Feature – Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen


NOVA AND QUINTON: NO REGRETS – On sale April 15, 2014

About the book -

Today is the first day of Quinton Carter’s new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She’s the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he’s not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova’s life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life’s dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova’s heart?

Excerpt -
“I have to tell you something else, but it’s not good—it’s bad.” Before I can chicken out, I hurry and sputter, “Someone gave me a bag of meth today and I have it underneath my mattress.” As soon as I say it, I wonder why the hell I thought this was a good idea, throwing this on her. I need to stop relying on her so much—need to stand on my own two feet.

I’m about to hang up, because really it’s the only choice, but then she says, “Did you do any of it?”

“No.” My voice shakes as I grip the side of the mattress and battle to breathe evenly.

“Do you want to?” she asks calmly.

“Yes.” My voice is full of desperation.

“Are you… are you going to?” There’s a hint of worry in her tone.

“I’m not sure,” I admit. “I want to, but I also want to throw it away.”

“Then throw it away,” she says, as if it’s the easiest thing in the world to do.

“I don’t think I can.” My hands quiver just at the thought of it and I rest my forehead on the mattress, still on my knees “It feels fucking impossible.”

“Yes, you can.” She sounds so certain and I have no idea how she’s doing it—managing to sound so calm when I know she can’t be. “Just take it and dump it down the toilet. You can do this. I know you can.”

“You have too much faith in me,” I say, slipping my fingers between the bed and the mattress, fighting the urge to hang up on her and turn to what’s only inches away from my fingertips.

“No, I have the right amount,” she replies. “Now let me know when you have it and you’re headed to the bathroom. And don’t hang up on me.” It’s like she can read my mind.

I sit there forever, going back and forth with what I want and need to do. At one point I grab the bag of crystal and put it back. Then pull it out again and open it, staring at the white crystals so close I can almost taste them. But I can also hear Nova breathing on the other end. Soft and full of concern. Acting calm, when I’m sure she’s freaking out. I want to throw them away just for her, but I have to wonder if it’s possible to care for someone so much that I’d give this up. Do I care for her that much?

After a lot of deliberating, I come to one simple answer.

Yes. I care about her that much.

I get to my feet and make my way to the bathroom, not speaking. Then I lift up the toilet seat and, shutting my eyes, I tip the bag over, pour the contents into the water, and flush them down.

“Did you do it?” Nova asks at the sound of the flushing.

I press my lips together, resting back against the bathroom wall, realizing how sweaty I am and how much I’m gasping for air. “I did.”

“See, I knew you could do it,” she says with relief in her voice. “I knew you’d do the right thing.”

The right thing? Is that what I just did? Sometimes it feels like it is, but there are other times when it feels like what I’m doing is so wrong and disrespectful to Lexi. But through the right and wrong, there’s always one thing that gives me hope and that’s Nova. She’s what keeps me going.

————————————

About the author -
Jessica Sorensen is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives with her husband and three kids in Idaho. When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.

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Feature – Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom


STEAL THE NORTH – On sale April 14, 2014

About the book -

Vocally graceful and fearlessly intimate, STEAL THE NORTH, Heather Brittain Bergstrom’s debut novel, is a striking portrait of modern identity, faith, family, and love in all of its forms. The story, which Bergstrom deftly narrates in various voices, centers around Emmy, a California teen who discovers her mother’s past, the family she never knew she had, and an extraordinary love in the land of her birth, eastern Washington state. With atmospheric prose and engaging characters, Bergstrom has delivered a novel that will appeal to literary and commercial fiction readers alike.

Emmy Nolan is a sheltered and introverted sixteen-year-old living in Sacramento with her mom, Kate, when a phone call comes from an aunt she never knew existed. Fifteen years earlier, Kate had abandoned her only sibling, Beth, fleeing their tiny eastern Washington town and the fundamentalist Baptist church that had condemned her as a whore. Beth, who’s pregnant for what she knows is the last time after countless miscarriages, believes her only hope for delivering the baby is Emmy’s participation in a faith healing ceremony.

