Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Touch Screen by LB Dunbar Blog tour, Promo, and Review

Title: Touch Screen
Series: Sensations Collection #4
Author: L.B. Dunbar
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 3, 2015
The prodigal son. A second chance. The long kept secret. 

Home?

I had returned. I hadn’t been here for seven years. That last summer, I was angry. Once I got away, I didn’t want to come back. The irony was the career I sought to escape this small town was the very reason I was here. My first movie was a featured film of the Traverse City Film Festival. As an independent film director, my premiere brought me back home. Home. A place I didn’t recognize.

Or maybe home didn’t recognize me? 

I had it all in California: a girlfriend who was the daughter of a movie financier, a job that led to connections in the film industry, and a condo overlooking the ocean in Malibu. What I didn’t have was family. I had left them all behind. I was the prodigal son.

Now, the last person I expected to see was her. Britton McKay. She had been my summer love as a teenager. Not just once, but several summers. Until the last one. That was seven years ago. Now, she looked more beautiful than I remembered. Seeing her again, flooded me with memories long suppressed. She reminded me of everything I once had, and left behind. 

Now, she had returned too.

Can lost romance be rekindled? Can unanswered questions be revealed? 

Can I make this place my home again?

++++++

L.B. Dunbar reunites you with the Carter and Scott families as all are gathered for the annual film festival, a much anticipated wedding, and another summer weekend of Harbor Days.

I felt drawn to this woman and child, and I exited one of the French doors to walk along the pathway under another canopy. The beauty and her boy did not seem to notice me, and I tried to stay behind the columns that supported the overhang providing shade to this portion of the sidewalk as I peered nonchalantly at the beach. I glanced in their direction enough to notice wisps of her blonde hair around her tan face blowing out of her ponytail. She kept her eyes downward, focused on the boy, but I realized they had the same nose. Again, it seemed safe to assume this was her child.
She dipped the boy again and I heard his strong childish laughter. It was infectious and I smiled to myself. The woman kissed the boy again with several small pecks on his little red cheeks and neck, only now I could hear the sounds the mother made, loud and exaggerated, with each brush of her lips. The boy laughed harder, saying, “No, no, no,” but he squealed his enjoyment of each kiss and clearly wanted more. She stood him upright again and the child wrapped his arm around his mother, beginning to dance.
“Again,” the child pleaded, but the mother directed him elsewhere. They held hands as they stepped off the dance floor and into the white sand surrounding the pavilion. I hadn’t noticed they were both barefoot, and the woman bent down to pick up two pairs of shoes. She handed the child his and carried hers through her fingers. There was something strangely familiar about her as she walked across the sand away from me and toward the water line of the lake.
I stood straighter now, no longer leaning behind the barrier. I took no more notice of how much warmer I was outside in the blazing morning sun in my gray summer suit as I took a step into the sand, forgetting my leather dress shoes. The woman turned toward the child, walking backwards. Her tan legs were graceful beneath her white shorts. This blonde beauty shielded her eyes as if looking at something behind me, then she suddenly stopped walking. The child broke free of her hand and started running across the freshly combed beach toward the lake’s small white caps.
I made my way to the dance floor, the sand slipping under the hard soles of my dress shoes. I balanced on the edge of the cement structure with my heel and kept my gaze focused on her as she continued to stare back at the resort. Slowly, she lowered her hand from her eyes and tucked a piece of wayward hair behind her ears. I realized she was no longer looking behind me, but at me. The way she tucked her hair behind her ear made her instantly recognizable. Britton. Britton McKay had returned to northern Michigan, just as I had.

 
I’d like to say I was always a writer. I’d also like to say that I wrote every day of my life since a child. That I took the teaching advice I give my former students because writing every day improves your writing. I’d like to say I have my ten-thousand hours that makes me a proficient writer. But I can’t say any of those things. I did dream of writing the “Great American Novel” until one day a friend said: Why does it have to be great? Why can’t it just be good and tell a story?

As a teenager, I wrote your typical love-angst poetry that did occasionally win me an award and honor me with addressing my senior high school class at our Baccalaureate Mass. I didn’t keep a journal because I was too afraid my mom would find it in the mattress where I kept my copy of Judy Blume’s Forever that I wasn’t allowed to read as a twelve year old.

I can say that books have been my life. I’m a reader. I loved to read the day I discovered “The Three Bears” as a first grader, and ever since then, the written word has been my friend. Books were an escape for me. An adventure to the unknown. A love affair I’d never know. I could be lost for hours in a book.

So why writing now? I had a story to tell. It haunted me from the moment I decided if I just wrote it down it would go away. But it didn’t. Three years after writing the first draft, a sign (yes, I believe in them) told me to fix up that draft and work the process to have it published. That’s what I did. But one story let to another, and another, and another. Then a new idea came into my head and a new storyline was created. 

