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Dec 20

Review and Interview: ALEX’S DESTINY by Amy Gregory

Title: Alex’s Destiny
Author
: Amy Gregory
Series: Racing to Love, #4
Publisher: Amazon Digital
Length: 1049 kb / 243 pages
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Sports/Motocross, Romance
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Her destiny was written for her, long before she was ever born. She embraced it, wanting nothing more than to give everything within her back to the sport in which she was considered royalty. Her family’s legacy would live on, revered by all. And she thrived on the long work days she spent teaching at the academy her blood was tied to. Alexandra Sterling needed that dirt track as much as she needed her next breath.

That same track was the one that drew in a young student years before. Alex had given her heart away the day they met, knowing that he belonged to only her. For years she’d waited, knowing without a single doubt that he’d make her his when the time was right.

Butshe’d never asked Dallas if he felt the same way. Her hurt leaves her vulnerable, her days dark and her instincts dulled. After one night of hell, Alex is lost. Her world is crumbling around her, and without her lifeline and best friend beside her anymore, there’s nothing to keep her from sinking with it.

Dallas Hunter is a pro rider on the motocross circuit, following in the footsteps of his father Eli. For Dallas, it’s always been Alex, but he’s kept his feelings locked away out of fear, his love for their family, his biggest obstacle. One short and chilling phone call to her puts him on high alert. Knowing something is terribly wrong sends him racing across the country, back home, back to her. But what he finds almost kills him.

Now he’s watching her slip away right before his very eyes. Figuring out how to help Alex before it’s too late, might turn out to be harder than any race he’s ever ridden. And he has to do it with his team and sponsors screaming at him from the other side, trying to pull him back to the world he’s dedicated his entire life to.

Dallas knows he has to help his best friend, the woman he lovesand do it without tearing his family apart.

Please give a warm welcome to Amy Gregory. Thank you so much for being with us here today on the blog, I am so excited.

Thank you for having me! It’s truly an honor!

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I am a Kansas girl, born and bred. We’re just south of Kansas City, so um…go Chiefs!

What or who inspired you to write? And how long have you been writing?

It was actually a dream that came to me when I couldn’t sleep. I started writing it down and the next thing I knew I’d gone from working with my husband full time at our company to having my own passion, turned career, that I’d never even thought of. I knew there was something out there I was missing, I just had no clue what it was until I saw the first book in print.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think there were two defining moments. When I was able to walk from my office to my husband’s and say “I’ve just been offered a contract”. The other was seeing my third book up on Amazon. Something about having more than one made it real.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 30 or less words, what would you say?

Mike’s Way Back is the first in the next series, but I purposely released it before Alex’s Destiny. I spun Carter’s brother (AKA Alex’s father) into a new series, but I needed to stay on a certain timeline. The Finding Perfect series are shorter books with more heat, but more of my um “personality” in them. For better or worse!

I love reading the warnings on the blurbs for many books. If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say?

Oh that is so scary! Well I would say either in front of the heat warning I’d say there is a large, scary amount of sarcastic humor, often leading to tears. One may need to limit their liquid intake or risk an untimely bathroom break.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Well they’d say I’m awesome of course! They get to do all the fun stuff that I don’t necessarily get to. They get to be beautiful and have the things I want them to have so come on! They’re lucky and they love it!

What does your protagonist think about you? Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author?

In this book, Alex. Oh yeah. She’s a lot younger than um…I am, but I’m cool. And she’s a sweetheart. I love Alex.

Which character speaks the loudest, to you? Do any of them clamor to be heard over the others?

This series has a very core group of people that all weave in and out of each book, but they never have to fight for the center stage. They all make the family work, making the theme of the series what it is.

Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convoluted plots for you? Or do you have to coax them out of your characters?

I’ll explain more in a second, but let’s just say, I don’t do the talking. That makes me sound like a crazy person, but read on!

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real events in your own life?

Well, not the entire series, but there are events here and there, like the fact we do love our motocross. More though is the chord about family, and how it’s not necessarily what you thought, but made up of those you’ve gathered around you.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Oh this brings me back to sounding like a crazy lady. I don’t know how my books are going to go. My husband cracks up, says with like a pat to the head how cute I am. But I am a total pantser. I start off with an idea or two, but just start typing. I don’t know from one scene to the next even. It makes for an interesting ride that is for sure.

How did you come up with the title?

