Today I am part of the blog tour for Wish me Tomorrow by Karen Rock. I loved Camp Boyfriend (camp Boyfriend #1) by Jk Rock and when I heard Karen was writing another book I just had to read it. And ofcourse participate in the blog tour, so in this post you will first get some info about the book, my review, an excerpt of the book, an interview with Karen Rock, some info about the author and there is a tour wide giveaway you can enter! You can find the whole tour schedule here.
Blurb: Can they build a future on hope alone?
For years nurse and grief counselor Christie Bates has been teaching her patients to confront their fears, express themselves and trust in hope. But as her feelings for cancer survivor Eli Roberts and his two children grow, can she overcome her own fear and love a man who lives every day with the possibility of recurring illness?
Tackling cancer and single parenthood simultaneously has turned Eli into a devout realist. Which is why he finds Christie’s perpetually upbeat attitude so aggravating. Still, despite himself, she’s making a place in his heart. If only he could offer Christie more than an uncertain future.
I got a copy in exchange for an honest review
One of the most important reasons why I wanted to read this book is because I loved Camp Boyfriend by Karen and Joanne Rock and when I heard Karen was writing an adult book I just had to read it.
When I picked up this book I read the first 19% in one sitting, because I couldn’t put the books down, I got sucked into the story and finished the book in less than a day. While Wish me Tomorrow is really different than Camp Boyfriend it has the same addictive writing.
I really enjoyed Wish me Tomorrow, it was sweet and sad. There were some heavy topics in this book, but the overal feeling was still happy and not depressing. The story is a bit predictable, but I didn’t mind.
The characters are done really well in this book. I liked both Christie and Eli, they each have such a distinct personality and they felt real. They both have been through a lot already and as the story progresses we find out more and more. I also really liked Eli his children Becca and Tommy, they really added something to the story. I also liked how all the characters changed during the story, there is a lot of character development going on and some characters really grow. There are some awesome side characters in this story too, some of whom I would loved to read more about like Gran and Laura (christie her roommate). For a roommate there is surpsiingly less about laura in this book and would’ve liked getting to know her better and see Christie interact with Laura, although there are some great scenes with the two of them, I would’ve liked learning more about her.
I also liked the dogs in this book, sometimes it feels like pets are used to fill up a story, like something authors add like furniture in a room, but in this book the pets had personality and played an important part in the story. I especially liked Sweet Pea, she sounded like such a sweet and adorable dog and she palyed an important role in this story. It is obvious the author loves dogs and she translated that perfectly in her writing about dogs in this book.
The romance in this book is sweet, but also full of difficulties. It’s a bit predictable, but I felt myself really rooting for Christie and Eli. They are really good for each other and sometimes I wished they would give their relationship a chance instead of coming up with excuses why it wasn’t a good idea to get involved. The ending was really nicely done and sweet and just a bit sad too.It is an open ending, which normally I don’t like, and while I wanted to know what would happen next it also felt like the perfect point to end the story.
To conclude: I really enjoyed this book, the writing was addictable. While the story and the romance was a bit predictable, I really liked the characters and seeing them grow. I liked how the authors included the children of Eli into the story and I liked the fact that even the dogs felt like real dogs. The characters where believeable and real and I liked seeing them develop in this story. The story deals with some heavy topics, but the overal feeling of the story isn’t depressing. I really am looking forward to the next book by Karen and I hope she will write more adult books, because I really enjoyed Wish me Tomorrow.
You can add Wish me Tomorrow to your to-read list on Goodreads
“You’ve been gone too long.” he breathed in her ear.
She felt as if electricity coursed from her sensitive lobe and sizzled through her body. Her lungs trapped her breath and took it hostage. Was there anything more amazing than being held by the man you loved?
She turned and put her arms around his neck. In an instant, his breath quickened, his blue eyes searing hers before he crushed her against him.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world.” His voice was low, throaty. “Remember what you said earlier, about feeling like a monster?”
