Thursday, January 14, 2016

#IABBAddict: Here to Stay by Suanne Laqueur

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Author: Suanne Laqueur

Title: Here to Stay (Book 3 of The Fish Tales)

Pages: 350

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Date published: January 14, 2016

Suanne Laqueur’s Fish Tales series follows the extraordinary romance of Erik Fiskare and Daisy Bianco. When they meet in college, she is an aspiring ballet dancer and he is learning the behind-the-scenes art of stagecraft. Quickly they are drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a world of creativity and artistry until it is changed forever by a shocking act of violence on their campus.

Laqueur has chosen a unique slant on an issue sadly prevalent in today’s world, by focusing on the victims of violence and the effect of trauma on human connection. The first book in the series, The Man I Love, won a gold medal for realistic fiction in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Awards. Told from Erik’s point of view, it follows his emotional journey to salvage the relationships he destroyed, including his estrangement from Daisy which never ceased to haunt him. He equated the end of a love affair with desertion, but now he sees leaving isn’t the end of loving. He must go back and finish, or he will never be free to go forward and start again.

The second book, Give Me Your Answer True, inverts the narrative and tells Daisy’s side of the story, as she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. The loss of Erik’s love weighing heavy on her heart, she must learn to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. To find and give her answers true.

The third book, Here to Stay, is a continuation of Daisy and Erik’s remarkable love story, as they begin a new phase of life together, knowing now that happily ever afters are built, not found. Though separated for twelve years, the extraordinary bond forged in their youth has endured. But when your soulmate has caused you indescribable pain, how easy is it to forgive? How much trust is needed to place your heart back into the hands that once broke it? How much faith does it take to ask the question, "Do you still want me?" and believe in the reply: “I still want us.”

This gripping series has been hailed as a new kind of “emotionally intelligent romance.” The books explore themes of love and sexuality, the effects of trauma, the burden of unfinished business and the power of reconciliation. Through Erik and Daisy’s experiences, we reflect on what it means to be a soul mate, a partner and a lover. What it means to be a hero, not a victim, and fight for what you love. What it means to live the truth of who you are and what you feel.

Excerpt from Here to Stay

It’s a strange thing to find a lost lover in your hands again. Like finding your childhood baseball glove in an attic box of memories. You’re sure it won’t fit. But the heat of your palm, a flex and a bend. A cautious knead of the leather and a tentative reach into the furthest recesses… It knows you. It remembers you.
It fits you.
“Do I feel the same?” Daisy asked, her voice a silken caress.
After twelve years, Erik thought, of course not. He had loved a girl. It was a woman’s body up against him now, with the heft of wisdom and the weight of experience. He ran his fingers up her backbone and felt all the bits of new fused steel, overlaid with the strong assurance in her muscles and the soft aplomb of her skin. She was a hundred times more beautiful. A thousand times more thrilling.
And as her blue-green eyes stared into his, he was keenly aware of her vulnerability.
“You feel more,” he said, his hands moving along her body, trying to remember how she felt when he last touched her. Thin. Beyond ballerina thin—she was drugged thin at the end of their days in college. Yet beautiful to him. Never anything but stunningly easy on his eyes and liquid in his embrace and sweet in his mouth.
“You feel right,” she said, her own hands gliding along his limbs, in and out of him. “Maybe a little thinner.”
“I probably am. I lost and gained weight over and over. Depending on how I was feeling at the time. When the dark times came around, I’d stop eating.”
“I know, but…” Her delicate, arched eyebrows flickered in her brow. “I think over the years, in my head, I made you bigger than you were. Or maybe I beat myself down into something smaller. But now I remember your body. I remember mine with it.”
She was kissing him, pulling him to roll on top of her again. The digital clock on her bedside table read 2:06 in the morning. They had been going at it like possessed demons for hours now and no matter how tight he held or how hard he clung, Erik could not get both arms around making love to her. Too much feeling grabbed at him, clamoring for attention and precedence. Euphoria, lust, guilt and sadness were four wild stallions chained to each limb, intent on tearing him apart. Yet at the center of the jerking, pulling emotion, his heart was calm and accepting. Quietly riding out the storm, safe in the knowledge he was living his truth, living the life he was born to live.
“Don’t leave me,” she whispered under him.
“I can’t,” he said. “I’d never breathe again.”

About the Author

Suanne Laqueur’s first novel, The Man I Love won a gold medal in the 2015 Readers' Favorite Book Awards. Its other 2015 accolades include the Beverly Hills Book Award, a gold medal from the eLit Book Awards and a current finalist with the Kindle Book Awards.

Suanne graduated from Alfred University with a double major in dance and theater. She taught at the Carol Bierman School of Ballet Arts in Croton-on-Hudson for ten years. She lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband and two chil-dren. An avid reader, cook and gardener.

