Monthly Archives: July 2012

Interview with Nicole Williams – Author of Crash

TB: Hi Nicole Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.

You already know how much we loved your book CRASH and your characters Jude and Lucy! This story had such depth and drama!

NW: I’m so happy to be here and beyond thrilled you enjoyed CRASH so much!

TB: So, we know this is your first Contemporary Fiction your usual genre is Paranormal . Can you tell us more about that inspiration behind this story and how you found the writing process?

NW: I really love the reading and writing side of paranormal, but I had this increasing urge to try my hand at writing about “everyday” humans because in some ways, contemporary fiction can be more difficult to get right because you don’t have the added drama of the paranormal elements. You really have to develop your characters so they pop right off the page and become people your readers feel strongly about. The storyline came to me one night last summer and I just outlined the heck out of it, wrote the first couple chapters, then shelved it while I worked on other projects. I revisited CRASH a couple months ago and the story poured out of me. I couldn’t stop writing. It was a great feeling. I really fell in love with the story and the characters.

TB:What types of research did you do to make the characters become so alive and the story line so REAL?

NW: I’ve always been one of those quiet observers, so I guess I can answer this question with, “observing human beings and nature over the course of thirty-one years of living.” I’m fascinated with the way one event can shape a person one way, and another person in a completely different way. I’ve probably also over thought the whole “nature vs. nurture” debate more than any one person should. People fascinate me. I love observing them in real life so I can make my characters realistic.

TB:These characters were so well written and easy to connect with.  Raw and emotional and so very human (pun totally intended)!  The ‘darkness’ aspect and past traumatic issues were prominent in both Lucy and Jude’s lives.  Was it hard for you to delve into those darker subject matters as they are one’s we find in everyday life?

NW: It absolutely was. When I found myself wiping away tears writing and reading parts of the story, I knew I’d hit the right level of emotion. Darkness is a hard place to visit, but one we’ve all experienced, and one we can all relate to. That’s ultimately my goal. I can’t make everyone love my work, but if I’ve made them feel something, (love or hate or something in between) I feel like I’ve succeeded.

TB:How did the character of Jude come to you? He had such a bad boy persona yet there was another side to him, he was truly one of those you fall for immediately and more so as his character unravels!  Was it difficult to write such a conflicted and hard done by character?

NW: The concept of the “bad boy” is intriguing on so many levels. I’d say almost every guy who’s developed the bad boy rap has some sort of tarnished, dark history to go along with it. I wanted to delve into that history so as to shed light on the reason Jude was perpetually pissed off at the world. What makes the boy bad? That was the question I asked myself, and the place Jude took me.

TB:Now Lucy was such a strong and fierce character despite circumstances.  How did you feel writing her story?

NW: Lucy is stubborn, has a temper, and doesn’t like to admit she’s wrong even when she is. She’s also warm, has a big heart, and has big goals for her life. I wanted to create a fierce female character that didn’t do and say everything perfectly. I wanted her to be rash, and make mistakes, and have regrets. Because that’s life. We’re not cookie-cutter perfect and our characters shouldn’t be either.

TB:There is a bit in the book where Jude’s hat comes off (I won’t spoil it and go into details) that actually gave me chills and I struggled with tears.  Now I cried reading it, did you feel overcome as well writing it as these are your characters?

NW: For sure! This was the scene I was both anticipating and dreading writing. It was such a climatic moment and I knew I needed to infuse the scene with enough drama the reader could feel the character’s emotions like they were their own, without going overboard. Those are the kinds of scenes we live for as writers. And also the ones we have nightmares about!

TB: Do you have a favourite moment in this book?

NW: A few! Jude’s and Lucy’s “moment” in the ballet studio (for obvious reasons), the moment Jude and Lucy share after his rip-roaring touchdown, and the last chapter.

TB: We know this is a stand alone but can we expect more contemporary fiction from you?

NW: Positively! I never thought I could enjoy writing everyday human beings as much as I did. I was way wrong!

TB: Thank you so much Nicole for giving us CRASH and for coming in to speak to us!

NW: Thank you! I enjoyed being here and appreciate you taking the time to interview me.

Other Titles By Nicole Williams:

Eden Trilogy

The Patrick Chronicles

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Seducing Cinderella – By Gina L. Maxwell

4 STARS

I absolutely loved this book, PURE INDULGENCE, a yummy quick read that features a sexy, tattooed bad boy MMA fighter! How could you not….??!!

This story is about Reid and Lucie. I loved both characters. They were really well written. Reid was your typical hard and determined bad boy on the edge however he had this vulnerable side to him too. He was pretty perfect. Lucie was adorably sweet, beautiful and funny yet had the lowest self-esteem possible which affected her daily life.

Their journey begins when Reid needs full time physical therapy after an injury to his shoulder. He has 2 months to get ready for his next big fight.  It turns out that Lucie who he has known since childhood is his new therapist.  Reid is Lucie’s brother’s best friend and she has had a crush on him since she was a teenager.  However, Lucie is currently in unrequited love with Dr. Stephen, her sexy co-worker who has no romantic interest in her whatsoever (and is a bit of a sod).  So when Reid ends up convincing her to give therapy sessions in exchange for seduction lessons, she jumps at the offer.

