Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Book Tour for Kiss Me By Moonlight by Michele Zurlo (Review & GIVEAWAY)


The previous book in this series was an engaging read with a complex heroine.  I'm excited to return to Lacey's world, and the world of rock-n-roll, in Kiss Me By Moonlight by Michele Zurlo.  Keep reading to learn about Ms. Zurlo through my interview with her and learn about this latest release through my review and by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Michele will also be awarding a choice of signed paperback copy of Wanting WilderMina’s HeartKiss Me Goodnight, or Kiss Me By Moonlight, and a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn winner from all entrants throughout the tour.....

TSP:  Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
MZ:  I think about that all the time: What pivotal decisions would I change if I had the chance? Looking back, I can think of pros and cons for each decision. Taking this path has made me a better writer, so I don’t regret much, though now I’m in a position to do things how I want instead of how somebody else dictates. The first novel I wrote (not the first published) was technically a New Adult novel, but there wasn’t a title or a market for it. I wish I’d held onto it—it’s a wonderful story—because I think it would be better received today. Other than that, I think I should have launched my own publishing company a year ago instead of waiting. I like being in control of my destiny, and I’m looking forward to working with new authors.
TSP:  What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
MZ:  I have 11-year-old twins and that open concept house everybody seems to be looking for on reality TV. There is no privacy anywhere, so my writing space is mobile. I write in the bedroom (no desk) or the living room (no desk) or at a swim/dive practice (no desk) or outside in the yard (no desk). When the twins go off to college, I have plans for Twin #2’s room.
TSP:  What draws you to writing rock star stories?
MZ:  I am a music lover. I listen primarily to alternative music, but I love concerts in any genre. If I had a season pass, I’d see a different concert every evening. The Kiss Me series is about a personal journey. It wasn’t meant to be a rock star story, but my heroine happened to fall for a lead singer.
TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about Kiss Me By Moonlight?
MZ:  It doesn’t dwell on things that happened in the first book. People who have deep emotional issues aren’t cured by falling in love. Eventually they fall apart and have to learn how to cope with the new emotional entanglement. This is truly a story of healing emotional scars. She took the first step in Kiss Me Goodnight, and this is the rest of her journey.
TSP:  Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
MZ:  Re/Bound (Doms of the FBI) would make a great romantic suspense movie. It has everything—lies, betrayal, love, BDSM, murder, kidnapping, and a butterfly house. As for casting…I suck with names. Some hot Italian guy with dark hair and a wicked single-tail swing should play Malcolm, and Darcy should be played by a curvy, sexy woman. Hollywood is full of people who are too skinny, so they’d have to get someone unknown and realistically built.
TSP:  Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
MZ:  Drew Snow from Hanging On is the most heroic. He’s the sexy chef with his own syndicated show who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, yet he insisted on succeeding on his own. He fought for love, and he got everything he deserved. I admire heroes who have the emotional fortitude to stand up for themselves, take control, and make everything all better.
TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself?  Do you have an eReader yourself?
MZ:  I love the digital revolution because it tore down the walls between readers and authors. I don’t think I would have been published without it because no agents were returning my queries. My first eReader was a 2nd generation Kindle that my mom bought me. It led me to Siren, which started my career. Now I have my own publishing company, Lost Goddess Publishing, which is only possible because of the digital revolution.
TSP:  My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things OR the things you can't live without?
MZ:  Things I can’t live without 1) my family, 2) my dog, 3) my laptop, 4) Dove chocolate. On some days #4 becomes #1.

Hey there. It’s Lacey again. Falling in love and landing Dylan hasn’t been the panacea I thought it would be. For starters, he moved into my apartment without asking, and he continues to have no respect for my need to have things in sets of six. Pile that on top of my emotional upheaval after losing my stepfather, and you have a recipe for disaster no amount of German chocolate cake can cure.
Yes, Lacey Hallem’s life remains fraught with challenge, but you know she’s a fighter. Forming a talent management agency with her best friends has been the best career move she’s ever made—even if it’s the only thing currently working according to plan. Lacey’s OCD is getting the better of her, and this time her hands aren’t the only casualty. When her lies ruin her relationships with both Kiss Me Goodnight and Dylan, she’s forced to confront her demons in ways she’s never had to before. As she once again faces her past, can she learn once and for all to let love and friendship through the barriers she’s built?
Both harrowing and hilarious, this conclusion to the tale of Lacey and Dylan will leave you laughing, crying, and fanning yourself—sometimes all at once. Michele Zurlo triumphs again in this moving story about life’s quirks and what we all have to do to get by.

