Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Blitz: Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1) by Mia Hoddell

Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell
Release Date: February 2013

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9

The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.

Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Available from:
Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu
and only 99c / 77p on Kindle for September!

“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

I will admit I scoffed at the way it started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound. Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

Author Links
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Happy with the amount of photos I had collected I started to head back out of the forest, still flicking through my shots. As well as close ups, I had taken a few landscapes and as I was almost at the edge of the forest I noticed something in one of the photographs that made me stop.
In the left hand corner was a figure that looked mostly human, but was blurred as if they were moving on the spot.
A cold shudder shot through me.
Looking over my shoulder I became slightly panicked and felt as if someone was following me.
My eyes flicked and searched the shadows. Even though there was no sign that anything had ever been behind me, the forest looked different now - dark and threatening.
Instinctively I broke away and ran, still clutching the camera that was displaying the freaky image. Surrounded by trees I didn’t stop until I was free of the forest and back in the open light and sight of my house.
Throwing open my door, I slumped against the inside of it, regaining my breath from the short sprint. Once I had recovered I looked down at the photo once more, just to make sure that I hadn’t been seeing things. The old saying “the camera never lies,” came into my mind and for the first time I wished it not to be true. Sure enough though, as I looked down at the screen, the figure was still there and this time I noticed a red and orange glow around where its feet should have been. The image almost looked like the person was on fire but I thought I would have surely noticed if there had been a burning man in front of me.


Mia Hoddell is giving away an Amazon gift card this month only there is a slight twist: the more entries she receives the more money she will put on the gift card to giveaway! For example:

No matter what = $5
100 entries = $10
150 entries = $15
200 entries = $20
and so forth...
So if she gets 1000 entries she will give away $100, there’s no limit!

To enter all you have to do is buy or have bought Deadly to Love. It's only $0.99 or £0.79 on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway! This will also unlock extra entries for you so you can earn more points by sharing the giveaway. Remember the more entries she gets the bigger the prize for you so share!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Presley's Corner #1: Quiet Loud by Leslie Patricelli

As a mom and an avid reader, I love that I can share my passion for books with my son. As I say in my bio, he's my little reader in the making. He loves books! 

Presley, who puts the Bottles in Bottles & Books, spends every Friday morning in the library doing Babytime. Babytime is a weekly program that our local library offers that focuses on babies and development with music, activities, finger puppets and story time. Friday mornings are definitely a blast for him. And after Babytime is over we pick out our weekly selection of books to hold us over until the next Friday. 

As a mom and a reader I love to see how excited he gets over books already. He loves to turn the pages and see the pictures and hear me read to him. At this age, between crawling and walking, he can't sit still for a minute having to explore and discover everything and yet when a book is placed in front of him and he stills.

Presley loves hearing me read but he also likes to participate so Presley and I have been doing some activities with the books. We've found some great read & play kits at our library, but Mommy has been working on coming up with some activities for more recent books.

Which leads us to Presley's Corner.

What is Presley's Corner?

Presley's Corner is where Presley & I share a weekly infant/toddler read that interested him along with some activities and little songs he's learned for the week. 

Presley & I hope that all the moms & babies will enjoy this and try the activities at home :)

This week Presley's pick of the week is:

QUIET LOUD by Leslie Patricelli 
Whether you read it quietly or loudly, learning about opposites has never been more fun - or funny - than with this winning board book.

Sniffles are quiet, but sneezes are loud. Amiably illustrated in a bright, graphic style, Leslie Patricelli’s spirited board book, QUIET LOUD, stars an obliging, bald, and very expressive toddler who acts out each pair of opposites with comically dramatic effect.

    Presley and I had a lot of fun with this book and it's activities. I recommend this for children in the pre-reading age and those who are beginning to learn the differences with sounds: Loud, quiet. 

    During Babytime last week we worked with using shakers while saying nursery rhymes. He quite enjoyed shaking his shaker, so to find a book with shaker activities was great.

