Friday, October 9, 2015

Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway ~ ALL I NEED IS YOU by Wendy S. Marcus

All I Need Is You (Loving You, #2)

by: Wendy S. Marcus
Series: Loving You
Genre: Contemporary Military Romance
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Source: Publisher ~ Loveswept via NetGalley

Perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Robyn Carr, this sexy yet sweet military romance reunites a headstrong dancer and a rugged army soldier after one steamy encounter tears them apart.

As a dancer who creates mesmerizing visions onstage, Neve James is looking for the same kind of stability in her love life. Her pen pal, Rory McRoy, is on leave from deployment in Afghanistan, so she heads to Boston to surprise him. After corresponding for months as part of a “Support Our Troops” initiative—and exchanging dozens of “Read When You’re Alone” letters—Neve knows what Rory likes, and she intends to fulfill his every fantasy. But all they get are a few blissful moments together before they’re interrupted by a woman claiming to be Rory’s fiancée.

Rory has fallen hard for Neve’s letters. When he finally meets her in person, he has to have her, right then and there—until Neve takes off in a fit of anger. Forced to return to Afghanistan before he can fix things between them, Rory waits four agonizing months to prove that he’s not the man Neve thinks he is. But by the time he arrives in New York, she’s already made up her mind. Luckily, Rory never backs down from a challenge, and he’s prepared to put everything on the line for love.

Advance praise for All I Need Is You

“Wendy S. Marcus has penned a perfect romance in All I Need Is You, with a sexy dancer heroine, a hot military hero with a sense of humor, and a story you won’t want to end.”—New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor

“I warned you not to come back here,” Nate snapped at Rory. “And why are you sniffing around my sister when you have a fiancée?”

“I’m not sniffing around yaw sistah,” she heard Rory say in his thick Boston accent. “And I don’t have a fiancée. I’m not engaged and have nevah been engaged. I didn’t lie to you. . . . Damn it, Neve. We’re friends. Give me—”

“You’re no friend of mine,” she told Rory. Not anymore. Not after what happened when he’d come home on leave several months ago. She lifted her left arm halfway up, glanced back at Nate, and gave a dismissive wave. “Get rid of him.” Thank God she reached the kitchen milliseconds before a humiliating collapse to the floor and managed to land on her chair instead.

“I’m sorry you’re still upset,” Rory called out. “If you’d just let me explain. You wouldn’t answer my calls, didn’t respond to my emails, and sent all my lettahs back, unopened. Now that I’m home for good I’m not going anywhere until we talk.”

“We’ve been talking.” She removed the plastic container of warm soup from the bag and placed it on the table. “Now I’m done talking.” She looked at him. “Goodbye, Rory. Go home. Have a nice life.”

At that, Rory walked inside her messy condo.

Sheesh. Men. Why don’t they ever do as they’re told?

“Stop,” Nate said in his police voice.

“Arrest him,” Neve suggested while struggling to remove the lid, which seemed to be glued on. Suddenly the effort didn’t seem worth it. What little appetite she’d had was gone.

“He didn’t arrest me last time.” Rory crossed his arms over his chest. “Just drove me away, took me to the train station, and waited around for me to get on.”

Last time when he’d showed up, uninvited, two days before he needed to head back to Afghanistan, banging on her door, demanding to be let in, insisting she give him a chance to explain. Nope. Instead she’d called her brother. “What is the benefit of having a sibling who’s a cop if you won’t arrest people when I tell you to?”

Nate ignored her, as he often did. His full focus elsewhere, he leaned down to look Rory in the eyes. “I recall telling you if you came back around I’d arrest you for real.”

“For what?” Rory asked.

“Trespassing,” Nate answered.

“Harassment,” Neve added. The word had come out of her mouth, she’d felt the vibration of her vocal cords, and yet the voice didn’t sound like hers. A wave of hot, achy, nauseating weakness slammed into her. Her peripheral vision started to narrow. The room started to blur. She needed to get back to bed, to sleep this off, but when she tried to stand a horrific pain shot through her right hip into her lower back.

Then everything went black.

For an additional excerpt, click here.

Hi Wendy!!! Welcome back to Read Your Writes Book Reviews.  I love the Loving You series.
Hi Kim!!! I’m so happy to be back! Thanks for having me.  

I also love the names of the characters Neve (rhymes with leave) and Rory. How did you come up with the names?
For Rory, I knew I wanted something Irish because I wanted Rory to be a part of a close knit Irish family who owns and runs an Irish pub in Boston. I made up the name Rory McRoy after seeing an article on the golfer, Rory McIlroy.  

Neve came to me when I was reading an article about name pronunciations. The author mentioned how the name Neve should rhyme with leave, but most people pronounce it ‘Nev’ because of the way Neve Campbell pronounces her name.   

Who writes your stories, you or your characters?
Ultimately I’m the one who types the story into the computer *wink*. But once I get about one third of the way into a story, my characters usually take on a life of their own and start telling the story based on their decisions and actions.  

How do you handle writer's block?
I can’t say that I’ve ever had writer’s block. Typically if I’m having trouble writing, it’s because a scene isn’t working which means I need to go in a fix it or get rid of it and write something new. If I’m stuck in a spot and can’t figure out how to proceed, I’ve cleaned out closets or drawers…so I feel like I’m doing something, even though I’m not doing what I need to be doing!  

