Thursday, May 29, 2014

"Anything For Love" by Darry Fraser

Anything For Love
by Darry Fraser

Anything For Love is currently on tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Tilla is the managing director of a temping staff agency who finds herself enmeshed in Kent Taylor’s business world, which includes an IT takeover. When she decides to work in his office as one of his temporary staff members they clash, so she keeps her identity to herself. When they both decide to take a break from their crazy business lives, they have no clue it’s at the same place, in the same house and at the same time, on the isolated north west coast of rugged Australis Island
She tells herself she can’t bear to be near him one moment longer ... until they find a way to be together. But when he has to suddenly leave their hideaway and doesn’t give her a backward glance, she realises she shouldn’t have done just anything for love.

Her dream was a loud one. There was stumbling and cursing, unlike any of her dreams before, but she was reluctant to come awake ... too tired.  She tossed and moaned her protest, but when she heard the crash of a dozen bottles of wine she bolted upright, wide awake, heart hammering and her throat suddenly constricted.
She clutched the bed-clothes to her chin, gulped in great breaths of air. Tried to shake herself fully awake.
The cursing and snarling continued, the bottles crashing and clanging on the slate floor.
Terror struck her very soul.
There was a drunk in her little haven.
Oh no, oh no ...
She couldn’t see a thing—it was pitch outside, no moon. She leapt out of the bed dragging the sheet with her and groping in the dark for her clothes. Where were her clothes—? Oh God—in the bathroom ... how’d she possibly defend herself ... ?
Another curse and then another. “What the bloody hell—?”
Stopped her frantic panic, covered her mouth with one hand. She knew that voice. It was unmistakable. Tilla shook herself. It couldn’t be. She must still be asleep … It just couldn’t be. Her heart pounded.
“Who the bloody hell put that there?” the gravelly voice boomed.
She tried to distil the solid block of fear which weighed on her chest like a sack of potatoes.
There was no mistaking that voice. No mistaking it at all.

Featured Review
Last thing Tilla Cormack needed one week before going on vacation was a crisis and that is exactly what her biggest client had just created for her. Owning a temp help agency takes a lot of human interaction and interpersonal skills. Her temps were recognized as the best to be had, only Taylor Industries was sending them back in tears and rejected. Tilla is on her last nerve as she leaves her office to pay a visit to Kent Taylor and give him a "piece of her mind".
Tilla's introduction to Kent Taylor is one of my favorite highlights in this book. The scene as the elevator goes up, down, jerks up again and finally spits Tilla on Taylor's floor missing her shoe is delightful. As human interactions go, this scene where Tilla and Kent Taylor meet is delightful. It sets the stage for a comedy of errors that leads this couple to a multitude of interactions worthy of Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.
Fate continues to play tricks with our couple throwing them together in some rather unusual circumstances. The chemistry they both feel for each other finally wins and a love affair begins with all the passion worthy of these spirited characters. Misunderstandings continue to plaque our couple and tempers flare. All of this just adds to the plotline and keeps the reader on the edge of their seats.
Darry Fraser's writing style is both easy going and delightfully descriptive. I found this book extremely entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. I will be looking forward to reading more books by this author.

