Monday, September 30, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Running from Forever by Ashley Wilcox

Recent college graduate, Kayla Reynolds was ready to leave the university, sorority life behind. Leaving her boyfriend of over three years, she packed her bags and moved four hours south to the big city…New York City.  Bright lights, streets that never sleep, and a business lifestyle that she yearned to have were all at her fingertips.

Kayla Reynolds was chasing her dream.
Determined and eager to make it in the corporate world, Kayla changed everything- her image, lifestyle, and outlook on life, putting her career first and her personal life second. That was until her first day, the first time she got a glimpse of Miles Blackwell. Corporate CEO and part owner of ETV, and not to mention, incredibly handsome, Miles Blackwell took Kayla by surprise, stealing her heart as he did.
But nothing had ever come that easy for Kayla. Life had always seemed to have a personal vendetta against her, stepping in when everything seemed too good to be true, reminding herself of whom she really was. It wasn’t until she met Merrick Drake that she realized when to stop; when running was no longer an option. For the first time in her life she had someone she could relate to; someone who wouldn’t judge- who saw the person she was inside. She and Merrick connected…on more levels than one.
When life was too much to handle, they ran.
But there was only one person that could make Kayla stop for good. Only one man that made her want to stay.

Would Kayla finally stop running or would it all be too much to handle?

The thing that I love most about Ashley's writing is that she really makes you feel as if you are there with the characters living their lives. You really get to know her character without getting facts spewed at you. It a natural process, as if you have known these people all your life and you fall easily into the going ons in their lives. With Running from Forever, the same thing can be said.

All of the characters, including the supporting characters, are well written and enduring. I loved Kayla and her ease with Merrick and her passion with Miles. Once you start one of Ashley's books, its hard to put it down. Before you know it, you are taken on a journey that will most likely have you laughing at times or drying an escaped tear. I love Ashley's work and can't wait for another great book to settle down with soon!

She let out an exasperated breath. “No. No, I gotta figure this out.” She turned to face me, legs crossed, intertwined. “I don’t know what to do, Merrick.”
            I felt it in my chest. She was lost, pleading for help. I didn’t know if I was the best person to help her. I’d lived just as fucked up a life myself. From the age I could run, I did, staying at friend’s houses almost every day of the week, stopping home quick after school just to make sure my mom hadn’t overdosed and was dead on the floor. I did this almost my whole life…up until I ran here.
            “I can’t really help you, babe, if I don’t know what happened,” I told her as sympathetically as I could, looking into her sad eyes. Even if I wasn’t the most qualified person to give advice, I wanted to help, but I also needed to know what happened first.
            Kayla rubbed her face with her hands, keeping them over her eyes for a minute longer. She was thinking; questioning if she was ready to spill. I didn’t want to force her to do it, so I sat there quietly. I wish I could just sweep her up and run far, far away; take her away from all the bad in her life permanently, but that would mean I had to run again, and I was done running. I couldn’t do it anymore.
            “I loved him.” Her voice was a whisper. She removed her hands from her face but only to look down to her crisscrossed feet. She couldn’t look at me while she told me, and I was okay with that. “I let my guard down when I knew I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help it.”

What inspired you to write your first book? My high school years. I was in a YA reading spree, reading everything YA, and it got me reminiscing about how my young adult years were. Only problem was, my life wasn’t YA….

How did you come up with the title?  Planning on Forever actually was a few different titles before being published. It’s first one was Closure. The second one was Letting Go, but neither of them sat well with me. Then one day Planning on Forever popped into my head and I loved it. There really wasn’t anything significant about it- it just fit. 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I actually don’t have one specific favorite author. Some of my favorites are Colleen Hoover, Rebecca Donovan, Karina Halle, Abbi Glines, Jamie McGuire…they’re all incredibly talented, and authors I aspire to be.

Who is is current/favorite book boyfriend? Travis Maddox. EVERY TIME I read an excerpt or quote of any kind with him my heart does crazy things.

Which character in Running From Forever do you connect with the most?  Why? Hmm. Good question. Probably Merrick, and that’s why it didn’t really surprise me when everyone that has read it demanded his own book. He’s just a likable guy- normal- well, kind of. But I found the words flowing effortlessly when I was writing in his point of view, and I’m noticing the same thing as I write his story right now. 

If you could take one book with you on vacation, what would it be and why? Waiting on Forever. I don’t know why, but I have a strong emotional attachment to that book. I love it. I cry and get all swarmed with butterflies every time I read it. And by the way, it’s the only book by me that I have EVER read again after publishing.

What can we expect to see from you in the future? Right now, I’m working on Merrick’s book, Permanent Lines. It’s a standalone- will not be considered part of The Forever Series. I have a book that has been lingering in my head that I really would like to write- Kate’s List. It’s NOTHING like any of my other books. The characters are actually much older- middle aged. Then I promised a follow up book to Summer Rush that I plan on getting out in 2014.

Tell us one unique fact about yourself.  I’m incredibly quiet and shy in new environments and/or around people I don’t know. Meeting new people is not one of my strongest points. I can talk to people online just fine, but in person, over the phone…it takes a lot of willpower to work through it. So if you ever meet me in person and I seem stand-off-ish at first, it’s not you, it’s me! 

Some may consider me a jack of all trades, but I consider myself well rounded. 
I've waitressed, styled hair, answered phones and, most recently, worked full time as mom to my two beautiful little boys.
Then there was this book… Everyone and their brother started talking about this book series titled Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. I didn't really pay attention to the craze at first, since I wasn't a big reader- okay, I didn't read at all. But curiosity got the best of me, so I downloaded it to my kindle.
I was immediately hooked. I read the whole series in three days. Yes, three books in three days.
I kept finding all these great books that I HAD to read (just ask my credit card!).
Then I started hearing voices. Voices that turned into stories; stories that were begging to get out of my head.
I started writing them down on scraps of paper. Then I transferred them to my computer. Before I knew it, Planning on Forever was born.
The voices in my head are still talking, so I’m still writing.

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