I follow you on Facebook and Twitter.  I remember you calling Neve unfriendly names and being upset she wasn't cooperating with you.  I have to say Neve is deeper and more complicated than I imagined.  She doesn't always make the right decisions, but her heart's in the right place.  What surprised you about her?
I’d wanted to make Neve a fun, sarcastic, and flirty character – which she is. But as I got to know her, as I dug deep into what made her act the way she did, I realized she wasn’t as carefree as I’d originally thought. And I felt it important to tell the reader her whole story, not just the fun, sexy bits…although there are plenty of those!  

Neve has an interesting occupation.  In reading the book, I remember looking it up and being wowed by the art form.  Tell me about it and why you chose to have Neve be more than just a ballerina.
I first learned of adagio from a video posted to Facebook (where I spend way too much of my time!) It was of Duo Flame, a dance team competing in Ukraine’s got talent. After watching the video, (about a hundred times!) I started searching the Internet for more about them. Since I felt I needed to justify my time (so as not to feel like a stalker) I decided it would be research for my next story. Thus, Neve began to form in my mind. Here’s a link to the video that started it all!  

I knew I was going to love Rory, when I first heard about him in Loving You Is Easy.  The vision I had of him in my mind doesn't correspond to who he truly is.  Tell me about him.  More specifically, tell me why he isn't the six foot plus guy I thought he was.
Thank you for bringing up Rory’s height! At the end of Loving You Is Easy (Loving You #1), Brooke describes Rory as a shortish soldier with light hair. Then she notes, his stature was deceiving, because he hoisted Shane (who is big and over six feet tall) up with minimal effort. So when I started thinking about Rory as a main character of his own story, I had to decide how tall to make him.

Have you ever watched The Little Couple on TLC? Well, I love that show. The husband, Bill, is 4’ 0” tall and the wife, Jennifer, is 3’ 2” tall. And I have to tell you, in my opinion; Bill is the perfect hero, strong and supportive, helpful and loving. It made me think, why does a hero need to be six feet tall?

Let me tell you why… Reader expectation.

In the advanced reader copy of All I Need Is You, I’d researched height requirements for the U.S. Army, and decided to make Rory 5’4”. I made Neve a touch over 5’ 0”, so Rory would be taller than her. Plus I made Rory muscular and in excellent shape.

The day the advanced reader copy came out on NetGalley, I got four messages from different readers/reviewers asking if the height was a typo. On Goodreads a reader wrote something like: Am I wrong to stop reading a story because the hero is only 5’4” tall? Despite all of Rory’s wonderfully heroic qualities, readers stopped reading when they got to his height (which is revealed very early in the book!), either to complain about it or message me about it.

I totally panicked! What if readers saw Rory’s height and wouldn’t give him a chance after that? He’s such a great guy! So my editor and I discussed it at length and decided to make Rory taller, while still keeping him shorter than the average romance hero. So in the version of the book that released on October 6th, Rory is 5’7” tall.

After my panic and our decision to make Rory taller, All I Need Is You actually got a bunch of reviews praising Rory as ‘Not your average hero.’ I can’t win!   

I’m sorry.  I might have been one of those people who sent you an email. But you have to admit, Rory isn’t your average hero.  He’s so much more. One of my favorite scenes was when Neve surprised Rory in Boston.  The storage room, to be more specific.  How did you come up with the idea for the aftermath of that scene?
I had to think up a reason to break Neve and Rory apart. But I needed to be careful to make sure readers would forgive him, and root for them as a couple, once the mix up was explained.

Poor Rory.  I felt so bad for him after that scene.  I can literally talk to you forever.  But it appears, I've already asked a lot of questions.  I have one more, before you go.  (Pretending to think really hard, knowing that Wendy probably already knows what I'm about to ask.) Are you currently working on anything at the moment?  Translation, tell me that your brain is thinking up ideas for Nate, Neve's brother.
Let me just say I love Nate! And yes, I’ve thought about his story…to the point I even have the opening line! But, unfortunately, publishing is a business. And my publisher wants to see how well All I Need Is You sells before they’ll go to contract on another story in this series. So get all your friends to buy this book!!! Fingers crossed it sells well and Nate will finally get his chance to be the star of the show!

Wendy, thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions for me.
Thank you for having me, Kim. I always have fun when we get to chatting! And thank you so much for your wonderful reviews and all your hard work to help authors like me get the word out about our books! If you were here I’d hug you (hard)!

You’re welcome, Wendy.  Okay, people.  I really really really want Nate’s story to be told.  And trust me, you do too.  So be sure to grab your copy of All I Need Is You.

Click here for my 5 star review of All I Need Is You

The Loving You Series:
(Click on the book covers for more information and/or to purchase from Amazon.)

Loving You Is Easy ~ Review

Follow Wendy’s All I Need Is You blog tour here for additional excerpts, interviews, and guest posts.

Wendy S. Marcus is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. A nurse by trade, Wendy holds a Master of Science in Health Care Administration, a degree that does her absolutely no good as she now spends her days, nights, and weekends mucking around in her characters’ lives creating conflict, emotion, and, of course, a happily ever after. Wendy lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley region of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, which includes her dog Buddy, and blogging/ emailing/ tweeting/ facebooking with her online friends.

Places to find Wendy S. Marcus:

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  1. Thank you Kim!!! Sorry I'm so late. Revisions due Monday. Ahhhhhh!!!!! Thank you for this great interview!!!!!

  2. Would love to know what people think about me changing Rory's height!


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