Spotlight, Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway : When You Make It Home by Claire Ashby

Book Blurb & Info

Meg Michaels, a bookstore owner, has already walked away from two cheating exes. She’s learned her lesson and has her mind set on success—until she gets knocked up. Embarrassed and unwilling to discuss her situation with friends and family, she wears layers to hide the pregnancy.

When Meg gets sick at a party, she’s mortified. Even worse, Theo Taylor, the guest of honor, discovers her secret. Theo, an Army medic wounded in the war, agrees not to reveal her condition, and the two forge a bond of friendship that blossoms into love.

Theo is soon filling all of Meg’s late-night cravings—and not just the pregnancy-induced ones. But can their love overcome all the obstacles that stand between them and creating a happy family?

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Book Excerpt

My eyes were open before I realized I was awake. Theo, bathed in moonlight, lay

stretched out on top of the covers next to me.

“You don’t have a ring on.” He searched my eyes.

“I gave it back when I cancelled the wedding. Bradley wanted me to keep it…” I looked

at my bare hand in the dim room. My ring finger felt naked without the karat-and-a-half,

princess-cut diamond. Sometimes I still caught myself rubbing the area, searching for the

phantom ring. “But I couldn’t.”

“So what, you didn’t want a shotgun wedding?”

“Wait. Bradley’s not the father.” I cringed as soon as the words left my mouth.

His eyes twinkled in the moonlight, and he grinned again.

“So you are a bad girl.”

Author Interview

Hi Claire,

Thank you so much for sitting down with Toot's for an interview. If you don't mind, I have some questions for you about your new book, When You Make It Home and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.

So first off, When You Make It Home Questions.......

In your own words, what is When You Make It Home about?

Meg is a successful bookstore owner and leads a pretty public life. She discovers she’s pregnant shortly after breaking up with her fiancĂ©, and she knows everyone will think he’s the father.

She’s busy hiding her unplanned pregnancy when she meets Theo, an army medic who’s just returned home from Afghanistan after a life altering injury. He discovers her secret and they become friends.

Meg and Theo’s bond grows, but they struggle with the unexpected changes in their lifes.

How did you come up with the title of the book and can you tell us its significance?

The title has double meaning. Meg has never felt a sense of home. After her break-up, she moves back into her condo that has been emptied and put on the market. Most her possessions have sat in boxes for months, because she’s allowing herself life to stay in a state of limbo. As she connects with her baby, her need to make her house a home—to create stability around her—grows.

For Theo, he left home to join the army years ago. Before his injury, he had no plans to come back. As he recovers, he’s faced with deciding if he wants to stay and make it home.

Is When You Make It Home a standalone book or will it be part of a series?

I’m excited to say it’s the first of a three book series. I’m working on the sequel as we speak.

What genre would you say When You Make It Home is and what sets your book apart for fans of the genre?

WYMIH is a contemporary romance, but it has strong elements of woman’s fiction. Meg is haunted by the failed relationships of her past. Not just with men, but also with her mother and her stepmother. As her pregnancy progresses she must get right with the past in order to move forward and be the kind of mother she wants to be.

If you had to pick one thing, what is your favorite thing about the world you’ve created?

The bookstore. Meg and her twin, Steve run their family bookstore and it’s everything that a bookstore should be. A place you can get lost in, a place full of hidden treasures, a place with good coffee and comfy chairs.

What was your favorite scene to write for either your hero or heroine in When You Make It Home?

My favorite scene to write was the very first one. I was standing in the kitchen with my laptop. The kids were watching SpongeBob, and I had dinner on the stove. I was browning meat and typing. I’ve never had a writing moment like that one. The first chapter came out fast and easy, and I knew it was a story I needed to tell.

What was the hardest scene to write?

The birth scene was hard for me to write. Actually, writing it was fine, but I stalled out for a while before I wrote it. I had terrible childbirths. It’s difficult for me to have conversations with other woman about giving birth, because my experiences were so traumatic. So I got to the point where Meg had to have her baby, and I just put off writing it. Once I dug in, no problem.

What's your favorite line or quote from When You Make It Home?

“I was pretty sure my small, five-foot-five-inch, exhausted, knocked-up self could plow through a one-legged boy covered in bandages if I wanted to get out of there badly enough. The thing was—I wanted to stay.”


Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’ve always told stories. Even more than that, I’m addicted to reading. For years, every time I read a good book I wished I’d written it, but I always felt writers must have something I didn’t. Eventually, I decided to give it a try and once I started I couldn’t stop.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?

I love a good story. It doesn’t matter if it’s a story from my husband’s day at work, a silly incident my mother-in-law got herself into, or and epic novel. Stories entertain me. I enjoy challenging myself to make a story worthy of entertaining people. Plus, I like making stuff up.

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?

Um…40/60. I plot in my head, write, write, write, then once I get so far into a story I go back and outline what I’ve done, and kind of like a puzzle, I look to see where I can fit in the rest of the pieces or plot my way out of holes.

What's next for you?

I’m working on the second book in the When You Make It Home series, and I also have another project I’m working on. A NA romantic thriller. It’s darker and edgier than WHEN YOU MAKE IT HOME.

Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?

I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to WHEN YOU MAKE IT HOME. I’ve received the kindest messages from readers. I want them to know how much their support means to me. This has been an amazing experience.

Personal questions......

Now I know this is like asking you to choose between your own children, but out of all your amazing characters, who is your favorite and why?

Yes, Meg. I was writing another novel and Meg was a supporting character. The further I got into the novel, the more often I wrote about Meg. I decided to put that project aside and write Meg’s story instead.

Are there any of your stories or characters that hold a special place in your heart?

For every wounded warrior account I read, Theo became more real. Theo’s story has always held my heart.

If the book had to have a theme song, what would it be?

Oh, I can’t think of just one! I Never Told You, by Colbie Caillat would definitely be on the soundtrack. Not the theme song, but the black moment song.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for taking time to answer some questions. Congratulations on the new book and I can't wait for everyone to read it! – Toot’s

Author Info

Ashby was born and raised in the heart of Atlanta. At a young age, she began keeping journals and over time embellished the details of her quiet days. Eventually, she let go of reality altogether and delved completely into the world of fiction.

When she’s not reading or writing, she spends her time watching extreme survival shows and taking long walks after nightfall. She has an unnatural love of high places, but still regrets the time she skydived solo. She believes some things are better left to the imagination. She resides in Austin with her family and a pack of wild dogs.


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1 comment:

  1. You guys have such a fun blog. Thank you for hosting me!