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Review of Hydraulic Level 5 by Sarah Latchaw

All of us wanted to read this ARC from Omnific Publishing, but Chick Lauren flew faster – and clipped more wings – in order to get the chance. 😉

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At the end of Hydraulic Level 5, I found myself wanting to refer to author Sarah Latchaw as an “unholy cliff-hucker.” The creative curses that fall from protagonist Aspen Kaye Trilby’s lips are still stuck in my head, and I wish I had more to read. Hydraulic Level 5 was a twisty-turny road filled with hope and the fear of hoping too much. Even though I’d already read the original fanfiction version of the story, I was sucked right back into this new update…and hard!

Hydraulic Level 5 is a story within a story, a double-edged sword for an author. When executed properly, the jumps between each story can be a revealing look at another aspect of the world in which the reader is immersing herself. When not done successfully, the reader can find themselves confused, irritated, or just plain lost. Thankfully, the latter isn’t a problem in Hydraulic Level 5, as it’s definitely an example of a successful story-within-a-story setup.

The prologue starts us off with the world of the Water Sirens, a wildly popular book series written by author Samuel Caulfield Cabral. Sam is a successful author and playwright who even dabbles in a little Spanish guitar. He’s also the ex-husband of the story’s protagonist, Kaye Trilby. But most of that background can be gleaned from the story’s synopsis, so none of that was a surprise. What is striking, however, is how well Latchaw manages two different writing styles to present both the bigger story and Samuel’s words.

“Samuel’s” writing is poetic and philosophical. There is an interesting and intriguing cadence to “his” writing that stands tall against the overall flow of Hydraulic Level 5. Though the prologue pulls us into the world Samuel created for his book series, the rest of Hydraulic Level 5 intersperses chapters that tell a heartbreakingly different story. These chapters give you glimpses into the past of a boy and a girl who seem, in many ways, destined to love each other, although we don’t yet know where this fits into their present.

The bigger picture tells us about “today” in the lives of the characters. Wedding preparations for Danita, Kaye’s straight-talking best friend, and Angel, a goofy and fun-loving pilot, form the center of the story that brings together a cast of characters that will keep readers on their toes. Angel’s brothers, Hector and Santiago, lead adventure excursions and are joined by a hippie-style, VW Campervan-driving Cassady who has caught the eye of Molly, Kaye’s business partner and the third “Musketeer” of the ladies in the group.

The group of friends find themselves signed up for numerous extreme adventure trips, like surfing hydraulics and hitting class 5 rapids. They tell stories about going skiing, hiking, camping, repelling, spelunking, and cave climbing. They even take a group bachelor/bachelorette trip on a skydive jump. It’s the way of Colorado, or so Kaye explains. Surrounded by mountains and wilderness, extreme adventure is just what you do.

For someone who has only rock climbed in an indoor center, taken a guided whitewater rafting trip on a river with extremely easy rapids when I was about 13, and probably wouldn’t ever consider jumping out of a plane, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to commit myself to a world of extreme adventure sports, but the references are clear enough for even a novice like me to understand. Each chapter is titled with a reference to whitewater rafting and includes an explanation of what that term means. Not only did these references not interfere with my understanding, but I even learned a little something along the way!

The core group of characters in this story is supported by a cast of relatives and acquaintances that help to fill out personalities and showcase the relationships within the story. Kaye’s mom and dad, a farmer and a hippie baseball coach respectively, add a sense of whimsy and humor in their parenting styles, while the Cabrals, Sophia and Alonso, paint a picture of a much more traditional family, one immersed in Hispanic culture. Danita and Samuel, though technically cousins, are raised as siblings by Sophia and Alonso, and are part of a close-knit family that accepted Kaye and Angel as surrogate children early on. Through Samuel’s writing, we see stories of the four growing up together, particularly Samuel and Kaye…the beginning of their story.

In the narrated chapters, we’re thrown into a much different world, where Samuel and Kaye are ex-spouses, pulled apart by Samuel’s exodus to New York City to “find himself.” They have spent seven years apart, and it’s only because of the impending nuptials of a sibling and best friend that they’re pulled back into the same universe. And that universe gets turned on its head when the two finally come back together. But, to find out exactly how things get all turned around, you’re going to have to read for yourself. Although, you won’t get all of your answers, or at least not yet.

