Welcome to the June 4th stop on the blog tour for Constellations by Patricia Leavy, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts & interviews, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
How Writing about a Famous Protagonist Let My Imagination Run Wild
The Tess Lee and Jack Miller novels—an epic love story that explores the nature of love itself—has been so much fun to write. Shooting Stars, Twinkle, Constellations, and the books to follow all poured out of me. While each book tackles some tough subject matter given Tess’s past trauma, they’re filled with laughter and lightness, too. Tess Lee is a world-famous, extremely wealthy novelist. She’s traveled the globe and has a long list of celebrity friends and admirers. This made her a uniquely fun character to write. At the end of the day, she’s probably not like anyone you know in some ways—her life has been “surreal” as her best friend Omar always says. As a writer, penning an aspirational character that’s lived an extraordinary life allowed me to let my imagination take over in a way I’ve never been able to do in my previous books. I was able to imagine all the people Tess has met over the years, the places she’s traveled, and the funny stories that have occurred. As a novelist, it’s been a gift and I’m tickled that readers have told me it’s also been great fun getting immersed in Tess’s life.
Let me give you one, brief example. Throughout the series, Tess’s friendship with rock and roll legend “Mick” comes up. In Constellations, Tess and Jack are in a bar with Jack’s brother and sister-in-law. When one of Mick’s songs comes on the jukebox, they are floored to learn Tess is close friends with the idol. Jack asks her how she and Mick originally met. Here’s her response:
“It was at a party in Paris. I was there with Omar, and Mick showed up with a few friends. Omar and I were trapped in a conversation with the most arrogant, insufferable man, who was trying to impress us with his bank balance. From the corner of my eye, I saw Mick watching us, like he was trying to decide if I needed rescuing. I turned my neck and stuck my tongue out at him. He laughed hysterically, walked over, and asked me to dance. He was trying to save me. After dancing for ages, we sat down with his friends and Omar managed to make his way over. My second novel had just come out, and we were all talking about art and fame. Mick and I bonded over wanderlust and restlessness, something we both knew well. We noticed some people taking pictures of us, and he said something I’ll never forget. He said, ‘Darling, do you think by chasing freedom, we wound up creating another kind of cage?’ I said, ‘It doesn’t matter. If you’re surrounded by light, you won’t see the bars.’ He smiled, hugged me, and said, ‘Where have you been all my life?’ We’ve been friends ever since.”
As you can imagine, it was freeing and enormously fun to come up with these kinds of stories, many of which are sprinkled throughout the book. For example, there’s a scene where Omar teases Tess about her short-lived relationship with a famous Hollywood star known for his love of supermodels and the yacht he travels around the south of France. It’s a humorous scene and was a ball to write.
About the Book
Shooting Stars Book Three
by Patricia Leavy
Published 20 April 2021
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance
Page Count: 179
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Constellations follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after three years of marriage as they navigate the meaning of love and family over a series of holidays. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a former federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. Both healing from past trauma, together they have finally built the life they wish to live. What will happen to their blissful union when Jack’s childhood family resurfaces? When Tess and Jack visit the Millers for Christmas, how will insecurity, a sense of missed opportunities, and the need for redemption test their relationship? When a terrible accident threatens everything in an instant, will they learn the true meaning of unconditional love? Their loved ones are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, with whom Tess talks politics and bakes cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; Bobby and Gina, their younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood; and the Miller family. Constellations is a novel about family – those into which we’re born and those we create – the human desire to belong and feel connected, the true nature of intimacy, and the power of love to heal and redeem. Written as unfolding action, Constellations is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.
The next morning, Bobby, Gina, Joe, and Luciana thanked their hosts profusely for an unforgettable experience and then flew back to DC on Tess’s jet. Omar and Clay spent the next two weeks enjoying their luxurious honeymoon at the Four Seasons, meeting up with Tess and Jack several times. They spent the last day of their vacation at Tess and Jack’s house.
The foursome lounged on the beach under umbrellas, and Omar said, “Butterfly, do you want to take a walk?”
“Sure,” she said, rising. She slipped on her oversized straw hat and took Omar’s hand. They walked along the ocean’s edge, letting the warm water splash across their feet.
