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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tour! A Review of For the Love of Big Orange by Leta Gail Doerr, Plus an Author Interview




Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance) 
Date Published: February 14, 2013
Publisher: Self

The Blurb:
They say you can never go home. Well, Lacie Joe Jensen never wanted to.

Lacie Joe left small town Kentucky for the big city lights and never looked back. Until now. Her ailing foster-father needs her, his memory is failing. But townsfolk remember all too well the troubles Lacie Joe caused as a youth, and they're not afraid to remind her.

Lacie Joe has a few allies in town, for starters, ex-boyfriend turned police officer Jay Hayworth. Jay's kept the fire burning for Lacie during her long absence. He's one of the bright spots in Lacie's troublesome past, him and her truck, Big Orange. A suspicious accident forced Lacie Joe to leave town, Jay steps in to remind Lacie she no longer has the right to remain silent.

Buy at: Amazon    Kobo   Barnes and Noble

My Review:
For the Love of Big Orange by Leta Gail Doerr first got my attention by the title alone. I thought it might take place in Tennessee or nearby. The story takes place in Kentucky so, that's close enough.  Lacie Joe is fun and interesting and her interactions with Jay are definitely entertaining. They have a lot of history. For a novella, there is a whole lot of story going on. This would be a perfect beach or airplane read. For the Love of Big Orange gives you romance, drama, trouble, humor, and a touch of mystery. It was a fun little book to get lost in for a few hours.

For the Love of Big Orange by Leta Gail Doerr  was provided to me by the Bewitching Book Tours for review. The opinions are my own.



I'm super excited to have Leta Gail Doerr with us at the blog today to answer a few questions for us.

How long have you been writing?
Seriously (meaning actually focusing on writing a novel) for about four years. I’m also a freelance writer for a local women’s magazine, Pastelle Magazine. I’ve had that gig for about a year.

What inspired you to write For the Love of Big Orange?
For the Love of Big Orange was inspired by my strong belief that sometimes the key to helping yourself is through helping others. The heroine, Lacie Joe, has a long list of poor choices and turbulent childhood. She grew up in the foster-care system and was eventually taken in by a family in rural Kentucky. It’s there that she finds her forever home, but her past catches up with her and she makes some choices that seem irreversible.

Her story progresses and she discovers that the key to redemption and moving herself from being a victim to victor is by helping a group of kids who come from the same background as she, as well as her ailing foster-father and a man, Big Willie, who she wronged in the past.

Which of your characters do you relate to most and why?
Lacie Joe, the heroine. She juggles everything, thinks she can solve the world’s problems and gets herself into trouble. I’m pretty good at doing all that myself as well.

What is a secret about you that nobody else knows?
Not fair;) Ok, so I’ll put this out into cyberspace where the internet is like ink (as they say in the movie The Social Network). Here we go, my left eye is considerably smaller than the right. Sometimes it’s really noticeable! EWW. I wear glasses, which makes it less so. But, I can see it in pictures and I’m really self-conscious about it.

What book have you read too many times to count?
What great questions you have! Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. This was my son’s favorite book as a toddler. We have read together every night at bedtime since he was born. He’s eleven now, and wouldn’t dare let me read it to him. Although, I keep a copy handy as I find myself thumbing through it reminiscing about the days when he was just a wee little tot learning how to read.

What is the best piece of writing advice you ever received?
Shoot for the Moon!

If you could hop into the life of any fictional character, who would it be and why?
Hmmm, maybe Bella. Perhaps I could rattle her into thinking a bit more clearly! I’ll admit it, I’m Team Jacob and always will be.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I enjoy getting creative with software. I have photo editing and video creation tools and I’m a big techno geek. I create my own book covers and trailers. Not too shabby, right???

Are any of the things in your books based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
As Stephen King states in his book, On Writing, “Write what you know”. That’s scary to think about when we consider what Mr. King writes, but for me, I’m okay with it. My close friends and relatives know that there are tiny snippets of my life woven into my books and characters. Although, I have an active imagination too!

