Sunday, 26 November 2017

HEART NOTE BY CASSANDRA O'LEARY Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway

I am delighted to be bringing you a fabulous guest post by author Cassandra O'Leary on being a 'Spritzer Chick'.  Her new book Heart Note was published on 6th November 2017 and you can enter the giveaway to win one of five e-copies!



Genre:  Romantic Comedy/Holiday Romance
Publication Date:  6 Nov 2017
1st Novella in a new series - standalone
Estimated Page Count:  100



Universal Link - https://www.books2read.com/HeartNote



Love is like a fine perfume. The top note draws you in, an instant attraction, but the Heart Note is the true essence. Like true love – a great perfume should be a woman’s perfect match.

At least, that’s what perfume counter manager, Lily Lucas, tells her customers in one of Australia’s largest department stores. 

It’s almost Christmas, the store is bedecked with baubles and Lily has about eleventy billion gifts to wrap and sell. She and her team of spritzer chicks are glamorous, professional and hoping they don’t have to wear the hideous red onesies and reindeer antlers the store manager has in mind.

The high point of Lily’s work life is Christos Cyriakos, ex-cop, security guard, possible Greek god. He's a mystery box she’d love to unwrap. But can she trust him?

All Lily wants for Christmas is to kiss Christos (and more), catch a band of thieves running amok in the store, and live happily ever after. Is that too much to wish for?







My Not-So-Perfect Life as a Shop Girl
True Story: Once I was a Spritzer Chick
Back in the day, when I was a university student in the 1990s, I worked in various perfume promotions gigs in many department stores. It’s true – I was a spritzer chick, and my own work life was the inspiration for my new romcom novella, Heart Note. The title refers to the layers of a perfume, the heart note being the essential essence.
My job back then included working in the largest stores in Australia – Myer and David Jones department stores at Chadstone shopping centre (actually the largest indoor mall in the southern hemisphere) and the grand old stores in the centre of Melbourne’s CBD.
When I first started work on the Fine Fragrances counter there was a major campaign running in store. It was the launch of Calvin Klein’s Eternity perfume, with a famous ad featuring model Kate Moss. It played on an almost continuous loop on the store’s video monitors. The weird tune, ya-da-da-di-di, is embedded in my brain to this day!
I thought I’d blog about the best and worst parts of the job for this guest post.
The Best
The best thing about working with perfumes and particularly in promotions, was that you’d get a whole lot of free samples. I collected so many mini bottles of Eternity and Opium perfumes that I was still giving them to friends and wearing the perfumes a couple of years after I stopped working for the perfume companies.
It was also fun learning about perfume, from the ingredients – top notes, middle or heart notes, and base notes – to the fancy descriptions of the essence and theme. I remember one perfume was sold as the fragrance Grace Kelly wore on her wedding day. I only discovered later the perfume was released several years after Kelly’s marriage!
The Worst
Without doubt, the worst thing about the job was standing and walking all day long in high heels which were a part of the official uniform. Talking to some of the older store staff who’d done the job for years, it caused problems beyond tired feet at the end of the day. They suffered from extreme varicose veins and even blood clots – one woman warned me to get out of the job while I still had good legs and before I needed surgery.
When I first started, I spritzed perfume almost all day, walking the floor every day, for an entire Christmas season and into the summer. I must have spritzed thousands of customers and sold hundreds, if not thousands of gift sets.
After a long shift, I went home exhausted after standing and walking in high heels. We wore all pencil skirts or black dresses and always had well-groomed hair held back with black satin ribbons. Black pantyhose/stockings were standard.
The Pretty Cool
Once I met and served a handsome movie star in store. I won’t mention his name, but at the time he was an Aussie actor who was in a few indie films and making a name for himself. Now he’s quite well-known in Hollywood.
I’ll admit to having a little crush on him even back when he was shopping in store, choosing a perfume for his girlfriend. He really wanted to choose something she’d like and he was a perfect gentleman.
I’m Over It…
Some days I was over it, like when I had to deal with extra rude customers and staff. I was passed over for lucrative extra shifts or additional learning opportunities because a certain manager said no. Some managers took bitchiness to the extreme. Lack of empathy from (mostly) women managers was hard to take.
I had one manager in particular who seemed to be in a rage that some of us were studying at university. She hadn’t had the opportunity, so she’d call us names like ‘smarty pants’ and get aggravated about us taking study leave (even though we were entitled to it under store policy).
Back to the future!

Now I’m writing about being a ‘spritzer chick’ I realise how much I learned on the job. From getting along with people from all walks of life, to understanding the value of a dollar when you’re working for a low hourly wage. I hope readers will enjoy my foray into the world of the perfume counter in my Spritzer Chicks series of novellas.

Thank you so much, Cassandra, for a brilliant insight into the perfume world! I'd love to know who the handsome film star is though!


MEET THE AUTHOR
**Winner of the We Heart New Talent contest, HarperCollins UK. Nominated for BEST NEW AUTHOR in the 2016 AusRom Today Reader's Choice Awards for excellence in Australian romance fiction.**

Cassandra O’Leary is a romance and women’s fiction author, communications specialist, avid reader, film and TV fangirl and admirer of pretty, shiny things. 

In 2015, Cassandra won the We Heart New Talent contest run by Avon Books/HarperCollins UK. Her debut romantic comedy novel, Girl on a Plane, was published in July 2016. Cassandra was also a 2015 finalist in the Lone Star writing contest, Northwest Houston Romance Writers of America, and a 2014 finalist in the First Kiss contest, Romance Writers of Australia.

Cassandra is a mother of two gorgeous, high-energy mini ninjas and wife to a spunky superhero. Living in Melbourne, Australia, she’s also travelled the world. If you want to send her to Italy or Spain on any food or wine tasting ‘research’ trips, that would be splendiferous. You’ll find Cassandra online, drinking coffee and possibly buying shoes. Oh, yes. And writing.



Social Media Links
Twitter – @cass_oleary



Giveaway – Win 5 x E-copies of Heart Note by Cassandra O’Leary (Open Internationally)

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