A lovely little novella about first love, and not quite perfect relationships that actually work. This is well written, buzzy, and leaves the reader with that warm fuzzy feeling. JoJo is satisfyingly ‘real’ and the male characters are also well drawn, and engaging. The ‘one that got away’ theme is never taken to cliche status, and empathising with the characters is easy. Fresh, sweet and has a snappy beginning and good ending. Perfect for a kindle beach read this summer.
Five Stars *****
I’m really pleased to be able to put up an interview with the author, Caroline Andrus – read and enjoy!
Q: What is your perfect writing environment?
A: Ideally I’d be in the middle of nowhere (a tropical island or an ancient castle would be nice!) But in reality, I can write anywhere (even the noisy, chaotic roller rink!) Anywhere I don’t have a lot of internet distractions.
Q: Where is the first place you’d take an out-of-town friend for their first visit to see you?
A: This is a really hard one! I’m a homebody and try to never leave my house. Maybe we’d drive out to the Mall of America and visit Nickelodeon Universe? I’m really boring you guys. I’d rather sit at home and binge Netflix. Or have a board game night.
Q: Five authors that have inspired or influenced you:
A: 1. Stephenie Meyer, because Twilight fueled the fire in me to start reading again.
- JK Rowling, because she’s created such an amazing world and pop culture empire.
- Richelle Mead, because that woman can write characters with chemistry! (She’s my #1 auto-buy author.)
- Rachel Walter, because she’s basically my soul sister and has become the #1 person I run to when I’m stuck or need inspiration/ideas for a book.
- I’m going to be cheesy here. My mom, who writes under the name Nancy Pirri. She published her first book in 2003, but has always been a writer. I probably wouldn’t have such a passion for reading and writing without her influence.
Q: What has been the strangest thing you’ve had to research for a story?
A: How to escape from a locked car trunk. (That book might see the light of day someday. Who knows if that scene will still be in it though!)
Q: What is something you wish to “master” within the writing/publishing process?
A: I’d like to master marketing. And outlining. I’m awful at outlining. I’m too eager to start WRITING, I don’t spend nearly enough time outlining!
Q: Least favorite chore?
A: All of them! (I’m really bad at this whole adulting thing. Can I go back to kindergarten?)
Q: When did you start writing?
A: I’ve always been writing. As a kid in elementary school we published our own books. I remember one from Kindergarten, I was very proud of being able to draw stars. And then in 1st Grade I wrote one called “I Need Yucky Glasses” – because I was just told I needed glasses. Then in middle school, when the Internet was suddenly a thing, I got involved in a certain boy band fandom and began writing Fanfiction. I hope there are no traces of that left on the Internet! *cringe*
Q: What has been the number one hardest part of the writing process?
A: For me it’s making the time to write. My life is very busy between two part time jobs, two full time kids, a full time husband, a house to keep from falling down, my work with small press Melange Books, and occasionally having a social life.
When I look at the actual writing process, it’s figuring out how to get from Plot Point A to Plot Point B. I know the big things that are going to happen in each project, but I often struggle with the little moments (that are oh so important!) to bridge those big moments together and make my characters more human.
Q: What was your first job?
A: McDonalds. Three months when I was 15. I vowed to never work in fast food again, and I stuck to it!
Q: Dream vacation?
A: I have a couple. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii, it just looks/sounds like paradise! I want to sit by the ocean and visit the volcanoes.
BUT I also want to tour Europe. There’s SO much history over there. I want to visit all the castles and the ruins. I want to visit Italy and see where my ancestors came from (and where my distant/extended relatives still reside.)
Q: Who is your favorite character in the Peace series?
A: I love all of my characters, even the baddies, but JoJo was the most fun to write. She comes across as a little shallow and frivolous, but like me she tends to ease serious moments with humor. It’s a shield of sorts. I think she has the most character growth as well. I’m already toying with an idea for a full length book of hers, but first I have to write my next series.
Q: What’s your next writing project?
A: It’s a super secret YA contemporary romance I’ll be publishing with Fire & Ice YA Books. The “code name” is SIGA. I won’t tell you what it stands for, but I will tell you that the Meet-Cute occurs in the lobby of an urgent care, and it’s about a boy who isn’t very good at anything and a girl who has shut everyone out of her life after being diagnosed with a lifelong illness. Somehow he wiggles his way into her heart. There’s also an ode to the 80’s teen classic ‘Say Anything’ in there. I’m making good progress and with any luck I’ll have it ready before summer’s end. (And if you’re intrigued by that, join my newsletter so you can be among the first to hear more news about this project and others. http://eepurl.com/c8q8OP)
Movie: I can’t choose one, so I’ll name a few: Pride & Prejudice (2004 version), Princess Diaries 2, Dodge Ball, Zoolander, The Princess Bride, Phantom of the Opera.
Book: Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead.
TV show: Nope. I can’t choose. Let’s just go with basically anything on The CW. Follow me on social media to see what else I’m watching.
Color: Purple. And silver. And turquoise. And black. And……
Season: Summer, I love the heat! But also Autumn, because I love Halloween and the colors and the crispness in the air.
What was your first job? (You/character)
This or That-
Stranded on an island or building an igloo with Sam Heughan
As much as I love to stare at Sam Heughan (Jamie from ‘Outlander’), I can’t stand the cold. And he’d have his shirt on the entire time if we were building igloos! So I’m going stranded on an island.
Cookies for dinner or ice cream for breakfast
Easy. Cookies for dinner. Sometimes I do that already. Shh! *wink*
Sporting event or school talent show
School talent show. I don’t really “get” sports. *shrugs*
Chocolate or vanilla
Chocolate. Except pudding, then vanilla.
coffee or tea
Herbal tea with lots of sugar. Coffee gives me a tummy ache. *sad face*