     Suggested activites for ages 0-12 months include: 

  • Place baby in a comfy position to see both you and the book. Hold the book in front of baby so that he can/she can see the pictures and participate in reading. Read the book and say the word "quiet" in a quiet voice. Say the word "loud" in a loud voice.
  • Read the book again but this time use no words. For the quiet pages put finger to mouth and say "shhhh". For loud pages make the sound shown. Example: For screaming say "A-a-a" (Not too loud. Don't want to scare baby). For playgrounds say: "Wheeeee!". For pots & pans "Boom bam" and so on. ***Presley LOVED this activity. He laughed heartily each time I would go from "shhhh"ing to making a noise.
  • Open the book to the last two pages. Point out the pictures while adding the word "quiet" and saying "shhh". Example: "Pillow is quiet. Shhhh.". For loud pictures, point out the picture and add the word "loud" and make the sound. Example: "Drums are loud. Boom boom."
  • Last but not least and one of Presley's favorite age appropriate activity: Shaking the shakers, Introduce the shakers to your child by saying "Look, _______, it's a maraca." Show baby how to shake the maraca. "It makes a sound when you shake it. It can be quiet (shake quietly) or it can be loud (shake loudly)." Give to baby to let him explore and make quiet & loud sounds. 
      Suggested activities for 12-35 months include:
  • While reading say the word "quiet" in a quiet voice. Say the word "loud" in a loud voice.
  • Read the book again while encouraging your toddler to put their finger to lips and say "shhhh" and make the sounds for the pages. You will need to make the sounds together to help your child. Be creative and interactive. Example: You can scream a-a-a or e-e-e or  "Mommy", "_____" (Child's name).
  • Open the book to the last two pages. For the first time begin with the quiet page and ask: "What is this? Pillow. Pillow is quiet." Then go to the loud page to ask what something loud is and the sound that it makes. "What is this? Drum. Drum is loud. It goes boom boom."
  • Introduce a maraca. "Look, ________, what is this? This is a maraca. What can you do with it? Shake it.Allow your child to explore it and the quiet/loud noises it can make. Then sing a song with the shaker: "This is the way we shake the maraca. Shake the maraca, shake the maraca. This is the way we shake the maraca. Shake, shake, shake." Sing it both quietly and loudly.
                             All activities above are from the creative mind of Luba Johnson. 

When finished with the book, try using the shakers for some quick songs. I found a few great song choices that Presley could shake his shakers too. 

Popcorn (Shaker rhyme)

Pop! Pop! Pop!
Pour the corn into the pan.
Pop! Pop! Pop!
Shake it ‘till it’s hot!
Pop! Pop! Pop!
What have we got?
Popcorn (Shake like crazy!!)

Shake Your Shaker

Shake your shaker in the air, shake it here, shake it there.
Shake your shaker in the air, shake your shaker.

Shake it high and shake it low, shake it yes, shake it no.

Shake it high and shake it low, shake your shaker.

Shake it up and shake it down, rub your shaker on the ground.

Shake it up and shake it down, shake your shaker.

Shake it near and shake it far, drive your shaker like a car.

Shake it near and shake it far, shake your shaker.

Shake it fast and shake it slow, shake it STOP, shake it GO.

Shake it fast and shake it slow, shake your shaker.

Shake My Sillies Out

Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away.

Gotta bounce, bounce, bounce my giggles out,

Bounce, bounce, bounce my giggles out,
Bounce, bounce, bounce my giggles out,
And wiggle my waggles away.

  Books are a great thing to share with a child, but interacting with the book is great too. That's why Presley's Corner has been created - to share a love of reading with mothers & children and fun ways to bring books to life.

  Join us next week for some more books, interactive fun & games ;)


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Book Blitz: Reckless Longing by Gina Robinson

Title: Reckless Longing (Reckless #1) 
Author: Gina Robinson 
Publication date: September 23rd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

SYNOPSISEllie Martin hates her beautiful, man-crazy mother. Her mother’s wild and wanton behavior has left Ellie with a deep longing. To escape. To belong. To know who her real dad is. To really be loved. Her mother finally crosses a line thatsends Ellie running, escaping to college with one, focused goal–to find and confront her bio dad, who doesn’t even know she exists. Then she meets Logan. Hot, charming, and troubled. He turns her world upside down and puts all her plans in jeopardy.

Logan Walker is hiding a shameful and painful secret. One that nearly cost him everything. When he meets the beautiful and mysterious Ellie at a Week of Welcome event, something inside him awakens and he finds himself drawn to her.