Emmy reluctantly goes. Despite uncovering her mom’s desperate and painful past, she soon finds she has come home—immediately developing a strong bond with her Aunt Beth and feeling tied to the rugged landscape. Then Emmy meets Reuben Tonasket, the Native American boy who lives next door. Though filled with passion, their love story mirrors those of the generation before them, who fear that their own mistakes are doomed to repeat themselves in Emmy and Reuben.

STEAL THE NORTH is an imaginative and deeply felt debut, one whose characters live at a nearly intolerable level of vulnerability. Yet, as fragile as they may seem, Bergstrom has imbued them with a tremendous inner strength, proving that the idea of home is a spiritual one, that getting over the past is hope for the future, and that the bond between family is truly unbreakable. Reminiscent of Sara Gruen, Sue Monk Kidd, and Ann Patchett, Heather Brittain Bergstrom is a remarkable new voice in contemporary fiction.

Author Q&A -
Q: Your short fiction was named a distinguished and notable story for The Best American Short Stories in 2010. You’ve also won numerous awards from The Atlantic Monthly, The Chicago Tribune, and Narrative Magazine just to name a few. What inspired you to write a full form novel? What are the different challenges/benefits to writing short stories vs. novels?

A: More than being inspired, I wrote the novel in a sort of desperate state after my story collection, which took me seven years to complete, didn’t land a publisher. In my twenties, as a young mother and student, I wrote poetry. In fact, I was accepted into my MFA program in poetry, not fiction. In my thirties I wrote short fiction. I tried my hand at a novel (an early version of Steal the North) when first making the transition from poetry to prose, but I did not possess the skills or, with growing children, have the time. Never formally trained in fiction writing, I taught myself by reading, reading, reading contemporary stories and studying fiction writing guides.

I began my novel anew right after I turned forty. My skills were honed. My oldest child had been at college long enough that I could turn her bedroom into a “room of one’s own.” Writing a novel is total immersion into another world. For me, there were no breathers between chapters as there had been between my stories. As a reader, I continue to enjoy all three genres, but, as a writer, the almost complete abandonment of self required to compose a novel is profound and addicting.

Q: STEAL THE NORTH takes the reader up the west coast from Sacramento to Eastern Washington—can you discuss why you chose these particular settings?

A: I was born and raised in eastern Washington. And I have lived near Sacramento, now, for many years. California is definitely a part of my novel, but it is not the main place. Eastern Washington, with its coulees, cowboys and Indians, large rivers and dams, wind and sage, is the backdrop.

I love the west, the mountains, open expanses and ruggedness. I can’t imagine living anywhere else or writing about other landscapes. That being said, California, even Northern California, is very different than Eastern Washington. I would argue that California is different than all the other state in the West. For example, I live almost an hour north of Sacramento in a farming town with a Sikh and a Hindu temple. Within forty five minutes of my house, and surrounded mostly by rice fields and orchards, are numerous junior colleges, two state universities and a U.C. Roadside fruit stands line the highways selling locally-grown figs, kiwis, almonds, you name it. In my novel, California is a place of refuge for Kate, my protagonist’s mom. And it is where she chooses to raise Emmy, her daughter and my protagonist. It’s a safe haven, but not the blood and guts of the novel.

In my short stories, characters are eager to leave eastern Washington. Just as I was eager during high school to escape the sagebrush and miles of “nothingness.” And so I did. But as I grew older, I realized how much, like it or not, I had been shaped by the landscape of my childhood. I had left it, but it hadn’t left me. Returning for visits, I began to see beauty where before I saw ugliness. I had to accept the starkness of my homeland, and once I did, the place captivated me. I longed for the coulees, the wind, and even the sage. I especially longed for the rivers. Emmy is my first character ever to yearn for eastern Washington. Hers is the first migration north, rather than south.

Q: Your protagonist’s mother runs away from her hometown and the fundamentalist Baptist Church. Do you have a personal connection to the church?

