Monday, 27 October 2014

Boots & Backpacks by KC Kahler Blog Tour + Giveaway

Today I have the honour of being the first stop on the Boots & Backpacks Blog Tour with a guest post by the author, KC Kahler. Read on to find out more about the book and author, and there is a chance to win a paperback copy of the book, open internationally! So without further ado I will pass over to KC Kahler

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Book Cover - Boots & Backpacks by KC KahlerBook blurb:

Pride and Prejudice on the Appalachian Trail, roughly

William Darcy counts down the last few months to his 30th birthday with dread. Orphaned as a child, his parents’ will includes a bizarre clause: Darcy must get married by his 30th birthday in order to inherit the family fortune. To make matters worse, the press knows about this deadline, as do the hordes of women chasing him in the hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. His family legacy hangs in the balance, but Darcy has little faith in the fairer sex. Will he find a woman he wants to marry, and quickly?

Elizabeth Bennet is determined to pursue her education and career without letting a man get in the way. When her traveling companion drops out, her planned hike on the Appalachian Trail is jeopardized. She meets the spoiled, snobby William Darcy just when he is desperate to escape the spotlight. No one will suspect that the Prince of Manhattan has gone backpacking! Darcy and Elizabeth form a tenuous partnership and begin a 300-mile journey that will transform them both.

In classic romantic comedy tradition, Boots & Backpacks follows our reluctant partners as they build trust, friendship, and even more. Six weeks together on America’s most famous hiking trail may turn out to be just what these two need!

Romantic Comedy Tropes in Boots & Backpacks

KC Kahler - Author of Boots & Backpacks
Author KC Kahler
As a pop culture geek, I’m a sucker for tropes. What’s a trope? Well, according to the supreme time-sucking site TV Tropes:

“Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members' minds and expectations.”

Tropes are universal across all media types - mythology, literature, TV, movies, comic books, video games, etc. As consumers of media, we recognize tropes, either consciously or subconsciously, and form expectations about the characters and the plot. In a genre as formulaic as that of the romantic comedy, certain tropes get used over and over again, but fans of that genre keep coming back for more.

Jane Austen used tropes masterfully in her novels. Pride and Prejudice is considered by many to be the grandmommy of the modern romantic comedy. It is certainly the grandmommy of my novel Boots & Backpacks! So what beloved tropes from P&P can you expect to see in B&B? Here are a few:
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky - Yes, my hero is named William Darcy and he is quite the eligible bachelor! But he does have a few issues to work through: he’s a spoiled snob, he’s obsessed with the family fortune, and he distrusts basically everyone he meets, especially women.
  • Spirited Young Lady - Elizabeth Bennet: as unimpressed with Mr. Darcy upon first introduction in 2014 as she was in 1813.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension - So much banter! The sexual tension in Boots & Backpacks starts out especially belligerent, but over the course of the story, our dear couple learns to get along.
  • Will They or Won’t They - The staple of all romantic comedies! Usually it’s a foregone conclusion that they will, but the fun is seeing how and when they do.
  • Inter-class Romance - Darcy’s a super-rich blue blood; Elizabeth is middle-class.
  • Arch Enemy - Darcy’s arch enemy in Pride and Prejudice is George Wickham, but in Boots & Backpacks, the gossip columnist Gwen Younge fills the role.
  • Grande Dame - Catherine De Bourgh, grand with or without a title.
  • Act of True Love - In P&P, we know Darcy really loves Elizabeth when he drops everything to search for Wickham and Lydia in the seedy parts of London, and then, when he finds them, foots the bill to make them marry. And he never takes the credit or even wants Elizabeth to know about it, lest she feel indebted to him. Sigh.
Obviously, I can’t reveal what the Act of True Love is in Boots & Backpacks! But trust me, there’s a good one.