But the attraction they both feel for each other is as delicate as the web of secrets they each hide behind. And as the truths are revealed, their reckless longing may not survive the fallout.

***Guest Post***

The Inspiration for Reckless Longing

Reckless Longing is my first new adult romance. I had a blast writing it. I love romance, mystery, and suspense and write historical and contemporary romance as well. But I'm best known for my funny romantic suspense novels about spies. Readers always want to know where I come up with my zany ideas. My husband, who's always my first reader, knows where I get my ideas and recognizes things from our lives when he reads my books. I'll often hear him laughing at something when he's reading one of my manuscripts for the first time. And, of course, he's supposed to be laughing at my funny spy romances, but many times I'll catch him laughing during the serious parts. When I accuse him of this egregious sin, he shrugs it off saying he sees the inspiration behind the scene. To him, it's an inside joke. So the short answer to where I get my ideas is—from everyday life and everywhere. But for Reckless Longing, I have a specific answer.

This spring I did a book signing on campus at the student bookstore at my alma mater during Mom's Weekend. Moms and daughters and moms and sons crowded the campus. Lots of moms and daughters, and a few brave sons humoring their moms, wore matching Mom's Weekend sweatshirts or T-shirts. Most moms looked, for lack of a better word, momly. But as I took a walking tour of campus, I encountered a different kind of mom—the mom who thought she was still a hot college coed herself and was clearly in competition with her own daughter for the guys' attention. An interesting aside—I've heard that more condoms and beer are sold during Mom's Weekend than any other weekend.

I remember clearly standing at the edge of Greek Row. Even though it was April, the temperature was only thirty-nine degrees with a stiff icy wind and blowing snow. I was bundled in a coat, gloves, and sweatshirt. But walking down Greek Row on three-inch stilettos in the middle of the afternoon were a matching mother and daughter pair. They were each wearing skintight black leather skirts, tight white blouses and cropped leather jackets. They had identical hairstyles of flowing brown hair that fell past their shoulders and their makeup was meticulously applied and geared toward clubbing. Both were clearly on the make. And the idea for Ellie and her man-crazy mother was born. A mother who will compete with her daughter for everything and try to hold onto her youth after it has long since slipped away.

So that was the seed, the story germ for the Reckless trilogy which kicks off with Reckless Longing. But there's much, much more to Ellie's story and romance with the hot, mysterious Logan Walker. Her relationship with her mom is only the catalyst that gets the story going. I hope you'll read the series to see where the story goes from there.

I love hearing from readers. You can connect with me on Facebook at
If you'd like to know when the second book of the series, Reckless Secrets, will be available, you can sign up for my new release newsletter either on Facebook or on the homepage of my website,
Happy Reading!

EXCERPT: The evening was going about as well as I expected. How likely is it in any given mating-game situation that the wingman will fall for the girl's moral support sidekick? In this case, given my mindset, the odds were exactly zero. With the pounding music, even trying to make idle conversation was pointless.

