Here Comes Spring!

I took my seasonal break from reading for another fun visit with my personal shopper! I get all excited just thinking about spending two hours with this woman! Once again, she did not disappoint. What’s new for Spring?  Color, lots of it!  And dig into your shoe closet because word on the street is that POINTY shoes are back!  What else is new? Cork wedges,  White Blazers, Ankle strap metallic shoes, Nude colored shoes, Studded Hi-Tops, Large, Bulky accessories and Anything Military!

Blog Tour: T-R-U-E Love Story by Willow Aster, Book Review, Author Interview & Giveaway

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4.5 Stars!

Book Synopsis:

Sparrow Fisher is transforming. No longer dressed up in antiquated clothes and ideals, she is finally trying on her freedom.

Before she moves to New York City, she meets Ian Sterling, a musician Sparrow has dreamed about since she first saw him. The attraction is instant, but their relationship isn’t so simple.

Over a five year span, Sparrow and Ian run into each other in unusual places. Each time, Sparrow has to decide if she can trust him, if he feels the same for her, and finally, if love is really enough.

My Review:TrueLoveStory AMAZON

Sparrow Fisher lives in a happy home with two loving parents and a boy that she has loved for a very long time She is strong, self confident, soulful and exceedingly witty.  She meets Ian Sterling and falls head over heels in love.  Ian Sterling doesn’t know what hit him either – he wants a future with Sparrow but he knows that he needs to take it slow. Ian is ten years older, worldlier and has a past that is bound to catch up with him at some point. At first, his past is something she is resolved to accept until it collides with her present. It strikes her right in the heart and it kills her. Figuratively of course.

In the next five years, Sparrow and Ian cross paths in the most unlikely circumstances. During this passage of time, their love for each other never wanes. Yet they try to move on from one another knowing that the trust that they lost can never be regained.

We’ve seen this plot before – good girl meets bad boy, they fall in love, he becomes a better person. What makes this book so different from the others? Why did I enjoy reading it so much? How did this same old plot lose me in the moment knowing that there were the usual scenarios that could be played out as the story developed?  I think I have the answer.

It’s the author and her writing.

I still have not figured out why I find it more difficult to write about books that I have enjoyed, books that have moved me. I think that it’s mostly because feeling and thinking don’t always make the best of friends.  This is one of those books that leaves me at a loss for words.  Not every book accomplishes this for me. I am glad to say that this one does just that. Leave it to the author to create such an endearing heroine who is honest, strong, introspective but snarky and sarcastic at the same time.

Willow Aster so eloquently brings to light how it feels to find love and lose it and never recover from it.    Ian and Sparrow spent two painful and agonizing years apart. Their sorrow is real and tangible, brought to life by the deep and tender words that reached out and grabbed my heart from within the pages of the book.  The story is told through flashbacks and memories in the most fluent and expressive manner, one can touch their heartache and sadness as if it were taking place here and now. The bittersweet words of Ian’s letters to Sparrow were songs of love that could soothe even the most shattered of spirits.

My heart broke into little pieces each and every single time they parted. Willow Aster gifts us with an endearing glimpse into the soul of a young girl who grows up through the eyes of her love for one man.

“There is a miracle in the way love keeps enduring….across a million miles.”

True Love story tells of the heartbreaking coming of age of two people who find each other both in the wrong place at the right time, and in the right place at the wrong time. It is a story about growing up and falling in love with the same person over and over again. It is about finding a soul mate, that one true love, and believing that the universe will right itself if you trust in it with all your heart. Most of all, it is a story of forgiveness and of the courage to take the leap and leave the past behind, writing your own future in the stars and never looking back.  If you are looking to be engulfed in a sea of emotion even if just for a few worthwhile hours, look no further. True Love Story is the book for you.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

I am so grateful to Willow Aster for taking the time to do this interview with me.  Read on and get to know more about this wonderful author!

BBB: WOW! You’re first book! And what a wonderful one at that!  How does it feel to finally say you’ve done it? Has it even sunk in yet?

 WA: I don’t think it has sunk in yet! I’m so happy to have finished this book!

BBB: Sparrow’s character is so real.  Why do I get the feeling that Sparrow is lot like you?  

 WA: I did give her some of my weirdness :).  And then gave her a healthy dose of her own.

BBB:  Sparrow is an unconventional heroine in so many ways. I have my favorite qualities of hers which I will mention in my review. What are yours?

WA:  I like that she’s happy with who she is.

BBB: What inspired you to write TLS? Was it an idea? A memory?  A point you wanted to get across? Every author has a reason for writing their book. What was it for you?  

WA:  It’s a story of forgiveness. I wanted to tell a story of forgiveness that felt like ‘real time’ … not something that was all wrapped up instantly, but that felt more like real life.

