Note: This book is suitable for adults only.
NEW RELEASE and GIVEAWAY
by Jane Harvey-Berrick
Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick has just been released. You can read a Q & A session with the author and enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an ebook copy of Lifers. This release day blitz is brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.
After eight years in prison, twenty-four year old Jordan Kane is the man everyone loves to hate.
Forced to return to his hometown while on parole, Jordan soon learns that this small town hasn’t changed since he was carted off to juvie all those years ago. He is the local pariah, shunned by everyone, including his own parents. But their hatred of him doesn’t even come close to the loathing he feels every time he looks in the mirror.
Working odd jobs for the preacher lady, Jordan bides his time before he can leave this backwards town. But can distance erase the memories that haunt him? Trapped in the prison of his own mind Jordan wonders if the pain of living will ever subside?
Torrey Delaney is new in town and certainly doesn’t behave in a way the locals believe a preacher’s daughter should. Her reputation for casual hook-ups and meaningless sex is the talk of the town. Add that to her budding friendship with the hardened ex-con handyman, and the good Reverend is less than thrilled with her estranged daughter’s path.
As friendship forms, is it possible for two damaged people who are afraid to love take their relationship to the next level? Can Torrey live with Jordan’s demons, and can Jordan break through Torrey’s walls? With the disapproval of a small town weighing heavily on them, will they find their place in the world? Can they struggle against the odds, or will their world be viciously shattered?
Is love a life sentence?
Note: Due to scenes of a sexual nature, not recommended for under 18.
Q & A With the Author
Sarah Tree: What made you start writing in the first place?
Jane Harvey-Berrick: I’ve always written. But I started writing fanfiction and then someone told me I should write my own books. That’s where I started.
Sheena Lumsden: How did you feel when your first book went live on Amazon?
J H-B: Nervous. Excited. Like standing on a cliff and wondering if you were going to fly or fall.
Sheena Lumsden: What inspires you to write and when did you start to write?
J H-B: Everything inspires me: places, people, conversations, things I see, just my own imagination.
Sheena Lumsden: Do you put parts of your own personality into your characters?
J H-B: Yes. But I’m not going to tell you which! LOL
Sheena Lumsden: How long does it take you to write a book and send it to publish?
J H-B: The longest I’ve taken to write a book is two years - Dazzled, but I wasn’t writing all the time. Usually it’s about 4-6 weeks for a first draft. But that’s total absorption, seven days a week, to the point where my husband complains he’s forgotten what I look like. Then, I guess 2-3 months for second draft, editing, cover (by the very wonderful Hang Le), and formatting.
Sheena Lumsden: Do you have a favorite book?
Sheena Lumsden:What author inspires you?
J H-B: See above. Her dialogue was razor sharp. I also loved the Fifty Shades stories, even though it seems popular to slate them now. Forget all the BDSM stuff – it’s about being redeemed by love. What’s not to like?
Sheena Lumsden: Apart from writing what other activities do you enjoy doing?
J H-B: Walking my dog, swimming, body boarding (but only in good weather these days), ogling surfers changing in the car park.
Sheena Lumsden: Out of all your characters in your books, who would you like to go out with on a date (male only)?
J H-B: OMG! Seb could take me surfing, Daniel could sing to me, Miles could take me to a movie premiere … and Hallen could take me right here and now : ) Oooh, mustn’t forget Jordan - I’d like to give him a big hug, but I expect Torrey would wrestle me off him!
Sarah Tree: Who’re your favorite three authors?
J H-B: In contemporary romance, A. Meredith Walters, Devon Hartford, J. D. Nixon … Hmmm, after that, well, just loads!
Sarah Tree: How do you think up such great characters to write about?
J H-B: Thank you! I’m not sure I can answer that. The plot usually comes rushing in with fully formed characters. They develop as I write but they just seem to land in my brain.
Sarah Tree: The male and female ones? Lol The male ones are always HOT too!! hehehe
J H-B: It’s so much fun writing about hot guys. Wish fulfillment, I expect. But I like adding little titbits of humor, too. I like writing about relationships that challenge the norm. Someone told me that all my books are about second chances. I hadn’t realized that, but I think it’s true.
Showdog Fanfiction: Who inspired Sebastian? Can I have his number?
J H-B: I live by the ocean and there are a lot of hot surfers. I didn’t realize how taboo the story would be to some people. But yes, there is a certain green-eyed beautiful guy who looks quite a lot like Seb. I’ll PM you with his number ; )
Showdog Fanfiction: Do you give sex scenes a trial run to test logistics before you write them?
J H-B: Of course!
Showdog Fanfiction: Do your family/friends know you write and have they read your books?
