Check out our Q&A with Christine Brae, bestselling author

KFF really enjoyed our Q&A with Christine Brae. Her all-new contemporary romance, EIGHT GOODBYES is now available!

 

Christine, thank you so much for joining us in our Q&A.

Hi there, KFF! Thank you for having me.

More than welcome, Christine. It’ll be a pleasure finding out what makes you tick.

 

  • As a career woman, we’re sure your profession takes up most of your day. How do you find the time to research, develop the plot, the characters and then write?

Lately, I’ve been finding it tougher and tougher to find the time to do everything. But I love writing so much, that I do it as often as time allows me. Research and plot development are part and parcel of my writing process, so when I’m not writing, I’m doing one or the other.

  • Any special time of the day you prefer writing?

I have such a crazy schedule, so I take every opportunity that I can to write – no set time is necessary for my thoughts to flow freely. Day or night, I can get in the zone pretty quickly!

  • Who inspired you to take pen to paper!

In 2012, I attended the first author signing in Chicago. The authors in that signing inspired me to share my words with the world. Their support gave me the confidence to self publish my first book. They shared their knowledge and their advice with me. Everything I know now, I learned from them.

  • Wow, it’s interesting to hear that it wasn’t just one person who encouraged you, but authors at a book signing event! And how about your family? Do they support your writing and how do they feel about having a bestselling author at home?

Oh yes! There is no way I could have managed this really crazy life if I didn’t have my family by my side. They’ve been so patient with me, so understanding of the fact that I’ve had to give up time with them to live my dreams and accomplish my goals.

My children see the example of collaboration in our household. I also hope that my husband and I have been good role models to them in terms of strong work ethics and the drive to do it all and have it all.

As far as having a bestselling author at home, I think my family sees me as a successful career woman who writes on the side. They have watched me progress in my career through all the sacrifices we have made and to them, I am Christine the career woman rather than Christine the author.

  • Did publishing your first book, The Light of the Wound change your writing technique!

Ha! Yes. Actually, it was after publishing my first and second books that I changed my writing technique. I didn’t want to write too much sex anymore. I didn’t want to ride that wave.

That’s understandable, Christine. Even though sex sells, it does seem that readers want a lot more than just hot steamy scenes these days.

  • What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer, or what advice would you give an aspiring author?

My friend, Tarryn Fisher once said to me – “art is not like business. It’s not a negotiation. It takes time and sometimes, the results don’t work in your favor.” I’ve taken that advice to heart and it has helped me to become more patient about the time it takes me to finish a book. In my other life, I live by efficiency and timelines. Writing is the exact opposite of the way my brain is wired.

My advice to aspiring authors has always been to Own your Words and to never give up. It’s a lonely, tedious journey but it saved my sanity and my soul.

  • It must be a tad nerve-racking for any author, leading up to the release of new novels. How do you cope?

Oh my gosh, YES! The period between the time you are promoting an upcoming release until the actual release day is absolutely nerve-wracking! There are so many things that happen in between. I don’t have the personality to ask for help or promote myself. So I find myself feeling really self-conscious about all the posts I make!

Thank goodness I’m now with a wonderful publisher and a publicist who handle all that for me. Which is actually worse in some ways, because now, I just sit and do what I’m told and wring my hands while waiting.

  • Eight Goodbyes is your first traditionally published novel. How do you feel about that?

I am so grateful! In This Life was picked up by a publisher after I self published – so they call that a “back end” acquisition. Eight Goodbyes was the first book that underwent the entire publishing process – which was so different and so eye-opening! The amount of edits and back and forth and meticulous planning teaches you a different discipline.

  • The previous question leads up to this one. Indie self-publishing or traditional publishing?

Traditional. As I mentioned before, I am so grateful for the opportunity that I received.

  • Marketing your books. What is the most important source you use to get the word out?

I use all the social media channels to tweet, post and text about the new book. I have a group of adorable, loving, amazing women called the Butterflies who read and help promote my books. They are more than that. They are actually my strong support system. We do that for each other, I think.

