Sunday, August 4, 2013

Never Series by C.M. Stunich Blog Tour: Review, Author Interview, & Excerpt


Today is my stop on the blog tour for C.M. Stunich's Never Say Never and Never Too Late book series!! :)

I LOVED the Never Say Never series! When I finished reading Keeping Never, I wasn't done with the characters. I wanted more. And C.M. Stunich gave her readers more of Ty, Never, and the gang with a spin-off series called Never Too Late. The first book in the series is called Never Can Tell, and book two is Never Let Go (no release date yet!), which will be told from Zella's POV. :)

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My review of Never Can Tell:

4 stars!

I was so excited for this book! I was thrilled, because I didn't want Ty's and Never's story to end. I became so invested in their relationship, and I wanted more. 

I have to say, Never Can Tell was a *little* disappointing. I think it's because the books are still in Never's POV. And I was really hoping that maybe Ty would finally have his chance to let us inside his thoughts and his mind. Don't get me wrong, I love Never. But this time around, her attitude was grating on my nerves a little. 

The book starts out about eleven months after Keeping Never ended. Never and Ty are parents to a beautiful baby boy, whom they named Noah (odd, right?). And while Ty is an excellent parent, Never is scared. She's scared she'll fail, that she'll end up like her mother. She doesn't think she's good enough for either of her boys. But Ty proves her wrong over and over again, making her never doubt his love for her. 

After receiving some not so surprising news (because, really, when will they ever learn?), they decide to pack up and move in with Never's family. They decide to go home and figure out their next moves from there. 

Being surrounded by her sisters again gives Never peace and happiness, and helps her find the strength and courage to face her fears and become the mother they know her to be. And I just love this huge family, and how they take care of each other. It's my favorite thing about these books, aside from Never's and Ty's relationship.

Aside from the many errors, I just felt like there could have been so much more to the story, that it could've been stretched out and developed more fully. And after that awful cliffhanger ending, I'm so anxious for the next book, Never Let Go.


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Exclusive Author Interview!

Did you always plan on continuing Never and Ty’s story?
I didn't!  When I wrote the first book, I was thinking it would be a stand alone.  That was the first time I realized that this couple had a much bigger story to tell, so before I published it, I announced that it was going to be a trilogy.  After Keeping Never was published, I received a ton of amazing emails and messages from readers wanting to see Ty and Never as parents and catch a glimpse of the life beyond the HEA.  Thus, Never Can Tell was born.

Why make it a spin-off series?
I decided to make it a spin-off for three reasons.  When the first Never books were published, they were advertised as a trilogy, so I didn't want to mess with that!  Also, I thought some folks might want to leave off after Keeping Never and keep the happily ever after.  As you know, I like to torture my readers with lots of drama! ;)  Plus, the Never too Late series is not just about Ty and Never, but all of Never's sisters as well, and some of the books will be told from their points of view.

Ty and Never are a beautiful couple, as well as beautiful individuals. As characters, were they tricky to bring to life?
Oh God, absolutely!  Writing any book takes a little piece of your soul, but when the characters are as tragic as Ty and Never, it feels like you're suffering along with them and it's almost a relief when you get to the end and see that everything's going to be okay.  Even as the author, I don't always see what's coming.  These characters had a lot of surprises in mind for me!

I know they’re your characters, so of course you love them. :) But what did you lost most about Ty and Never, as individuals and as a couple?
Can I be shallow and say that dang, Ty McCabe is a hottie!  LOL.  But seriously, I love his potty mouth wisdom.  It's so raunchy, but so touching at the same time.  And Never is a take no crap kind of a girl, strong despite her weaknesses.  I love that about her.  And as a couple?  It's like putting together two live wires … the electricity is palpable!

*Oh, you can say that again: Ty McCabe is one HOT, tortured soul.*

They both have pretty dark pasts; but by finding each other, they found that light within the darkness. What was the hardest part to write during these books? What was the most rewarding part of their story?
The hardest part about this for me was Ty's past.  I always knew how bad it was going to be but writing it from his point of view hit me deep.  There were things about him that even I didn't know!  And then, that was also the most rewarding part because I got to see what kind of a person he turned out to be, how, despite his darkness, he was able to light up the night sky with Never and make fireworks. =)

Were there any plot points that surprised you? Or did you stick to a planned outline?
Oh goodness, I'm not going to lie, these books surprised the crud out of me.  I never have a planned outline in mind, but the path these two took me on will forever be burned into my brain.  I felt like Ty and Never were out in the universe somewhere feeding me their story and that I had almost no control over how it turned out.

I was surprised that Never Can Tell continued to be told in Never’s POV. Did you ever think about writing in Ty’s POV?
I did consider it, but I decided that I liked the mystery that was Ty McCabe.  I wanted to be inside Never's head and fall in love with him over and over again.  I'm not saying there won't ever be a book with Ty's point of view, but I won't promise it either.  That's still up for debate!

