Thursday, August 8, 2013

*BLOG TOUR* "I Surrender" by Monica James Review and Tour!

From Goodreads:

"Singapore has stolen a piece of Ava Thompson.

It took one life shattering moment, for her to realize, her EX is not the man she believed him to be. Returning home to Los Angeles was never going to be easy for Ava. Her heart has been shattered to smithereens and she’s convinced it’ll never heal. Or, so she thought.

Enter Jasper White.

Unbeknown to Ava, Jasper White will change her life forever.

The attraction is instantaneous which troubles Ava, who has sworn off men indefinitely. But, she is finding resisting Jasper, with his tousled bedroom hair and piercing cerulean eyes, harder than she ever imagined. And that’s because Jasper knows what he wants, and he wants Ava.

But, can Ava surrender to her feelings for the one man who compels her to love again? Because, what happens if love does not triumph all? What happens if love isn’t enough?"

My Thoughts:

"I will never be the same Ava Thompson ever again. And that's because I fell in love. What was the point of loving if it ended this way?"

Ava has just had her heart ripped in two. Her long time boyfriend, Harper, just threw her entire life for a loop after 4 long years. Apparently, he doesn't love her anymore, or at least that's what he's told her. She had uprooted her life and left her goals and moved to another country just to be with him. So where does this leave her now? Back to her home town in L.A. she goes, to move in with her best friend Veronica (aka 'V').

"I will not think about him. I will not think about him, I repeat my mantra. I am home now."

When V insists that Ava gets out of her break-up funk immediately, Ava is dragged out to meet V's boyfriend, Lucas, and let herself go for a night watching Lucas' band play at the local bar. It is at this bar that Jasper White, Lucas' best friend, will walk right into Ava's life, turning her whole world upside down again...

"I met this man like five seconds ago; it wouldn't make sense if there was some weird chemistry happening between us. Right?"

Jasper has his eyes set straight on Ava from the first moment they see each other. But Ava is set that love isn't worth it, and there is no way that she is changing her mind. She has been hurt terribly, and does not feel like she will ever be able to let herself go through it all over again. But Jasper has his own ideas.

"Jasper smirks, those blue eyes hiding an unknown secret.
'Ava, I told you. I get what I want... and I want you.'

Well God Damn."

The ball for their future is in Ava's court. Can she let herself go enough to love again? Is it worth the potential heartbreak? Or will her walls stay put, and leave her wanting, but not touching something she so desperately wants? And what happens when certain Ex's won't leave well enough alone? Can Ava and Jasper conquer every obstacle that gets in their way?

"Never apologize for being you Ava. True feelings that are raw, no matter how messy they may be, I will gladly take over superficial, insincere actions. You told me so much about yourself; about your vulnerability and your heartache and you didn't even utter a single word. Your tears told me everything. Sometimes those cheesy metaphors hold some truth."

I. Loved. This. Book.

I Surrender was an ultimate breath-holding, mouth-dropping, head-screaming, page turner. Jasper is amazing, Ava is refreshingly normal, V is my new favorite person, and every side character gave a great bit of presence to this story. Everyone worked amazingly well together, but Ava and V's relationship stands out the most. V knows exactly how to level out Ava, and make her see things that are right in front of her. Veronica is the perfect best friend. Jasper is 100% book boyfriend material. Between his good looks, and adorable personality, he is just absolutely swoon-worthy!

I Surrender is Book #1 in the "I Surrender Trilogy"
It definitely leaves off at somewhat of a cliffhanger, which is obviously going to kill me until the second book comes out in November 2013. I need to know what happens next!! I honestly, can't even speculate where it will go. There is so much up and down in I Surrender, that Surrender to Me could seriously go in 4,000 different directions.


Favorite Quote:

"Maybe if I look close enough though; those stars are really hearts in disguise."

Publish Date: July 30th 2013


 Twitter: @monicajames81


 Hello Monica! Thank you so much for taking your time to give an interview to I’ll Be Reading! Congrats on your Debut Novel!

So, tell us a little bit about yourself…
Well, I am a humbled girl from Australia, who is incredibly grateful to be doing an interview with someone halfway across the world.
It’s so surreal talking about myself. Other people I can do, but myself, I am stuck for words. Might be why I love writing about other people.
But in three words, I would describe myself as: loud, loyal, animal lover... oops, that was four, sorry!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 
You know, there was never a standstill moment when I was like, ‘Yup, that’s what I want to do.’
It was more along the lines of, I have loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember, and I just fell into writing. I studied Philosophy and Literature at University, and I constantly would be jotting down poems, quotes, random facts etc, but never did I sit down and write a full length manuscript. I have written plenty of stories, but actually putting the blood, sweat and tears that goes into writing a full length manuscript was something I never did, until I wrote I Surrender.

