Wednesday, October 9, 2013

{Tour Stop} LEFT by T.R. Graves—Author Guest Post + Giveaways

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Left
by T.R. Graves

Your own two feet are all you have when you've been left.

A naive Baylee loves Colt, her boyfriend of four years, more than she ever thought possible. After a little snooping, she's convinced she's well on her way toward hearing an once-in-a-lifetime proposal and starring in the wedding-of-the-year event. Instead, she's blindsided by a very public breakup and the crushing news that Colt is marrying someone else… someone more befitting him and the role his father expects him to take in his law firm.

Baylee may have spent years resenting Ariana, her mother, and her suicide, an intolerable show of weakness in Baylee's opinion, but after Colt leaves her just short of the altar, Baylee sees the world through her mother's eyes. She sympathizes with Ariana's actions and realizes that some things—soul-deep aches—can irreparably damage you and make moving on nearly impossible.

At least that's how she feels until she meets Ryker. With his help, Baylee discovers there is life after Colt, and she prepares to move on by pulling herself up by the bootstraps, holding her head high, and standing on her own two feet. Unfortunately, a new jealous and hateful Colt has his own plans for her, and they are plans no one—especially Baylee—ever saw coming.

Age Group/Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon B&N  Kobo

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by T.R. Graves


I'd like to thank Sarah Hollis @ Literary Meanderings for the opportunity to guest post and for hosting my book tour and me. It goes without saying that authors - like myself - would be nowhere if it weren't for the kindness showered upon us by bloggers like Sarah Hollis and blogs like Literary Meanderings.


An Indie Author's Reasons For Writing

There are those who believe that the 'eyes are the window to the soul'. As an author, I'm convinced that people's writings are truly 'the window to their souls'. I say this because creating characters and developing storylines is personal. Every word written within a book is told from the author's perspective and is based on their life experiences, opinions, and assumptions. From it, you can usually catch a glimpse of the author's personality and/or their opinions of other people's characteristics. I know this to be true because I see it in my characters' mannerisms and the stories' progressions.
In fact, my writing is so personal that anyone who knows me - including myself - has a hard time believing that I write such intimate details... that I allow those intimate scenes to be released for the world to see. We all freely admit they happen. We all freely admit they are normal, natural, and necessary. Still, there's something about them being written out and written about that makes some uncomfortable.
Rather than being disconcerted with the scenes I write in order to progress the story, I take a page from my father's book and embrace anything and everything that will make the story better. He was a man who could tell a story that was so vivid and dramatic that people hung on his every word, flocking to our house morning, noon, and night just to hear them. A few months after he died, story plots and their characters began haunting me. They were so demanding that I had no choice but to write them down... to share them. Before his death, writing a book was not anything I'd ever imagined doing. Since his death, writing books is all I imagine doing.
I might use every tool necessary to tell the best story possible, but that doesn't mean there is not a purpose to my story. As a nurse and mother (and my father's daughter), I'm as committed to writing socially responsible stories as I am committed to writing stories that are suspenseful page-turners. I'll be the first to remind everyone that a socially responsible story does not lack exciting/passionate/heart-stopping moments. Instead, the morals are embedded so deep that they are inferred and not preached, a very, very difficult goal to achieve.
Left (Still Standing, #1) is the perfect example of a book that is filled with hot and sexy scenes between amazing characters, defeats that will have the readers mouths dropping open and asking 'What the heck?', AND suspense that will have people flipping the page and praying for an outcome that they can tolerate. By the end of the story, readers will understand 1) how fast a woman can get herself into an abusive relationship and 2) the ramifications when she doesn't begin her fight to get out right away. They will have water cooler talking points as determined by their personal (family's/friend's) experience, but they will not have me preaching to or judging of them. There are too many people that I respect who have found themselves in these positions for me to think that it happens because of their actions or that they deserve what they get. In fact, those types of assumptions are the very ones that led me to write Left.
No one will ever say Baylee deserves what she gets, and everyone will be disheartened by her situation.
Grave Bound (Secrets, #1) was written as a wake-up call to people who think that forced sex and/or women who are dominated is romantic (please note: I'm not referring to consensual situations as evidenced by my review of Fifty Shades). In this series, we have a woman who lives a life where women have no rights. Grave Bound is dark, sexy, frightening, and heartbreaking. I cry every time I read this book because I know there are women who live like this - with a lot more violence/fear than I could ever envision or write into a story. Anyone who pretends sex trafficking (any anything like it) is not a very real epidemic in this country is in denial.
Readers will root for Emily and demand that Lorenzo's head be served on platter.
Finally, Warriors (Warrior, #1) - the first book I ever wrote - was begun as a way for me to open the lines of communication with my teen-aged daughter. As she read the book, she and I debated the personal dilemmas of the characters in a way that felt safe because everything - characters and story lines - was fiction. My daughter was fifteen when I began writing that series and creating those characters. With it and our discussions, she quickly realized that she and I are more alike than we are different. After she read Warriors, she sent me a text that told me she loved the story and had no idea I was so creative. Today, she's one of my biggest fans and even narrated the Hidden Object - Enemies game for me.
Fans of this series will pull for Allison's and Brody's love while living through their every disappointment as their exciting paranormal/fantasy story plays out.
If I never sell another book, I'll consider this indie writing adventure successful. It brought my daughter and me together at a time when some mothers and teen-aged daughters go their separate ways for good. I've also had several people contact me and tell me they've used (themselves or sent to others) the information included at the end of Left detailing where to go and what to do if you are in a domestic violence situation. I should also mention that I've pledged to donate $0.50 (for every regular priced book sold for the first three months of the release) to a Houston area women's center that is focused on helping women who are living with domestic violence. 

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T. R. Graves, the author of The Warrior Series and The Secrets Series, is a 2012 & 2013 NaNoWriMo Winner.

She lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise her beta-reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.

You can find T.R. Graves here:
WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter

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Happy Reading!