Today I have an interview with first time authors, Brooke Johnson and Natalya Parks. They are stopping by to talk about the debut novel, The Need To Touch, as part of their blog tour. The authors are giving away two signed copies of the book so be sure to read until the end to find out how to enter.

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Welcome Brooke and Natalya. Can you take a moment and tell us about yourselves.

Brooke- I live in Louisiana with my boyfriend & five daughters. I have four dogs, a cat, and a hairless rat. I’m 31 years old but I feel a lot older than I am. I’ve just been through so much and seen so many things in 31 years. While I feel older than my age, I feel that I’m a lot more mature and successful because of it.

Natalya- I live in Louisiana with my dog who thinks he owns and runs the world. I have three wonderful grown children and four grand children. Number five is on the way! I spend as much time with my family as I can.

Do you have a day job besides writing and if so- what?

Brooke- Technically I don’t have a ‘job’ but I’m a domestic engineer =) Writing is my full time job when I’m not chasing my kids around.

Natalya- Yes, I work for a major oil field support company. When I’m not there I’m writing as much as possible.

The Need to Touch is your new release, talk a bit about the book.

Brooke & Natalya- Ben and Ryder are two young adults who meet in college. They are both emotionally distraught and not looking for anything but a way to survive the cruel and punishing world that they are living in. They had no intentions of falling for each other, but the connection was there from the beginning and just blossomed into love right in front of their eyes. They still struggled with the ups and down of young love, being complete opposites, and society’s views on gay love, but they make it through the rough waters.

This is a co-authored book, tell us how you two went about co-writing the story.

Brooke & Natalya- Brooke is good at starting a story, where Natalya kind of struggles to get the story going. So, it was easy for Brooke to start it and Natalya jumped in and brushed up the minor flaws in it and added to it. We both feel that we write one character better than the other, so it’s fun for us to have “our character” and write it that way.

This appears to be the first in a series- how many more books are planned? Any hints as to what’s next?

Brooke & Natalya- We are planning on at least three more books, but there might be more than that. We don’t want to give anything away, but we will say this…some characters leave in the next few books and more characters will be coming in as Ben and Ryder’s relationship is tested.

Tell us something(s) interesting that is not in the blurb?

Brooke & Natalya- You wouldn’t know from the blurb that Ben has a strip of pink in his hair, paints his nails, and has several tattoos and body piercings. You also wouldn’t be able to tell that Ryder has a lot of emotional issues as well as Ben. Ryder is also very insecure about the way he looks, always thinking that he needs to change the way he is to ‘fit in’.

Talk a little bit about how it felt when this book was released versus your first one.

Brooke & Natalya- This is our first release but we are really excited, and still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that we even have a published book. It’s just a dream come true for the both of us. Just having the opportunity to publish it is a great feeling.

Have you ever based characters on anyone you know?

Brooke & Natalya- Ben’s character is based off the memory of Brooke’s best friend from High School. Other than that the other characters are strictly made up.

What’s your favorite part about the writing process?

Brooke & Natalya- We have both agreed that our favorite part is seeing the character develop throughout the book as we are writing. We have an idea of who and what we want them to be, but then they just advance from there. It’s pretty amazing to go back and read the final product and see how realistic they are, and the MC’s pretty much did that on their own.

What’s your least favorite?

Brooke- My least favorite thing about the writing process is editing. I despise getting the manuscript back from the editor and seeing everything that needs to be fixed, but in the end it makes me happy knowing that it’s completely done.

Natalya- My least favorite part about the writing process is actually starting the story. Even with an outline I struggle with it, mostly because I feel that it is the foundation to the whole story, and I get nervous that it will not be strong enough.

Since there is always another story to tell, what are you working on now?

Brooke & Natalya- We are currently working on a standalone called Silently Waiting. It’s about an artist who is a manic depressant who is also deaf, and a police officer that is just out of the closet.

What have you read lately that most people haven’t read but should?

Brooke- I just read the last book in the Cut & Run Series called, ‘Ball & Chain’ by Abigail Roux. All though I think that most people that read this genre have read it or plan on reading it. If not, they should!