What inspired you to write “I Surrender”?
I didn’t have much of a choice with I Surrender, as it pretty much wrote itself. I had all these characters demanding I put pen to paper, and share their story with anyone who would listen. Thankfully, someone did listen, and I am able to share their tale with anyone who reads I Surrender.
People, places, time, situations, all of these things, inspire me daily to write. And with I Surrender, I wanted to write a story that was real and raw- A story my readers could relate to. I guess at the end of the day, I Surrender is my explanation of the philosophy of life and love, pleasure and pain, and how they all intertwine so closely, that sometimes, the line blurs between them.  

Can you relate to your characters? 
I can absolutely relate to each and every one of my characters, even the nasty ones.  To be able to write well, I was wisely told to write what you know- not that I am nasty J
I have to get into a ‘mood’ to write for each character, and even each scene. The music for example, which plays a dominate role in I Surrender, I chose for a specific reason. For some scenes, I had one song on a constant loop, to help me draw out what I wanted to convey in that particular scene. That’s why I have mentioned songs throughout I Surrender, as I hope to give my readers an insight into how I was feeling when writing those scenes.

What’s the hardest part for you while writing?
I am like every writer, and get to the stage where I rework my writing so much, I end up over analysing everything, and get beyond frustrated. I have claimed on more than one occasion, I am never writing again. But after a taking a break, and detaching myself from my work, I can see where I have gone wrong, or what I hate, and rework it. I am my own worst critic, so when I am writing, I have to be 100% happy with it, or I won’t submit it.

Which chapter of “I Surrender” is your favorite?
Ooh, great question. I don’t have one favourite chapter, I don’t think...*thinking* nope. I guess each chapter is my favourite in a way. There is at least one thing in each chapter I love, so I can’t be prejudice haha

Who is your favorite author/book?
Oh dear, that changes on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I love the classics though, so works by William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens are stories I love to get lost in time and time again. Even though I know how the story ends, I still find something new every time I reread them. But if I had to choose one... it would be, Dr.Seuss’, ‘Oh, the Places you’ll go’. Lame right lol

Which genres do you mainly read?
I read anything and everything. As long as the story holds on tight and doesn’t let go, I’m hooked.
I guess my favourite (at the moment) are love stories, with a touch of realism. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE romance with a HEA, but sometimes, I like stories that don’t always end happily.
I’ve recently read, The Dark Duet Trilogy by C.J. Roberts which has stayed with me for weeks after reading it. I love stories that challenge me as a reader, and take me to a place I’d normally never dare to go.

What’s the biggest compliment you could receive as an author?
Gee whiz... I guess anyone who wants to read my work is compliment enough. Even if what I’ve written is not for them, I am still grateful they took the time to read my work. I feel like I’ve been granted VIP access to my reader’s minds as they read my stories, and I hope to leave them with something small after finishing my books. 

Do you have any quirks that help you write? Music, snacks? What kind?
Hmm... I listen to music constantly when writing, and I like to drink coffee out of a special animal mug my best friend bought for me... gee, did I admit that out loud?

What was your favorite book as a child?
I really loved, and still love The Secret Garden. And of course all the Walt Disney classics- Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Bambi, Dumbo etc..I’ll stop because the list is endless.

What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ben and Jerry’s... any time, any flavour, and any quantity- BRING IT!

What’s up next for you?
I would love to take a mini break after being a total neglective recluse while writing the I Surrender Trilogy. But again, I have pesky characters, demanding I pay attention to them.
Watch this space!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Just keep at it. Seriously, all those cheesy clich├ęs sometimes hold some truth. If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Best piece of advice ever, as I can totally relate to it. We all can.
If you have a dream, don’t let anyone tell you you’re not good enough to achieve it. 

Thank you SO much to Monica for granting I'll Be Reading this interview! She is incredibly down to earth, and all around an amazing person! I definitely had a ton of fun getting this all together, so thank you and thank you again! 

A bit about Monica James:

Monica James spent her youth devouring the works of Anne Rice, William Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson. Listening to the likes of Elvis to Fiona Apple and everything in between has been her inspirational tool to write. Her varied musical and literary tastes have shaped her into the writer she has become. Monica partook in extra Literature and Writing studies in High School. She studied a Bachelor of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University Victoria, Australia, majoring in Philosophy and Cinema Studies for three years. When she is not writing she is running her own business, but always finds a balance between the two. Monica enjoys reading honest, heartfelt and turbulent stories that leave an imprint on her. She put pen to paper because she wanted to write a book that she would want to read. She draws inspiration from her surroundings, hopeful others enjoy reading about the world as she sees it.



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