Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: Always Kiss Me Goodnight by Megan Gaudino

Always Kiss Me Goodnight

Evernight Teen Publishing
YA Paranormal Romance, 67k words
Released: August 28

Sophia Destino is supposed to die. 

All seventeen-year-old Sophia wants is to coast through her junior year. But with her parents obsessed with her Olympic-swimming-hopeful brother, a psychic best friend with a penchant for reading tarot cards, and prophetic dreams that predict her death—that won’t be easy. As her nightmares begin to come true, Sophia finds herself dodging death and longing for the time when getting over her ex-boyfriend was her biggest problem. Until she meets Leo Knight. The mysterious stranger seems determined to keep her alive—and steal her heart. But Leo has a secret that is about to change everything and Sophia is about to learn that sometimes…your number is up.
14+ due to adult situations

Buy Links:   Evernight Teen    Amazon


What a waste last night was. I would’ve laughed out loud about how tragically ironic it all was if I could have. My lungs started to twinge at the thought of laughing. They wanted to be filled with fresh air.

The finale of my life was playing out before me. I recalled the peaceful feeling from my dream. I was just waiting for it to happen. My lungs were screaming at me to breathe. This was it. Time was almost up and I was waiting for my life to flash before my eyes when movement out of the water caught my attention. Leo was standing on the edge of the pool. He was shirtless and surrounded by the light, making me question if I’d died and gone to heaven.

He dove into the pool an instant later and scooped me up in his arms, obelisk and all, just as he had the night before, then pushed up to the surface of the water in no time flat.

The extra couple hundred pounds of weight I and the obelisk—mostly the obelisk…I think—added did nothing to slow him down. We shot out of the water as if we had the help of a cannon, not just Leo’s legs.

I gasped for air as soon as my face was free of the water. The breath felt so good my lungs craved more and more. I kept inhaling the air as if it were being funneled down my throat.

Leo swam to the side of the pool, using only his legs to keep us afloat. With one hand, he threw the obelisk all the way in the bed of wildflowers and pulled us up out of the water.

We sat on the edge of the pool with his feet in the water and me on his lap, vowing to never again take air for granted and wondering what happened that made my dreams start coming true.

Using his thumbs to push the water out of my eyes, he laced his hands through my soaking wet hair and rested his palms on my cheeks.

“Sophia?” I coughed up some water and he turned my head to the side. “Sophia, are you okay?”

The air was flowing easily in and out of my lungs. They felt calmed; they knew they would be getting air on a regular basis.

“I’m okay.” I coughed one more time, then took another deep breath to clear my reeling mind and tried to speak again. “I’m fine.”

Physically I was fine but mentally I wasn’t. The world I lived in up until this point didn’t consist of anything supernatural or unexplainable happening except the occasional perfect hair day and the beauty of an aquamarine crystal.

Leo stood easily from his seated position with me still in his arms and crushed my chest to his. Of course I couldn’t help but wrap my arms around his bare torso but his skin felt so hot to the touch. Between the freezing cold of my body and the warm temperature of his I felt overwhelmed. Everywhere our bodies came in contact with each other little puffs of visible steam arose.

When we made it to the living room Hercules began lapping up the puddles of water we left behind us. Leo yanked the gray blanket off of the armchair and wrapped it around me because I was suddenly shaking.

He moved a salt stone lamp out of his way and sat on top of the coffee table, motionlessly taking in my expression. Before he even spoke I just knew he was reading me all wrong. I felt like I could read him already too.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Sophia,” he groaned.

“For what? My idiotic carelessness or that you saved my life once again? You shouldn’t be sorry about either of those things.”

“I shouldn’t have let that happen. I shouldn’t have been sleeping still. I promised you I’d protect you and look what happened. Do you have any idea how close you were to dying? Even closer than you were last night. If I was just one second later I would’ve been too late.”

“I know. I was there. But you weren’t too late. It’s all over now—I’m fine.” He put his head in his hands and scrunched his hair in his palms. “Leo.” I reached forward and placed my hand on his arm. He was still so hot to the touch. “Why’s your skin so hot again?”

He flinched away from my hand, stood up, folded his arms across his chest and turned his back to me. His reaction made me question my gesture.

“It’ll go away.”

“Yeah but why does it happen at all?”

He hesitated for just a moment before he answered. “Because I keep saving your life.”

“I thought angels are supposed to save lives.”

“I already told you. I’m not an angel. I’m not supposed to save lives.”

Author Interview

Hi Megan,
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, Always Kiss Me Goodnight and your process for our budding authors as well as fans.
So first off, Always Kiss Me Goodnight Questions.......
In your own words, what is Always Kiss Me Goodnight about?
To me Always Kiss Me Goodnight is all about fate. Is fate predetermined or is it something that is changing with every decision we make? Sophia is dealing with her own fate in this book in a way I think a lot of people can relate to because she’s dealing with high school and what she wants after graduation and trying to figure out who her real friends are.

How did you come up with the title of the book and can you tell us its significance?
Always Kiss Me Goodnight is kind of like this common phrase you see floating around posters and Etsy merchandise and I owned this long wooden panel with the phrase on it. It hung above my desk where I would do a lot of my writing and one day after I’d written a few chapters it just kind of hit me that that should be the title. As soon as I said it I loved it and it stuck ever since.

Is Always Kiss Me Goodnight a standalone book or will it be part of a series?
It is part of a trilogy. So there are two more books that follow Sophia and Leo. They are both actually written all ready but I’m still working on editing for both.