While reading, I didn’t even realize, as sucked into the story as I was, that my Kindle app was telling me I was 97% through the story, and I was nowhere near a resolution. Yes, I’ve read the original fanfiction version and, in theory, know where the story is headed. However, the world created in this re-write pulled me in so fully that when I read the words “Read on for a preview of the sequel,” I almost threw my tablet across the room because I didn’t want the story to be over. These characters have so much further to go, and I cannot wait for the release of Skygods to get me the answers to the questions I have – especially those answers I’m daring to hope for, despite my fears for their tumultuous journey.

I spent two days totally immersed in this story and found myself falling in love with characters that I’d once known but were now different. I found myself both rooting for Samuel and Kaye, together and on their separate journeys, as well as wanting to throttle them both throughout the process. Hydraulic Level 5 grabbed me and pulled me in, and I gave myself over to the story, not wanting to put it down, even after I’d gotten to the end. Highs and lows, laughing and crying, frustration and elation… I went on my own extreme adventure, one that left me breathless and calling Sarah Latchaw by some of her very creative curses for cranking up the emotional level and leaving me wanting to take it even higher.

Available 9/3/13

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Synopsis:

How does a woman get over her one great love? With whitewater rafting, bluegrass, and a touch of revenge…

Kaye is an extreme sports addict with a kind heart and an axe to grind with her childhood sweetheart and ex-husband, renowned writer Samuel Caulfield Cabral. While Samuel enjoys a celebrity life in New York, Kaye remains in their hometown of Lyons, Colorado, running her PR agency and chatting daily with Samuel’s family, the beloved Cabrals—first-generation Mexican-Americans who have embraced Kaye as their own.

But when Samuel returns for his sister’s wedding with his new love interest, stunning editor Caroline Ortega , the gloves are stripped off. Kaye is determined to unearth the reasons behind the death of their marriage and why two people who lived to love each other were driven apart.

She discovers startling revelations about Samuel, about life…and about herself.

Sarah-Latchaw

Social Media Links for Sarah Latchaw

Website Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

This book gets two emphatic wings up from this chick, so be sure and preorder/order here!

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More by T.M. Franklin: Does It Live Up To Its Title?

First we’d like to graciously say thank you to Ms. Franklin for reaching out to us and supplying a copy of her novel More, the first book in her More Trilogy.

More

**Minor Spoilers Ahead

Why would a book be titled More? It seems like such an unusual name to give a book, let alone a YA paranormal novel, but having had previous exposure to the author’s writing, I knew I needed to find out exactly what was being referred to in the title.

As the story begins, we meet Ava Michaels, a college student who is convinced she had a paranormal experience as a child that involved willing something small to happen. The phenomenon only occurred once, and Ava grew up normally otherwise. She stashed the event into the back of her mind but always wondered if there was something more to that experience.

Now in college, Ava finds herself struggling with two things–recurring dreams of a man with one blue eye and one green eye attacking her and getting a passing grade in her physics class. At the suggestion of her professor, Ava agrees to attend tutoring sessions from graduate student Caleb Foster.

Described as “kind of cute in a bookish, nerdy way,” Caleb is friendly and encouraging to Ava. Oddly enough, she had never met him before, and yet now he seems to keep popping up on campus.

Is there more to Caleb than what meets the eye?

When Ava’s dreams of an attack become a reality, Caleb steps in to help her. Through him, we learn there is another Race of beings with strength and powers. Some have learned to co-exist with humans while most choose to live in cloaked villages, keeping their world a secret. It becomes apparent that somehow Ava is unknowingly entangled in both worlds.

Is there more potential Caleb is trying to unlock and coax along than just Ava’s comprehension of physics?

As others from the Race close in on Ava, she taps into a power she always suspected she had to defend herself and decides to trust Caleb when he admits he is of the Race and suggests he can take her somewhere where she will be safe and with others who will help her get answers.