Alex’s Destiny was actually named right after Carter’s Treasure. I already had Jesse’s Soul written, and I knew Eli’s book was next, I love Honor’s name so that was just a given, but then the twist I teased people with was about this “Alex”. Everyone kept saying, “but it’s Carter, Jesse and Eli, who is Alex?” Well, in Eli’s book Alex was revealed and not only was it the only book in the series that was a ‘girl’s’ story it was actually Carter and Molly’s daughter. She’d taken the series through their growth and was now twenty-three instead of a little girl.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Truly. I touched on this a minute ago, but I fully believe that you have your family, sometimes large, others, not so much. But, there are other members of that family. People that you know you can call and they’ll be on your doorstep in an instant. That family isn’t necessarily made by blood alone but by choice. The friendships you have are sometimes stronger than even blood and that can be family, sometimes all the family you need.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?

Alex’s Destiny was the final book in the Racing to Love series, but her uncle Mike started off the Finding Perfect series.

How did you come up with the title and cover design?

The covers I picked through thousands and thousands of pictures that I felt looked like the characters do in my head. Then I found the bike, then, ha ha, then I turned it over to someone who knows what to do with a computer because I am so technically challenged it’s scary.

Who designed the cover of your book?

It was a team effort between myself and a talented guy named David Snodgrass from KC.

Where do you see yourself in five (5) years?

My goal is to keep writing indefinitely. I’d love to make the New York Times Best Seller list at least once.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Two places at once??? I love going places in our RV, but then I’d also really like to build a small log cabin on our farm and just live out in the quiet.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet?

My all-time favorite I have to say, I was actually lucky enough to not only meet, but we’ve become friends! Mari Carr is an amazing author that I adore. However, I’m going to throw in another here. This is going to sound weird, because this author and I have become best friends. I don’t go a day without talking to her, and we’re way past just books, but I call her my sister on any day. The great Katie Mettner. Not only is her writing amazing, but she as a person and friend is also.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why?

Probably a cross between Nora Roberts and Susan Mallery because of the series effect. I figured out very quickly that as a reader I want to know more than what happened in one book. I want to hear more about the lives I’ve just spent time with. I guess that’s why I find writing series so much easier.

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?

Honestly, ebooks. Only because I’m on the go so much, that I have the Kindle app on my phone, so I’m never caught somewhere waiting that I don’t have a book with me.

Are you a self published (Indie) Author or big trad published?

I started out small press, but I am now self published.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?

The Finding Perfect series is growing on me! I have a good eleven, possibly more stories waiting to be told in that series alone. I am also doing a few collaborations, and then I’ve got ten-fifteen stand-alone books that I’ve written down in my little journal of ideas. All will stay in same genre and all will be HEA!

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?

I do not like a bunch of angst. I want an escape from reality and to laugh out loud. If I have people looking at me like I’m crazy while I’m reading, then you can damn well bet it’s a good book.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer’s block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?

Shhhh” we don’t say that word! LOL. No, I am very, very lucky. Everything is flowing for me. Some people would say that is because I’m full of …..

of… Great Stories? Winking smile
What was your favourite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I think there were two parts of Alex that I loved the most. When Dallas brought in Ruby to the situation, and Dallas and Alex in the stream. Um, I can’t say more. ; )

What has been the toughest criticism you’ve been given as an author? What has been the best component?

I had an editor / author tell me my work was so bad she couldn’t even finish it. That still makes me want to cry. Even though I’ve risen to Amazon Best Seller status. It will always hurt to know someone that was that close, could be so cruel. Best? That’s a catch twenty-two. I’ve had people tell me I need more angst, and in the same breath, I’ve had others tell me no. So I had to just do as my husband said. He asked me what I liked to read the best, and then said, well write that way. So um, sarcastic, sexy, smartass anyone?

What do you do to unwind and relax?

I have a husband, three kids (two of which are teens), that all do dangerous sports, three dogs, a cat that is at least a hundred years old, our own business, oh and I write full time…what is this word you speak of “Relax”? hmmm… LOL… sorry. No. On a very, and I mean VERY rare occasion, we’ll have a day we’re home with nothing to do. Then it’s the, ‘brew a big pot of coffee and start watching TV shows we’ve DVR’d all day. Stay in comfy clothes and go absolutely no where!

Have you ever read a book more than once?

Many times!

Is there a particular movie that you preferred over the book version?