Now, just because we form expectations based on the tropes we recognize doesn't mean those expectations are fulfilled. Sometimes an author may set up a trope only to subvert it. A bait and switch, if you will. Think of a banana peel that no one slips on, or a damsel in 
distress who saves herself. So don't think that you know everything you need to know about Boots & Backpacks. There are quite a few surprises!

If you, like me, can’t get enough tropes, see the full TV Tropes list for Pride and Prejudice, as well as the section on romantic comedies. But be careful! One click will lead to many!

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Ceri for hosting my ramblings.

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Thank you to KC Kahler for such an entertaining guest post! To find out more about KC Kahler you can visit her blog: http://kckahler.merytonpress.com/ and follow her on twitter @KCKahler

Meryton Press are very kindly offering a giveaway of one paperback copy of Boots & Backpacks on this stop of the blog tour, open internationally. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post. Please leave a way for me to contact you should you win, twitter handle or email address (to prevent unwanted spam please leave your email address with an (at) instead of an @). Closing date is 10 November.

Please note that this giveaway has now closed and the winner will be chosen soon!

Since this a blog tour there will be other opportunities for you to learn more about the book and potentially win a copy. Here are the other scheduled stops:

28/10: Review at Songs and Stories
30/10: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
31/10: Review at Wings of Paper
01/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Love for Jane Austen
02/11: Review at The Delighted Reader 
03/11: Excerpt at More Agreeably Engaged
04/11: Excerpt & Giveaway at The Calico Critic
05/11: Review at Warmisunqu’s Austen
06/11: Guest Post & Giveaway at The Darcy Obsession

Boots & Backpacks Blog Tour

44 comments:

  1. Love to read a good modernization. Looking froward to readng this new novel! Sounds very interesting.
    Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

    @kaewink

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    1. Hi Katrin! Thank you for commenting. I agree with you, it's an interesting setting for a modernisation, and I am guessing we'll get a lot of page time with Elizabeth and Darcy together, which I always enjoy. Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  2. I only can say that I loved Will's act of true love! I really enjoyed reading this story! Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed B&B!

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    2. Hi Loren, I haven't read it yet, but I am very intrigued to find out what Will's act of true love is!

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  3. I would like to read this novel becouse the plot makes me very curious.
    My email : chiarapiccirilla@hotmail.it

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    1. It makes me curious too Chiara! I don't know if you've seen it but the prologue of this book has been posted over on the Meryton Press website and it's very intriguing.

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  4. No one writes witty banter quite like KC! As an AT member and backpacking enthusiast, I've been looking forward to this book for a long time. In fact, my internet ID began as my trail name way back when. Best of luck, KC, on the tour and I know the book will be a huge success. Twitter: @michchick

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    1. You flatterer!

      I hope we can meet up at another tea party soon!

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    2. If you're a backpacking, AT and a JAFF enthusiast then this book seems like a definite must-read for you Michchick! Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  5. Really enjoyed the author's discussion of tropes in this interview--something my AP Lang students are on the lookout for throughout the year. Read the Prologue this morning and enjoyed it very much. If I am lucky enough to win, contact me at rcmsilvia[at]gmail.com

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    1. I enjoyed the prologue too. Thanks for your comment & good luck in the giveaway :)

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  6. Sounds like a good read. It is on my TBR list now. Thanks for the giveaway! My email is tresha_7atmsn.com

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    1. Thanks Tresha, good luck in the giveaway :)

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  7. Lately I'm into modern P&P stories, so I'm really looking forward to reading this one! Thanks for the giveaway!
    arjanne.boneschanscher (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. I enjoy the modern ones too, and this one sounds like it'll be a good read. Good luck :)

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  8. When is this one being released? It looks really good!

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    1. Hi Stacie, I think the book is out on 1 November :)

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  9. Congrats on being the opening leg of the tour, Ceri. Well done! I anticipate an adventurous read - my favorite kind.

