Saturday, January 9, 2016

Blog Tour, Giveaway & Christie's Review: Not The One by Amy Daws


Title: Not The One
Author: Amy Daws
Release Date: Dec 8, 2015
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~Not The One is Full Length Standalone Adult Romance~

My name is Reyna Miracle.

Even though a part of my name is Miracle, there’s nothing miraculous about me.
My body portrays the tales of my life.
Every feeling, every heartbreak, every emotion.
Marked. Inked. Stained.
A walking canvas of my messed up truth.

But there’s one confession I can’t put in a tattoo.

A confession that will kill me to tell, but my best friend died before I had the chance.

Now I’m left with him.

The only one who can hold me in the night and squeeze that spot on my neck that feels like my lifeline between sanity and chaos.

But we don’t work together.

We’re absolute poison for each other.
We’re a stifling, suffocating, sickness of darkness.

But I feel safe...because I’ve made an art of pushing people away.

Now he’s pushing back…

And making me believe...
Making me wonder...
Maybe, just maybe...
I could be the one.

“Christ, I hardly recognized you,” he seethes, the angry bulge in his jaw bone ticking violently. He grabs my arm firmly and pulls me off the concrete steps and into a covered archway away from all the other happy students. “What the fuck, Rey?”

“What are you talking about?” I ask in utter confusion.

He reaches beneath my chin, grabs the zipper and yanks it down harshly. I shove his hands away as my robe is yanked open.

“Fuck, Rey! You’re skin and bones!” Liam’s face is tortured and sickly. Dark circles reside under his eyes but he still looks gorgeous as ever.

“Don’t be ridiculous.” Grabbing the edges of my robe, I cover myself back up, protectively. I’m wearing a short blue shift dress that used to hug every one of my curves but now hangs on me like a potato sack. I know I’ve lost some weight since Marisa but I’m not about to let him scold me like a child over it. “I’m a twenty-five-year-old adult, Liam. I don’t need you chastising me over this.”

“Rey,” he says my name on a sigh. “How can you expect me to ignore this?” His eyes are pleading and pained as they flash between my eyes and my mouth in utter agony.

“I’m not your concern!” I push back my dark hair and squeeze the back of my neck to try to gain some of my control back.

“You made that perfectly clear when you shoved me out of your dorm room. Fuck. How did we get this so utterly wrong?”

“Just leave it, Liam.”

“No.” He grabs my shoulders and turns me to face him. “Don’t you miss me? At all? I miss you like crazy. I feel like I’m mourning two deaths instead of one. It’s like you died on me two weeks ago. And now I see you today and it makes me sick to my stomach that I’ve left you the way I did!” His eyes are shimmering with tears and pain, only adding to the self-loathing I’ve developed the past fourteen days.

My eyes are dead and cold, my voice flat and unaffected. “I told you I wanted nothing to do with you, Liam. I meant it.”

“You’re lying to me. Again!” he roars, angrily punching the concrete wall beside my head.

Book Trailer:

Not the One by Amy Daws from Becca the Bibliophile on Vimeo.

Author Interview:

Q: Readers are calling Not The One a “painfully beautiful love story.” Why is that? What was the writing process like?

A: Writing this book was terrifying. I’ve never been so far outside my comfort zone with any other book. This storyline literally terrified me and I got pretty depressed during the process. It was crazy hard, but crazy cathartic. It feels good to sink into those dark corners sometimes. It makes finding the light that much more magical.

Q: What inspired this story?

A: Well, Reyna was a character in my London Lovers Series that I couldn’t get out of my head. I had an idea for an interesting backstory for her…a mother/daughter dynamic that I’d never read before but could relate to because of some of my own personal struggles. I needed to know more about her, so I wrote it.

Q: But this book isn’t a London Lovers Series novel, correct?

A: Correct. I’m calling it a spinoff. A cross-pollination so to speak. There are characters from my London Lovers, but it reads best as a total standalone.

Q: Who the heck is Frank? And how did you create him?

A: LOL! Ohhh, Frank and Beans. He is my London Lovers secondary standout. He’s a fantastical redheaded gay Brit that everyone needs in their life. Magically, he fit into Not The One like it was meant to be. Frank is the comedic lightness that this story needed, but he’s so much more. He’s special.

Q: Will he get a story?

A: He is my most requested story.
That’s not an answer.
LOL…Let me be “frank” when I tell you…it is a distinct possibility. ;)

Q: Who designed your cover? It’s stunning!

A: I’m so glad you like it because I did! LOL. My sister in law took the photos. We do all of my covers together. We both come armed with cameras and click away until our models can’t take anymore. But I always end up using my sister-in-laws pictures for the cover. I just like to see through the lens instead of my eyes. But I do all my own layout and designing in Photoshop.

Q: And the cover models?

A: All of my covers have just normal people. I never shoot models. The cover models on Not The One are just a couple of local hairdressers that my sister-in-law knew! It’s funny…I had met the girl a couple of times and talked with her briefly about her incredible ink and through the writing process, her tattoos fit my story perfectly. It was kind of chilling.

Q: So what’s next for you?

A: I’m pretty sure I’ll be continuing on this London path for a couple more stories. Without revealing any spoilers, I’m really hoping readers will be interested in one of the characters’ HEA. I’d love to write his story next. And then…finally, Frank and Beans.

Amy Daws is a commercial producer and lives in South Dakota with her husband and daughter. The long-awaited birth of Lorelei is what inspired her passion for writing. Amy is a lover of all things British and her award-nominated romantic comedy series, The London Lovers Series, is centered around Americans in London. It's emotional and self-deprecating with lots of humor sprinkled in. On most nights, you can find Amy and her family dancing to Strawberry Shortcake’s theme song or stuffing themselves inside children’s-sized playhouses because there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their little miracle.

His gaze on me is saying so much that I can't break eye contact with him for fear of falling.

Her name was Reyna Miracle. But don’t call her a miracle unless you want to feel the bite of her wrath. She was as prickly as a cactus, and bound and determined to push everyone away who tried to form an attachment to her. But there was one girl who would push through her barriers and bring light into her darkness. Marisa. She was the catalyst for change, and in the end, Reyna’s ultimate betrayal. Have you ever done something that haunts you? Something that makes you desperate to go back to when your world cracked wide open and do things differently? After one cataclysmic event, she will never be the same again.

The book takes place after she graduates the Masters program at Oxford. We know that something happened to her there. Something that scarred her emotionally, but we only get small flashbacks that shed some light onto what happened. The more we are told, the more evident it is that Reyna is living with regret and shame so overpowering, that she won't allow herself any happiness. She's not living, she's surviving.

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that Rey is the most likable of people. In fact, there were times I was downright appalled by her actions. She's one of those characters that are self-destructive and belligerent. She has defense mechanisms up a mile high, and stubborn as hell. She has characteristics that are typically seen in the "tortured hero". The ones that constantly refuse to acknowledge their feelings, tell their loved one that they are a bad seed, and they will only bring them misery. And their words always become a self-fulfilling prophesy. In this case, the heroine is very much tortured, and in denial over her true emotions. And because of this, she causes a lot of pain.

Liam is a man from before. Before everything came crashing down on her. A ghost who she wishes she could forget, but after he re-enters her life, he resurrects all of those unpleasant feelings again. To be frank, it took me some time to figure out what Liam's feelings for her sprouted from. After all of the flashbacks were complete and we are caught up the the present time, I was still left with questions.

(Major spoilers so read at your own risk)
(view spoiler)

Liam is a character that you hurt for. This is my first book by this author, and I haven't read the previous books in the series. But from what I gather, Liam plays a big role in A Broken Us. He's the third in a love triangle that gets the bad end of the deal. Now, again, we're seeing him get his heart trodden on. You can feel his frustration and helplessness. He takes one step forward with Rey and two steps back. But he feels like he's the only one who can see the true Reyna. He can look in her eyes and see deep down in her secretive soul like no one else can.

They have a great tension between the two of them, a push and pull that makes their desire pulse so strongly. Their chemistry was undeniable in the present, mostly fueled by anger, frustration, and the urgency they feel to be close to one another. I did feel their emotions come across very easily, in fact, I was addicted to this dysfunctional ride they were taking me on.

What we're doing is for a pure and intense connection. It's not just a coping mechanism. It's not a raw, carnal need to fuck. It's a deep, burning urge to feel.

Now, having said how unlikable Rey can be, I also appreciate the depth to her character. As well, if they go through a healing process and evolve into someone who is healthy and well adjusted, to me that's an honest depiction of the human spirit. Rey had a lot of things that she was battling from an early age. A feeling of incompletion, inadequacy because of her mother's unrealistic representation of love. Her father's traumatic death. Everything was caging her in, screaming at her to stay away from vulnerable emotions. She really was quite fascinating, and as a flawed character one that showed human frailties pretty realistically. Did I think her healing process could have been longer based on her issues? Well, I'd have to say yes. After two short weeks, she was well on her way to recovering from all her issues.

To sum things up, I was very impressed with this author's ability to hook me into this story. She's come up with a very thought provoking story, something that wouldn't leave my mind for days after finishing. After reading about the group of friends that Rey gets to know, I want to know more about them too. I will most definitely be checking out the previous books in the series. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a second-chance book with flawed characters and plenty of feels.


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