Pete & Daisy by Tani Hanes #BlogTour with #GuestPost & Giveaway @tanihanes

Pete & Daisy
Genre: NA Romance
Release date: May 14th 2018
He needs a place to live, she needs a baby daddy.
Pietro Santangelo and Marguerite White are students at prestigious Columbia University in New York City. She is a fun-loving, free spirit who finds herself in a bit of a familial bind, he is an exchange student with a chronic case of poverty. They concoct a plan that they think will work, not realizing how much changes with two simple words

Daisy had never been so cold. And she'd had nothing but time to think about everything Michelle said to her. Was it true? Was she wearing Michelle's wedding ring on her finger? She tried to pull it off, but couldn't because her fingers were too numb and she couldn't grab it.
Everything about her life was a lie, Michelle was right. She'd been stupid to think she could marry a stranger and jerry-rig a life for herself and her baby. Why had she even bothered? Now, not only was her life a mess, but Pete's was as well. He could be married to Michelle, who had a cool job at Elle magazine, who was smooth and beautiful, who wasn't pregnant with some second rate musician's child...
A couple of creepy guys followed her for a couple of blocks, telling her they could warm her up, making terrible comments about her body. Apparently the rain made her top stick to her so her boobs showed, but not her bump; how did that work, anyway? She ignored them, walking around them when they stood in her way, and eventually they left her alone.
She let her mind go blank and just concentrated on walking, and eventually she left the tall buildings of Midtown behind and entered the quiet neighborhoods of the Upper West Side. And, finally, after over three hours of walking, she saw her stoop.
If this were a movie, Daisy would have wandered a short time in a gentle, warm rain, then sat on her stoop and waited for her boyfriend to come and make a romantic gesture of some sort, like standing across the street while holding a boombox her way as it played "their" song. Unfortunately, Daisy inhabited the real world, and there was nothing romantic about sitting on her stoop in the wee hours of the morning in a driving rainstorm, soaking wet and freezing.
Eventually, after she'd sat for who knew how long, a pair of headlights came up the street, and stopped in front of her building. It was a cab, and Pete jumped out and ran towards her. She tried to stand up to meet him, but she was too cold and stiff, so she remained seated on the stoop.
"We have to get you inside," Pete was saying. Why wasn't he yelling? The rain had tapered off. Oh. Of course, now that she was going to get indoors, it stopped raining. Figured.
"I don't want to go inside with you," Daisy managed to say through her chattering teeth.
"What?" Pete was incredulous. "Daisy, you're not making any sense. Come on, you need to get warm right now." He reached for her and pulled her unwillingly to her feet. She lost her balance and nearly fell down the steps.
"No! I'm not going in there with you," Daisy repeated stubbornly. "You shouldn't be here anyway. You should be with her. Michelle," she clarified, just in case he was unsure who she meant.
Pete ran his hand through his hair, which was soaked, like the rest of him. "I'm not going to stand out here and argue with you," he said. "Let's go." And he tried to pull her inside.
"NO!" she shouted. "Let go of me." She pulled out of his grip.
"Daisy, you're my wife," Pete tried. "Please, let's go inside and we can talk about all of this, we can talk about anything you want--"
"I'm not really your wife," she cried. "This whole thing is a lie, we're a lie, Pete!" And she managed to pull her ring off and throw it in the street. It bounced away, making a clinking sound. Even under these horrible circumstances, Daisy could appreciate what a cliche it was, what a B-movie moment. ”Pete’s not even your real name, is it? It's just what you wanted me to call you, because you probably didn't even want me using your real name for this stupid game we've been playing." She finally collapsed against the brick wall, from the cold, from fatigue, from being awash in sorrow.
"You're going to wake up Granny," he tried. He was amazed she hadn't woken up already. Her bedroom faced the front, she was sleeping right next to where they were fighting. These words seemed to work.

Writing A Romance In The New Millennium

I write romance novels. By definition, they’re kind of cheesy, I suppose. In this day and age, where people meet, get together, hook up, whatever, via Tinder, Grindr, and others I’ve never heard of, it’s a bit of a dicey proposition, you know? Do people really meet-cute anymore? Do they fall in love? And the big question, does anyone want to read about it?
I’m banking on a resounding “Yes!”
A girl can hope, right? Or a retired, middle-aged substitute teacher can hope, I guess.
But it’s a brave new world. There are issues these days, like using protection and monogamy, that need to be tackled.
I wrote about an anonymous hook up outside a club in Pete & Daisy, and (in an earlier draft) I stupidly wrote that they didn’t, uh, use anything, because the woman in question was already pregnant. Back in my day, that was really the only consideration.
I heard about it. Boy, did I hear about it.
It was stupid.
It was dangerous.
It just wasn’t done this way anymore.
And the worst: It was wrong and irresponsible of me to write it this way.
I was woefully out of touch.
I just assumed that most people assume the people they choose to be with are clean.
Notice that I used the word “assume” twice in that sentence? And you know what they say about people who “assume” things, right?
There just was no way, in the world in which we live today, a young woman, no matter how pregnant she was, would skip wrapping the guy’s equipment, not if he was a stranger, not if it was casual.
No way.
So I rewrote the scene, and had Daisy grab a condom from her purse, rip it open with her teeth, and roll that sucker on (apparently, she should not have opened it in this way, either, but I let that one go).
I’m perfectly willing to change things, modernize them, in the name of safe sex, and being realistic (though, if you think about it, she must have made some bad decisions somewhere along the way to have wound up unexpectedly pregnant in the first place, right?). I also added in a conversation between Pete and Daisy about “being clean,” about not having any diseases. Apparently, this would also be commonplace. I figured that they’re married, she’s pregnant already, it would just be a given that they wouldn’t need to use protection. But no.
People are so smart these days.
In addition to the “cleanliness” issue I just discussed, there’s also the issue of monogamy. In my day, it was just assumed (that word again!), you know, that if you were dating someone, that someone was the only person you were dating.
These days, however, it seems that, until you have “the talk” about being exclusive, it’s Mardi Gras time, socially speaking.
My head is beginning to spin, you guys.
So I went back to my manuscript and wrote in another conversation about how they were going to be only with each other, at least for the duration of the marriage. It needed to be said, apparently. Again, though, I wanted it to fit into the framework of the story I was creating, so I put it in the context of the law, about how if they were discovered participating in a marriage of convenience, there would be repercussions, fines, possible deportations, all that stuff.
Within the parameters I’ve set up, the flimsy framework of “true love,” I still want to be realistic, you know? I want things to ring true, emotionally speaking. This is getting harder and harder to do, because we live in a world of AIDS, STIs, and testing on a regular basis. The days of taking a pill and forgetting about it are long gone. And meeting someone and just deciding to be true blue to that person is an antiquated way of thinking, practically antediluvian.
In addition to HEA (Happily Ever After), HFN (Happy For Now) is also a thing. There’s a reason for that, I suppose.
All this practicality makes my books seem extra mushy, overly sentimental, and almost ridiculously emotional. My contention is that it’s precisely because we live in this world that my stuff is so wanted. Needed, even.
It’s so hard to be a hopeful romantic these days.
But I’m going to keep trying.

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My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I'm from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait as long as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating!

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