She nodded, burying her face in the firm planes of his chest. Why would he bring that up when things felt so romantic?
He tipped her chin and held her gaze. “Please don’t say that again. Don’t even think it. You’re imperfect. Flawed, a little scarred, but stronger now in a way that makes you the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met. Inside and out. I wouldn’t want you any other way.”
It was the most incredible thing anyone had ever said to her. Did she deserve it? An image of Bill came to mind. She could almost picture him giving her a thumbs-up.
Before she had another moment to think, he captured her lips with a kiss so intense it was bruising. Her thundering blood deafened her and her shallow breathing rolled out like a low tide. He tasted like salt and fire as his mouth slanted across hers. She buried her hands in his thick hair, drawing him closer still.
His mouth left hers and traveled along her cheekbone. She could feel the erratic beat of his heart against her chest. His arms held her tight, as if he never meant to let her go. She rained kisses on his neck, his jaw and finally on his lips.
Suddenly, an aching tenderness replaced their earlier frenzy. They needed to explore, to know each other. When he returned her kiss, his hand stole into her hair and wound her tresses with his fingers. Their kisses deepened slowly, softly, the intensity growing between them once more…a single match that had ignited a blaze.
She knew he was strong, but it still surprised her how easily he carried her to the living room settee and laid her down gently on the scattered pillows. His body slid over hers in one smooth gesture. She inhaled his breath as their mouths moved against each other, every kiss drawn out now, lingering, exploring. Her hands drifted over his back then rose to his shoulders and the muscles of his arms.
At last, he drew himself up on his elbows. Now he was looking down at her, and his expression had changed in the flickering light, his blue eyes darkened to indigo. The rawness of his open, vulnerable expression undid her.
Warmth overflowed her heart, filling up the cracks and wounds she’d held inside. She sighed and buried her hands in the thick strands at the nape of his neck. How had this miracle happened? It seemed beyond imagining, beyond wishing. Yet here she was, with him, the only person who’d made her feel complete. Whole. As if she deserved this moment with him.
Hi Karen! Welcome to Lola’s Reviews! I am so glad I got the chance to interview you about your newest book Wish Me Tomorrow!
So you have first written a Young Adult book called Camp Boyfriend, which I really loved! Now you make the step to the Adult romance genre. Can you tell me a bit about the differences between writing for Young Adults and Adults? And how Wish Me Tomorrow differs from your debut novel Camp Boyfriend?
Hi Lola! It’s wonderful to be here. Thank you so much for hosting me 🙂 I’m thrilled you loved Camp Boyfriend, the first in my Young Adult contemporary romance series with my writing partner and sister-in-law, Joanne Rock. To me, YA and adult contemporary romance are very different. Honesty and personal growth are important in both genres. However, YA romance novels are all about firsts- love, heartbreak, betrayal, success, failure and figuring out who you are. Adult romance novels, on the other hand, are about overcoming past hurts, or things that hold you back, to find lasting love. In Camp Boyfriend, Lauren needs to figure out who she is in order to know which boy at camp is right for her. In Wish Me Tomorrow, Christie has to confront her past regrets and mistakes in order to believe she’s strong enough and worthy of loving a man with health challenges. While both are truthful and require each character to grow to find love, in Lauren’s case, she’s dealing with first loves and first mistakes. In Christie’s case, she’s learning to accept and forgive her mistakes instead of live in denial; a state that has kept her from finding true love until now. I don’t know if that helped to show the difference. I hope so!
How did you come up with the idea for Wish Me Tomorrow?
