Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Taylor Dean visits MMMBR's: Review with Q&A

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About the book:  

Can three little words irrevocably change your life?

When the doctors inform Chloe Brennan that her pregnancy is “incompatible with life,” her subsequent choices will change her path forever.

She becomes one of the quiet, unsung heroes of this world, incredibly strong, yet somehow wrongly looked upon as damaged.

Three people will pierce Chloe’s existence: her husband, a stranger, and a precious baby.

One will say goodbye, one will say hello, and one will say both at the same time.

I’m With You is a novel about selfless love and the sacredness of life.

Please note: While this book is a romance novel, it also deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss grief. 
The emotions are real, and sometimes dark. 
If you are sensitive to this issue, this may not be the book for you




“Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Sometimes life is happy, fun and filled with laughter. But sometimes life is hard and filled with trials. Sometimes life knocks us down and it’s really hard to get back up again.” (e-ARC, I'm With You).

Dean has managed to write yet another story that pulls at heart strings on many levels. She writes about the hard parts of life…the parts of life that knock us down. She writes about the journey it takes to find the way back to standing. She writes with such authenticity that even though the story is based on a very sad and tragic situation, it is also true, hopeful and real. 

“She didn’t have to get over it and she didn’t have to move on. She just needed to live. Breathe. Put one foot in front of the other.” (e-ARC, I'm With You).

You are pulled into the story because the characters are broken, real…fleshed out beautifully. Dean created characters that felt so real, like I could reach into the book and see them, touch them. I have never had a crush on a character in a book until now…oh Jack I love thee!!!! The dynamic of Jack and Chloe is one of the best romantic tragedies…you root for them, yell at them, grieve with them and become part of them. I loved that there was little predictability in the story, because isn’t that what life is…many unpredictable moments mixed with both happiness and grief.

"Contrary to popular belief, time doesn't heal all wounds, but it does put a band-aid on them. That's about it, though. Some things in life are always raw and painful." (e-ARC, I'm With You).

Dean has now become one of my favorite authors. She has managed, yet again, to write a book that will resonate with me long after I finish. A book I will recommend over and over again. Dean took a personal and very difficult situation and turned it into a story both therapeutic for herself, but also helpful to so many others out there who have suffered the same loss. She did a brilliant job and I rate this book 5 stars! Well done, Dean, so well done!



The Inspiration Behind I’M WITH YOU

The inspiration behind I'M WITH YOU is highly personal.
Let me backtrack and explain.



Christmas 2011 was unlike any Christmas I’ve ever experienced. It was on December 20th that everything changed.

I remember exactly what I was doing. Everything was finally done and the Christmas rush was over for me. The presents were wrapped, the cards had been sent, and I could finally relax and enjoy the holiday. I turned up the Christmas carols on the radio and began to make Christmas cookies, the cookie cutter kind that I make every year.



Image courtesy of [Danilo Rizzuti] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


My daughter called. She sounded happy, excited. She was on her way to a doctor appointment. You see, she was eight months pregnant. At this appointment, they were going to set the date for inducement of labor. She was bubbling with excitement at the thought of meeting her son.

We all were. An inducement date meant the labor and delivery was a planned event and we would all be able to be there at the exact moment of birth. She lives seven hours away, so this was extremely important to us. 

You're probably wondering why.

I'll tell you.

It was, more than likely, the only time we would see her precious baby alive.

Early on in the pregnancy my daughter received the terrifying diagnosis of Trisomy 18. We all said, “What’s that?”

It means the 18th chromosome has tripled upon conception and the resulting birth defects are rarely survivable.

The doctor said, "Trisomy 18 is incompatible with life."

She was told she could lose the baby at any moment. In the meantime, the pregnancy would continue on as if normal.

My daughter and her husband made the decision to see the pregnancy through.  They decided to give their son a fighting chance at life. What if the doctors were wrong and he was fine? He was very active in the womb and seemed to be thriving. 

Then a higher level ultrasound revealed severe heart defects.

The doctor said, "Don't plan on bringing a baby home from the hospital."

And yet he continued to thrive in the womb.

Their perspective changed. They allowed themselves to hope for five minutes with him. Not so much to ask. Just a few moments to look into his eyes and tell him they loved him. That's all they wanted.

An hour later I received another phone call. I was rolling out the cookie dough and cookie cutting snowmen, candy canes, and reindeer.

My daughter was crying. The ultrasound at her doctor appointment had revealed no heartbeat. The baby was already gone.

Her son was stillborn on Dec. 22.

We rushed to be with her. Due to travel constraints, we left our presents under the tree. They’d still be there when we returned. My parents came from a great distance, and so did my sister.