We got our subs and energy drinks and found an empty patch of lawn to sit on. Bre cooed to Dan. Jake and I were awkward and ate mostly in silence. My gaze landed on an Up All Night sign advertising the events of the evening.
My heart pounded in my ears. I'd read enough. I knew what I wanted, what I had wanted for a couple of years now but was too rebellious to do—pierce my navel. To understand how not piercing my bellybutton is rebellious, you have to know my mom. It was what she wanted me to do, so it was exactly what I refused to do. But now I didn't care what she thought. I could pierce or not pierce at my pleasure. I was of age and didn't need her permission. She'd never know unless I wanted her to. And even then, she wouldn't be around to gloat and enjoy her triumph.
Anyway, that wasn't the way I saw it. Doing what I wanted without regard to her was my victory. I looked around at the party atmosphere that I should have been enjoying and found myself almost smiling.
Dan and Jake wolfed down their sandwiches and were ready to party. Bre wrapped the remains of hers, ready to toss it so she could get on with the evening. I'd barely touched mine, but that wasn't unusual. Since the breakup I'd lost my appetite for just about everything in life and ten pounds along with it. And I hadn't been overweight to begin with.
Dan offered Bre a hand up. "Dance or take in the magic show?"
"Dance!" Bre laughed and took his arm, smiling up at him coyly.
"Body piercing!" I said in unison with Bre as I stood and dusted the grass off my butt. 
Three pairs of eyes turned on me. I kept smiling. "What? It'll be fun. It's not something you do every day. What better way to remember the start of our illustrious college careers here than with a new piercing?" 
I spoke boldly for someone who only had her ears pierced.
Beside me, Jake shook his head. "Guys don't get pierced. Not at Up All Night." He spoke like an expert.
I ignored him and appealed to Bre. She shook her head. "The line will be too long by now. We'll miss everything else. You can get pierced any time. I'll go with you whenever you want."
"But not for half price," I said. 
"Ellie, come on." Bre's eyes begged me to be reasonable.
I waved her off. "You guys go ahead. I'm off to get my bellybutton pierced. I'll text you when I'm done and catch up with you later. Have fun!" 
Without waiting for an answer, I spun and ran off through the crowd toward the SUB, feeling free and exhilarated for the first time all summer.
My exhilaration lasted as I wound through the crowded first floor of the SUB, following the signs to Precision Piercing's station. Up the stairs to the second floor toward the ballroom, right until I saw the long line and my courage failed.
Jake had been an ass about things, but he was right about one thing—there were no guys in line for piercing. Bre was right, too. There was a good chance I was already too late. Any minute they'd be shutting off the line, saying they'd reached their maximum.
I stood there, not quite in line, staring and debating with myself. I'd just ditched my roommate and she was going to be pissed about it, especially if I came back without another hole in my body. On the other hand, I could claim I'd been turned away because the line was too long and she'd have gloating rights for the rest of the semester. Maybe even the rest of the time we knew each other. At homecoming twenty years from now, I still wouldn't hear the end of it.
"You'd better get in line before it's too late."
It took me a second to realize the sexy male voice was speaking to me. Startled, I looked around for the source. What was a guy doing here, anyway? 
When I found it, my heart did an odd little flip. Sitting on a bench with an instant icepack pressed to his right eye was a guy that was too gorgeous to be benched. How could I have missed him? He had a wicked smile calculated to make girls melt, and his left eye danced with amusement as he watched me. He sat with his legs spread wide, just inviting a girl to stand between them and coo condolences on his injury. Touch his cheek. Offer him any comfort he wanted. He looked dangerous with one eye covered and the way a lock of dark hair fell against the icepack. Yet sympathetic at the same time, like you just wanted to take care of him.
Even though he was sitting, it was obvious he was tall and athletically built beneath the T-shirt and shorts he wore. "Well?"
I blinked. "I'm thinking."
"The window of opportunity is closing." He stood and walked over to stand next to me, so close I could smell the delicious scent of his cologne.
"Yes," I said. "I know."
He ignored any sarcasm that had slipped into my tone. "What do you want to have pierced?"
"My bellybutton." I just blurted it out, wondering why this complete stranger inspired my confidence. And why he cared.
He nodded. "Good choice. Bellybutton rings are hot. Every woman should have one."

Gina Robinson loves a good love story and always has. She writes romance of all kinds--new adult, contemporary romance, historical romance, and romantic suspense.

Currently she's best known for her Agent Ex series-- contemporary romance featuring sexy spies and plenty of adventure and humor. License to Love, the latest book in the series is available now.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children.

Find Gina and her books here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: Azure by Chrystalla Thoma

Title: Azure
Author: Chrystalla Thoma
Publication: September 2, 2013
Rating: 5/5
Amazon Goodreads 
SYNOPSIS: A terrible mistake haunts college student Olivia Spencer. To escape the past, she travels to the Mediterranean island of Crete, hoping for the courage to start anew.

By the sea, she meets sexy and enigmatic Kai. But there’s more to Kai than meets the eye — and nobody wants to talk about it. The locals shun him, accusing him of magic. Kai, apparently, belongs to the sea, no matter how crazy that sounds. 

Kai isn’t free to be with her or live his own life, and this is how he will stay, unless Olivia can break his curse and save him — in doing so atoning for those she failed in the past.