BBB:  Can you walk me through your thought process when creating the main characters?  Why a coming of age story between a bright young girl and an older rock star?  

WA:  This is something I know a little bit about. 🙂

BBB: When starting out to write a book, how do you know what your sequencing will be, i.e., flashback vs. present vs. both? I would imagine it being more difficult to write a story in flashback.  

WA:  It was too hard for me to go back and forth in time, so I wrote the first chapter and then went back in the past and stayed there until I caught up. It’s just what worked easiest for me on this particular book. Scrivener is a great writing program to use if you want to just write and then later switch things around.

BBB:  How long did it take you to write this book?  How did you know that you were done and ready to share it with the world?

 WA:  I think it took around 4 months, but was cooking in my mind for years. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop tweaking it.

BBB:  Is there a real life Ian?  A Tessa?  Are they that wonderful, spunky and funny?

 WAI have a real life Ian and Tessa. They’re even better.

BBB:  Ian’s Love Letters. Wow.  Do you also have an interest in writing song, prose, poetry? Did writing these notes and letters just come easily to you? It does seem like you have an interest in music as well. Can you tell us about it?

WA:   I love writing anything, but especially songs. It’s a whole different process to write a song versus writing a book, and I need both. A song can feel like an immediate release, at times. And a book can be an endurance test. Both are rewarding when you’re finished.

BBB:  So tell me, did you get as emotional while writing the book as I did while reading it? How emotional did you get?

 WA:   🙂 Yes, I probably did. For some reason, though, not until chapter 27.

BBB:  Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? When and where are your best times to write?

WA:   I’ve always wanted to be a writer—for as long as I can remember, I have been writing. I just didn’t always feel I could deem myself ‘Writer’, but I’ve been playing the part my whole life. Journals, notebooks, scraps of paper, speaking into a recorder, endless documents. I am learning to write anywhere. I prefer the quiet and being alone to write, but sometimes, it has to be in the middle of chaos to actually finish something.

 BBB:  Do you intend to stick with this genre or are you willing to venture out into other types of fiction sometime in the future?

WA:  I have another book that will fall under more of a literary fiction genre.

BBB:  Any new projects we can look forward to in 2013? What three things are you keeping yourself busy with these days?

WA:   I’m not sure if I’ll publish anything besides True Love Story in 2013, but I will continue working on my latest book. I will be going to a couple of signings—hope to see you there! And third … hmm, well, I need to figure out how to balance keeping up with everything else in my life when these characters take over my mind. They sort of make it hard to get anything else done.

BBB:  Last but not least, do you have any advice you can give to us aspiring writers who more often than not, think we might not be good enough and yet have a pretty good story to tell?

WA:  The best advice I can give is to write, write, write. Never think you’re done learning. The more you write, the better you get. You hear these things, but it really is true. I found my first (unpublished) novel yesterday and can attest to this. Now I can see why those query letters were rejected! But if it’s what you love to do, you just have to keep writing no matter who is or isn’t going to read it.

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Shhmomsreading.com   2/25/13 Review

Lovetoreadagoodbook.blogspot.com   2/25/13 Review

Havebookwillread.com   2/25/13 Review

Booknerdash.blogspot.com   2/25/13 Review

 

Natashaisabookjunkie.com   2/26/13 Review

Thelifeoffiction.blogspot.com   2/26/13 Review

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Pretending He’s Mine by Lauren Blakely

COMING SOON!

Pretending He’s Mine by Lauren Blakely

Release Date:  March 2, 2013

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Once upon a time in New York City, there was a down-on-his-luck actor named Reeve, who was talented and gorgeous in that dreamy, broody sort of way that makes all the women swoon. But show biz is a rough biz –he lost out on a part in a big film, and now his day job hours havebeen cut too. What’s a handsome young thing in need of a role to do?

Enter Sutton Brenner. She’s sexy and shrewd and the most top-notch casting director there is. She’s this close to landing a coveted gig casting a film based on a best-selling mega-romance novel, but there’s a catch. After one too many transgressions with lovely single ladies,the film’s philandering producer has been put on a short leash by his wife, who’s forbidden him from working with anyone unattached.

So the happily single Sutton strikes a pact with Reeve – play the role of her fiancee until she closes the deal, and he’s guaranteed to get an audition for the starring role in the film.

But as the two play pretend, the lines between make-believe and matters of the heart start to blur. Especially after that hot night in the balcony of the Broadway theater. And that scorching afternoon in the stacks of the New York Public Library. Who’s playing who? Or is someone else really the director in the secret affair of their lives?

PRETENDING HE’S MINE is a 30,000 word companion novella in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling CAUGHT UP IN US series.