Christmas 2011 held none of the usual trappings. No presents, no Christmas carols, no stockings, and no smiles.

I thought it was the worst Christmas of my life.

But it wasn’t. I now look upon that Christmas with tender feelings.

I spent my time at my daughter's side, helping her through the recovery process. Our family was together, to include family members who hadn’t planned on traveling for Christmas. We sat at the kitchen table and had our Christmas breakfast and Christmas dinner together, lingering for hours. The mood was somber, but we were together—and that was our happiness. After all, being together as a family is part of what Christmas is all about. That year, the true meaning of Christmas struck home much more so than any other I've ever experienced.


Observing and experiencing Trisomy 18 with my daughter has been one of the most heartbreaking experiences of my life. It took me awhile, but in 2014 I was finally ready to write about it. While I'M WITH YOU is still very much a romance novel, it includes my daughter's Trisomy 18 story, written with her permission. I felt a great need to commit my thoughts and feelings to paper. I wanted to share the Trisomy 18 experience with the world and increase awareness of this devastating condition. It was therapeutic for me. And now I feel as though the memory of my precious little grandson will forever live within the pages of this book.

There is a beautiful song dedicated to the families of Trisomy 18 and 13 babies. It is called, "Smallest and Wingless," by Craig Cardiff. It expresses the tender feelings families have for these precious babies perfectly. Be prepared, it's a tear jerker.


                           

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What inspires your writing?


The inspiration behind my writing comes from a driving need to commit the stories in my head to paper.



When I look back on my life, I realize that I was always making up stories in my head. All the time. It was my favorite pastime and the reason why my attention span wasn’t very good when I was in school! I tried, but my mind always wandered.


Image courtesy of [phanlop88] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m finally putting my overactive imagination to good use!



What is your favorite thing about being a writer?


To answer this question, let me tell you about a recent experience I had. I caught some sort of flu-like virus. I was miserable and it took me two weeks to get over it.


Image courtesy of [debspoons] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I wore my favorite PJs, I wrapped myself in a soft comforter, and I sat slumped at my computer working on my writing all day, every day. I didn’t style my hair and I didn’t wear any make-up. I didn’t cook and I didn’t clean my house. My eyes became infected and, at times, my sight was slightly blurry due to the antibiotic ointment. I coughed up a lung, I blew my nose constantly, and moaned a lot. I drank herb tea and ate lots of popsicles. 


All the while, I worked on my writing. As a matter of fact, I got much more done than usual.



And that is my favorite thing about being a writer!



What is the toughest part of being a writer?



Bad reviews. They devastate me.



If you could not be a writer, what would you do/be?

I would love to be a pre-school teacher.


What would the story of your life be entitled?



Stay-at-Home Mom with Overactive Imagination Accidentally Becomes an Author


What is your favorite book of all time?



Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson





(The movie Somewhere in Time was based upon this book.)



Which character from ANY book are you most like?



That’s a hard question. All I can say is many years ago I got hooked on Victoria Holt novels. Her books are always written in first person and I found that I related to the way most of her heroine’s thought.



What character from all of your books are you most like?



I think I’m most like Alyssa from my novel, Sierra. It was my first book and I couldn’t help interjecting my feelings into her feelings. As I moved on and wrote other books, I was finally able to branch out and write characters that do and say things I never would, which is so much fun!



Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?


That one’s easy. Sierra. It takes place in an isolated cabin in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Heavenly.




What is your favorite season?




Image courtesy of [Idea go] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Summer. No contest.



What is your favorite book cover and why?



Recently I changed my book covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle, my paranormal romance series. The new covers are currently my favorites! They represent what’s on the inside so well and they are a huge improvement.
Here are the old covers:
(To see the new covers, check my blog for my upcoming cover reveal! www.taylordeanbooks.com)

                  

                     

Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.



Once when I did a book signing, an elderly lady approached me and was looking at my book covers. I asked if she'd like to know what my books are about. She said, “Oh, I already know. I heard all about you on the radio this morning.” 



I smiled and nodded as she walked away. I didn't bother contradicting her. I was NOT on the radio that morning.



Are you working on something new?


Not yet! I just finished my newest book, I’m With You. Then I immediately set to work on new covers for my paranormal romance series, as well as cover updates and a few needed edits to my novel, Sierra. Once that’s all done, I will be starting a new book. It will either be a dystopian romance or a military romance. I haven’t decided yet. Either way, I plan to write both in the near future.



Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?


Thank you so much for taking the time to learn a little about me and my books. I write clean romance novels that are intended, above all, to entertain the reader. They often deal with serious issues, but include lighthearted moments as well, and always, always, always include a happy ending.

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