I was working on my YA series when my editor sent out a mass email asking for proposals for a new line with Harlequin: Heartwarming. Although I love reading adult romance, I never thought I could write it until I read the description for this contemporary line: tender, deeply romantic and emotional. It was exactly the kind of real-life, raw, and honest love story I knew I could tell. I thought about my neighbors Michael and Katie (names changed) and about their beautiful romance. They’d met in college and had just started dating when Michael was diagnosed with leukemia. He thought Katie would leave him, but instead she stayed by his side, helping him through chemotherapy and with school work so that they graduated with nursing degrees together. Today they are happily married with three beautiful children and Michael is cancer-free. Michael says Katie is the strongest woman he knows and I agree. It takes a great deal of courage to give your heart to someone when the future isn’t guaranteed. That idea was the genesis for Wish Me Tomorrow. I wanted to create a love story and characters that would have much to risk and gain if they took this leap of faith.
In Wish me Tomorrow cancer is a subject that’s very important to the story. Was it difficult writing about such a heavy topic as cancer?
It was difficult at times because I’ve lost loved ones to cancer and I drew on my past experiences to make the story realistic. I cried so hard when writing particular scenes that I could hardly see what I typed! But writing this novel also gave me a lot of hope and ultimately that’s what the novel is about. Wishing for tomorrow while cherishing today; being thankful for the people in your life and the love you share. As a writer, my goal was to keep the story from becoming a “tear jerker” or sappy and to write an uplifting, romantic, and honest love story instead.
I really like how you include Eli’s children into the story; can you tell me a bit about why you decided to include children into your story?
Thank you, Lola! Tommy and Becca, Eli’s children, are two of my favorite characters. Both act out as they struggle to understand such big issues. As a YA author, I especially wanted a teenager in the story because losing- or nearly losing- a loved one is an important first in growing up. I lost a family member at that age and I clearly remember rebelling, behaving badly, and making mistakes that I can’t take back. The help Christie gives Becca and Tommy is the guidance I wish I’d had. She helps them gain a better perspective and teaches them not to lose faith. Showing cancer through their eyes, as well as from the adult characters’ point of view, gave the book a more balanced feel.
In the beginning of your book there is a scene about dogs; do you have any pets yourself?
LOL! Yes! I have two Cavalier King Charles cocker spaniels and I love them like they are my own kids 🙂 I based Christie’s therapy dog and pet, Sweet Pea, on Lizzie, my younger, sassy pup. She loves attention but she also returns it with lots of affection. They are the perfect dogs to work with oncology patients since they are upbeat, friendly and adorable. They love everyone- really- they will literally go up to every stranger on the street, sit in front of them, tail sweeping the pavement, and wait for the petting they are sure is coming. Haha.
Where does the story take place and what is the impact of the location on the story?
The story takes place in SoHo, New York City. I worked in Manhattan and always loved that historic part of the city, the brick-faced homes with wrought-iron railings and tree-lined cobblestone streets, the artsy shops and interesting people eating at unusual restaurants. I set the story there because cities are a place where people can lead very solitary lives. Because the population is so large, it’s easy to get lost, overlooked, and isolate yourself, as Eli does, when he tries recovering on his own. However, his failure to cope brings Christie into his life. In this way, she helps his troubled children and, ultimately, himself.
Beside where the story takes place, Kansas and Ireland are both locations/countries that are mentioned in the story. Can you tell me a bit about how these locations shape your characters?
Great question! Both are a part of Christie’s life and shape her personality. She grew up in Kansas and, after a horrible tragedy she’d rather forget, leaves to join her Irish Gran in SoHo. I liked the contrast of her small-town past with her city life. It was different enough that it made sense that she’d believe her move would leave her past behind… that it wouldn’t follow her. Ireland is also important because Christie’s beloved Gran emigrated from there and she’s learned and follows many of her ancestors’ superstitions. The hope they give her covers up the fact that she has little real faith on her own. I also like bringing city and country, American and International locations together in the same story. We are all connected and the mentality of labeling yourself according to where you life seems strange to me.
Are there scenes you enjoy writing more than others?
