BLOG TOUR – AUTHOR INTERVIEW – Breakaway by Charlie Novak – #Excerpt #Giveaway #Interview

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🌟 Please join me in welcoming author Charlie Novak to Stories That Make You Smile! Charlie is here today celebrating the release of her fabulous new book, Breakaway. She’s generously brought along both an excerpt and a giveaway, and kindle sat down for a chat. Read on to discover Charlie’s list of “desert island keepers,” what she does in her free time, and more about her writing! 🌟

Breakaway by Charlie Novak

When your life revolves around a single goal, is there room for love?

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Length: 244 pages
Heat Rating:
Pairing / Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance, Second Chance Romance

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Blurb

When your life revolves around a single goal, is there room for love?

Christian King is a rising star in English football. He’s talented, devoted, and on the road to glory. He’s following the path that’s been laid out for him since he was four, and he has no plans to deviate from it. Christian’s life revolves around a single goal—to be the best… until he runs into his first love and former best friend, David.

David Cade is just trying to survive the final year of his PhD intact, while battling long hours, unmotivated students, and the idea that academia might not be for him. But a chance encounter with his first love’s twin sister changes everything, and suddenly David is faced with the realisation that he can’t leave the past behind.

When David and Christian are drawn back together, sparks fly. Soon, Christian is forced to confront his deepest insecurities. Can they break away from their fears for a second chance at true love?

Breakaway is a 79,000 word contemporary gay romance featuring light angst, glittery bath bombs, a ginger-haired roommate/pet, shared Star Wars love, and a meddling twin sister.

Excerpt

We were still chatting after dinner, so we took our pudding into the living room, while Christian sang Monika’s praises and practically danced on the spot about being allowed pudding during the week. He’d always had a phenomenal sweet tooth, and I guessed that being a professional player was seriously at odds with his desire for sugar.

“Do you want to watch a film?” Christian asked as he flopped onto the sofa, carefully holding his bowl of lemon tart while searching for the remote.

“Sure,” I said, settling next to him and taking in the details of the room. It was light and airy, with large French doors at one end that I assumed opened up onto the garden, although it was too dark to see. The room was lit with the soft glow of lamps, which gave it a warm feel despite its size. The two sofas were scattered with a large selection of colourful cushions and throws, and in one corner a large television stood on a wooden stand. There was a unit beside it filled with Blu-rays and games as well as random knick-knacks and photos, and I was sure I could see a scattering of trophies in amongst them. I was dying to be nosey, but I also knew that wasn’t polite.

“What do you fancy? I’ve got Netflix and Amazon Prime,” Christian said. He gestured at the unit.

“Or there’s lots of Blu-rays up there. Take your pick.”

“I’ll have a look,” I answered, seizing my chance to satisfy my curiosity. I placed my bowl on the solid coffee table and meandered, over but before I could look at any of the photos, something on the floor behind the coffee table caught my eye.

It was a giant LEGO set, half assembled and spread across the carpet, the carefully numbered bags laid out neatly next to the large instruction manual.

“Holy fuck, is that the Millennium Falcon?” It was still more of a frame than anything else, but the shape was still recognisable.

“Yeah,” Christian said, his cheeks tinting again which made something funny pulse in my chest. “I, um, I like building them for fun. They’re good to take my mind off things, help me focus on being in the moment instead of dwelling on stuff. And I like Star Wars.”

“Do you have others?”

Christian nodded, chewing his lip and smiling. “I built the Death Star in the spring. That was fun, but it took hours. It’s upstairs so I don’t knock it over.”

My inner geek was dancing. I’d always loved Star Wars, and Christian and I had spent hours watching them as kids. My mum had even taken the two of us to see Revenge of the Sith for my birthday. As an adult I’d always longed for a couple of these sets, but they were so fucking expensive I’d never imagined getting one. I mean, this Millennium Falcon kit was worth nearly seven hundred quid.

“Can—can we build it now?” I asked, trying not to hold my breath.

