Sunday, March 3, 2013

Interview and Review: Keeping Secrets in Seattle

Hi guys! Today I am happy to have the chance to interview Brooke Moss author of Keeping Secrets in Seattle. Hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better. After the interview, read on to see my review of the book. Oh and can I just say how much I love this cover!?

Keeping Secrets in Seattle specific questions: (Some kind of spoiler-y, sorry)

Did you have specific inspiration in mind for Gabe, Violet, and Landon? Are they based on real people?
Physically, yes. Gabe is based on the actor Jesse Williams and my nephew, Rob, who is now a US Marine (so proud); Violet is based on Scarlet Johanson...with a rockabilly twist; and Landon was based on a younger version of the lovely David Beckham. Their personalities are amalgams of several different people....some I love, others I can't stand. ;)

If it were made into a movie, who do you see playing some of your favorite characters from the book?
Probably the actors I mentioned Craig T. Nelson as Guthrie, Angela Basset as Nora, & Joan Allen as Leandra.

I really liked Landon. Will he be getting his own book?
I've thought about it. Maybe someday..... :)

Without giving too much away, what made you decide to tackle the subject matter of the "secret"
That's hard to say without giving anything away. Actually, I know a girl who went through that in college, whose mother kept it a secret because she went through the same thing when she was young. I wanted to tell their story in a way that didn't necessarily produce a "happily ever after", but produced a true to life result. I hope I did that. 

Alycia was a flaming bitch! Do you think her character could possibly be redeemed in a future book? Does she even have any redeemable qualities?
I honestly don't think I could ever tackle Alicia in her own book. I really hated her. In my original version of the book (my editors had me tone her down a TON) she was even worse!

Author Questions

What are some inspirations when it comes to story ideas?
My inspiration comes from all sorts of things. Music, other books, movies, pictures in magazines. The other day I saw a couple in the store, and thought of a story idea. Inspiration comes from everywhere!

Have you ever heard a song (or seen a movie) and just had an entire story pop into your head?
Absolutely! The song, "Calling You" by Blue October inspired Gabe and Violet's teenage romance. There was a kiss scene (that was cut in edits--boo!) that took place when they were teenagers, and that song was playing in my mind over and over as I wrote it. 

Do you have specific scheduled writing times?
I do a lot of writing during the day, while my kids are either preoccupied or during nap time. I also write a lot between the hours of 8 and 11, after said kids go to bed. 

Are there times when you think a story should go one way and your "characters" change your mind for you?
Yes! Oh my gosh, yes. Actually, Keeping Secrets in Seattle was just going to be the story of two friends who were in love with each other. It wasn't until I wrote the scene where Gabe came over to ask Violet to be his "best man" that I realized there had been something terrible that happened in her past. It was totally out of my control. 

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Lots of things, but mostly an author. I also wanted to be a dancer (but I was really uncoordinated), a mother (I accomplished that one--I have five children, with a sixth on the way), and a hair stylist (I'm not a stylist, but I have great hair, does that count?)

Which author is an automatic buy?
Hands down, Kristan Higgins. Oh, and Tammara Webber. Both are amazing....oh, crap. I thought of about 4 more. I have too many authors I'm obsessed with.

What do you eat/drink while writing?
Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi and cheese. Cheese is the perfect snack. Duh. :)

What are you reading right now?
I just finished Jane, by April Lindner.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Real Housewives of pretty much anywhere. And Top Chef. Pretty much any show on Bravo. I need a life. 

What TV show are you LOVING right now?
I really like Once Upon a Time. So much fun, so creative, so cheesy and ridiculous....and Captain Hook is HAWT.

Ok, speed round *g*...

Jeremy Renner or Jason Statham?
Jason Stantham....I have a weakness for bald dudes. My hubby is bald. Plus, I have to be 100% honest with you......Jeremy Renner looks likes a troll doll. I mean, he doesn't have fuzzy blue hair, but his face? Oh man. I don't see the appeal. Now...without a shirt on? Now I see it....

High Heels or Flats?
Flats. My husband is a short stack. So I live in flats. So sad.

Beach or Woods?
I'm a Washington state girl, so give me mossy, damp woods any day of the week, and I'm right at home.

Iron Man or Thor?
It's a toss up, because while I naturally gravitate towards Thor, because he's so delicious, I can't help but want to pick Iron Man, too. because Robert Downey Jr is so freaking cool. So I have to call this one a tie.

Gone With the Wind or Titanic?
Gonna go with Titanic on this one. Which reminds me...I found this the other day: 

OK, onto the review:

Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alicia—he wants Vi to be his best man.

Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.

With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.

Review: 4 Stars 
Warning: Very Spoilery!

Let's start with the cover. One look at the cover and I was hooked. I wanted to read the story based on that alone. It really put me in the mood to read Violet's story and so did the blurb which totally made me think "My Best Friend's Wedding" which is one of my favorite movies! (I had to watch it again after I finished the book.) So being in the mood, I started reading. Right off the bat I was enamored with Violet's fashion sense. She wears funky, yet awesome outfits that Ms. Moss described so perfectly I could actually picture Violet wearing them.

Right off the bat, there is a scene that just ripped my heart out. Already I could tell I was going to love this book, and want to kill the characters, but only sometimes. Like that Fake Bitch Alycia. Ooh and those so called friends of hers! I wanted to rip her hair out for most of the book, all the while wondering, how Gabe could fall for her crap. Made me want to tell Violet she could do so much better.

Enter Landon. Now this was a guy I could get behind. He was the right mix of edgy bad boy and sweet romantic. I just knew he was too good to last. I kept yelling at him to wake up and smell the coffee. He just kept putting himself out there with no clue that he might get his heart ripped out. I was torn between rooting for him and being mad that Violet kept leading him on. 

I was also a little mad at Gabe for a good portion of the book.  I wanted to strangle him or kick him in the ass all the while thinking (well some of the time) that maybe he deserved Alycia. I just wanted him to pull his head out of his ass. And then there are all the secrets from the past and the present that you just know are going to come out at the worst time and fuck everything up.

Once these secrets do come out, it is heart wrenching. I know I had the child hood secret figured out long before the actual reveal but I think it was intended that way with the slow build up of the flashbacks. Even I couldn't predict what would happen when the various secrets came out though. So you should definitely go pick up this book. It made me feel the gamut of emotions and I love when a book does that. I know I have said too much already in this highly spoilerific review, but there is so much more that I didn't touch on.

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  1. Sounds like its great! just put it on my TBR. I look forward to this! Thanks for the interview!

  2. Thanks for having me, and for the awesome review. I love honest reviews written by book lovers who can see & discuss the good, bad, & ugly about a book. :)

    --Brooke Moss