As Caleb and Ava grow closer, the reader begins to question his true intentions. Do the people he is leading her to have Ava’s best interest in mind, and if not, has his bond with Ava grown so strong that he’d be willing to betray his own people for her if need be? The story reaches the point where Ava and the reader question who the good guys are versus who the bad guys are. And just when you think you’ve figured it out, well, there ends up being more.

 

 

I’ve always been a big fan of YA television paranormal shows like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where the female protagonist comes into a new self-awareness when her latent power kicks in, which is one of the reasons I took to Ava. I found myself rooting for her, and I couldn’t wait for her to realize her potential. The beginning of Ava’s story started out in many ways consistent with other stories I’ve read or watched and because of that, I didn’t really think I could be “surprised” as I read, but I definitely was surprised–a few times! There were really smart plot twists and turns that, for me, made so much sense, but were delivered in such a way that I hadn’t seen them coming! Once that first twist hit, I was anxious for more surprises.

If you’re a fan of paranormal YA books, then this would be an excellent choice to check out! Even better, I would recommend this as a great story to read along with your tween/teen. I could easily see the story playing out well visually and becoming a movie either on the big screen or on a cable series, but until then, I just found out the sequel, The Guardians, will be available on November 7th. Good thing, because this book definitely lives up to its title in so many ways, including the ending, which left me wanting…wait for it… more.

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Social Media Links for T.M. Franklin

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Cover Reveal for Hydraulic Level Five by Sarah Latchaw

We’re excited to be taking part in the cover reveal for the publication of this much-loved former fanfiction story! To all the long-time fans who will be celebrating along with us and to the new fans that will be discovering this amazing story and author for the first time, we bring you . . .

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AVAILABLE 9/3/13 FROM OMNIFIC PUBLISHING!

Synopsis:

How does a woman get over her one great love? With whitewater rafting, bluegrass, and a touch of revenge…

Kaye is an extreme sports addict with a kind heart and an axe to grind with her childhood sweetheart and ex-husband, renowned writer Samuel Caulfield Cabral. While Samuel enjoys a celebrity life in New York, Kaye remains in their hometown of Lyons, Colorado, running her PR agency and chatting daily with Samuel’s family, the beloved Cabrals—first-generation Mexican-Americans who have embraced Kaye as their own.

But when Samuel returns for his sister’s wedding with his new love interest, stunning editor Caroline Ortega , the gloves are stripped off. Kaye is determined to unearth the reasons behind the death of their marriage and why two people who lived to love each other were driven apart.

She discovers startling revelations about Samuel, about life…and about herself.

Sarah-Latchaw

Social Media Links for Sarah Latchaw

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

We’ll be bringing you more news about this book and this author in the days ahead! In the meantime, be sure and visit Sarah’s website and get signed up for email alerts.

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GIVEAWAY: Autographed Copy of “Animate Me” by Ruth Clampett

About the Author (via ruthclampettwrites.blogspot.com)

Ruth Clampett, daughter of legendary animation director Bob Clampett, grew up surrounded by artists and animators. A graduate of Art Center College of Design, she has been VP of Design for Warner Brothers Studio Stores and taught photography at UCLA. Today she runs her own studio and as the Fine Art publisher for Warner Brothers Studios has come to know and work with some of the world’s greatest artists in the fields of animation and comics. From this colorful background comes Ruth’s first novel, Animate Me, a fun and sexy, unique and engaging contemporary romance. Ruth lives and works in Los Angeles, strictly supervised by her teenage daughter, who helps plan their summer around their yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic Con.

Ruth’s Father Bob, named Beany’s girlfriend after her, Baby Ruthy.

The real Baby Ruthy with her animated family.

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Learn more about the man who even helped create such iconic Looney Tunes characters as Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig in this wonderful tribute interview Ruth did awhile back for The Writing Disorder here.

Bob Clampett in front of the garage where he created Beany and Cecil. (Source)
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Learn more about the woman who carries on her father’s legacy and helped create stories we love to champion in this wonderful interview Ruth did recently with Lori Ness (@iguestinfo) on Northwest Prime talk radio here.
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And what makes this autographed copy of Animate Me even more special is that Ruth not only signed it, but stamped it with her custom Baby Ruthy stamp 🙂

Animate Me autograph

Here’s all you have to do to enter:

  1. Follow us on Twitter here.
  2. Follow Ruth on Twitter here.
  3. Copy, paste, and tweet the following message:
  • I’m following @fics2flicks & @RuthyWrites for a chance to win an autographed copy of #AnimateMe. #F2Fwoo

We’ll choose the winner via Random.org from qualified entries on Monday, August 19, 2013. Good luck!

