Friday, June 15, 2012

Saving Grace by J.M. Hill (Interview & Giveaway)

Saving Grace
Author: J.M. Hill
Publication: April 25, 2012
By: Amazon Digital 
4 Stars!

Grace Burke doesn’t need a thing.
She enjoys her quiet life in Fall Rivers, Colorado—running a bookstore and coffee shop with her cousin, Kate. The two have a successful business, a small circle of friends, and each other. What more could she want?
When the Anderson brothers move into the house across the street, it doesn’t take long for her to realize exactly what she’s been missing. At first sight, the youngest brother, Michael, captures Grace’s heart, and her quiet life is disrupted. Then it turns upside down.
Grace isn’t the only one with eyes for Michael. Nina Sandler, one of Michael’s clients, threatens to come between them. When Nina can’t get Michael’s attention, she focuses on Grace—in a very dangerous way.
But love is never easy and if the best things in life are worth fighting for, then Grace must find the courage to fight. Not just for love and happiness but for her very life.

[Thank you to the author, J.M. Hill for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.]  

*Be sure to check out my interview with author, J.M. Hill following my review!*

This was a great read! I was sucked in from the first page and couldn't put it down. It's a well written story about the bonds of family and friendship, love and forgiveness and fighting for what you want without compromising your values.  
All of these characters have strength and integrity but are not without their flaws, making them completely relatable. The romance is heart-achingly tender, builds at a good pace and the suspense had my heart in my throat.
I really enjoyed Grace's voice and she's a great example of true beauty.  While she's outwardly beautiful, her willingness to see the good in people and situations is what I liked most about her.  She also has a great sense of humor and her knowledge of sports makes her the dream girl of every jock that's ever donned a jersey and a foam finger!  Grace is content with her small town life, living and working with her cousin Kate and doesn't seem to fluster easily, until The Anderson guys move in next door.  Life as Grace knows it will be forever changed and her compassion will be tested in ways she never imagined. 

The Anderson guys, consisting of twins, Garrett and Miles and their younger brother, Michael are forces to be reckoned with.  Miles is good looking, intelligent, kind and caring and Michael is, well, he looks like he stepped off the cover of G.Q.  *fans face*  He may be the total package but he's also a real gentleman and it's easy to see why women swoon over him. *swoons* Michael has trouble holding onto things longer than necessary but Grace might be exactly what he needs, even if he doesn't realize it yet.
All of the Andersons are the kind of men you can bring home to meet the parents which was refreshing but my favorite was Garrett!  I *hearts* him!  He's hilarious and vaguely resembles a giant teddy bear who will eat you out of house and home if you aren't careful. *offers him brownies* 

None of these characters are immune to pain or loss and even struggle at times with making the right choices where the heart is concerned. One of my favorite conversations is between Grace and Michael as she's explaining the importance of not "selling out" or compromising what's important and why...

“Well, according to my uncle, most people— girls especially— tend to settle. Settling for the first guy that says she’s beautiful, or the first guy that gives her attention. “She gives pieces of herself away to each guy, searching for that one guy. The one guy who thinks she’s truly beautiful, seeing her inner beauty more than anything else.” 

I watched him carefully, wondering if he thought I was insane. “She gives piece after piece, to guy after guy, until all that’s left are broken pieces that have been used. Used and given back. Then one day, the right guy does come along, but there are so many pieces, she has to be put back together. And even though she can be put back together, the scars from stitching those broken pieces together, are there forever.”  
I really enjoyed reading "Saving Grace" and it just so happened to be my 100th book this year! *crowd goes crazy* (OK, so, maybe just my Mom but still.) 100 books deserves some kind of celebration with food, music, and prizes, right?!  Hang on a second...I think I can hear Garrett voting "YES!" to the food part. *giggles* *hands him the entire plate of brownies* ;)
Click the playlist below for music and you'll have to use your imagination on the food part *hands you cupcakes* but not for the prize, because there are 2 copies of "Saving Grace" up for grabs!  **(It's currently only available for Kindle or Kindle App.) Be sure to enter after the interview. Enjoy!


"Saving Grace" author, J.M. Hill was gracious enough to chat with me about her book. You can find her here...