“Really? I mean, you’d be interested in that?” There was a note of astonishment in Christian’s voice, while mine was barely controlled excitement.

“Of course! I’ve always wanted to get my hands on this.”

“Okay,” Christian said with a nod. “Let’s do it. Do you want to put a film on in the background? Maybe The Force Awakens? I haven’t seen it in a while.”

“Sounds perfect!”

Ten minutes later we were sitting on the floor, the opening credits of the film playing in the background while Christian talked me through what he’d done so far. It was obvious that he took his building seriously, and I had to admit it was adorable. After my pep talk, he handed me a bag and showed me the instructions he wanted me to follow.

“You know, I’m sure there’s a terrible joke about inserting things somewhere in there,” I said, watching the way Christian’s face flushed as my words filtered through.

“Probably,” he added. “But I’ve never thought of it.”

“Me neither, I’m not good with words.”

“I find that hard to believe—you’re doing your PhD.”

“Nah, that’s all smoke and mirrors,” I joked.

“So, tell me more about your work,” Christian said, picking up his own pieces. “I don’t know much about academic stuff beyond what Lily’s told me.”

I smiled, opened my bag, and began talking. And I didn’t stop. Well, not until the early hours of the morning. By that time, we’d covered my degree, Lily, our mums, the Champions League, and the new Star Wars and Marvel films. The only thing we’d avoided discussing was our relationships, but I figured that was because neither of us had much to tell. Plus, talking about new partners with exes is one of those weird grey areas I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to avoid.

With every word, I could feel Christian slotting back into my life like he’d never left, but at the same time, this wasn’t the same Christian as before. It was a new version—older, smarter, and sweeter. He was driven and determined and had a desire to know as much as he could and actually seemed interested when I spent another hour talking about my work. He talked non-stop about how proud he was of Lily and how much he loved her, and he was so endearingly serious and charming that I couldn’t help but be bowled over by him. And he was so disarmingly handsome that every time he smiled or chewed on his perfect, pink lips, the hot ball of desire in my chest burnt hotter and hotter until it felt like there was a supernova inside me.

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt this way about anyone. It had probably been six years.

☆ Author Interview ☆

Welcome, and thank you for stopping by! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

Hi there, thanks for having me! I’m Charlie, I’m a bisexual m/m romance author from the midlands of England. I write sweet and sexy romance stories with a sprinkling of angst, a dollop of fluff and plenty of deliciousness. When I’m not writing I love baking, pole dancing, ice cream and reading too much fanfiction. I also think everyone should have a favourite dinosaur!

Currently my writing goals are to write the rest of the ‘Off the Pitch’ series, and hopefully many books beyond that, plus I’d love to write someone’s favourite book. Eventually I’d love to be able to have more time to write, maybe cutting my day job down, but that’s a long way away!

Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it. What’s your favorite aspect or part of the story? Do you have a favorite character? Who/Why?

Breakaway is a sweet second chance football romance that follows Christian, a rising star of English football, and David, who’s just trying to get through the final year of his PhD. Christian and David were once best friends and first loves, but that fell apart when Christian was signed by a professional team and went on loan abroad. Six years later they bump into each other and sparks fly. This is their second chance at true love but to get there, Christian will have to confront his deepest insecurities.

It’s so hard to pick a favourite part of the story, but one of my favourite scenes is when David and Christian build the LEGO Millenium Falcon together. It’s quite early on in their reconnection as adults and it’s such a sweet scene – it’s the first moment when David realises how much they’ve both changed, but how much he likes the new, grown-up Christian.

I’m not sure if I’m allowed a favourite character, because I love them all so much in different ways! I do love David’s snarky over-dramatic streak though… I also love all my side characters, because they really allowed me to create interesting relationships and fun interactions, and I can’t wait to explore some of them further.

Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?

