Wednesday, November 14, 2012

1 Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway (Day 6) & Author Interview

I apologize to you all for not having this giveaway posted up yesterday. I had a long day and ended it with a big migraine and to be completely honest, I just didn't have it in my to do any blogging at all. I still have another amazing giveaway to bring to you all and another amazing author interview as well... After this one I only have one more, this week went by so fast. Don't forget that the other giveaways are open to the end of this month and some of them into the beginning of December. So you still have plenty of time to go back to them and enter some more, if you keep tweeting about the giveaway you get to earn 5 points more a day. =D

What do I have for you all today?

Author: Anne Eliot
Release Date: February 03, 2012
Page Count: 366

At a freshman party she doesn't remember, Jess Jordan was almost raped.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite. Three years later, Jess has managed to make everyone believe she's better. Over it. Because she is.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Unfortunately, until Jess proves she's back to normal activities, her parents won't discuss college. So, she lands a summer internship and strikes a deal with hockey jock, Gray Porter: He gets $8,000. She gets a fake boyfriend and a social life.

Jess has no idea Gray signed on for reasons other than money. She also never expects to fall in love. But Gray’s amazingly hot, holds her hand all the time, and makes her forget that he’s simply doing his job. It’s like having a real boyfriend.

...Almost. Very nearly. Not quite.

Gray Porter is hiding secrets of his own. About Jess Jordan. About why he’s driven to protect her, why he won't cash her checks, or deny her anything she asks.

This book just sounds sooooo emotionally touching and after interviewing Anne and finding out her inspiration for writing this book, it only makes me want to read it even more. Because she was motivated to write this book because of something that happened to her friend and that is what I call being strong and supportive for a friend. =D

BUT!! there is another book up for giveaway as well. =D

Author: Anne Eliot
Release Date: October 17, 2012
Page Count: 446

After a car accident--an event he considers a prank gone bad--jaded pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a 'nice' guy.

Funny thing is…Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.

She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s stunning transformation.

When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist.
And that’s when things get out of control…

This book just sounds absolutely sweet. And I will admit that I really like the cover as well. <3.

Author Interview: Anne Eliot

1. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

YES! Always, but my parents discouraged me from writing. They looked at it as more of a 'hobby' but never as a career. So for many years I went to school, and read, and read, and read and wrote but then got other jobs. I did not sit down to write for a career until my late thirties.

2. Who are your biggest influences as a writer?

Romance writers are my biggest inspirations. All the old school historical writers: Kathleen Woodiwiss, Julie Garwood, Bertrice Small, Joanna Lindsey, Judith McNaught, Teresa Mederios, Catherine Coulter (on and on and on). I fell in love with 'falling in love' and so it is my favorite thing to write. I also love the 'new school romance writers'. Again, the Historical Romances: Like Elosia James, and Lisa Kleypas, and Lana Williams, and all books AVON, and Julia Quinn, and Christina Dodd, and Anna Campbell and OHSO MANY NORA Roberts of course. And this is without the Harlequin authors listed. OR the contemporary writers. Just all romance writers who are also part of Romance Writers of America. LOVE THEM love the organization. The local chapter meetings, and the conferences I attended helped me understand the business and craft of writing. I owe them for finding me my best friends and for my success.

3. What were the inspirations behind your books Almost & Unmaking Hunter Kennedy?

The first inspiration for me is always a romance. First love is usually my favorite topic. A couple destined to find and fall for each other plus characters that fall in love despite the wounds they carry from life. 

First the inspiration behind Almost. It's kind of long so I'll try to tell it fast. Almost is a love story about a girl with rape-related PTSD. A girl who was almost raped but never quite got over it, even though 'nothing' happened to her. A girl who's got such a big mask hiding her heart she comes across as harsh at first, until the readers quickly discover she is simply wounded, hiding and very tired. PTSD sufferers wear such a mask every day. It's such a tragic, misunderstood condition.

Many years ago, when I was in high school, a close friend of mine was raped at a party by a friend's older brother. She told him no...but he didn't stop. My friend told me and then we cried, and never told anyone. That event has haunted her life and my memories ever since. I wanted to write a story about a girl like my friend, but when I sat down to write it, I found it too difficult so I settled on the idea of 'ALMOST'. 

