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TLC Book Tours: 18. Love Me to Death by Allison Brennan...

January 31, 2011
Today I'm honored to be one of the TLC Book Tours stops for Allison Brennan's Love Me to Death! There's a guest post, my review, and I know some of you are fans of romantic suspense, which means you'll want to read all the way to the end... *grin*

TLC Tours

About Allison Brennan:
Allison Brennan is the New York Times bestselling author of many romantic thrillers, including Carnal Sin, Original Sin, Fatal Secrets, Cutting Edge, and Sudden Death. A four-time RITA finalist and Daphne du Maurier Award winner, Brennan enjoys spending her free time reading, playing games, watching high school sports, and researching her novels. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and International Thriller Writers. Allison Brennan lives in Northern California with her husband, Dan, and their five children.

Visit Allison online at her website,, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Allison shares some thoughts on motherhood, writing, and not looking back. I'm sure there's a better way of describing her post, but... You just have to read it!

When I tell people I have five kids, their jaws drop and they stare at me in shock. I know what’s going through their heads. The first thing is, “Doesn’t she know about birth control?” Then, “There must be twins in there.” Or, “She must be Mormon or Catholic.”

The answers: Yes, No, Catholic.

The comment I always get is, “I don’t know how you do it. How can you write three books a year with all those kids?” Or a variation on that theme. And I don’t get that.

I used to work full-time outside of the house—a regular 9-to-5 job—and no one ever asked me how I “did it” and raised my family. There are a lot of moms out there who work their butts off and aren’t writers, some of them working two jobs, some of them single moms, some of them with husbands who help a lot, and some of them with husbands who don’t do much of anything.

Before I quit my day job in early 2005, I worked 35 hours a week, had five kids (11 years to 6 months), and wrote every night after the kids went to bed. THAT was hard work. It was especially hard before I sold my first book, because I was writing toward a dream that may never happen. I love writing—but I also had a goal. I was writing for me first, but I was also writing to sell.

Working moms tend to feel extremely guilty because they work outside the house and fear they’re damaging their kids in some way, so they overcompensate and try to do everything. (Yes, I was guilty of that!) Stay-at-home moms feel guilty because they are at home and worry when they don’t do everything from being the team mom on soccer to being the first to sign up to drive on every fieldtrip to making sure their house is immaculate because they’re “at home” and there’s “no excuse.” I swear, the year that I was a stay-at-home mom after I quit my day job and pulled my kids from day care was the hardest year of my life. I couldn’t write when they were running around (at the time ages 4, 2 and 1—my oldest two were in school.) I was physically exhausted when it was bedtime, but I still had to write at night.

Writing is selfish. We do it first for us. When you’re unpublished, no one in the world cares if you sell a book—except you. No one. It’s hard to keep motivated in the face of negative influences, even when those negative influences aren’t obvious.

Sometimes it’s our spouse or parents or kids who think it’s “cute” we’re trying to write a book. Others may complain that we’re wasting money on paper, toner, and a new printer. Others are critical that we’re not spending enough time with the family and meeting everyone else’s needs.

Worse, some family and friends think that writing is a “hobby” something we do just for the hell of it or because we enjoy it, but it’s not a future career and thus can’t be fulfilling like a “real” career, or a “real” hobby—like gardening or scrap booking or whatever they themselves find valuable.

Being a multi-published New York Times bestselling author has some advantages.

People don’t think I’m writing just for the fun of it. People don’t generally look down their nose at me anymore when I decline to drive on the next field trip because of a looming deadline. Most people take my writing seriously—I have credentials now. But I still get the, “Since you work from home, can you just do . . .” fill in the blank of anything that takes more than ten minutes. Add half a dozen of those up and you’ve lost an hour or more of your time. And when you have only the hours when your children are in school to write—and the nighttime after they go to bed—that lost hour (or two or three) ends up hurting.

It took me a long time to minimize the guilt of putting my needs on equal footing with my family. Or close to it. Because I still drop everything when someone is sick, or when there’s a special event at school, and now that my hours are more flexible, I do drive on more field trips and rarely miss games. And honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love spending time with my kids, but I also love writing, and I can juggle both most of the time.

