by Rowan Helaine
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Dark Comedy)
It’s loathe at first felony for the man with no future and the girl with no past.
Left blind and gruesomely scarred following a horrific accident, former golden boy Grant Harcourt isn’t looking for new friends when a snarky ball of hellfire dives into the back of his chartered car. Scrappy street artist Enola Fothergill is just trying to survive, and she definitely doesn’t need the attention that association with the Harcourt clan could bring. A bungled carjacking sparks a slow-burning passion, but when Nola’s murky former life catches up with her, they’ll both have to decide how far they’re willing to go for love.
Howling At The Moon:
Grant craned his neck to inhale the dry tang of an approaching electrical storm, feeling an unexpected thrill go through him. She didn’t seem like the type to check the weather before doing anything, so there was a strong possibility that if she didn’t head home, the rain would keep her in one place. As embarrassing as it was to admit, she never really left him anyway. If she hadn’t shown up when she did, he would have spent the last four hours before sunrise staring up at the ceiling and thinking about her before he finally fell asleep. “So. How was work?”
“Long,” she said. An instant later, she tipped back her head and let loose with a sonorous howl. The sound carried for a while, across the broad expanse of the lawn before it echoed off the tightly packed cedar hedge at the edge of the property. He could hear the way the sound struck the trunks of the trees and bounced back, barely a whisper on the return.
Grant laughed, genuinely laughed, for the first time he could remember. “What the hell was that?”
She responded with another howl, louder this time, projecting her voice into the sky. Leaning against him, she nudged him with her shoulder. “Go ahead. Try it.”
About the Author:
Born and raised in New England, Rowan is currently leading a semi-nomadic existence in the company of her aggressively affectionate hound dog Filburt and a hardy Finnish sourdough starter. She enjoys solo travel, rescue animals, men, and carbs.
Q&A with the Author
When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Ever since I learned to spell, I was spending my allowance on notebooks and pens and filling them with stories. Since publishing my book, it’s the first time I feel comfortable telling other people I’m a writer, though, and that’s really exciting.
What advice do you have for a new writer?
Just get it out of your head and down on paper (or into the computer). The first draft is probably going to suck, and that’s okay. Don’t worry about fixing everything as you go. That’s what editing is for. Then once you’ve finished and you think it can’t possibly get any better, find at least 3 beta readers. Prepare yourself to disagree with at least sixty percent of their comments. Sit with that for a while, then make your changes. I know everyone on the outside thinks that writing is a solitary endeavor, but allowing for outside perspectives on your work creates a much richer narrative.
What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Character development and world building. I’ve heard it referred to as carrying a movie camera around in your head, and that’s very much how it feels for me. I love bringing readers into my world, and I love adding the little quirks to characters that make them more dimensional. You start to forget they’re not actually real, because they become such a part of you.
What is your favorite part of this story?
My personal favorite part of Brass Tabby (aside from all the delightful dirty stuff) is the first meeting. The adrenaline is high, and you get your first impressions of the two main characters through the other person’s eyes. Who doesn’t love having a bird’s eye view into one of those moments that seems so innocuous on it’s face, but we all know that it will turn out to be one of the pivotal moments in two people’s lives?
Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why?
That’s a tough one, because I feel like a lot of the secondary characters threatened to run away with the scenes. Sure, Nola is a badass survivor comprised of undiluted Zero Fucks Given, and Grant is an emotionally complex human being who has experienced the sudden meteor strike of life-altering trauma, but the people around them were incredibly compelling as well. Cesar is a benevolent mobster. Inez is a sensual, compassionate sex worker. Dodge is an unapologetic dirtbag. That’s a lot of fun to work with.
Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?
Honestly? Nola. I finished the first draft and sent it out for Beta reading, and kept getting the same comment back: Enola seems emotionally closed off. We need to see more of her internal process. This forced me to look at her and realize that while I was writing her as a woman who had experienced sustained, longterm trauma, I was also filtering that through the lens of someone who was a survivor herself. To bring readers into that world, I had to open her up and give them a better understanding of what she was going through on the inside, and what made her so prickly. That was tough for me, since my first instinct is often to self-protect by playing that stuff close to the vest. Ultimately though, that input was invaluable. I think those comments helped me to humanize her. Reading the book now, you get the sense that just because someone looks okay on the outside, that doesn’t mean they’re not carrying around some serious scars on the inside. She and Grant might’ve looked different, but they had a lot more in common than they realized, and that’s a big part of why they work so well together.
Author website: https://www.rowanhelaine.com/
Rowan Helaine will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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