What genre would you say Always Kiss Me Goodnight is and what sets your book apart for fans of the genre?
It is a paranormal story but what makes it stand out is that it’s about Guardians of Fate. They are completely new to the paranormal scene and something different from other paranormal stories. If you’re a fan of fallen angle stories then I think you’ll love guardians because there are similarities there but the differences are what make guardians unique and totally badass. 

What are some of the elements of the world you created?
The biggest element I created are the guardians themselves. They function in a hierarchy that is further broken down into orders. Each order comes with its own set of rules, jobs, and special powers but they all function together to carry out Fate’s plan. In Always Kiss Me Goodnight the guardians have some special talents like manipulating the weather, seeing the future, and the ability to create flowers or make grass grow with just a flick of the wrist. 

If you had to pick one thing, what is your favorite thing about the world you’ve created?
In this story there are clear and definite reasons for everything that happens. That means there is a reason behind every tragedy and every triumph in someone’s life and I love the idea of everything happening for a reason. Always Kiss Me Goodnight is a fun take on how the universe works and I wish guardians were really out there!

What was your favorite scene to write for either your hero or heroine in Always Kiss Me Goodnight?
There is this scene where Sophia almost drowns in her pool but at the last second Leo saves her and to me it is a really important moment because they both are kind of faced with their strong feelings for each other but also realize they are dealing with a ton of obstacles. It’s also the first time Sophia really acknowledges that something unexplainable is happening to her. 

What was the hardest scene to write?
For me the scenes that have a lot of explaining about the guardians were difficult. I wanted the reader to understand who the guardians are but I needed to do it in a way that wasn’t just an info dump. So trying to balance the exposition with dialogue while still being informative was something I always had to work extra hard on.

What's your favorite line or quote from Always Kiss Me Goodnight?
Toward the end of the book one of the characters says (and I won’t say who because I don’t want spoilers!) “It didn’t seem fair to be dead and in pain.” And that line always manages to get a smile out of me.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated and what made you decide to pursue it as a career?
It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly my interest in writing started but I do remember always having all these ideas floating around in my head. I’d be in bed at night trying to sleep and all these unknown people and their lives and crazy situations were running through my mind. Eventually I had that I should write that down thought and my first story was born.
As far as pursuing writing as a career, to me it always seemed like such a lofty and far off goal. But, that all changed when I discovered I posted an earlier draft of Always Kiss Me Goodnight to the site and the readers really took to it. Next thing I knew I was asked for it to be a featured story and it had gained over 2 million reads. It was at that point I said ok, maybe this could be a published book one day. It’s been a journey and it’s been difficult but being able to write and have people read it is a dream come true.

What inspires you to put the pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard?
This might sound a little strange to a non-writer but to me the ideas themselves insist on getting out. Like I mentioned earlier, my ideas would literally keep me up at night so it only seems natural to me to get them out. I just use my normal life as inspiration and then I add it things I wish could happen.

What are some of the elements in/of your writing process?
I like to use figurative language, a lot. Maybe a little too much. 

Are you a Plotter or a Panster?
I am 100% a pantser. For me, it makes things more interesting. It also makes editing a huge undertaking because I’ll come up with things later in the story and then have to go back and change them in the beginning but I can’t imagine writing any other way.

Have you released anything under a different pen name, and if so, is there any difference between them?
Nope. This is my first and only release and it’s under my real name.

What's next for you?
Well, there are the other two books in the Always series so I have those to look forward too, but I’m also currently working on a new adult manuscript that I’m really excited about as well!

Is there anything you’d like to add or say to your fans?
Just a huge thank you to everyone who read Always Kiss Me Goodnight on Wattpad. Without your support this book wouldn’t be published today. I’d also like to thank you, Toot’s, for having me and taking the time to ask me these fun and interesting questions! And everyone please remember to add Always Kiss Me Goodnight on Good Reads!

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?
It is a super hard question but it was really fun to write Amelia because she is so different from I am. She claims to have psychic abilities, preforms daily tarot card readings, and can see people’s auras. Amelia is the kind of friend who can be over protective but that’s only because she thinks she always knows what’s best.

Are there any of your stories or characters that hold a special place in your heart?
I think Always Kiss Me Goodnight will forever hold a special place in my heart because you only get one debut novel. I spent years and years writing this series and then even more time promoting it on Wattpad and I don’t think I will ever again in my life have that much time to dedicate to just one project.

If the book had to have a theme song, what would it be?
Torn but Natalie Imbruglia. It’s an older song but it is 100% the theme song of this book.

Lastly, What 5 things do fans not know about you and 5 they don't know about the book?
5 things about me:
· My username on all social media (I mean everything) is the same @mkgaud.

· I love drinking water with limes in it. Try it!

· I’m obsessed with taking road trips. 

· I hope to become a mermaid one day.

· Horror movies are my favorite.

5 things about the book:
· Sophia has a Great Dane puppy named Hercules and I had a Great Dane named Hercules

· Fresh Springs is a fictional town in Western Pennsylvania but it’s mostly based on the suburbs of Pittsburgh.

· When I first wrote Always Kiss Me Goodnight I wrote all 3 books together to make one giant story and I didn’t separate them until much later.

· Sophia and I both share a love for crystals and gems.

· The uniforms the students at Fresh Springs Prep wear are based on my high school’s uniforms.

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

About the Author

Megan Gaudino works in a high school library by day and on her own books by night. Always Kiss Me Goodnight his her debut novel and was first posted on Wattpad where it gained over two million reads. Megan lives in Pittsburgh where you can find her reading, writing, and Instagramming. 

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