What was the inspiration behind this story? Many times, I get inspiration from real life events that my brain spins into stories. I have a good friend who went through a nasty breakup in a toxic relationship. His girlfriend had all the problems of being serial drunk and cheated on him several times. She would send him I love you texts, and then follow up by long vitriolic hate texts. He finally extricated himself and asked me if you ever healed from that kind of pain. This got me to thinking that so many romance stories are about the strong male coming to rescue and save the female. I decided to reverse that and have the strong female come to rescue the male.
Tell us about your main character. Garrett will give everything down to the last penny he has to a woman. Mind, body, life, he’s ready to give the whole nine yards and the only bit he wants back is love. Part of his need for love is the absence of it felt during his childhood to early adult life. This makes him vulnerable. There are women who will take advantage of that and there are women who will recognize it and treat him as the treasure he is. Bertie is that kind of person and the woman Garrett needs to handle him with care.
Which is your favorite minor character and why? If I’m being honest, I love putting pets in my books, especially dogs. Pal is very minor but I like that he brings his canine loyalty to the mix.
One of your characters is going on a shopping spree. Where does he/she go and what does he/she buy? Bertie would go to an arts and crafts store for origami paper. She’s into that sort of thing. Kinda like me.
I’m inviting your main character to dinner. What should I make? Irish stew. Always a favorite.
Your main character is planning a vacation. Where is he/she going? Garrett’s never been fishing. They will start there and maybe hit up Disney World on the way back from the coast.
Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing? One challenge I thought about was how to make Garrett vulnerable without being weak. I didn’t want him to come off as whiny or easily led. I think all of us have been in one or two relationships that have gone bad and it’s how we recover from them that makes us stronger. I wanted that for Garrett.
How long did it take you to write this book? No clue. I start writing and books come out on the other side. I should probably plan out my time a bit better, eh?
If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters? Tough one. My current celebrity crush is Giulio Berruti from the Gabriel’s Inferno movies, but I don’t think he fits Garrett’s character. I’ll have to get back to you on that!
How did you come up with the title? All the titles from the MacAteer series came from the text. The mysterious “it” and actions to take. Run With It. Ready for It. Hold It Close. Risk It All and Give It to Me.
Tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story. Using a picture of a male torso is cool because it allows the reader to put their own image onto the face of the character.
Why does your book stand out from all the rest? I think this book will resonate with anyone who’s had that hard toxic breakup and how to deal with a deep long recovery.
Is there an underlying theme in your book? If so, tell us about it and why/if it’s important to you. Healing is possible with the right person. Sometimes you need to find the right fit before it can take place. All throughout Hold It Close, there are times that Garrett and Bertie have to trust each other and that’s hard to do when your heart’s been trampled, but it can be done.
Fiction can often provide powerful life lessons. What message do you hope readers get from your book? Don’t give up.
Tease us with one of your favorite passages or excepts, please! The tension in his shoulders relaxed a bit under my fingers. “Been a shitty day.”
Those beautiful eyes suddenly looked sad and my heart pinged for him. “I’m sorry.”
“Not your fault. Just really bad timing.”
“I get that. My day’s been rough too.”
As the song played, we descended into silence. Keeping any distance proved impossible on the jam-packed dance floor and from time to time, his body brushed against mine. The raw lyrics and driving chords echoed in my head and a different kind of heat started in my belly. One I hadn’t experienced in a long time. It made me ultra-sensitive to his every movement. His hands stayed on my waist, but his thumbs brushed across my ribs in a teasing caress. The tips of my breasts grazed his chest, and I wanted to press them in harder. Our lower bodies connected, grazing against each other. He was hard, and my mouth watered with need. I didn’t remember anything this forceful the last time Karl, and I were together or any time before that. My imagination took over, and I pictured this green-eyed man driving into me. Oh, I could almost feel it happening right here and now.
He pulled back and his eyes looked into mine. “I need to get out of here.” Their intensity hit me like a lightning strike. I became feverish and my belly quivered with tightness.
Don’t delay – grab your copy of ML Nystrom’s latest release, Hold It Close, today!