Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Tour for Before He Was Famous by Becky Wicks (Review & GIVEAWAY)


As a fan of rock star stories I was immediately drawn to this intensely emotional story and am honored to bring it to you.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of Before He Was Famous by Ms. Wicks and learn about her process in writing a series.  Also keep reading to get my impressions of this book and learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win copies of this book too!

This is the first book in the Starstruck series. What is your process for crafting a book series?
Hi! Thanks for having me on the blog… it’s very warm in here.
So… that’s a good question. There are loads of things to keep in mind when you’re coming up with a series of books. I guess, personally, the first is having a good set of stories in mind. I tried to do something original with mine (the aspect of reality television and the consequences of stardom) that had a chance of standing out. The last thing I wanted once I’d committed to two or three, maybe even more books, was to get bored with my idea, or to see that someone else had beaten me to it. How much would that suck? didn’t have all the details ironed out, but a general outline set me off to a good start and the little things just spider-webbed from there.
Craft your characters carefully
I knew that having a believable set of characters was important from the start. With Before He Was Famous it took a while before I could think about anyone other than Noah and Chloe (it felt like a break up when I finished the book!), but I quickly knew Alyssa was someone I wanted to follow next, so I went back and concentrated on crafting her into an interesting character. I knew if I did that, then hopefully people would want to read about her continuing endeavors, whatever they might be. I also tried to craft Denzel and Courtney into people who could pop back up and be remembered easily! You may see them again.
Don’t create unnecessary cliffhangers
I always try to wrap up every plot line… I hate gaping holes or when you’re left wondering, well, what about so-and-so? Everyone in a story should have a purpose, no matter how small. I think, if you’re planning to re-introduce a character later, they should explain that they’re doing something, or going somewhere in the previous novel instead of just disappearing. This creates a sense of excitement at catching up with them again later, rather than annoying an audience with the fact that they just vanished.
Visualize it as a movie
Sounds weird but it really helps. I think of my books as if each chapter is a scene in a movie. It helps me structure them and develop the characters, and also to describe what they’re seeing and feeling in more depth. I think of camera angles and everything! I also think you have to put readers in a situation where they don’t just want, but need to know what happens next. Jumping from Noah’s to Chloe’s point of view in Before He Was Famous not only creates distance between each of theirstories (hopefully keeping you turning the pages!) but it creates tension from both sides. It’s even more frustrating knowing that they both want each other but are too afraid to go and get it. Sure it’s annoying to read at times, but that’s the point. If you don’t feel anything when you’re reading a story, we haven’t done our jobs properly as writers.
The biggest thing to remember when coming up with a series, is that you have to love your characters. If you don’t love them, no one else will. Of course, not everyone is going to like everything you write, no matter what you do… that’s the way of the world. If you don’t feel a connection, you put it down and find a book you like. Easy. The beauty of it is that there are so many stories and so many amazing opportunities to be swept away into another world. We can all find a book, or a series of books that speaks to us!

Falling in love with your best friend isn’t always a great idea, especially when he’s Noah Lockton - the sexiest, most famous new talent on the planet. When 21-year-old small-town photographer Chloe Campbell is offered the chance of a lifetime – to join her celebrity childhood friend Noah on tour as an exclusive blogger for a New York magazine – she’s certain both have put what happened four years ago behind them. But his eyes still burn; his voice is still a jackhammer to her heartstrings; all his songs are about her. Is it possible that that night still haunts them both?
The music industry is a machine, spinning hype and rumors as much as his records. It’s not just Noah’s girlfriends who’ve got it in for Chloe (there’s no stopping the Twitter-obsessed, cat-loving pop-star Courtney Lentini for starters). Pretty soon, the jealousy and media frenzy surrounding these so-called-friends takes a life-changing turn and it seems making love means making enemies at every turn. When tragedy threatens to pull the final curtain on their relationship, both Chloe and Noah must make a choice. As much as this world leaves them starstruck, is living their dream really worth living without each other?
A story of lifelong friendships, love and hope, set in a world of celebrity, fame and social media gone very, very wrong.

