Saturday, 5 January 2013

Blog Tour Stop - The LOVE HURTS Tour

Love Hurts Blog Stop!

The first blog tour that has stopped by my blog this year is the Love Hurts Tour which I'm very excited about!
The Love Hurts tour is a tour to promote two books, Easy by Tammara Webber which was released in the UK on the 3rd January, and Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan which will be released on 17th January!

These look like they're going to go down a treat in the YA world, so I'm very happy to be able to feature them - they've already been raved about by US readers, so now it's the UK's turn!

Today I'm able to share two exclusive guest posts from you, one from each author, discussing the issue of using romance to tell a story with darker/serious issues.

Easy - Tammara Webber: 

I’ve loved romance novels since I was fifteen and my best friend shoved one into my hands – coverless, so our mothers wouldn’t know what we were reading. Though my bookcase contains treasured classics, literary fiction, and ‘problem’ novels (commonly Young Adult), I still prefer to read love stories and happy endings. All novels contain conflict, of course, or they’re just boring narratives of people going through their happy and/or dull lives. But there’s a difference between a conflict within a romance (two characters who fight falling in love because of a gap in social status, for instance) and placing a tough issue (like domestic abuse or suicide) at the heart of the novel. 
I never thought I’d write a problem novel, until I realized I could wrap a love story around the issue I wanted to address. Where most problem novels have the issue itself as the main focus (romance – if included – playing a secondary role), my goal in Easy was to keep the focus on the romance, with the issue of acquaintance rape as the underlying tension. I wanted an almost equal balance between the two. For some readers, the issue is so subtle that they don’t seem to notice it– the story is all about the romance, and/or the hot guy. I also hear from from readers who’ve dealt with sexual assault, directly or in support of a friend, sister or daughter, or those who feel empowered to take steps to protect themselves against becoming a rape statistic. My hope is that these reader responses show that equilibrium between romance and issue.

Reason to Breathe - Rebecca Donovan

When creating the story that became Reason to Breathe, it was the love that came first. I discovered these two characters, Emma Thomas and Evan Mathews, who were in love, but something was keeping them from completely being together. It was a secret that Emma kept from him and prevented her from letting him in. I knew it had to be a secret that she thought would destroy both of their lives if he were to find out. Something that she could conceal and that most wouldn't suspect due to her perfect grade point and excellence in sports. I decided that this secret would be that she was the victim of abuse. I worked with troubled teens after I graduated college, and I knew how it would alter her personality, making her withdrawn, which would force Evan to want to know her that much more. 
Unfortunately, in reality, abuse isn't addressed enough. Too often people turn their heads and ignore what may be going on behind closed doors. I knew this topic was going to be sensitive, but I wanted it to touch every reader who came across it. Love is the one thing that Emma needs most, but because of the emotional and physical abuse she doesn’t feel worthy of it.  Whether it’s romantic love, the love of a friend, or love for oneself, love is life-changing.  But Emma has to decide if embracing that love is worth risking everything.

Thank you to Tammara, Rebecca and Penguin for allowing me to share this post with you!
Pick up a copy of Easy now and Reason to Breathe on 17th January!


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