A: I grew up in two different Baptist churches, the second one being far more fundamentalist. I remember, as a teenager, rafting down the Snake River in a long dress. Girls weren’t allowed to wear pants, let alone swimsuits, even for outdoor activities. Each year on the Fourth of July, families gathered at the church to watch apocalyptic movies. I was educated through the tenth grade in an unaccredited basement academy by deacons’ wives, some of whom, like my mom, hadn’t even finished high school themselves. Students were instructed to circle the church should state or federal agents try to close down our school.

However misguided, the church, in particular the less fundamentalist one, gave my family a needed sense of community. Eastern Washington is an isolated place. The overall population is small. Individuals and individual families in much of the rural west tend to stick to themselves. On top of that, the landscape can seem empty, overwhelming, even brutal. In the church we had a large extended family. I still love some of those church members dearly, although I am not in touch with any of them. My characters, Beth and Matt, are partly a reflection of that love.

Q: Without revealing too much, what does the title STEAL THE NORTH mean?

A: The title evokes the Native American myths in the novel. It also evokes native myths in a larger context. Coyote, Raven, and other Animals—in the time before humans—stole the sun, stole fire from the Sky People, stole each other’s wives, stole food, tails, fancy clothing. Emmy steals the north (her birthright) from her mom, the dad she’s never met, and even her beloved aunt and makes it her own. Reuben and Emmy steal the north for themselves: by taking drives, but also in the way lovers often take possession of places where they share intimacy. And then, of course, the north was stolen from the Indians by whites.

Q: Spirituality is a strong theme in STEAL THE NORTH. How did you start to make comparisons to the Christian church and Native American spirituality and culture?

A: I kept coming across parallels while writing this novel between the Christian church and Native American spirituality and culture. The healing ceremony that brings Emmy to eastern Washington for the summer doesn’t seem as bizarre after Reuben explains that his people still have healing ceremonies at the end of the twentieth century. Reuben admits he is a “sweat lodge junkie.” His confession makes Emmy’s conflictions with purity seem not as ridiculous. I did not set out to equate these two very different religions and cultures, but I kept finding parallels. If nothing else the Native American spirituality in Steal the North tempers the harsher Christianity. In reality, many tribes have melded their native religion and Christianity. This melding drove the early missionaries nuts. I find it beautiful. A grave on the Colville Reservation often has a cross and a feather, maybe also a basketball, a pile of rocks, and a Bible.

Q: What inspired you to write Native American characters?

A: I grew up between the two largest Indian reservations in Washington State: the Colville and the Yakama Reservations. My home county is divided from the Colville Reservation by Grand Coulee Dam. I was born and raised in Moses Lake, Washington, a town named after Chief Moses, whose descendents live on the Colville Reservation. Native Americans are very much part of the area where I grew up. There’s extreme prejudice against them for being “drunks” and “lazy,” for being allowed to fish in places where whites can’t (part of their treaty rights), and for being allowed to help manage some of Washington State’s natural resources. I wasn’t taught as a kid to respect or even recognize the existence of these marginalized people—in fact, the opposite.

Our Christian school took frequent field trips to the enormous dams on the Columbia River. Dams scared the hell out of me, so I’d sneak into the tiny Native American cultural centers adjacent to the visitor centers. The museums fascinated me. I didn’t realize as a young girl that the museums were afterthoughts by the Bureau of Reclamation: a nifty place to display the tattered remains of indigenous cultures whose centuries-old and sacred fishing sites were now drowned forever in backwater. In a way, through the act of writing Steal the North, I stepped back into those tiny museums.

Q: What do you want people to take away from reading STEAL THE NORTH?

A: Various things. A strong sense of place: the physical land and the people of eastern Washington. A belief in the redemptive power of love. A larger understanding of and appreciation for Native American culture and people. A wrenching feeling for the absolute necessity of family. To witness both the destructive and sustaining forces of religion. And the most ambitious: to perhaps inspire young people (through the examples of Emmy and Reuben) to take possession of their own lives. In doing so, who knows, they may also mend some of the broken parts in their parents and then the world.

