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The Secret To Letting Go - Release Party and Review!!!

I have something really awesome for you guys today!  For the past few weeks, I've been working with a rather wonderful author, who has agreed to answer a few questions, give a little sneak peak of her book, and give a chance for an awesome giveaway!!

I'm so excited to be sharing this with you guys and I hope that you will enjoy reading this novel as much as I did and also learning about the author as well.  Read on for a full review and also the Q and A session I had with Katherine Fleet for her book, The Secret To Letting Go.

Atmosphere, feelings, the very connection to the character and stories you are reading about.  These are all key elements to create the perfect story that will have your heart beating faster, falling in love, and breaking all within the spell of a few simple chapters.  And yet some of these elements, the very best of authors sometimes can’t get a grasp for.  Sure you may have the atmosphere, but can you really connect to the characters you’re reading about?  Can you put the book down and walk away, never to think on it again?  Or do you find that when you put the book down, you are immersed in memories of the feelings you hold from those last few lines…those characters that just couldn’t seem to get it right…or the happily ever after that is just within reach?

I will tell you guys, I have found such a book that holds all elements to make you fall in love and think about the story, long after you’ve set the book to the side.  Imagine my surprise when I found that a debut novel was responsible for the teary eyed, sniffling, heart wrenching feelings I felt while reading about two characters whom fate had deemed necessary to cross paths. 

Daniel.  Clover.  Our two main characters who have both suffered in completely different ways.  Daniel suffers of guilt from the past as does Clover.  Daniel has shouldered his grief and attempted to bury it in a place where he feels it can’t hurt him.  If you don’t talk about it, it’s not there right?

Clover is a bit different.  Her past holds anger, pain, and tragedy of the worst kind.  Because of what happens, she has to remain “hidden”.  She needs to keep herself from the public eye as much as possible.  She shoulders her own grief but is forced to deal with it all on her own.  In a way, she’s been brainwashed not only by family, but also by herself.

Then fate walks in.  These two tormented souls happen across each other at just the right time.  Clover has traveled to Florida in an attempt to run away from the past.  She just so happens to enter the store that Daniel is working in and Daniel seems to find himself drawn to this girl who so obviously needs to be taken care of.  He has a bit of a “hero” complex, which is not a bad thing at all.  He wants to do right by everyone and seems to be a pretty good guy. 

As days progress, fate intervenes even more.  Daniel ends up saving Clover’s life at least twice before he realizes that he really can’t get her out of his head and he doesn’t know why.  Despite the fact he really knows nothing about her; he finds that he wants to make sure she’s safe.  He wants to take care of her.  In fact, his mindset kind of stays that way throughout the entire story.

Now you also have your classic teenage angsty romance angle going on but even though this is a theme within the storyline…it’s not the main theme.  The main theme is acceptance and letting go of the past.  Being able to move forward even when all the bad things seem to want to pull you back.  Pulling yourself out of your own head and deciding what you want for yourself and how you can allow yourself to be happy and live life once again. 

The characters themselves say it best. 

                “We can’t change the past.  All we can do is move forward.”

I found this book to be absolutely beautiful.  From page one to the end I was hooked with the storyline, the characters, and the emotional pull at my heartstrings with each turn of the page.  Katherine Fleet has done an amazing job of bringing Daniel and Clover to life.  The writing style, creates an image in your head and feels like you are watching a movie of both character’s lives.  It helps also that the story is written in dual narrative, which I LOVE, so that you end up getting both Daniel and Clover’s perspectives on key events happening in their lives.  I definitely give this novel a 5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads and would give it more if possible!  Also, if you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks, you have definitely found your next go to author.  Katherine Fleet is remarkable and I cannot wait to read her next book!

Do you think there’s some master plan out there somewhere, that things work out the way they’re meant to?” 

I think that’s up to the perspective of the reader.  Well, do you?

Katherine Fleet was also kind enough to answer a few questions for the readers regarding her new novel, her thoughts on writing, and what really inspired her towards Daniel and Clover's story:

Q and A Session with author Katherine Fleet
The Secret to Letting Go

 1.  The Secret to Letting Go is your debut novel.  How did you get your creative juices flowing?  What really inspired you to sit down and put pen to paper?

I know this will probably sound clich√©, but I had a dream, which was basically the first scene of the book. When I woke up, I just lay there, letting the characters take shape. I didn’t know what Clover had been through, but I knew it was something bad. I knew she’d grown up in a very isolated environment. Most of all, I knew I had to write her story.

2.  How familiar do you get with your characters?  How necessary is this for the writing process?

It’s very necessary. The Secret to Letting Go is my debut novel, but it’s actually the fourth book I wrote. One of my weaknesses in these earlier attempts was character development. My writing tends to be plot driven, so I really have to force myself to stop and think about the characters – what drives them, what are their fears and goals and likes? Once you really know your characters, the writing process becomes so much more rewarding.

     3.   Do you have any similarities to your characters?  Daniel?  Clover?

Good question! I like to bake like Clover. Like Daniel, I have a real need to get involved and do ‘the right thing’.  Also, like Daniel and Clover, I struggle with guilt and regrets. I tend to get bogged down and stew over past decisions, even though it’s such a waste of energy and emotion. Like them, I have slowly learned over the years how to let it go…

      4.  What is your favorite line within the whole book?

Wow…that’s a hard one. I’m not sure if I have one absolute favorite, but I love this line from Daniel because it sums up so much of the struggle they are having:

His mouth curved into a sad smile. “Maybe you’re right. Maybe neither one of us is ready for this. You can’t take two broken halves and expect them to fit together into something whole. I don’t know much about love, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how it happens.”

5.   What do you want your readers to take away from the book?  Emotions/Goals/Thoughts?

I think for any writer, the best outcome is to write a story that sticks with readers even after they finish the last page. So, if this book makes you happy, sad, angry or emotional in any way and that emotion lingers, then I’ll feel successful. 

6.      Was there someone who really inspired you during your writing process?

I’ve been chasing the dream of becoming a published author since 2003, and I’ve been lucky enough during this time to be surrounded by very supportive family members, friends and writing community. In particular, I’ve seen the respect and admiration my kids have had for my perseverance, and in turn that inspires me. I want to show them that you should follow your passions and not give up on your dreams.

7.      What are some of your favorite books or series?

I love beautifully written books that stick with you and make you think. In the YA world that includes books like Eleanor & Park, Hate List, Thirteen Reasons Why and If I Stay. 

8.      Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Honestly, as a debut author, I appreciate any one who takes a chance on this book. If you like sweeter books with a lot of emotion and emphasis on family and relationships, hopefully you will love it.

9.  What advice would you give to someone who would like to follow in your footsteps 
and become a published writer?

Writing is a craft and a skill, and like any other skill, it gets better with practice. Your first book may not get published, but if you keep writing, you will succeed. Oh, and if you are serious about being a writer, tell people you are a writer. Saying these words out loud to family, friends and even strangers makes it real, and it makes you accountable. It will help you hang in there, even when you feel discouraged. Also, find the people who will support and encourage your writing goals. It may be your family, friends, a critique partner or an online writing community. You may need to put yourself out there to find them, but the reward will be worth it!

I also just wanted to thank Amy for having me here. Thanks for reading!

And now for what I know you all have been waiting for:  an excerpt to Katherine Fleet's novel The Secret To Letting Go and the giveaway!!

“So, I’ll see you tomorrow at noon?”
She nodded so hard, her teeth probably rattled. “I’d like that.”
It wasn’t like we were arranging a date, so why did her enthusiasm make me straighten up and puff out my chest? “We can meet at the beach next to the pier. My friends and I’ll be surfing. You bring the preserves, and I’ll bring the stove.”
Uncertainty flickered across her face, and her mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water.
I should have used her reluctance to back out, but instead I reassured her. “We won’t be hard to find. We’re just north of the pier, and this way we can meet on neutral territory.”
Her expression turned blank.
“You know…in case I’m secretly a serial killer. There’s always safety in numbers.”
Her lips twitched upward, and she laughed. The sound tinkled through the air like wind chimes on a breezy day. “I already know you’re not a bad person.”
“Oh yeah?”
She nodded. Her unwavering stare made me want to squirm in my shoes. “True evil can never be hidden. It’s always there, if you know where to look. When I look at you, I see only good things.”
I snatched my gaze away from hers and tugged at the collar of my shirt. I wanted to know how she could talk with such authority on the subject. I wanted to know what evil she’d seen, but I wanted even more to escape the narrow store aisle. Warning bells pealed in my brain. She’s crazy. Don’t get involved.

Alright guys, if you enjoyed the excerpt and Q and A with Katherine Fleet, please go out and pick up her new book, The Secret To Letting Go, which hits bookshelves everywhere beginning today and I know that it's a very exciting day for the author!  I would like to thank Katherine Fleet for taking the time out to answer my questions as well as providing her time and the excerpt for the book!  I've said it before and I'll say it again, this novel is one that I will be thinking on for a long time to come...great job!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This raffle is going on from February 1st through the 14th!  Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!  Good luck guys!

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