Author Links:

Giveaway – 1 Signed Copy of Here to Stay


What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve been a writer since I was little. But I wrote for myself and only shared my stories with a few close friends. I’m not really sure what was behind the decision to finish a book and publish it. It was made very suddenly, just out of a feeling that it was time.

I assume all authors also love to read, so what book inspired your love of reading?
It wasn’t any one book (I guess it rarely is) but the earliest books I remember taking out of the library and falling into are the Little House series. I still have all my battered copies and I go back to them every now and then. Like visiting old friends.

How old were you when you wrote your first story?
I remember a story I wrote in first grade called “The Trapped Girl” about a girl who got into a car with a stranger. It had a cliffhanger ending and I never wrote a sequel. I wrote a lot of stories in high school, one of which was called “The Last Train.” It’s virtually unreadable to me now, but my girlfriends liked it at the time. 

Who are some of your favorite authors now?
I love Rumer Godden, in particular her novel In This House of Brede. That and Laurie Colwin’s book Family Happiness helped me discover what kind of writer I wanted to be. Stephen King’s Eyes of the Dragon taught me about storytelling. Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series showed me how to make everything in a story come alive. I also love Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Genevieve Valentine and Joanne Harris.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Total pantser. I just throw down material in no order, random scenes and conversations and thoughts. Doesn’t matter if it gets used in the end, I just need to fling it out there until I have a big pile of material I can sort through. Then I start putting it in order, forming the arc of the story and where the gaps are. So I guess I’m a pantsless plotter?

Are your characters based on people you know?
Most of them are composites of several people melded together. And each has a bit of me in them, too, I suppose.

What are some of your writing rituals?
I always start out with pen and notebook. The flow is better from my mind to my hand and it’s more portable as well.

How do other books influence your writing? 
I’ll talk again about Catherynne Valente’s books because it might sound strange that I was so heavily influenced by a fantasy writer. Her books are extraordinary and it’s more than her brilliant use of language. She makes everything in her stories alive. Not just things you’d expect, but objects are alive and have intent. The air is alive. The environment is alive. Concepts are alive. I loved this about her stories and wondered if I could emulate some of that magic within the boundaries of realistic fiction. To make common observations more interesting and vibrant.

So, for example, rather than have a scene’s atmosphere described through the main character’s thoughts and feelings, I tried to make the atmosphere itself a character that had action. “The night sat up on its knees and begged, ravenous.” Or in response to an outrageous comment the main character made, “The room raised its eyebrows.”

I tie my brain in knots doing this but I love the end result.

How do you get motivated to sit down and write with all the real world interruptions?
Sometimes I can sit for hours and do it. Literally, if I’m left alone in the house with nothing on the calendar or the to-do list, I can sit for twelve or fourteen hours and write. But that’s a rarity. The rest of the time I am just carving out the time as I can. I don’t set word quotas or time intervals. I just expect to write SOMETHING every day. Just put something on paper. If you love something enough, you find the time to do it.

Which one of your books is your favorite?
Ha, that’s like asking me which of my kids is my favorite! The Man I Love was my first baby and it will always be my baby. I’m fiercely proud of the challenges I overcame in writing it. Still, knowing everything I know now, there are definitely things I would change about it. 

My middle child, Give Me Your Answer True was written so much more confidently. The bar was raised in terms of my writing abilities, I was starting out so much further ahead. But being an alternate POV, I was still writing in a safety zone of the same story. It had its challenges but it wasn’t all new material.

The third, Here to Stay, I think is my favorite. It combines all the challenges and knowledge and joy and pride of the previous two. It just feels like the one where I put it all together.

If you could have a writing retreat anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be and why?
It’s a toss-up between a house on the beach and a treehouse. I love being by the water, I love the sound of ocean waves. But I always, always, always wanted a treehouse. A really spectacular one. With working lights. And a fridge.

If your main character were an alcoholic beverage, which beverage would they be and why?
Erik is a craft beer. Probably a stout. Low carbonation. Both expansive and expressive. Hints of darkness in its chill haze, but possessing a smooth, warm finish and a pleasant after-taste.

If you could live in a fictional world, which world would you choose and why?
I love the Oxford world of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials simply because I want a daemon. I love the idea of your soul manifesting as an animal companion. I’m offended this doesn’t actually exist. Why isn’t this a thing?

What’s the best way to hide a body?
Outside the city morgue.

This or That

Coke or Pepsi? Coke
Paperback or e-reader? E-Reader
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Peeta or Gale? Gale.
Edward or Jacob? I didn’t read the series so I can’t pick ☺
Money or love? Love.
Tattoos or bare? I like one well-placed tattoo
Hairy or smooth? Smooth
Call or text? Text
Hot or cold? Hot
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings? Lord of the Rings
Coffee or Tea? Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee
Halloween or Christmas? Christmas
McDonald’s or Burger King? Pass
Batman or Spiderman? Batman

Oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip? Oatmeal chocolate chip raisin

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