Hi Heather and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Something Like Family!
Hi! It’s fabulous to be here! I’m a total fan of Harlequin Junkie, so forgive me if I geek out for a moment.
Tell us about the book with this fun little challenge using the title of the book:
When twenty-two year old Rave Wayne hears that his long lost grandfather wants to reconnect, he’s hesitant. After all, family has always let him down. In fact, he wouldn’t call it family at all. Something like Family, at best. But a trip to the mountains of Tennessee and a down to earth country girl change his mind about trust. When old wounds are opened, and the very woman who abandoned him as a kid returns, Rave knows he must either move on or risk his heart. Has his mother really changed or is she just setting them up for another fall?
What’s your favorite line(s) from the book?:
Tuck is Rave’s grandfather. There are several spots in the story where he says something to Rave that helps him feel like he has a family again. Tuck is precious. Rave remains skeptical for some time. There is a spot where Tuck tells Rave he’s welcome to anything Tuck owns. For a kid who has been homeless for a good portion of his life, Rave doesn’t know how to take this. Every time I reread the following lines, I get teary eyed.
Tuck rested his forearms on the table. “As long as you’re here, everything is as much yours as mine. You need the truck to go to town, take it. You need cash, the cookie jar is on the counter.” He pulled a shaky breath before saying, “You’re my grandson. My kin. Only family I got left.”
Please tell us a little about the characters in your book. What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?
Rave is twenty-two and has had a hard life, despite his upbringing, Rave pours his heart into the people around him.
Becca is also in her twenties and loves her family but wishes things were different for her. She feels stuck in her small town.
Tuck is in his seventies and is one feisty old man.
Trini is a widow down the street. She’s a few years younger than Tuck and has had a crush on him since his wife passed.
When Rave first sees Becca, he’s awe-struck. The sexy country girl is everything he’d love to have in a partner. But they’re both skittish. Rave was just dumped, and Becca is helping her struggling family. She even gave up a scholarship a few years back to stay in her small town and help pay the household bills. I think they both see a courage and strength that is beyond their years in each other. They are united by their desire to love and protect the people they feel responsible for.
When you sat down to start this book, what was the biggest challenge you faced? What were you most excited about?
The biggest challenge was telling a story about a drug addicted mother. She loved her son, but the addiction was more than she could handle. I had a great mom, so writing a secondary character who put drugs before her child was a challenge.
I was excited most about Millie’s character. Tuck’s wife (long dead) but still a character who shows up and orders Tuck around.
What, in your mind, makes this book stand out?
Because the story begins with Tuck, a man who is coming to the end of his years (Tuck has already become a fan favorite among my early readers) the book has a slightly different tone. It’s a love story on so many levels. Young love between Rave and Becca, old love between Tuck and Trini, the elderly widow down the street, family love as Rave makes a difficult choice to become a donor for Tuck to save his life. It’s a multi-layered story that seems to really be resonating with people.
The First Kiss…
A moment later, he dragged her off the swing and onto his lap. Perched just above him and with the wind tossing her hair onto his throat, she bent and kissed the edge of his mouth.
Hunger churned inside, rushing to life like a wildfire. He tried to still himself, but his flesh quivered in response to her touch. “Kiss me again,” he growled.
This time when she bent, he moved at the last possible moment, causing her full lips to press onto his. Soft. Warm. Perfect. It defied words. He decided to call it home. She tasted like home. And it wasn’t nearly enough. He parted her lips gently, nudging them with his own. The kiss deepened and his hand came up and fisted into her hair, capturing her, planning to never release her.
When they finally broke the kiss, he pulled her forehead to his and closed his eyes. Becca was breathless. Rave was the same. “Are you sure you want to invite them along?” As he asked, he wove his fingers through hers.
Becca cleared her throat. “I think we might need a chaperone.”
He kissed her throat. “We’re adults. We don’t need a chaperone.”
If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would you use for the audition of the main characters and why?
Probably the scene above. It’s intimate and sweet.
If your hero had a sexy-times play list, what song(s) would have to be on it?
I’m old school, so I’d say anything by Bad Company. Their lead singer has such a deep and haunting voice.
What do you want people to take away from reading this book?
No matter what you’ve been through, there’s always hope. Life can change in an instant and when it seems darkest, maybe your shining star is getting ready to emerge.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2017?
I had a book release in January. It is on sale all this month on Amazon for $1.99 and is titled In the Light of the Garden. That book and Something Like Family are my 2017 releases. Right now, I’m working on a story of three sisters drawn back together after years apart. I’m having fun exploring the sisters’ relationships.
Thanks for blogging at HJ!
