Thursday, February 4, 2016

Keep Me In Mind Tour ~ Moment of Silence by Karen Stivali ~ (5 Star Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Keep Me In Mind Tour ~ Moment of Silence by Karen Stivali ~ (5 Star Review, Author Interview, Excerpt + Giveaway)

Author Name: Karen Stivali
Book Name: Moment of Silence
Series: Moments In Time
This book is a 'Moments in Time Novel'. It takes place in the same world, but can be read separately.
Release Date: December 18, 2015


Growing up, Jason Stern led a charmed life complete with devoted sisters, a father who was one of Brooklyn’s most respected rabbis, and a mother who made the world's best babka. He headed to NYU ready for anything—except falling for the wrong guy, coming out, and getting disowned by his once-loving family. In spite of that, Jason managed to graduate with honors. He's got friends who treat him like family, and he's proudly running the largest LGBTQ teen shelter in Manhattan. Life is good, but he's still falling for the wrong men. 

When charming, sexy Quinn Fitzpatrick begins work at the shelter, Jason falls hard and fast. Quinn is tall, blond, funny—damn near perfect. Only if Quinn’s gay, even he doesn't seem to know it. If he does, he's not telling anyone. And he's about one ceremony away from becoming a Catholic priest.

Long hours of work turn to long nights of talking and laughter, and Jason dares to hope this time he's falling for the right guy. But Quinn's got a past to deal with and major decisions to make about his future. When Quinn leaves for a silent retreat, Jason knows the silence may change everything.
Pages or Words: 76,000 words

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance


Pierogi were just what the evening required. We got two orders, potato with fried onions, and cheese doused in butter. To round things out, we added a gigantic link of kielbasa and finished it all off with blueberry blintzes. By the time we were done eating, I was so full I could barely move.
“This was awesome.” Quinn licked a purple streak of blueberry off his fork before setting it down and pushing his plate away.
I was too mesmerized by the sight of his tongue to speak right away.
The waitress stopped at our booth. “All set?”
“Yeah, thanks.”
She placed the paper check between us, and Quinn reached for it, but I grabbed it first. “I’ve got this one. Make up for the popcorn you gave away.”
“You don’t have to do that.” He pulled out his wallet and put a twenty on the table.
“You can’t let anyone do anything for you, can you?”
Quinn’s eyes bugged, then softened. “Yeah, I guess I do have a problem with that sometimes.”
“Okay, most of the time.”
“You know what they say. The first step is admitting you have a problem. And the second is letting me pay for dinner.” I stuck the check and enough money for the meal and tip under the glass sugar shaker, then grabbed Quinn’s twenty, folded it in half, leaned over, and tucked it into his shirt pocket.
My fingers were in the pocket before I fully realized what I was doing. Then the whole universe condensed into the drag of my fingers on that two-inch-square area of his chest. His rock-solid chest that tightened the instant I made contact. My own chest froze, devoid of air. I’d forgotten how to breathe. All I could do was think about the fact that I had my hand on this man who’d consumed my waking and sleeping hours for weeks. And I had to let go. Literally.
I pulled my hand away, trying to turn the rush of breath that returned to my lungs into something resembling a laugh. “Ready to get out of here?”
Quinn nodded.
Shit. He’s silent again. Did he notice that moment of fantasy lust I just played out? What the fuck is wrong with me? Way to make him uncomfortable. Fuck—My monologue of self-criticism was interrupted by his hand on my shoulder.
His hand was probably a normal temperature, but given the heat it generated in my body, he might as well have been the Human Torch . Great. I’m not only in love with a straight priest, he’s also a superhero.
Quinn chuckled, and for a second I worried I’d said my crazy thoughts out loud. My face flushed to match the heat that coursed through the rest of me. “What?”
He handed me my keys. “You left these on the table.”
“Oh.” I took them, heat flaring through me in another rush when his fingers brushed mine as he placed the keyring in my hand. “Thanks. Geez. That would have sucked if I’d left those here.”
My phone buzzed in my pocket, and I nearly tripped over the step as we left the restaurant. It was a text from Campbell. I laughed. “Apparently my roommate’s having an orange juice crisis, as in we’re out of orange juice. I need to stop at the bodega on the way home. I feel like we’re married sometimes. In a weird, sexless way.” Stop talking. Now.
“It’s good you get along so well.”
I gestured to the store on the next corner. “You need anything?”
“Nah. I’m too full to even think about eating or drinking anything.”
“The power of the pierogi.”
He grinned. “See you tomorrow?”
“Get some sleep. Tomorrow we’ll work on those shelves. Unless you think we need to run the math one more time.”
“Just triple-checking your skills.” The teasing sound in his voice made me want to stay on that corner and talk to him all night. Anything to keep hold of the pleasant hum that was vibrating through my body. But then he turned away, heading toward his place, hand in the air in a backward wave of sorts. “Good night.”
It was indeed. “Night.”