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I’m so glad you asked. I really enjoyed writing all of it, but Chapter 11 is special to me. I’ve included an excerpt, but the gist of it is…Lacie Joe gets herself into some crazy situations, most of the time she’s in over her head. She always stands her ground and speaks her mind, and Jay – well, he can’t help but love her!

“I don’t know who needs their head examined more, you or Judge.” Jay’s scowl grew larger as Lacie reached the house. He was seated on the front porch rocker, enjoying the sunrise and awaiting her return.
“What was I supposed to do, Jay, leave her in Lexington?” Lacie looked over her shoulder. “Keep your voice down. I don’t want her to think she’s not welcome.”
“Well, she’s not.”
“This isn’t your house, it’s not for you to say,” Lacie whispered. “She lost her job and she can’t stay at her apartment anymore. Her ex-boyfriend is there.”
“She lost her job because that’s what happens to thieves who get caught.”
“Right now I need you to be my friend, Jay. Not a cop.” Lacie pleaded with her eyes. “Can you do that?”
Jay flinched at the word friend. Every time Lacie used it in reference to their relationship he felt like he was being beaten with a wooden switch.
Emma approached the two as she heaved a bag over her shoulder and climbed the steps into the house. “Good Morning, Officer Hayworth,” she chided as she lugged by.
Jay didn’t utter a response. Instead he opened the front door, letting the screen door slam behind him. “Judge isn’t awake yet. You’ve been up all night. Want me to stick around while you take a nap?”
“No, but thanks.” Lacie trailed behind him. “Emma said she got a decent night’s sleep so she’ll be around to keep me company. Besides, there’s no way I can sleep. I have too much on my mind.”
“Are you thinking about Judge? I think he’s doing all right. We had a very uneventful evening.”
“That’s a silver lining. I could use some right about now.”
“What else is going on?” Jay leaned against the counter as they had reached the kitchen. The kitchen has always been where most of the talking occurred in this house.
“That meeting I had with my boss at the blUegrass Connection didn’t go so well.”
Jay poured Lacie a fresh cup of coffee and placed a danish on a saucer for her. “Cream and sugar?”
“No, I’ll take it straight up today. I need it.”
“Tell me about the meeting.”
“We may lose funding for the program.” Lacie frowned in between bites of her pastry.
“Aw, Lace, I’m sorry to hear that. On the bright side it could be one less thing for you to juggle.”
“How could you say that?” Lacie asked incredulously. “Those kids need that program. We help them find jobs, homes, train them on how to apply basic life skills. I can’t abandon them. I won’t.” She mumbled through a mouthful of pastry.
“Listen to yourself, Lacie. It’s bad enough that you’re dealing with a loved one who might have Alzheimer’s or God knows what. You’ve taken in a stray who’s making poor choices and you’ve taken it upon yourself to help Big Willie out so he doesn’t lose the stables. Now, you want to hang on to some program that’s an hour and a half away from all this?” Sensing Lacie might be famished he cut her another pastry and placed it on her plate. “Next time you take Judge in for an appointment, have that doc check you out too.
You’re being ridiculous. What good does running yourself into the ground do?” Jay towered over Lacie at the edge of the table.
Lacie glowered up at him and took a bite out of the powder coated pastry. “You’re the one being ridiculous. Can’t you see that I’ve changed, Jay? I’m trying to do what’s right for everyone here. I know it’s hard. And I know it’s a lot. But I can do it. I won’t abandon those kids. It’s just not an option.”
“That’s what this is about, being abandoned?” His mood softened as he noticed Lacie had a spot of white powder on her nose.
“It might seem trivial to you, Jay. But sometimes people just need someone to believe in them. Someone or something that can steer them towards a different course. Can you understand that?”
“I do. But you can’t be that someone for every kid whose ever been in a tight spot.” He grabbed a napkin and handed it to her.
“I’m not trying to be. I just want to be there for these kids. The ones in my program.”
“And what about Big Willie? Are you helping out so you can atone for your actions?”
“I’m helping Big Willie because it’s the right thing to do.” Lacie pulled Jay into a seat at the table. The connection of her hands on his pumped a rush of fresh blood to his heart.
