Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sink or Swim Blog Tour Event: Review and Interview with Jamie Canosa


Today is the massive Sink or Swim Blog Tour event! A lot of great things to share with you guys today. First we have my review of Sink or Swim, a book trailer to reveal, an interview with author Jamie Canosa, and a giveaway. Please be sure to share this post with others only because Jamie Canosa’s books are really special and I want to do anything to get the word out about her fantastic work.




Well readers, Jamie Canosa has done it again. She made me tear up and even get mad while reading Sink or Swim. Her characters Allie and Dean just melt on the page. They have such big hearts and are loyal to their very core. Allie is capable of big love but her self-esteem is wilted behind her big girl facade. Dean might as well have the word sacrifice tattooed on his heart. He is so dedicated to making the people he loves happy and safe. What I look forward to most about Jamie’s work is that she writes in dual POV’s and does it perfectly. Her characters are just so real and are not limited to the page. They have an identity and become people that we may or have known. I think books that get this real are important because they have the potential to help. Whether it is to see the signs of someone in trouble or give power to someone to do something to change a dark situation. Jamie Canosa is a powerful writer that I know we can expect to hear a lot from in the future.




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Summary:

There are some things you just can't walk away from.

When sleeping in vacant warehouses and dark alleys becomes preferable to living at home, something is seriously wrong. But when word reaches Allie that her mother is facing a life threatening illness, she has no choice but to return to the place of nightmares. Leaving wasn't a choice, it was a necessity, and if returning hadn't been equally necessary, Allie never would have set foot back inside that hell-hole.

Dean is no stranger to hardship, but the day Allie walked out of his life, taking his heart right along with her, was hands-down the most frustrating. Six months later, she's back and Dean refuses to rest until he figures out exactly what the hell happened.

Now, Allie's drowning. Drowning in lies. Drowning in the truth. Drowning in pain, and anger, and fear. But there comes a time when every drowning person must decide whether they will . . . Sink or Swim?


I admired Allie’s strength to face her past in Sink or Swim. She has so much to fear but her love for her mother out weighs that. After her dad enters the picture I was able to see why Allie would choose a life on the streets instead of her warm bed back home. Her home life is dangerous and tense to the point of walking on eggshells. Her only light is Dean the boy across the street who she left behind and has to make amends with. Allie’s best quality is her loyalty and yet it’s her curse. She is loyal to her mother and Dean but because of her need to protect them she must live in her own prison. Allie makes a radical choice that was haunting to me and will surprise readers, but I agree with why author Canosa had to do it. All of Allie’s choices no matter how dangerous or sad, you always know that Allie makes them for a reason. She believes in keeping the people that matter to her safe.
   
Dean was my favorite of Jamie Canosa’s characters from his first couple chapters because he doesn’t hide the fact that he still loves Allie. He’s angry sure in the beginning but walks right back in the shoes of Allie’s boyfriend without hesitation. Even when Allie pushes he still wants nothing more but to protect her from whatever secrets she’s hiding. He is the man of the house now since his father’s passing and works while still in high school to help keep food on the table for his mom and sisters. But even though he is written with gallant characteristics he has a mouth on him, which I found funny and real. He is blunt with the ones he loves the most. Everyone needs someone like Dean in their life to push them in the right direction.

There are some graphic details involved in telling Allie’s story but they have to be in the book. They are written realistically and are there to evoke emotion for Allie. When readers find out the complete truth to Allie they will want nothing more than to protect her like Dean. Sink or Swim isn’t just for the people in the exact situation that Allie is in. It’s for the people in our lives that struggle and need someone to tell them that they are worth something and most importantly matter.

Sink or Swim is a story about conquering demons and overcoming the darkness. Allie and Dean are an example of hope and the possibilities of a better life. Their story ended perfectly for me and was my favorite part of the book. It was beautiful, silly and done in my favorite Dean style. 






