Just Fall by Annica Rossi
by Annica Rossi
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How far would you go to save everything?
Life hadn’t dealt Lauren St. John a fair hand, yet she considered herself lucky to be living on the majestic shores of Lake Michigan running the business her parents worked their whole lives to create… Until now.
Facing the possibility of losing The Grandview Inn and her relationship with Jake Kennedy, the man she vowed to marry, “Lo” is desperate to hold on.
In the middle of her anguish, the unexpected arrival of longtime
guests, Tom and Mary Blackwell, seems like a welcome relief, but just when she thinks things couldn’t get any worse, she discovers they’ve brought along an unwelcome ghost from her past.
Enter the dangerously seductive Parker Blackwell, renowned poker player and notorious bad boy, with a propensity for kinky sex.
Seven summers ago, the gauntlet was thrown down from the moment Lo and Parker laid eyes on each other. Too young to realize the gravity of their connection, their friendship grew until a series of tragic events began to unfold, and Parker mysteriously disappeared, leaving Lo heartbroken and unwilling to forgive.
Grown up now, and suddenly forced to confront their unresolved feelings and undeniably explosive sexual attraction, the situation intensifies into an enticing and comical game of “it’s your move”. But when Parker raises the stakes too high will Lo put herself on the line to save everything she’s ever known?
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I’m not normally attracted to bad boys, and he was the perfect specimen, but there was an air of confidence about him that came from more than just his stunning good looks, and it beckoned me to investigate. He was picture perfect in every way…but as you know looks can be deceiving.
As I began to recover from my momentary brain lapse vague memories began to surface in the back of my mind. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was something very familiar about those dimples…
My eyes blinked open slowly, trying to adjust to the sunlight pouring through the windows overlooking the Vegas strip, and I could hear the faint sound of my phone ringing from somewhere in the room. Any other time it would take a lot more than a phone call to pry me from the arms of two lovely naked bodies like these, but I had a strange feeling this could be important, so I climbed carefully out of bed to find out.
“Parker! You sound tired. I hope I didn’t wake you dear. What time zone are you in?”
I’d never felt dirtier than I did standing there, listening to the sound of Aunt Mary’s sweet voice as my eyes watched the scene taking place in the middle of my bed. I took one last peek at Lexi’s attempt to wake Ashley using only her tongue before I shut the door behind me and reluctantly walked into the other room. How could something be so wrong and so right at the same time?
The Parker Blackwell I remembered was the most annoying, frustrating, immature boy I’d ever met, and he always, I mean always had to win. He challenged me at everything, and my entire summers were spent competing with him.
I grabbed my phone and tried to call my best friend, Nina. She knew our history, and she was the only person who would understand what I was going through right now. Straight to voicemail. Shit!
This may seem like an outrageous reaction coming from a twenty-four-year-old woman, but if you only knew the torture I endured you would understand. He got under my skin in every way, and although I never admitted it to anyone, I secretly loved him and hated him all at the same time. He was exhausting, sexy and maddening, and I daydreamed about him constantly. He was the reason I practiced kissing my pillow at night, and in the spring I would count the days until he arrived to begin our confusing and frustrating game all over again. Sometimes I thought that he might like me, too. I often caught him staring at me, and that time we kissed he made an attempt at second base, but I never really knew for sure. Everything was just a game to Parker.
With the stars twinkling above, the radio cranked up, and Parker looking at me like John Travolta looked at Olivia Newton John post bad girl transformation, I was having the time of my life! Right up until the moment those flashing lights appeared in the rear view mirror.
I should have seen it coming, but in the heat of the moment it never occurred to me that my dad might think his car was stolen and call the cops. He never suspected that his “Golden Girl” would have driven off into the night with Danny fucking Zuko. I’ll never forget the look on his face when I got out of the back of that cop car.
Parker- Ryan Guzman
Lauren “Lo”- Ashley Benson
Author Interview Questions
What inspired you to write Just Fall?
I’ve had tons of different writing jobs in the past. I was a virtual assistant on Elance for a couple of years and wrote content for websites, biographies and even did some ghost writing here and there.
I often thought about what a luxury it would be to write something for myself-something completely my own without boundaries. The desire to write something of my own became stronger with each book that I read, until one day, after reading Sylvia Day’s Crossfire Series, I decided I would finally take a shot at writing a romance novel.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
As far back as I can remember, I loved to write. Writing just seemed
magical to me from a very young age. I can remember feeling blissful, sad or even scared after reading a great story, and I was amazed at how words on a page could transport me to another place.