Q: When you form characters do you ever incorporate aspects from people you know?

A: Absolutely. My characters are a mix of the following: reflections of people I’ve known, my imagination, and careful observations of strangers. Beginning fiction writers are sometimes afraid to look at the people they’ve known through the lens of fiction. They feel they must record the truth to the minutest detail. And, yes, truth is important, but the truth they must adhere to is the truth of art. Just because something really happened to your great aunt or your neighbor does not automatically make it truthful in fiction. My favorite type of characters to write are the ones that seek me out, like Rueben in Steal the North. I did not plan to have him narrate, but he jumped off the steps of his sister’s back porch and said, “Hey, let me tell my story.” His chapters practically wrote themselves. On the other hand, Kate was the hardest character to crack—probably because she hit too close to home. I rewrote and rewrote her chapter. Lesson learned.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I am working on a second novel. It is similar to Steal the North in that there will be multiple narrators, land is important, and love in central. However the characters in my new novel are definitely misbehaving more than the characters do in Steal the North. I worked as a hired girl at a lakeside mansion in Northern Idaho the summer before my senior year of high school. The novel is partially based on that experience.

————————————

About the author -
Heather Brittain Bergstrom has won fiction awards from The Atlantic Monthly, The Chicago Tribune, Narrative Magazine and others, and a story was named a distinguished and notable story for The Best American Short Stories in 2010. Her short fiction has been published in several literary journals and anthologies. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing. She is from eastern Washington and now resides in northern California. (author photo – Michelle Chandler)




To find the author -
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Upcoming book tour locations and dates -
Monday, April 14 – Book Passage – Corte Madera, CA
Thursday, April 17 – Lyon Books – Chico, CA
Monday, June 16 – Powell’s at Hawthorne – Portland, OR
Friday, June 20 – Elliott Bay – Seattle, WA

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Feature – When You Are Mine by Kennedy Ryan


WHEN YOU ARE MINE – On sale June 17, 2014

About the book -

Forever is a heartbeat away . . .

Kerris Moreton knows how to make things work. Bounced from foster home to foster home as a kid, she adapted; when opportunity arose, she thrived. Now, about to open her own business and accept a marriage proposal, Kerris is ready to build the life she’s always wanted. The only thing missing? A passionate connection with her would-be fiancé, Cam. Kerris wants to believe that sparks are overrated-until Walsh Bennett lights her up like the Fourth of July.

. . . but what about love?

As one of the East Coast’s most eligible bachelors, Walsh enjoys financial independence, fulfilling work with his family’s nonprofit, and plenty of female attention. But lately he’s been distracted by the one woman he can’t have. Lovely to look at and even sweeter to know, Kerris is the soul mate Walsh never thought he would find. The problem is, his best friend found her first . . .

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From the author -

April is Autism Awareness month. That might not even register on some people’s radars, but my family has lived with Autism for the last 11 years, since my son was diagnosed. My book WHEN YOU ARE MINE releases June 17 and provides a unique opportunity for me to combine my passion for writing and Autism advocacy. I’m donating 25% of my royalties from this book to resourcing families living with Autism.

Learn more about Autism and the 1 in 68 children diagnosed from my charitable partner, Talk About Curing Autism (TACA).

Celebrate all the gladiators out there – kids, adults, families, siblings – living with Autism by entering the Autism Awareness Giveaway! Great cause! Great prizes!

Thank you!

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Feature – If You Stay by Courtney Cole


IF YOU STAY – On sale April 8, 2014

About the book -

Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He’s a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn’t understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn’t there and this has always worked . . . until he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn’t know how to not hurt her-but he quickly realizes that he’d better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother’s death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issues-and stop being an asshole. But is that enough to make her stay?

