Years after fleeing small-town Springvale, Illinois, Deanna Chase has picked up the pieces of her shattered heart and built a new life for herself as a child advocacy lawyer. Her food addiction is quasi under control, her secrets are buried, and she has even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body. Until…
Micah Peters—the very sexy and now famous man she fled— walks through her office door and sends Dee reeling. His demand that she help a young boy caught in a custody battle will reunite her with the past she left behind.
Torn between duty and self-preservation, Dee isn’t easy to convince. But when obligation wins, the former lovers get more than they bargained for—a searing passion that burns hotter than ever and startling revelations about what really happened the fateful night she left.
Will the truth set Dee free to love again? Or will past hurts and lingering insecurities destine her to walk away from her heart again, this time for good?
Fat Girl is the first book in this provocative two-part series about love and self-acceptance.
His voice, deeper with age, packs an unfair sexual punch. Just like the rest of him.
As handsome as he was at eighteen, it didn’t come close to his appearance at thirty-three. People magazine has called it right. Micah Peters is the Sexiest Man Alive. No amount of shock or disdain could deny him that.
Partly Brazilian, on his mother’s side, he is blessed with exotic good looks. Short black waves carelessly styled, caramel skin that doesn’t pale even in winter, and espresso-brown eyes fringed with the darkest, thickest lashes I have ever seen.
Like his body, his facial structure is harder—more masculine, more defined. And the inky stubble framing his strong jaw and full, gorgeous mouth only adds to the instant, powerful impact.
But I’m not that naive girl anymore. I’ve taken my knocks and know all too well that the quality of a man’s character doesn’t lie in the quality of his looks. The fact that time has been unjustly charitable to him only fuels the resentment I’ve kept secret and locked away for fifteen years.
It takes every ounce of my trained composure to push civility past the bile rising in my throat. I lean against the wood frame for support and manage to say, “This is a surprise.” The fake calm of the words burns my tongue.
If he’s affected, it doesn’t show in the easy strides that move him toward me. The delicious aromas of leather and earthy cologne fill my senses. As he comes closer still, I struggle not to breathe him in. Mustn’t let him think he has any effect on me either.
Without smiling, his dark gaze slides over my every feature, studying them one by one, as if comparing them with his memory. “It’s been a while,” he says.
Not nearly long enough to forget or forgive. “Several years,” I reply.
Now he smiles. A mocking grin that tells me he knows I remember just how long it has been. That I remember the very night I left him—and everything else that mattered to me—behind.
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Hi, Leigh. Thank you for joining me today.
It’s my pleasure, Kim. Thank you for having me.
Please introduce yourself and don't tell me something I can find out from your bio. (I know, tough question. I really have you thinking already. )
It is a tough one. Let’s see, I was born in Ohio to a Canadian mother and American father. Lived in Mississippi until the age of 8, then Montreal (huge jump and cultural shift) and now Toronto. I married my high school guy. I love all things chocolate, but that’s on my bio. What you don’t know is that I would sell my soul for anything that pairs dark chocolate with peanut butter.
I can understand. Reese’s mini peanut butter cups are a weakness for me.
I hate rollercoasters, but love rides that spin me round and round. Fall is my favorite season. Old school music, the best. I watch copious amounts of cheerleading because my daughter does this competitively and like a good mom, I support her passion. I caught the writing bug around age 10 after I read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by the amazing Judy Blume. I thought, “one day I’m going to write a book.” I finally I did it!
We should totally hang out together! Can you please tell me something about your characters, Deanna "Dee" Chase and Micah Peters that I'm not going to find in the blurb?
Sure. Many people assume the title is based on Dee being fat. That’s not it. Although she is not the size of most mainstream heroines, “fat girl” refers to Dee’s perception of herself, formed by painful childhood events. It’s the inner voice that tells her she is not good enough, skinny enough, perfect enough. As a result she has developed this thick outer wall, but beneath it she is warm and caring. Micah sees past her weight, her insecurities and walls to the woman she is.
