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Hello GREYsessed readers! One word: GAH!!!!! I hope you all listened in on Saturday as I fangirled all over the radio while hosting with Lori Ness. Yes, Lori invited me to co-host and I am still on a happy high from it! The show started off with a bang with the one and only Dana Brunetti. And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, he is one of the amazeballs producers for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie! So getting to interview him definitely raised the ordinary to extraordinary! And no, he didn’t let out any casting secrets, but I knew that he wouldn’t. What he did tell explain is that the production of this movie is moving at lightning speed even though to us it seems to be crawling as slow as a turtle. He went into further discussion about how he came to obtain the rights to produce the movie, as well as the phenomenon that is Fifty Shades in general. We also talked about his groundbreaking series, House of Cards, which got 13 Emmy nods and the upcoming Captain Phillips featuring Tom Hanks.

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I could go on and on about everything this amazing producer has his hands on. But I think you should just have a listen for yourself to understand why Team Fifty is so fortunate to have such a talented producer on board. Dana is extremely busy and I am truly appreciative that he took the time out of his Saturday afternoon to talk to us and give all of the fandom a great interview! If you didn’t listen yet, here is the link! http://t.co/fIsOrQHBtp

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As if that wasn’t enough for me to handle, our next guests were two of my all time favorite authors, Christina Lauren. Yes, the lovely duo who wrote the Beautiful Bastard series. They currently have three books in the series released and next Tuesday Beautiful Bombshell arrives! Christina and Lauren are truly talented and the interview felt like an afternoon spent gossiping with a couple of girlfriends. In addition to chatting about all things Bastard, they also gave five lucky fans the opportunity to call in and ask a question. A huge thank you goes out to them as well for giving up some of their weekend time to speak to Lori and I. Here is the link to their portion of the show. Listen in and hear me Ooh, aah, and gah over these funny and down to earth ladies. http://t.co/JRSkbZk7GR Love you ladies…can I officially call you Lo and Christina? xoxo

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BUT WAIT…. THERE’S ONE MORE AMAZING PERSON TO TALK ABOUT!! I had the pleasure of reading the newly published book, Whatever It Takes by L. Maretta. This story was a refreshing relief from your typical happily ever after and really dug deep into the trials and tribulations of marriage.

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Synopsis: Gavin Fitzgerald is the perfect husband. His wife, Emma, was always able to brag to her friends about how caring, loving, helpful, and successful he was. Having been married five years, they have just put the finishing touches on their dream home and are ready to start a family. Everything seems ideal until one day Gavin confesses to Emma that he was unfaithful, turning their entire relationship from perfect to a total disaster. Suddenly, Emma’s carefully controlled world is chaotic and her future uncertain as she struggles to determine if she is able to forgive Gavin or have the strength to move on. (goodreads)

Sounds intriguing doesn’t it? Well, it was and that much more! I truly loved this book for its realistic and emotional storyline. When presenting the reader with a flawed character, it’s a huge feat to have us rooting for them to make it in the end. Ms. Maretta does just that. She flawlessly develops the characters using both flashbacks and using the POV from Emma and Gavin.

What resonated with me is the complexity and insight of the story. From the sweet courtship of their relationship, to the overwhelming anguish this couple faces in order to survive, you are there for every raw emotion. You feel Emma’s internal struggle with her OCD and Gavin’s desperation to save his marriage.

This beautifully written story captures the true essence of love and what it takes to come back from the deepest of betrayals. Both characters have to not only rebuild as a couple, but as individuals. The writing is so intimate that you truly feel their connection and feel like you have one with them as well. This was definitely a page-turner for me and once I got started I couldn’t put it down. Go order, download, or buy Whatever It Takes and then you’ll understand why I can’t take out a towel from my dryer without thinking of Emma and Gavin. And please continue reading because L. Maretta has been gracious enough to do an interview with me! Thanks L.! I truly have enjoyed getting to know you and your wonderful book!

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INTERVIEW WITH L. MARETTA

When did you first catch the writing bug? When I was a young teen my life went a little haywire for a while. My family moved to a different state, my parents divorced, and someone I was very close to died. Writing was cathartic. I started with writing my fantasies; my school crush professing his love for me, or something exciting that would make my drama queen years more livable. That turned into more creative stuff. My first real story that I wrote in high school was about a girl who fell in love with a boy who turned out to be a ghost. It was way before the “I see dead people” movie too! I wish I still had it.

Did you always know you were meant to write? I always knew the written word was the best form of expression for me. My brain works too fast for me to properly articulate what I want to say all the time and I tend to get emotional. I have found that writing what I need to say is much more effective, even if I do it just for myself to gather my scattered thoughts. Did I know I was meant to publish a book? Hell to the No! I’m still not convinced! While I am flattered beyond measure that people have read and enjoyed my book, it is so mind-boggling! Before I published there was a week when “Devil Maretta” sat on one shoulder while “Angel Maretta” sat on the other. “Do it!” “Don’t do it!” “It’ll be great!” “No one gives a fuck what you have to say!” Finally I told them both to shut the hell up and went about another week before I put it on Amazon. Then I did two shots of Patron.

