Friday, November 4, 2011
Giveaway -- With Good Behavior By Jennifer Lane
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Former U.S. Navy Lieutenant, Grant Masden was just released from prison on a three year sentence for a robbery he had been forced to commit by his Mafia family. Former psychologist, Sophie Taylor was just released after serving time for a crime her client/lover had committed and then left her unknowingly holding the bag. Both ex-cons were victims of poor judgment and the harsh reality of a dysfunctional family. It seems only right they should meet outside of their parole officer’s door and feel a connection. The life of a convicted felon is not easy and starting over from scratch, Grant and Sophie need someone to help them over the rough patches, but the people who originally caused their downfalls aren’t through with them yet. Their families are not about to make things easy on the couple and it will take everything Grant and Sophie can muster to keep from returning to the prisons they just left behind.
With Good Behavior is not my usual fare, I'll admit, but as a fan of good writing in any medium or genre, I'm glad I decided to give this book a go. Grant and Sophie had both come up short when fate was handing out destinies. They had rotten luck, (Grant more than Sophie, she mainly had daddy issues). What was so magnetic and so very unique about this book, was the characters could have been people you see every day. They were very fallible, with good qualities and bad. Sophie and Grant were real flawed human beings faced with extraordinarily bad circumstances, and who are trying to live as normal a life as possible. Kudos to Jennifer Lane for being able to bring such wonderful characters to life as well as she did. The writing was superbly done and the book held my interest from start to finish. She had my heartbreaking for Grant before the end of the first chapter. I just wanted to wrap him up, take him home and feed him soup and cookies. (yes, damaged heroes get to me) His circumstances were sooooo tragic and he just wanted to hold on to what was left of his dignity and honor. Soooo sad!!
Every character in With Good Behavior was so multidimensional, from the main characters to the lowliest villain, they all had shades of grey. It made it very difficult for the most part (except in one instance) to outright hate anyone. Even though the book has some very dark threads, their are some great passages that will make you laugh out loud, some passages that will have you going "Awwww", and some that will make your eye twitch with frustration. The story arc is just as layered as the characters, and it was all nicely stitched together in a seamless very enjoyable book. The next book Bad Behavior continues the wonderful story of McSailor and Sophie and their fight to remain on the outside. It is definitely on my "must read" list. I'm just not ready to say good bye to these characters yet.
Interview With Author Jennifer Lane
Please welcome author Jennifer Lane, who has kindly agreed to talk about her work and herself and to share part of what makes her characters so special.
First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you for having me to your blog! I’m a 40 year old psychologist writing under the name Jennifer Lane. I work in a group practice in Ohio. One reason I love my job is my absolute fascination with people – an interest that has also led me to writing. I’ve never been married but I am somewhat a romantic at heart. maybe I’ll marry when I’m 50.
Terrific book and so not what I normally read, but the concept intrigued me and I got this little niggle inside my head that said read this. (I always listen to the little niggle) What was your inspiration for the book?
Thanks so much! I’m always thrilled when readers enjoyed the story, especially readers who don’t typically read romantic suspense. That’s awesome that you listen to your niggle, or what I call your “wise mind”. It’s always right! A big inspiration for this book is the television show Prison Break --- specifically Wentworth Miller. Not many know this actor but I totally swoon over him! The Sopranos and the movie Sherrybaby also inspired me, as well as watching psychotherapy clients work toward healing and redemption. How do we recover from hitting bottom? It would be my worst nightmare to land in prison and I was so intrigued about crawling back to dignity after such a traumatic experience.
Oh, I think Wentworth has more fans than you give him credit for. He has had quite a few starring roles in my dreams. I could soooo see him as McSailor.
The characters just speak to me. I knew half of them and am related to a few. How did they come about? Composite or totally muse given?
I hope you’re not related to foul mouthed ship captain Rog, ha ha. He would be “interesting” to see at family reunions! These characters are a mix of me, friends (both real life and online) and my random imagination. Of course Sophie the psychologist comes closest to my voice but she’s different from me in many ways too. I have a wonderful father and for some reason I write stories about bastard fathers. Anyone want to psychoanalyze that for me?
The fact the main characters, while fundamentally good people, had been through some morally difficult times, is so different. Did this make you nervous at all? Romance readers can be a finicky demanding bunch at times.
I really had no idea what I was getting into when I started writing this story. I had a vague notion I’d like to publish it but that was a pipe dream at the time. I wrote the story for me --- what interests and intrigues me --- more than a particular audience. I didn't even know it’d fit the romantic suspense genre until I queried agents! Mostly I wanted my characters to be real, and all of us have done things we regret. We’re all complex, multi-layered individuals. It was fun to explore two characters with sound integrity who went to prison for egregious mistakes. How do you bounce back from that?
So you come up with the idea for a new book…..what is your typical routine?
Formerly I wrote a chapter at a time and posted it online for friends to read. I was addicted to writing at one point finishing a 212K word story in 6 months! Getting published shot my routine to hell, because now marketing and editing my novels have cut into my writing time. But I love interacting with readers and writers, so it’s all good. I like to start from an outline and then see where each chapter takes me. I do write in sequence, and finish a 3 – 4,000 word chapter in a weekend if I focus.
Would you like to spill a little about future works?
I’m totally stoked about my first Young Adult novel slated for release in March 2012. Against the Tide is a military murder mystery involving my beloved sport of competitive swimming. I was a swimmer in college and the sport has gifts that I want to share with others. One of my friends from England read the story and from running to swimming for her exercise of choice.
I’m also working on book #3 of The Conduct series, titled On Best Behavior. I’m about 25% done with the first draft.
What character gave you the most problems and why?
Tough question! Once I create back-stories for my characters, we get along pretty well (even the morally depraved ones). I guess I’d say toughest character to write was Logan Barberi. His story arc made me sad and I hesitated in carrying it through.
Yeah, that was painful to read. I thought he might have been redeemable, although for the life of me I couldn’t see how.
What’s in your TBR?
I think the better question is “What ISN’T in your TBR?” Surprisingly I haven’t read much romantic suspense so I’m having a blast catching up on great series by Pamela Clare and Suzanne Brockman. I just started the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. And book club selections this month are Annabel and Sarah’s Key.
Ooooo, some good ones in there.
**** Rapid Fires ****
1. Favorite food? Warm chocolate chip cookies
2. Favorite mixed drink? Margarita
3. Stilettos or sneakers? Sneakers for sure!
4. Angels or vampires? An angelic vampire? I’m torn.
5. Tigers or Unicorns? Tigers, I root for the Cincinnati Bengals
6. Three things you would take to a deserted island? 1) a kind, intelligent, funny man or woman 2) paper 3) writing utensils
7. Three people (living or dead, real or fictional) that you would like to have over for dinner?
1. Jesus or Budda
2. Trudi Ederle (she set the world record for swimming across the English Channel)
3. Alfred Adler (famous psychologist)
And the MOST important question I ever ask anyone……..
DUKE or carolina ?
I don’t have strong feelings for either, but I’m curious what will happen if I say carolina ? Will you trash my novel? Ha ha!
An Iron Duke is always honorable and truthful, so of course I hope I did your work justice. Thank you for your patience and willingness to divulge a few of your secrets. Please come back and I am looking forward to jumping into Bad Behavior. (pun intended)
To find out more about Jennifer lane and her books, please follow the links below.
For a chance to win an e-book copy of With Good Behavior, comment on the review/interview and tell me who stars in your nightly dreams. Make sure you leave your e-mail addy.