Sunday, July 21, 2013

GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW & Toni's Review of No Strings Attached by Kate Angell ***5 Stars***

I would like to thank Kate Angell for taking the time to answer a few questions about her series and herself.

What was the inspiration for the beach town of Barefoot William? You've set most of your books in Florida; what’s the special appeal of the Sunshine State?

I went to college at North Dakota State University. After experiencing four years of freezing-cold winters, I gravitated to warmer weather. Florida appealed to me and I've lived on the Gulf Coast for several decades now. I appreciate the sunshine, the beach, and the freedom to wear flip-flops, tank tops and shorts. I'm not a person who likes to layer on clothes during the winter; the less, the better.

Sophie is an unusual character for you, because she’s shy, virginal, and a serious klutz.   Was it more difficult to write her story? 

Sophie Saunders was the first character I've written who was sweet, shy, and afraid of her own shadow. I had a very good friend when I was growing up, who was very much like Sophie. I wanted to portray a heroine who gains confidence and makes real friends for the first time in her life. She finds she's worthy of love and embraces life whole-heartedly.

You've written Dune Cates as a wounded hero.  

Dune is a professional beach volleyball player who suffered a scaphoid fracture during a tournament. He has tendinitis which could prove career-ending. Athletes want to leave their sports on their own terms, so Dune has a major decision to make as the book progresses.

Did you always want to be an author?

I had encouragement to write early in my life. My English teachers in high school and Creative Writing professor in college nudged me toward Journalism. I never wanted to write for a newspaper or magazine, I wanted to write fiction because I wanted to tell stories; stories with heart, love and a happy ending. I wrote books for twenty years in every genre until I discovered my voice in contemporary romance. I kept a scrapbook of rejection letters. That one scrapbook burst into two! I never gave up. I eventually found an editor in Alicia Condon who liked my work. I am grateful to her to this day.

Tell us about your writing process. 

I like to write in the mornings often before the sun is up. At the onset of any story, I need a title. A title anchors my book. I also like to have the names of the primary characters in place. The setting is important too. 

Once seated before the computer, sipping my coffee, and with a little luck, my characters start talking to me. I don't do an outline or synopsis, I let the story flow. It feels the most organic that way. Some days my characters are very talkative, other days I have to bribe them with chocolate. Some authors keep notebooks on their desks to jot down important points, I use stacks of paper plates. A bit odd, perhaps, but it works for me. 

I'm a slow writer. I'm happy producing four or five pages a day. I finalize each chapter before moving on to the next, and it takes six months to type The End. When the book is completed I give it one last read, and then send it to my editor. I never mind revisions, my words aren't set in stone.


Thanks again Kate and thanks for such a fun series!!

 


Balmy ocean breezes. . .sweet coconut oil. . .glistening tanned bodies. There's no better place for romantic sparks to fly than at the beach.

As a professional volleyball player, Dune Cates attracts scores of pretty women who flock to his side. But only one has managed to get under his skin--Sophie Saunders. Unlike the skimpily-clad beach groupies, Sophie marches to a beat all her own. And though she's afraid of the surf, burns in the sun, has two left feet, that doesn't stop her from trying every daring sport available on the boardwalk. Dune knows Sophie spells trouble, and he should keep his distance, especially since he's a no-strings-attached kind of guy. But he can't ignore an overwhelming instinct to protect her. And with the promise of ice cream sandwiches, merry-go-round rides and dreamy sunsets, it's only a matter of time before Dune gives in to the temptation of Sophie's soft lips.


Love is always sweeter in the summer.

********************************

No Strings Attached warmed my soul, mind and heart.  Such a perfect sweet read. 

I’m going to put this out first thing; No Strings Attached is very heartwarming and tender.  There is no action, angst, love triangles, back stabbing, and mystery.  There aren’t even explicit sex scenes in the novel, but lovely touching ones.  This book is sweet, light hearted and a nice change of pace.  If you only read books with any of the above, you will likely not like No Strings Attached.  But if you want something that you can enjoy with fun loving characters, budding romance, lighthearted monologue and the beautiful setting of the Florida gulf coast than this book is for you.  Now that that has been said…

Sofie has loved Dune for almost two decades.  From the moment he saved her, he had her heart; even if she was only seven years old.  Years later, even after she found out he was from the enemy camp, she continued to watch him grow into the man he is today.  Unfortunately, after a few weeks of fun with him last summer, he left Barefoot William without even saying goodbye; leaving Sofie behind with a broken heart. 

Well it’s summer time again and she has a mission to start living.  She may have lived a sheltered life for her first 25 years, but now she is going to try new things and discover what makes Sofie tick.

Dune has had two things on his mind this last year.  Upfront it is his career.  He is still working out an injury that may ruin his pro volleyball career and then in the back of his mind is a sweet, shy woman that burrowed into his heart.  From the moment he met Sofie he has wanted to cosset and watch over her.  His body may want more, but with their age difference he won’t listen to it. 

Now he is back in town and Sofie Saunders is going to be the death of him.  Why is the quiet, timid, klutzy Sofie taking on uni-cycling and stilt walking?  The woman can barely talk in bare feet, let alone stay balanced feet off the ground.  Looks like Dune will be looking after her while he is in town.

Their friendship is rekindled and things start to heat up.  Can these two totally different people find happiness when one has only eyes for him and he only wants a relationship that has no strings attached?

For me this was simply divine.  I fell in love with Sofie in the first book, No Tan Lines, and she solidified her place in my heart with this book.  This woman is kindness, love and forgiveness all wrapped into a gentle soul that shines as bright as the sun.  She may have been alone growing up, but the woman is a beacon and people are drawn to her now.  It’s inevitable that Dune couldn’t fight his attraction.  She is just perfect.

Dune is just as darn cute.  Here is a man that has been surrounded by fame and fortune, countless beach bunnies and the iconic life of a professional athlete.  He has retained his small town charm and his heart and soul will always be in Barefoot William.  I’m so glad that he didn’t fight his brain for the placement of Sofie in his life.  He knew what he had and he grabbed onto her with both hands and followed his heart.  What a lovely beautiful man.

I enjoy Ms. Angell’s style of writing in this series.  It’s a different style and may not appease the masses.  Just like the last book in this series, it wasn’t just about this one couple.  She added in another in the shadows and made the adventure even more exciting.  I enjoyed the second couple as much as the main one.  She included all the characters POV, four in total.  This can bother some people, but I didn’t have a problem with it one bit.


Barefoot William residents are also a joy to visit.  This community will draw you in and make you one of their own.  The warm feelings I get from this book is so wonderful.  This is not my normal reading genre, but one that I enjoy visiting once in a while.  I’m glad I ventured here.  Ms. Angell did a wonderful job and I can only hope that it won’t be a year until the next installment.  


See how it all started...



BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

Kensington is giving away the first book in the series, No Tan Lines.


By entering the giveaway you are agreeing to the terms outlined in the Rafflecopter widget.

Open to US / Canada only!

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4 comments:

Toni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
krazymama_98 said...

I have read and liked Kate before. Thanks for the chance at this one. I love her style. :-)
lisakhutson(at)cox{net}

Chrisbails said...

I like the sound of both books. Definitely adding to must read list. Thanks for the chance to win.
christinebails at yahoo dot com

Maureen said...

I enjoy going all different places but the beach is my favorite.