REVIEW: This book is a great summer read for all of those who enjoy bringing a book to the beach. With a fresh plot, Azure is well written and unique.

The mystery and allure of Kai and the ocean leads the reader to keep reading to the very end but the amazing mix of history, local lore, and poetry come together to make the book whole.

The Shakespeare quotes are of course great...The man was a genius with words after all...but the lines of the fictional Myra Crow put a fresh and modern perspective on them. I would love to get my hands on a Myra Crow book of poetry, fictional or not. 

As for the history and lore, they really help to bring the book together. Kai, is gorgeous and yet mysterious with such a beautiful, yet damaged soul. The locals shun him, spit at him, and insult him and Olivia, a vacationer, healing from tragedy and heartache, can't seem to figure out why. 

Olivia makes it her goal to find out more about the intriguing Kai and help him if she can but what she finds out about him makes her question all that she knows to be true and yet she can't help but to believe him and to fall in love with him. 

But can Olivia free him from his ties to the ocean?

Azure is a beautiful book and I recommend it to all. 

**Azure was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Miss Taken by Cleo Scornavacca

Title: Miss Taken
Author: Cleo Scornavacca
Publication: September 2013
Publisher: Self-Published
SYNOPSIS: Love........................The Ultimate Loss of Control

Rain and Raven Medici are identical twins. Although they come from a loving close-knit family their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. Raven went to school and was exposed freely to the outside world. Rain on the other hand was born with a blood disorder and denied many normal childhood experiences. 

Once grown, Raven becomes a lawyer at their dad’s firm Kane & Medici in NYC. Rain along with her only childhood friend Tommy Conte, builds a very successful business as professional photographers. Traveling between Europe and Manhattan, and enjoying a world that was kept from her, Rain vows never to be controlled again.

Dominick Kane is a product of his upbringing. He’s powerful, self-assured and knows he can achieve anything he desires. Nothing gets in his way. There is only one thing he has ever failed at. A relationship with his father Vincent Kane. Upon his father’s death, Dominick vows revenge. The events he sets in motion put him on a collision course he himself will be unable to control.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Dominick kidnaps Raven as part of his plan for revenge. Only to discover afterward, he has taken Rain by mistake. Rain knows she can never survive being confined again. So she strikes a bargain with the devil and agrees to help Dominick get back what he feels rightly belongs to him. His father’s share of Kane & Medici.

Dominick decides to use the strong attraction growing between Rain and himself to control her in every way imaginable. Too bad no one ever taught Dominick you can’t control the heart. Nothing could have prepared him for the effect Rain would have on his. 
Will this plan of revenge turn into unconditional love? Or will Dominick and Rain’s need for control ultimately destroy them and any possibly chance for a real future together.......

REVIEW: I had the honor to help reveal the cover for this book just a few weeks ago and now I am once again honored to be writing the review for said book.

Let me just say...I LOVED THIS BOOK. For a debut novel, Cleo really breaks the barrier into the world of authors with a fabulous first read. For a first time author I didn't really know what to expect, but Cleo exceeded all my expectations and more! 

Miss Taken captures your attention from the first page until the very end and even then all you want to do is keep reading. The characters are well thought out and the dynamics are great.

Rain Medici, twin of Raven, is kidnapped in a bizarre care of mistaken identity and revenge by Dominick Kane, the son of their father's late business partner. Rain, although feisty and strong willed is a survivor of parental confinement. Therefore she knows she cannot be locked up for long. So what does Rain do? Strikes a deal with Dominick Kane, the man who has not only kidnapped her and held her against her will, but also who she is strongly attracted to. 

Dominick is also fighting his growing attraction to Rain. Although he has kidnapped the wrong girl and his plan has gone semi awry, he decides to roll with the punches, so to speak, and use that very same attraction to his advantage and seduce her. 

The chemistry between Rain and Dominick is undeniable but neither of them are prepared for is the fact that the heart wants who it wants and sometimes falling in love is uncontrollable. Who could ever imagine a man with a vendetta and the woman he has kidnapped falling in love? 

Cleo's book is full of surprises, twists, and turns and keeps you on your toes throughout the entire book. I can't wait for book two!!

Bravo Cleo, bravo!