Giveaway: Three paperback copies of SOMETHING LIKE FAMILY by Heather Burch
To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What would you do if a long lost family member suddenly wanted a relationship with you? Would you go meet them? Would it depend on the circumstances? How would you handle this type of situation?
Excerpt from Something Like Family:
There are so many things that try to get in the way of Rave and Becca’s relationship. One is an ex-girlfriend who has a small boy that Rave has helped raise. He knew what it was to grow up without a father and didn’t want Ashley’s son, Daniel to suffer the same fate, so he became the father figure in Daniel’s life. This scene is when Ashley shows up in town to announce she’s moved there.
By the time Becca jogged from Sustenance across the courtyard to Mel’s Ice Cream Shop, a bead of sweat from the blazing sun above trickled down her spine. She split her thoughts between how she could effectively break up with him and at the same time, give him a chance to explain. This was madness, she decided. Break-up. That was the answer. But when she rounded the corner and saw the beautiful blonde sitting beside Rave, all she felt was jealousy. It raked over her head and clawed down her shoulders. Her teeth clamped down, her hands fisted.
Just as she prepared to turn on her heel and not give him the satisfaction of knowing what she’d seen, a little boy appeared at their tableside. His hair was blond and his face smeared with mint green ice cream. He hugged Rave and carried his cup and spoon to the trash then disappeared on the other side of the table.
This had to Daniel. And that meant, the young woman beside Rave was Ashley, the one who’d broken his heart.
The strangest sense of both defeat and calm washed over her. Her gaze dropped to the concrete and stayed there. A breeze blew the scent of freshly baked waffle cones in her direction, and though waffle cones were her favorite, the sugary, almost nutty scent left her feeling nauseated. Something prickled across her shoulders and Becca knew she needed to get out of there quickly … before Rave turned and noticed her. Without glancing up again—after all, she didn’t need to, the image of the pseudo happy little family was seared into her mind—Becca turned to leave.
Rave’s voice stopped her in her tracks. “Becca!” He was coming over. She could hear his footfalls and the lilt and fall of her name as he jogged to her.
She straightened, checking her armor and turned around.
He reached her and took ahold of her forearm. Rave glanced over his shoulder. “This probably looks bad.”
She bit into her cheek. “Is that Daniel? He’s a beautiful little boy, Rave.”
Rave nodded, but didn’t release her. “I didn’t know they were coming. She’s planning on staying here.”
“I mean, not with me. I told her about you. I told her that she and I were over. Really over. For good over.”
Becca’s skin was on fire. “I know what over means.” But when she looked at the pretty blonde, the girl whose smile was too sweet, eyes were too understanding, Becca knew that Ashley was willing to battle to the death for Rave.
“Bec, I know this is a lot to ask, but will you come over and meet Daniel?”
Stake her claim? No. She wasn’t like that. She couldn’t very well go meet Daniel with a pure heart. It would be about marking her territory for Ashley to see. She was shaking her head when the girl rose and started toward them. Becca pulled to get away but Rave held on.
When he realized his mother was moving, Daniel made his way toward Rave and Becca as well. “I’m sticky, Rave.” Daniel touched the tips of his fingers to his thumb.
Ashley smiled, stopped at Rave’s side and cocked a hip. Her blue eyes were kind at first glance, but Becca could see the boiling lava just below the surface. “Hi.”
It was all too friendly. Becca wasn’t used to games. She didn’t play well. And she was certain Ashley was an expert.
“Hi,” she forced out through a tension filled throat. “I’m Becca.”
Daniel bent down and flattened his hand on her cowboy boots. “I like your boots. Mommy says it’s too hot where we live for cowboy boots but I want them anyway. I’m Daniel.”
She couldn’t help but like the grinning little boy. Becca dropped to her haunches where she could look him in the eye. “It’s nice to meet you, Daniel. I’m Becca.”
“Are you the Becky Rave said he loves? He told Mommy that when my ice cream was melting.”
The ground shifted and Becca fell off her haunches and onto her butt. A rock bit into her left cheek. Heat snaked up her throat. He’d told them he loved her.
Ashley’s voice was tight when she said, “Daniel and I have moved here. It’s really important to me that Daniel has a relationship with Rave. If this is home for Rave, then this is home for us.” She scooped Daniel into her arms. “Maybe we can go buy you some cowboy boots now, Daniel. I’m sure Rave will know where to go.”
But Rave wasn’t paying attention to Ashley. He dropped onto his knees and tilted Becca’s chin so she had to look at him. “I’m sorry you found out this way,” he whispered.
