Huge welcome to Stephanie Lawton and her two guys, Isaac and Dave, from her hot off the press “new adult” novel, Want. Give a big welcome to my fine friends from Mobile, Alabama! Stephanie, why don’t you kick us off.
Stephanie: Because I adore Claire so much, I’m giving her unfettered access to the two main male characters–Isaac and Dave–in my upper YA novel, Want, to do with as she pleases. (Oh, yes. Anything.) While Want is written from a 17-year-old’s POV, it most definitely deals with adult issues, and Ike and Dave are both 28. So, without further ado, I’ll hand over the reigns to Claire.
Claire: Thanks, Stephanie. There’s a nice comfy couch over there for the proud mamma to rest upon. Help yourself to some sweet tea and cookies. Now… **rubs hands together** First question, gentlemen: What do you think your pet thinks of you other than being grateful you feed it, walk it and pick up its poop? Is that fulfilling enough for it or does it stare out the window at the neighbors and wonder if the grass is greener?
Isaac: Wha–is that a real question?
Claire: It’s as real as you are.
Dave: I’ll handle this one, Ike. Ms. Gillian–may I call you that? I have a sad story to tell. You see, I never had a pet growing up. I know, I know, the horror. I was one of four siblings, and my parents decided there was already so much poop in the house that any additional strain would cause them to crack under the pressure of fecal overload. It wasn’t until undergrad, when Ike and I were roommates, that I got my first pet, a goldfish. It’s name was Goldie–
Dave: Gordy. I was a Violent Femmes fan back then. Anyway, he was a welcome site at the end of a long day of classes and practices. Nice to have someone to come home to, you know? But then this one Friday night in October …
Isaac: What he’s trying to say is that he ate Gordy. He got smashed and swallowed the damn fish while it was still alive.
Dave: Because you dared me to!
Dave: Honestly, man, you have no respect for the dead.
Isaac: Next question, please.
Claire: Indeed. You should have at least cooked it. That’s how you get worms you know, eating raw meat. So leaving your questionable pet keeping habits, that I am now very sorry I asked about, let’s delve into your shades of grey. Answer me this: You two are in a cage match together. Your weapons are licorice whips (your choice of flavor), Velveeta and craisins. What’s your strategy and who wins?
Dave: *blinks* Say that again, please–Velveeta?
Claire: *blinks* Yes. Velveeta, the oft-maligned Spam of cheeses, the love juice of both high brow and low brow nachos and other tasty southwestern dips.
Dave: I think I’m falling in love with you. I have no problem being a cub.
Isaac: A what?
Dave: A cub. Keep up, man. Ike’s a lot bigger than me, so I’d have to be fast and smart. Neither one of us would want to mess up our fingers–kind of important for pianists–so I’d tell him dirty jokes until he opened his mouth and laughed, then I’d stuff in a bunch of the licorice whips–
Isaac: I hate licorice.
Dave: I know. So I’d stuff those down his throat and while he gagged, I’d smear Velveeta on the floor of the cage so he’d slip. Once on his back, I’d come in with a flying elbow and finish him off. Then I’d strut around the ring in my silk shorts and snack on the craisins. I mean, that’s what the audience really wants.
Isaac: *shakes head*
Dave: No, what? What would you do?
Isaac: Knock you out while you were busy running your mouth. Match over.
Dave: I’d still look better in the silk shorts.
Claire: *shakes head* That was a trick question actually. First and second rules of Fight Club are…you do not talk about Fight Club. Tsk, tsk. Changing gears to explore your feminine side since you fumbled the macho question, if you could buy a doll in your image off the shelf, what store would he be sold in and for how much? What would his commercial tag line be? Isaac, you go first this time.
Isaac: That’s just … creepy. Um, maybe in the gift shoppe at Jordan Hall? No, I’d be a voodoo doll sold in Mobile so everyone who hates me can stick pins in me. Tag line would be, “Take a stab at Isaac. Everyone else has.”
Dave: You are one, sad schmuck, you know that? Believe it or not, I’ve been asked this question before by an admirer. She said I’d be sold in Claire’s as a “Perfect Man” doll and my tag line would be, “What every good girl needs.” I also like to think I’d come with two outfits. The first would be my trademark faded T-shirt and jeans with Chucks, and the second would be a black tuxedo with tails. You could either spike up my hair or slick it back.
Isaac: You’ve thought about this way too much.
Dave: *shrugs* I only want to give the ladies what they want.
Claire: So no one dared to set a price on his graven image? Chickens! Alright, we’ll move on then. I think we learned in the book that Juli is a Taurus, but what’s your astrological sign, and how does it measure up to how you think others see you or you see yourself?
Isaac: Don’t know. I think I’m a Scorpio? Birthday’s November eighteenth.
Dave: Dude, you couldn’t be more of a Scorpio.
Isaac: So, you read romance novels and you know about horoscopes? Freaking me out, man.
Dave: Relax, one of my older sisters was into zodiac crap when she was in high school. We all had to listen to her lectures at the dinner table for about six months. So, let’s see. Intense? Check. Secretive? Check. Gets in his own way? Check. Moody? Check. Suspicious? Double check. You should totally get a scorpion tattoo.
Isaac: *rolls eyes* So what are you? A peacock?
Dave: There’s no such sign, but I like that. *nods and strokes chin* After all, I’m sexy and I know it. I’m a Leo.
Isaac: Got the lion’s mane thing down, that’s for sure.
Dave: *Runs hand over his spikey hair* Damn straight. Plus I’m fun, warm, got confidence in spades, never boring, and if you mess with someone I love, I will rip out your throat.
Claire: Well, lads, real or not, I do thank you for participating in our offbeat little chat and wish you the best for the remainder of your blog tour.
Thank you, Stephanie. I now return the leashes back over to your capable guiding hands. Keep these two in line will ya? *gives the old lady death stare to both men* I’ll be watching you.
Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche.
Julianne can’t understand why Isaac suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it before she inherits her mother’s madness. Isaac knows he must resist his attraction to a student ten years his junior, but loneliness and jealousy threaten his resolve.
Their indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.
Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.
A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.
On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature.
She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras –where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row.