He’s strong, protective, and devoted to the people he loves. But he has his demons too. Dee is the only one who knows his secret, knows the pain he carries.
Their love affair is passionate and tumultuous. But there’s also sweetness to it and the possibility of them healing each other.
I tend to 1) be surprised and 2) excited when a heroine isn't your size 0 or 6. Tell me why you chose to have your heroine be plus sized.
I was excited to write about Dee, too. Inspired by my own struggles with body image, and knowing that I wasn’t alone, I wanted to write about a woman most of us could relate to on some level.
Dee’s body is not perfect if measured against the images of perfection in the mainstream media. According to stats, only 5% of women actually fit that arbitrary standard. Meaning the vast majority of us don’t.
You don’t have to be a plus size to have an inner fat girl. Besides the entertainment value of the book, I hope what readers take away from Dee’s journey toward self-acceptance is that there’s no “perfect” size that makes you beautiful, sexy, lovable or worthy.
Why did you choose to write the book from the POV's of both Dee and Micah?
Oh, the many versions that got me there. At first, I wrote almost the entire book in third person narrative. I have read other romance novels written that way and loved them. But something felt as though it were missing in Fat Girl. I couldn’t hear the voices as well, couldn’t connect to the emotions the way I wanted to. Then I tried from Dee’s POV and that left Micah without a strong enough voice, and not as relatable. So I tried both. And that was it for me. I loved having both of their first person perspectives. And I hope readers will appreciate that too.
Can you tell me about one of your favorite scenes from the book?
That’s always a difficult question for me. I felt so many emotions writing Fat Girl that my heart is in each and every scene. But to give you an answer, the one I would select is when Dee and Micah finally let their guards down and the secrets are revealed. It’s that defining moment. The culmination of the past and present that sets out two separate paths for the future…risk their hearts again or walk away?
One of my favorite things about romance books is being able to watch a couple's journey to a HEA. Usually that journey involves growth by one or both parties. In writing Fat Girl, what did you learn from your characters?
I learned about unconditional love. It’s the purest and most complete form of loving anyone, including yourself. It’s accepting the flaws and even finding the beauty within them.
You're currently writing the conclusion to Fat Girl, A Naked Beauty. Which book do you think is harder to write, the first or second?
I’m more confident in writing A Naked Beauty because I have a base story to work with and a little more experience now. I also have the encouragement from readers who loved Fat Girl, and that drives me forward.
Leigh, thank you very much for taking the time to talk with me and answer some questions. Congratulations on the book and good luck with the tour.
It was great chatting with you about Fat Girl. Your questions indeed made me think, and I enjoyed that. Thanks, Kim, for the interview and best wishes.
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You can follow Leigh’s Fat Girl Blog Tour here, for more interviews, guest post, and reviews here.
An American living in Canada. Chocolate snob. Recovering yo-yo dieter. Devoted mom and wife, blessed with a brilliantly witty daughter and unintentionally humorous husband. My wacky family feed my creativity and fuel my passion. Most nights, you will find me either curled up with a great book or, more often, sitting at my computer, tapping out the countless visions in my head.
To me, there is nothing better in a narrative than perfectly flawed but strong characters and intense romance that is sexy, deep, and sensual. Mm…I liken such stories to a box of Godiva. Decadent and delicious! You can’t stop at just one. In fact, I’m now hard at work on my next novel—A Naked Beauty, the conclusion to Fat Girl.
Places to find Leigh Carron:
Now, there are two different giveaways going on with this blog tour. Leigh will be awarding a digital copy of Fat Girl to a randomly drawn commenter at each stop. So it’s really important that 1) you each leave your email address (whateveritis @ gmail dot com) along with your comment or 2) check the main blog page to see if you’ve won.
And there is a Grand Prize of a $50 Visa or Amazon GC, an autographed copy of FAT GIRL and an invitation to discuss the book with the winner via phone or online will be awarded to a randomly winner. All prizes will be awarded via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway