|Rhayne’s Trying to Score Review|
|Rhayne’s Taking Shots Review|
I am so excited to have Toni Aleo, author of two fantastic books, Taking Shots and Trying to Score with us today. We are going to talk about two of my favorite things, hockey and books. And when you put those things together it makes me as happy as when the Flyers sent the Penguins packing after game six. So Toni, thank you for taking a break from the NHL playoffs to join us. I know as an avid hockey fan, spare time this time a year is hard to find, so I really appreciate it. I have had the pleasure of reading Taking Shots and Trying to Score. I immediately fell in love with not only your characters, but your writing style. You have amazing talent and I am so excited to share these books with all of our followers.
Aw thanks so much Rhayne! I am so excited to be here! I was also excited to see the Flyers win in Game Six! Still a Predators fan, but happy to see those Penguins gone! Hehe!
I couldn’t agree more…..So now we have talked hockey, let’s talk books….
You said you have been writing since high school but never thought to publish anything until now. Why now? What set the wheels in place for you to push through and get published?
When I was in high school, I wrote but it wasn’t a passion. I was convinced I was going to be on Broadway, singing in front of millions. I was so obsessed with that dream, that writing Backstreet Boys fan fiction was a past time, and I was good but I thought I was a better singer. I met my husband in 8th grade, we got married a week after we graduated high school and then I became a wife and mommy. Dreams of singing on Broadway went out the window.
I didn’t start writing again until my son was 4 and my daughter was 2. All of a sudden these two people just came into my head and I needed to write them. I never finished that book, or the 10 more I wrote later, all of them unfinished. I started the book before Taking Shots and it wasn’t working like the others, so I trashed it. Then I met my hockey crush, came home and Taking Shots was written in 6 months. When Elli and Shea’s story was ready to be read, I posted it on Booksie.com and got a pretty great following. Then my husband said, ‘try to publish it’ and I was like heck no! I was too insecure to give it a chance. My husband convinced me I could, so I tried and here I am. All thanks to him. He’s the reason I believe in true love. That man loves me more than anything in the world, and believes in me. For that, I love him more than life itself.
Both of your books have many conflict scenarios. They are not typical romance stories where there are one or possibly two conflicts and then a resolve. When you write do you have all these conflicts in a plot line or do things come up with your characters as you begin to write their story?
With Taking Shots, it was all on a whim. I thought of this girl, that was abused and hurt by her family and ex, and this guy that is perfect but not perfect. She is chunky, he doesn’t care, he loves her, she falls for him, and everyone lives happily ever after. That was my plan. I just wrote and hoped for the best on that one. Luckily it worked out! With Trying to Score, there was a lot more planning, I did outlines, I did A LOT of research and I had Fallon and Lucas’ stories written separately before I brought them together. I found that it was easier to do it that way. I have also done the same with Empty Net (the third in the series). I think I grew a lot while writing Trying to Score.
You have such remarkable, strong secondary characters in your books. Any clues as to what the future holds for this series? Will we be reading more about players we already know?
Hehe, I love my secondary characters. Harper is my favorite. A lot of my blogger girls that have read the series are mad that Harper didn’t get much face time in Trying to Score, but she is going to have a huge part in the 4th & 5th books. They are about her twin sisters, Reese and Piper, so Harper will be back, along with the dreamy Jakob. Phillip Anderson will have his own book, and so will Sergei Arshan.
Besides the Assassins series…do you have any future projects in mind or are you just focusing on this right now?
I love hockey. It’s my nitch. I tried doing another book, it was called Don’t you Remember and it was about a peach farmer and a girl that got kicked off a show like The Bachelor, but it just didn’t flow for me. I think I am supposed to write hockey and romance together. Maybe one day, I’ll dibble dabble in something else, but right now, I am so happy with hockey. It makes my heart happy.
Do you have a favorite hockey series that you are following?
Oh yes, I love the Chinooks hockey team by Rachel Gibson! They are fantastic! See Jane Scores is the best!
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Hehe, well Shea…is from my hockey crush, Shea Weber. Eleanor is from Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles. I am a huge fan of the Beatles. I love old names, so Harper came from that. I had a friend whos friend’s name was Fallon, so that’s where that came from. Lucas is just hot. I usually use babynames.com and wait for something to come out and bite me!
How do you go about writing your stories? Do you have a routine such as a minimum word count a day or so many hours per day, or is the way each book written different?
I just write, honestly. I sit. I look at what I did the day before and go. I always have music playing and always have my Facebook up, because I am addicted.
Just for Fun:
What is your worst habit? I second guess myself something serious…
What is your favorite NHL team and player? Nashville Predators baby! And mmmmmm…Shea Weber!!
Describe yourself in three words- Loud, loving, intense.
Favorite color – Pink
Favorite dessert- Red Velvet Cupcakes
Favorite season- Fall
Favorite song- Of all time?!?!?! Oh goodness!!!! Um…oh gosh! There are so many! AH I DON’T KNOW! Right now it’s Boyfriend, by Justin Bieber…Hey, I have a four year old girl! She loves that kid!
Favorite movie– Pride and Prejudice!
How do you fill in all your spare time during the NHL off season?
For one, I hate the off season. I miss my Shea and my Preds something stupid, and it seems to go sooooooooo slow. I wrote Taking Shots last off season, so I will probably be doing the same with Empty Net. I also plan on traveling this summer too while impatiently waiting for the puck to drop in the fall so I can be reunited with my Shea Weber!!
Speaking of Empty Net (great title) will you share with us a little information on the basis of that story? When can we expect it to be released?
I don’t want to give away the characters but, it’s about a girl that wants to be in love so bad and have the happily ever after she’s dreamed off. She is very different from the other heroines as in she isn’t afraid to love, she wants it. But the thing she wants more is to have a family, and she can’t have one. You’ll read why in the book! She is always with bad guys and finally a guy comes along that wants her but she doesn’t know if she should because of their differences and who he is. The guy is, of course, dreamy and perfect but he had a major traumatic accident involving his family, and lost them all. So now he struggles with anxiety and the need to love someone because he doesn’t have anyone left in his life. He is consistently feeling this empty feeling and the girl makes everything better, he just has to convince her that he is the one for her. The definition of an Empty Net is the when the team that is losing pulls their goalie for an extra man to take shots. This story will have the extra man taking shots and causing havoc for our heroine. Empty Net is basically a story about a love that can fill the holes that are in their hearts, making them whole again and not empty, like an empty net. I am expecting it to be done come August, with a release month of November 2012!
One last question: What is your guilty pleasure?
Hehe, well Shea Weber couldn’t be one cause I am not ashamed of that at all! LOL! No, I would say, Boy bands! I love them! Backstreet Boys, NKOTB, NSYNC, One Direction, the Wanted and Big Time Rush!! I love them all!
Thanks again for stopping by and spending some time with us. I wish you lots of success, lots of happiness and lots of luck for the Preds to take the cup!
Elli Fisher has never thought she was good enough. Let it be her job, her weight, her love life, nothing, she was convinced she couldn’t do anything right. She had walked through life for the past six years in a daze, never thinking that life could be good again after the abuse she endured from her ex boyfriend. She is lonely, sad, and depressed, that is until she meets Shea Adler. After doing a promotional shoot for the NHL team, the Nashville Assassins, she meets the hunky hockey player who shoots a puck, shattering her world.
Shea Adler was tired of the life he was living outside of the rink. The girls, the money blowing, the drinking, everything had to stop and it all did when he met Eleanor Fisher. He had never met anyone like her. She is feisty, witty, shy, and simply gorgeous. When he laid eyes on her, it was as if he was taking the hardest hit of his life into the boards, and he had to have her.
Elli is a little skeptical of Shea, but he knows that they were meant to be together, and he needed her in his life. But Elli just doesn’t understand what Shea could see in her. She is overweight, loud, and not even that pretty, so why would someone so gorgeous and so amazing want to be with her? It seemed that no matter how hard she tried to shake Shea off, he wasn’t going anywhere, and for the first time Elli didn’t feel alone.
But could Elli throw her insecurities out the window and love Shea with everything inside of her? Or will she let a past relationship, and her family ruin any chance of her being happy?
Would Elli miss her shot at love?
Fallon Parker’s dream was to have her family’s wine company at the top of all wine magazines and to have a cellar of her own. After graduating from college, she has worked hard to make that dream a reality, even if that meant having a nonexistent love life. She had her chance at love and that was a bust, so she put everything into the wine company. After becoming the official sponsor of the Nashville Assassins, Fallon finally feels like everything is falling in place, that is until Lucas Brooks comes back into her life.
Lucas Brooks hates his life. He is lonely, he is sober, and he is angry. On the ice, when he’s not in the sin bin, he the leading scorer in the NHL but off the ice, he is a mess. He threw away the most important person in his life, and has regretted it ever since but when Lucas sees Fallon again after being traded to the Assassins; he is bound and determined to get her back. Even if she wants nothing to do with him.
The sexual tension between Fallon and Lucas is electrifying as Lucas tries to convince Fallon that he is a changed man. Fallon tries to resist Lucas, but it is so hard when all her body wants is his. But when Lucas finds out that Fallon has been keeping a huge secret from him, the game he is playing stops and penalties are called.
With new rules and new players on the ice, will Fallon and Lucas be able to work out their differences and work as a team or will they be left trying to score alone.
One lucky commenter will win a digital copy of TAKING SHOTS. Winner will be selected 5/9, using random.org. SPECIAL for this contest, you do have to fill out the form but you do NOT have to be a GP follower, but we would love if you decided to follow us.
Be sure to follow Toni’s Assasins Series Tour: http://atomrbookblogtours.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/assassins-series-tour/