(It’s not necessary to have read CAUGHT UP IN US to enjoy PRETENDING HE’S MINE. This is not a sequel. However, CAUGHT UP IN US fans should be pleased to know that Jill has several scenes and that both Kat and Bryan appear in a key scene in this novella! There will also be a bonus scene from CAUGHT UP IN US never seen before included in the novella!)

LEAVE A COMMENT WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO ENTER TO WIN ONE OF (3) E BOOK COPIES

BOOK  EXCERPT:

“You were all weird and awkward when I kissed you at your office,” he added.
“I’m sorry. I was just surprised.”

“I know. But we need to make sure you don’t jump the next time I kiss you.”

“We do?”

“Well that would give it away, wouldn’t it? You need to get used to
being kissed by me.”

“Okay,” she said with a business-like nod.

“That means we need to practice.”

“Practice kiss,” she said slowly, then nodded quickly. “Right. Of
course. Like a stage kiss. Like actors. So of course we’ll stage
kiss.”

She sounded chipper and cheery, as if she were trying to convince
herself. She seemed to need the convincing, so he went along with it.

“Think of this as a dress rehearsal. We’re prepping for the big kiss
scene that makes the audience swoon and totally believe we’re in love.
Got it?”
She nodded.
“Ready?”
“Right here in the dressing room?”
“What better place to rehearse a kiss than a dressing room?”
“Totally. Absolutely. Definitely.”

Reeve wondered how many more adverbs she’d need to utter before he
kissed her. Perhaps they were a sort of liquid courage. Either way, he
knew he had to lead. He suspected he had more experience with stage
kisses than she’d had.

So he looked at her, as if she were the woman he’d been dying to kiss
for years. She was his leading lady, she was the only woman he wanted.
She returned her gaze, and then it was as if a flame burst. Reeve
pictured her ravenous and greedy, wanting to be consumed with kisses,
and hands, and so much more. Her lips were parted slightly, and her
breathing had become…lustful. Maybe she was acting too. In that
moment, he didn’t care. He wanted to taste her lips, he wanted to feel
more of her beautiful body. There was something about her, maybe it
was the age difference, maybe it was the power play. But there was no
time for analysis because his head was turning cloudy with a need he
hadn’t had before. He wanted to do things to this woman. He wanted to
make her feel the way a good boyfriend would make her feel – desired,
wanted, craved. She deserved all that. He could give it to her now. He
could give it to her for a week.

Author Interview & Giveaway! Blood For Justice by Kerri Williams

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Blood for Justice is the perfect book to wrap up Claire and Talon’s story of love and loss, redemption and justice.   I enjoyed the book so much I asked to review it both on this blog and also for the Indie Bookshelf. Watch for my full review coming up on the Indie Bookshelf on March 2nd!

I love Kerri Williams. I really do.  When I was first asked to write a review on Book 1 of her Moore Trilogy series (see prior reviews here) I never expected to have a love affair with Claire Moore and Talon Baker. Blood for Justice is the soul of the trilogy. It provides overwhelming depth to the devotion between the main characters that enables the reader to breathe in relief knowing that their love is solid and resilient. It assures us that all will be well and gives us permission to say goodbye to them. For now.

A huge thank you goes to Kerri Williams not only for writing such terrific books but especially for taking the time to do this very OPEN and HONEST interview with me.  I just agreed to be on this lady’s Street Team which simply means that I truly believe in her work! Congratulations, Kerri, I am so proud of you!

Interview with Kerri Williams

&

Super Cool Giveaway!

Hi, Kerri Williams! Thank you for joining me today.

KW: Thanks for having me, Nina.

It’s so exciting to share my love for these characters with you and the readers and because I’m so excited I’m willing to gift a pair of sterling silver Batman stud earrings to a lucky winner.

Good luck!

Oh my gosh, READERS! Leave your email address in the comment section and I will pick a random winner for such an awesome gift from Kerri.

BBB:  Wow! The third and final book of the Moore Trilogy! Congratulations on such an achievement! How did it feel as you were finishing the final words of Book 3? Are you happy with the way it ended?

KW: I’m in love with the last line. LOL.

This trilogy has been in the making for over a year and there were times where I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, then there were times where the characters and plot just took over.

As for how it ended…there are some ideas that maybe it really hasn’t quite ended at all 😉

BBB:  What book do you have the most attachment to and why?

KW:  Blood For Justice would definitely have to be the closest to me. Maybe because it was the last one, maybe it’s because she finally has a family and has learnt so much along the way. Oh, and let’s not forget about Prince Charming―that fluffy little guy has my heart.

BBB: What was the most difficult one to write? Was it the last one? Were there alternate endings or re-writes?

