Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review&Interview: Theresa Rizzo Author of He Belongs to Me

Catherine Boyd will do anything to regain custody of her young son...
Even reconcile with the husband accused of killing their son’s twin.

Catherine graduates from college, eager to start a new life with her six-year-old son, Drew. But when she tries to bring him home, her parents refuse to relinquish control of the grandson they’d raised. 

Wrongly accused of a horrible crime, Thomas Boyd has buried himself in his career, determined to forget his painful past and the family he lost. But now, five years later, Catherine is back, requesting his help to regain custody of their son — custody he thought she had. 

Though older and wiser, when courtroom battles reveal lies and secrets and generations of pain, will Thomas and Catherine find more tragedy and loss, or will old wounds finally heal?


This book was really intense. There is a lot of history between the hero and heroine. They were young kids when they had a child together and then suffered a tragedy that would bring anyone to their knees, let alone a young married couple just starting out. I was drawn into this book right from the start. It was a gut wrenching read that ran the gamut of emotions. I was torn apart, cautiously hopeful, screaming mad and totally in love.

I never really fell in love with Thomas. He wasn't my favorite hero. I got his motivation and I totally understood, given the past history but he ultimately seemed very selfish to me. Mostly he cared about himself and how things affected him, not his wife and son and how things affected his family. They were both young and still had a lot of growing up to do so I could get past it because from the story, how it ended and how they acted to each other, I could see the potential for growth and maturity.

Don't even get me started on the nightmare that was Catherine's parents. I wanted to get my daughters .22 and drill them both! There are some people in this world who shouldn't be allowed to procreate and they were definitely two. 

I definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an emotional journey. Now please read on for an interview with the author Theresa Rizzo who wrote this wonderful book.

Short Bio-Theresa Rizzo is an award-winning author who writes emotional stories that explore the complexity of relationships and families through real-life trials. 

Born and raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, she currently lives outside of Boulder, Colorado with her husband of thirty years. She’s raised four wonderful children who are now scattered across the country.

Find Theresa On the Web:
v   Twitter
Book Buy Links:
v  Kindle


Book specific questions:
Tell me something about your book I won’t find in the back cover blurb.
Parents—Catherine’s (Eric and Sarah) and Drew’s (Catherine and Thomas)—did the best they could at the time, but their best simply wasn’t nearly good enough.  Oh—and, all families have secrets.

Did you have a specific inspiration in mind for Catherine and Thomas while writing? Were they based on real life people?
To be honest, yes.  Nothing in the circumstances were remotely similar, but Thomas is based loosely on a guy I had a crush on as a young kid. I didn’t know him very well and doubt he even knew I existed, but he was really sweet to me, and a good person. He was smart, athletic, and handsome. He was a guy with integrity and principles—even as a teenager. I admired him a lot.

If it were made into a movie, who do you see playing some of your favorite characters from the book? 
I see Catherine as someone like . . . Amanda Seyfried. Paul Walker is pretty much what I imagine Thomas looks like—not sure that I remember him from any movie—or maybe a taller, blonde Zach Efron.

General questions:

What are some inspirations when it comes to story ideas?
Usually newspaper stories. For example, the inspiration for He Belongs to Me came from a newspaper article about a young couple where the boy was accused of shaking his baby to death. When it went to trial, the young man was undisputedly acquitted, but I couldn’t help but wonder how this tragic experience had irreparably changed them. 
How could they go on and salvage their marriage? How could their love survive? His son died in his hands. How could he not subconsciously feel like he had killed the baby? How could they move on to create a happy family with this horrible legacy?

Have you ever heard a song (or seen a movie) and just had an entire story pop into your head?
Nope. If I see the movie and a story pops into my head it’s most likely called plagiarism. I’ve been inspired by movies and thought, “why can’t I come up with something like that?” Like Sidney White was SUCH a clever modern snow white!  I’d love to take a fairytale and give it a modern twist.  Someday.

Do you have specific scheduled writing times?
I should, but . . . not really.  I like to write in the morning or in evening after having spent some time with my hubby.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?
 I am a control freak and probably a little OCD, so plotter. But! I leave room for strokes of brilliance and the OMG what if THIS happened???  I’m happy to take detours and be flexible enough to incorporate that into the story.

Are there times when you think a story should go one way and your "characters" change your mind for you?
 Interesting question. A few times some character traits pop up that I hadn’t known about—for instance a sense of humor, but for the most part my characters don’t surprise me too much.  It’s often the research that will take me off course a bit, but it always enhances the story.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
 Don’t laugh . . . a mom.

Which author is an automatic buy?
None. It all depends upon the plot for me.  For example, I hate archeology, so I’m never gonna buy a book where the protagonist is an archeologist.  Don’t care who wrote it.

What do you eat/drink while writing?
 Aught oh.  Blush. Water and candy. Chocolate covered raisins, or sweet tarts or Hot Tamales or M&Ms—you get the idea.

What is your guilty pleasure?
 Gosh . . . I’d have to say it’s a massage or facial.  It seems so self-indulgent, but so A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y relaxing!

What TV show are you LOVING right now?
 Modern family.  My oldest daughter got me season one for Christmas and we’re hooked. Luckily my husband got season 3 for father’s day and we’re trying to only watch one episode at a time to make it last.

Ok, speed round *g*...

Jeremy Renner or Jason Statham?
 Jason Statham!

High Heels or Flats?
 Sneakers.  I guess that would be flats, but I WISH it was high heels ‘cause they make legs look sexy, but so not worth the pain. I’m weak—what can I say? Italians have a low pain threshold.  It’s true.

Wine, Beer, or Umbrella drink?

Cupcakes or Cookies?
Is the icing great?  ‘cause that makes all the difference in the world.

Chocolate or Gummi Bears?
 Don’t be silly. Chocolate!

Beach or Woods?

Iron Man or Thor?
 Iron Man—don’t like guys with long hair.

Gone With the Wind or Titanic?


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