I wanted to create something that made people feel, so growing up I wrote poems, short stories, greeting cards and even song lyrics. Then in high school I wrote articles for the school newspaper and was appointed editor my senior year. Throughout high school and college, I helped my friends write everything from essays to resumes. So, writing has always been a significant part of my life.
What was your favorite part of Just Fall?
Well, that is a difficult question, because Just Fall is part of a series,
and my hands down absolute favorite part is yet to come. However, without spoiling it for everyone, I would have to say that so far my favorite part is the scene between Parker and Lo on the beach. I love anticipation, and there was all this build up and wondering whether or not this was really going to happen, and then BAM! Fireworks! And who doesn’t want to experience that?
So, the beach was definitely my favorite scene, but overall I think I
enjoy Lo’s fiery spirit and raw down-to-earth tenacity. I have a lot of
fun writing about her.
What was the hardest part to write in Just Fall?
Definitely the sex scenes. Wow, they are the best and the worst parts to write all at the same time. I have all of these ideas swirling around in my head of how passionate and explosive Lo and Parker’s first time should be, but putting them on paper and conveying that level of intensity to my readers is extremely difficult. I think the hardest part is to give enough detail for the reader to imagine exactly what is taking place, yet not giving too much that it sounds mechanical. This is something I hope to get better at with each book.
What are your favorite novels?
Wow! Where to start? My reading preferences are much like my music preferences, they depend on my mood. With that in mind, I loved Fifty Shades of Grey, not as much for the story as for the inspiration it provided me as an author. I also loved The Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day, and everything that Colleen Hoover has released so far. I’ve enjoyed some darker reads from time to time like those of Anne Rice writing as A. N. Roquelaure, ahem…Sleeping Beauty. Need I say more?
Nicholas Sparks novels make me cry, which I consider a good thing. I loved A Walk to Remember, Safe Haven and The Notebook, all of which were far better than the movies could ever portray.
I grew up reading Jackie Collins and later, Danielle Steele. I have read
and loved many of Mauve Binchy’s books. My favorite is Tara Road, and I also really liked A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. Oh, and Tangled by Emma Chase was very funny. Collide by Gail McHugh. These are just some of the many novels that come to mind. If I thought about this any longer you would need to edit my reply as it would be far too long! 🙂
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Out of all the many talented authors on the scene currently, I would have to say that I most relate to Sylvia Day. I admire her, because she was not an overnight sensation. She has been at this for many years, and her passion for writing and improving her skills has earned her one of the biggest advances ever awarded from a publishing deal. Plus, she is an amazing author. I really relate to her characters and haven’t read one book from her that I didn’t like.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading Real by Katy Evans, and I need to finish soon, because I
can’t wait to read Remy, the next in her series. I also started Wild by
Adriane Leigh. I just met Adriane this weekend through Goodreads. She is a Michigan author like me, so I’m very excited about reading her work.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes! Katy Evans has my attention at the moment. She has created, in my opinion, the ultimate alpha male in Remington Tate. Seriously! I have a difficult time rating him, because he is truly off the charts, and has become my current book boyfriend just in case you were wondering. 😉
What are your current projects?
I am STILL going over my paperback proof of Just Fall. I changed the cover and a few other details and hope to finalize it very soon. I am also knee deep in the second book of The Fall Series. I’m shooting for a January 2014 release so stay tuned!
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
That’s an easy one-my beta readers! I couldn’t have written a better story without them. They were honest and supportive, and even kicked me in the butt when I needed it. I am forever grateful to them and hope they are ready for round two!
Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely. I have worn so many hats over the years, and I think with each career I have gotten o know myself a little better. I currently own a very successful Etsy shop, and although I love what I do, nothing provides the same freedom as writing. It’s an escape, a release, and it gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Just
While writing Just Fall I was convinced I could do it all myself. I did
everything from the editing to the cover design and it showed. So, after forcing myself to admit that I’m clearly not an editor or a graphic artist (LOL)I hired a designer for my cover, and in the future I will hire an editor as well.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice that I can give as a new writer is to keep writing and
always put your best foot forward. The more you write the better and more credible you will become, and putting your best foot forward means admitting your weaknesses in order to be sure your work is represented in the most positive light. So, hire the graphic designer and the editor from the start. Trust me. It’s worth it.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
First I want to say THANK YOU! Thank you for taking a chance on a new author and taking the time to read my book. Thank you for giving me amazing and honest feedback that can only help me become a better author in time. Thank you for your support on Facebook and Twitter and please if you haven’t done so already be sure to review Just Fall on Amazon,Goodreads, etc. Every review counts. I hope that through my writing I can give you a great escape from everyday life, and through my story I can inspire you to take a chance and follow whatever dream is in your heart.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and
logistical) in bringing it to life?