I “do it” like every other mom out there: I prioritize, I sacrifice, and I don’t sweat the small stuff.

I think back sometimes to how it all started—the early morning and late nights, writing books that never sold and no one will ever read (this is a good thing!), frustration that I was wasting time or not doing enough or doing too much. I remember the three years I didn’t watch television in order to make time to write.

It wasn’t easy. But nothing worth having is easily achieved. When I quit my day job, we didn’t have a lot of money and I had to be exceptionally frugal with my advance so that I could make it last. I pulled my three youngest from day care, we refinanced the house, I lived on a much tighter budget—with the added stress that if my books failed, I’d be crawling back to my old boss begging for my job back.

Was it worth it? If I had never published, or hit a bestseller list, would the time spent writing have been a waste?

I don’t like to play the “what if” game with my past life. Or think about what I wish I could change. I believe that when we make a decision that is by default life-changing at that moment—such as which college to go to (or whether to go at all); what job offer to accept; who to marry or where to live—it happens for a reason. If we make a bad choice, we learn from it. But to play the “what might have been” game can drive you crazy.

I’m sure I could have done things easier. I made a lot of mistakes. But would I be the same person today if I didn’t make those mistakes? So I look back at the beginning and realize that if I changed anything, I might not be who I am today. If I made different choices long, long ago I may not have met my husband and had my terrific kids. If I listened to person A instead of person B about how I should approach my writing career, I may not have even had a career . . . or maybe I would have had a better career. I simply don’t think about it.

I try to instill in my kids that they are responsible for their own happiness. That if they want something bad enough, and work hard enough for it, they can achieve their goal. No one promised it would be easy.

A month after I quit my day job, while we were struggling and juggling, my oldest daughter—then 11, said, “Mom, I’ve never seen you so happy.”

And ultimately, that’s a lesson I’m thrilled to teach my kids.

I love your perspective, Allison, and I'm glad you shared it with us!

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love me to death
About Love Me to Death:
Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid was attacked and nearly killed by an online predator. She survived. Her attacker did not. Now Lucy’s goal is to join the FBI and fight cyber-crime, but in the meantime, she’s volunteering with a victim’s rights group, surfing the Web undercover to lure sex offenders into the hands of the law. But when the predators she hunts start turning up as murder victims, the FBI takes a whole new interest in Lucy.

With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of Washington, D.C. But someone else is shadowing them: A merciless stalker has his savage eye on Lucy. The only way for her to escape his brutality may be another fight to the death.

ISBN-13: 9780345520395
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Random House Publishing, 2010
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Random House Publishing

drey's thoughts:
Love Me to Death is a page-turner that will suck up your time, so don't pick it up unless you can finish it--or you'll be ignoring everything else going on, so that you could finish it. Gee, that took quite a few words, didn't it?

Character: Lucy Kincaid is a strong woman. She has to be, to get through her past and keep moving forward with her life. At times, though, Lucy needs to admit that she cannot do it all herself, and she can rely on those who love her, without it looking like weakness. Allison Brennan does a wonderful job in her portrayal of Lucy Kincaid here... Seth Rogan is the perfect leading man for Lucy, and at times I wanted more of him than I got. Good men are hard to find! *grin*

Pace & Plot: This is a believable story that I could see unfolding in my head as I turned the pages. Where's the screen version? The bad guys are deplorable, even if some of 'em had more altruistic reasons for their actions. But, bad is bad. So there. Anyway, back to the story. The pages turn quickly, you root for the good guys, and there's a happily-ever-after. What more could you ask for from a romantic suspense novel?

drey's rating: 3.5/5 Very Good! If you're a fan of the genre, you should pick this up! OR, try to win it in my giveaway... *grin*

Thanks to the publisher, Random House, I can offer up one copy of Love Me to Death for you! US and Canada only, no PO Boxes, please. To enter, comment below with your actor suggestion for the role of private security firm owner Seth Rogan. He should be fit, yummy (of course!), just a touch broody, wicked grin... Oh, and don't forget tall, dark, and handsome, too. I'm thinking Josh Duhamel would be awesome. *grin*

Don't forget to include your email address. Do it before 6pm CST February 13th. Good luck!