Excerpt -
I am humming as I duck out of the shop to grab a sandwich for lunch. As I pause to lock the door, I notice Pax’s black car parked on the street twenty yards from my shop. My head snaps up and I stare at it, my fingers frozen. He’s not in it. I don’t know if I am relieved or not.

“Looking for someone?”

Pax’s voice is right behind me.

You’ve got to be kidding me. This is too coincidental. I slowly turn to find myself face to face with the very man who has invaded my thoughts. Pax smiles, a slow panty-dropping grin.

“Are you stalking me again, Miss Hill?” He cocks an eyebrow.

My heart hammers.

“What?” I choke out. “This is my shop.”

Pax shrugs. “And that’s my car. You were staring at it like you were hoping I would get out of it.”

I’m guilty of that. I can’t say a word in my defense. Instead, I stare at him like an idiot.

“What are you doing downtown?” I finally manage, changing the subject.

“I don’t cook,” he explains. “I’m making a food run. The bar down the street makes good burgers.”

“Oh,” I answer dumbly. “That’s what I’m doing too.”

He lifts his eyebrow again.

“Not the bar,” I add quickly. “I’m going to the deli, next door to the bar.”

Pax smiles again. “All by yourself? Haven’t you heard that there are some bad things going on in Angel Bay? Just a while back, some dumbass overdosed on the beach. Apparently, they’re letting all kinds of assholes in nowadays. It’s probably not safe for you to walk alone.”

I have to grin now, at his audacity.

“Oh, really? Wow. That does sound bad. Assholes are just running loose on our streets? I guess I’ll never know now when I’m going to bump into one.”

“How very true,” he answers softly, his golden eyes frozen on mine. Sweet Jesus. The man has beautiful eyes. So bottomless and warm. Like hot caramel. I gulp.

“Is this when you take your lunch every day?” he finally asks, breaking the silent stare.

“If I go out,” I answer. “Are you planning on stalking me again?”

We’re still standing in the middle of the sidewalk, but Pax doesn’t seem to care. Instead, he grins.

“Maybe,” he answers, before holding his arm out like a gentleman. “Since I’m here and you’re here and we’re both going in the same direction . . . I’ll walk you today. I’ll keep the wolves at bay.”

I stare up at him as I slip my fingers into the crook of his leather covered elbow.

“I thought you were the baddest wolf of them all?”

He grins again, wickedly. It lights up his eyes with a gleam.

“That’s probably true,” he admits. “Are you afraid?”

“I should be,” I tell him.

But I’m not.

He walks me to the deli’s door and steps away from me. I feel the absence of his warmth immediately.

“Have a good day, Mila Hill,” he tells me, his eyes flickering up and down the length of me. “Watch out for those wolves.”

And he’s gone. He disappears into the bar and I realize that I’m standing alone outside. I shake my head and sigh, going inside to order my sandwich. I have no idea what just happened, but Pax Tate is firmly in my head now. And I have the feeling he’s not going anywhere. My stomach flutters and I realize that I like that thought.

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About the author -
Courtney Cole is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who lives near Lake Michigan with her family. She’s always working on her next project… or staring dreamily out her office window. To learn more about her, please visit http://www.courtneycoleauthor.com/

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Feature – The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson


THE IDEA OF HIM – On sale April 1, 2014

About the book -

Have you ever wanted someone, something, so badly to be true that you’d overlook every shred of evidence to the contrary?

Enter Wade Crawford – the dazzling, urbane, hotshot magazine editor of Meter. With gorgeous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, a chiseled face, and long blondish hair, he was everything that Allie ever thought she wanted in a man and a husband. Until she realized he was anything but.

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNY, THE IDEA OF HIM explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford is a once-aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, with a marriage that feels more like a hostessing gig than it does a relationship. At thirty four, she is at a crossroads. Then she meets a head-turning, traffic-stopping beauty at the bar of the famed New York City Tudor Room. When Allie finds her husband Wade locked in their laundry room with this same stunning blonde, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, Allie starts to think her marriage is more of a façade than something real. Maybe she’s fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

This intriguing blonde is Jackie Malone, a business school student at Wharton who appears unannounced in Allie Crawford’s world with an uncomfortable degree of information about her personal and professional life. Showing up at all the same parties, lunches, and with a seemingly quite intimate relationship with Allie’s husband, Jackie is a feisty, gorgeous, leggy fashionista that just might have the key to Allie’s future. If she can only learn to trust her.