Interview With the Author
Welcome fellow Aussie, Darry Fraser. Thanks for joining me today to discuss your book, Anything For Love.
Thank you for having me!
For what age group do you recommend your book?
I think it’s good for late 20s to late 30s. It’s the sort of read which might appeal to those who are career driven, but who know there’s another life out there and they hope they can find someone to share it with.
What sparked the idea for this book?
Anything For Love came about because of something that happened while I was working in an industry which hosted travelers into very isolated places. One of those isolated places was an island very much resembling Australis Island which I created for my stories.
At one point an unfortunate travelling couple happened to be placed with another couple in what they’d been sold as their own private space for three days. Needless to say the agents who made the booking were a little red-faced and things were quickly sorted.
I began to think about two single people who might have been thrust into the same situation, how it might reasonably have come about and what might reasonably be expected to happen!
The story was called "An Isolated Incident" for a very long time; it was changed last minute to its current title.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
That a hard one! Sometimes I get characters first and they bring their own story. I even get a name before I get anything else. Other times I have a story idea – not even an idea, just a sentence or two, or a subconscious nudge which compels me to take it further.
I always ask for overnight assistance: I go to sleep asking for more information and generally within three days I have an outline, my main characters, my timeline … the secondary characters pop up out of the blue when they’re needed. Mostly I don’t even know they’re there. I know you’ve heard of authors saying things much like that, but it is a fact – we get surprises.
That's incredible. What was the hardest part to write in this book?
I wondered how I was going to have her maintain Tilla's dignity back in their office. She wanted to, of course she did, but was she going to be able to? I hate things which read contrived – if they read that way, generally they are, so whilst I know I’ve made up this story and given my characters some interesting twists and turns, to me it still has to read as if it really might work in real life.
So in real life, you suck it up, don’t you? You don’t run around being like a princess, you get on with it. Put on a brave face. Do your job. Burst into tears at home. It was hard to keep her on track.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
I hope they laugh at the funny bits – and there are some funny bits – feel her exhaustion and his bewilderment, live her indecision and understand her. Most of all I hope readers identify with the last few days in the cabin just after Kent left.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Wow! This story had many incarnations over quite a few years. At first it was written when satellite phones or mobile (cell) phones were not around, so changing those bits and making it work was an interesting task.
All in all, I’d say about ten years - mainly because when I started and finished it I had no idea where to submit it. In fact, I was probably just writing for me. And by the time I did submit it, I had five others in similar states of completion waiting for a home.
What is your writing routine?
Because of other things I need to be doing (like my day job…) I write at nights between 8pm and midnight. Saturday is also mostly a "work" day for me so I write late Saturday afternoon and Sundays. I guard my Sundays … but there’s never enough time for everything.
How did you get your book published?
I’m very lucky. One of the previously mentioned five books came to the notice of my current publisher in a very serendipitous way, or so I think.
I’m the owner of a local print/business support shop. In 2013, Nicola of Steam eReads came by my shop looking for assistance to produce 200 booklets to promote her publishing company at a Romance Writers of Australia conference.
I said I was a member of RWA, that I had been published before, showed her a book of short stories I had produced. She offered to read my longest (now published) novel, Money For Blood, and voila! She offered to publish it. Steam ereads has so for contracted five of my novels.
That's fantastic, Darry. What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Keep writing. Learn from your peers. Take the criticism and the critiques and above all, learn. Enter competitions when you can, join groups to help and learn, learn, learn …
The groups you join will have expert tips on how to become published; one thing will work for one author but not the other. Build relationships, build your social media profile, get yourself marketed but above all else, have a good product.
Great advice. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I work a lot, but I have a dog who needs exercise and lots of loving. He’s a rescue dog from the little town I live in, he’s an Australian kelpie, black as black can be and his name is Hamish.
I love reading, I cook, I love my friends.
What does your family think of your writing?
I don’t believe any one of them has read anything I’ve done … well, my mum has. She thinks I could be doing something other than romantic fiction. Enough said.
Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
Australian, more country than city, though I spent a lot of time in Melbourne growing up and hated it.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I was a voracious reader of all things adventure and horsey. I was hoping my life would be adventurous and horsey, but alas not. I get to write about it though. But not about horses. The only thing I know about horses is that they’re magnificent creatures and quite mysterious to me
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
There’s never been a time in my life when I haven’t been a writer.
Great answer! Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Yes – I just wanted to escape. No dire problems, just the sort of kid I was.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
I don’t know if any have in a conscious way. I think I maintain my own voice, my own idiosyncrasies. I love seeing blocks of dialogue when I read others’ work because that’s what I love to do, too. I do check how much narrative is currently acceptable in popular fiction, how much character description – that sort of thing, but not any one particular author has influenced me.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Can’t say I’ve heard from a lot yet…
Hopefully this blog tour will change that! What can we look forward to from you in the future?
More fun stories. More HEAs and HFNs, those which will have a touch of reality to them. I love a little bit of the esoteric, too, but only where it fits with characters well grounded in reality. There’s not a lot of that in these last few titles, but it might sneak in now and again.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Darry. Best of luck with your future projects.
And thank you, too. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity and look forward to hearing from some of your readers.

From the Author
I have been writing since a very young age. I was the one at school with the home-penned plays and stories, the entertaining ideas and the grand vision, believing I had great talent. Wrong.
I believed that because I could put words on a page in a grammatically acceptable way and tell a reasonable story that I was "an author". Technically, I suppose I was, but the apprenticeship as a ‘writer' – to labour the difference - is a long and hard road.
One day, I had what I still call a little "thing" – I saw my late grandfather in his World War One trench gear talking to "me" at my desk and suddenly the words flowed and so did the short story which was published within two weeks in an Australian national women’s magazine.
So I revisited all my short stories and my novel-length stories and found success again with four short stories and then two short novels in 2001/2.
Alas, life got in the way once more. I kept writing, but in the dark so to speak. I used it as a means of escape, as a retreat and I was able to create my own HEA or HFN.
Then life took another turn and I figured that I had nothing to lose. I dusted off quite a number of manuscripts and began to whip them into shape. At a serendipitous meeting with my current publisher, Nicola at Steam eRreads, she agreed to read my current work at the time. It was a 67,000 word unedited novel, which she accepted. It was published in June 2013 – Money For Blood.
Since then I have had three other novels and two novellas accepted, all HEA/HFN.
I currently have four books published with Steam eReads.

Darry will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card and an ebook copy of Berry Flavours to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (closes 12 June). So, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.