Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother anddaughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.
You are ‘label-less’ in the fact that you write in several genres. Readers never know what to expect next. If someone asks, how do you label yourself?
When I self-published my first novel I had no idea what genre to put it in. I thought I had written a drama but it turns to that I had written a romance. I’ve learned a lot since then, but I still don’t put a lot of weight in genre when I write. When your best friend is begging you to read a book, it’s not going to matter what genre it is when someone you trust is passionate about the story.
To keep all of your stories and characters straight, you must be very organized.
I’m the most disorganized person you will ever meet! I have no schedule. I can’t wake up before nine in the morning. I probably don’t go to bed until like three in the morning. I usually work about 16 hours a day.
What happens if you get blocked when you are writing?
If I get stuck writing, I go for a drive and play music. Music really helps me plot. I love The Avett Brothers, X Ambassadors, Airborne Toxic Event…I could go on and on.
What can you tell readers about your latest release Regretting You?
I would spoil it if I told you about it! Most of my books are like that. I can’t say what they are about or it spoils it. But I can say that Regretting You is told from a dual point-of-view centered on the inner lives of both a teen and adult protagonist.
Sounds like lots of different types of readers will be interested!
Absolutely. I wanted to write a book that bridged the gap between young adult and contemporary romance so that mothers can read with their daughters. I think it’s exciting to see people sharing reading experiences.
Despite knowing I just pissed my mother off by being half an hour late for curfew, I still can’t stop smiling. That kiss with Miller was worth it. I bring my fingers to my lips.
I’ve never been kissed like that. The guys I’ve kissed in the past all seemed like they were in a hurry, wanting to shove their tongue in my mouth before I changed my mind.
Miller was the opposite. He was so patient, yet in a chaotic way. It was like he’d thought about kissing me so often that he wanted to savor every second of it.
I don’t know that I’ll ever not smile when I think about that kiss. It kind of makes me nervous for school tomorrow. I’m not sure where that kiss leaves us, but it felt like it was a statement. I just don’t know what exactly that statement was.
My phone buzzes in my back pocket. I roll over and pull it out, then fall onto my back again. It’s a text from Miller.
Miller: I don’t know about you, but sometimes when something significant happens, I get home and think of all the things I wish had gone differently. All the things I wish I would have said.
Me: Is that happening now?
Miller: Yes. I don’t feel like I was entirely forthcoming with you.
I roll onto my stomach, hoping to ease the nausea that just passed through me. It was going so well…
Me: What weren’t you honest about?
Miller: I was honest. Just not entirely forthcoming, if there’s a difference. I left a lot out of our conversation that I want you to know.
Me: Like what?
Miller: Like why I’ve liked you for as long as I have.
I wait for him to elaborate, but he doesn’t. I’m staring at my phone with so much intensity that I almost throw it when it rings unexpectedly. It’s Miller’s phone number. I hesitate before answering it, because I rarely ever talk on the phone. I much prefer texting. But he knows I have my phone in my hand, so I can’t very well send it to voice mail. I swipe my finger across the screen and then roll off the bed and head to my bathroom for more privacy. I sit on the edge of the tub.
“Hey,” he says.
“Sorry. It’s too much to text.”
“You’re kind of freaking me out with all the innuendos.”
“Oh. No, it’s all good. Don’t be nervous. I just should have said this to you in person.” Miller inhales a deep breath, and then on the exhale, he starts talking. “When I was fifteen, I watched you in a school play. You had the lead role, and at one point, you performed a monologue that went on for like two whole minutes. You were so convincing and you looked so heartbroken I was ready to walk onto the stage and hug you. When the play was finally over and the actors came back out onto the stage, you were smiling and laughing, and there wasn’t a trace of that character left in you. I was in awe, Clara. You have this charisma about you that I don’t think you’re aware of, but it’s captivating. I was a scrawny kid as a sophomore, and even though I’m a year older than you, I hadn’t quite filled out yet, and I had acne and felt inferior to you, so I never worked up the courage to approach you. Another year went by, and I continued to admire you from afar. Like that time you ran for school treasurer and tripped walking off the stage, but you jumped up and did this weird little kick and threw your arms up in the air and made the entire audience laugh. Or that time Mark Avery popped your bra strap in the hallway, and you were so sick of him doing it that you followed him to his classroom, reached inside your hoodie, and took off your bra and then threw it at him. I remember you yelling something like, ‘If you want to touch a bra so damn bad, just keep it, you perv!’ Then you stormed out. It was epic. Everything you do is epic, Clara. Which is why I never had the courage to approach you, because an epic girl needs an equally epic guy, and I guess I’ve just never felt epic enough for you. I’ve said epic so many times in the last fifteen seconds—I’m so sorry.”
He’s out of breath when he finally stops talking.
I’m smiling so hard my cheeks ache. I had no idea he felt this way. No idea.
I wait a few seconds to make sure he’s done; then I finally respond. I’m pretty sure he can hear from my voice alone that I’m smiling. “First of all, it’s hard to believe you were ever insecure. And second, I think you’re pretty epic, too, Miller. Always have. Even when you were scrawny and had acne.”
He laughs a little. “Yeah?”
I can hear him sigh. “Glad I got that off my chest, then. See you at school tomorrow?”
We end the call, and I don’t know how long I sit and stare at my phone.
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 5 Stars
Regretting You is not just a romance, but it’s a family drama as Morgan and Clara try to navigate their lives following a horrible tragedy. There are so many unanswered questions in the aftermath of Chris’ accident, and both of their lives are forever changed. Their relationship is forever changed. And how they come through the other side is a tremendous journey of grief, forgiveness and even a bit of anger.
I received an advanced copy via the publisher and NetGalley and voluntarily left a review.