If you missed our previous posts dedicated to Ruth and her Woo, go here and here.

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Interview with “Animate Me” Author Ruth Clampett

Are you ready for the Woo?

When Chick Lisa met Ruth Clampett at the TFMU in Chicago last month, we already knew we wanted to interview her for the blog. We also knew from a previous discussion with Ruth about her Animate Me cover for our interview with Jada D’Lee (here) that she is an author whose answers are very thoughtful, which is why we wanted to give her the chance to take her time with our zany questions and respond via email. We know we made the right decision after reading her answers. We hope you enjoy this fun and insightful interview as much as we did!

F2F: kitt always wants to know… How did you celebrate when you got the news that Animate Me would be published?

RC: First I’d like to say thanks so much for giving Animate Me love on your blog. You guys have been a terrific support throughout my publishing journey, and I’m so appreciative.

With that said, I think my most exciting moment in publishing was when I held the first printed sample of the book. The whole intense process finally felt real to me. We broke out a bottle of champagne and got a little crazy.

F2F: Did you always know you could write, or was writing a brand new adventure? Did a moment hit when you just knew you had a story to tell, or was it something you had thought about over the years?

RC: I’ve always loved writing, but in my younger years, I wrote poetry and short stories. Although I was a design and photography major, I took courses in college and after I graduated was accepted into a serious writing workshop with a noted L.A. author. Soon after, however, I met my husband who at the time was getting his Masters in Creative Writing at USC. My world soon shifted where I was around a lot of literary and working writers and screenwriters. Honestly, it was intimidating, and it took the fuel out of my writing fire.

It wasn’t until years later that I stumbled across fan fiction and realized that it was a safe place to write and find readers. There’s such a cross section of themes, content and finesse in the work, and it provides a freedom I would’ve never had before. Fan fiction really opened the world of writing back up for me, and I’ll forever be grateful. (A/N: We appreciate you continuing to embrace your fanfic roots!)

F2F: Writing fan fiction offers writers a certain amount of anonymity, as well as the chance to build a support group/comfort zone. How has the transition been for you publishing under your real name?

RC: I would never have considered writing under my real name when I was younger for fear of being embarrassed about the sex scenes in my stories. But at this point in my life, I’m more comfortable in my own skin and figure that I am who I am. I don’t feel the need to keep it a secret. Honestly, some of my gallery clients have been excited for me over Animate Me — very supportive and sweet about it. So I have no regrets.

F2F: As the title and cover suggest, Animate Me is set in the world of animation, which is something we know is very near and dear to your heart. Did you also put some of yourself into the characters? If so, who do you think you’re most like — Nathan or Brooke?

RC: At first I was going to reply that I share no traits with Nathan, but that’s not really true. I get Starbucks every afternoon and enjoy listening to positive affirmation tapes. I’m fundamentally a positive person, like Nathan, and want other people to be happy too.

But in the big picture, I’m definitely more like Brooke. My career is built around working with artists and championing their work. I’m good dealing with the business people, but it’s the artists that keep me in the art and animation business. And like Brooke, I am very confident with my work but have my insecurities too. Like many women, I struggle with body issues. Although some readers were irritated with her insecure side, more appreciated that it made her feel more real to them.

F2F: Lisa always wants to know… Is there any significance to the names you chose for your main characters?

RC: Picking names is very hard but one thing I knew for sure is that my male lead couldn’t have a cool or trendy name. I had worked for years with a Nathan who was one of the best people I’ve ever known, and we became very close. He was like a brother to me. So whenever I think of that name I smile, which made it the perfect choice for Animate Me’s Nathan.

For the female, I already had B-Girl firmly in my head so I really struggled finding a ‘B’ name that fit my female lead. I chose Brooke because it felt like a strong name to me, unique but not too unusual. One of my favorite of the other names is Arnauld because I love the idea of him trying to sound sophisticated but once Nathan finds out his real name is Arnold, that’s how he refers to him the rest of the story. I love that.