I loved how Lucie came out of her shell and I literally melted with how Reid went about it. Reid sees beyond the image Lucie is trying to project and helps bring out all the best in her, give her back some much needed confidence.  He wants to show her how truly amazing she is. In return Lucie is good for Reid.  He himself has issues and Lucie brings them to the light and helps him realize his dreams.

I can really recommend this book, it’s funny, romantic and sexy and it has a great message!!

“You’re wrong though, who you are isn’t just one thing. It’s everything  you’re passionate about.” – Lucie

 

Reviewed by Gitte

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Ride With Me – By Ruthie Knox

4 STARS

If ‘comfort food’ was dressed up like a book for the day it would look like this one.  This was pure indulgence; it was funny, romantic and oh so yummy!! But beyond all it was REAL!!

The story is beautiful, authentic and refreshing.  It’s about two people sharing a journey coast to coast on their bikes. Simple.  Lexie and Tom’s journey on the TransAmerica Trail was just scrumptious!

I loved both Lexie and Tom; individually they had their issues, funny quirks and are both very stubborn but together they balance each other out and bring out the best in one another. They made perfect sense!

Their journey was interesting, adventurous and funny. Without saying too much the scene with the Hot Sauce competition had me laughing till I cried!

Oh and the Red Bordello Motel Room Birthday um scene? WHOA!!! ;0)

 

Reviewed by Gitte

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The Sweet Gum Tree – by Katherine Allred

4.5 stars

I found this book to be a really emotional read and let me tell you, I certainly did cry through this.

You will love these characters.  You will feel so invested in them especially as we follow them from childhood.  How could you not.  These are truly wonderful characters.

Yes, this is a love story, but it is so much more. It’s a beautiful story that spands time within the lives of Alix and Nick. It is a story that is so well written you will feel that you are on the journey through life with these two.

There will be times you will want to reach into the pages and y slap Alix for some of her decisions, but this will not detract from the love you feel for her and Nick.

The synopsis gives you a very good idea of what this book is about so I won’t go into any plot details so as not to ruin this journey for anyone else.

I absolutely loved part one where we meet Alix and Nick as children.  This relationship just warmed my heart.

What I will say is that this is a truly wonderful read and book I would highly recommend. Heed my warning though….have tissues handy, because you will need them.

Reviewed by Jenny

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Cover Reveal and Synopsis for Lengths by Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt……we can't wait!

Nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad leaves her conservative Pennsylvania home for sunny California, looking for independence, a fresh start, and a place to stash her grief. She promptly finds a job at a tattoo parlor, a craptastic first apartment, and one friend—Ryan—who is a little less friend, a little more benefits.

Deo Beckett is a soulful surfer with a passion for tattoos and beautiful women. On the eve of his twenty-second birthday, he finds himself living with his grandfather, recently unemployed, and seriously adrift. He doesn’t know much about what he wants out of life, but he does know his current situation isn’t cutting it.

When Deo meets Whit, she’s all sexy makeup and fierce, smart-ass fun. It doesn’t take him long to see past her tough shell. And when he gets a good look at what’s under all the superficial stuff that usually gets his attention, it leaves Deo wondering if there might be more to life than living fast and free.

Too bad Whit has a past she doesn’t plan on sharing—no matter how hot Deo is. She might want him, but she knows better than to let her guard down.

Deo falls for Whit, and falls hard. But everything about her, down to that mysterious tattoo and the way she thrashes in her sleep, tells him that the girl he loves is hiding something. And the more he pushes for answers, the more Whit pulls away.

Having your guard up is one thing, but are the lengths Whit goes to to protect her secret worth throwing away the second chance she has at happiness with Deo?

LENGTHS is a Contemporary New Adult Romance by Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell, to be released August 2012.

Cover by Todd Maloy, http://toddmaloydesign.com.

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Cover Reveal and Synopsis for Lengths by Steph Campbell and Liz Reinhardt……we can’t wait!

Nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad leaves her conservative Pennsylvania home for sunny California, looking for independence, a fresh start, and a place to stash her grief. She promptly finds a job at a tattoo parlor, a craptastic first apartment, and one friend—Ryan—who is a little less friend, a little more benefits.

Deo Beckett is a soulful surfer with a passion for tattoos and beautiful women. On the eve of his twenty-second birthday, he finds himself living with his grandfather, recently unemployed, and seriously adrift. He doesn’t know much about what he wants out of life, but he does know his current situation isn’t cutting it.

When Deo meets Whit, she’s all sexy makeup and fierce, smart-ass fun. It doesn’t take him long to see past her tough shell. And when he gets a good look at what’s under all the superficial stuff that usually gets his attention, it leaves Deo wondering if there might be more to life than living fast and free.

Too bad Whit has a past she doesn’t plan on sharing—no matter how hot Deo is. She might want him, but she knows better than to let her guard down.

Deo falls for Whit, and falls hard. But everything about her, down to that mysterious tattoo and the way she thrashes in her sleep, tells him that the girl he loves is hiding something. And the more he pushes for answers, the more Whit pulls away.