I’m definitely a planner! I’m in awe of anyone who can pants a novel. For me, it’s a little bit like storming a castle, I need a map of where I’m going otherwise I am definitely going to get lost and end up in the darkest dungeons or pit of despair! That said, I don’t work off of the most detailed outline but I do write one so I know the main story beats and the order in which things happen. It also gives me a rough idea of where the halfway mark should be. Plus having this sort of plan gives me some flexibility when things inevitably change, like when characters take on a mind of their own and refuse to listen to my directions!

Having said that, this is all stuff I started doing more recently. I wrote the first draft of Breakaway with only a very, very rough plan and some idea of what scenes I wanted to include and it was, quite frankly, a horrifying experience that involved a lot of staring at a blank screen, swearing and a few tears. I’ve definitely learnt from it, so from now on, I’ll always have a plan!

How do you get/stay motivated to write?

I start writing something because I’m in love with the idea, and the characters/story are what motivates me to get started. I often get quite excited and can’t wait to get going, because it feels like my head is overflowing with character ideas, potential scenes and things I just have to include! Staying motivated is the harder part, especially when I get stuck, or I’m tired, or life gets in the way. I’ve found that sometimes having a break really helps, because it allows my brain to work out the problems or re-engage with the idea, and gives it a bit of a rest too. Sometimes though, I just have to sit down and try not to think “I need to write a thousand words”, but instead just think “I’m going to write a sentence” and then maybe one sentence becomes two and suddenly I’ve written five hundred words.

I’ve also got some amazing people I can bounce ideas off of if I get stuck or am struggling. They are great at helping me get going again – either through threats, cheering or the occasional bit of bribery!

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

Keep writing! It’s tough sometimes but you love it, so keep going. Write anything and everything, and read as much as you can. Also, criticism isn’t a bad thing and it’s not a personal attack! It really can help make your writing better, so always be open to it.

Also writing fanfiction is the best thing that will ever happen to you, so keep doing it. It’ll take you places you’d never dreamed of going and introduce you to some of the best people you’ve ever met!

Have you ever written fan fiction? What kind?

Yes! It’s actually how I started writing as a teenager and then how I picked up writing again a few years ago. When I was younger, my friends and I would invent our own characters and AUs to interact with various characters from our favourite animes, which was a lot of fun and taught me a lot about the basics of building characters. A couple of years ago I fell deep into the Supernatural fandom and I’ve written a lot for that – it was a fun way to test out different genres and it’s how I started writing m/m and where I wrote my first smut, and then later started dabbling with different romance plots and writing kink too. I really love writing and reading fanfiction because it offers so many different opportunities and there are some absolutely amazing writers in the community! It’s also how I met one of my best friends too.

Desert Island Keepers (the 5 books you’d want with you if you were alone on an island for years)?

This is really tough, and I’ve been good and not tried to shoehorn series into this. It’s still really tough though.

  • Sabriel by Garth Nix
  • Lord and Ladies by Terry Pratchett
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Any book by Lily Morton
  • Gray for You by Spencer Spears

Also a book on desert island/wilderness survival would be handy if this island is uninhabited – I’d like to live long enough to read my books!

What do you do in your free time?

Writing takes up a lot of my free time, because it’s pretty much a second job at this point! But when I’m not writing I love reading, baking, cooking and pole dancing – it’s one of my favourite hobbies, although it does give me some strange bruises. It’s also allowed me to buy beautiful sparkly shoes and given me some amazing plot bunnies too, so don’t be surprised if you end up seeing pole dancers in a book at some point!

Meet the Author

Charlie lives in England with her husband and a severe lack of dogs. She spends most of her days wrangling other people’s words in her day job and then trying to force her own onto the page in the evening.

She loves cute stories with a healthy dollop of angst, even more fluff, plenty of delicious sex, and happily ever afters – because the world needs more of them. Charlie also believes that love comes in all shapes and sizes. Charlie has very little spare time, but what she does have she fills with cooking, pole-dancing, reading and ice-hockey. She also thinks that everyone should have at least one favourite dinosaur…

Website | Twitter (@charlienwrites) | Instagram | FB Reader’s Group (Charlie’s Angels) | Amazon

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