Now I know why you were so eager to help me. I’m sorry but my company isn’t hiring at the moment. Of course, you’re welcome to send in your resume for us to have on file.” 

Resume? Company? She didn’t even know he had a company to send a resume to. “Um, no, actually, I was more interested in the, uh, nanny position.” 

Sam blinked, then threw his head back and laughed. “You want me to hire you as a nanny?” 

Emma stopped blowing bubbles in her milk and looked up with wide excited eyes. “Sunny’s going to be our new nanny?” 

“Oh, cool!” Cole exclaimed. “You’re not mean like Natasha was and you’re not old like that Mrs. Ferguson. Mrs. Ferguson was always putting things where they didn’t belong and she couldn’t see so good.” 

Sam gave him a stern look. “Hey, that’s not nice to say, Cole.” 

“Sorry. But if she was a knight, she would be Mrs. Forgets-a-lot.” 

Sunny banked down a bubble of laughter. 

“Well, it doesn’t matter how Mrs. Ferguson was, because Sunny is not going to be your new nanny,” Sam firmly told them. 

Any lingering laughter Sunny might have had died on the spot. “Oh, but I do have references!” she cried. “I’ve done a little babysitting on the side for years. I can be at your house at whatever time you want, except Friday and Saturday nights. And… and… I—I can even cook. Sometimes.” 

“Sometimes?” he asked. 

She shrugged guiltily. “Well, it’s usually hit-or-miss with me. I do make very good peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and last year at the County Fall Festival I took first place for my double chocolate chip brownies.” 

Sam let out an audible sigh. If Sunny was a betting woman, she’d wager he didn’t seem too impressed with those credentials. “Look, Miss, I prefer using an agency and going through all the proper channels. No offense. And I need someone willing to put in at least fifty hours a week.” 

Sunny almost pinched herself when she heard fifty hours a week. That would pull in a lot of money. She obviously wasn’t doing a great job selling herself, though. Sam was already back to calling her Miss instead of Sunny. She needed this job. But what else could she say? She finally looked to Kim for help. 

Kim took the cue and stood, taking Sam by the arm and leading him out of earshot of the children. “Well, just so you know,” she said in a hushed tone, “this is a small town. There’s no agency here, and from what your children said, I’m not so sure you’ve had the greatest luck with that. So you should at least consider Sunny. It’s really simple when you think about it. You need a nanny and she needs a job. Anyone in town will vouch for her. Heck, if you’d use your eyes, you can see for yourself that she’s great with kids.” 

Sam rolled his eyes then his gaze fell to his children. Emma had already climbed up onto Sunny’s lap, running her little fingers through her straight blond hair. Cole had his hands in prayer position next to her. Sunny said a silent prayer, too. If Sam didn’t fall for this kind of corny Norman Rockwell pose, then she had no absolutely chance in securing the position. She held her breath and waited. 

Sam walked back toward them with a resigned look. His cell phone went off again, but he ignored it this time. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he finally muttered, “Fine.” 

“Yay!” the kids shouted, giggling and dancing around the table. 

The breath Sunny had been holding rushed out of her lungs. She almost thought she’d misheard him. “You mean it? You’ll really hire me?” 

“Yeah, but let’s not get carried away. It’ll just be temporary. Let’s see how the week goes first.” 

Sunny high-fived Kim then jumped out of her chair. She was so happy, she almost threw her arms around Sam and kissed him. Fortunately, Sam’s disapproving scowl kept her firmly rooted to the two foot distance between them. He didn’t have much confidence in her, but that was okay. She had more than enough for both of them. 

“Oh, you won’t be sorry,” she assured him. “I’ll be the best nanny slash brownie maker slash ex-princess you’ve ever had. I guarantee, after this week, you’ll be so pleased, you won’t ever want to let me go.” 

Sam folded his arms and smirked. “Yeah well, we’ll see about that.” 

Website | Blog 
About the author: Jennifer Shirk has a bachelor degree in pharmacy-which has in NO WAY at all helped her with her writing career. But she likes to point it out, since it shows romantic-at-hearts come in all shapes, sizes, and mind-numbing educations.

She writes sweet romantic comedies and won third place in the RWA 2006 NYC's Kathryn Hayes Love and Laughter Contest with her book, The Role of a Lifetime.

She's also a board member for Straight Ahead Ministries, an organization involved in helping spread the gospel and aiding medical and pharmacy students in Russia. She resides in a beach resort in NJ, and when she's not involved in all the above, she's taking care of her most treasured possessions: her husband, daughter, and four hermit crabs.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: Jennifer will be giving away a print copy of "Sunny Days for Sam" (US/Canada only -- an eBook copy of "Role of a Lifetime" will be substituted as prizes for any international winners) to two randomly drawn commenters, and a $10 Visa GC for the blog host with most comments (excluding the author's and the host's).

 The tour dates can be found here

This tour is presented by Goddess Fish Promotions.


  1. Cute idea about the amusement park princess. My grandson actually got quite a crush on the Cinderella at Disney. He had his picture taken with her and showed it to everyone.

  2. I have never found my prince charming, so I read about it instead. I love the plot of your story.

  3. I love the idea of turning fairy tales on their heads and giving them a modern spin. Great job, Jennifer.

  4. I agree - the Cinderella theme is timeless. Sounds like a wonderful book!

  5. This looks great! I would love to read this.

  6. I wondered if you were going with the Cinderella theme when I saw the pretty shoe on your cover! I love reading various interpretations of the classics. It's just so fun to see all the different ways to tell the same story!

  7. Love the idea of themed books, especially fairy tales. Grew up on loving fairie tales and being a princess when I was little.
    Loved the excerpt and would love to win and read this book. It looks great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  8. I agree that fairy tales are timeless. Just look at how many remakes there are of Snow White out now - granted some darker than others - but there is definitely a niche for it.

  9. I love a good twist on the Cinderella (or Cinderfella) story.

  10. I loved the excerpt and your book cover is beautiful! Love fairy tales so this is perfect for me. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. This looks really cute - and I love the cover!

  12. Who doesn't love Cinderella? Have you seen my Fairy Godmother? I know she's here someplace.

  13. I enjoy retellings of fairy tales, and this sounds great. Plus, I think the cover is very pretty!

  14. Hi, all! I know I'm late but I was out of the country with poor Internet connection.

    Thanks so much for all your kind comments. And thanks to ReaderGirls for having me!