J H-B: My husband hasn’t read any of my books. My mother has. Some of my friends say they can’t because they KNOW me. I remind them … it’s f-i-c-t-i-o-n, but then again, there is a lil bit of me in every story …
Showdog Fanfiction: Is there anyone who you don't tell (and why)?
J H-B: Most people in the village where I live think I’m just that person who walks her dog every day. They have no clue what I do. Only my close friends know what I do. It’s more interesting to be the person who lurks. I’m good at lurking.
Showdog Fanfiction: Do you write full time or do you have another job?
J H-B: I have the best job in the world – I write full time, and have done for a year now.
Showdog Fanfiction: What did you use to do?
J H-B: I worked for a sexual health charity, an art gallery, and I trained as a high school teacher. I used to run a drama group for kids, but that was for fun.
Showdog Fanfiction: Tell me about your screenwriting - have you written anything we might have seen?
J H-B: Nothing for screen yet (although I’ve got several scripts for movies and TV knocking around), but I have a play that will be touring the UK later on this summer. It’s a serious story about an ex-soldier suffering from PTSD. I’ll have more details soon.
Showdog Fanfiction: Who or what inspires you?
J H-B: Readers. Their feedback is more important than they realize. Also, I was in London for the veterans' Remembrance Day parade last November. I met a lot of soldiers and ex-soldiers. Their stories were incredibly inspiring.
Showdog Fanfiction: What is your biggest ambition as a writer?
J H-B: To always feel like I’ve written to my best ability and that each book brings something different. Oh yeah, and to have one turned into a cooool movie!
Showdog Fanfiction: What are you working on right now?
J H-B: At Your Beck & Call. It’s about a male escort – I’m at second draft stage.
Showdog Fanfiction: Who is your favorite character you’ve created?
J H-B: Great question! Impossible to answer. It’s usually the one I’m working on, but then I go back and re-read my books and fall in love with those characters again. It sounds ridiculous, but they’re family. I can’t choose one. Can’t. I’m very fond of ‘Hulk’ in Lifers even though he only has a minor role.
Showdog Fanfiction: What scenes are you most excited about seeing come to life in the movie of Fifty Shades of Grey?
J H-B: Ooh, another great question. Well, the first time Ana sees Christian. I want that gut-churning feeling. And I’ll be very curious to see how they deal with the first sex scene. I want to see Christian prowl. I want to see the predator in him, as well as the lover. Oh yeah!
Lisa J. Ashmore: I'm aware that you are a British novelist but most of your books are in an American voice. Was that difficult and how did you overcome it?
J H-B: Surprisingly it wasn’t difficult, although I still include Britishisms without realizing it. My fabulous beta reader ruthlessly cuts them out!
Lisa J. Ashmore: When I’m reading your novels I find that you are so descriptive in your locale that I feel like I’m really there. Have you actually traveled to all these places?
J H-B: I spent two months living in Minnesota when I was 21, but no – most of the places I haven’t visited. That’s where the research comes in. Someone asked me if I’d been a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan because of the way I’d written that section in The Education of Caroline. I was VERY proud of that.
Lisa J. Ashmore: I see on the social networks how readers see Sebastian and Daniel. I would love to know how you picture them. Have you worked from a muse, and if so, give me pictures please!
J H-B: HA HA HA! I’ve seen a lot of pics that readers have put together and some come VERY close. But no, I don’t have a muse. It’s all in my head. Is that scary?
Shirley Wilkinson: Are you prophetic? On re-reading the prologue of Exposure, and the story that follows it, that question has popped into my mind. Your story seems so up-to-date with all the current news we are reading.
J H-B: Exposure is a thriller. I wrote it when the gold markets were going crazy and the American debt was up to $13 trillion. But the whole of the first chapter was a REAL conversation that I overheard on a train. Told you I lurked! I have no supernatural powers that I know of - except for lurking (see above).
Shirley Wilkinson: Do you find your non-English main male characters easier to write for?
J H-B: If I throw in a Britishism, my beta will find it. It hasn’t made much difference, I don’t think. Miles and Clare are English, Hallen (At Your Beck & Call) is Canadian, Jordan is from Texas, Torrey is from Boston and Seb is from San Diego. It’s the character that’s important, but I need to find their ‘voice’, too.
Shirley Wilkinson: If you could make one of your books available as a talking book, which one would choose? And who would you like as the reader? That's two questions, I know:-).
J H-B: Oooh! Good questions! Either Dazzled or Lifers because they’ve both got two narrators and I think that would be really good to listen to. For Dazzled it would have to be Rob Pattinson (well, why not?!) and Martine McCutcheon; for Lifers, Tatum Channing or Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson.
Dina Farndon Eidinger: Do you HEAR the characters in your head when writing?
J H-B: Yes. When I’m out walking, a piece of dialogue pops into my mind. I always carry a notebook because there’s nothing worse than forgetting a great line!