As Allie and Jackie search for truth, they uncover scandals, betrayals, and financial crimes worthy of front page headline news. Swiftly-paced and electrifying, THE IDEA OF HIM follows their fast-growing friendship and the intimate, sexy conversations they have as Allie takes command of her life and learns to live on new terms that are alternately exciting and terrifying.

Set in present-day Manhattan among the city’s established and up-and-coming power brokers, many of them struggling to regain their equilibrium in a post 2008 crash world, all working various angles—legal and not—in an effort to either get ahead or simply keep up. Smack in the middle of New York’s upwardly mobile meritocracy is the hard-working Allie, refusing to let her working-class past cloud her fabulous present. Her story offers a ringside seat at the lunch-time haunts featured in the pages of Vanity Fair, and is a ticket to the exclusive media cocktail parties posted on Guest of a Guest. But as Allie’s world starts closing in on her and she can no longer deny who her husband actually is, she must figure out how to do it all – without him.

THE IDEA OF HIM shows a woman determined to pick herself back up and reclaim her life, even as the fear of being alone threatens to lure her down the wrong path. As Allie struggles to care for her children, tend to her demanding boss, and navigate the high jinx in the psychological and financial game-playing happening all around her, we fall in love with her determination to root out the truth, and in doing so, finally put her own interests and needs front and center. Most of all, we see the power of female friendship as an unlikely ally – in the form of the mysteriously seductive Jackie Malone – helps Allie to finally see the truth about her husband. And it sets them both free.

Excerpt -
from CHAPTER 8: PULLED TOWARDS THE EDGE -

While he was coming to quick terms with the idea that he’d finally found an attractive woman who cared about his world of nonstop news and gossip, right away, I knew that I too certainly liked the idea of this Wade Crawford man before me. He fit a need. His enthusiasm for life and work would soften my losses: my father in a plane to the ravages of an untimely blizzard and James to a burning obsession to save every child on the other side of the world.

New York glimmered around us that night, the way it can when spontaneity falls perfectly into place. After dinner, Wade escorted me to two downtown parties filled with cigarette smoke and writers. Someday I hoped to be like his writer friends who wrote long magazine stories and books that they’d mined from their souls. It was clear from every angle that Wade’s non-stop joie-de-vivre was more than contagious. He was sheer fun, and full of the possibility of escape, of renewal even.

He dropped me at my stoop at dawn, kissing me tenderly on the lips and disappearing into the early morning glow. As I watched him bounce down the street, all I could think was that he had Daddy’s electricity and confidence. And that suited me just fine.

———-

from CHAPTER 19: FOCUSED AND FRUSTRATED –

He had no doubt betrayed “us” again in some form or fashion because things were going on around me that he was lying about. He would do that in the future. I would either smile through or ignore the signs in the future. I would feel angry and lost and alone in the future. I would tear up photos again in the future that represented romantic ideals.

“It doesn’t mean what, Wade?”

He didn’t answer my last question; I just heard his rattled breathing on the other end of the line. I looked around at the mess in front of me. How the hell was I supposed to finish my work with this bizarre, awkward, unfinished, hurtful conversation looping in my head?

“Wade,” I said. “I can’t do this now.”

I hung up and suddenly I was back in that mangled plane, in the snow, desperate for a protector.  Was Wade just giving more of the same unsafe feeling I’d wanted to get away from? And it hit me that I hadn’t so much forged a new life in marrying Wade; I’d simply come full circle.  Strange how we often seek what we hope to escape.

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Author Q&A -
Why did you write this book?