Author Interview:

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Karen Stivali author of MOMENT OF SILENCE (a standalone novel in the Moments In Time series).

Hi Karen, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

I’ve been a published author of straight and LGBT contemporary romance for the past 4.5 years. I’ve had a lot of other jobs in my life working in everything from the food industry to the film industry and I’m also a clinically trained social worker. Through all those different jobs, I was always writing and once I gathered up the nerve to finish a novel and submit it to publishers, I haven’t turned back. My latest release, MOMENT OF SILENCE, is the fourth book in the Moments In Time series but it can be read as a standalone title---it features two characters who were secondary characters in the first three books, but they don’t meet each other until their story begins in Moment Of Silence.

I grew up in a half Jewish/half Catholic household and Jason and Quinn’s romance is the story of what happens when a nice Jewish boy falls for a man who’s about to take his final vows as a Catholic priest. Although it’s entirely fictional, writing this book involved so many things from my own past---locations in New York City, ethnic foods, differences in the culture and practices that are so important to the two religions---it became a very personal project for me. It comes from my heart.

Why did you choose to write M/M stories?

I’ve had LGBT characters in almost all of the romance novels I’ve written. They were secondary characters in my m/f romances but they always had their own storylines and their own relationships. Often they were characters in good relationships who were giving the main characters advice so they could get their acts together. It always felt as if it was just a matter of time until I had an LGBT couple as the lead characters. When Collin, the main character in the first book in the MOMENTS IN TIME series, popped into my head and started telling me about his relationship with Tanner, I knew that time had come, so I wrote his story. The rest of the books have followed naturally. I plan to continue writing both straight and LGBT romance because I have always written the stories of whatever characters are talking loudest in my mind.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My books tend to be based on some sort of premise. My first book was inspired by that saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime---because I was thinking about how that’s true, but you don’t know which people are there for which length of time. Sometimes people you think you’ll be close to forever wind up not being in your life as long as you imagined while others who you thought you wouldn’t be close to, or thought were only temporary connections, wind up being with you for the long haul. All of that made me think about how sometimes you commit to the wrong person before the right one comes along…and that was the basis of my first novel. I thought about those characters for nearly a decade before I actually wrote their story. It remains one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. I’d link to it, but it’s currently out of print but it’ll be re-released from a different publisher in the summer of 2016 (Meant To Be is the title).

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written since I first learned how to form all the letters because I’ve always had stories I wanted to tell---fictional ones and real ones. I first started writing fiction with the intention (hope) of getting it published about five years ago. I’d written fan fiction as a birthday gift for a friend of mine who wanted a sexier version of her favorite book at the time. Writing that reminded me how much I enjoyed writing in general and when she asked me if I ever wrote my own stories I started writing the novel mentioned above and sent her each chapter as I wrote. I haven’t stopped writing my own stories since.

What are you current projects?

I have a few projects I’m not at liberty to talk about at the moment, but the ones I can tell you about are the next book in the Moments series---MOMENT OF FATE---and a sequel to TONIGHT (my free read from the DRitC event at the Goodreads MM romance group). There’s a steamy excerpt from MOMENT OF FATE at the end of MOMENT OF SILENCE. Although these are all parts of the Moments In Time series, both can be read as standalones because they’re stories of characters who only played small parts in the earlier books. Here’s the blurb for MOMENT OF FATE (which should release Spring/Summer 2016).

Bryan Dane’s been living the dream—photography student by day, up-and-coming rocker by night. His summer goals are to earn his last few credits, graduate from NYU, spend as much time in the recording studio as possible, and survive the next few months without sex so he can complete his yearlong goal of self-imposed celibacy. Everything is on track, until he meets Oliver Newcastle.