KW: Actually, I think it was the first. It was really hard not to have Claire and Talon mend everything right from the get go. They clearly love one another, but I had to make sure their conflict―internal and external―stayed realistic and believable. If they had a HEA from the get go, where would #2 and #3 be.

BBB: What inspired you to write these books?  How did you know you wanted to write a book about a young girl, revenge and the ever healing power of love and family? (this is what I think the books are about, by the way)

KW:  You got it right on the money! Thank God!!

My family all live in the one town, a town of 348 people. TINY! Ten of which is our family. I see a lot of kids come and go in this house with my kids and they’re always surprised at how welcoming we are and how much we all do together. Some of these kids had never just gone out on a family day exploring so we take them with us. There’s so much love to share, why not share it.

Amongst family days, there are your typical rainy movie days where we would lay about, crammed to max in our small house with kids and we watch the Harry Potter series and on many occasion we have sat through a marathon of VERONICA MARS. If you aren’t familiar with this show, it’s about a cool American teenage sleuth. During one of these marathons I realized I wanted to write a story with a damaged teen/young adult who needed love and family like these kids.

Before I knew it, I had plotted out the three books.

BBB:  Can you walk me through the process you had of creating the three parts of the trilogy? Did you know what each one was going to be about?

KW:  Awesome question. (taking big breath) I knew exactly what each was going to be about and their stages.

Hunger For Justice was the intro, the catch up and lead up. It was picking up from a tragic time for Claire and being reunited with the boy she loved but had blamed her for her brother’s death. How can you possibly have a relationship after that? She is alone, feels alone and cannot rely on anyone but herself.  It also introduced Villains and sub-characters while building and rebuilding relationships.

Heart For Justice brought some secrets of her past to the surface which she had buried deeply. She needed to deal with these and Talon and Frank needed to deal with their guilt. This one was building further relationships, finding family in friends. Claire learns a lot in this book about loving and blood isn’t what makes a family all the while trying to find a rapist and bring down the murderers of her father and brother without destroying her relationship with Talon.

BBB: How long did it take you to write each of the three books?

KW:  I have no idea! I wrote them back to back and it took just over  year. I could have released the first one right away and continued, but being a series junky, I just couldn’t do that to my readers. So I waited until it was all done so they could be released close together.

I hate having to wait a year in between. As it is, my readers were hounding me over a 6 week gap. Gawd! I love it though. xx

BBB: I loved the way Books 2 and 3 slowly established the relationship between Claire and Talon in the reader’s eyes. I felt that the buildup helped me to really connect with the characters. Talk to me about how you went about trying to accomplish this.

KW: It is so hard to keep them apart. They want nothing more than be together and yet so much kept them apart. They both had a lot of learning to do before they could make that commitment and not destroy each other. They were very close to doing just that many times.

To keep that pace, I needed to keep their future lessons in mind or it just wouldn’t work, it was like I had to be miserable all the time, so they could be miserable too. Lol.

BBB:  What or who were your inspirations for Claire and Talon’s characters? Do you know someone like them in real life?

KW: I didn’t really have one person in mind for them. It was more like a collage of many. Attributes and emotions that would make a complex yet realistic character. I could use things my husband says, does, hates and likes while catching something I like from a character out of a movie that caught my eye.

BBB: I just had to ask. I had a bit of an issue about the unresolved mystery of where Penny went and the quick resolution of Lilli Volkov at the end. Are we going to hear about these characters or is that pretty much it? Any hope for a Book 4?

KW:  Nina, Nina, Nina. Here is the scoop. Yes, there has been discussions of book four and even a prequel for when Claire and Talon first met before her life was hit so hard with violence and death.

As for Penny, I know I left her open and yes I thought it would be good to have her come back and either make good on what she had done or cause trouble and yes I could have tied her story up with a pretty bow, but I thought how unrealistic it would be that EVERYTHING had been resolved. In life, that isn’t always so. With those things in mind, I kept her story hanging.  Sorry. X

Lili Volkov…*cough, b#@ch. LOl. We are happy to hear what happens with her, as for anything for her story in the future…you just might have to wait.

BBB:  What made you decide not to have a Book 4? I would have loved to have seen them a few years later, babies and all, still kicking some crime a**!

KW:  The brothers were put I place at the age of 17 for some good reasons, like the ‘just in case’ reasons. There is plotting going on in my mind even though I’m in the midst of a different project. But this family keeps coming back to me and wanting to kick some crime butt!

BBB:  I’m your Facebook Friend. I’ve seen the pictures. What’s the fascination with Batman and the Justice League?