“You look so relaxed,” Tess said.
“Well, I’ve had two weeks of nonstop sex, days spent lying on the beach, and a steady flow of rum cocktails; who would have guessed that it’s a relaxing way to live?” Omar said with a smile. “Oh, and the ninety-minute massage I had yesterday wasn’t too shabby either. Don’t tell Clay, but wow, my masseur was quite the bit of man candy. If I weren’t married, I tell ya.”
Tess giggled. “Was the wedding and honeymoon everything you imagined?”
“More,” he replied. “I can never thank you and Jack enough for making everything so wonderful.”
“There’s no need. We’re so thrilled for you and Clay. When I see the two of you together, I could burst with joy.”
“That’s because you know how alone I felt for so many years. Only people like us could really understand,” he said. “Of course we’ve always had each other, which has been a lifeline in every way, but having someone to grow old with, someone to wake up with every day, it’s immeasurably special. I’ve had a lot of happiness in my life, sometimes more than you, ironically because I’ve so enjoyed your spectacular life. But happiness and contentment aren’t the same. Dare I say, I truly feel at peace now.”
Tess squeezed his hand.
“I knew you would understand,” he said.
“I was telling Jack the same thing recently. When you’ve had to take care of yourself for ages, you don’t take it for granted when you find someone you can count on to always be there. I think that’s why the connection is so strong between me and Jack. People don’t understand why we’re always so affectionate, but from the first night we met, we both knew the other had gone without a certain kind of love, that we had each survived unspeakable pain and loss. From the very beginning, we made an unspoken decision to just love each other with everything we have.”
“You make it look easy.”
“It is easy,” she replied.
“Watching the two of you these past few years is what really pushed me to make my commitment to Clay official. I’ve seen the change in your eyes, and I guess I wanted to experience it too.”
“I’m so glad you have it,” she said, smiling.
“You know, I was thinking about how you said our senior year Christmas together was your favorite holiday until you met Jack. Perhaps it was more sacred than I realized, that toxic, all-American meal of ours notwithstanding.”
“Promise me something, Butterfly.”
“Promise me we will always have this,” he said, holding her hand in his and giving it a squeeze. “We will always have us, together with others and quiet moments alone.”
She stopped, hugged him tightly, and whispered, “Of course. Now you promise me the same.”
“I promise,” he whispered, squeezing her tighter.
When they parted, she said, “Are you ready to get back to our gorgeous men?”
“Well, I do love watching how they glisten in the sun. When they come out of the ocean all wet, holy hell.”
They both laughed.
“But I think I could use a little more time alone with you, Butterfly.”
She smiled. “Me too.”
About the Author
Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is a bestselling author. She was formerly Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Criminology, and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. She has published over thirty books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into many languages. She is also series creator and editor for ten book series with Oxford University Press, Guilford Press, and Brill/Sense, including the ground-breaking Social Fictions series. Patricia has received dozens of accolades for her books. Recently, her novel Film won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction, her 3-novel set Candy Floss Collection won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Anthologies, and her novel Spark won the 2019 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2019 Living Now Book Award for Adventure Fiction. She has also received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association. In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” She has residences in Maine and Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, daughter (when she’s not away at college), and her dog. Patricia loves writing, reading, watching films, and traveling.
Patricia Leavy will be awarding a signed set of 3 novels: Shooting Stars, Twinkle, and Constellations to two (US only) randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
|May 24||All the Ups and Downs|
|May 25||Christine Young|
|May 26||Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews|
|May 27||The Key Of Love|
|May 28||Romance Novel Giveaways|
|May 31||Sadie’s Spotlight|
|June 1||Viviana MacKade|
|June 2||Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, and Characters|
|June 3||Hope, Dreams, Life…Love|
|June 4||Westveil Publishing|
|June 7||The Avid Reader|
|June 8||Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!|
|June 9||The Faerie Review|
|June 10||Literary Gold|
|June 11||Joanne Guidoccio|
|June 14||Full Moon Dreaming|
|June 15||Harlie’s Books|
|June 16||Fabulous and Brunette|
|June 17||Long and Short Reviews|
|June 18||It’s Raining Books|
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