Don’t Forget to Breathe ~ Review & Interview

Don't Forget to Breathe

Blurb

For most, breathing is second nature, automatic, instinctive. But for Jules Greene, a daily reminder is unfortunately necessary.

Why, you ask?

For starters, her highly dysfunctional family taught her at a young age that an excessively large bank account, and a high ranking role in Atlanta society, makes everyone either completely unsuspecting of a family’s deep, dark secrets, or they just don’t give a damn.

Secondly, when you work hard your entire life toward a certain goal, only to have your hopes and dreams smashed to bits the very first time you dare to put yourself out there…well, Jules knows firsthand that a blow like that to the ego will definitely leave you gasping for air.

And third, Jules happens to be madly, hopelessly, unrequitedly in love with her boss, whose devastatingly good looks and hidden charm manage to leave her breathless on a daily basis.

So, there you have it.

But now at twenty-four, Jules is tired of everything being one-sided. She’s tired of being scared, and she’s tired of living and doing everything for everyone else. Jules is finally ready to take a stand, but is she willing to lose everything she loves, everything she’s ever known, to finally start living her life on her own terms?

The answer is yes. She most certainly is.

Interview

1. What do you enjoy most about writing? – Hmmm…there are so many things to love about writing, but I think the most enjoyable part for me is the escape it provides. I appreciate the occasional break from reality, the opportunity to see the world through different eyes. I think it helps make me stronger, more compassionate and it always feels good to work my imagination in any way that I can.

2. What do you struggle with most in the writing process? – I’m too much of an over-thinker, especially when it comes to dialogue. I feel like I over-analyze dialogue to a point where I’m probably ruining it in a lot of cases. Conversation is everything to me in books that I personally read, so I find myself making a huge fuss over it when I write. I’m also a very disorganized writer – no outline and I write things as they come to me, so the end of the process is kind of an undertaking, trying to piece everything together. Efficiency is definitely not my strong suit.

3. With this being your second book, did you find the whole process easier this time? – Maybe not easier, but definitely different. I wrote my second book while going through a somewhat difficult time in my life. This book was harder to write than the first, but a lot more cathartic, so I enjoyed it more in some ways. I did hope publishing the second book would be easier, since I had already been through a lot of the typical ups and downs with the first. But I can see now anxiety will always be a part of this process, mostly because there’s a bit of my heart and soul in every story. And sharing those small, albeit very vulnerable parts of yourself is no easy business.

4. Do you have a particular author(s) that influences your writing? – I am a VORACIOUS reader, and I will read most anything. So, even though I write romance novels, I feel like I pull from all sorts of influences. But most of my favorites are definitely love stories, always a sucker for the “happily ever afters”. A sweet, Southern girl at heart, I appreciate the innocence and chivalry you find in a lot of 19th century love stories. Give me Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, and I’m in heaven. I’m also really drawn to authors with good wit and intellect. Jessica Park is the first person that comes to mind. I think she’s brilliant. And of course I’m not afraid to admit I do enjoy the steamy romance novel on occasion, my latest obsession being Remy from the “Real” series by Katy Evans. Yummm!

5. Who are a few of your favorite authors? – Oh dear. This is like trying to choose a favorite kid! Okay, so besides the ones I mentioned above, I also enjoy fantasy stories quite a bit – authors like J.K. Rowling, Brandon Mull, Christopher Paolini, Becca Fitzpatrick, Richelle Mead, Maggie Stiefvater and Cassandra Clare, to name a few. As for other romance writers, there are too many to choose from, but I like Nicholas Sparks, Abbi Glines, Jennifer Weiner, Shelly Crane, Colleen Hoover, Gina Maxwell, Lauren Blakely, Sawyer Bennett, Heidi McLaughlin and the list could go on and on and on and on…..

