18 November 2014

My Last Season With You by S.V.C. Ricketts

 “Dealing with your own terminal illness is easier than telling your best friend that you’re in love with her. Just sayin’.” – Regina Callahan

Reggie Callahan has come to terms with her prognosis of less than a year to live. She’s been dealing with it all summer thanks to blacking out and falling off her horse back home in Wisconsin. Instead of starting her junior year, she’s only back at New York University to tie up loose ends. One of them is breaking the news to her childhood friend, actress and model, Desi St. Clair. For Reggie, telling her that she is sick, and leaving the city is harder than learning you’re going to die.

Until Desi kisses her.

This isn’t a story about gender preference or about living with cancer. Plain and simple, it’s about love and what people are willing to endure to live without regrets and savor every moment.

Portion of all sales will go to Free2Luv, a non-profit charity that supports anti-bullying & the freedom of expression.

**This is a STANDALONE novella. It is not part of a series, and does not contain a cliffhanger. This book is intended for mature audiences. Does NOT contain explicit or graphic sexual scenes. **
I feel as though I need to start my review out this way first, because really, it needs to be said.  Even though this is classified as an F/F book, DO NOT LET THAT PERSUDE YOU NOT TO BUY THIS BOOK!  It is not erotic in any sense, it is about the love of two women.  There is no sex scenes, so if you’re uncomfortable reading them, then don’t worry because you don’t have to in this book!

Now, onto my review review.  Be sure to have tissues ready because this book will need them while reading this story.  But they are such good tears, that it is completely okay on the crying scale.  This book touches on so many different topics, and so many things that need to be brought to light.  The story isn’t about two women falling in love with each other, it’s about the love they already have, and the love they have for others as well.

Reggie’s character was…. Just amazing.  Plain and simple.  She has this insane strength inside her, and she is willing to do anything to help her parents, even if that means making her sicker in the long run.  The love that she has for her parents though, is more of the focus in this book than anything.  The relationship that she has with both of them was just amazing and it was very life-like.  Don’t get me wrong, Desi was also a great character.  She was the sunshine that came through when things got a bit too grey.  But overall, I felt like the real story had to do with Reggie.

This book is so good that I actually bought the paperback copy of it to give to my mama because the story was that touching.  That inspirational.  That amazing that I can’t help but to share it with everyone else.
CM:  So SVC, and yes, we are totally on first name basis here since you made cry.  That gives you automatic first name status.  Anyway, first off, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to sit down with me and do this interview about your book, My Last Season With You.

LOL! Yes, we are on a first name basis & I’m totally cool with that! In fact, anyone that I made cry, laugh, or just down-right, “Awww,” is welcome to call me SVC. Before we get started though, I want to take a moment to thank you, Crystal. Thank you for your support and becoming a friend!

CM: I’ll start off easy, can you tell us where you came up with the idea for this book?

Well, like I wrote on my dedication page, My Last Season With You came from a dream. It wasn’t a nightmare, although I woke up with tears still streaming, I felt at peace; serene. That strange feeling, both heavy and uplifting, haunted me throughout the day. I knew I had to put it down on paper. I have only cried like that two other times in my life. It was a risk, writing an F/F story, but at the end of the day, it was a story about a kind of love some can only dream about.

CM:  Now, I want you to be honest, how many boxes of tissues did you go through while writing this book?

I am a Costco member, honey. Do you know how hard it is to be bawling your eyes out and try to type? Or when I’m driving and think of a scene and struggle to keep it together till you reach your destination? I DO! I had boxes EVERYWHERE because I’d cry at the drop of a dime. When my husband came home after I finished the final chapter, he thought someone had died. I just pointed to my laptop, and he hugged me. He didn’t get it till he read it. Then he went for the tissue box. You know it’s good when your big, burly, sexy, manly husband cries.

CM:   While the story did focus on Reggie and Desi’s relationship, it was also a lot about the relationship between Reggie and her parents.  Did you plan on that to happen originally, or were you planning on just focusing on Reggie and Desi?

When I write, I write organically. I never know what’s going to happen or what route it’s going to take. I’m too spastic to stick to a plan or outline. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not me. MLSWY was a little unusual as I had the ending planned. Everything from the beginning, middle to just before the final chapter were words going from my brain to my fingers.