  • After the last question, we can’t help but ask you this one. How important are book bloggers in the book world?

Book bloggers are kingmakers. If they loved your book, they have the ability to catapult you to the bestseller list. I’ve seen this happen many times with my author friends. Unfortunately, readers are human beings and human beings are subjective about the books they read. Some bloggers will love your book and some won’t. But the importance of a review and a great review by a blogger will never change.

  • Do you always use the same beta readers and was Eight Goodbyes beta read?

I don’t have beta readers. I tried it with my first two books and had such a tough time incorporating all the comments!

Only my editor, Jim Thomas sees my books. We normally have 3 passes, so by the time I’m done with Jim and his comments (he is very hard to please so when he tells me he loves my books, I die) I feel confident about my story. And then I send them to a few close friends once I’m done.

  • How long does it take you to write a book and like many authors who have a daily word count, do you pace yourself or go with the flow?

The time it takes for me to write a book varies. When I first started writing, I was cranking out books every six months or so. I’ve slowed down considerably, given my learnings from those publications. It takes me over a year now to release a book. There are weeks, even months, when I don’t write. I blog, write notes, write words – everyday. But my books can go for a time untouched. There is no pacing. I just go.

But when I am writing, I do a minimum of 1000 words in every session.

  • Million dollar question; do you read the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon?

Nope. Especially once a book is released.

  • We’d love to know what’s on your TBR!

Like yours, it’s insane! Too many to list out. I choose books almost weekly. And then they get pushed to the bottom of the line when my friends release books that I want to read!

  • What book has influenced you more in your life?

Great love stories that I’ve read by both indie and traditional authors definitely make me think, make me find perspective and make me feel. But I don’t think any book has influenced my life.

  • Favourite authors. Love to know who they are, lol!

Too many to name. A majority are my friends. I won’t list them because if I miss one, it would be unintentional but hurtful anyway.

  • Have any of them influenced your writing?

To a certain extent, yes. I will admit, I look at the writing of the successful ones and wished I was just like them. But you can’t change your writing style, I don’t think. How can you when your words are your essence?

  • Have you ever based your characters on real life people?

All the time! My ideas for books come from people and experiences. I’ll hear a phrase, see something as I walk to work or take a personal experience (most of the time) and built events around it.

  • Eight Goodbyes’ storyline is without a doubt, original and gave all of us a strong déjà vu feeling, seeing as we’ve travelled a lot. Have you visited all the countries where Simon followed Tessa?

Yes I have, except for Greece. I planned to go there last year, but too many things were going on at work, I had to cancel the trip.

  • How much of you and/or your personal experiences influence your characters’ traits and plot development?

All of them. All my books were written to convey my feelings and emotions during certain phases in my life. My entrance into adulthood, my midlife crisis, the acceptance of things in my life as they were.  Eight Goodbyes is centered around something that happened to me. I used that in the book and then embellished it into a story. Many people get annoyed by my characters – the thing is, they are in many aspects, parts of me.

My conclusion is I may be really hard to live with and super irritating. I’m brave enough to admit that I’ve jumped into situations while using only my heart. But I don’t regret a single thing. It makes me, me.

  • Writer’s block! Has it happened to you and if so, what do you do to remedy it?

I definitely have this all the time! But my life is soooo busy, that I have other things to do aside from writing. So, I take a step back, focus on other things and when the words come back, I put them on paper. Because this is more of a side hustle (that doesn’t really make a hustle, LOL), I’m not rushed. The only time I place deadlines on myself is when I need to get it to the editor and to the publisher after I’ve written the entire story.

  • The KFF team are total book cover snobs and would love to know if you had an idea for the cover of Eight Goodbyes, or did you rely on the book cover designer’s suggestions!

No, I had the idea and the concept and I asked my cover creator, Sarah, to put it all together for me. I chose Stuart because he looked exactly like Simon and I used my passport pages for the background in the cover. I had specific ideas about what I wanted to convey. In many ways, this was Simon’s book not Tessa’s.

