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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Safe & Sound by T.S Krupa {Book Review, Giveaway & Author Interview}

Contemporary Fiction
Publication.Date  January 1st 2014
Published By:  Advantage Media Group
WebsiteT. S Krupa

Safe & Sound Goodreads
My review copy:I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. 

                                     Where to get:

When Jill met Jay Greenfield she knew she had found her forever love. She was a kindergarten teacher, he was a high-powered attorney and their lives were perfect. But when a tragic accident takes Jay’s life, this young bride is left to pick up the pieces.

Jill finds herself a young widow facing multiple decisions she thought she had a lifetime to decide. With support from her childhood best friends, Lanie and Stella, Jill attempts to piece her life back together. With nightmares plaguing her dreams and the struggles of constant grief over Jay’s passing, Stella and Lanie keep near constant vigilance over her.

In the process of settling the estate, Jill learns that her husband was not quite the man she thought he was. She finds herself transported to the small beach town of Oak Island, North Carolina. But the fairy tale ending she envisioned no longer exists. She must face the reality that Jay is gone as she finds herself having a chance at love one more time.

Safe and Sound follows a yearlong journey of love, loss, friendship, and conquering the unexpected.

Sir, my husband of two years is lying in a hospital bed, brain dead. In a couple hours they are going to take him off the machines and cut him up in small pieces. The tears streamed down my face blurring my vision as I continued. I know I'm not supposed to be here. But I woke up a little while ago from a nightmare and I needed him. This is the last chance I'm going to get for him to be there for me.
I mean the best part of life is you don't know the outcome, right? You fall in love, blindly, putting your trust in this other person and hoping for the best outcome. Sometimes things fall apart. People change or they make bad decisions. Would knowing all that cause people to make different decisions? Maybe. But for me, Jay gave me hope. He made me laugh. He loved me and I wouldn't trade those moments that we shared together for a lifetime of not having them. 
How do you pick up the pieces when your future was stolen from you but you still have your whole life ahead of you? One step at a time, I thought.

I had the pleasure to interview the author of this amazing book called "Safe and Sound". I am so thankful that she agreed to share a little piece of her writing soul with us.

1. What do you do when you are not writing?

Up until this past weekend I was working full time and finishing up my doctoral studies so I keep pretty busy when I am not writing. I did just graduate so I hope to have more free time to write in the upcoming months.

2. Do you have a day job as well?

Yes. I have a full time day job at a local University. It’s busy but a good balance for me. Writing helps relieve the stress of the ‘real-world’.

3. When did you first start writing?

I have always been writing in some way since grade school. I remember doing lots of creative writing assignments about the Vikings, Camelot and Wild West as a kid. As I progressed through school it focused more on scholarly writing; which is very formatted, cited and structured. Now moving back over to creative writing I find it very freeing and unrestrictive.

4. How did you choose the genre you write in?

To be honest, I didn’t think about genre when I wrote Safe & Sound. I knew I had a story to tell and I sat down and wrote it. Then I worried about genre afterwards. One of the first editors who read the novel critiqued it as a memoir and after explaining that it wasn’t a memoir he suggested the romance/chick lit genre to me.

5. Where do you get your ideas?

They come randomly. I wish ideas were 9-5 but they are not. Sometimes right as I’m falling asleep I think of something really promising. I find that for me running is a great way to clear my mind of the days events and day dream on characters and plots. I usually have to write down these as ideas as soon as I get back from a run.

6. Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Yes! I try different things to get back on track. Sometimes I skip ahead and write a different section of the story that is clearer in my mind. Usually, I will put the book down for a day or weekend and come back to it with a fresher outlook. If I get really stuck I switch from typing to handwriting and I find that really helps.

7. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

My outlines are very sparse. They include some characters names, a location and a few details. As characters develop I will add their names so I can keep track of everyone. For Safe & Sound my notes looked like this:

· Jill loses husband in car accident

· Deals with will and paying bills

· House on beach

· New love

8. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I was a big reader as a kid and I had all ‘The Baby Sitters Club’ books. I devoured them as soon as I got them. They really spurred my love of reading. Now I try to read in a variety of genres as time allows. I am eagerly awaiting Deborah Harkness’s third and final novel in her series right now.

9. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

I like to think it’s all from my imagination but that’s not true. There are things that crept into the story that are taken from my own life. I find as friends and family have read the story they pick on some of these things and have called or emailed me about them. But the overall story and events are made up.

10. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I just had my harshest critic recently and while you try not to take it personally it is hard not to. You feel as if they are directly attacking you as a person and not just the story. But I have learned you need to take what criticism you get and learn from it and move on. The best compliment has been from the readers that I don’t know personally who can laugh, cry and root for these characters as I did while writing them.

11. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Write with abandon and worry about the rest later! I know it’s easier said than done. But when you get stuck read what you have out loud, step away for a minute, the afternoon or the weekend and come back with a fresh start. Finally, if all that doesn’t work, start writing about something else. Even if you are describing the contents of your grocery bags, sometimes a good distraction is all you need.

12. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! The love and support I have received from my family, friends and readers with Safe & Sound has been so humbling and positive. I really feel that I have been accepted into this great community and everyone is rooting for everyone to succeed. The experience so far has been nothing short of amazing.

13. Do you have a favorite quote or quotes you could share with us?
Every journey must begin with a single step (and I would like to add…or a single word).

14. Favorite authors?

Deborah Harkness, Nicholas Sparks, Jodi Picoult, Kathy Reich, and Jennifer Weiner

15. Favorite books?
Harry Potter Series, Discovery of Witches, The Last Song, My Sisters Keeper, Wicked

Do you know my favorite thing about reading? It's discovering a new treasure of a novel that not many people have experienced yet. 

Beautiful is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this book. This book tells the story of a 30 something women named Jill who  has experienced loss many times and it comes for her again on a foggy morning when her husband goes out for his jog. Jay is the love of Jill's life. They have only been married for a few years but from the moment they met, they both knew they were meant to be. Jay and Jill's love story is one for the fairy tales and Jill isn't really sure how she is going to be able to go on without him.
Stella and Lanie are Jill's best friends and they play a huge role in helping Jill through out this book. If you've ever experienced a tragedy and needed a good friend, these girls would fit the part perfectly. I loved how these women were really wholeheartedly there for Jill. Sometimes people say they care, they say let me know if you need anything, but we all know very few people really mean it. To find friends like Stella and Lanie, is a true blessing. They took over for her and helped plan Jay's funeral, they followed up with lawyers, real estate agents etc. Most of all, they stayed through all the heartache and pain regardless of the lives they had to get back to. 

This was a book I found hard to put down. All the feelings were so well depicted, my heart bled for Jill. I could really feel how much Jill wanted to live but couldn't bring herself to let go. This story was so true to life. We experience some sort of hurt every single day but we are expected to get up and push forward. Sometimes life knocks you down so hard that it seems impossible to ever be able to stand again. The character of Jill showed such courage and true strength. I cried real tears when this novel was over. 

Surprise! This book will do that so well. Just when you feel you have Jill or any of the characters figured out and you say "oh now I know what is going to happen" believe me, you don't! The author surprises us so many times in this novel, I just loved it! I couldn't believe how well this story unraveled. I was completely surprised by characters, events and situations until the very end. 
This was a story that started as a tragedy that was turned piece by piece into a masterpiece. Pick up your copy today.

About the Author

T.S. Krupa was born in New Haven, CT. She was raised in a blended Polish-American household. She has one younger sister who currently lives abroad with her husband and daughter. T.S. Krupa earned her Bachelor's degree at Franklin Pierce University, Master's at Texas Tech University and will earn her Doctorate of Education from North Carolina State University in 2014. She played field hockey at Franklin Pierce University for four years and is in her sixth year of coaching a local club team. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and dog.
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What you can win: One signed paperback copy of "Safe & Sound


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