“Listen to me. You, Judge, Stella, Big Willie, Lady, all this.” Lacie pulled her hands to her chest. “You guys were my someone. I am who I am today because Judge and Stella took me in when no one else would. You became my friend when all the other kids in town kept their distance. And Big Willie, he gave me opportunities to give and to learn. I’m a damn hard worker, Jay. I know I picked that up by working at the stables all those years ago. I just want to help those kids know that they aren’t throwaways. That although we can’t erase the bad choices of our past, we can make better choices in the future.”
“I get it.” Keeping up with Lacie was like trying to chase a hat in a windstorm. That woman was equal parts frustration and determination. He loved that about her. Jay supposed he always would.
Lacie’s green eyes twinkled. “You know, Judge told me something one time when I was a teenager that I’ll never forget.”
“What’s that?” Jay caressed Lacie’s hands with his thumb. He longed to feel her full lips against his again. Leaning forward he watched her mouth as she spoke.
“Sometimes helping others is the key to helping yourself.”
“That Judge, he’s full of wisdom. He sure knew what he was doing when he took you in and put you to work at the stable.”
Lacie tapped a finger on her cheek. “Shit, Jay, that’s it!” Leaping from her chair, she raced toward the living room, grabbed her coat.  She stopped as though she had forgotten something.
Jay stood awkwardly next to the sofa. “What’s gotten in to you, Lacie? Where are you going?”
“I need to go to the stables.” She hopped on one leg as she pulled on a cowboy boot. “Emma!” Lacie hollered up the stairs. “Get your shoes on. I need you to go somewhere with me.” Standing on two feet, she wiggled in to her other boot. “I need to take you up on that offer. When Judge wakes up can you bring him along and meet me at FiddleStix?”
Shaking his head in bewilderment Jay plucked Lacie’s cowboy hat from the pitchfork that doubled as a coat tree next to the door. “You can’t wear the boots without the hat.” He placed the Stetson on her head. His hands lingered as he wisped her black silken hair behind her ears. Cupping her face, he planted a kiss firmly on her lips. To his delight she parted hers in welcome. A simple soft kiss of encouragement. He knew that when determination sparked inside her, bystanders had two choices, either support her or get the hell out of her way.
Emma scooted along behind them, interrupting their tender moment, “Good God, you two. Get a room.”
Lacie gave Jay one final peck and tipped her hat in his direction. “See you soon, Officer.”
Jay slid his hands into his pockets and circled the living room. He couldn’t help but love that woman, but what the hell was she up to now?


Check out my review of the next book in this series!
http://www.whatsbeyondforks.com/2014/12/book-review-for-love-of-mercy-by-leta.html

author
About the Author:
Leta Gail is a small town girl with big dreams, who shares her life with her husband, son, and little dog Kimmy. She enjoys exercise, (as if), planning family vacations, dreaming up places to go with her husband, reading, tinkering with computer software, and watching her son grow.

She is a Project Manager by day working in Information Technology, who moonlights as a writer. She has a monthly column, Blonde Bytes, in a women's publication- Pastelle Magazine, where she writes about fun geeky stuff.

She loves to write about great friendships and deep emotions. She finds the humor in everyday life and creates believable characters she hopes her readers will enjoy. She likes story lines like, life after divorce, strong-willed women making their mark on the world, and finding love in unexpected places. She also enjoys writing tales that salute our nation's heroes.

She enjoys the super support of her husband and inquisitive son while she dreams big and "shoots for the moon", as her husband so aptly states.

To learn more about Leta Gail Doerr and her books, visit her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

2 comments :

  1. Thank you for hosting me today! I'm honored that you gave me a spot on your blog. And, I truly appreciate that you read and reviewed Big Orange. She's special to me:) Best of luck!
    Leta

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity. :o) This was a fun one!

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