Three in One! Book Review, Author Interview and Free Book Giveaway! Binding Arbitation by Elizabeth Marx

Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx     5 Stars!

One of the best book15722233s I have read this year! I loved it so much I just had to write about it. But I can’t find the right words to describe it. I don’t know what to say. Emotions take over and I am rendered speechless. Go figure.

Binding Arbitration is a touching story about love and loss and healing. Aidan “Band Aid” Palowski is a successful athlete who gave up a future with the girl he fell in love with to pursue his career of playing baseball.  The story begins six years later, when the girl he left behind is now a strong, high-powered criminal attorney who desperately needs a favor. She needs his help because their six year old son is very ill. As soon as Libby Tucker shows up in Aidan’s life six years later, he realizes that he has never stopped loving her. He rushes to the opportunity to make things right with her, to win her trust, while being there for Cass as his father. Libby’s walls are up – she has tried her best to build a life without him and now gives it her all to resist his charms. She is stubborn and opinionated but she loves him just as much as he loves her. Cass has been her existence for the years that have passed and she hesitates to let Aidan back into their life.  The book continues to explore the couple’s rediscovery of one another and their journey together as a family towards forgiveness and new beginnings.

Elizabeth Marx is a great storyteller. I have read so many romance books in the past year but this one to me was more than your typical old love, lost love type of story. Her writing is smart and fluent and the characters are so vivid, you can picture them as if you knew them from across the street. I enjoyed the sharp banter between Aidan and Libby and the profound foreshadowing that occurred throughout the story. Cass was cute.  Cass was just too smart for his age. Cass was a messenger. Cass had a purpose.

“I’ve been working on this deal for six years.”

One can feel the couple’s pain as they revisit the past and piece together their story, their feelings, their reasons. And once you think that they’ve got it- that this can work and bliss is in their stars, the pain and tragedy that happens next really throws you in for a loop. Aidan is a hero to me. From the first day he resolved to take care of Libby and Cass, he never wavered. He took the punches, he made Libby happy, he loved unconditionally, he waited.

The book is a soulful and thought-provoking characterization of the resilient human spirit. It reminds us that love, when strong and loyal and persevering, has the power to rebuild and restore our lives. It is also a testament to fate and faith that everything happens for a reason. And although the pain of loss can never be erased, much consolation is gained from the belief that there is a higher power who has ultimately got a plan for each and every one of us.

“I circle your hands, I circle your heart. I mark with my brand, while we’re apart. I sparkle in both your joy and laughter, because I’m part of you ever after.”


And now…. THE Interviewauthor photo

Elizabeth:  First of all I’d like to thank Nina for sending me a nice note after an all night flight. I know she must have been tired, but she took the time to write to me about my book and it made my day. Secondly, I’d like to thank her for interviewing me! And thirdly, I hope I will get the chance to meet her in person sometime in 2013. I should be at several events in the Chicagoland area so check my website for more details.

Unlikely Bookaholic:  What was your inspiration for Binding Arbitration?

Elizabeth:  I wanted to write a love story about two young people who were opposites. Then I went on a weekend visit to Indiana University and I learned about Cutters—they’re not people who cut themselves but they’re what IU students call the locals or townies. I thought what would be the polar opposite to a townie on the square in downtown Bloomington??? A thick-headed All-American jock boy from Indiana. The funny thing is, while all this was peculating in my mind, I was sitting by a fountain by the fine arts building and this couple walks up, and they take the bench across the fountain. They don’t look like they belong together, but there are some seerrriiiiooouuusssss fireworks going on between them. That’s when I knew I was on the right track. So think, kissing, fountain, and sprays of water that had no chance of putting out the fire…

Unlikely Bookaholic:  I fell in love with the main characters of your book. Is there a real life Aidan out there?

Elizabeth:  My husband did go to IU and he did play baseball there, so that part of Aidan comes from him. My husband is also 6’-5” so physically they are similar. But Aidan, at least in college, has an arrogance that I based on real professional athlete whose interview I watched, and he just oozed, ‘I’m so hot and I know it’. I won’t say who it is, but he’s an NFL football player and I once put a hex on him on my husband’s fantasy football team—he broke his leg that season—never doubt the power of one of my hexes. As far as the actor who I think could capture the arrogance, intensity, sexiness and sweetness of Aidan, right now I can only imagine Josh Duhamel.

Unlikely Bookaholic:  Your book touches on a very sensitive subject, that of a child with a terminal illness. Was it difficult for you to write about it and why did you think it was a good subject to explore?

Elizabeth:  I didn’t necessarily start out to write about cancer, but it has touched so many families that it seemed appropriate. I really wanted to write about the power of love to overcome any obstacle, and a terminal illness is a pretty powerful fight to take on. After I wrote BA my father-in-law got cancer and had to have a bone marrow transplant and through that experience and with what she learned from BA, my 16 YO now wants to be a pediatric oncologist, and she has the brains to do it. So while parts of BA were difficult to write and painful to experience, I came to a dead halt for over two weeks when I had to face a certain part of the book, it was truthful and honest and a real example of what can tear families apart.

Unlikely Bookaholic:  What gave you the idea to include commentary by an imaginary umpire? To me it was to give further depth to Aidan’s POV. Am I getting the point?

Elizabeth:  I wanted to give you a piece of Aidan’s soul, but I didn’t think a guy with a hero complex and so much ego could give it to you without being wimpy. So by using the ump, which is the ultimate authority figure to a baseball player, I could pull more of those core feelings forward, but as you surmised he was just a figment of Aidan’s inner self. Or was he???

Unlikely Bookaholic: I especially enjoyed the sharp banter between Aidan and Libby. Were you born with a smart mouth?

Elizabeth:  My full name is Elizabeth ‘SNARK’ Marx. I’ve always been sarcastic, so writing a spunky heroine is right up my alley. Beware, I’m always ready with a snarky comment, or two.

Unlikely Bookaholic:  I love that Cass’ story ended but it really didn’t. How responsive were your readers to the belief that there is life after death?

Elizabeth:  Whether we want to or not, I think most of us want to believe that there is something after this world. This isn’t a question of faith but belief. I believe in love, but I can’t see it, it’s only something you feel, it’s invisible, does that mean it doesn’t really exist? I wrote this in another one of my books, “Some of the greater things in life are unseen, that’s why you close your eyes when you kiss, cry, pray or even dream.” Descent of Blood

Unlikely Bookaholic:  How has the success of your book changed your life?

Elizabeth:  Binding Arbitration hasn’t changed my life materially because it hasn’t hit it big enough to do that and I’m okay with that, because the one thing it taught me was that I can write a complete story that touches people. So while I hope someday it will reach a wider audience, at least the people who have read it has said it made them laugh and cry. What more can an author ask for than to touch those two extremes? Well, the New York Times Bestseller List of course, but hey Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Unlikely Bookaholic:  Do you have any new projects we can look forward to in 2013?

Elizabeth:  I just finished two new paranormal romances this month.



Coming in 2013 (I Hope) in the Contemporary Chicago Series

BLACK ORCHID Tony & Evita’s rocky romance. Revenge cuts both ways.

CHECKERED FLAGS About a race car driver & an interior designer. Caution—the final lap might not be picture perfect.

And then 3 short romances that make up a complete book, but I don’t want to reveal the titles quite yet!

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me and to learn more about BINDING ARBITRATION. Please check out my website at  and stop by my author page and leave me a ‘like’ at .

Happy reading and reviewing,

Elizabeth Snark Marx

1 Comment (+add yours?)

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