KW: Batman is a swooper. He swoops in and saves the day even if it places him in danger and even if it means he doesn’t get his girl and the life he dearly wants. This is Claire to a T. So when Ryan called her a swooper and explained why he thought of her this way, she thought of Batman and from then on dubbed herself as such in light of her situation.

Claire of course didn’t do all this alone, her family contributed and so she dubbed them her Justice League.

Now when I started this group on facebook (which everyone is welcome to join. It’s all fun) it wasn’t publicity for my books. In fact, I have a different group for that. This was just to have fun. I started calling myself Batman, using quotes from my book with my wingman who I then dubbed Robin. From there I dubbed a good friend who can Knit and read at the same time, Wonder Woman. (I mean seriously, you have to be wonder woman to be able to do that) The names dubbing grew and before I knew it I had to create a group.

The Justice League facebook group.

BBB:  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where and at what times do you do your best writing? What do you like to do in your free time?

KW: I live near Port Macquarie, NSW of Australia and author of five novels base in the towns I’ve lived in, because really, its crap loads easier to embellish on what you already know.

I’m a wife who married her teenage sweetheart. Together since I was sixteen. Poor bugger. LOL

Had children after being told I couldn’t after surviving cancer as a teen. (hubs thinks he’s a super hero for that one). We have Two girls together nicknamed the lollies because they’re sweeties.

Author, who loves to plot while listening to music on the way to my day job and curses because I have to remember it until I get there. I write on my laptop absolutely anywhere, but love the corner lounge where the family watch telly.

Active Blogger and facebooker, because who seriously doesn’t want to know what’s on my crazed mind? :p

Abso-freaking-lute bookaholic of anything awesome and man, there’s heaps! I think every writer is.

 BBB: Any new projects we can look forward to in 2013?

KW: Yep. Always! I’m maybe halfway on a YA novel, NEVER GOOD BYE. Based on a teenage girl who is facing cancer, dysfunctional family, re-kindled love, losing her hair and ability to dance and the high percentage she wont make it out of this alive.

I had cancer when I was a teen and had to face many things in which a teen see’s different to an adult. Since then I’ve had scares and the difference is mammoth when you’re a mother. I used the two emotions and ideas for this novel and can’t wait for it to be released.

It’s not suspenseful, but just as emotionally building as The Justice Moore Trilogy.

Love and Truth by Kathryn Vance-Perez Author Interview & Giveaway!

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Love and Truth by Kathryn Vance-Perez

Author Interview and Giveaway!

Synopsis from Amazon:

Eighteen-year-old Nicole Harrison has spent her high school years devoted to academics and dance, leaving no time for a boyfriend and a life. Her parents’ shocking divorce causes Nicole to believe that true love is impossible to find. After spending her life in a small Texas town, Nicole joins a foreign exchange student dance program in the country where she was born. After years dreaming about her birthplace, she boldly leaves her world behind and moves in with a host family on the island of Okinawa in Japan. She anxiously awaits a year of improving her dance technique while enjoying a world of new experiences

Jonathan Hayes was born to a Japanese mother and American Marine father via a surrogate in the States. After his father’s tragic death in Iraq when Jonathan was only a baby, his mother moved them back to her home in Okinawa. As a child, Jonathan’s mother immersed him in American culture to honor his father. His good looks and immense musical talent have left him with no shortage of female admirers. But after a bad break-up from his girlfriend of two years, Jonathan plunges into a playboy lifestyle that leads him along a destructive path. As his wounds begin to slowly heal, he tries regaining his self-respect by living on the straight and narrow. But his heart remains closed to the idea of love; that is, until the night he sees the beautiful and innocent Nicole Harrison, upon the balcony of his neighbor’s home.

While Nicole tries to navigate an unfamiliar country, she also has to learn how to navigate the unfamiliar and unwanted feelings she’s developing for Jonathan through some very heart-wrenching and trying times.

Will her fears push him away, or will Jonathan show her the truth of loyal love?

**Not suitable for readers under the age of 17 due to some language and sexual content**

Enter Your Email Address in the Comment Section for a Chance To Win:

(1) Signed E-Book

(2) Signed Love and Truth Book Plates

(1) Love and Truth Mouse Pad

An Interview with Kathryn Vance PerezLoveAndTruth AMAZON

Nicole Harrison is a young girl embarking on a new adventure after her high school graduation. She takes part in an exchange program for dance students where she gets to live with a wonderful and caring Japanese family. Just as she is getting settled into her new environment, she meets the mysterious Jonathan Hayes who makes no secret about his intention to get to know her. The attraction is mutual.  Nicole tries to resist her growing feelings for him as she deals with the trauma of her parent’s divorce and her determination to focus on her career in dance.