After the end of Never Can Tell, you said it would be continued and that it would be Zella’s story. Does that mean the book will be told in Zella’s POV?
Yes!  The next book, Never Let Go, will be told in Zella's point of view.  Again, the book is still in the early stages, so you never know, I might add in some Noah Scott POV, but that's TBD. =)

Because it’s Zella’s story, will we see more of Noah? Will they ever work things out?
Zella's story will essentially be Zella and Noah's story, just like the Never books are about her and Ty.  As far as things working out, I'll say this: I love drama and messing with people's heads, but I'm also a sucker for happily ever afters.  You never know what might happen! ;)

Can you give us any hints as to what’s happening with Zella in Never Let Go? I, for one, am very curious about her life.
Absolutely...how about an early glimpse of the blurb?  This is unedited and exclusive to you.  You're the first one to get it! ;)

“You can't just turn off love, Zella.”
I'm going home with my head held in shame.  I let the anger get the best of me, watched my heart get shattered in two, and had the audacity to ignore my mistake.  Love is pain.  It can be beautiful, sure, but beauty always fades.  I should've known better.  How am I supposed to tell my sister, Beth, that all of her hard work was for nothing?  That my scholarships are gone, that the money she's been sending me is gone?  I've given myself no choice.  I have to go home.  I have to face Noah.  I have to look in the mirror and face the one person that scares me the most: myself.

*Oh, I cannot wait to read Zella's story!*

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions! I was so glad that Never and Ty’s story continued. After finishing Keeping Never, I wasn’t sure I was ready to say goodbye to them yet!


Thank you so much for having me!  Ty and Never send their love … and a boat load of dirty, curse word filled wisdom.  <3

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Excerpt from Never Let Go:

I'm standing in the middle of the football field watching blood run down the side of Tobias Underwood's face.  His perfect, white teeth are clenched and his left eye is nearly swollen shut.  He's panting; I'm panting.  But I did not get my ass kicked.  And don't think he held back because I'm a girl.  I saw it in his eyes, knew he would take me down if he could.  All of this over a jacket I never liked.  I just wanted to embarrass him in front of his ugly, new girlfriend, Lisebeth.  I don't even believe that's a real name, but the way the boys all talk about her, you'd think she shit diamonds.  Or maybe it's just the yummy hot spot between her thighs.
I squeeze my fists tight at my sides and try to hold back the tears.  Tobias has had a whole ocean filled with my tears.  They call it the Zella-is-a-sucker-sea and scientists are afraid it's going to rise and cover the whole damn continent that is her pride and dignity.  What's that saying?  Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, what the fuck was I thinking?
“Whose is this?” the coach asks, the eight ball of cocaine held out in the palm of his right hand.  The drugs are Tobias', but who's going to believe me?  I'm a piece of white trash, born and raised by the Mississippi.  I'm poor and he's rich.  That's all there really is to it.
“They're mine, coach,” Tobias says, surprising me.  He looks away and sniffles.  Blood leaks from his nostrils and hits the grass at his feet.  I reach up and adjust my ponytail, doing my best not to look around at the gathering crowd.  Even though the game is over, there are people everywhere.  As I'd wanted, Lisebeth is glaring daggers at me.  But as I'd never expected, Tobias and I are both seriously fucked.  The fight we might've gotten away with, but the drugs?  I start to quiver, with anger, with disappointment, with fear.
And I think of Noah Scott.
He sent me another email last night.  This one asking if it was okay if he went up to the cabin, too.  Like I'd ban him from his own house?  He's too nice sometimes.  I don't understand him at all.  I've been ignoring him for almost a year now, but this was too much.
If you don't come, you'll ruin the holidays.
That's what I sent back.  It was kind of rude, but I'm still mad at him.  I'm still so mad that I can't breathe.  Why can't he just forget about my sister?  Why?  Why is Never so fucking important to him?  I want to slap his face when I see him.  And then I want to throw my arms around his neck and beg him to stay with me forever, to hold me at night, to kiss me in the morning.  I am so in love with Noah Scott that I don't think straight when I'm with Tobias Underwood.
Coach glances over at his assistants.  I think, if he'd had the chance, he would've tossed the coke in a garbage can and pretended nothing had happened.  Tobias is the best wide receiver this team has ever seen.  Without him, the Stallions are pretty much fucked.  Competition's tough this year, and they need every member on their A game.  Unless Tobias' daddy pays up, his son is done with the team.  Maybe with school, too.
“I'm going to have to discuss your punishment with the dean,” he says, sounding faraway.  He's just as upset about this as we are, I think.  But there are too many witnesses for him to pretend anything else happened.  The truth is all there is now, and it's butt ugly.
Tobias and I continue to stare at one another as the coach walks away.  Nobody says anything to either of us, but I know that they will.  Soon.  Probably after the weekend is over.
I swallow hard and wipe the flecks of blood from my lips.  Just a few droplets from the single swing Tobias managed to land on my face.  I got him way worse, though.  Way, way worse.
“Nice job, Zella,” he sneers, snorting up blood, licking his swollen lip.  “Thanks a lot for that.”
“Guess we're even now, huh?” I whisper, but I don't feel any triumph in that.  I just feel … empty.  Like I could float away and no one would ever notice.  But I know that's not true.  Beth would.  India would.
Noah would.
I turn and leave my shame on the field behind me.

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Author Bio:
C.M. Stunich was raised under a cover of fog in the area known simply as Eureka, CA. A mysterious place, this strange, arboreal land nursed Caitlin's (yes, that's her name!) desire to write strange fiction novels about wicked monsters, magical trains, and Nemean Lions (Google it!). She currently enjoys drag queens, having too many cats, and tribal bellydance.

Always a fan of the indie scene and 'sticking it to the man,' Ms. Stunich decided to take the road less traveled and forgo the traditional publishing route. You can be assured though that she received several rejections as to ensure her proper place in the world of writers before taking up a friend's offer to start a publishing company. Sarian Royal was born, and Ms. Stunich's books slowly transformed from mere baking chocolate to full blown tortes with hand sculpted fondant flowers.

C.M. is a writer obsessed with delivering the very best and scours her mind on a regular basis to select the most unusual stories for the outside world.


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Thank you for checking out my blog tour stop! :)