Monday, 25 February 2013

Interview with Brooke Moss + Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome back to Ex Libris an author whose debut novel enchanted me so much it became one of my favourite revelations of 2011 (you can read my review of The What If Guy here). Please give it up for Brooke Moss, who stops by today to tell us more about her brand new release Keeping Secrets in Seattle, a quirky contemporary romance just released by Entangled Publishing. And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end! ;-)

Stella: Hi Brooke, welcome back to Ex Libris! Can you please tell us a bit about what you have been up to since you stopped here in August 2011 when you were promoting The "What If" Guy?

Brooke: Thanks for having me back, Stella! I released a full length contemporary romance called The Carny in July of 2012; and in April of 2012, I released a contemporary romance novella called Bittersweet in the Love Knows No Bounds anthology—all proceeds go to support Autism Speaks! (I have a son with Autism, so it was a charity very close to my heart.) I also completed my first Young Adult Fantasy, which is in the editing process and will be released sometime in 2013; and I completed my first women’s fiction, slated for self pub this summer. All this, and I’ve got five kids with a sixth on the way! I’m a busy lady…

Stella: Oh my, you sure have a lot going on, bravo! Your latest novel Keeping Secrets in Seattle was released by Entangled Publishing on 18 February, congratulations! Can you tell readers what they can expect of Keeping Secrets in Seattle

Brooke: Keeping Secrets in Seattle is a cross between Bridget Jones Diary and the 90’s movie My Best Friend’s Wedding…with a dark twist. They can expect laughs (because all of my books have that), romance, handsome heroes, and—of course—some deep, dark secrets coming to the surface. Here’s a small taste of what you’ll find:

The corners of his mouth pricked upward. “So the reason I came here without Alicia, is...”

“Because she can’t stand me.”

Gabe frowned. “She doesn’t hate you. She thinks you’re great.”

“Okay, you get an ‘A’ for effort, dude, but I’m not buying it. The future Mrs. Parker hates me.”

“She doesn’t hate you.” He looked away. “She likes you. It’s gotta be weird, though. For her fiancé to have a girl best friend.”

I nodded. “I guess. But there’s nothing between us. We’re completely platonic. Nothing to worry about, right?”

His face fell. Just the tiniest bit. “Right.”

We just watched each other for an awkward pause. “Listen, I wanted to ask you if...” Gabe paused, and
laughed nervously. “If?”

“It would really mean the world to me if you would be my best man.”

The race engine in my heart sputtered to an abrupt halt. I probably should have thanked him for the honor. I realize that. But my initial reaction was to jump off of the bed and yell, what the hell, dude? After all we’d been through, Gabe wanted me to stand next to him while he pledged his life to Alicia?

“You do realize that I’m not a guy, right?” I answered slowly.

“Believe me, I know that.” He swatted me with a pillow. “But, you’re my best friend. And it just wouldn’t be right without you standing beside me. Let me rephrase...will you be my best woman?”

I smiled despite myself. “Isn’t Alicia your best woman?”

Gabe rubbed his eyes tiredly. “Stop busting my chops. All right, will you be person?”

“That sounds stupid. Just call me your best man.”

“Fine. Will you be my best man?”

“And Alicia’s totally okay with this?” I watched his face
for signs of impending doom.

“Oh yeah, of course. She knows how important it is to

My chest tightened. I was not only going to witness Gabe
getting married, but now I would have a front and center view while doing so. How intoxicated would I have to be to stand there without having any comprehension of what I was witnessing? Could one actually request a lobotomy?

“Vi?” Gabe snapped his fingers underneath my nose a few times.

I fisted my hands under the pillow in my lap. Part of me wanted to tell him to drop dead. After all, I’d only recently begun the arduous process of getting over my love for him. How dare he ask me to be his best-freaking-man in his wedding, which was being held on my birthday? But the other part of me wanted to play the part of the cool, collected best friend. Willing to do whatever brought joy to my oldest and dearest friend. I felt like I was going to split right down the middle, leaving my guts—and my adoration—all over my bedspread for him to see.

Stella: At first glance Keeping Secrets in Seattle may sound a bit reminiscent of My Best Friend’s Wedding, what would you say to readers, is it in any way similar to the movie? Or in what way is it different?