Having your guard up is one thing, but are the lengths Whit goes to to protect her secret worth throwing away the second chance she has at happiness with Deo?

LENGTHS is a Contemporary New Adult Romance by Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell, to be released August 2012.

Cover by Todd Maloy, http://toddmaloydesign.com.

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OVER 18 WARNING

WARNING: This website may contain content of an adult nature. If you are under 18 years of age or if such content offends you please EXIT now.

Thanks – J&G xxoo

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The Siren (Original Sinners #1) – by Tiffany Reisz

5 STARS

You know you’ve read an amazing book when a day after finishing it you are still thinking about it and find yourself incapable of writing a review! Few books have gotten to me in this way. This is one of them. I find myself a day later and my questions raised from this story and wanting to know more and what next are increasing at an alarming rate…

The Siren was absolutely flawless, a stunning piece of written work. The melancholy I felt throughout reading it was so intense I had to take breaks. I was emotionally shattered by it. This story will haunt me for a very long time.

The levels of pain both physically and emotionally was so intense I forgot to breathe at times. Add to that the guilt, the unattainable, the thought provoking lifestyle, the unconditional as well as conditional love, acceptance and the self- sacrifice. Oh and don’t even get me started with issues of morality!! I am at a loss……

“Hurt is a bruise on the outside.” “Harm is a bruise on the inside.” – Nora

Every single person in this book is broken. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!!! Some more so than others. Ultimately they are ALL lonely and wanting.

Nora; such a contradiction. So complicated, so wanting of such a simple thing; LOVE…tragic really because throughout hers is a path of self destructive behavior teemed with attempted empowerment yet the scales are imbalanced. I literally felt like I was in pain reading her journey.

Søren; An imposing forceful enigma, I wanted to figure him out. I didn’t. His character and thoughts are written so brilliantly that morally I should without doubt hate him. But I didn’t, I couldn’t…I want to understand him, understand his decisions and actions!

Zach; the man with such a guilt complex, he lives his life purely based on that one emotion repressing everything else which ultimately has the capacity to blow up in his face.

Wesley; the one who made me cry and feel the most. This guy was mature beyond his years, he was the voice of reason amongst the ‘madness’. He was the light to everyone’s darkness. He was the pure to the tainted. Yet he was as broken as the rest of them.

I know I have just read a work of brilliance, a must read without a doubt.

Sequel to this story The Angel will be released in September 2012

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Chasing Nikki – by Lacey Weatherford

5 STARS

I just finished this and honestly don’t know what to say. I am an emotional wreck and have spontaneous tears since finishing! So I probably shouldn’t write a review right now…oh and I have also run out of tissues!!!

I am not doing any spoilers…but this is how I felt reading it.

Chasing Nikki is one of the most emotional heart wrenching books I have read recently. I cannot recommend it enough, it is beautifully written!

This story was written in Chase’s POV. I don’t often read a book that is written with only the male characters voice all the way through. What a refreshing change, it made the story so INTENSE, so REAL, and I wanted to pick Chase out of the kindle and put him in my pocket to protect him from any more tragedy!! However, he also made me laugh out loud, when times were good, he had a fab sense of humour and sense of self!

I loved sweet sweet Nikki and the rest of the characters. Everyone played their part, so well written!

The message I got from this story is a reminder that life can be too short so LIVE it and when you find LOVE don’t waste it!

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What I Didn't Say – by Keary Taylor

5 Stars

What can I say..I picked this book up and it immediately hit me about the head with a tragic and heartbreaking impact. I wasn’t really prepared for that. What an intense tearjerker of a story told with such detail and emotion that it felt so real and literally gave me goosebumps.

“What I didn’t say” is told from Jake’s POV with such passion and depth that I “felt” him…Oh and his inner dialogue completely blew me away. It made this story real, intense, extremely emotional and quite frankly overwhelming at times! Jake took a piece of my heart and I wanted to pick him out the story and cuddle him!!

So…Jake has had a crush on Sam, who is adorable, resilient, beautiful and brave, ever since his freshman year but never really acted on it. Even when it grew into something so much more – love. It is not until the start of their senior year that he is adamant that Sam needs to know he loves her. His friends, Carter and Rain decide that they should take Jake to see Sam so he can tell her just how he feels.

Unfortunately, the night they decide to do this is the same night they have been drinking and partying.

They get into the car…Jake wakes up in a hospital…. “You’re not going to be able to talk again.” ….Jake’s first thought, “I never got to tell Sam that I love her” ….Then the knowledge that his love and dreams for flying, playing sports and joining the Air Force are all extinguished. He has lost all but his love for Sam…Sam who is haunted by a past and a present which marks her – almost breaks her..until Jake….

And this is where the heart-wrenching journey of Jake and Sam begins….

I LOVED the way Jake told his story by counting down the days to specific events or the reverse…so poignant!!! And his personal written emotional “venting” in his notebooks alongside his inner dialogue of feelings…I am welling up here just thinking about them!!!

The only thing I would have loved to have had would be an epilogue…but then I LOVE and NEED epilogues..a personal thing!!

Oh and please make sure you read the Author’s note at the end..that made this story THAT much more!!!

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