Love and Truth is a sweet coming of age story about a young girl with high hopes and dreams for her future. When she unexpectedly falls in love with a boy who is much more experienced than her, she feels out of her element and does not know how to react to her feelings. Jonathan is a young man who has had to come to terms with the loss of two important people in his life. His reaction to these events influenced the decisions he had made in the past, but meeting Nicole has inspired him to give his heart a second chance.  The story is set in a beautiful part of the world where the reader gets a chance to be immersed in the culture and history of the Japanese people.  The story is well written and emotional. Jonathan and Nicole must decide whether what they feel for each other is strong enough to rebuild their trust in what is good, true and real.

BBB was lucky enough to get some time with Kathryn for a few questions regarding the book. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I enjoyed reading the book.

BBB: Congratulations on writing your first book! How does it feel? Describe what it’s been like since you published the book. At home, at work – things going back to being as normal as possible?

KVP: Well I’ll say that clicking the publish button was nerve-wracking to say the least! But it was also very exciting. The trepidation of the unknown looming over was scary because I had no idea how readers would respond to the book. But I put my heart into the book and its characters. I did my best to paint a picture for the readers that would be moving and hopefully touch them in some way.

Since the book went live exclusively on Amazon and Creat-a-Space I have stayed busy with promoting the book. I have enjoyed reading the wonderful and thoughtful reviews as well. I would like to say that things have slowed down since the book published but I am already deep into writing my second book which is titled “Therapy”. So I am still up late most nights buried in my computer. But that’s the way I like it.

BBB:  What was your inspiration for this story? How did the idea of writing Love and Truth come about?

KVP:  My inspiration for “Love and Truth” was actually a place not the characters. I lived on Okinawa in Japan for six years. I had a serious love affair with that island and it enamored me. The culture and the laid back feel of the island coupled with the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen made for a wonderful day-to-day life. I really wanted to share that with others by painting a picture with my words.

The idea of the actual story came from the opposite of myself. Nicole’s character was that of a “good girl”. She followed all the rules and chose the path if the straight and narrow. That’s something I’ve never been able to do in my life. I’m a little quirky, a lot crazy and have never followed the path most traveled. I was a wild teen and young adult, nothing like Nicole. Annie’s character is closer to myself in regards to her foul mouth and outspokenness. I wanted to try and write a character like Nicole to challenge myself by stepping into shoes I’ve never walked in before so to speak. At times it was certainly a hell of a struggle to do but I think her character was solid in the end.

BBB:  Were there real life inspirations for Nicole and Jonathan’s characters?

KVP:  I didn’t write Nicole or Jonathan’s characters based off of anyone in real life. Quite the opposite of the book I’m writing now which has many characters that I have based off real people that I know. Of course I do have my choices for who I would cast as Nicole and Jonathan. Tom Hardy and Odette Yustman are my top picks for them.

BBB:  How did you go about convincing the reader that Nicole was the one for Jonathan? After all, he underwent such a transformation from being madly in love with his ex girlfriend to being a playboy to wanting to be with Nicole. How difficult was it to sequence and express this in the right way so that the reader is not left wondering, “how did this change happen”?

KVP: This is difficult to answer. I guess I would say that I just felt the emotion of the characters and let the story flow on its own. I think over thinking emotionally charged sequences in a story can result in a cookie cutter feel. In real life when we are thrust into emotionally charged feelings and situations we usually act first, think second. As far as Jonathan’s first relationship and how it differed from his relationship with Nicole I would say that they were very different in many ways. I think many people like Jonathan’s character fall into relationships that become more of a security blanket rather being a real and passionate thing. His relationship with Leah was just that. It was comfortable and it was a security blanket allowing him to not be alone. When he met Nicole it was very different. It was all passion, angst, raw emotion and that feeling of not being able to stay away from each other no matter what got in the way. It was scary, sometimes a little messy but it didn’t stop him from wanting her. His love for her was that of the deep raw emotional kind of love that you feel when that real connection is there with another person.

BBB:  Is there a central message that you want to convey to the readers through this book?

KVP:  The central message of the book for me personally comes from my very favorite quote in the book which is, “If you told me today our being together would result in heartbreak I would still choose to be with you because I believe that truly living life is in the experiences not the outcomes.” This is how I choose to live my life. Thinking about and worrying about the bad or the end of something good will only taint it in the present. You will waste so many amazing experiences in your life if you worry about the result. Live in the now because tomorrow is never guaranteed. You’ll never get yesterday back so make it count and have fun doing it. Don’t take life so seriously and punch life in the face when it does get rough. Like Jonathan told Nicole in the book, “Sometimes pain and hurt are good things because it means you strived for something in your life.” I say the story conveyed that even pain can be a positive thing. Just like pain in life can remind us all that we are still alive, still here and still capable of living our dreams even if we hit a few bumps along the way.

