Author Guest Post
By Mary Carter
In my latest novel, The Things I Do For You, my main male character is always trying (and failing) to get new ventures off the ground. He tries a surf shop in Santa Monica, a sweater shop in Seattle, a coffee house in Colorado, and finally, a lighthouse on the Hudson River that he wants to run as a bed and breakfast. Understandably, his wife, Bailey, is about to lose her mind.
What about you? Are you a dreamer? A self-starter? Or have you always played it safe? Surely you know of others who are just like Brad. I would have to say, I have always been a combination of Bailey and Brad. I love the idea of starting new adventures, but before I commit, my "Bailey" usually kicks in, raking over the pros and cons before I lose my shirt. Writing is a great way of taking risks through your characters. And unlike in life, in novels we want our characters to struggle. It's the only way we'll get to see what they're made of, what they'll do next.
I recently took a "Brad" type of risk of my own. I started teaching 6-week writing classes in New York City. I have partnered with a man who has taught this writing course in Chicago for the past twenty-six years. Just a few months after I began contemplating doing this, and The Manhattan Writer's Den has been born. I'm sitting here now, writing this post. On Thursday night, I will have a room full of students, eager to learn the craft of writing. The past few months I've spent decorating, preparing, studying, and advertising. I've been through two complete 6-week sessions, and have been amazed at how fast the time flies when you're doing what you love. I put in twelve hour days without a second thought. I wake up excited to go to work.
On the other hand, it's been a bit scary because I've invested a lot into it, and I've had to make sacrifices (such as getting a roommate after twenty-some years of living on my own - not counting the ex-husband) but it's also been one of the most freeing things I've done in a long time. Until you're a best seller, or a movie is made of one of your novels, most writers don't make a fortune. We still need jobs to fall back on. I've spent twelve years doing a job that I liked well enough, but didn't love. Maybe writing The Things I Do For You helped open me up to the possibilities in my life, or maybe it was just time. Either way, I'm now working at something I love, and spending most of my time talking about my passion: writing. Hats off to those who live their dreams. I would advise a balance between daydreaming and planning it out. Most businesses take at least a year to five years to get off the ground. This is where funding and planning come in handy. New ideas are inherently risky, but don't let that stop you from living your dreams, one step at a time. Until then, sit back with The Things I Do For You, and be glad it's not your pocketbook funding Brad's dreams.
About The Author:
Mary Carter's The Things I Do For You Virtual Book Tour Page On Pump Up Your Book!
Published By: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Format: Paperback - 352 pages / Kindle - 655 KB / Nook - 938 KB
Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Women's Fiction
BUY THE BOOK: The Things I Do You For
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.
What happens to a marriage when a husband buys a lighthouse behind his wife’s back?
Bailey Jordan has loved her husband, Brad, since they were ten years old. She’s followed him on every adventure–opening a sweater store in Seattle, a café in Colorado, a surf shop in Santa Monica. Each time, she’s picked up the pieces when things fell apart. But now, it’s her turn. Bailey has a successful real estate career in Manhattan, and she’s eager to start a family–until a car crash leaves Brad in a coma and changes their lives forever.
Awakening after his near-death experience, Brad has a new mission. He buys a lighthouse on the Hudson River, planning to turn it into a B&B. Grateful to have Brad alive, Bailey tries to make his dream her own. The lighthouse is beautiful, but the challenges–renovating, bringing in supplies by boat, navigating the locals and guests–are enormous. And then Bailey discovers a secret in Brad’s past that compels her to question her husband, her marriage, and how far she’ll go to keep them both. . .
Thoughtful and moving, The Things I Do For You exhibits a rare understanding of the joys, compromises, and small rebellions that lie at the heart of every marriage, and of the resilience and surprising power of love.
My Book Review:
Can a marriage weather every storm and survive?
Bailey Jordan has loved her husband Brad since they were ten years old. In the twenty-six years that they've been together, of which seven of the years they've been married, Bailey has followed Brad on one adventure to another, from one end of the world to the other. After several failed business ventures: a surf shop in Santa Monica, a sweater shop in Seattle, and a coffee shop in Colorado; Bailey finally put her foot down and they moved to Manhattan where her Aunt Faye taught her about the real estate industry.
Just when Bailey finally gets her shot at selling a prime piece of real estate, a coveted Fifth Avenue penthouse to famous clients, and hopefully have the financial security that will allow them to start a family, Brad is in a fatal car accident. Brad had been clinically dead for thirteen minutes, but when he is brought back to life he is put in an induced coma because of his brain injury. He was a backseat passenger in his eighty-eight year old Aunt Olivia's Cadillac. Olivia had drove through a red light, accelerated, came upon stalled traffic ahead of her, and swerved onto the sidewalk crashing into an electronics store. While Brad had went through the windshield and landed on the sidewalk, Aunt Olivia had died on impact. Brad had an out-of-body experience, he was floating above the accident scene going towards the bright light, when he was given a choice to continue toward the light or to live. Remembering his wife, Brad decides to live and is given a second chance. Having survivor's guilt and distraught over his aunt's death, Brad's personality changes and he becomes a changed man,he is no longer the man that Bailey has known and loved forever.
When Aunt Olivia's will is read, the odd little old lady had her own secret, she was a closet gambler, who left Brad a half million dollars and a Jaguar. Thinking that they now had enough financial security to start a family, Bailey wants to have a baby, but Brad has other ideas. Without talking things over with Bailey, Brad goes to an auction and buys a lighthouse on the Hudson River. He plans to renovate the lighthouse into a B&B, and once again Bailey finds herself following Brad on another adventure, hoping that this time they'll finally settle down and start a family. But the adventure sure has its challenges: the lighthouse has its secrets and mysterious things occur, they struggle financially to stay afloat and have some non-paying guests that add to their troubles, and Brad has secrets of his own that when revealed will forever change their lives. Will Bailey continue to hold onto their marriage, or has she had enough? Is the power of love strong enough to keep their marriage afloat?
The Things I Do For You is an intriguing look into the journey of a couple's marriage and the challenges that they've overcome to sustain it. Written in a dramatic style, the story is told in the third person narrative, rich in detail and vivid descriptions that engages the reader to follow the dynamics of Bailey and Brad's marriage. The story is full of drama, emotions, suspense, twists and turns ... it takes the reader on a roller coaster ride that keeps you changing your perspective about their marriage. I loved how the author inserted the lighthouse and it's mysteries into the story, it provided a balance to the story and added to its entertainment value. I have to admit that my perspective of Bailey and Brad's marriage ran the gamut of emotions: I laughed at times, felt compassion in others, and even felt anger and dismay towards Bailey and Brad.
The author has provided a cast of characters who are realistic, complex and believable, and easy for the readers to relate to. I was not too fond of Brad, I found his self-centered, selfish and secretive ways too much for my liking. While I admired Bailey's devotion and all consuming love for Brad, I found myself wanting to shake her at times and tell her to stand up to Brad's selfishness, and to stop putting up with his crap, if I had been in her shoes, I would have left him a long time ago. But with that being said, I have to admit that my admiration for Bailey's strength and devotion to sustain the love she has for Brad and their marriage won out!
The Things I Do For You is a story that provides a realistic look into the complexities of a marriage, the power of love, and the ability to weather life's storms in order to sustain the marriage.
RATING: 4 STARS ****