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    1. Thank you Dawn. It's an unusual setting for a story isn't it, I'm looking forward to finding out more :)

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  10. Great job kicking off the blog tour, Ceri! This looks like a great read, and I love the discussion of tropes. There are so many great ones, I don't know that I could pick a favorite one. I'll have to go to the MP site and read the prologue! Thanks for that heads-up, and for the giveaway.

    I get anxious enough driving through the Appalachians, much less backpacking it! It is such beautiful country, though.

    Monicaperry00 @ gmail dot com

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    1. I am a city girl, too vast a wood is a bit scary! Bill Bryson wrote a book about hiking the Appalachian Trail which I really enjoyed but it convinced me that it wouldn't be for me. I'd rather read about it than experience it. Good luck in the giveaway Monica

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  11. Thank you for explaining the term 'trope' I had heard of it but thought it was a type of viking monster. I am commenting in the hopes of winning a free book. Yours Truthfully.

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    1. Hi Máire, thanks for visiting and good luck in the giveaway. Please can you leave a way for me to contact you if you win?

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  12. I like this idea for a modern Darcy and Elizabeth. Sounds like a must read.

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    1. It looks good doesn't it! Thanks for your comment :)

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  13. I started clicking on the link to look up tropes from P&P and one click lead to another... I better save it for when I have more time!

    Ceri, thank you for hosting the blog tour and for the giveaway! My email is tdungnvu (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. I am pleased to be part of it! Thanks for visiting, Dung Vu :)

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  14. I love modern adaptations of Jane Austen's novels, an this seems so new and fresh! Plus, I like very much "will they or won't they" stories!!
    Thank you for the giveaway :)

    8zeronove4(at)excite.it

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    1. Hi Carmen. I really enjoy the modern ones too... and the historical ones, and all of them really, I just can't get enough of them! Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  15. I really love this enjoyable insight to Boots & Backpack. I don't know what trope is before reading it. I think trope can also mean formula. But anyway, thanks for the giveaway too.

    evangelineace2020(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I hadn't heard of tropes either until a couple of years ago when I saw it in a book review. I think, as you say, that formula would pretty much cover it, or perhaps plot device. Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  16. Maybe his Act of True Love is to wait till after he's 30 to marry her..? To show her he loves her more than just as a way to secure his fortune? But then would we want Darcy to end up poor...? I'll be reading it, I'm curious! :)

    brendapwood at gmail dot com

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    1. I'm not sure what it is! We'll have to read it to find out Brenda! Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  17. I don't usually read modern P&P variations, but this one sounds very interesting! I love the Appalachian/Blue Ridge Mountains and have visited there quite a few times over the years, Would love to win this book! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Pamh5230 at yahoo dot com

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    1. I've only ever read about these areas, they sound really beautiful. Thanks for visiting, and good luck :)

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  18. I've read a few modern P&P and I enjoyed them. This one sounds fun! Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!!
    kellik115(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Kelli! I enjoy modern versions of Pride & Prejudice too, I think the themes in the story work really well in a modern setting. Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  19. Ahhh, now I understand what a trope is! I had a vague idea before but didn't quite get it.

    I haven't read that many "moderns" but this sounds a particularly good one, with plenty of D & E page time and hopefully lots of witty banter between them.

    Just Googled the Appalachian Trail. Sounds like an amazing thing to experience. Nit sure I'd be able to do it all in one go, though!

    angmardee(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Hi Anji, I think it'd definitely take a while to do the Appalachian Trail! Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  20. This sounds like a lively addition to the P&P alternate universes. I'd love to read it and pass it on to my P&P loving BFF.
    julieshops4you[at]hotmail.com

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    1. Hi Julie. It's wonderful that you have somebody to share your Austenesque reads with, I'd have to post mine! Good luck in the giveaway :)

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  21. Definitely a new idea for a modern P&P. I often approach them with trepidation but this one seems definitely attractive, positively tropic!! Look forward to reading it.
    hazeljmills[at]gmail[dot]com

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    1. Thanks for commenting Hazel, and good luck in the giveaway :)

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