  • It’s funny you mentioned that because we too felt it was more Simon’s story. And as for Stu, in our minds eye he has his mirror image. So, Christine, what do you do to unwind after writing?

Lay on the couch with the family and watch TV, go for a run or get on a horse.

  • Before we go, we’d love to know if there’s a new project on the horizon.

YES! And thank you for asking. I am in second draft stages for my next book, The Year I Left, which is also being published in the US and Asia in August of 2019. I think you’ll love this one – it’s unconventional and pretty gut wrenching. That’s all I’ll say about this.

What a tease you are! We can’t thank you enough for taking time out to answer our questions, Christine. And ladies; we can’t recommend reading Eight Goodbyes enough but a bit of advice, if you get teary-eyed like us, you’re going to need a man-sized hanky or three at hand!

Thank you so much, KFF, for having me over for this interview! I really enjoyed the questions. Most of all, I so appreciate the time you took to read my book and to promote it on your blog.

Welcome, Christine 💜

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Synopsis:

One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.” –Unknown

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

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 Nook

KFF’s 5 ★ REVIEW

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT 

© 2018 Christine Brae
All rights reserved. 

The sound of the shutting door as Will and Ciela leave the house is music to her ears. Time to sit in silence and savor that one cup of coffee, to revel in the comfort of a hot shower before starting her day.

She looks forward to this on most mornings, when dreams don’t consume her and sleep eventually gets its way. Today, she feels fresh and hopeful. Like every other time she’s decided to start over, begin with a clean slate. As she sits on the fourth step of the winding staircase, her unlikely refuge, she gives herself the luxury of time. For the last two years, since her return from Paris, since her decision to settle down, she has sat on this step – it allows her to look over the expanse of her home, admire the things around her, everywhere a sign of her accomplishment and proof that she had made the right choice.

To the far left of the living room is a massive stone shelf filled with books, trophies and awards. The walls of that area are plastered with movie posters and paintings. Her heart on display, a story all too familiar to her. She smiles as she turns her head towards the family room. What she sees pleases her, makes her heart ache with love. Dolls in pink dresses, a shopping cart filled with plastic groceries and actual packages of food from her pantry.

Work, career, motherhood.

There’s a man’s black leather jacket slung across the armchair in the family room.

Because Love. She has that too. It’s beginning to take the form of a tall, dark and handsome man. One she’d just met the year before. He hadn’t stolen her heart. Someone else did that and ran the hell away with it. And although she’ll never get that heart back, she thinks this new guy might give her a new one.

Who would have thought she would settle down? Find a home, stay in one place? In a forgotten time and in a place far away, she left that life and started over.

Through the tall bay windows, she sees the sun. It’s trying with all its might to break through the clouds. There’s snow everywhere, ten feet of it, and all signs of summer – the grill, the deck chairs, the potted plants – are buried underneath the massive lumps of ice.

The shrill ringing of the phone startles her, causing her to rise to her feet. It’s a strange sound, and because no one ever calls on her landline, it astounds her. She hops down from the staircase and runs into the living room. What is it about phones? You can never find them if your life depends on it. She knows that she’ll eventually stumble upon one of the cordless phones strategically planted around the house. She remembers Ciela using one the other day while playing house.

Ah, here it is, she thinks, as she fishes one of the cordless phones from under the fluffy couch cushions in the family room. She’s too late, the call goes to voicemail. It’s a 617 area code,

Boston.

She can’t think of any association with that city. At least not for the past few years. It must be another insistent telemarketer.

She has no business thinking about Boston. Or who used to be there. Or what that meant to her at a time in her life when all she wants is to move forward.

TRAILER

Meet Christine

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. Her second book, His Wounded Light was released in December, 2013.

Christine’s third book, Insipid, is a standalone that was released in June, 2014, and her fourth book, In This Life, released in January 2016.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago.

Christine is represented by Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo Helin Literary Management.

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BLOG TOUR ~ THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES by Aly Martinez

Today we are celebrating the release of the first
book in The Truth Duet by Aly Martinez. The Truth About Lies is now live and part of KindleUnlimited! The second title in the duet, The Truth About Us, will be releasing on September 13th! You can pre-order it from Amazon now.