BBB:  Okinawa. What a beautiful setting for a love story. Can you tell us how you found yourself living there for six years?

KVP:  I lived on Okinawa because my husband was an active duty Marine at the time and he was stationed there. The majority of the American population residing there are due to the military presence on the island.

BBB:  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where and when do you write best?

 KVP: This is a loaded question! Ha ha… Instead of giving you the typical politically correct answer I will give you the unrated answer. I’m a mom first and foremost but I would say that the best way to describe myself is all over the damn map. I’m a square peg that has always had to fight being put into the round hole of life. I love music of all kinds and I’m an indie obsessed book junkie. Colleen Hoover is my inspiration and I love everything about the fictional world. When I’m writing I can be whoever the hell I wanna be without judgment or restraint. No inhibitions and no worry is how I feel when I am in the pages of a book I’m reading or a book I’m writing. So many things about me aren’t the typical things that society likes to accept. I like to go against the grain so to speak and make my own path rather than follow the path of others. Of course I am stubborn as hell and a bitch on wheels a lot of the time but mostly I am giver, a friend and a lover. That’s really the best way I can describe myself if I am being totally honest. As far as where and when do I write I will say that I mostly write in my home office but I’m known to pull off onto the side of the road in an instant when an idea pops into my head and pull out my iPhone and start typing away on the notepad or sometimes I’ll write in bed the old-fashioned way using pen and paper. The when is random but mostly late at night when the house is silent and my mind can wander off into the story without interruptions.

BBB:  The three words to describe yourself are:

KVP: Three words to describe myself would be silly, giving and compassionate.

BBB:  If you were given the gift of spending a few hours with a fictional or non fictional character who would it be and why?

KVP:  God, this question is damn difficult to answer. Holy shit, I have so many! Typically I would pick one of my book boyfriends like Caleb Drake or Dean Holder but I would actually have to say Olivia from Tarryn Fisher’s The Opportunist. Her character is so multi-faceted and full of so much inner-turmoil along with such a strong-willed mind. Her love for Caleb and her manipulative ways are intertwined with such complexity that I really would love to get inside her head for a while and see how she really felt during their last goodbye at the end of the book. That scene ripped my heart clean out of my freaking chest!

BBB: Any more projects we can look forward to in 2013?

KVP: As I mentioned before I am currently writing on a manuscript titled “Therapy” which is the first book in a series. Book two will be titled “Recovery”. The Therapy Series is a very different story and nothing like “Love and Truth”. It’s dark, deeply emotional, gritty and full of pain. It’s a very emotionally charged love story that deals with several deep issues that are not talked about much out in the open such as mental illness and self-harm. The characters are so full of love and pain and passion that they draw you in and leave you feeling breathless and empty all at the same time. I’m really loving the direction that the story is headed and am hoping to release it this May or June.

CHECK OUT THE NEXT STOPS IN THIS BLOG TOUR!

Feb 20 Reading Books Like A Boss

 Feb 21 Shh, Mom’s Reading

 Feb 22  Always A Book Lover

 Feb 23 Flirty and Dirty Book Blog

 Feb 24 Natasha is a Book Junkie

 Feb 25 The Indie Bookshelf

 Feb 26 Have Book, Will Read

 Feb 27 Into The Night Reviews

Feb 28  Candy Coated Book Blog

Double Review: Hunger for Justice and Heart for Justice (Books 1 & 2) by Kerri Williams

In anticipation of the Blog Tour for the Third and Final Installment of the Moore Trilogy by Kerri Williams, I thought I would post my previous reviews for the first two books. I know you will enjoy this Trilogy as much as I did!

Hunger for Justice (Book 1) by Kerri Williams

4 stars!

16141393Claire Moore is on a mission. She is determined to find those who killed the dearest people in her life – her father Peter and her brother Jim, both members of the NSW Police Force. Claire has angered a few people by relentlessly trying to find the answers to their senseless deaths. Enter Talon Baker, her brother’s best friend who disappeared from her world shortly after Jim was killed. Talon is also in some kind of trouble and needs Claire’s help because he knows that his situation and the death of his friends may somehow be related. Together, Talon and Claire must race against the clock to figure things out before their killers catch up with them.

This book has it all– action, suspense and romance. Kerri Williams has written a fast-paced and engaging story about a headstrong and determined young woman who has made it her life’s purpose to bring her family’s killers to justice. Claire leads a lonely life focused on revenge. Talon’s unexpected return brings more than her emotions back to life. She welcomes his help. They both share a pain of losing the same people.  Talon becomes her protector and her weakness. Claire is no longer alone.