Natalya- Unfortunately, between working full time and writing full time, I have not had time to pick up a book and read anything lately. When I do, I’ll let you know what it is =)

If you could meet any writer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Brooke- I would want to meet William Shakespeare. First of all I would want to thank him for bettering our education system, and keeping the meaning and importance of literature alive for so long. Then I would ask him why he wrote what he wrote. Why so many of his stories are love stories but so tragic? Did he not believe in fairytales, or everlasting love?

Natalya- I would love to meet J.R.R. Tolkien and ask him how he did what he has done. How he came up with all the stories of Lord of Rings and Hobbits. Stories that everyone knows of even if they don’t even read them, or know anything about them, they know of them.

What’s a fun- non-writing- day for you?

Brooke- A fun non-writing day for me would start with being able to wake up and spend some time with my family. Not just get them up and see them off to school and work. Maybe go fishing with them. Then I would want to sit for awhile and read. Not get interrupted and be able to sit down in utter silence and just read. I would end the day with spending time with my spouse and having some alone time with him, which is rare in our home with all the girls!

Natalya- A fun day for me would be a day that I didn’t have to get up and go to work. I would lounge around and watch a good movie. Play some video games, and read. I would want to spend as much time doing pretty much nothing but things that I love to do and not worry about adult stuff =)

Besides reading and writing, what else do you enjoy?

Brooke- I love fishing, hunting, crocheting, and playing with my kids. Anything is fun as long as I’m with them.

Natalya- I enjoy spending as much time with my family as I can. I love to paint and doing different crafts such as sewing and cross stitch. I love playing video games such as World of War Craft.

Last Question is all yours- feel free to talk about anything you want your readers to know about you, your book, anything at all.

Brooke & Natalya- We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Jamie and Adrianna and all our author friends and Cool Beans P&E. Not only for giving us the chance to publish our books with them, but for all the continuous support they give us. Jamie edited our first book, and stood by our side through all the blood, sweat and tears, never giving up on us. Just having them to experience this with us, is so wonderful.

Thank you both for coming by and answering my questions.

The Need to Touch, by Brooke Johnson & Natalya Parks

Blurb:

Need-to-Touch-for-AmazonSMYou can only win someone’s heart once you’ve captured it.

Nineteen year old Ryder Harrison grew up near a small town in Montana, working on the family’s ranch and in love with his best friend, Landon Pennington. That was until his Grandfather decided he needed to go to college in California. Ryder promised his Mom before she died that he would finish his education. Staying true to his word, Ryder packs his clothes, and heads to California, confident that it would all be one big disaster. The only thing he hadn’t planned on was meeting Bentley Carter.

Twenty year old Bentley Carter has enough emotional issues to write his own ‘How to Cope’ manual. Surviving an abusive childhood, he made a personal promise to always stay true to himself, and never let emotions overrule his common sense. Content with his current life and friend with ‘benefits’, Ben is determined to not let his new roommate affect him.

Uncertain about their places in the world, and with each other, Ryder and Ben struggle to understand the person who is not what they thought they wanted, yet who they are unable to live without. Living in a sometimes cruel and unforgiving world they are determined to embrace the reality of falling in love and the challenges that follow.

Publisher: Cool Beans Publishing and Editing, LLC

Cover Artist: Aj Corza

Excerpt:

Two days since meeting Ryder and I was considering changing majors.

It’s been thirty minutes since this lecture began, and I couldn’t remember one word the professor said. The cause of my distraction was chewing on his pen, two rows down from me. I groaned, and then tried to cover it with a cough. My face felt hot as the girl next to me glared in my direction. Why did he have to do that with his pen? It wasn’t until everyone closed their books that I realized I had stared ay Ryder through the entire lecture.

I continually found reasons to spend time with him. So I shoved my stuff in my bag and rushed out of the classroom. I was eager to run into him in the hallway, maybe then I’d get him to talk to me.