EXCERPT:

He followed me into the apartment, hopefully noting the stiffness of my shoulders. I projected outrage as hard as I could. Lies to cover lies. I know what I’d done was wrong, and it wasn’t a little problem. I’d said it in front of the media. Not for the first time, I considered that I was a bad choice to manage his band. With my mouth, it was bound to get negative press.
I went into the bedroom and into the closet. It’s a large, walk-in number half full of his clothes. I went to my dress section and began evaluating them to figure out which one I would wear to see John’s grave. Though it had been chilly when we’d left this morning at an ungodly hour, the sun had come out for the return trip and warmed things up considerably. The ice in the parking lot was melting, and the early spring day promised to get even warmer. I selected a long-sleeved black velvet shirt and its matching full-length skirt.
Dylan stood in the door of the closet, deliberately blocking my path. He eyed the dress in my hand incredulously. “What the hell are you doing?”
I responded to him with a passively neutral expression. “Changing.”
This is my way of goading him. He has a temper, but it takes a lot to get him to explode. I have a hard time expressing anger, and I hate how Dylan gets eerily calm when he dealt with me, so this is my way of compelling him to force me to let it out. Fucked up, right?
He took the clothes from me and threw them on the floor littered with shoes. Then he gripped my chin in his cupped hand, making me face him. “No. We’re going to discuss whatever is eating you up.”
I tried to shake my  head, but he didn’t let me move. “I’m fine.”
“Liar. You’re so not fine, it’s not even funny. I haven’t seen you this way in months.”
If I take a step back, he’ll let go of me and back off. I stared at him, wondering who is going to break first.
He studied me, searching my eyes for answers I didn’t have. “You weren’t calling me a name; you were lying.”
“It’s a fine line, isn’t it?” I spoke softly and kept my gaze locked to his. “And at the end of the day, it doesn’t actually matter.”

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

The journey to HEA continues to be rocky for Lacey and Dylan as her obsessions and emotional issues become an overwhelming struggle and his jealousy and passivity in dealing with her issues has them constantly at odds.  While their romance may be going through the wringer his band continues their upward trajectory to number one which causes even more strain between them and unleashes the worst sides to Lacey.

As this story is told from her POV we get an in-depth look and an understanding into what drives Lacey's self-destructive tendencies.  She still can't get over what her father did when she was a child and the recent death of the one man she thinks of as a father leaves her adrift with no one she can truly talk to.  I ached for everything she went through and her continuing struggles.  Lacey's not always likable but she's someone you can't help but feel empathy for.  She's snarky which frustrates while also making you laugh.  She knows her self-destructive actions are bad but she relishes the brief moments of empowerment in a life that's increasingly out of her control.  As this story progresses we see a stronger Lacey, a woman who starts her own business and asserts her inner strength to regain the man she loves and the life that fulfills her in a triumphant and satisfying conclusion.

Dylan is a wonderful boyfriend who tries to be understanding but doesn't want to lose the complex woman he's grown to love.  In his passivity though he unwittingly exacerbates her issues which leaves her spiraling and him becoming jealous in an attempt to hold on to her.  Dylan is a sweet and sexy man who's been hurt by love before.  Lacey treats him very bad at times and it brings out the worst in him which leaves both of them lost amidst a fractured relationship that's heartbreaking.  We never get to know everything about Dylan in this story beyond his sexiness, loyalty, and desire to be there for Lacey.  What we do see though, I love!  He's caring with a bit of Alpha male which was intoxicating to witness.  

The relationship between Lacey and Dylan was battered and bruised throughout the story but ultimately became stronger because of their issues and confrontations.  Lacey's journey was realistically and heartbreakingly portrayed and her hurt became mine through her inner dialogue.  Dylan was sweet and sexy and every girl's dream boyfriend and though he wasn't always right in his actions he was always there for Lacey.  Along with a complex and unique heroine comes a slew of secondary characters who force Lacey to truly deal with her past.  Her mom in particular was wise and I appreciated her no-nonsense attitude.  The rest of Kiss Me Goodnight, as well as other new bands, brought the excitement and stresses of the music world to life and have me hoping we'll see more of these musicians in the future.  From start to finish this was an engaging story that kept me fully immersed in Lacey's struggle and those looking for an intensely emotional read with a flawed yet genuine heroine will find this exactly what they're looking for!

My rating for this is an A.

*I bought this book with my own money for review purposes and my opinions are therefore my own.

AUTHOR INFO:

I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve. I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor

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

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16 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting, and thank you for the thoughtful review! I'm so pleased you liked it.

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    1. Thank YOU for stopping by! What's coming up for you next that you can share?

      The Scarf Princess

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  2. Thank you I enjoyed the excerpt and the interview and I have lots of days where chocolate climbs rapidly up my favorite things list too

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  3. Thanks for stopping by, Stacey! Chocolate is a food group, and anybody who tries to argue is in denial.

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  4. I have enjoyed the tour and learning about your book. Thank you for the excerpt.

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  5. Hi Rita--thanks for following my tour!

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  6. I really enjoyed the review. I would love to read book one also.

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    1. Hey MomJane,

      Thanks for your comments! You should definitely read the first book to witness Lacey's evolution. In the first book Lacey definitely rubbed me wrong but in this book there's a deeper understanding of her and a greater appreciation for her development. Here's my review for the first installment....http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com/2014/05/book-tour-for-kiss-me-goodnight-by.html

      Thanks again for stopping by and good luck in the giveaway!

      The Scarf Princess

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  7. I loved the interview and the book sounds great!

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  8. Great interview and I added the book to my TBR list. =)

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  9. I'm a huge fan of your work especially from Siren. Really looking forward to reading more from you.

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    1. Hi Amy, I'm so glad you could stop by!

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  10. Loved your thoughts on Kissed me by Moonlight!

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  11. Excited to read this next book in this series!

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