I don’t. I guess that has to do with the fact we really don’t get to see many movies.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (ebook/paperback/hardcover)?

I’m reading the Sugar Series by Katie Mettner, but she sends me special versions… 😀 she knows my anxiety level and so she sends me “Amy versions”.

Are there any new Authors that have seized your interest and why?

Jen Duffy, Kimi Flores, Kay Mannis….mainly because we’re all “in this together” and have a common bond as authors.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why?

Would no be a wrong answer? I guess, I’d like to make it not be the last, I’d write a few more stories before Alex was released?

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you love it, even when it’s hard, it hurts, then don’t give up. You will find friends, as readers, bloggers, and other authors that will help you find your way.

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to writing?

Read. Read. Read. Read.

Do you write under a pen name?

I have a pen, that story isn’t out yet…. 😉

Now for a little fun:

Do you write to music? If so – play list please.

No, I have to have complete silence to write. Too much going on in my head!

What are your pet peeves?

That list could kill us all. Um, bad drivers? They top the list!

Cats or dogs?

Dogs

Fangs or fur?

Fur

Wine or liquor (or beer if you just have to)?

Cruzan Black Cherry Rum & Mr. Pibb!

Coffee or tea?

Coffee

Favourite food?

ugh…I’m not supposed to eat any gluten… so um ALL cookies, cakes, pizza etc!

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream?

Not an ice cream person really.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

Phone, purse, pen, paper

Laptop or desktop for writing?

laptop

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

During the day when kids are at school, sitting on my couch surrounded by furry children.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous / fictional people you would want with you?

I’m gonna break the rules and go with four! Carter Sterling, Michael Sterling, Jesse Frost and Eli Hunter!

One of your favourite quotes?

“At the base of uncertainty, it’s time to lock and load.” Travis Pastrana 199

List 3 of your all time favourite books?

The Bride series by Nora Roberts;

Something Blue by Emily Griffin;

The Cocktails series by Mari Carr

List 3 of your all time favourite movies?

Father of the Bride 1 & 2, Cutting Edge

An actor you have a crush on?

Not actor, but singer… Tim McGraw

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really enjoyed?

I love, love, love the TV show Elementary

Alex’s Destiny is another great story in the Racing to Love series. Alex has loved Dallas forever, saved herself for him, etc. But when he brings home another girl, her heart breaks… but not her spirit. She shows how truly strong she is in so many ways. Dallas is not some uncaring or player type, he’s in love with Alex too, but he fears what would happen to his family if he went after his heats desire.

As always, time moves forward, but instead of moving with it, Alex slowly slips through her life and family’s fingers, resulting in a terrible tragedy. The thing about tragedy, it makes people man up or leave—in Dallas’ case, it forced him to finally come clean about his feelings.

I loved watching this story unfold, even as my heart broke in places. And never fear, you get your HEA Smile it’s just not an easy, simple thing for them to arrive at. I recommend this to any who love strength of heart, romance, and a man willing to not just say the words, but live them! I will be rereading this one many times!

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When asked ‘when do you have time to write’, Amy Gregory simply laughs. The real answer is, “in bits and pieces”. She and her husband live in Kansas City with their three fantastic kids that keep them running in three very different directions. Because she sits so much, she always carries a note- book with her at all times.

She has an off the wall, snarky, off the cuff sense of humor that often shocks even those who’ve known her for years. And she loves that her children have all been blessed that ability to make others laugh as well. At least she’s grateful most of the time! Her husband often teases her about how she “makes this stuff up” when he’s reading a piece of her work. … The answer—“it just comes to me when I’m typing”. Scary thought, huh!

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About the author

Aine @ House Millar

Áine P Massie is originally from Florida, she now lives in Wisconsin where she works on her House Millar series full time while raising four children (the term herding cats comes to mind). Her major in College was Childhood Education (specializing in ages zero to five) with a minor study in Deaf Culture/ASL. She is also a Wiccan priestess dedicated to the gods, family, and love.

Áine is a proud member of the Rom-Critters, the Romance Writers of America®, Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, and Rainbow Romance Writers. Áine has always had a particular fascination with vampires, mythology, and the unusual. When she can escape from her children and books, she enjoys . . . oh yes, reading, playing, ritual, a good cappuccino, and working with her healing stones.

Her first published work came in high school where she was part of a writing and drama group. However, she has been reading the likes of Shakespeare and Poe since late elementary school and enjoys most forms of fiction.

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