Friday, January 24, 2014

His Muse - Review


On vacation in the tropical
paradise of St. Lucia...

Martin and Abby never intended to
meet anyone while they were away. Circumstance, however, pushes them together
in spite of their expectations. With an entire vacation week with nothing to do
but spend time together, Martin and Abby forge a connection unlike anything
either had felt before. With Abby’s conservative nature and Martin’s refusal to
be the player he had once been, the couple keeps themselves physically
apart...until they can’t.
They collide into a friction that
sparks a blazing need to stay together. Keeping the heat alive from opposite
ends of the country, though, may prove too difficult. Distance and circumstance
become very ugly words in this couple’s vocabulary.

He walked down
the steps and dropped his bag next to the couch. As always when upset, he
walked to his keyboard, plugged his headphones to inject the music directly
into his ears. He played deep, rhythmic pieces that spoke to the heavy feeling
in his chest. He connected with the music and played whatever he needed to get
some tension out of his shoulders. After a long while of playing piece after
piece, he began to ease into a better mindset. Finally, he let himself think
about Abby.

He focused on
those lips of hers again. He loved to watch them speak. He loved her smile and
that little focused bite of hers. He allowed himself to remember that study of
her lips when she held herself still, simply so he could experience every
millimeter of her beautiful mouth.

He had touched
and explored and licked every warm surface of her while she laid beneath him so
sweetly. He remembered exactly the pressure of her full bottom lip under his
teeth, just as he imagined. As he let his mind wander through that exploration,
a song started to form in his head.

He experienced
that study of her lips again, but this time through his fingers on the keys.
The notes started light and feathery, hesitantly, just like the kiss had. He
let the song grow in intensity, moving up and down the scales. The melody
played out the soft brushes of his lips and the deep moves of his tongue.

The rhythm
moved slowly, then sometimes quickly. The crescendo and decrescendo
matched the shifting intensity of his body’s response to her. The forte
moments of the song mimicked every sensation when he was so lost in her. Then,
much like that precise, beautiful moment with Abby, the song ended on a pianissimo,
peaceful, soft chord.

He was in awe of the moment he just lived
through. He remembered every note he played, and he played the melody again
with his eyes closed. The music came from her memory, not from his creation.
The music was her and for her.

Can you tell us a
little bit about yourself?

I am a stay-at-home mom of
two very different autistic boys (both are high functioning for which I am very
thankful). I've been married to my adorable, goofy, and yet somehow still type-A
husband for 16 years. These three men in my life are everything to me.

The other most important part of my life is being an author. I absolutely love
to write and use my ability to live in alternate worlds in my head as a way to
supplement our family income. I'm so blessed in so many ways.

The other thing you ought to know? I laugh too hard too often at thing which
are usually too inappropriate to talk about. I have great friends and great fun
in my life. Now that I've entered the world of bloggers and authors, I'm having
even more fun

What do you do when
you are not writing?

To be honest, I'm rarely
'not writing' :) Writing is now both my hobby and my job. I write every day
because I love it and because I have too many ideas bouncing around my head.
There are currently three book projects open on my desktop. I do break to feed
my family and do the occasional chore, but for the most part, I'm
writing...which is like living a dream. My first royalty check, though tiny,
almost made me cry.

Do you have a day job
as well?

No, I've been a stay at
home mom for about ten years. I intended to return to my teaching career, but
the kids have needed more/longer than we expected when doing our family
planning, so I have stayed at home to keep up with the many therapies,
diagnosis, pediatric neuropsychology exams, finding an alternative school, etc.
Now that I'm writing, I'm hoping to contribute financially enough to continue
to stay at home.

When did you first
start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started my first book at
age 16...until I saw something shiny ;)   In terms of my
"real" writing as of late, I started my first book in December of
2012, and by December of 2013 I'd finished/published three, and was ready to
release the fourth (His Muse, of course).

How did you choose the
genre you write in?

I caught the romance novel
bug after getting my kindle for my birthday in 2012. I gobbled up book after
book until I felt like writing one.

Is there any
particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or
as an adult?

I loved the series called
"The Borrowers" when I was in elementary school. I loved the
imagination involved. What a fun world to be in. Then in junior high I read the
entire "Sweet Valley High" series and devoured those as well. Then
high school killed my love of reading, and college used all my reading time for
text books. By the time I was in grad school I had all but lost my desire to
read, until a YA Lit class introduced me to Philip Pullman. "The Golden
Compass" saved me...and then I met Dean Koontz's books. Poof, love of
reading returned.

