Hello GREYsessed readers! I am super excited to introduce you to an amazing book review and interview. “Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow,” by Mary E. Palmerin is a deeply emotional story of how true love endures. This is not your typical hearts and flowers love story, but rather one of raw emotion that grips at your heart and doesn’t let go until the very end.
SYNOPSIS: Lyla Harper is sure she will be alone for the rest of her life. After she leaves Kansas for college in Chicago, she hopes she will never have to face her dark secrets again. Four years later, Lyla lands an internship at a prestigious firm, hoping to plant her roots and close the door to her past forever. Unfortunately, Lyla is about to learn that the past has a way of finding her, no matter how well she hides.
After she is assigned to assist a marketing millionaire and notorious jerk, Lyla attempts to overcome her pessimistic view of the world and move on with her life. But after she lays eyes on her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor, Everett Brown, her secrets begin to resurface, prompting her to regress into her old coping ways. Led by curiosity and an undeniable attraction, Lyla pursues a passionate relationship with Everett and slowly begins to feel like a woman again. Now all she has to do is decide whether to tell him the truth.
In this contemporary romance, only time will tell if a young woman’s new lover will be able to save her from herself as her past emerges from the darkness to confront her once and for all.
Sounds captivating doesn’t it? Well, it is. Once I finally had the time to sit and get into the book, I couldn’t put it down. In her debut novel, Ms. Palmerin draws you into this heartbreaking at times, yet beautiful love story of Lyla and Everett. Written with such grace and emotion, you will become invested in these characters while feeling their love, elation, pain and sorrow.
Succumbing to Scars and Sorrows also confronts a profound subject that haunts Lyla, the heroine of the story. Without giving away too much information, I will say that the scars that Lyla carries with her are ones that had me in tears throughout the book. But don’t worry, there is plenty of angst, action, and steamy hot sex! Palmerin does a tremendous job and balancing out the emotional rollercoaster ride with plenty of highs and lows that make this a definite page-turner.
What I loved about this book is the author’s true courage in writing about something that isn’t easily portrayed in a seemingly book boyfriend love story. And yes, you will fall in love with all things Everett. In fact, you will be jonesing for more of him which will come to fruition in book 2! Yes, there will be a second book and it is from Everett’s POV!
So get your tissues, and go purchase this beautifully written book that will remind you that true love doesn’t see the scars that we carry both inside and out. This story is the epitome of the words I often say: You are perfectly imperfect.
What was your inspiration for your story? Not every small town in America is like Mayberry. Lyla is from a town similar to that. Her hometown was the kind of place that she wanted to leave and never revisit. I wanted to create a strong female character that some individuals in society think do not exist. They are wrong. Women like Lyla Harper are living with their demons and pasts every day. They struggle just like she does. Lyla is not the “typical” woman. She is damaged physically and emotionally by her past. I had to convey to my readers that despite unfortunate and violent circumstances, you can overcome anything if you have the power of love.
Lyla’s story is very deep and emotional. Was it difficult to write such raw emotions?
It was hard for me to express such dark and devastating emotions. However, there are women everywhere struggling with body image issues and being violated either physically or emotionally. I wanted to be the one to tell such a touching and emotional story and remove the stigma that it holds.
What is your first writing memory?
I have been writing since I was 8 years old. I would write everything from poems to short stories. My first memory was a project that I was given in early elementary school. Our assignment was to illustrate and write about our hero. I chose to write about my grandmother. I still have that book!
The cover of your book is beautiful. Can you tell us about the artist?
Khristian Seaton and I have been friends since we were 12 years old, roughly 14 years! We both grew up in a tiny Midwestern town. After graduating from college, we reconnected and our friendship has blossomed. We have supported one another in our endeavors. She has her Bachelor’s degree is art and was also the winner of a reality show featuring tattoo artists. She now owns her own tattoo studio and also does professional photography. Her portrayal of Lyla was everything and more of how I envisioned her. Khristian’s work is beyond amazing and I am grateful to be a part of her career, just as she is mine. I am proud to call her one of my great friends. I will tell you that she will also create the cover to book two of the Sorrow Series, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow.
Lyla has a number of tattoos. Is there any personal significance to them?
I have a love for body art. I, also, have tattoos. Twelve to be exact! Each one has a meaning to me and I wanted Lyla to have some that had significance to her. She has a lotus flower, the Virgin Mary, and Hebrew Scripture tattoos. I believe the most significant one is located between her shoulders that reads Only God Can Judge Me in Hebrew. Due to her life experiences, I think that is how she feels. Tattoos, to me, show individuality. That is something I am not afraid to do!
Looking back on your now published story, is there any part you would’ve changed?
It has been a journey. It still seems surreal. Though it has not been easy, I would not change one second even if I had the chance to do so. It has been an amazing experience and I am grateful to tell such a touching and unique story. It is dream come true. I have met so many amazing people along the way and I look forward to the future!
Music plays a part in Lyla’s being. Are the songs in the book close to your heart as well? Do you have a writing playlist you listen to?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. Every song tells a different story and evokes various emotions. Certain songs or artists will help me to express those emotions into my stories. I listen to a variety of genres, but here are a few of my favorites that I cannot live without: Florence + the Machine, Joss Stone, Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Adele, Sia, Bon Iver, Angus & Julia Stone, Ray LaMontagne, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Mumford & Sons… I could go on forever about music. I always listen to music while writing, usually to the above artists.
What did you do to celebrate your book getting published?
It has been CRAZY busy these past two weeks since it went live. I plan on going upstate to celebrate with family and friends next month before my book signings start.
What has been the greatest advice you’ve gotten from another author?
NEVER GIVE UP. I have my great friend and fellow author of Whatever it Takes & Falling from Disgrace, L. Maretta, to thank for that. She helped me during the entire production process, gave me helpful advice, and most of all she provided me with tons of support and understanding. She is a talented author and a great friend.
Describe yourself in 3 words: loving, creative, spontaneous
My author crush is: SYLVIA DAY!!! I have been reading her novels for years and my favorites are her historical romance novels.
Favorite book (or top 3): Seven Years to Sin, To Kill a Mockingbird, Pride and Prejudice
Guilty pleasure is: TATTOOS!!!! I have twelve
The song I can never tire from is: Breathe Me by Sia
Last movie seen: The Conjuring with my sister. I was beyond terrified. I can never see that again. If you could collaborate with any author it would be: SYLVIA DAY!!!
Dream vacation: ITALY!!!
Actor you fan girl over: William Levy, Alexander Skaarsgard, Joe Manganiello (what girl can pick just one?)
Thank you so much, Mary! I have had a wonderful time getting to know you here and on Twitter! I wish you nothing but success and happiness for you!
Follow Mary on Twitter at: @palmerin_mary