PURCHASE THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES NOW!

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Truth: From over a thousand miles away, I watched on the screen of my phone as two men murdered my wife. And I was helpless to save her.

Consumed by hate and rage, I spent four years running from my memories.

Until a shattered woman gave me a reason to stop.

Cora lived in a nightmare, but through sheer force of will, she’d turned it into something beautiful. She had a smile that could pierce the darkest soul. And with one glance, she shredded mine.

Lie: I was only there for a fresh start.

Lie: I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

Lie: There was nothing I could do to save her, either.

But that’s the thing about lies—you never know who to believe.

 

AVAILABLE NOW!

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Be sure to follow Aly’s newsletter for news about the duet.

 

★ ★ ★ ★

Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF

Martinez’s an expert in spinning a thrilling tale. If you love angsty reads that get you thinking what the heck is going to happen next, this one’s for you. And as is my usual modus operandi, I didn’t read the blurb. I’m a sucker for surprises and in The Truth About Lies, they abound. Interestingly, I never for one minute expected the setting to be where it is. The author’s descriptive writing took me somewhere so visually impaired, I had a strong urge to jump into my Kindle and start on the repairs! Names. Her story has a lot of characters, goodies and baddies; however, I wasn’t in the least bit confused. Neatly placing them in my head was done in the first few chapters. The title couldn’t have been more fitting, either. When lies become truths and those truths become blurred got me doubting what was reality and what was fantasy, and I loved it. The cover. I know I shouldn’t be influenced by the protagonist’s image on it since nine times out of ten I get it all wrong. It is him through and through, though! Those eyes, and that nonchalant look on his face…don’t be fooled by it. Yep ladies, swoon over him you will!

Meet Cora. Ooh my, she’s between a rock and a hard place, yet her positive attitude made me wonder why I ever complain about trivialities. Nothing is trivial about how Cora lives; in fact, survives. I thought she was too young for the responsibilities bestowed upon her, and by whom you may ask! Not telling, but I will say this individual made me feel uncomfortably nervous. He’s intimidating, puts the fear of God into everyone at his command and even worse, is unstable of mind. And to top the lot, there’s another one where he came from! But she always seemed to be one step ahead of them, until…ahem…less said the better!

Penn. I kid you not ladies! Even though he’s sullen and angry at life, his gorgeously tattooed and sinfully ripped body will melt your panties! Not one to make light conversation, he’s fighting with his emotions, trying to bury a past that haunts and torments him. Alongside Drew, I wondered why they were where they were because from what I was led to believe, Penn could have done much better for himself. Not until nearly the end did some of the pieces of this tricky puzzle start fitting together, making a semblance of sense.

Cora and Penn. When the chemistry can’t be denied, when you’re around someone 24/7 who attracts you like nobody ever has and awakes dormant feelings, what’s the next step? Both of them have their reasons for not wanting to get involved. Apart from trust issues, not getting hurt was another factor. These two have enough baggage to sink a ship and neither have any desire to rock the boat. So, it couldn’t have been anything else other than a slow burn romance. They had so much to learn but after reading the last page, I was left thinking… What. The. Heck has just happened! All this doesn’t mean steaminess is lacking. Ooh, no…there’s enough to get you all hot and bothered!

Martinez has delivered a story overflowing with suspense; great banter, solid character development, secondary included and a cliffy that made me want to carry on reading. I have no doubt I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat in the conclusion, The Truth About Us, coming in the middle of September. Bravo!


Add THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES (The Truth Duet, #1) to Goodreads

Add THE TRUTH ABOUT US (The Truth Duet, #2) to Goodreads

Want to pre-order the next book in the duet?

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT US (The Truth Duet, #2)

Coming September 13

Pre-order Amazon: U.S | U.K | CA | AUS

Meet Aly

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

 

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THE PERFECT DUET by Meghan Quinn

 

The Left Side Of Perfect is LIVE!

For better or for worse,’til death do us part . .

The better captured me; she’s who stole my heart.