Found out which part? That his gorgeous ex and her irresistible son were there or the fact that he loved … loved … loved Becca? She leaned closer to him, ignoring the pain in her left butt cheek. “We don’t know each other enough to be in love,” she hissed.
Rave’s eyes sparkled. “Then, deny it.” A half-grin, that sexy smile. Dear God, strike me dead right now. Her hands fisted in the gravel. She couldn’t. She could neither deny nor quantify what she felt for Rave. It was without explanation.
Above them, Ashley grew impatient, like a prize racing horse, stomping at the ground to be turned loose and angry no one cared enough to open the gate. Her irritation was palpable.
Except, Rave didn’t seem to notice. His eyes and focus were on Becca. Completely and utterly on Becca which meant there was not even an ounce of attention going to Ashley.
Becca shouldn’t like that, but God help her, she did. She liked that Rave was oblivious to everything else. Everyone else. Right now, Ashley didn’t exist. And the emotions that passed between Becca and Rave were intensified by his single minded focus. A swirl of emotions blasted her. She thought of when she’d said a final goodbye to Michael. How she’d felt seeing all the posts of him hanging out with other girls at frat parties, the beach bash they’d had on the campus lawn, girls in bikinis hanging all over him posing for pictures. It had hurt so much. Too much because it wasn’t just the betrayal. It was a life she’d never get to live. Her choice, of course. It had been her choice to stay behind and help her family, but seeing a world she’d never know unfold through the photos splayed across a buffet of social media sites had left her empty. It was all too big and it hurt too deeply.
Gravel stuck to her palms as she shifted to put her hands on her lap. She and Rave must look like quite a spectacle right now, her sitting cockeyed on the ground, him on his knees before her. She’d known no one like Rave throughout her lifetime. He was … different. Hiding the stars in his gaze and a lifetime of hurt he refused to unleash because that would be weak. Still, she should say something. “Rave this is—”
He reached out and grabbed her hand, bits of gravel transferring to him. His touch stopped her words. “I know. It’s danger close.”
Becca blinked. How’d he know that’s what she was going to say? It had been weeks ago that Tuck had told them about danger close.
Rave turned her hand over in his and brushed the bits of gravel from it. He dropped a kiss in the center of her palm.
Above them, she heard a frustrated huff from Ashley who then spun on her heel and walked back to the ice cream shop’s outdoor table.
“Please, Becca.” The world was in his voice. Promise, hope, all the things a girl could want rounding out the words and making them seem as real and absolute as the rocks she sat on.
She was shaking her head. She hadn’t even realized it until she watched the horror skate over Rave’s features. His grip on her hand tightened. “Don’t answer now,” he pleaded. “Meet me later. Think it over, Bec. I know what I’m asking. I know it’s insensitive and unfair. But, I’ve lost so many people in my life and I’ve been able to move on each time, but I don’t think I can lose you.”
Did she really mean that much to him already? She knew she did. Because Rave was a unique human being, able to give all he had to those he loved. She’d never met anyone like him and that alone should terrify her. But it didn’t. It made her feel privileged to know him. “I’ll meet you later.”
A smile of relief spread across his face. He reached for her other hand and pulled them both to a standing position. They were nose to nose when he said, “Come to my house tonight. Seven. Promise me you’ll be there.”
He leaned in and kissed her forehead. And somehow that light brush of soft lips against her flesh felt more intimate than if she were standing there nude.
Rave turned her by the shoulders and—carefully—dusted the gravel from her backside. Her face flushed, heat streaking to her cheeks. “I’m usually pretty sturdy. I didn’t mean to fall off my boots.” When Daniel told me you loved me.
He gently guided her so that they were eye to eye again. “I’ll always catch you.”
Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn’t mean he’s used to it. After he’s dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he’d spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.
Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He’s family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.
But the past isn’t through with Rave. When his mother returns after many long years, looking to reconcile the terrible mistakes that once defined her, Rave struggles to put together the unsettled pieces of his heart. Will this once-estranged family be able to come together to understand the meaning of unconditional love, the fragile bonds of family, and the healing power of letting go?
Meet the Author:
Heather Burch is the bestselling author of the novels One Lavender Ribbon, Along the Broken Road, Down the Hidden Path, and In the Light of the Garden, as well as several acclaimed young adult novels. One Lavender Ribbon was in the top 100 bestselling books of 2014 on Amazon. Her books have garnered praise from USA Today, Booklist, Romantic Times, and Publishers Weekly. Heather’s deeply emotional novels explore family, love, hope, and the challenges of life. She tells unforgettable stories of love and loss—stories that make your heart sigh. Heather lives in southern Florida with her husband and has two grown sons who are the light of her life.
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