I was accused (that’s the correct word) of having an overactive imagination as a child, as if that was a bad thing. I’ve also been accused of having the personality of a Jack Russell terrier, full of energy, unable to relax, and always one step ahead. What can I say other than I have stories to tell and I think you’ll like them. If you don’t, that’s okay. We all have our book boyfriends. We all have our favorites. Whatever you do, though, take time for yourself and read a book.


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*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Mariela's 5 ⭐️ Review ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* Ok, if I can wrap my mind around this and stop crying. Yes you will cry and for many reasons. So tissues ladies and lots of them. LB you always seem to blow me away. I love all your books but Sound Advice was very dear to me. Yet, you have managed to make it a tie. This book will speak to you in so many levels. I loved the pov. It's always so much more touching when you see a relationship through the guy's eyes. Gavin had it all. He made you love him, hate him, worry for him, but most of all hope for him. To see the connections between the characters, the weak links that grew stronger with every chapter. The need to want to figure it out, but allowing yourself to take this journey with him. You could see what he saw, the details intertwined wonderfully. I loved that LB used his passion for directing and films to tell you about his past and what the outcomes came from it. Using the director point of view for Gavin as he travelled to the past was just wonderfully portrayed. I myself couldn't help but jump towards my on past and wonder if I would have done things differently. We all have moments we wish we could change, but that's what make growing up to find your path a great journey. Or in this case a wonderful storyline for a movie about us. Gavin had the best film idea in his own personal life. He just had to look closer and embrace it. I loved the reference to second chances. It's rare to get them, and we always need someone else to point it out to us to embrace it. This book will definitely leave a mark in your heart. ~~~~~~~~ Interview with LB Dunbar~~~~~~~~~ I walk into the coffee shop early. Look around to see if LB or Britton had arrived yet. Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves, I straightens my skirt as well. I was nervous to meet these two amazing ladies. As I sit down, and look up they both walk in. I have to admit I couldn’t hide at my disappointment of not seeing Gavin Scott with them. However it is a good thing for my nerves. Smiling I stand up and introduce myself. I could not keep myself from hugging them. “So, if you ladies are ready I just have a few brief questions for you,” I stammered slightly. The blush just deepened as LB smiled and gave me the nod to continue. So the questions went as followed. I first inquired of LB: My questions #1: What inspired you to become a writer? Is there a book or a past personal experience? I always knew I wanted to be a writer, I just didn’t know what to right. I was a bit scared to write what I really wanted – romance. I wanted the sweet and a bit of sexy, because, well, that’s part of falling in love. I also was very worried people would hate my writing – but one day – I decided I should take the risk. Truthfully, I had read some work (that actually wasn’t very good) and I thought I can do that, and hopefully better. It inspired me to give it a try. The whole Sensations Collection was first inspired by seeing a man and his daughter in the small town of Elk Rapids (a real place in Michigan). He was brooding and intense, while his daughter seemed sweet and quiet. I had never met the man, but I saw him again with his daughter and the idea came to me – what if he repaired sound, like radios, but his daughter didn’t speak. That was the sound part. The advice came from making Emily the granddaughter of an advice columnist, and she was visiting the area to check on her ailing grandmother. Bam! story ignites. LB Dunbar’s answer: My question #2: Now I enjoy stalking… errr… I mean following you during your takeovers and always love the question about the senses. Can you go in the detail and describe which sense is your favorite and why? LB Dunbar answer: I would have to say touch is my favorite sensation as well. I’ve always been what my mother negatively calls a touchy-feely person. I’m affectionate. I like to hug. I feel like touch is a true connection with another person as you are literally holding onto them. But I don’t rule out the other sensations as being important, as well . (I better not, as I have each sensation with its own storyline). My question #3: Hope you don’t mind me getting a bit personal, but have you ever found yourself basing some of your male characters on your husband? Do you use people you know for some characteristic traits for your books? As I ask LB this question I can see Britton smirking and trying hard not to laugh out loud. I wonder if she would be smiling once I asked her questions. LB Dunbar’s answer: The list is long so I’ll try to condense. Based on my husband, in many ways, yes, each male lead has a bit of Mr. Dunbar. He is an alpha male, for certain, although maybe not as “smooth” as some of my characters. He is tall, dark and handsome, so many of my leads that have those darker features come from the fact that I seem to be attracted to that look. He can cook, like Ethan, and he loves to fix things (sort-of loves) like Jess. He’s not Jacob at all. A bit of Gavin, successful, driven, and not always aware of others. I try to avoid other characteristics and even names of people I know because it just makes the real person pop into my head. With that said, Tricia Carter is very much my oldest daughter in some ways and I try to block that out, but it keeps