Is anything in your
book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

Everything is imagination,
but my friends laugh because "I" am in there. For example, in Unlikely
, Erin puts on fun socks to cheer herself up. Ahem...

What was your favorite
chapter (or part) to write and why?

My favorite part is the
cabin in the third part of the book. I love the description of the cabin and
the mountains around it. Not only that, but the passion between the two had
already built, so there was no need to hold back. The loves scene where he begs
her not to forget...that one got to me, even as I was writing it.

How did you come up
with the title?

The title for His Muse was
the easiest and most obvious title for anything I've written yet. The entire
book is intertwined with his music and their relationship. The word
"muse" defines who Abby is. It also defines Martin's inspiration.

What project are you
working on now?

I am currently working on
three books. One is a stand-alone that is more plot-driven than
relationship-driven...because I always like to try something new. I can't wait
to see if I can I pull it off. I'm also working on a playful, bantering, but
very HOT romance, AND one which is the first book in a series of four. That one
may be my favorite because the concept is something completely new for me (and
maybe for most of the readers, too). I'm having a blast juggling all of them.

Do you have any advice
to give to aspiring writers?

Ha! Here's a list of my
rookie mistakes:

1. Don't over-estimate your ability to make book covers. Having them done
professionally ends up cheaper, easier, better. I can say from experience that
Robin Ludwig Designs is FANTASTIC, and had a magical ability to take the messy
scraps of my well-intended attempts and turned them into something amazing.

2. Dive into the world of bloggers BEFORE  you write (which I think most
people do...just not me). Your releases will go better. Paying someone for a
blog tour is worth it if you can afford it.

3. Avoid copious usage of the words "it" "just" and
"that" - another rookie mistake that took a very long time to fix.

4. Remember how much fun writing is :)

Is there anything that
you would like to say to your readers and fans?

YOU SO MUCH for taking a chance on a new author <3

Author Bio:
I love a good love story. I reread the
first kiss a few times before I read on...even in my own books. That moment
gets me every time no matter how often I revisit that beautiful connection. I
dive into every story to the point where I have so many fictional boyfriends
that I can't keep track of them all.
In the world
of reality, I have a loving and tolerant husband who smiles and rolls his eyes
every time I tell him about my latest fictional love affair. I have two
autistic pre-teen boys who keep me on my toes. I have a
psychotic Golden Retriever (I was told those don't exist...) and a cat that
rules our house. I used to be the queen. Our regal feline has usurped my throne
and demoted me to Prime Minister.
I studied
English/Journalism at Miami University in Ohio, have a Master's Degree in
Secondary Education from the University of Dayton and I spent five years
teaching even more personality-rich pre-teens. For some sick reason, I actually
enjoyed teaching junior high. Now as a stay-at-home mom, I'm clinging to that
status by throwing my hat in the author's ring and hoping I get to keep it

My Review:

This was a refreshing story that was great from start to finish. It wasn’t an instant love story where the two main characters fall in love at first sight but it goes deeper than that. Abby and Martin were in some way forced to spend a week vacation together when their friends end up shacking up! I loved reading as their relationship built. Neither of them was really looking for any type of fling or relationship while away but over time as they got to know each other they realized how much they had in common. They really were attracted to each other and truly fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

They both had individual professional goals they wanted to accomplish and lived states away. A relationship really wasn’t in the cards for them but as a reader I found myself pulling for them. I knew they had more than just an attraction and their connection was much deeper. I wanted them to make it. They did try their hardest at a long distance relationship talking on the phone as much as possible. Life has a way of catching up to us though and making distance a struggle.

Abby was Martin’s inspiration….His Muse! She breathed musical life into him and it amazed me at how much more he could accomplish with her around and in his thoughts. He also tried to do things behind the scenes to help get Abby a job where he was so that they could be together. Just like the characters in the book we in our own lives have to realize it’s not where we are living and where our jobs are but who we need to be with that we should focus on. Sometimes we must pick up our lives and move to be with the one we love because that is where our heart is. It may take some a day, a month or even years to figure it out but hopefully one day we will all get to that point!

I truly enjoyed this story and loved getting to read more about Nick and Roula, who had more of the hot and steamy whirl wind romance. We get a little of their story in His Muse but get so much more in the novella Reconnection at the end of His Muse. They have such ‘firecracker’ passion towards each other…it’s amazing!

Giveaway (Open International):
5 swag packs (bookmark set from Atlanta Series & His Muse)
2 Mega swag packs (bookmark set, His Muse chapstick, His Muse Tic Tacs)
2 kindle copies His Muse
1 $5 amazon gift card
1 signed paperback…with author notes throughout

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