CM:  Before I start tearing up again while thinking about this book, (and yes, I’m totally sending you a bill for all the tissues that I used), I freaking LOVE your cover!  Was this what you envisioned the cover as?  What made you choose to have this as the cover?  Who designed it?

Again, it was organic. In selecting the stock photo, I wanted something that I envisioned Reggie to look like. What I didn’t want was something common. I needed to see the sadness in her eyes, but not crying or miserable; slightly hopeful. Autumn is a perfect metaphoric season for MLSWY, so I knew I had to have that autumn feel. Honestly, the picture had to hit me and scream MLSWY. Ashley did everything else.

Who is Ashley? Oh! She’s my fabulous cover designer from Ashbee Designs (http://www.ashbeedesigns.com/p/custom-designs.html)! I chose the stock photo, and she did the rest. She added Desi in the red dress on the back of the paperback cover, the instruments, and really gave it an autumn feel I was looking seeking.

CM:  Well, let’s focus on you a bit now!  Who is SVC Ricketts? 

Ha! That totally reminds me of Breakfast Club (my all-time fav!). “Who am I? I am the walrus,” - Brian Johnson.

But seriously though, I’ve been married to my super sexy husband for 11+ years, am a full-time caregiver and stay-at-home mom for my adult special needs daughter. Personality and character traits wise? I am a pushy, opinionated, sugar junkie, with daily Grande Americano fix, a dark chocolate lover, a ball-buster, a spoiled brat when I don’t get my way (I have been known to throw a tantrum when my hubz says, “no,”), an advocate for those that cannot defend themselves, a proactive helper whenever I see the need, a life observer, and a shop-a-holic for a good deal. I don’t say what I don’t mean. If you want an honest-sometimes harsh-opinion, ask me. I don’t pull punches. BUT don’t ask me if you want to be placated. That’s not how I roll.

Other than that, I’m normal.

CM:  Are you a reader?  If so, what are your favorite books?  If not, then why aren’t you?!??!!?

ABSOLUTELY, I’m a reader. In fact, that’s how I got started writing. After Hunger Games the movie, I tore through the trilogy. After that, I was at the library daily with 4-10 books in my arms. At the time, it was mostly YA/Dystopia, authors like Marissa Meyer, Scott Westerfield, Laini Taylor, Susan Ee, Marie Lu, and Neal Shusterman. But then I started getting irritated at the stupidity of the female protag. Totally didn’t get the whole “Y” in YA. Many teens I know are super smart and very strong young women. Instead of complaining about it, my philosophy (or at least one of them) is Shit Or Get Off The Pot. So I did. I wrote a YA, Spec-fic book in a month. Don’t ask, it will probably never see the light of publishing day until I get all my other stories out. That should be around….2021.  ;P

Currently, my favorite books are Romance. Ella Fox’s Hart Family Series is my all-time fav! I also have a huge soft spot for Marian Tee. Any romance she puts out, I 1-click and tear through in one sitting. Her stories are not for everyone; some have called them some horrible things, but I love them and her! So much so, they both are in my acknowledgments!

CM:  Do you plan on writing any more books?

Oh baby, do I ever! My next one out will be Pieces of One, a Suspense-Romantic story about a girl with multiple personalities that finds herself in the middle of a DEA investigation targeting an international mafia takedown. It’s a wild ride. Very different from MLSWY.

Reception for MLSWY has been overwhelmingly positive, I’m a little nervous about starting edits for Pieces and the rest of the 5-book Dark Life Collection. That one I may hide after I hit publish.

CM:  Well, I want to thank you for taking the time to spend with us today, but I have one last question.  And it’s the most important question of them all.   Why are manhole covers round?

"Huey Lewis & The News said it, so it must be true, “It’s hip to be square!” I guess manhole covers aren’t hip enough."

SVC Ricketts is a Contemporary Romance author and professional smart alec (self-professed). Her work has been recognized by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and was selected as a finalist for the 2013 PNWA Literary Competition in the Romance category.

Raised between Southern California and Oahu, she moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1993 and although she loves it here, her heart belongs to the Islands - it always will. When she’s not in, what she loving calls “book-mode,” she multitasks her life between her hilarious adult special needs daughter, super smexy husband of 11 years, two dogs, and sweating out her stress in a hot yoga studio. She’s also an avid Twitter (@SVC_Ricketts) and Facebook (SVC Ricketts) addict (again, self-professed). If you want to check out her other ramblings, you can visit her at www.SmexyIndieAuthor.com.


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