Hi Bella, welcome 🙂
Let’s talk about your newest release: Kiss Me Like This (The Morrisons, Book 1)
Hello, thank you so much for having me to talk about my New Adult contemporary romance release!
Opening line of the book:
“Serena Britten had dreamed of this forever. Not bright lights and designer dresses and fame and meeting rock stars…but an enormous library with more books than she could possibly get through even if she stayed right here for an entire lifetime and just read and read and read. ”
Random facts about this book…
* The hero and heroine of KISS ME LIKE THIS attend Stanford and I did, too! However, things have changed so much on campus since I went there, (application and acceptance process plus lots of new buildings) that I needed to do some research to make sure I still had all the details right
* The hero, Sean Morrison, is a baseball playing Junior who is the top college player in the country and could skip graduation and go pro as the #1 draft pick if he wants to. He is greatly inspired by the husband of one of my best friends, who was in exactly that position as a Stanford Junior (and eventually went on to win the World Series with the Red Sox!).
*I loved researching ways to do tequila body shots for the scene where Sean and Serena do them with each other.
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…
KISS ME LIKE THIS is the first book about the Morrisons, six siblings between the ages of 18 and 25. I’ve been wanting to write about this family for so long and I can’t wait for you to read Sean Morrison and Serena Britten’s sexy and emotional love story! Serena was a side character in my most recent Sullivan book (Just To Be With You) and Smith Sullivan from Come A Little Bit Closer appears in Kiss Me Like This, too. (I am still going to be writing Sullivans, of course! Dylan Sullivan’s book, I Love How You Love Me, will be out this fall.
Please tell us about the characters in your book?
Sean Morrison, one of six siblings and the top college baseball player in the country, is reeling from a heartbreakingly painful loss. Serena is a world-famous model who has only ever wanted to be normal, even though her mother has always pushed her to become a superstar. Though it isn’t easy to try to leave everyone and everything she knows behind, Serena is determined to enroll in college. More than anything, she wants to turn her love for books into a new career that she actually loves.
Serena was a side character in my most recent Sullivan book (Just To Be With You) and Smith Sullivan from Come A Little Bit Closer appears in Kiss Me Like This, too.
As you wrote your protagonist was there anything about them that surprised you?
Honestly, I have thought about and planned for this book for over a year, which meant that I was in love with both of them — and the entire Morrison family — as soon as I started writing the story.
The First kiss…
(You can read the First kiss scene in the audition scene excerpt above.)
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
I had such a GREAT time writing about Sean and Serena. It’s my first New Adult set novel and I really enjoyed getting to tell the story of first love for to college students. I’ve heard from so many fans of my “The Sullivans” series who told me that they were a little worried about reading slightly younger characters than I’ve written before, but that they ended up absolutely LOVING Kiss Me Like This and can’t wait to read about the rest of the Morrisons now! I’m so glad my amazing readers are embracing this new family, and slight shift in sub-genre, so wholeheartedly!
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters?
I would probably use the scene where they meet for the first time at Sean’s frat house during a Friday night party where Serena feels terribly out of her element and he’s drinking to try to numb himself from grief:
“See, Serena told herself as she kept moving to the music, this isn’t so hard. In fact, she was having a really good time dancing with Abi. Serena hadn’t gotten to know her roommate too well yet, as they both always seemed to be running in different directions, but it was definitely awesome of Abi to stick with her like this. Especially considering Serena wasn’t exactly sure what she would have done if some guy had come up to her instead and wanted to dance with—
Just then, a large, warm hand curled around Serena’s waist. Her breath whooshed out in surprise as she was spun around, but when she looked up at the guy who was holding on to her, she momentarily forgot about the need to breathe at all. Because he had the most striking green eyes she’d ever seen.
She knew she probably should have told the stranger to take his hands off her. And she should already have been pushing out of his arms, too. But when he smiled down at her and said, “Hi,” she was so drawn by his incredible magnetism that she simply echoed him.
“Damn,” he said in a low voice that rippled up her spine, then down to her toes, “you’re beautiful.”
For all the times that Serena had been told she was beautiful during the course of her modeling career, it had never meant as much to her as it did right then, from the lips of a gorgeous stranger holding her in his arms.
Maybe that was why her reply made its way past her brain to her lips. “So are you.”
Again, his smile flashed, but a moment later it was gone. That was when she belatedly realized that neither smile had reached his eyes. And when she looked more closely into the green depths, the twisted-up torment she saw in them had her instinctively raising her hand to his cheek.
“Whatever happened,” she said softly, so close to his lips that she could almost taste them, “I’m sorry.”
Pain flashed through his eyes before a brutal sound tore from his throat, pain so intense that she swore she could feel it herself.
The next thing she knew, his mouth was on hers, claiming her lips in a way no one ever had as he pulled her closer against him.
Time and again, she’d read books about passion so deep that the characters would throw away everything in their lives for it.
