Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Blog Tour (Review & Interview): Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu

Today, we are joining xPresso Book Tours for the Catching Liam blog tour. For our stop, we have the book details, a review of Sophia Blue's novel and an interview with the author. Enjoy!
Catching Liam by Sophia Bleu
Publication Date: Summer 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
About the book
Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

My Thoughts
Catching Liam is a fun and romantic New Adult novel about two college students whose relationship starts off as a one-night stand, but soon develops into so much more when they are later paired up for a school project. Jillian is known for her love them and leave them or rather no strings attached attitude toward guys. Emotional relationships just aren’t in the cards for her. However, when Liam, one her “conquests,” becomes her project partner in her Communications class, he takes a chance and tries to break down Jillian’s barriers to uncover what’s behind the resistance she shows towards love.

Overall, I enjoyed this light contemporary novel. If I had to pinpoint the one element that stood out in Catching Liam, it would be the strong cast of secondary characters. I feel they truly made the novel worth my time and attention.  Jess and Cassie were fantastic friends; Professor Markson was an extremely understanding professor; and Liam deserved so much more than he got IMHO. I even developed a soft spot for Jillian’s mother, Tara, who I believe was suppose to be somewhat of a villain, but in the end she won me over. The entire secondary cast showed an extreme amount of patience, understanding and care for Jillian, especially during those moments when she deserved it the least.

As you can probably tell, I struggled a bit with the main character Jillian. At certain points in the novel, I wondered if the author deliberately developed her as a slightly unlikeable character. She was definitely flawed; there was no doubt about that. However, that didn’t stop me from trying to understand the struggles Jillian was faced with when it came to her condition. I feel that maybe if I had been clued into her condition sooner than the 60% mark in the novel, I would have had a different outlook. Either way, I realized she was dealing with some serious issues and there were a lot of unknown elements in her life, which played a huge factor in how she dealt with the relationships, including her family and friends. I’m eager to learn more about how she progresses through the companion novels because I feel her story still has some missing pieces that should be revealed.

I understand that Jess and Cassie will be getting their own novels and I can’t wait to read their stories. They truly shined in Catching Liam and I was left with a sense of appreciation for these gems that showed what true friendship is all about. I’m eager to read their stories.

3 Suns

Author Interview

Catching Liam sounds like an exciting read where there’s a bit of role reversal going on. :) What inspired you to write this novel, and did you intend to publish it as you were developing Liam and Jillian’s story?
It all started with the idea of boy catching. I was going on a date with my husband and decided I would actually put on some make-up for him, and I was putting on my lipstick, I thought “I’m going to catch myself a husband.” Which sounds ridiculous, but doesn’t everyone talk to themselves in the bathroom? I really hope so. *Waits for the nice men in the white coats to take her away.*

It snowballed from there into the idea of boy catching and Jillian’s face popped into my head, and I knew I had my next story.

I’m also a traditionally published YA author, and I’d been contemplating going hybrid (publishing both traditionally and independently). I knew immediately this was a project I wanted to write, develop, and publish on my own.

Without giving away any spoilers, what is your favorite scene or quote in Catching Liam? “Well, at least I know why Scottish boys wear kilts.”

What do you hope your audience will come to appreciate about your characters Jillian and Liam? I hope they’ll appreciate Jillian for trying to be strong despite circumstances that would make most of us vulnerable. She’s been a really interesting character to get to know—funny, smarter than she thinks, and sassy. And as for Liam—his abs. Just kidding. Ok, not really. I hope they’ll see how much Liam respects Jillian even when she doesn’t seem to respect herself.

How many books do you have planned for this series and when will the next installment be available Right now, there are three and they are all companion novels featuring the trio at the heart of Catching Liam: Jillian, Jess, and Cassie. I plan to release the next book in September: Teaching Roman.

I would expect to see more books set in and around Olympic Falls though ;)

Now a little bit about you and your writing… I am literally all over the place. I write YA sci fi and new adult contemporary and I’m outlining an adult literary fantasy for my agent. Basically stories pop into my head and I start to tell them. It’s a pretty amazing job.

How would you describe yourself in five words or less? :) Needs more coffee.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? My family and I recently moved to a small coastal town from the Midwest, so I’m spending this summer at the beach, learning how to be a Pacific Northwesterner.

When you’re writing, what inspires you most and how do you overcome writer’s block? Writing inspires writing. Writing overcomes writer’s block. I know that if I’m blocked it’s really that I need to just shut up and write. Usually writer’s block comes when I’ve taken too long not writing or I don’t feel like writing.

How do you come up with the names for your characters? Most of the time they pop into my head. Sometimes I hate them and then the characters and I argue and I look like that insane person, because I’m often at the grocery store when this happens.

Other times I use baby naming dictionaries online.

What advice would you offer first time authors? Talk about it. There will be good and bad reviews, good and bad days, good and bad news. Find people who will listen to you patiently and talk with them. Publishing a book, in my experience, is a lot like having a baby. There’s a lot to celebrate and a lot to stress about. Sharing helps.

Lastly, can you share a little bit about your current projects? Right now, I’m working on Teaching Roman, which is Jess’s story and features a certain enigmatic, but sexy professor. I also have a YA coming out in the fall and I’m finishing the final book in that trilogy. And if I find some spare time, I have a serial I’d like to start. As Markson would say, no rest for the wicked.

About the AuthorSophia Bleu is a secret identity where I can write about fantasies and falling in love and all the smexiness in between. In real life, I'm likely catching a plane, chasing kids, or making out with the love of my life—all 6 ft 3 inches of hotness that he is. Life is pretty good.

Author links:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the interview. Sounds like a cute book.