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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blog tour: Nobody's Fool by Sarah Hegger + GUEST POST

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Willow Park #2
Sarah Hegger
Released August 25th, 2015
Kensington Books : Zebra

In Sarah Hegger's latest Willow Park Romance, long-held crushes and past frenemies reunite--and wonder if there's ever a second chance to make a good first impression. .

Holly Partridge had no plans to return to Willow Park, Illinois, until her troubled younger sister Portia fled her home and aimed herself straight at Holly's high school nemesis--too-gorgeous-to-be-true Josh Hunter. Riding a manic bipolar high, Portia's only a danger to herself, but Holly needs to find her before she crashes. That means asking Josh for help.

The ultimate love 'em and leave 'em lothario, Josh was never good for anything but a broken heart. But now he's lending a hand when Holly needs it most--and revealing surprising generosity and compassion. Has Josh shed his bad boy ways? Or is Holly suddenly grown up enough to acknowledge her own mistakes? Trusting Josh could be a disaster--or the first step in banishing the past to make way for a future happier than Holly ever imagined. .

This is the second book that I have read by this author and I loved this even more than the first one I read. This book is labeled under the "romance" genre, and it is a romance, but it's also so much more than that. It deals with real life issues and problems.Holly's sister, Portia, is bipolar, I loved how the author weaved that into the story without glazing over it. Holly has been taking care of her sisters since she can remember and when her sister goes missing, all things lead to Josh. I really loved the sass and banter between these two characters. I also enjoyed the fact that while Holly and Josh were the main leads, her sisters were also included throughout the whole book. If you're looking for a real life read with real life issues, y'all will really enjoy this. Scroll down for a guest post by Sarah Hegger herself. 
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A Girl and her Books

Hi there, and thank your for having me over today. Next to reading and writing them, talking about books is my next favorite thing.

My writing process is…anal, bordering on OCD.

If I’m writing a series, I know at least one of the characters, because they’ve appeared in a previous book in the series. So, I start to think about who they are, what challenges they face, what they want and need. Then, I make if difficult for them to achieve that thing, and just for fun—make it near impossible. I like opposites in a hero and heroine, so if I have a rather uptight, controlled male character, I toss the most chaotic, free-spirited female character his way and let the sparks fly. Or I put them in a difficult situation and force them to work together.

The story all begins with a moment that drops into my head. These can come from anywhere. Something I see on television, a song lyric, a scene in a movie, even something I see in the real world. And the magical “WHAT IF?” takes over.

When I was writing “Nobody’s Princess”, the third in the Willow Park Romances, due for release March 2016, I knew it was about Thomas Hunter, but was struggling to find a mate for him. Now, I’m not a country music fan, but somehow I saw a YouTube video of a Carrie Underwood song, “Before He Cheats.” I don’t know if you’ve heard the song, but it’s all about a girl with a cheating boyfriend and she goes feral on his car. That got me thinking what would make a girl that mad. Yes, he cheats, but a lot of us have been cheated on and cars still drove away unscathed. And Tiffany wavered into view. I worked from that song to build in a reason for that level of rage in her, and the result was “Nobody’s Princess.” The story is not even about the man who cheats on her, but it’s Tiffany’s journey from the woman who killed her ex’s car, to a woman who knows who she is and makes smarter choices around relationships to begin with.

Now comes the anal part. I plot…a lot. I have everything down and planned before I write the first word. I know who the characters are, what their journey is, what happens in the story—all of it. I get it all down in Scrivener, making sure I’ve hit all the beats of “Save the Cat” along the way. If you write, this book is a great tool for making sure all the elements of a good story are in the book and where they ought to be. Most of my plotted stories get left at that stage for a while, giving them time to ferment. I tend to have one book in the writing stage, another plotted and waiting and, in recent years, another going through edits. I do a little bit of each every day.

My first draft is a write-by-numbers sort of thing. I fill in the blanks from one plot point to another. It’s not my favorite part of the writing process because I tend to word vomit on the page and get the story out. I have no idea how it all reads until I finish that draft. I make little notes for myself along the way of things I need to add, or forgot to include but nothing gets in the way of the words on page. I took Stephen King’s process here and make sure I get 2000 new words on the page every day. I figured it worked for him!

From there, it’s a process of however many drafts I need to add the pretty bits. Refine the language, get rid of the overkill words, make sure the characters come off the page. All those things my editors have picked up on. Normally, I do four to five drafts per book before I feel I’ve got it right.

Then I get some outside eyes on it, incorporate their comments, and DONE!

It’s a process I’ve developed over the course of writing. It works for me, which doesn’t mean it will work for another writer. And I’m sure, a few books from now, I’ll have added a couple of new refinements to it.

But I’m of the Nora Roberts school:

“My top three pieces of writing advice? Stop whining and write. Stop fucking around and write. Stop making excuses and write.” – Nora Roberts.

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Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at any of the places below.