F2F: Do you think Nathan is on track to be the next Lloyd Dobbler?

RC: I love your Lloyd Dobbler comparison as I adored the movie Say Anything. Animate Me’s geeky and lovestruck Nathan seems to have the ability to win over even the most skeptical readers. So if given the opportunity for a broader exposure and audience, I so think he could be a romantic hero like Lloyd was.

F2F: Juan Ortiz’s charming artwork and Jada D’Lee’s graphic design are a winning combination, making Animate Me one of our favorite covers. How involved were you with the creative process of the cover and the artwork featured inside the book?

RC: Actually I began picturing what I wanted on the book cover while I was writing the story early on. Since I’m an art director and visual person, I tend to do that with all my books. So although I had the picture in my head of what I wanted, it doesn’t mean anything unless you have the people who can help you bring it to life. First Juan and I went through a process to get the characters looking right in drawing form. But once he had it, the rest of the drawings in the book came together really easily since we work so well together. The photography of the cup and hands process came next. Finally, for the last step when Jada got involved, it became a challenge not to make the cover look like an advertisement. None of my ideas worked in that regard, but Jada kept working with it and the moment she nailed it, I cried I was so happy. She is super talented.

Illustration by Juan Ortiz / Cover Design by Jada D’Lee Designs

F2F: Have you received any interest in Animate Me being made into a movie? (A/N: We think it would be the perfect first rom-com for a certain British actor btw.) And if it did become a movie *fingers crossed*, would you and/or your drawings make a cameo in it?

RC: I would LOVE to see Animate Me made into a movie! I think it would make a really fun romantic comedy and since Robert Pattinson’s character in The Bad Mother’s Handbook provided a lot of inspiration for my Nathan character, I’d love to see him play the role. As long as we’re dreaming, sure I’ll do a cameo and be involved in the animation that’s worked into the film. I’ve always been a big dreamer…and this is a good one!

F2F: What are a few of your favorite cartoons (we figure with your background, it would be unfair to ask you to name just one!)?

RC: Well naturally I love the cartoons my dad worked on, Looney Tunes and Beany and Cecil, but there are many others I adore. It’s a wide range, everything from Spongebob Squarepants, Gumby, Power Puff Girls, Tom and Jerry, Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, Teen Titans, the list goes on…

For features, my all time favorite is The Iron Giant. But I love all the Peanuts specials, many Pixar films: Toy Story, Up, The Incredibles, Ratatouille. Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Tarzan. I also loved Despicable Me.

F2F: What does the future hold for Ruth Clampett, the author? More stories inspired by working in animation? A sequel and/or spinoff to Animate Me? Publish your other wildly popular fanfic Dodge and Burn? New writing projects?

RC: I’m working on a story called Mr. 365 that takes place in the television world, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I hope to finish it in the next few months. As for Animate Me, I have a sequel fairly well written so that’s something I may eventually publish. And thank you for asking about Dodge and Burn. It’s another story very close to my heart, and I’d love to see it published one day. So many people can relate to the struggle that the characters go through, and it’s meaningful to me that it’s a love story with a couple facing a new stage in their life. So I’m hope to pursue publishing Dodge and Burn soon. (A/N: We are beyond stoked about all of this!)

Thank you so much for your support for Animate Me and my work. Us indie writers would be nowhere without the support of readers and blogs like yours. You’re awesome!

Social Media Links for Ruth Clampett

WebsiteFacebook Twitter Goodreads Amazon | Clampett Studio Collections

Ruth stated above “My career is built around working with artists and championing their work.” We originally wanted to interview Ruth because we knew she was an author with a unique background and experiences in the animation business that were weaved into a genuinely funny and romantic love story. We’ve since realized that she’s a career woman to be admired and a positive role model for her industry and within the communities of her more recent ventures. Thank you, Ruth, for allowing us the opportunity to give back to you by championing your work!

We think Animate Me could potentially go all the way — from well-received fan fiction, to a mainstream published story with one of our favorite book covers, to Nathan being given the opportunity to woo and win over the heart of Brooke (and movie-goers) on the big screen, which would make it a true fic 2 flick for us!

Are you ready for more of the Woo? Join us on Friday for a chance to win an autographed copy of Animate Me!

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Review of Animate Me by Ruth Clampett

This first of our three-part post with author Ruth Clampett features a heartfelt guest review of Animate Me. Be sure and follow us on Twitter and get signed up for email alerts so you don’t miss out on our upcoming Q&A with Ruth and a giveaway of an autographed copy of Animate Me!

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Before I give you a review and rundown of one of the most charming stories I’ve ever read, Animate Me, let me first tell you about meeting the author of said story. As anyone who knows me can attest to, when I love something or someone, I can get pretty passionate and enthusiastic. I was extremely excited to meet Ruth Clampett, author of two of my favorite stories, Animate Me and Dodge and Burn, at this year’s TwiFic Meet Up in Chicago. As I reined in my inner fangirl, I introduced myself to Ruth. Not surprisingly, I found her to be as lovely and charming as I had imagined. She definitely knows the art of “woo” because I was star struck after merely several short, but significant conversations with her. I commented that she seemed to be a combination of two of her main characters, artistic story writer Nathan in Animate Me and whimsical photo artist Isabella in Dodge and Burn. She modestly said, “I only wish I were half as special as they are.” I can state that Ruth is, indeed, that special. I found her to be charming, amusing, warm, delightful, and just as determined as the heroic characters she creates in print.

Having read Animate Me as fan fiction, I can say I wasn’t surprised to find it was going to be a published book. It had everything a published story should have. It had characters you could sympathize with and relate to, it had setting details that put you in the world of cartoon animators, it had just enough intrigue to keep you guessing, and at the heart of it all it had a tender love story. Oh, and let’s not forget just the right amount of sex.

While reading the published version recently, I fell in love with her characters all over again. Nathan owned my heart from the first page as he described himself as an awkward, self-proclaimed nerd.

***SPOILER ALERT***

Animate Me is one of those stories that is character driven. The story is refreshingly told in Nathan’s male point of view. Nathan’s “voice” lets us hear his inner comedic conversations and allows us to join him in his adventures as a cartoon animator who slowly gets transformed into a sexy, confident lover. There are plenty of slap happy scenes as Nathan swoons over Brooke and finally gets a chance to prove his geeky, yet manly, worth.

The theme of the story is as the title suggests and the definition implies: animate — to create a liveliness, invigorate an energy, to impart interest and zest. Animate Me is a love story between two seemingly different characters — one a nice guy who is happy in his own skin and the other a too-perfect girl who seems beyond his reach. However, they both live lives that are partially closed off.

Nathan’s obsessive love for both Brooke and the world of animation takes him down a bumpy path that eventually leads him to where he needs to be. Without giving too much more away, let’s just say that sparks fly, roles get reversed, secrets get revealed, drama intensifies, and the sex gets steamy.

It’s clear to me that most of today’s contemporary romantic fiction has male characters who are intensely dominant and flawed, yet redeemable in the end…sensual men who ultimately win the hearts of ofttimes virginal girls. So it’s an exciting twist to read about a more relatable man like Nathan as he virtuously tries to earn the girl’s affection. Nathan’s lighter and more steadfast personality is a welcome change. He may not be that typical alpha male we love to read about, but he’s adorably sexy in equal measure. What makes Nathan special is he’s comfortable in his own skin, and yet he is willing to try new ways to improve his appearance without ever losing his sense of self. Nathan may be a self-deprecating, uniquely gifted man, but he never loses what matters most…his integrity. (A/N: Sound like anyone else we know? If and when Animate Me gets turned into a romantic comedy for the big screen *clasps hands and prays for this to come to be*, I can just picture the original muse, Robert Pattinson, as the romantic lead. Can’t you?!)

As the plot thickens, we learn that Nathan has secretly been star struck by Brooke, who is the Director of Development at Sketch Republic, the animation studio they both work at. He’s also been secretly writing and drawing a comic book heroine, B-Girl, which is based on Brooke. Brooke appears to be the perfect girl. She’s smart, sexy, motivated, and shares Nathan’s obsession with the world of cartoon, comic books, and even trips to Comic Con.

I have to mention the secondary characters in the story, too. Nathan’s father, Arthur, is even more geeky than Nathan. But, like Nathan, he’s filled with what we all seek…unconditional love and support. He’s as entertaining to read about as the rest of the characters. He teaches his son the art of “woo-ing,” and the magic of love begins to animate all of their lives. Also noteworthy supporting characters are the animators Nathan works who make you laugh and pull you in even more to the magical world of animation.

Each chapter begins with a cartoon quote. But the most wonderfull part of the story is, of course, the coffee cups that Nathan sketches for his B-girl.

It will be obvious to you that Ruth generously and successfully uses her father Bob Clampett’s world of cartoon animation, a world she knows well, to craft a well-written story. She’s done what Nathan tries to do for Brooke…she’s “wooed” us with each chapter of this fanciful story. If I were artistic, I’d buy Ruth a Starbucks coffee and sketch her as the super hero, pen in hand and red smoochy kisses all around her. (A/N: Please read more about Ruth’s father and the legacy she carries on via Clampett Studio Collections here.)

I highly recommend buying the published version of Animate Me if you haven’t already!

Social Media Links for Ruth Clampett

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

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Review of Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines

twisted-perfection-amazonNow available as an audiobook here!

Synopsis

“Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected…

Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help.

What he didn’t know was that she was as fragile as they come. The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine…

Della Sloan is on the road to find herself and experience life. She has a dark past that she’s trying to escape, even if it’s only for a little while. Della believes she has no real future to look forward to, so she doesn’t think she deserves to build relationships…to have a real life with roots planted in one place and a family of her own. She knows her fate is one she cannot escape…a fate already handed down from grandmother to mother.  All she wants to do is get out and see the world, never stay in one place very long, and leave before she can get too involved with anyone.

Woods Kerrington’s desire is to take his rightful place in his family’s business, but he has been backed into a corner of sorts. He can’t have what he wants unless he does it his father’s way. That means paying his dues by working his way up in the business and doing everything his father expects of him, including marrying the woman selected for him in order to merge two powerful and wealthy families. Woods has no problem following his father’s path, not until Della Sloan unsuspectingly blocks his way.

A chance meeting at a gas station between Woods and Della leads to one night spent together. They both know it’s for just one night, and they’re both OK with that — one night and then they’ll go their separate ways.

It was never in the plan that Della would end up back in Woods’ hometown, living in the condo of one of his friends and working at the very golf club that Woods manages. But four months later, through strange twists of fate, that is exactly what happens.

Suddenly, the path isn’t so clear, and Woods is forced to question everything he thought was truly important to him.

Twisted Perfection Review2

We first met Woods Kerrington in the Too Far series and were introduced to Della Sloan in the last book of the same series, Forever Too Far.  Woods Kerrington is the quintessential  Southern Gentleman. I was hooked from the start. In the light of day, he is responsible, hardworking, respectful, loves his grandparents, drives a big black pick-up truck, and has  an accent to melt the panties off of any good (southern) girl. But get this boy behind closed doors, and watch out! “Never throw a Kerrington a challenge….”

Despite her dark past, Della has a sweet disposition. Her belief that she is destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps will not allow her to consider getting involved in a lasting relationship with anyone. Everything for her is temporary. It’s what’s best for everyone. No one should have to settle for her. She isn’t good enough.

When Woods finds himself wanting/needing to protect and take care of Della, it’s heartwarming. And even though it takes him some time, and one broken engagement, he realizes he must choose between living the life he was brought up to live or following his heart and choosing to a life of love.

Twisted Perfection will touch your heart and, if you’re like me, cause you to shed a few tears. I loved this book. It was a wonderful and quick read, full of sweet and sexy scenes. I can’t wait to see where Woods and Della’s story goes next in Simple Perfection.

17449417Available 9/13/13 (Pre-order here.)

The world Abbi Glines created with the Too Far series and continued in Twisted Perfection is one I would happily settle down in. Her characters are so believable. They feel like friends I would actually want to spend time with…friends you should get to know too!

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Paige Turner chick with book