The main characters are a perfect mix of stubborn resilience, soulfulness and passion. The story follows Claire and Talon on the run from people they don’t know, accusations they don’t understand and situations they can’t control. The only constant that they have is each other. Flashbacks of their times together are highlighted throughout the chase. Their history becomes the source of their trust. I related to the smart exchanges between Talon and Claire, the sorrow in their voices and in their thoughts. The author has cleverly woven their story into the current dilemma that they face.  I enjoyed the intermingling of the heart pumping action scenes with the tender moments of their redeveloping relationship.

When a story has you doubly vested, it grabs your full attention and holds you in until the very end. Not only was I anxious to find out who killed Jim and Peter but also whether or not, after everything, Claire and Talon could have a future together. I loved both answers. I can’t wait for more.

Heart for Justice (Book 2) by Kerri Williams

4.5 Stars!

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The second installment in Kerri William’s Moore Trilogy picks right up as Claire and Talon are trying to lead a more or less normal life after the ordeal that they had just gone through. She now has a family she can call her own and is surrounded by people who love her. Claire is still the same feisty, bullish woman intent on getting justice for her father and her brother. Now that she knows who their killer is, it becomes more personal for both her and Talon. He is determined to give Claire her closure even if it means walking away from her.  When Claire is called back to her town for a crime that hits close to home, old feelings emerge and she is not sure that she wants to revisit that part of her past. Talon tries his best to protect her from further hurt, but he knows that she needs to relive what happened to help the other victims and to capture the perpetrator.

Kerri Williams is coming into her own as a writer. Not only is this second book much more well- written but it packs so much more heart and romance without sacrificing the swift and heart pumping action we have come to expect from this series. Claire and Talon are finally expressing their love for each other but the remnants of their past remain unsolved and thus threaten their future together. The difference from the first book rests in the author’s newfound ability to render her main characters’ emotions on paper. Despite their pain, there is so much tenderness between Claire and Talon. You can feel it, you can see it. You want to help ease their anguish but you know that you can’t change the truth. They have to face it and face it bravely. And Claire does just that. Despite Talon’s efforts to shelter her from harm, she faces it head on. What changed?  This time she is so sure that a life without Talon is no life for her at all.

The cast of characters from Book I are back, and so is the danger and suspense brought about by old and new personalities. The story continues to move at a quick pace and Claire’s coup de grace at the end of the book just warmed the heart of a hopeless romantic like me. I am attached to Claire and Talon. There’s just no denying that.  Bring on Book Three!

Valentine’s Day Weekend Special

On Sale for a Limited Time!

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Cutters vs. Jocks

and

Binding Arbitration

by Elizabeth Marx

Two of my best books for 2012!  Click on Loved These Books to read my 5 star review of Binding Arbitration.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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Cutters Vs. Jocks by Elizabeth Marx

On the idyllic campus of Indiana University, Little-Libby-Nobody runs into Band-Aid All-American-Athlete, and fireworks explode. Libby and Aidan spiral into a collision course of love at first sight versus lust you can’t fight. As the game plays out and their affection grows, they soon realize that labels like cutters and jocks can’t keep them apart.

But when Libby and Aidan find themselves in trouble they have to confront the reality of where they each fit in the others’ world. Libby believes superstar jocks don’t take cutters to Rose Well House, in the center of campus, at midnight and pledge their undying devotion beneath its sparkling dome. And Band-Aid imagines there’s no place for a pregnant, small-town waitress in his bull-pen or the major leagues. What happens when worthy opponents refuse to play their hearts out?

Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx

15722233Through the corridors of the Windy City’s criminal courts, single mother Libby Tucker knows exactly how far she’ll go to save her cancer-stricken son’s life. The undefeated defense attorney is prepared to take her fight all the way to the majors.

Circumstances force Libby to plead her case at the cleats of celebrity baseball player Banford Aidan Palowski, the man who discarded her at their college graduation. Libby has worked her backside bare for everything she’s attained, while Aidan has been indulged since he slid through the birth canal and landed in a pile of Gold Coast money. But helping Libby and living up to his biological duty could jeopardize the only thing the jock worships: his baseball career.

If baseball imitates life, Aidan admits his appears to be silver-plated peanuts, until an unexpected confrontation with the most spectacular prize that’s ever poured from a caramel corn box blindsides him. When he learns about his son’s desperate need, it pricks open the wound he’s carried since he abandoned Libby and the child.

All Libby wants is a little anonymous DNA, but Aidan has a magical umpire in his head who knows Libby’s a fateball right to the heart. When a six-year-old sage and a hippy priestess step onto the field, there’s more to settle between Libby and Aidan than heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.

Click Here to Buy Binding Arbitration

Click Here to Buy Cutters vs. Jocks

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