Only, no matter how skilled the author, she’d never really understood it. So even though her mother had warned her over and over, all the way back to when she was a very little girl, that she should never, ever let herself be seduced and enthralled by a man’s pretty words or caresses, Serena hadn’t worried about it. Not when it had always felt like any passion, any heat, she gave off for the cameras was all for show. Inside, she’d worried that she’d always feel frozen.
But this—the thrill bumps rising across the surface of her skin, the way her tongue instinctively licked out to stroke his, the perfect fit of her curves and softness against his muscles and strength—this was the kind of passion people threw away perfectly good lives for. And it was no wonder, when just kissing him could make her feel this way.
Like she was thawing from the inside out.
If you could have given your characters one piece of advice before the opening pages of the book, what would it be and why?
It’s okay to make mistakes, but always try to trust in yourself anyway!
What are you currently working on? What other releases so you have planned for 2014?
I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE ME (Dylan Sullivan’s story) will be out this fall and I’m very hopeful that TEMPT ME LIKE THIS (Drew Morrisons story, the sequel to KISS ME LIKE THIS) will be out fairly soon after that.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
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~ Excerpt from KISS ME LIKE THIS, copyright 2014 Bella Andre ~
Serena was tall enough that Sean’s mouth was right in front of hers when she tilted up her face to look at him. She could feel her breath coming faster, and his heartbeat picking up against her hand where it rested over his chest.
“Maybe,” Sean’s gaze dropped from her eyes to her mouth, “you should kiss me.”
Serena surprised them both by not hesitating at all before softly pressing her lips against his. Heat instantly enveloped her, both from his hands tightening on her waist and the sparks that crackled from just one sweet kiss.
His request was deep and hungry. And it was her own hunger for him―and pure feminine instinct―that sent her hands up from his chest to twine around his neck. Her mouth had barely touched his again when his lips came crashing down onto hers.
His groan, her gasp, they were both one hundred percent pleasure at a kiss that was at once rough yet sweet, possessive yet gentle. And when he moved one hand from her waist to cradle her cheek, she felt warm and cherished as he slowly angled her jaw so that he could take the kiss deeper. His tongue slicked out across her lower lip, leaving a sensual path of fire in its wake. One that could only be quenched by another taste, and then when that wasn’t enough, the slow slide of his tongue against hers.
She felt hot, desperate, achy. Wanted.
But, overwhelmed by it all―the heat and desire and confusion―she abruptly pulled away.
“Serena?” She was surprised to see that he looked as overwhelmed as she did. “Are you okay?”
She put her hand over her racing heart as if to try to slow it, and to keep from reaching for him again. “Every time you kiss me, I…”
She loved words, and hoped to make a career out of them, but right then she couldn’t find any of the right ones to explain what his kisses did to her. Not when she was only just beginning to understand what a truly powerful force desire could be.
But he didn’t seem to need her to finish her sentence as he said, “I know. When you kiss me, it’s like that for me, too.”
Sean Morrison, one of six siblings and the top college baseball player in the country, is reeling from a heartbreakingly painful loss. Nothing seems to matter anymore…until the night Serena Britten unexpectedly ends up in his arms.
Serena is a world-famous model who has only ever wanted to be normal, even though her mother has always pushed her to become a superstar. Though it isn’t easy to try to leave everyone and everything she knows behind, Serena is determined to enroll in college. More than anything, she wants to turn her love for books into a new career that she actually loves. Only, she never expected to meet someone like Sean on campus—or to be instantly consumed by their incredible chemistry and connection.
But when the pressures of her high-profile modeling career only get bigger and more demanding, will it make living a normal life as a college student—and falling in love with the hottest guy on campus—impossible?
(Note: Serena was a supporting character in JUST TO BE WITH YOU, part of “The Sullivans” series, and Smith Sullivan from COME A LITTLE BIT CLOSER makes an appearance in this book! KISS ME LIKE THIS is a full-length, standalone New Adult contemporary romance novel of 400+ pages/100,000 words and is intended for readers 18+.)
Bella Andre is the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of “The Sullivans” series.
Having sold more than 3 million books, Bella Andre’s novels have been #1 bestsellers around the world and have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists 17 times. After signing a groundbreaking 7-figure print-only deal with Harlequin MIRA, Bella’s “The Sullivans” series is being released in paperback in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia. She has been the #1 Ranked Author at Amazon (on a top 10 list that included Nora Roberts, JK Rowling, James Patterson and Steven King). Known for “sensual, empowered stories enveloped in heady romance” (Publishers Weekly), her books have been Cosmopolitan Magazine “Red Hot Reads” twice and have been translated into ten languages. Winner of the Award of Excellence, The Washington Post called her “One of the top digital writers in America” and she has been featured by NPR, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine. A graduate of Stanford University, she has given keynote speeches at publishing conferences from Copenhagen to Berlin to San Francisco, including a standing-room-only keynote at Book Expo America in New York City. If not behind her computer, you can find her reading her favorite authors, hiking, swimming or laughing. Married with two children, Bella splits her time between the Northern California wine country and a 100 year old log cabin in the Adirondacks.
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