Brooke: It really is similar, except that in the movie, the woman the hero was marrying was a doll, this fiancé—Alicia—is wretched. And don’t forget…there’s that dark little secret our heroine is trying to find the courage to share throughout the book… :-)

Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Keeping Secrets in Seattle

Brooke: Violet Murphy is as real as they come. She’s bold, brash, curvy (she’s a size 12, gasp!), wears funky Rockabilly clothes, and loves body art more than anything else. She’s been in love with Gabe since she was knee high to a grasshopper, and is sick and tired of sitting idly by while he wastes his time with skinny models and snobby princesses.

Jesse Williams as Gabe
Gabe Parker is about as handsome as they come…(think Jesse Williams of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and Grey’s Anatomy—I just got your attention, didn’t I?) He’s also a Golden Boy, always succeeding at everything he does, uber conservative, afraid to do anything that will bring disapproval on himself, and very focused. He’s marrying Alicia because he gave up on the prospect of love with Violet a long time ago.

Stella: Keeping Secrets in Seattle is like a love rhombus with Violet, Gabe, Landon and Gabe’s fiancé, could you give us 1 line run-downs seizing the essence of these characters? It could be as abstract and quirky as you wish (for example, describing them as colours, cupcakes, ice cream flavours) or as traditional as a shopping list ;-) lol

Brooke: Oh, that sounds like fun….here goes nothing:

Landon is a classic vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting. Nothing to crazy, sort of traditional, but tasty none the less. Who would turn down a cupcake like that?? I wouldn’t.

Gabe is a devil’s food cupcake with drippy chocolate frosting. Still sort of predictable, but decadent and completely irresistible. No diet can withstand that cupcake.

And Violet? Well…she’s a funfetti (multi colored) cupcake with fluffy frosting covered in bright sprinkles. She’s in your face, bold, and yummy.
David Beckham as Landon

Stella: If you could have your dream cast who would play them?

Brooke: I love, love, love this question!! Violet would be played by Scarlet Johansson; Landon would be played by David Beckham; and (of course) Gabe is and always will be Jessie Williams.

Stella: Could you please summarize Keeping Secrets in Seattle for us Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Brooke: Will Vi’s dark secrets come out before Gabe enters “wedded bliss”? Find out by grabbing a copy of #KeepingSecretsinSeattle

Stella: Do you still remember what inspired Keeping Secrets in Seattle? Was there a specific moment/event that sparked the idea for the story?

Brooke: A friend of mine requested a friends-to-lovers story, and it came about the same time I learned that another friend of mine went through something similar to what Violet went through in high school, but she’d never told anyone. The two stories melded themselves together and POOF.

Stella: And if I say Seattle, you say...

Brooke: Rain!

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia connected to the writing of Keeping Secrets in Seattle (a scene/character that did not end up in the final version, a real person inspiring a character, scene, etc.)?

Scarlett Johansson as Violet
Brooke: In the original version of Keeping Secrets in Seattle, it was told from dual perspectives, both Violet’s and Gabe’s and the reader was better able to see why Gabe was choosing to be with Alicia rather than Violet, and they were also able to understand why he made the assumptions he’d made about Violet’s secret. I was sad to see that part go, as it really gave the reader a better understanding of what was going on in Gabe’s mind!

Oh, and in the original version, Violet was named Dillon—and Landon was named Gale. My editors made me change the names because they wanted more gender specific names—and because they didn’t want to compete with “Gale” from the Hunger Games movies (even though I wrote this book first, but whatever…) It was a joke between the two characters that she had a guys name and he had a girls name.

Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule? 

Brooke: My self pub, Baby & Bump, will be out this summer—and it is hilarious. Imagine falling in love with your gynecologist. Um…yeah. Silly stuff. And my YA should be out this year, too. So excited to share it (Underwater) with everyone!

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?

Brooke: I rarely buy clothes retail…and it isn’t because of money issues! I just prefer to scour used and second hand shops for rare finds. I love mixing and matching different, random pieces together and making unique (and sometimes weird) outfits. I collect eyeglasses, too. I have eight pairs that I rotate, depending on the outfit. Some are cat eye, some are big 80’ frames, others are more respectable wayfarers. I also always wear scarves in my hair. I have dozens of them! Nothing brings an outfit together quite like a fun, bright scarf—and you can take that advice to the bank. :-)

Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss

Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alicia—he wants Vi to be his best man.

Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.

With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.

Buy at Amazon - B&N

Brooke Moss writes complex, character-driven stories about kismet, reunited lovers, first love, and the kind of romance that we should all have the chance at finding. She prefers her stories laced with some humor just for fun, and enough drama to keep her readers flipping the pages, and begging for more! 

Find Brooke elsewhere on the web at


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Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 31 March 2013!

Good luck!

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