taking over. Also, I had a relationship like Gavin and Britton. Five summers returning to an area and a boy, but that was a long, long time ago. My question #4: If you could redo anything in the past, something that you would love to have gone differently, what would it be? LB Dunbar’s Answer: Now that’s a truly personal question that I don’t think I can fully answer. (Laughs). But I do wish I wasn’t always cautious in my life and I do wish I had stuck up for myself more in my twenties and thirties. I’m much bolder now, because I’m older, and well, I just don’t care about some things like I used to. I would also have loved to publish my book traditionally, BUT I love the indie community and I think I would have missed out on a lot of great people without that support group. Ok. I promised a short and quick interview since I know you ladies are busy. My last question #5: If you had to pick only one main male character from your books, who would it be? Can you go in detail of why? Immediately, I thought Arturo. I have loved writing that story so much and I love the fantasy world I created. He loves, and loves hard. BUT, on second thought, I absolutely love the storyline for Tristan Lyons, maybe because the story of Tristan and Isolde is my favorite within the traditional legend and it was so fun to modernize. BUT, I will always love my first, Jess Carter. And I know that was more than one. Ok, ok…. I lied. One more, and I promise this is the last. Can we get any sneak peak of future novels? How many are you hoping to release this year? Here’s the truth – I have Sight Words coming out in May/June – that completes the Sensations Collection. I have Legendary Rock Stars: The Story of Lansing Lotte, The Quest of Perkins Vale, The Truth of Tristan Lyons and The Trials of Guinevere DeGrance. I signed on to an erotica anthology (although I won’t be the (a) part) and that novella is done but untitled. It will be the prequel to two other stories that I hope to have out next fall (MMA –but the focus will be more so on two brothers). After our brief interview, I just had to let her know how much I loved her books. Sound Advice to this day is my favorite because it was my first read, could not put down, and just reminds me so much of my grandmother. After finishing with LB, I turned around and smiled at Britton. I assured her I would keep it brief as I knew she had to go back to work at the book store. My first question for Britton: I admire the relationship you have with your boy Gee. Was it hard for you raising him this past few years as a single mom? Was there a moment where you felt like picking up the phone and calling his dad? Britton’s answer: Yes. I’m not going to lie and say being alone was easy, but by the time Gee was born, I was determined that alone I would be. And I had my Uncle Leo at first to help me out. I owe him everything. I also had other supports here and there, and I eventually didn’t have time to focus on what I didn’t have and appreciate what I did. I just kept moving forward. Not looking back, as best I could. Were there hard days? Definitely. But there were many days that I wouldn’t trade because, well, Gee is the center of my world. (smiles). My second question: I would love to know what exactly crossed your mind when you first saw Gavin again. What reactions did you face? Britton’s answer: Two things: Holy shit, he’s still hot. And oh my God, Gavin? It was so surreal. In an instant, I felt seventeen again, but also a hundred years old. It had been such a long time and so much had changed for me. But him, he looked the same, only older, more mature. His smile was the same and the way he leaned while he balanced his coffee cup, but his voice was different. He seemed nervous which Gavin never was when we were younger. He was confidence personified to me. My third question: If you could do something for yourself now, what would it be? Not in a form of regret, but more of being given a second chance? Britton’s answer: Well, I am going back to school to be the teacher I always thought I wanted to be. It’s nice to have something for myself instead of everything centering around Gee. I mean, he is the center of my universe, but I’m ready to be a bit more adult again. Talk with adults about grown-up things that don’t always revolve around our children. Does that makes sense? I promise I will keep it at just five questions. My fourth question: If you could escape into any book for a bit, which would it be? Britton’s answer: Well, L.B. did write that story about Arturo King (The Legend of Arturo King) and who doesn’t want to be loved immediately by a rock star. He just sounds…hot. I’d love to hang with the “cool” kids a bit, and be with the band, but I’m a bit shy and when I go to functions with Gavin, I’m totally awkward. My fifth question: Just curious, would you be able to share Gavin? LOL… I am just kidding. What crossed your mind every time summer approached and you knew you would see Gavin for a few weeks? I personally would not be able to stand being apart from a loved one for so long. It would feel like my heart shattered into a million pieces every time. Britton’s answer: My heart did shatter – and then some, but it just became our thing. I would get all jittery and excited each summer as the time grew closer and when I finally arrived I always wondered if he wouldn’t want to see me. But he always did, and we were together constantly. It was never easy leaving, but as teenagers, we just accepted the reality. I didn’t live up here and it wasn’t convenient to travel. We would just get sucked back into our routines of home, school, and friends. But each summer (sigh), I hoped we’d be reunited. Ok, ladies that’s it for me. I am sorry I couldn’t think of more inspiring questions, but I wanted to keep it light. I appreciate your time, and this wonderful opportunity. Smiling I waved at both them as they left.