While doing my research, I found out the statistics of those who are 'almost' raped are the same as those who are. The resulting PTSD is the same. The statistics are so high and sad for stories similar to Jess Jordan's story in Almost. I pitched the story for a year to agents and editors, and many liked it, but they did not want to publish this topic, so I put the story away and gave up. A few months later, my cousin showed up at a family wedding with her ribs broken. When I asked her what happened to her, she said she'd been jumped and 'ALMOST' raped by two men who'd kicked in her ribs to keep her down. She got away. But not without the PTSD, and the idea that she could not stop looking over her shoulder. I told her about my story, and we talked about how everyone told her she was 'lucky' because nothing had happened to her. She begged me to go on and publish it. So, like it says in the beginning of the book, for my friend I wrote it, and for my cousin I published it.  After it was published, so many others have contacted me with their own devastating stories, I added the rest of the alphabet to include them when the print version came out. :( 

Unmaking Hunter Kennedy was inspired by watching MTV's MADE show, and by watching year after year of teen pop stars grow up and some lose it in public. In Made,  kids, with a coach, transform and become what they never thought they could become in a few short weeks. I have always wondered if a pop star could be 'UNMADE'. Like if someone so famous just showed up in a small town, could he leave behind his fame and become someone else. Of course the answer is 'no'. Not in our world, not in a society that has social media and press and YouTube. But even a very famous person has the power to change what they do, how they do it, how they live all that. 

4. Who has been the hardest character for you to write? The easiest?

Jess Jordan from Almost so far has been the most difficult. I first wrote the whole 389 pages in 3rd person. But she was so wounded, so broken, so hurt, that in 3rd person she was unlikeable. It took too long for the readers to find her heart. I had to re-write the whole book in first person so you could find her. Understand her. In first person the reader can really walk with her. Wear her hurt and try it on. But because I am a slow writer, the weeks and months it took to write the flashbacks and her PTSD really wore on me, because as you write the story, you wear it too.

The easiest would be Jenna, the goofball, slightly whacked, sassy best friend of Vere Roth in Unmaking Hunter Kennedy. She is very much like my bestie Anna who lives in Canada, and like the sassy high school senior, Jenna that she's named after. I felt like I was writing a real friend I knew so it was easy to dial her in.

5. If you could be any character in a book you have read, who would it be and why?

OHHhh...Gosh. I guess I would be Katsa from Kristen Cashore's Graceling. It's a favorite book. She's brave and can survive anything, and the one thing I think I lack is bravery would be nice to be born with a Grace that simply makes you KNOW you've got things handled. I'm one of those 'brave by closing your eyes' types. Cries at the top of the cliff, pretends to be tough on a scary rides but then bawls and takes bad photos of pure FEAR at Disneyland no matter how hard I try to make a straight face on Space Mountain! I need someone to push me off the cliff and I'll hold strangers hands on airplanes if it's bumpy. AND EVEN IF THEY DON'T WANT TO, they DO hold my hand. LOL. Not ashamed to beg.

Something Fun:

Pepsi or Coke?

BOTH. OMG. Just not DIET. I can drink gallons and gallons of either of these two. They are my favorites.

Grape or Cherry?

CHERRY. Cherry everything.

Summer or Winter?


California or New York?

Impossible to answer. BOTH.

How much wood would a Woodchuck chuck if a Woodchuck could chuck wood?

So much wood. =]
I write middle grade and young adult fiction full time. I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Pikes Peak Writers.

I love to hear from readers. For more information, please visit my website.

Thank you so much Anne for that amazing interview. Right below this is the Rafflecopter to enter and win a copy of both Almost and Unmaking Hunter Kennedy. Best of Luck Lovelies. <3.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Unknown said...

I love both these books! So much goodness & awesome romance. Fun interview :)

Sandra @ Waiting For Wentworth said...

Thank you for the interview and the giveaway. Almost sounds really emotional, and I think it is something that I would enjoy reading. Unmaking Hunter Kennedy seems like a really fun book.

Unknown said...

I love Anne! She rocks my socks oh and she's an awesome writer too. :D

Thanks for sharing ladies!