Have you read Love Me to Death? What did you think?

TLC Book Tours stops for Love Me to Death:
Bewitched Bookworms
Dren's B-Spot
A Bookworm's World
Musings of an All-Purpose Monkey
chaotic compendiums
Under the Boardwalk
Jen's Book Thoughts
Fiction State of Mind
Along the Way
Reading with Martinis
Inside of a Dog
My Life in Not So Many Words
Cafe of Dreams
Bookaholic Does Blogging


LisaMM said...

I'm so glad you liked the book! Love the guest post too. As a work-at-home mom I can relate to a lot of what she said! Thanks so much for being on the tour.

Anonymous said...

I would cast Alex O'Loughlin or Rufus Sewell for the role of private security firm owner Seth Rogan :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

joyh82 said...

Love Allison's books. Great interview. 5 kids, wow that is what my Mom and Dad had but I could only handle two ;) What about Jensen Ackles from Supernatural?? ;)

Jessica said...

I think Hayden Christensen would fit the bill!

jsididia at gmail dot com

Izzy said...

Patrick Swayze...if he was alive =(

bradunwanted @ yahoo . com

Anonymous said...

Very interesting post by Allison Brennan.
Thank you for the giveaway.
Haven't read this book yet, but would love to read it. (Have read the previous books related to this series.)

Actor suggestion: Dwayne Johnson, "The Rock"
2much2reid {at} comcast {dot} net

Priya said...

I agree with Josh Duhamel! He would be perfect.

Thanks for the giveaway- I would love to win!


Steph said...

I think Josh Duhamel would be perfect too! Maybe ryan Reynolds...

2love.stephanie at gmail dot com

Seo said...

Ashton Kutcher!

sxg21 @ scasd . org

Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Great post Allison and I love your books! Been waiting for Lucy's books to come out!

I think Billy Zane would make an excellent Seth Rogan.

Thanks for the great giveaway, Drey and Random House!


Margie said...

This sounds like an exciting book. Count me in please. I think Josh Hartnett might be a good match.

Steph-Anne said...

Jude Law would be nice!

Reading said...

I think maybe Tom Cruise would be good for the role. Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

ChrisS said...

Great interview! I would love to see Ian Sommerhalter for the role. Tall, dark, handsome and what great eyes!


Karielle Stephanie said...

I think Ryan Philippi would be good! :)

thestephanieloves AT gmail DOT com

sgambunny said...

Alex Pettyfer I think. Great interview too! =)

sgambunny @ hotmail . com

rubynreba said...

Brad Pitt would be my choice.

skkorman said...

I would choose Gerard Butler!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

babytrees said...

Josh Duhamel would be wonderful!! or how about Robert Downey Jr.?

I would also go for a bit of an oddball, Jason Segel (I think he is handsome :) )

theresa _ heppner at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to read this book---I'm thinking that George Clooney would be perfect for those of us that see someone a little older in the role.

Crystal F said...

I agree with your pick but I think Ryan Phillipe would work too. thank you!
crystalfaulkner2000 at yahoo dot com

debbie said...

How about clive owen or colin farrell?

Timshaun said...

I think James Franco would be great.
Shaunda.Eppes at gmail dot com

AEKZ2 said...

How about Leonardo DiCaprio?

Rhonda said...

I like Hugh Grant for the role

Anonymous said...

Gerard Butler!

susansmoaks said...

i would like it to be gerard butler
susansmoaks at gmail dot com

Betty C said...

I love the guest interview. Very much on point. I must admit to having the same questions about writing with a family around. Congratulations on being successful and achieving the goal.
I haven't read this book yet but I'd really love to.
I suggest Shemar Moore in the role. I think he would be able to pull off any role he chooses.

Becky said...

I'm thinking Ben Affleck would be good.

Unknown said...

Ryan Phillipe would be good. Besides, he can't be in enough movies!

Donna said...

Keanu Reeves!

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