And made me realize I couldn’t live without this woman.

The worse of her took my breath away–kicked me when I was down and twisted me into a million knots.

When I first met her, I thought she was someone I would never see again.

The second time I ran into her, it was a random coincidence.

The third?

I didn’t know it at the time, but she was the girl I was going to marry.

But life isn’t always perfect. You have to take the better and the worse–even if it means giving her up, having her slip between your fingers, and letting her walk away.

I’m getting married.

This is forever, ’til death do us part.

AMAZON: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

★ ★ ★ ★

Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KFF

Just a heads up to those who haven’t read the author’s previous duet. I recommend that you read The Upside of Falling and The Downside of Love to give you a full background of the main characters in this story.

This friends-to-lovers romantic tale features Colby Brooks and the two women who came into his life. The first one is a mutual friend from a previous relationship and the second woman he bumps into by accident and gradually falls in love with her. I must admit I always had a soft spot for Colby in the previous duet and I was hoping he will get his own story someday. Well, my wish was granted, thank you very much, Ms. Quinn.

In this well-written narrative the author provides the readers an extensive backstory of Colby’s friend and her nondescript and mildly irritating presence in the previous books makes you realise there is more depth to her than how she was portrayed before. Her somewhat insignificant character suddenly metamorphoses into the girl who just might be the right girl for our hero. With Colby’s emotional and moral support she slowly comes into her own. Will she finally appreciate her own self-worth and find her own happy ever after?

I felt that the first part of the book was a bit slow to my liking, but it picks up the pace halfway through. The other woman who comes into Colby’s life is perceived as the perfect match for him; however, I found that their relationship was almost too good to be true. Surely there must be a catch? This first book ends with a cliff-hanger and fortunately for us readers, book two is released the day after because I am dying to find out who Colby is going to end up with. This first instalment is the author’s wicked way of tormenting her readers, but I am very impressed with the way it turned out. If you are one of those readers who didn’t like how the second book in the previous duet ended, you must give this one a try or you will be missing out on Colby’s greatness!
 

The Right Side Of Forever – Release Day 31st August

In sickness and in health, to love and to cherish . . .

It sounds so simple, to love someone unconditionally.

To give them your heart.

So why is she slowly eating away at my soul with every unanswered phone call, every unread text, and every door left unopened?

She said yes, and yet, in order for her to be with me . . . I need to let her go.

AMAZON: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Reviewed by Anna Green on behalf of KFF

Told in different points of view, this friends-to-lovers/love triangle epic romance continues with the couple’s engagement and someone else’s broken heart.

When a reader comes across a hero who is a dashing Air Force pilot, kind, sensitive, great in bed and with a generous heart you have an almost perfect male protagonist that no one in this planet is good enough for him. The author has created a god amongst us mortals that matching Colby with a heroine who not only is insecure but also has a lot of baggage seems inadequate. But this is where I truly admire Ms. Quinn’s skills because her brilliant narrative of the heroine’s backstory certainly turned my head and I ended up rooting for her. I love how the characters in this romantic tale treat each other with respect and maturity. Rory and Stryder also play significant roles in this story and bring closure to the whole messed up saga.

“Just like there is a right side and left side of perfect, there is a right and left side of forever. The left side of forever represents the relationships that come and go in your life but have had an impact on the person you’ve become. The right side of forever provides the relationship that stays with you, the relationship that’s imprinted itself so deep into your bone marrow that you live and breathe for that person.” 

This author successfully entwines the imperfections of the two main characters and creates two wonderful individuals who are the opposite of each other like two puzzle pieces that are a perfect fit, yin and yang. Their previous relationships made them who they are now and although I felt sad and angry on behalf of Colby in the other duet, this second book brings everything into a full circle. When an author’s clever narrative can make you switch sides and cheer for someone who you were not overly impressed with previously, then Ms. Quinn must be a mind-bender or one who has upped her game. I think this is her best work to date. If you loved the first duet then this beautiful love story will tickle your heart and make you swoon for Colby. (4.5 Stars)
 

 

 

Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.

Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.

Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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