For years Oliver planned a marriage of convenience with his high school BFF, but now that she’s fallen in love for real, with someone else, it’s no longer convenient. So Oliver came out to his family, quit his job, and left small-town New England for NYC, an intensive summer study program, and a chance to find his own happiness.

From the moment they meet the sexual tension between Bryan and Oliver sizzles. But Bryan wants no part of a relationship, and Oliver wants to sew his wild oats—he just isn’t sure how. Oliver seeks Bryan’s help navigating the NYC gay scene, which throws them together in increasingly more sexual situations until they can no longer deny they're hot for each other. Bryan is desperate to keep things simple, but fate might have other plans.

Off topic: What secret talents do you have?

Umm….hmm. I’m wondering what counts as a talent. I can tie a cherry stem into a knot with my tongue. I’m somewhat double jointed so I can disjoint all my fingers and get into some very unusual positions with reasonable ease. And I took piano lessons for 15 years, but I never play in front of other people so almost no one knows that (still recovering from the anxiety of being forced to be in piano competitions at a young age). Oh, and several people have told me my super power is my ability to make anything sound dirty. But if you’ve read my books, that’s not a secret. 

5 Stars!!!

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Mari: Jason has had a hard life ever since he came out to his family. After living an idyllic childhood and being sure of his family's love for him, he suddenly finds himself on his own. He pushes through with the help of his family and becomes the driving force behind New Home. He's attracted to unattainable men, and who could be more unattainable than an almost-priest? Not that he could've resisted Quinn anyway. 
Quinn is on leave for a few months, prior to making his final decision in taking his vows as a Catholic priest, and working at New Home. He's attracted to Jason and even if he is aware it will complicate his decision he can't stay away.

They fall into a relationship, and while things between them are almost perfect, there's the dark cloud look over them that there's a deadline to Quinn making a decision. Jason is intent on making the most of the time they have together, trying not to think of the impending heartbreak, because even if he hopes otherwise, Quinn wouldn't choose him over God, or would he

Tracy: I fell in love with Jason when we met him on Fire Island. I didn't want him with Collin, but I really loved his character and couldn't wait for him to find love. Karen picked the perfect person for him in Collin's brother, Quinn. They fit and had an electrical chemistry and connection from their first on page scene together. There's was a slow burn, but as soon as they let go, WOW... Fireworks exploded. There was sex and more sex, it was hot, but it was sweet, tender, loving and had an innocence about it. The writing of the love scenes was beautiful and poetic.

I adored Quinn and I loved watching him grow and come into his own. Discovering love, relationships and sex. Discovering Jason. I loved Jason's patience and tenderness. I adored watching him fall completely in love for the first time. 

Mari: I loved Jason from the prior books, too, and I fell even more for him on this book, especially after realizing all he'd gone through with his family. Seeing him crushing and then falling for Quinn, was bittersweet, with all that was hanging on the line and reading his doubts even as he gave his all, almost crushed me.

Quinn was adorable! And I also loved seeing him embrace his relationship with Jason so fully. They were hot, hot, HOT! together, but also sweet and as Tracy says, there was something poetic and beautiful to their lovemaking.

Tracy: This was a well-written story that I held me captivated from the first to the last page. Karen kept me on edge the entire time. I just knew the bliss between Quinn and Jason was going to blow up in my face. I waited for the other shoe to drop, and when it did Karen had me bawling like a baby. (When I informed her of this she graciously offered me Kleenex and Chocolates).  

Mari: I can attest to that! Hahahaha! Tracy read it before me and told me that she knew things were coming to a head, because they were too perfect. And yes, even kind of knowing that things couldn't remain that good, I got all teary when it actually happened. 

Tracy: I loved the story, the characters, getting to see Collin and Tanner again. Most of all, I just love Karen's writing and I'll be waiting somewhat patiently for Bryan and Oliver's story. 

Mari: I love Karen's writing and while I adored the Moments of Time series, I think this book and Jason and Quinn are my favorites. It was an emotional, loving, fabulous read, one to be cherished for sure! 

About the author:
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She's also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about real life, only hotter.
Karen's lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen's novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don't hesitate to contact/follow/like her at: [insert contact info here]

Where to find the author:
Facebook Author Page:
Goodreads Link:
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

No comments:

Post a Comment