6.Do you have a set schedule you follow when writing? – Again, I’m definitely not the most efficient writer. Plus, I can’t really stick to any kind of schedule because I don’t write full time. I have to get it in when I can, which is typically at night, when the house it quiet and I can find a private corner somewhere. When I start a story, it is almost always one particular scene that I get down first and then the rest of the story kind of forms around it. Basically, my writing schedule and style are totally chaotic like most everything else in my life it seems, so I guess it makes perfect sense. It’s chaos, but it’s my own special brand of chaos, and I’m not sure I’d enjoy it any other way.

7.What do you like to do when you’re not writing? – I love to read, read and read some more. I like all sorts of crafts, but my ADD usually kicks in, making my house feel like one big, unfinished Pintrest project. I love anything having to do with music and theater – going to concerts, seeing plays or even going dancing. And I also love to crochet. My mom taught me when I was young, and as I’ve gotten older, I find it very relaxing and therapeutic. Wow. So, in summation, I like to read, do crafts, listen to music and crochet. Yeah. Officially negative on the scale of zero to cool.

8. Do you have a specific social media outlet where you like to connect with fans? – Continuing with the whole “not cool” thing…I have to admit I find social media to be kind of overwhelming at times. As if the crocheting mention wasn’t enough, right? Just go ahead and make me a reservation at the nursing home now. I know. But on a serious note, overwhelming or not, I will happily talk to my fans in any way that I can. Chatting with people who have read and connected with my stories somehow is one of the most humbling things I’ve ever experienced. So Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, email, whatever your flavor, just bring it on. My door is always open.

9. Do you have any advice for someone thinking about tackling their first book? – That’s simple. Write. Just write. Don’t think about it, especially not at first. Just get it out. And be honest. Even though it may be tough, try not to hold back just to please others. It’s a given that not everyone will like what you have to say, but you can’t let that scare you. Believe in yourself and believe in your story. That’s all you need.

10. What can we expect next? – I had so much fun with my first book, “You Never Know”, that I’ve decided to make a stand alone series out of it. The next installment in the series will be out early 2014 and will be another fangirl adventure, this time following one of my favorite characters, Rose. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m pretty passionate about my fangirling, so I couldn’t be more excited to delve back into this world. I’ll be releasing more information soon, so please stay tuned!

Melinda, I’m right there with you. Reading and crafts – that’s about as exciting as my life is, too. Thanks so much for the interview!!


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My ****4 Star**** Review

Reading the opening pages of this story, I really wondered if I was going to like it. Jules seemed to have a lot of animosity, and it was a little annoying. BUT, that seemed to quickly fade, and I even made a little note to myself when I hit page 62 that the story had become rather intriguing. Then I found myself laughing – a lot. Jules’s internal dialogue went from whiny to hilarious.
As for Andrew, well he was just the perfect guy, but he had one serious issue. He knew how he was handling things wasn’t okay. I think it was taken just a bit far for my liking, and Jules had a huge problem with it, too. Other than that, he was so incredibly sweet, and I couldn’t help but turn to mush alongside Jules. On the flipside, Melinda did a great job with the evil characters, too. This all built up a great conflict! I enjoyed that the conflict was more than just a situation between Jules and Andrew, too.
With the fast pace, fun characters, and intense conflict, this was a great read. I really connected with this one. I recommend this to all you contemporary romance lovers. I personally look forward to reading more from Melinda! ****4 Stars****
Warning: Contains strong language and sexual content ~ not appropriate for minors.
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

About the Author ~ Melinda Harris

Melinda Harris
Melinda Harris is an aspiring author, currently residing in the great state of Georgia with her family. When she’s not writing, she likes to spend rainy nights with her nose in a good book and sunny days on a playground chasing her son. And most anytime – rain or shine – she can be found engaging in her favorite pastime, which of course is eating ice cream…lots and lots of ice cream.

http://www.melindaharrisauthor.com

http://www.goodreads.com/MelHarris

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twitter.com/MelHarrisAuthor

Happy Reading,

Alison

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