Author Bio:
Jamie Canosa is a full time author of YA literature, which she absolutely loves. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. She currently resides in Ravena, NY with her wonderful husband and three crazy kids . . . plus the dog, the bird and the rabbit.




Q&A with Jamie Canosa


I am just flat out impressed with you Jamie and your strength as a writer. Just like before in Fight or Flight you’ve managed to write about a real issue that plagues many family households in Sink or Swim. Allie and Dean are so captivating that I didn’t even want to blink between pages. I’m giddy for your return to I Blog, You Read during the beginning of your blog tour for Sink or Swim, Welcome!




Let’s release the questions from the gate!

Q: I have great respect for you as an author because of your ability to write about real issues that have high emotional content. Was this always your goal as a writer?

Thank you so much. Honestly, when I first began writing, my only goal was to write a story for my son. Something I could read to him at bedtime. That’s when I realized what a passion I had for it. I couldn’t stop. It’s addicting. And therapeutic. I’ve written several different genres, but it’s the contemporary works like Fight or Flight and Sink or Swim that really struck a chord with me. I’ve read a few great books that have truly made me feel, and that was my goal for these books. To take what I was feeling for these characters and put it on the page.


Q: It takes a lot of work and sacrifice on Dean’s part to provide for his family. So far he is my favorite character of yours. Where did you draw your inspiration for him?

Dean is something special. There’s no one person or event that inspired his character. In truth, Allie inspired him. I start a book with a single idea and see where it goes from there. In this case, I wanted to tell Allie’s story. We knew about her personality, her father, and the mystery boy in that photo from Fight or Flight. I just asked myself what kind of person would earn that kind of love and respect from Allie. The answer was simply: someone who deserved it.


Q: Allie’s father was extremely dark and had me on pins and needles whenever he was in her presence. Was it hard to go there as a writer and extract that type of fear for your readers?

It was difficult to write several of the scenes with Allie’s father. A few I had to go back and add the details later. As a rule I stuck to everything from Allie’s POV. What and how she was feeling. I can’t imagine having to dig inside the mind of a character like her father and having to try to see things from his POV. It would be a very scary place.


Q: Allie seems to go through stages when dealing with her tragedy. She even tip toes in what seemed to be her mothers previous shoes in a choice that may shock readers. What did you hope to accomplish when you have Allie make this choice?

I wanted to show how possible it is for a person to reach that point. To be so worn out both physically and emotionally that you just can’t fight what feels like the inevitable anymore. I also wanted the readers to see exactly how brave it made her. That she was willing to sacrifice so much of herself to protect the people she loved.


Q: I am in love with books that are written with dual points of view like in Sink or Swim. Why do you feel they work and any tips on how to successfully achieve it?

I love them, too! In a single POV book, it can be difficult to fully understand a secondary character’s motivations and decisions. Dual POVs allow you to see not only a characters actions, but also their thoughts and emotions, and builds a deeper connection between the character and the reader. I wanted the readers to have that kind of connection with Dean, as well as Allie.


Q: Finally, anything you have in the works that you’d like to share and why should readers add Sink or Swim to their TBR pile?   

I’ve written several different things in several different genres from paranormal, to horror, to dystopian, to multiple contemporaries. And, I have several more in the works, including an urban fantasy series and Now or Never, the sequel to Fight or Flight continuing Em and Jay’s story (coming this fall). But, out of all of them, my personal favorite has been Sink or Swim. I fell in love writing not only Allie and Dean, but Dean’s family. The characters from this book will forever hold a special place inside my heart. A place I hope they can share with anyone who reads their story.

Thank you Jamie for making a return stop to I Blog, You Read while on your Sink or Swim Blog Tour. Very excited to here that Jay has more story to tell in Now or Never. If you guys want more info on all the titles available from Jamie Canosa check out the links below and DO NOT forget to enter the Sink or Swim giveaway for a chance at a signed copy or ebook of Sink or Swim.


LINKS! LINKS! LINKS!

Find Jamie Canosa Here


Goodreads

More books by Jamie Canosa
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