Renee Conoulty: Sex, Lies and Cruising by Cathryn Chapman **Blog tour - Guest Post, Review & Giveaway**


Monday, 3 August 2015

Sex, Lies and Cruising by Cathryn Chapman **Blog tour - Guest Post, Review & Giveaway**

Hey Everyone!

I'd love to introduce you to Australian author Catherine Chapman, who is on tour with her debut
novel, Sex, Lies and Cruising.

Cathryn Chapman nearly gave up her writing career when her eighth grade English teacher refused to believe her sensual poem could have been written by somebody so young. Two years later, when Cathryn was fourteen, that same English teacher declared she should start writing for Mills & Boon, and a women’s fiction writer was born. 

Cathryn graduated from university with a Business Degree and spent seven years travelling the world – working on cruise ships, and living in London, New York, Paris and South America. In her thirties, she left a successful marketing and public relations career to pursue her dream of gracing the stages in London’s West End. When this failed dismally, Cathryn settled down with a husband and baby boy, and stayed in one country long enough to finally write her first novel, SEX, LIES, AND CRUISING.

 Connect with Cathryn via

**Guest Post**

The double edged sword of publicity

For those of you also in Australia, you may have seen some publicity recently about my book – or more specifically, about my experiences on cruise ships which inspired it. Newspaper, television, radio, magazines, and multiple websites have all picked up the press release sent out by my Aussie and LA publicists, and told “my” story.

I’ve had millions of dollars’ worth of publicity… fantastic, hey? Well… this is where the double edged sword comes in.

I wrote this book because I wanted to be a writer. Yes, I did work on cruise ships, but it’s one of many things I’ve done, and it just so happens to be the first topic I chose to write about. I nearly wrote about something completely different. Especially as a novice, I think it makes it easier to write about a place you’ve been to, or a job you’ve held, because I think it helps the details ring true…

I’m grateful for publicity, and I know I need it. I knew that if I wanted to write full-time, and get out of my office job for good, I’d have to sell lots of copies. I took out a loan to finance my promotion. I built a website (two, actually. I had to scrap the first one); I hired a total of three publicists in three countries; I sent out very expensive promo bags to my top ten magazine targets in each of those countries; I joined Goodreads and Facebook groups; I sent out review requests to every single women’s fiction reviewer I could find; I paid for a review broker service; I joined this blog tour (yay! That was a good decision); My LA publicist sent copies to a number of my favourite celebrities; I ran a big Facebook advertising campaign.

… and my Australian publicist has done an AMAZING job at getting me publicity. A press release that says “Hi, this new author has written a novel,” won’t get any attention. I’ve worked in the marketing/PR industry for long enough to know this. So our angle was, “Author spills saucy insider secrets about life on cruise ships”… which worked a treat. I think I had about 25 interview requests in a week, one of which was from my dream monthly women’s magazine. Then all the interviews started coming out, and with the exception of a few, they all focused on the cruise ship life and the naughty things which happen below deck. In the first few stories at least, it started coming across like it was a thinly veiled autobiography or a cruise ship exposé thrown together in a hurry to get maximum publicity.

My pre-sales increased slightly, but nothing like the audience numbers of those media might suggest they should have. I started freaking out because I knew that we were going in the wrong direction… that I wasn’t being taken seriously as a writer… so then, in every interview, I started throwing in reference to the fact it was fiction in nearly every sentence. Lol. I think I started sounding like I wasn’t even answering their questions anymore!

So now I’m glad the book has been released. I’m hoping that it will start to come into its own as a piece of fiction, worked on by an author who just wanted to create a fun, sexy, well-written novel for women wanting to escape to a bit of light entertainment. I’m hoping I get readers who will enjoy and review my novel, and help me get on track to author-ville, not washed up cruise-worker-central! I’m also hoping people will want to read the sequel, which I’m working on now. It follows the same main character, but it won’t all be about cruise ships… (What will the media say then? I guess they’ll ignore me!)

I’m interested to know the journeys of other readers of this blog who are also writers… What has and hasn’t worked for you in your publicity campaigns?

Sex, Lies and Cruising by Cathryn Chapman

Exotic locations, sexy men, and crazy crew parties… Ellie has her dream job… or does she? 

When Ellie's fiancé cheats on her with a younger, slimmer, blonde from the office, she boots him out of her life and finds solace in a fabulous photography job aboard a Caribbean cruise ship. Twenty-four hours on board and she’s already shagged her sexy Texan colleague, who happens to love her muffin-top. Unfortunately he’s leaving in a week, and his ex-girlfriend, a hot-headed Brazilian with stripper moves right out of the 90s and a talent for stealing boyfriends, is still on board and out for revenge.

Ellie must work out how to deal with the loco ex, sort the lying scumbags from the good guys, and figure out how many crew members in a cabin it takes before officially becoming group sex. Who the hell knows? (It’s five, actually.) It’s a world completely unlike the one she left behind, but as she tries to find her place on board, Ellie discovers laughter and tears in equal measure. And in the midst of the craziness, she realises the greatest thing this lifestyle change has given her is the chance to rediscover herself.

Hey! Here's my review.

Ellie is off to have some no strings attached fun after breaking up with her fiance. She is finally chasing her career goal to become a photographer and has joined the photography team on board a cruise ship. 

Life on board this cruise ship is fast paced and full of partying. Ellie makes some good friends and as the title suggests, gets plenty of experience in sex, lies and cruising. My lifestyle was a lot tamer when I was in my 20's, so I enjoyed reliving it vicariously through Ellie. Although there were plenty of sex scenes throughout the novel, it had more of a chick lit feel than erotica. 

I liked Ellie. I wouldn't have made the same decisions that she did but I cared enough about her to keep mentally giving her advice on her love life. I liked that she wasn't superficial. I related to Ellie in that she could be a bit naive like me. She always looked for the good in people and accepted what they said at face value.

I had guessed the ending, but I would have been very disappointed if it had turned out any other way. I'm looking forward to reading Love, Drugs and New York to find out what happens next.


  • Where: CLP Blog tours
  • Format: ebook

Purchase links

Pop in and see Cathryn on her other tour stops

July 20 - Polished & Bubbly – Review

July 21 - Chick Lit Goddess – Guest Post & Excerpt

July 22 - Sinfully Good Reads – Excerpt

July 23 - Buckeye Book Review– Review

July 24 - Basically Books Blog – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt

July 27 - ALove That Can’t Be Stopped - Excerpt

July 29 - Coffeeholic Bookworm – Review

July 30 - Tea Party Princess – Review & Excerpt

August 3 - Hey Said Renee – Review & Guest Post

August 4 - Karma For Life Chick - Excerpt

August 5 - Chick Lit Plus - Review

August 11 - Curling Up With a Good Book – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt

August 12 - Living Life With Joy – Review, Guest Post & Q&A & Excerpt

August 13 - I Love My Authors – Excerpt

August 17 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt


  1. Thanks so much for having my guest post and giving the book such a great review, Renee! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! X

    1. It was a fun read. Looking forward to the next installment.