Spotlight & Giveaway: LIVE by Mary Ann Rivers

Posted January 19th, 2014 by in Blog, Spotlight / 35 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome romance author Mary Ann Rivers to HJ!


Hi Mary Ann, welcome 🙂

5 things readers should know about you?

Mary Ann Rivers*Reading and writing are the two things I can’t remember not doing. One of my first memories is of “making a book.”

*If I am able, I am almost always listening to music.

*Some of the most interesting books I read are recommendations from readers.

*The books I write are book that I feel passionately about.

*I’ve kept a journal or diary since I was sight years old, and writing is an activity I’d choose to do over almost all others.

What would you say are the defining characteristic of your Novels?

My stories are concerned with what the characters need to understand about themselves and their own lives in order to make their next big decision. In a romance novel, the decision concerns how love will change their life. This is why I like limited points of view and very developed settings and secondary characters — the protagonist will need a lot to consider in order to make the next step.

What romance book character you most identify with & Why?

It’s probably the character I am writing at the moment, because that’s the character I am most deeply engaged with — even if the character is very different from myself.

As a reader, there’s something about Nina in Jennifer Crusie’s ANYONE BUT YOU that makes me turn to this book as a re-read. Her self-consciouness and her intelligence, combined with her decision-making style, maybe.

Let’s talk about your newest release: LIVE

If you had to summarize the book for the readers here

LIVELIVE opens with our heroine, Destiny, who is a middle sister in a family of four siblings. The family has recently lost their father, who she was a caregiver for, and she is in the middle of a long stretch of unemployment.

She’s a typical middle — a peacemaker and concerned with roots and family connections. While she is smart, and by nature questioning, she hasn’t asked herself what she wants, and she it’s easy for her to prioritize the wants and needs of her family.

She has a crush on a artisanal woodcarver who is working to restore some fine woodwork in the library where she conducts her job search. The crush, for her, is a fantasy distraction from her problems, until one day, when she breaks down, and he’s the one around. He’s had a bit of a crush on her, as well.

The hero, Hefin, is a Welshman who’s let himself get stranded in the US after a failed marriage to an American. He’s finally got himself together enough to reclaim his previous life back home.

This is a bad-timing love story. Neither Des or Hefin are in a place that should welcome love, and their soon to be separate by a major geographical barrier. What kind of life will they choose so that they can really live?

Please tell us about the characters in your book?

The heroine Destiny — The youngest sister of four siblings and an unemployed web marketer/developer. She’s bright, questioning, and witty. Very, very devoted to her family.

The hero Hefin — He is a Welshman currently getting back to his roots as a woodcarver, though he is trained as a green engineer concerned with product design. He is divorced, heartbroken, taciturn, and helplessly caregiving.

Betty, the neighbor — Betty was Destiny’s mother’s best friend, and long-time neighborhood fixture. Betty understands great loss and great love, and reaches out to Des. She has a nephew, Rennie, on his way to college, who plays a small part, as well.

Lacey, the best friend — Lacey is a little older than Destiny and used to be Destiny’s older sister’s best friend, but Lacey and Des were soulmates. She’s a single mom with a lot of good perspective on the Burnsides, having been around them her whole life.

Sarah, the older sister — Sarah has recently suffered an injury as a result of a bike versus car accident. In this book she is struggling, and in pain, emotionally and physically. The Burnsides depend on Des for her help with Sarah, though Sarah has other ideas.

Sam, the older brother — Sam is the eldest, and struggles with responsibility and control. he’s a doctor, working in urgent care for money while trying to open a low-income clinic in the neighborhood. He is overtaxed, and overbearing, and thinks he knows what’s best for Des.

Paul “PJ”, the little brother — Young (22), brilliant, and a prodigy cellist with the local symphony, PJ provides levity in this story.

What scene did you have most fun writing? why?

Des and Hefin’s first date at the ballpark was a lot of fun. Batting cages, making out, flashing, and orgasms in a limo. I’m also a fan of a “my first period” conversation.

What scene was the hardest to write? Why?

There is a massive fight between Sam and Des, near the end, that is brewing the entire time, and it was very difficult to get the pitch and emotional stakes just right.

Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?

Des is a very freckled redhead, though she has a kind of Kristen Wiig feel. Hefin is very taciturn and brooding, but loving. Maybe someone like Matt Berninger of the band The National.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

Giveaway: 3 ebook copies of LIVE

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: How did you make the decision, as an adult to stay close to your family or move away? 

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Author Bio

Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.

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35 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: LIVE by Mary Ann Rivers”

  1. msrh0nda

    I stayed close to family because I feel in love with a local and started a family. I never wanted to be away from family – family is important to me.

  2. kp

    I chose to stay close to my family because I wanted my kids to have that extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins!

  3. conniefischer

    When my husband was sent to Paris for six years on a scientific assignment, it was difficult to leave family, but I knew that we both had siblings nearby to stand in for us.

  4. beckymmoe

    I’ve always been pretty open to whatever life sends my way–I can make a life wherever I am, though my family will always be important to me, I don’t have to be near them to be happy. (Visits, though, are key!) Originally I’d planned to go away for graduate school, but met my future husband and stayed near my family because that’s where he was. When he joined the Army, we moved to El Paso. After he was killed, we moved back home to be near family for obvious reasons. Now the school where I work is going to close–so perhaps moving is in the cards again. Or maybe not…we’ll have to see.

  5. Chanpreet

    I always say, “You don’t have to like your family, but you do have to love them.” Family is important to me so staying close by was easy. Not that I don’t like to escape from them sometimes.

  6. Tammy Y

    I moved to be closer to my Dad, but then he passed away and now we live far away from the rest of our family.

  7. Lori Meehan

    I did move away for 10 years but then we decided it was time to go home and we’ve been back now 13 years.

  8. Gretchen

    My husband and I decided to stay close to family and build a house on some acreage to raise our boys. My husband and I also had jobs in the area. We also wanted our kids to be raised with our extended family. Family is important to us:)

  9. Leanna

    A year and a half ago I accepted my sisters invitation to come live with her in Austin, TX. I previously lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota and am very close to my parents. All my family lives in Minnesota. I choose to move to Texas because the hot weather is better for my health.

  10. Glenda

    I came to Texas for a temporary job assignment and met my husband of 22 years. His family is all nearby, so our kids grew up around one set of grandparents and extended family. 🙂

  11. Kai W.

    I go where opportunities are located. After all, with internet and skype and the phone, they will always to a call away.

  12. shay1026

    I was so scared when I was younger, because I had never been away from my family. Therefore, I tried to move off to college, but came back.

  13. Christine L.

    My parents moved to a capital city when I was 4. I grew up here, attended university, and became employed by the state legislature two decades ago. I stayed here because of my career. The bonus is that I can more readily provide elder care because I am in close proximity to my folks.

  14. Winnie Lim

    I’ve been staying close to family all the while but I’m contemplating moving away for better opportunities.

  15. Margaret

    I moved away for work after I went to college, but once I was married and had kids I found my way back home.

  16. marcyshuler

    I hadn’t planned to move as far away from my family as I did, but there was a hiring freeze in the area so I looked on the other side of the state. If I’d waited a few months I never would’ve had to move…but I never would’ve met my hubby if I didn’t move.

  17. Amy

    I went to college in the area I’m in and sometimes I feel like there is not enough to do and would move but i like that there is not a lot of crime, good trails for running, they were adding more stuff to do like a new ski place so i’m content where i’m at.

  18. dutcheja

    Growing up my family moved around alot. Because of that we were really a close family. When I became an adult it was easy for me to choose to stay close to my family.

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