Girl in the Spotlight by Virginia McCullough (Blog Tour & #Giveaway)

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Launch for
Girl in the Spotlight
By Virginia McCullough

Author Interview

What inspired you to write Girl in the Spotlight

My answer is fairly obvious, I suppose. I adopted my son as an infant, and he’s now all grown up with a family of his own. Beyond my personal experience, though, I’ve often crossed paths with women who have experienced the other side of the adoption story, the birth mothers. In some cases the women were clear-eyed and sure about their choice. Others not so much. But these women most always expressed a mix of emotions. 

Over the years, it’s seemed remarkable that these birth mothers so freely volunteered their thoughts and feelings without prompting—even decades after their decisions. Likewise, they usually went on tell me their stories about making peace with their choice—or not. So many had been torn on many levels, or even pressured, with few options. 

These special women deepened my feelings about everyone whose lives are touched by adoption—some call it a triad. But it also involves grandparents and future children and spouses. No matter how many years had passed, these women, like Lark McGee in GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, never “forgot.” 

I was privileged that these women trusted me enough to confide in me, and I’ve never revealed any details of their situations. I also know for sure that some adoptive mothers privately wonder about their child’s unseen, unknown parents. Although they don’t talk it about often, these mothers often have an unspoken bond with their child’s birth parents. That’s certainly true for me, and it never goes away. 

Lark and Miles were young and their relationship casual, but they’ve matured now and made their share of mistakes. They deserve their second chance. 

What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it? 

More than anything else, I want readers to believe in the power of second chances, even if they’ve paid a price for big mistakes or painful episodes in the past. But like Lark and Miles, we all have another chance to make a different choice and sometimes heal, but not forget, wounds in the past. 

Don’t we begin believing in second chances early in life? Isn’t it part of our nature? Babies learn to walk by falling, getting up, and taking another chance. Kids learn to ride bikes by peddling, wobbling, and trying again. Later, maybe we accept the wrong job, but we launch plans to search for a better one. Our first love usually ends, but our hearts mend and we get another chance. 

Granted, love and romance are, to say the least, tricky, and I don’t minimize the reality that some losses of various kinds are final. We sometimes lose faith in life and in ourselves. However, like Miles and Lark, at some point most of us regain hope, do what we can to heal, and eventually open our hearts to second chances. 

Do you have a favorite scene that you can share with us? 

Hands down, my favorite is the first time Lark and Miles see their now 18-year-old daughter, Perrie Lynn, skate. They’re sitting high in an arena looking down on the ice, and it’s as if a painting comes to life. Lark is distressed that she can’t immediately single out Perrie Lynn in a group of skaters, and the reality that she knows so little about her daughter hits hard. But that gives way to a trancelike state watching Perrie Lynn perform. Lark feels every jump, extension, and spin in her own body (and so did I!). Lark is overwhelmed by this vision of her now grownup child and by sharing this intimate moment with Miles. 

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say? 

Lark McGee and Miles Jenkins shared the painful experience of giving up a child, but without fanfare or effort they’re given a path to see their daughter, and if they have the courage, to grab their second chance with each other. 

Share something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or a particular hobby or talent? 

At the very beginning of my writing career, when my children were still very young, we lived aboard Sojourner, a 34 foot classic wooden sailboat built in the 1930s. For several years, we moved between Maine, Maryland, Florida, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. My office was wherever I could plunk down my typewriter during long portside stays. We had two small shelves for books, and I had a bin to store my portable typewriter (yes, those were pre-computer days). I’d drag it out to write in the cockpit or at the dining table in the cabin. I wrote dozens of magazine articles during those years. I laugh about it when I look around my house today—one whole wall of floor to ceiling book shelves in my office, and bookcases in every room. Even my kids wonder how I managed to cook for a family in the tiny galley.

Girl in the Spotlight
by Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The daughter they never knew

When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can't believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago? He has to find out.

Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise. As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.

Advanced Praise

Mesmerized by the real world of characters--brought to life beautifully, I found myself entranced by this thoughtful, delightful, sad, and joyous, novel about second chances and all forms of love. The situation, characters, and consequences left me shedding happy tears at the ending.Casey Clifford, award-winning author

A compelling love story crafted with characters you'll fall in love with. Miles and Lark's journey to be reunited with their child captured my heart, as did their blossoming romance. The best book I have read this year! — Lily Silver, author of Dark Hero

McCullough is always adept at creating suspense on multiple levels. In Girl in the Spotlight, the intrigue builds from page one and doesn’t let up until the end. But she understands that readers need relief from tension, and through her masterful storytelling and perfect pacing, McCullough delivers satisfying outcomes along that way. The relationships she’s developed are complex and realistic, and their evolution is deeply satisfying.Lynda McDaniel, author of A Life for a Life

Girl in the Spotlight swept me away to Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore and reminded me of loves left behind. McCullough invokes deep emotions through her writing, which will pull at your heart. More than a romantic love story, it is a love story of parents for their children. A must read."Anne Parent, author/reviewer


Tour Schedule

June 6th:

About the Author

A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Tour Giveaway


1st Prize (US only): Tea & Contemplation, a collection of favorite things, starts with an uplifting message from “Seize the Day” Pop Open Cards. Fill a ceramic thermal mug to sip Lavender Chamomile Tea while you contemplate your ideas and dreams. Write your thoughts in a journal, whose guiding words are: When Your Heart Speaks... take good notes! A Wish pen is included. Finally, pick a place to display a large piece of gemmy rose quartz, a stone long linked to matters of the heart. It’s said when rose quartz is nearby, love (of all kinds) comes along to keep it company. These items will be arranged in a “keeper box” and delivered to your door.

2nd Prize (open internationally): You will receive a $35.00 Amazon eGift Card, and a digital copy of GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, plus one digital copy of another of Virginia’s five award-winning novels—it’s your choice.

Ends June 16th

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