The two biggest challenges for me were mechanics and time. It’s true that the more you write the better writer you’ll become. It’s almost like polishing a stone. The more you polish the smoother it becomes. When I started Just Fall my writing skills were a bit rusty, and I’m still
feeling it. My day job can be demanding and is always time consuming, leaving little time and energy for writing. You can find me propped up late at night trying to get as much done as possible, but I don’t think this schedule is conducive to great writing. I’m hoping to change that soon and to make writing a part of my daytime schedule.
Character Interview Questions
What is your character’s name?
Does your character have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did the character get them?
I don’t have any birthmarks, but I have a few scars. Most of them came from my teenage years when I couldn’t resist a bet or a dare. I did some crazy shit like trying to jump over a car with my dirt bike when I was seventeen. That one landed me in the hospital with a broken arm and 50 plus stitches.
Who does the character surround himself with? Who are the people your character is closest to? Who does the character wish he were closest to? Where was your character born? Where has he lived since then? Where does he call home?
I keep to myself mostly. I learned at a young age that there aren’t many people I could count on in my life, so I learned to count on myself. I have a close friends, but I don’t spend too much time with them. I surround myself with people who live in the moment like me, people who I’m not obligated to please or to feel anything for.
All my life I’ve been closest to my Aunt Mary and Uncle Tom, but even they don’t really know me anymore. I try to avoid seeing them sometimes, but when I’m with them I feel more like myself than with anyone else in the world. I used to feel that way with Lo before that last summer…letting go of her friendship is my biggest regret.
I was born in Northern California, but I’ve never really had a home. My parents split and both remarried. Growing up I moved to several different cities with my mom and her husbands, but I was out of there as soon as I was old enough to live on my own. I still don’t really have an official home, at least not in the sense that most people have. I keep a penthouse in Vegas and travel most of the year, so a home has never been a priority.
Where does your character go when angry?
When I’m angry I like to be alone. I might go to the gym to work off some energy, but if it’s too crowded I go back to my penthouse, crank up some music and lift some weights until the mood passes.
What is your character’s biggest fear? Who has the character told this to?
My biggest fear is not being in control. So much of my life has been at
the mercy of my parents and their choices. On the outside I know people thought I was a spoiled rich kid, but what they didn’t know was that I was alone. I watched my mom and dad go through hell with one failed relationship after another made me distance myself from love. Love is one emotion that you can’t control. You can’t control the other person. Things change, and your whole world can be ripped out from under you in the blink of an eye.
I learned that I needed money and distance to be in control. Not the
family money either. I had to make my own. I started playing poker and winning, and I keep my distance from people. That’s why I left Lo. She is the only person I’ve ever felt close to, and I couldn’t help her. I never stopped thinking about her, and now I’m getting tired. Tired of running. Tired of being alone. I’ve never told anyone this, not even her.
Does the character have any secrets?
Growing up the way I did I learned everyone has secrets. My lifestyle is a secret. I mean, I don’t go to great lengths to hide what I do, but I keep it in Vegas and other cities far away from the few people I care about.
I have also done a few things lately that I’m not particularly proud of,
but I did them to protect Lo. You’ll know the whole story soon enough and you can judge for yourself…
What makes your character laugh out loud?
Sarcasm, dry humor, jokes about family dysfunction, stand-up comedians, especially the classics like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, Jackass movies. Oh, and kids. Yeah, don’t tell anybody, but I have a soft spot for kids. They have no filter and some of the brutally honest and innocent things they do and say just get to me.
When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?
The only girl I ever loved was Lauren St. John. She never knew it, but she broke my heart daily. I was too busy giving her a hard time to ever show her how much she meant to me-the distance thing remember? She was the only girl that ever put me in my place. She was the only girl that ever saw me for who I really was, the good and the bad.
About the Author:
Michigan debut author, Annica Rossi, describes herself as a “serial mompreneur”. She spends her days creating customized gifts for those who have found their real life Happily Ever Afters, and by night she entertains her overactive imagination by penning sexy escapes that pack plenty of heat.
Her writing features smart, strong-willed women and their equally determined male counterparts whom they just can’t help but love.
“Just Fall”, the first novel in her Fall Series, is a seductive page-burner that’s kept her awake countless nights with only her faithful canines to keep her company.
The R&R packages will include a signed paperback, a Hemp Sugar Body Scrub and lotion gift set with pouf, a dreamsicle 3-1 massage moisturizing body candle AND an OPI Silver Travel Train Case with 6 polishes. There will be 2 gift sets to give away each over $100 value!