I rushed past a bundle of people gathered in the hallway. It wasn’t as though he was hard to find. Ryder was tall and solid muscle; I bet he looked even better naked. Ryder smiled as I fell into step next to him.

“So, what did you think?” I asked as we took the stairs to our dorm room.

“It was okay. I could swear someone was watching me the whole time.” Ryder said.

Tour Dates/Stops:

8/25: MM Good Book Reviews

8/26: Andrew Q. GordonBook Reviews, Rants, and Raves

8/27: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings

8/28: Jade Crystal

8/29: Amanda C. Stone, EE Montgomery

9/1: Parker Williams

9/2: LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Iyana Jenna

9/3: The Hat Party

9/4: Love Bytes

9/5: Kimi-Chan

9/8: Cate Ashwood

9/9: Prism Book Alliance

9/10: Hearts on Fire

9/11: Fallen Angel Reviews

9/12: Foxylutely Book Reviews

9/15: Love of Bookends

9/16: Wake Up Your Wild Side

9/17: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

9/18: Hearts on Fire

9/19: My Fiction Nook

Click the Rafflecopter link below to be entered for a chance to win one of two signed paperback copies of The Need To Touch:

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Sales Links:

Coolbeans Publishing and Editing:

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

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ARe:

Author Bio:

Brooke Johnson lives in Louisiana with her five girls, wonderful boyfriend, and many pets. When she is not working on finishing her current degree, she can be found fishing, coloring, or blowing bubbles with her kids. Just over a year ago, Brooke decided she wasn’t going to back down from her dreams, and started writing full time. With the encouragement of her family she is proud to be publishing her books for the world to read.

Brooke started reading later in life. Unlike many authors who have always had a special love for reading, Brooke didn’t pick up a book until she was in her late teens. She remembers wanting to find something to do with her mom, who has always been her best friend. One day her mom was talking about a romance novel that she just read. Not being interested in it all, Brooke gave in and read the book. She’s been her mom’s reading partner ever since. They can now sit and talk, laugh and even cry about all the books they have read over the years.

So, with great pride and honor, Brooke is happy to thank her mother for encouraging her to not only read, but to follow her heart, and write her own books. What started as simple poetry on scrap paper, at the age of seven, is now a dream come true. Brooke started writing but felt something was missing. When she started writing with Natalya Parks, everything seemed to fall into place, and now here they are. Launching books, and writing more. This may be the first you see of them, but Brooke is determined that this won’t be last. Brooke is excited for you to meet their characters, and fall in love with the men that they have spent many hours with over the last year, just for you!!

 

Natalya Parks lives is Louisiana with her beloved dog, Napoleon. Natalya enjoys spending as much time as possible with her children and grandchildren.

Natalya has had an ongoing passionate love affair with books since she was four years old. While her friends were getting in trouble for not reading she was getting in trouble for reading. She was late for dinner, forgot to do her chores, stayed up past her bedtime, forgot about homework and was late for the school bus on many occasions; because she couldn’t put the book down. Her most embarrassing moment caused by reading a book occurred when she was in seventh grade. The school bus pulled up to her stop and of course she couldn’t possibly stop reading. The story was just too good. So with her nose still in her book she slowly made her way down the aisle of the bus. She as she got to the top of the stairs she tripped over an instrument case that was jutting out just a bit into the aisle. Where she promptly fell head first down the stairs landing in a heap in the dirt, her feet resting on the bottom step. Natalya was wearing a dress that day.

She has wanted to be a writer since she was a teenager but never thought she could write anything good enough for someone else to want to read. Her dear friend Brooke convinced her otherwise and literally dragged her into the world of writing. Something she will be forever grateful. Now, not only does she get to love and enjoy works by other authors but also those that she has contributed to as well. Her mind still goes tilt, tilt when she thinks about the fact that she is a published author. Dreams really can come true.

Author Contact:

www.coolbeanspe.com

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21455376-the-need-to-touch?ac=1

Be sure to check back on Wednesday August 27, 2014, for the Deconstructing Channing, Book Blast:

 

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This blog tour is a Pride Promotions event.  Click the badge for more information about Pride Promotions:

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