EXCERPT:

Chloe. Chapter 22.
I see the scar on his right shoulder from where he fell off Jack's homemade sled one winter and tumbled roly-poly style right into a rock. It's a thin, shiny white line. I resist the urge to touch it. He's undoing me, again, lying here beside me in a literal bed we made ages ago but have since refused to lie in. How does he do this?
'I guess she knows it, even if you don't,' he whispers.
'I do,' I say, and inside I'm screaming. We're not doing this; we're not. This is dangerous. But he climbed in next to me and now it's the strongest, aching urge to keep him here, to have him holding me again and to never let me go. The guilt surges through me, along with the fear. 'So, she broke up with you?' I manage.
'I guess so,' he replies, scanning my cuts with his eyes.
'She really liked you, Noah,'
'Yeah, well, maybe I'm just an asshole.'
I realize my hand is still in his hair and I retract it quickly. He grabs it, holds it against him. You're not an asshole I'm thinking, but for some reason I can't say it. It would be like admitting something else; like the fact that he's an asshole to every girl who likes him, but never to me. And then I'd have to really think about why that is and that's not something I'll ever be comfortable with at all, even though his eyes are like maps and his words are like anchors and his songs are like personal messages and I love all that.

FIND AT AMAZON here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Becky Wicks puts readers through the emotional wringer with this story of friendship, romance, lost opportunities, and the affect of social media on people's lives.  Told in alternating first person POVs you find yourself immediately caught up in the evolving relationship between two lifelong friends whose lives are undergoing big changes due to the hero (and oh, what a sexy hero he is!) winning a televised singing competition.  Fear of change, fear of admitting deep seated feelings, and intrusions from the outside world all conspire too keep two people meant to be together from finally taking the plunge and left me frustrated and heartbroken through most of the story as the rocky road to romance commenced for Noah and Chloe as they braved the spotlight and media attention.

Noah and Chloe are like two peas in a pod, they fit together beautifully and have always been there for the other through all sorts of ups and downs.  Though they both want more from the other the time never seems right as relationships with outsiders constantly get in the way.  When Noah sees his popularity climbing it might just be the end of them but fate won't give up on these two and throws them together on the road where obligations and the media onslaught weigh heavily on their delicate connection.  Amidst unexpected humor, crazed fans, and a vividly depicted music world readers are left on the edge of their seat rooting for Chloe to put aside her fears and take a chance on what is so obvious to Noah.  But as her fear compounds their HEA is left hanging in the balance.

Noah is a drool-worthy hero who knows how important Chloe is to him and doesn't hesitate to say so in words and song.  Her support means the world to him as does her heart and he couldn't have been more obvious in how he feels about her.  Chloe is clearly the one letting her fears hold her back as she doesn't think she's good enough for Noah or able to fit in to this new world he's found himself in.  She's also scared of losing a friendship that she's become comfortable with and depends on.  While I can understand her fears at first, it soon becomes apparent how good they could be and it became annoying for her to continue holding back.  Their connection crackled from page one.  As they got older the sexual tension oozed off the pages and engulfed me in a sensual haze that kept me rooting for them and their HEA.

Though the themes of this story seem familiar, Ms. Wicks has brought surprising depth and emotional intensity to banter that's witty and characters that are immensely likable.  There's a breath of fresh air to this story that kept me engrossed in the story and its to-die-for hero while keeping me on edge courtesy of a self-doubting heroine.  This is my first book by Ms. Wicks but won't be my last as there's great promise in this first book in her Starstruck series and I'm greatly anticipating the next installment as will other fans of rock star stories!

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Becky Wicks is a HarperCollins author going indie! Itchy feet has led her to live and work all over the world since leaving England at age 21, including NYC, Sydney, Bali, South America and Dubai. Right now she’s scribbling the second book in the HotFlush series in Vietnam, and will soon be in Vancouver if any hot Canadian men want to make her a cup of tea?
Becky has also written three funny travel books about her time in Dubai, Bali and South America (HarperCollins). Her first book, Burqalicious - The Dubai Diaries, her second book, Balilicious - The Bali Diaries and her third, Latinalicious -The South America Diaries are out now as ebooks.
Becky has also written a comedy romance with author Sarah Alderson under the name Lola Salt, called The Extraordinary Life of Lara Craft (not Croft) which should raise a giggle or two... think Bridget Jones if Jackie Collins had written it!

FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Becky-Wicks-Author/242645109127479?ref=hl
TWITTER:  @bex_wicks
BLOG:  http://www.beckywicks.com
GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21936562-before-he-was-famous
GOOGLE+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BeckyWicksauthor/posts

**********GIVEAWAY**********

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3 comments:

  1. Interesting characters

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  2. How wonderful that you've gotten to not just travel around the world, but to live in other cultures. I think that would be an awesome experience.

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