What motivated you to write THE CHARM OFFENSIVE?
We moved often when I was a child because of my father’s job and now with my husband, we’ve continued to relocate around the country. I’ve been fortunate to live in both small towns and big cities and I’ve discovered there’s something to love about each place we’ve lived. There are so many wonderful romance series set in small towns and I wanted to write a series about characters who live and work in a big, vibrant city. San Francisco has always been one of my favorite cities and when the idea for The Charm Offensive came up, the City by the Bay seemed like the perfect setting.
Sophie Callahan was the first person to pull at him in places he thought only the music could reach. But, unlike the symphony, he wasn’t interested in becoming a patron of Sophie Callahan’s.
To celebrate the release of my July book, The Charm Offensive, it’s time to break down charm and figure out what it really takes for someone or something to be charming. And to kick off the blog tour week, let’s talk about those movie characters that’ve charmed us.
“This story is filled with heartwarming characters and twists and turns. And along the way, Sophie and Brad rise above the bad luck in their lives to find each other, fall in love, and claim their well-deserved happily ever after. What a great story. It will warm your heart. It left me smiling happily at the end. I would definitely recommend THE CHARM OFFENSIVE to anyone looking for a heartwarming romance.”
2. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have a collection of unpublished books that span several romance categories: historical, paranormal and contemporary. We just moved into a new house last week and I came across my very first manuscript in one of the attic boxes. I took it out, dusted it off and repacked it into a sturdier box for safe-keeping. That one is definitely for my eyes only.
My heroine, Sophie Callahan, owns a pet store called The Pampered Pooch in my July release, The Charm Offensive. Pet owners can find everything they need for their favorite four-legged family members from dog food to cat beds to every sort of toy. City dogs can also enjoy play dates in the Pooch’s day care. Sophie can’t refuse shelter for abandoned kittens, puppy surrenders or rescues of any kind. She makes use of her foster families and her kennels to house all of her furry friends until she finds each one a forever home.
“Overall, I would recommend this book to romance readers and young adults. It’ll put a smile on your face, and probably make you thankful you don’t have the relatives that Sophie does! Just make sure you are ready to meet Ella. I promise you that she will lift your spirits.”
Her father had taught her not to trust as a child, and she prided herself on being more open and less closed off as an adult. Until one phone call from her father had made her suspicious of everyone, including herself. One phone call had made her doubt that decency existed.
“I lied.” His voice was low, as if dredged through the darkness. “I do want something from you.”
Sophie watched him and waited. The attic closed in as if embracing them, but a shiver shifted through the air, rippling across her skin. “What?”
Brad tugged her against him. “This.”
I asked my two teenage daughters about the things that make a good first impression. Here’s their list:
1. Someone who can make you laugh
2. Someone who is upbeat
3. Someone who is sincere
“Really good characters grab our attention with a promising plot from the beginning. I was a bit thrown by the writing style where we would get a subtle hint of knowledge on a character without giving us details several places throughout the book that kind of left us guessing … but overall, it was an enjoyable read with a happy ending to be enjoyed by all.”
The definition of charming according to Merriam-Webster is “extremely pleasing or delightful.” I’ve been around people I’d describe as charming and they’ve been more than simply delightful. They usually seem to have some intangible quality that is hard to describe, but so very compelling. You want to be around charming people perhaps because they make you feel like instant friends. Charming people make everyone feel better for being around them.
Brad’s strong hand engulfed Ella’s as if he’d been holding the girl’s hand since she’d learned to walk. Simple, easy and natural like a father with a daughter. He never flinched. Never pulled away. Just moved closer to Ella’s side. A band twisted around Sophie’s chest as if a professional linebacker had tackled her to the ground.
“The family issues were awesome in the book. They are relatable and honest. Brad is a great hero. He had to figure out what was most important to him and he did. Sophie…she had to grow on me and she finally did. “
“What I loved about this book is that two people with a lot of insecurities and emotional pain are able to open their heats and find love. The supporting characters are people you would like to surround yourself with (well, most of them). This is a patchwork family. Broken people, who aren’t related, coming together to make a whole.”
“This was a really sweet story. I really liked the story line. . . . I think this is a great book and recommend it to other readers.”
“The characters in The Charm Offensive are so well-written and believable. Sophie’s niece, Ella, is such a sweetheart with a huge heart. I love Evelyn and how she becomes involved in their lives. The fact that Sophie has a pet store is just awesome! I want a bookstore, but having a pet store would be my second choice. If you love sweet romance, you’ll love The Charm Offensive.”
“The Charm Offensive is sweet and witty and brimming with love and, yes, charm. Sophie, Brad, and Ella make quite a team, and their interactions will put a smile on your face and in your heart. The writing is smooth and draws you in at once, and I hope The Charm Offensive’s universe becomes a series – there are other stories to be discovered with the supporting characters.”
A warning flared inside him, telling him these memories belonged to Ella and Sophie, not him. But he barreled on past the exit-now sign flashing in his mind, very much determined to add to their memories. Yes, Sophie’s stove was more vintage than practical. He’d bet the temperature in the oven hadn’t been calibrated in over two decades. And if he guessed correctly, only two of the four burners worked. Yet he wanted to make dinner here with them. Against all good sense and logic and rationale, he wanted to experience prepping and cooking in this kitchen with this family.
“I absolutely adored Sophie and Brad. Even though Brad had a pretty huge hidden motive in getting involved with Sophie. . . . An excellent heartwarming read. I loved it.”
There’s a long-standing debate about small town living versus big city living, tiny houses versus sprawling estates covering acres of land, neighbors or no neighbors. Depending on my mood (or how much teenage drama is coursing through our house), I’ll voice my preference for one over the other. However, Sophie Callahan and Brad Harrington, from The Charm Offensive, would choose a life in the city every time.
“Cari Lynn Webb has written a fantastic romantic story with precious main characters. I instantly fell in love with The Charm Offensive. It’s indeed incredibly charming. It’s also sweet, entertaining and delightful. I loved that there’s so much eye for detail, even the large number of pets all have their own distinct personalities. Cari Lynn Webb has paid attention to everything and her story has warmth and cosiness in abundance. The Charm Offensive is a terrific feelgood story and I highly recommend this gorgeous loving book.”