**Miss Taken ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I'm really excited to announce that Bottles & Books is having our first giveaway. 
To enter to win e-books 1&2 of S.R Johannes' Nature of Grace series or some Nature of Grace swag all you have to do is like the Bottles & Books Reviews fanpage on facebook and leave a comment on the giveaway status. Random will choose a winner on Thursday morning.

Thanks to all who have helped to reach the first 25 fans on Facebook. I appreciate all the support.

Book Mama 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Book Blitz: This Much is True Katherine Owen

Title: This Much is True
Author: Katherine Owen
Published: August 11th, 2013
Publisher: The Writing Works Group
AmazonKobo Barnes & Noble Goodreads Apple iBookstore/iTunes


Fate brings them together
Fame & lies keep them apart
One truth remains…

She’s become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story…
At 17, Tally Landon just wants to graduate and leave for New York to pursue ballet. Her best friend Marla convinces her to attend one last party—a college party—where she can be among strangers and evade the whisperings about her heartbreaking loss of her twin that follows her everywhere she goes. She meets Lincoln Presley, Stanford’s famous baseball wonder and has a little fun at his expense—when she lies about her age and who she really is—intent on being someone else for the night and escaping her tragic story.

His only focus is baseball, but he can’t forget the girl he saved on Valentine’s Day…
At 22, Lincoln Presley’s star is on the rise—about to finish at Stanford and expected to be taken early in Major League Baseball’s upcoming draft—his cousin’s party serves as a welcome distraction. But then, he sees the girl from Valentine’s Day that he saved from that horrific car accident and can’t quite hide his disappointment when she appears to look right through him and not remember him at all. He vows to learn her name at least before he leaves. What’s the harm in getting to know this girl? What’s the worst that can happen?

They share this incredible connection, but fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways…
And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they’ve come to trust the most; one truth remains.

This much is true.

 Q&A with Katherine Owen

Tell about yourself; who ARE you?
Dark. Edgy. Contemporary. Romantic.

Were we describing me? Or my fiction? Sorry. I drink too, not enough water. 

I swear too much for God and my mother, and I slip these into my fiction. Sorry

I'm impatient, a perfectionist, a wordsmith, a dreamer, which ends up being good and bad. I'm a workaholic; ask my fam-dam-ily

I've written four novels in as many years: Seeing Julia, Not To Us, When I See You, and my latest release This Much Is True.

If you love angsty, unpredictable love stories, I'm yours.

Give us the short version for This Much Is True
A challenge right away because this is a long novel (432 pages in print). 
Fate brings them together
Fame & lies keep them apart
One truth remains…

She’s become the Paly High girl with the most tragic story…
His only focus is baseball, but he can’t forget the girl he saved on Valentine’s Day…
They share this incredible connection, but fate soon tests these star-crossed lovers in all kinds of ways...
And yet, despite the lies being told to protect the other, and the trappings of fame that continually separate them, and in lieu of the deception by those they’ve come to trust the most; one truth remains.
This much is true. 

Where does the story come from?
I’d been taking classes with The Writer’s Studio a few years ago and this novel developed from a two-page assignment we did for one of my advanced fiction classes. Tally Landon evolved over time. Lincoln Presley was set in my mind from the beginning as this star athlete on the verge of fame and the girl he meets who mirrors his dedication and intensity in her own right for her artistic talent. And yet, their passion tests them both in different ways along with everything else that transpires in the story.

How is this a story that only you could have written?
I created this entire story in my mind. I started out with the what-if questions.  What if you had everything? Or thought you did and then life happened and changed up everything in a single instant? This happens to both of these characters in different ways more than once. One of the things that I came to realize with this novel—my fourth one—in which I think I finally got it—my process—is that I live and breathe with these characters for so long that I really do know them by the time I’ve completed the story. It’s true. I know how they would say things and think about them and what they would and would not do. It’s uncanny. When I’m finished, I miss all these characters because they’ve been such an active part of my psyche for so long. This story took a year and a half to write. I’m pretty sure my writing process drives my family crazy because I am in another world much of the time while writing and thinking through the story line.  So? Who else could have written it when it comes together like that?