Dina Farndon Eidinger: Do you let them guide the story, or do you write how you WANT it to happen?
J H-B: Mostly I have the plot worked out, but sometimes the characters kick my ass and tell me to do it THEIR way.
J H-B: I’d never written adult fiction and Fifty Shades of Grey inspired me. Then one of the fanfic readers told me I should write some original stories - so I did. Fanfic is great training for a writer. People can be very snooty about it, but there are some brilliant writers on there.
Dina Farndon Eidinger: Do you meet people and discover a CHARACTER in them?
J H-B: Not usually a whole person, but I do take certain characteristics from them. Several friends have ended up in my books. And my outlaws - I mean in-laws! They just don’t know it : )
Dina Farndon Eidinger: If one of your books could be a movie, which one would you pick and why?
J H-B: Dangerous to Know & Love because it covers a subject that doesn’t get mentioned much.
Dina Farndon Eidinger: When writing some of the more difficult scenes, do you get as emotional as we do when we read it? For example, Seb’s scene when he got hurt?
J H-B: Definitely. I typed through tears on several occasions in that section, and again recently for a scene toward the end of At Your Beck & Call. The characters become very real to me.
Dina Farndon Eidinger: Do you get nervous or anxious right before one of your books release?
J H-B: Hell, yeah! My friends get tired of talking me down from the ledge.
Dina Farndon Eidinger: Does it bother you if you get a negative review?
J H-B: I’d love to say no, but that’s a big fat lie. Yet another ledge my friends have to talk me down from. You put your heart and soul into these stories and then c-r-a-s-h. It’s hard. It must be worse if you’re an actor, because it’s not just your work, but your face and voice, too.
Dina Farndon Eidinger: What has surprised you and upset you the most about your success so far?
J H-B: I like that you think I’m successful! I guess the biggest surprise is that really is an international experience. I get messages from all over the world, which is amazing. I get upset when people do mean stuff, like give me a one-star review, even before my book has been published and I know for a fact that they haven’t read it. Why would anyone do that? I don’t understand.
Cori Pitts: What made you decide to go with independent publishing?
J H-B: Ebooks have made it possible. Traditional publishing can’t compete with the fast turn-around of ebooks. Plus, I love, LOVE being able to be involved with the cover design, web design etc. With a publisher, I’d be a lot less involved. Shame, isn’t it?
Cori Pitts: How long did you write before you were first published?
J H-B: Well, I wrote a lot of marketing copy in previous jobs, and literacy guides for teachers, too. But then I went straight from fanfic to ebooks. If I was waiting for a traditional publisher, I’d still be waiting.
Cori Pitts: What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?
J H-B: Write every day. And fanfic is a great place to do your practice - plus you get really fast feedback on scenes/plots/dialogue that works.
Dorota Wróbel: Those familiar with your Fifty Shades of Grey fanfiction know that you are very capable (better even than E. L. James I'd say) of writing a great story of the billionaire-in-the-making (including the ‘behind the scenes’ of making his fortune – something totally overlooked and almost never mentioned in the romance/erotica books) – yet your original characters are usually sort of ‘your neighbourly every day’ persons (at least on the surface). Have you ever thought of writing your own story about a ‘flamboyant’ character such as a billionaire, an artist or maybe an eccentric aristocrat?
J H-B: Never say never, but so far that’s not the storyline that’s inspired me. Besides, E. L. James, Raine Miller, and Sylvia Day have done that so well, I’m not sure I’d have anything to add. But maybe … one day! Oh, and the book I’m working on now At Your Beck & Call, the main character, Hallen, is an inspiring artist as well as an escort.
From the Author
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to write. Perhaps it was growing up in a village well known for its mystery and folklore, which sparked my imagination as a child. I started writing contemporary romance two years ago. Before that, I didn’t think I could write a sex scene. Turns out I can! I enjoy writing in several different genres, and I've just published my first romantic comedy, Dazzled.
All my books have a little me in them, and I'm inspired by the personal stories of those around me. It's often from a simple discussion overheard in the train (Exposure), in a café, or in the street, where ideas for characters or scenes come to me.
I fell in love with both Sam (The New Samurai) and the eponymous Sebastian in The Education of Sebastian and the sequel The Education of Caroline, and missed them desperately once I'd finished their stories. I love writing dialogue and always try to include touches of humour in the most poignant stories.
Whether you like adult romance novels, new or young adult writing, thrillers, or fantasy, I hope you'll enjoy the journey through my stories. Writing is my love, my hobby, my total addiction. All my characters are important to me and whisper their stories, even when I’ve finished writing their books. That’s why you’ll often find bonus chapters/out-takes from various books, because those voices just won’t be quiet.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Lifers by Jane Harvey-Berrick.