I wanted to write about the phenomenon of falling in love with the “idea” of someone versus the reality of the actual person across the dinner table from us. I think it’s something we all have done. Once we are in a relationship, sometimes we delude ourselves into being happy, yet something doesn’t feel quite right. When reality hits, we must confront our fears of being on our own, and that can be frightening. Our fears of being on our own often propel us into staying with the wrong person.

I know I’ve personally fallen for the “idea” of someone numerous times because I have an idea in my head of what I want that person to be and how I’ll feel with him: the cool guy with the long hair will make me cool, the stable, appropriate guy will make me feel safe…I even fell for a Frenchman over how his cashmere blazer felt on my cheek! All that stuff doesn’t count in the end: the only thing that matters in my mind when it comes to love is an accompanying true friendship and deep intimacy.

Your first book, THE MANNY, was a New York Times bestseller and was also set in present day Manhattan. How much of what you see around you is also in this book?

I have written a fair amount of journalistic pieces on big money in New York. Money is deeply psychological in that it drives people to act insane and say the craziest things. Every time they do, I put the quote in a little book I carry around and use in my fiction. I have now written two romantic books that primarily focus on relationships but that have modern day Manhattan as a lively, current backdrop. The characters in my books are composites of people I know and the events are based on real things I’ve definitely seen with my own eyes.

You’re a journalist who’s worked at ABC News and written for magazines like Newsweek. How does that come into play when you’re writing fiction?

I am trained journalist by trade first and foremost. When I write a fictional scene, everything must be real and believable and accurate or it doesn’t feel right. That’s the joy of writing social satire in fiction. It’s all real, but it’s all so funny.

A friend of mine told me that fiction gets you closer to the truth because you don’t have the constraints of journalism when writing it. As a reporter, you often don’t have access to dinner parties or events or your interview subject doesn’t say the quote clearly and you are constrained by your access and sound bites. In fiction, you can write the living room cocktail party, go into the bedroom, relay the conversation in a totally realistic way that is technically very truthful and that is very liberating for me.
 
What was your greatest career mistake as a journalist?

While at ABC News, I once did a big piece for Peter Jennings declaring that the Internet would amount to nothing. You can find it on my website under the writings tab and ABC News icon. Brilliant prediction.

The main character in THE IDEA OF HIM is a hard-driving businesswoman with two young children, and she struggles to balance her home life with her career. Is that a struggle that came from a real place? 

What woman doesn’t struggle with work, home, and family? Even women who don’t have a “paying” job work hard in a zillion ways that aren’t financially recognized: they maintain the value of the family’s home investment, help local charitable and religious institutions, and keep their neighborhoods and schools safe and the best they can be. So, yes, I write at 4am to avoid a barrage of email interruptions, yell at the Verizon repair man, cry when my boss yells at me, and worry non-stop about the emotional health of my children, their progress in school, and long term happiness and stability that I’m supposedly grounding for them. Who wouldn’t be nuts trying to do all this? We all are. I tried to depict a lot of this in THE IDEA OF HIM with Allie’s struggles so that people who read it can relate, cry, nod, and laugh.

In this book, the protagonist female character is not leading towards happiness with a man as her goal. Tell us about that.

I believe a lot of women’s fiction and tons of romantic comedies in Hollywood don’t get published or produced because executives feel women have to “get the guy” to be fulfilled and for the audience to leave happy and “relieved.” I did not want to add to that “fiction” and I wanted to write about the opposite: a woman finding strength on her own. How does she find what makes her most happy at work, at home, and in her personal life? The proverbial knight in shining armor or kissing Colin Firth in the rain is a nice, neat way to end a story for sure, but I wanted to write about the power within to make ourselves feel okay, safe, and, yes, happy. Lots of time in life to find the right guy who isn’t an “idea”, but first let’s focus on ourselves and what we want for a moment and prioritize that before we leap for the next or most convenient man to hopefully do it for us.

