I’m so excited to be here today with author Alana Lorens as we discuss her book, A Rose by Any Other Name. This book truly had it all--heartbreak, second chances, grief, excitement, etc.--and I thoroughly enjoyed every second! Check out my review below!
5 Stars! I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by, A Rose by Any Other Name. This easy-to-follow story by Alana Lorens was one I worried I’d have trouble connecting with, but I found myself loving every character and investing in their different journeys. Marisol, aka Jerrika Jones, is a semi-famous mommy blogger whose writing about single motherhood has kept a roof over her and her son, Mark’s head. She prefers to stay out of the spotlight, but all of that changes when she returns for her 20th high school reunion and finds her high school love, Russell, divorced…and seemingly interested.
When Marisol decides to reveal her identity, she wasn’t aware that some people harbored such ill will toward her and the words she’d spoken. Maybe she should have stayed in the shadows?
Russell is divorced and has two sons who couldn’t care less about him. He was never good enough for Tiffany, but he was always good enough for Marisol. What was he thinking when he let her go? Just as things start to heat up between them, Russell finds out that Marisol and Jerrika Jones are one in the same, and he, along with a few other dads, have been stung by her words. Do they have a future? Can he make her see that not all dads are dead-beats? That some are cast from their children’s lives without a second thought?
I loved the vulnerability of the characters in this story. I could feel how much Marisol loved her son and see how much she sacrificed for his happiness and well-being. The desperation from Russell, who tried so hard to be part of his sons’ lives, just to be ignored was tough to read. Every time they turned him away, my heart broke a little. I also appreciated the dual point of view. The world-building was fantastic, and the story sucked me right in. All in all, this was a sweet little read and perfect for a lazy afternoon when you need to get lost.
Okay, okay...I know that was a long review, but the book was that good! Just in case you're still teetering the see-saw, Alana was kind enough to supply us with a blurb and a short excerpt to get our feet wet. Oh, and, eek...a trailer!
Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.
Russell's marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons' lives. In his Internet wanderings, he's found feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what's happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.
What Russell doesn't know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?
Heather Armstrong had books out now, spawned by the popularity of her Dooce blog. The Julie and Julia movie deal started with a simple blog. That Shatner show on TV, “$#*! My Dad Says” came from a Twitter account. If she could get noticed, really noticed, the big time wasn’t so far away in this brave new Internet world.
So. Better to stir the pot, right?
She closed her eyes, summoned up the image of Jerrika at her cheekiest, and started typing. Apparently I stomped on a couple of hearts yesterday when I pointed out the joys of raising my son without having to kowtow to the demands of an irrational non-custodial father. You know what? I’m not sorry, either.
People like FreeDad91 hide in their troll costumes and take pot shots at other people instead of addressing their own issues. Sounds to me like this guy has problems from his past. Either his own father walked out on him, or he walked out on his own kids, and he’s decided the best way to handle his guilt is to dump on the mothers.
Well, honey, this is one mother who’s not going to just sit by and let you. I love my son dearly. He’s been my morning, my evening, and lots of my midnights over the years. Maybe he didn’t have a father by his side during those days and nights. But he never lacked for attention, from men or women. I made sure he had that village he needed, the one it takes to raise a child. Would it have been easier to co-parent? I expect it would have. But that option wasn’t open to me. So take your hatred and turn it back where it really belongs: on yourself.
She added a few more choice stabs, and filed the post for the day.
Why don't we get into our interview with Alana, and she can tell you herself what makes this book so special...
1. How did you come up with Marisol and Russell’s story?
Two things—I’d been a divorce lawyer for 40 years, and had seen many versions of Rusty’s story. People can turn into unbelievable monsters during a divorce and afterward. I’d also just started blogging seriously and learning about Technorati and product endorsement, etc. so I incorporated what I learned into Marisol’s story.
2. Will we be seeing more of Marisol and Russell?
I don’t have any plans for that at this time. But you never know. 😊
3. What were your favorite qualities from the two main characters?
Definitely, for Marisol, her devotion to her son, even going so far as to create a new persona to keep him from being hassled by his friends. Rusty had to make a real transition from what he once thought he should be/wanted to the realization that he’d never seen what was really important all along. With a little maturity, he overcame his blinders.
4. Tiffany was just dreadful…is she based on a real person?
I’ve had several clients/opposing clients who were very much like her. One of the reasons I eventually began to fire clients, I didn’t want their toxicity in my life.
5. Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Half and half. I often start as a pantser, get about halfway through and see where I need to go, and then more carefully outline the correct path to get where I’m going.
If you can't wait another minute to get your hands on this book, I don't blame you! Luckily, I have the links for you right here!!
Follow Alana here:
Website http://Alana-lorens.com https://alana-lorens.com/a-rose-by-any-other-name/
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Alana-Lorens/e/B005GE0WBC/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8qEjPOBzds&t=3s
The Wild Rose Press: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/bookauthor/alana-lorens
Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum, who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by three crotchety old cats, and six kittens of various ages.