What was the hardest thing about writing This Much Is True?
I battled a lot of self-doubt with this one. I thought writing When I See You was hard but This Much Is True was harder still. Part of it is me with some noticeable perfectionist tendencies. I put pressure on myself to ensure the story was better than my last which WISY was pretty damn good and my readers were anxiously awaiting another book and I still wasn’t done with This Much Is True. The story was going long and I debated upon doing two books which would have been the easy way out but I really felt committed to telling their whole story in one. So it’s two books in one, literally. Still the other day one of my newest readers on Goodreads took a star off of her 5-star rating of TMIT because she wanted a longer ending. It’s 432 pages already; go figure that one out.

What do you LOVE about This Much Is True?
This is a great story. It has everything in it from the coming of age angle with Tally starting out at seventeen to the older amazingly talented baseball player in Lincoln Presley and these two confronting and battling the trappings of fame and lies and what love is really all about. It’s a masochist read as one reviewer put it. The truth is I’ve had some AMAZING reader reactions to this book that have put me in tears because they get me and this book. It is the ultimate gratifying experience for this author, let me tell you.

Give us your favorite passage from the story:
I love this one because it is the epitome of Tally and what she struggles with within herself…

Tally Landon’s POV
Marla announces she wants babies. Three babies in five years. She looks at me. I start to feel nauseous and must turn a little white. I look away from her and allow myself to think all these nasty thoughts. Three babies in five years with Charlie? Are you fucking kidding me? That doesn’t add up on any girl’s wish list. Charlie Masterson. A father? Say it isn’t so. 

Yet she lays out this family plan the way you’d say, “After yoga, I’ll go to Lia’s for the mani-special and then wax on about hairstyles and hemlines until dinner.”

If I were gifted at making long-term plans, which by now we all know I’m not, and if I was at all hopeful, which we all know that I can never be, although it crosses my mind that it’s entirely possible these are all just huge, fucking, temporary setbacks and nothing more, even though it’s been going on for over three years now, since Holly died, and I met Lincoln Presley. Events that could be construed as somehow inevitably related. Yes, perhaps there’s an expiration date on the said pursuit of unhappiness. Perhaps, things will eventually go my way after I actually discover what that way is supposed to be. 

And this one because it is the epitome of Lincoln Presley and my writing of him.
Lincoln Presley’s POV
Yet, in the light of day, at half past eight, all I have left of her is this note. Her fucking note. A note that doesn’t tell me anything and simply thanks me. Thanks me. She didn’t even sign her name. For some reason, this bothers me on a whole separate level. I stand still for a long time, holding the note, and let it all sink in. Her leaving is almost palpable like a gale-force wind that’s rolled into my life in the span of a single evening and left behind all this incalculable destruction, both inside and out. Yes, the tempest has passed, but the air around me feels different. I can hardly breathe. Nothing is the same without her. As the lone survivor of her particular storm, I begin to wonder just exactly what I’m supposed to do now. 

It’s only later, after wandering listlessly around the guest house for another hour, after I eventually resign myself to the unenviable task of cleaning everything up and throwing away the empty champagne bottle we shared; after I wash the wine glass smudged with her lipstick; after I purposefully pick up and look through each and every one of the DVDs she touched and so casually left in a forsaken heap stacked precariously at the edge of the great room rug so clearly forgotten by her, which seemingly represents this wry reflection of myself that even I can admit to; it’s only after I pushed the heavy furniture pieces back into place and, in essence, effectively erase all genuine evidence of her incredible presence from the night before; yes, only after all of that, do I realize I have absolutely no way to get in touch with her. 

I’m practically paralyzed with equal doses of disappointment and despair at the cruelty of this one indelible fact. Yes, this hits me hard because I want to see her again, need to see her again; and yet, I have no way to get in touch with her. I begin to wonder if that was her intention with me all along.

What’s next for you as a writer?
I have two different WIPs going on in my mind competing for thoughts and time. Saving Valentines which I hope to finish by the end of the year and another yet-to-be-named WIP that is about four girls graduating from high school and reuniting years later and seeing the unexpected changes in all of them and how tragedy unites them, changes them and threatens to tear them apart in different ways. All complex stuff told from multiple POVs and gender. Damn. Why do I come up with this stuff?