About the author -
HOLLY PETERSON is the author of the New York Times and international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she cov­ered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

To find the author -
Website
Facebook
Twitter


Buy Links -
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Paperback
Barnes and Noble

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Feature – Quicksilver Soul by Christine D’Abo


QUICKSILVER SOUL – On sale April 1, 2014

About the book -

Nicola Tesla has never needed a man to complete her life. A gifted engineer, she has always had her experiments to keep her company-or she did, before her vile boss stole them. Now she’s working at the Archives in New London, where the memories of the dead are stored. But it isn’t long before Nicola discovers she’s being watched . . . by a most intriguing, sinfully sexy man.

Archivist Emmet Dennison should be busy extracting memories from the dead. Instead he’s been asked to keep an eye on the brazen, strikingly beautiful Nicola Tesla. Soon Emmet and Nicola are shaken by an attraction neither of them wants. Yet when a nefarious man takes them hostage, Nicola and Emmet will need to rely on their attraction, and the growing bond between them, to stop a madman hellbent on destroying New London forever.

Excerpt -
Nicola barely managed to suppress a gasp at Emmet’s unexpected words against her ear. He’d moved up behind her while her attention had been focused on Keegan, and now his body was so close she could have swayed little more than an inch and they would be in complete contact. Her traitorous body reacted to his proximity in a way she wouldn’t have assumed herself capable of before now. Her nipples were hard and a warmth she’d never felt the result of being with another person, consumed the sensitive spot between her legs.

This was a rather inconvenient time to develop physical attraction to a man.

Doing her best to keep her body as still as possible, Nicola nodded. “I’ve only seen that state a few times before. I suspect he’ll have a difficult time sleeping, even if that’s the one thing he wants most in the world.”

“What do you think Edison wants him for? Surely, a boy of that age would have little to offer to an engineer.”

“Sometimes age doesn’t inform ability.” Did he know what he was doing to her by standing this close? She wanted nothing more than to turn around and slap him for eliciting this reaction from her. “Would you mind stepping back?”

His hot breath tickled the side of her neck as he chuckled. “It’s easier for me to speak quietly if we are close. What are you afraid of, Miss Tesla?”

————————————

About the author -
Multipublished author Christine d’Abo loves exploring the human condition through a romantic lens. She takes her characters on fantastical journeys that change their hearts and expand their minds. A self-professed sci-fi junkie, Christine can often be found chatting about her favorite shows and movies. When she’s not writing, she can be found chasing after her children, dogs or husband. Christine is published with Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, Cleis Press and Berkley.

To find the author -
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads

Buy Links -
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes

Giveaway -
Rafflecopter contest

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Feature – Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

We are giving away 2 Kindles!!

The first one is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire HDX March

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.


The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

 

Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

 

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

 

 

Giveaway Sponsors:

I Am A Reader
Feed Your Reader
Inspired Kathy
Ripple Effect Romance Series
Author M.A. George
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl
Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings
Owl Always Be Reading
Author Jennifer Laurens
Bonnie Blythe’s Pure Romance
Bella Street’s Weird Romance
Author Jennifer Faye
Good Choice Reading
Reviews from a Bookworm
Barbara Silkstone
Rae Z. Ryans, Author
The Stubby Pencil
Author David Pandolfe
Hallowed Ink Press
Author Louise Caiola
The Reporter and The Girl
More Than a Review
Kathryn Jones
Once Upon a Twilight
Author Jason Parent
Author Amanda Tru
Author Cidney Swanson
Paige W. Pendleton
Claudia Burgoa
P.M. Richter – author
RoAnna Sylver
Tigris Eden
The Bloggers Nest
J.L. Weil
The Cheap Ebook
Luthando Coeur
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
Author Alecia Stone
KellysLuckyYou
Rebecca Talley
Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Simple Wyrdings
Tressa’s Wishful Endings
Paranormal book Club (PBC)
Author Stephanie Faris
Author Inger Iversen
Author Theresa DaLayne
Where The Broken Lie by Derek Rempfer
Bound 4 Escape
Author Laura Diamond

 

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:

http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups

 

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

Ends 3/31/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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