Here's what she had to say...
Jen: Where did your inspiration for Saving Grace come from?
J.M.: Inspiration struck while reading Twilight.  (Pause for giggles)  My daughter wanted to read it, but I’d heard conflicting reports about the content, ie: Edward’s stalkerish behavior, etc, so I had to give it the mom-approval (that’s just how I roll).  Surprisingly, my favorite aspect of the book was NOT the relationship between Edward/Bella. My favorite aspect was the relationship of the Cullen’s. The way they protected each other no matter the cost.  Yes, they are vampires, and yes, they are fictional.  BUT, what a great picture of how families should be!  So, I came up with the Anderson family.  Grace and Kate only had each other, but when they met the Anderson’s they had a family again.  They were loved, they were protected…no matter the cost.  

Jen: Have you always wanted to write?
J.M.: I wish I could answer this question with a hearty “YES”, but alas, I cannot.  No, I haven’t always wanted to write. However, I’m having way too much fun, so I’ll definitely always want to write from now on!

Jen: What made you decide to go the self-publishing route?
J.M.: When I finished Grace, a handful of people convinced me it was good enough to be published.  Easy right? Uh, no. You don’t just wake up one day and say “Hey, I think I’ll get my book published.” Unfortunately, that’s exactly how I thought it worked.  I learned the hard way.  It was a long, difficult, irritating, frustrating, hurt-my-feelings, process.  Two years of querying agents, coming sooooo close just to be told “sorry” took it’s toll, and Grace was put on a memory-stick and shoved in a drawer.
For Christmas my two oldest boys gave me a Kindle.  One of the books I purchased was self-published for Amazon.  I got curious.  The rest is history.

Jen: I enjoyed Grace's "voice" and while she hasn't had the easiest life, she's still able to see the good in people/situations. Where does that come from?
J.M.: Grace is everything I wish I could be.  Her compassion for others is a character trait I wish EVERYONE possessed.  Sadly, compassion is rarely seen these days.  With all of the terrible things Nina did, Grace’s compassion came through in a powerful way.  Could I ever do what Grace did?  I don’t know, but I’d like to think so.

Jen: All of the Anderson guys are the kind you can bring home but I have to say, I LOVED Garrett! He's hilarious and definitely someone I'd want on my side should I ever get stuck in a dark alley or you know, if I needed to clean out my frig. ;) Do you have any "Garretts" in your life?
J.M.: Yes.  Garrett is modeled after my younger brother, Miles.  He’s over six-three, huge, tattooed, and if you saw him in a dark alley he’d probably scare you a little.  He also has one of the biggest, softest hearts, and he’s HILARIOUS.  I love him to death. It wasn’t my intention to write Garrett like my brother, it just happened.  But I think everyone needs a Garrett in their life, whether it’s to help clean out a fridge, or to you know, move a fridge. (Haha, so true!)
Jen: Michael is almost too good to be true with his model looks, charm and thoughtfulness. *sighs* What do think he would say his biggest weakness is? 

J.M.: I’m not sure how Michael would answer this question, so I’ll just answer for him.  I think his greatest weakness is the inability to let go of guilt.  But, we all tend to do that, don’t we? We all make mistakes, but what do we learn from those mistakes? Do we learn and move on? Or do we wallow in guilt and self-pity?  I think Michael was wallowing a bit until Grace called him out.  Sometimes that’s how we learn.

Jen: When we "chatted" before (via e-mail) you mentioned that you're a fellow homeschooler. *hi fives you* With all the attention homeschooling requires, when do you find time to write?
J.M.: I have no idea! Sheesh! Late nights. Really, really, late nights. 

Jen: What does your writing space look like?
J.M.: Wish I could tell everyone that I have a desk positioned in front of a window, with a picturesque view of mountains or a beach.  Nope.  My writing space consists of the sofa, or my bedroom.  When I want to feel inspired, I just scoot over to my husband’s side of the bed. 

Jen: OK, now some questions just for fun... 

Current read? The Island-Elin Hilderbrand  (adds to my TBR list

Favorite book ever? The Velveteen Rabbit

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla…with chocolate sauce

Football or Basketball? FOOTBALL

Justin Bieber or Journey? Puh-Leeeeeze! Journey! (agreed, although I did have a "fever" once.)

Running or Dancing? Dancing, but should probably consider running every now and then.

Brownies or Cupcakes? Brownies, warm from the oven, with aforementioned vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. 

Thank you so much J.M. for taking time to "chat" with me! :)  
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1 comment:

  1. picked the winners and the are:
    Beth Trageser and Beth DeRenzis! Congratulations to both Beths! :)