Phew. That’s a tough one. I think any scene where characters open up and reveal the parts of themselves they’ve been afraid to share means the most to me. When you become that vulnerable, bare and even ugly, and someone still loves and accepts you, it means everything. As a contemporary author, I love capturing the human experience, showing the reader that they’re not alone in their insecurities and fears. That we all have done things we wish we could take back or do over. But what’s important- and a theme in this book- is how to go forward from that. Accept our imperfections and the fact that although we may screw up again, we are still worthy of true love. Good people do wrong things. No one is Mother Theresa. I’m betting she even had her moments! That’s real life. And as author, when I write honest scenes like that, I enjoy it the most. Plus, they are the most romantic.
Which scenes do you find most difficult to write?
This has been a transition for me as a YA to adult romance writer. Teens will read a novel in one gulp. Adults typically will have more reasons to put down a book and perhaps not pick it up again for a few days. For that reason, there are times when some of the internal thoughts need to include moments that reflect back on earlier events. I get impatient with that and I limit those moments to a minimum.
Do you plan on writing more Adult romance books in the future?
I actually have four more Harlequin Heartwarming novels contracted. The next one is His Hometown Girl and will be released in April 2014. I’m finishing it up now (deadline October 1st- EEK!) and I’ll be sad to say goodbye to Daniel and Jodi. I love their characters and Jodi’s autistic preschooler, Tyler.
Do you have any writing habits? Or a favorite drink/food to have when you write?
M&Ms are a must! I think I’ve trained myself like a research animal. If I write so many pages, I give myself a handful. The colorful bowl next to my laptop is such a great incentive- lol. Since I’ve been writing a Young Adult series and my adult books at the same time, I’ve had to write for twelve hours most days. I give myself a day off a week, but then that is usually taken up with doing promotional work… so I might take a little time off when I turn His Hometown Girl in as I’ve also just turned in CAMP PAYBACK’s final edits (the second in the YA series) and the first draft of CAMP FORGET-ME-NOT (the last in the series). It’s been a hectic summer and start to fall 🙂
What is your favorite food?
I’m Italian so I’ll have to go with eggplant parmigiana… but only if the eggplant is picked from my garden, the sauce is made from my own tomatoes and basil and the cheese and olive oil are my favorite brands. That doesn’t sound too fussy does it? Oh- and I LOVE fried zucchini flowers.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to read- surprise! I usually have three books going at the same time. Something deep, something light, and something I never would pick for myself but read anyway to broaden my horizons. But I also love getting coffee with friends, singing in my car since it’s the only place people don’t beg me to stop, watching Supernatural marathons though, since I’m almost finished, I’m starting Dr. Who next, walking my dogs, eating out and, on the flip side, cooking. Oh- and lurking in bookstores, even when I’m broke, because it’s kind of like my version of church.
Thanks so much for answering my questions Karen! I had fun doing this interview with you!
I had so much fun too, Lola 🙂 these were terrific questions; it was a joy to answer them!!
About the Author:
Since Karen Rock’s grandmother passed her shopping bagfuls of Harlequin Presents as a teen, it’s been her dream to add her voice to the Romance genre. Now an author of Harlequin’s latest contemporary line, Heartwarming, Karen is thrilled to pen wholesome, tender, deeply romantic stories that all can relate to. Her first novel, WISH ME TOMORROW, is out in September 2013 and her next, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, is out in spring 2013. Additionally, Karen is a young adult contemporary romance co-author with fellow Harlequin author, Joanne Rock for the CAMP BOYFRIEND series that debuted July 2013 with Spencer Hill Press.
When she’s not busy writing, Karen enjoys watching anything starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, cooking her Nona’s family Italian recipes, and occasionally rescuing local wildlife from neighborhood cats. She lives in the Adirondack Mountain region with her husband, her very appreciated beta-reader daughter and two King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who have yet to understand the concept of “fetch,” though they’ve managed to teach her the trick! Hmmmm… wonder how that happened?! She loves to connect with other romance fans!
And there is a tour wide giveaway, here is a picture of what you can win:
For a chance to win, you can enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway