Saturday, October 24, 2015

Use Somebody by Riley Jean

Use Somebody by Riley Jean

“I could see it in his eyes—he wanted to be the prince who rode up on his horse and saved the day. But I was no princess, and my Prince Charming had come and gone. I couldn’t survive losing another to dragon’s fire. Or to my own poisonous touch.”

Reeling from a traumatic and heart-shattering loss, Scarlett Rossi escapes back to her hometown, a place that never changes, though nothing about her is the same. The new Scar is fierce. Untouchable. Resolved to bury the twisted nightmares of that horrible night… the night when everything was stolen from her… the night that divided her life into two: before him, and after.

When do-gooder Vance Holloway makes it his personal mission to cheer up the new girl at work, he has no idea what he’s getting himself into. Scarlett’s tough shell doesn’t fool him. He knows deep down, that sweet, innocent smile still exists, and he’ll stop at nothing to prove it. Patience, persistence, and a little ice cream pay off. Slowly they become friends. Then best friends. Then more. Only one problem: he was never supposed to fall in love.

So begins an explosive tryst of pull and resistance, between one worthy white knight, and the damsel who doesn’t want to be saved. Scarlett won’t survive another heartbreak, but can their friendship survive a compromise?

If Vance is so determined to break down these walls, he’ll have to learn—just as she did—that when it comes to things like trust and love, there are always consequences.

Because the last man that she loved swore to protect her, then paid with his life. And took with him a piece of her soul.

Now Scarlett must decide if true strength means guarding her heart, or surrendering to it once more. One final secret remains: what really happened the night she swore she’d never love another man, and whose hands are stained with his blood?

A powerful journey of romance, mystery, and redemption. This is a standalone and full-length novel.

Use Somebody

Chatting with Riley Jean

What inspired you to write “Use Somebody”?
It’s funny, I never actually intended to write a book.

Picture this: 2011, the year I graduated college, started a new job, moved out and got married. Four huge changes all at once! But they were good changes. Fantastic changes. After years of full-time work, full-time school, and full-time wedding planning, this was the year it all paid off.

Enter 2012. Life was settling down. Suddenly, I had a buttload of free time on my hands. So what did I do? I started journaling. And since I loved romance novels so much, and was smitten with newlyweddedness, I started with my own love story.

I wrote down everything I could remember about the goofball I met in an ice cream shop, when I was stubborn and jaded, and he was determined to befriend me anyway. I wrote about how he became my very best friend at a time in my life when I had no one. I wrote about how when his feelings changed, he was patient with me, but persistent, and how he taught me to say what I was feeling and open up my heart again. I looked up old emails and texts, and recalled early conversations to get it as accurate as possible.

Just in case one day I pulled a “Notebook” and forgot all the beautiful details of how we fell in love.

So I guess I began where most writers begin: real life inspiration.

Here’s a fun fact! The original title of the document? “Ice Cream and Olive Juice.” (Seriously though, feel free to laugh, that title’s freaking ridiculous.)

Anyway, for two years, I journaled our memories. But they were just random chunks, it didn’t resemble a story. That’s around the time my husband snuck a peek and encouraged me to do something with it.
So I created a timeline. I connected the dots. I added characters and back stories. I made a cover.

Fast forward to 2015: I clicked “Publish.” And it felt like I just publicized my own diary.

At this point, there’s been so much fiction and drama woven in, I definitely wouldn’t consider it a true story. But if it feels real, that’s because the love is real. And yes, guys like Vance Holloway do exist!

How long have you been writing?
It all started back in fourth grade when I penned my very first story, “Attack of the Emu Potatoes.” Writing has been my destiny ever since.

In high school, after experiencing my first heartbreak, I began journaling and writing poetry as an outlet, and continued to do so throughout college. I learned so much those years, about life and people and myself, and those lessons have stayed with me.

Here’s another fun fact! All the journal entries and poems featured in “Use Somebody” came straight from my personal journal. Another reason why this story is so close to my heart.

Although technically I started writing this book back in 2012, the story itself was ten years in the making.

What book inspired you to begin writing?
I’m not sure it was any one book. When I started writing, I was an avid reader. I read about 150 books a year. There are so many great ones out there, more and more every month. New Adult Romance was my favorite. After a while, I started to notice a pattern.

For instance, where the heroine has “walls” but they crumble the first time a handsome fella smiles at her. Or the cocky/manwhore hero, whose obsessive behavior becomes borderline stalkerish. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite books follow this description, and the drama can be delicious! But eventually I wanted to read something different. Something where a young girl can read it and say, “that’s the kind of guy I want.” So that’s what I wrote.

I wanted to depict a real relationship, slow-burning and heartfelt. I wanted traits like dependability, humor, and respect to be considered sexy. I wanted characters that you can actually feel grow up from young adults to adults, as they make mistakes and figure it all out. I wanted to tackle tough issues, like demons, self-destruction and grief, to show what it truly looks like to be broken, and what it takes to heal.

I didn’t want to write a light story. I wanted to write a story that impacts the reader, makes her feel something, makes her question everything.

I also wanted to write that part, where her jaw drops and she screams, “WTF?!?!?!”


Who is your favorite author(s)?
Colleen Hoover, hands down. Yes I’m a Cohort and proud. I’ve read every book she has written (except “Never Never,” I’m waiting until book 3 is out because I can’t do cliffhangers!) and I’ve loved them all. Her characters are dynamic, her romances make you feel the feels, and her plots are always unique and intriguing. Still, she is such a down to earth and humble person. What an inspiration.

If you had to choose a fictional character from one of your books to have lunch with, who would it be and why?
I’m going to pick one of the minor characters and say Phoenix. Why? Well, because he’s awesome! He’s a free spirit and he lives every day to the fullest. He’s friendly and fun-loving, like a shot of positive energy. You can’t be around him and not smile. That’s why he’s always been my favorite <3 span="">

What has been your biggest accomplishment since publishing?
This may sound elementary (I still consider myself a newbie author). I truly feel that my biggest accomplishments were finishing the book, and actually getting people to read it.

Jamie McGuire gave some great advice to aspiring authors, which was “you need to finish your book.” So simple, but so true! Take that idea in your head and write it down. Polish it. Finish it. The feeling of clicking that “Publish” button, or better yet, holding your very own paperback in your hands, makes it all official. It’s the greatest sense of accomplishment.

Secondly, getting people to read it. Now more than ever, readers have so many choices out there. At this very moment, there are 315,165 romance books available on kindle, and that number grows every day. Needless to say, it’s tough for little indie authors like me to stand out. Time is valuable and precious. I am humbled every single time a reader allows me to share my story with them. If I touch one person, then I can safely say it was all worth it.

Do you have anything else in the works apart from your book/series?
There’s a lot going on at the moment! Other than writing, I currently have a new cover for “Use Somebody,” a blog tour, a sale, and plenty of giveaways coming up! It’s all happening this fall so stay tuned!

About the Author:
I am blessed with a husband that makes me laugh every single day. I enjoy early evening walks with our Aussie, Delilah, and find beauty in music and books. Some may call me the quiet one at first, but until you know I love heart-to-heart convo’s, dancing like a fool, and riding the merry-go-round, you don’t know ME.

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