What inspired you to write this book? I have to start out by saying that I have been fortunate enough to have never experienced adultery myself. When I was younger, yes, I had a boyfriend cheat, but as far as my husband goes, Mr. Maretta is amazing and has been faithful throughout our marriage. As far as I know, anyway…. And while it didn’t come from something that happened to me directly, there were a few things that led to the writing of Whatever It Takes.
Just before I began writing I had three (THREE!) close friends confide in me that their husbands had cheated, all within a span of two months. It was like someone slipped an infidelity pill in our water supply. Out of all my friends, they were the ones I least expected to hear this from. I was floored and so sad for them, but listened while they cried and tried to be a good friend.
During this time, I was reading several books a week, as I usually do. Most of them were the new romance novels we’ve all come to know and love. And then I thought “what would happen to these book couples if they were suddenly faced with a cheating partner?” What if Christian cheated on Ana or Gideon cheated on Ava? What if you had the happily ever after and then it all went up in flames? Would it be possible for these epic romance characters to survive something that extreme?
A lot of people feel that infidelity is unforgivable, no matter what, and I was one of them a few years ago. I was one of those girls who said, “My husband ever cheats on me, he’s out the door!” When I started to really think about adultery though, and what I would do in that position, I considered what it would be like to live without my husband. The thought alone broke my heart. I’m certain, that no matter how much betrayal hurts, being without the love of your life would hurt ten times worse. It takes just as much, if not more, strength to forgive than to move on and start over. Whatever It Takes came from there.

It centers around the act of adultery. Was this a tough subject to write about? Yes! It’s so hard to write a character who is technically the villain in the story yet still the hero. I wanted the readers to feel for Emma but not hate Gavin, and that was so difficult! How do you not hate him for what he did?
The first draft of the book was only written from Emma’s point of view but I just couldn’t get Gavin’s guilt and remorse to translate well enough. As I was writing I would send one chapter at a time to my sister to read and she finally suggested the change. I did some major editing and added his POV. I think that really helped to convey that he was truly sorry for what he did and regretted it more than anything.

Gavin and Emma are clearly made for each other. Who do you envision as their characters? As I was writing they really remained faceless. They’re just your average married couple. I want anyone who can relate to my story to be able to picture themselves as the characters.

Is there a particular scene that is your favorite? The opening scene when they’re having the party and Emma is surrounded by her friends and family with the fresh knowledge of Gavin’s cheating in her head. It was fun to write and yet terrifying because I knew I had just a few pages to grab my readers’ attention. Those first few pages make or break your whole story. Emma is so fragile at that stage and yet keeps herself together. What woman wouldn’t be able to relate to putting on a brave front?
The scene where Emma is leaving for her getaway with Yvonne and she and Gavin say goodbye was also a favorite. That scene was so pivotal for both of them. It was the first time Gavin actually realized he could very well lose her and for Emma it was the first time she knew she was going to have to work to move past it. It was hard to write even though it was a short scene.

Do you find it difficult to write sexy scenes? Yes, but because there are only so many euphemisms to use when it comes to body parts and orgasms! You can only use “cock” and “pussy” so many times and Webster’s Thesaurus isn’t going to help you out in that department! I tried to keep each scene from being repetitive and I hope I succeeded. I do find that writing sex scenes and reading them are totally different. I would compare it to actors filming them for movies. It’s hot for the reader/viewer but it’s just so technical when it’s being recorded.

Do you have particular writing routines? Since I teach I have summers off so that would be the ideal time to write, yes? Of course, but did I do that? No. The itch to write doesn’t only hit between June and August so I had to work it around my job. I also have two young daughters who participate in a lot of activities and so my routine pretty much consists of staying up until obscene hours of the night with lots of coffee.

I just loved both Gavin and Emma. What do you love about them? I love Gavin for his relentlessness. He was never willing to give up and worked his ass off to try to fix what he had broken. And there is no better combination than a half Irish, half Italian man! I love how romantic he was, too. His love notes and “bouquets” were adorable.
Emma I love for her ability to stay strong through one of life’s toughest challenges. In her mind she’s an absolute wreck but on the outside she holds it together. I also love that while she had insecurities she didn’t take shit from anyone. She had the guts to tell Gavin, “You fucked up and it’s not okay!” She didn’t just accept that he was sorry, she made him prove it. I love her OCD traits, too. She inherited them from me!

Any chance of a sequel? Not for Emma and Gavin, no. I loved writing them but in my opinion, sequels rarely work out well.

Any new books in the works that we can look forward to? I have another book available on Amazon right now called Falling from Disgrace. It’s about a woman who is addicted to painkillers and struggles to maintain any type of relationship due to her lifestyle. She meets a guy named Jack and the story centers around her trying to get better while learning how to love and be loved. One of the characters from that book, Gillian, has her own story to be told. I’m working on it now.

Okay some fun, silly questions !

Secret author crush: Deborah Harkness. I admire how she incorporated romance with history and supernatural elements in her All Souls trilogy. I’m a history buff and who wouldn’t love to read about it with a hot vampire and sexy witch?
Favorite book ( is that possible ): So many! But I am going to go with my inner child and say “Ish” by Peter Reynolds. Such a simple yet inspiring book.

Favorite movie: Pulp Fiction
Go to comfort food: Pizza
Team Edward or team Jacob :): Edward!
I’m a 50 shades freak. Who’s your Christian ? I’d love to see Henry Cavill in a role like that but I hope an unknown gets it. A HOT unknown.
Guilty pleasures: expensive footwear, chocolate, being pampered by Mr. Maretta
Describe yourself in 3 words: eclectic, sensitive, demanding
Last movie you saw: The Conjuring. I didn’t sleep for a week!

Thank you Ms. Maretta for a wonderful interview and beautiful book! You can follow her on Twitter: @lmaretta and buy her book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online book stores.

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