Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blog Tour: Character Interview Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson's "Striking"

Title: Striking
Authors: Lila Felix & Rachel Higginson
Can two hearts be forged into one?
Cami Montgomery stole a car and smashed it into the front of a building in upscale Beverly Hills after a lousy date with the epitome of sleaze balls. The worst part, her parents are following through on threats after this latest plea for attention. Banished from her L.A. paradise and plunged into the Appalachian Mountains with her industrious aunt and uncle, Cami is about to find out how precious life really is. 
Stockton Wright has been thrust into a hard life. He sacrifices everything to give his family and community what they need. He’s exhausted from life and work—and he’s only twenty four. What he needs is some change, and some sunshine. Even he will agree to that. He just doesn’t expect to find it in a stuck up, pompous, entitled Californian. 
Cami bursts into Stockton’s life like wildfire, consuming all his thoughts and tangling him in her web. What starts out as a contentious rivalry evolves into a desire neither of them expected. When hammer meets metal, will they crack under pressure or be forged as one?
Add Striking to Goodreads
Stockton Wright
(Channing Tatum)
Cami Montgomery
Kristen Prout
I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Cami Montgomery in her beautiful small town. So there is now confusion, my questions and comments will be in pink and Cami's in purple.  Enjoy!

It's a beautiful Friday afternoon
 in the small, quaint, Appalachian Mountain town Cami Montgomery fell in love with. Walking down the street, I can see why she loves it so much. People say hello as they pass by & men left their hats to say ma'm. The store windows are filled with antiques & cute hand made items. 

 About half way down the main road, I find "Mick's" the restaurant Cami asked me to meet her & walk inside a bar. The bartender smiles & says "Oh yes you're the Texan here to interview our Cami." I smile, remembering how fast news spreads in a small town & respond "Yes sir." He points to the back "In the back darling." Nodding my thanks I head back. After sitting down I order Cami & myself some sweet tea, I sit back & wait for her.

 It isn't even five minutes when I see her floating & laughing over something the bartender must've said in the bar. I stand up to greet her & give her a hug. "Hello Cami!" "Thank you so much for meeting with me today!" I'm so excited to have the chance to get to know you better!"

 Passing Cami her sweet tea I say "Now that we have our sugar for the day are you ready to begin?"
"It’s so fun to be here with you Kelly!" "But for real, I cannot get used to the menu down here." "The food is good but sometimes a girl just needs a nice, big salad, you know?" *looking at my own menu & laughing & "It's just crazy." *we both order a club sandwich*
Smiling I say "One of my favorite parts of the book was reading your complete culture shock when you first moved here!!" (the Louis comment still makes me giggle). "Can you share some of your thoughts & feelings about that experience?"
 *smiles fondly* "It was definitely culture shock. LA is just so different than this hillbilly- I mean, quaint little mountain town." *giggle* "For starters, I’ve never lived in a town this small before." "I mean, just the traffic alone." "Back home it can take hours to get some place depending on the time of day." "There’s barely a stoplight in this town and people actually yield for pedestrians." "It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around." "And people are nice here- like genuinely nice." "Sometimes I still find myself trying to figure out their ulterior motives." *smiles* "I don’t want you to get a bad impression of LA; obviously I love my hometown."  "And I miss the constant sunshine and year round perfect weather." "And I’m sure there are plenty of nice people out there." "But the circles I ran in were the opposite of nice and so the hospitality and the sense of community are all new to me- but in the best way possible." "Sounds like you've found your place!"
"When you & Stockton first met there was a mixture of of attraction & pure disdain." *big goofy grin* "At what point did that shift & you realized you were falling in love with that yummy hunk of man?" *lol & put hand up* "SO sorry I had to say it!!"
 *Laughs* "Don’t worry, I totally get it!"  "He’s gorgeous, even with that freakishly large arm of his." *sharp outburst of laughter*  "I don’t know if there was every truly disdain on my part." "I mean, I know right from the get go, I rubbed him the wrong way." "But he always kind of fascinated me." "And the attraction between us was so undeniable that it was hard for me to think about anything else when he was around." *smiles & nods* "Mostly I was trying to figure him out at first- you know?" "Like what made him so wary of what was between us, or what kind of girl he was looking for if it wasn’t me." "And it’s hard to say when exactly I started falling for him." "It could very well have been from the moment he shook my hand in church; I was just his from that moment on." *sigh* "But probably it was later than that- when I saw how kind and charitable he was to those that need help in this town." "How generous he was to me." "And the night he showed up at my window the first time." "YES, loved that!!" "I mean, after I got over my initial panic that he was Sasquatch…" "But we had a real conversation that night- one of the first in my entire life- and I got to know him, who he truly is." "He’s just this amazing man, and I knew that night I’d never be able to walk away from without breaking at least a little part of my heart." *sigh* "I had ever known anything that good and authentic ever before and I just wanted to hold on to him and never let go." "Y'all are perfect together!!"
"Your aunt & uncle were very hard on you when you first moved in with them, but seemed to loosen up a bit toward the end of the book."  "How is y'all's relationship now?"
"It’s absolutely great now!"  "Mallory and I are as close as we can be and Henry is like a father to me." "I understand why they were so wary at first." "And after everything my dad told them about my behavior back in LA, they probably had a right to be." *nods* "Plus, I wasn’t the easiest person to get along with, I know that." "But we’ve worked through all that and I’m so blessed to have them be such a huge part of my life now." "That's wonderful Cami!"
The waitress brings our food & fresh drinks. After taking a bite & checking my notes I say. "You & Stockton's sister Will had an instant connection." "What was it about her that bonded y'all so quickly?"
"Girl stuff, definitely."  "The minute I saw Will hop out of her Jeep, I knew we were destined to be friends." *smiles* "She is so beautiful, but not just physically, she has that same inner glow that Stockton does." "She’s such a welcoming, warm person that she draws everyone in to her." "But it was the hair products that did it." "I had been trapped down here for a while and I think the girliest Mallory gets is when she allows herself a bubble bath at the end of all the sheering." *LOL* "She’s not exactly the type I can veg out with in front of a chick flick and paint each other’s toes." "I recognized that about Will immediately and I was as drawn to the fact that she would actually care about what I had to say, the same way she was drawn to the older, wiser woman in me."  "Ok, maybe not wiser…" "But Will needed a female in her life that was older, had seen a little more of the world, but wasn’t going to mother her." "I think the relationship has been good for both of y'all!"  
"Speaking of Will, how is she doing?" "Is she adjusting to college alright?"
 "Yes!" *smile* "She’s doing fantastic!" "She’s in school with me and trying to figure out what she wants to do with life." "She’s still living at home with Stockton for now, but I think she wants a place of her own, wants to find her own independence." "I'm so glad to hear that she's doing so well!" "I think that's wonderful that y'all are in school together & have that support system!"  
*Clearing throat & shifting in the booth I say* "You're a completely different person than you were when you first moved here." "What finally made you realize you needed to make a change & what changes have you made to improve yourself?"
 "I think I knew I needed a change even before I got down here- otherwise I have no idea how my parents got me on the plane in the first place." "Unless they drugged me…." *thinks about it*  *giggles* "No, I’m sure I knew I needed to change." "I was reckless and out of control." "The accident helped solidify that I could actually hurt myself by acting so wild." "I just didn’t know how to change." "Like I’ve said, the circles I grew up in were reality show material and I wasn’t exactly the worst out there." "I have old friends who got into a lot more trouble than I did before they were sent away- if their parents cared enough to send them away." "Agree" "So even though I saw the need to make myself a better person, I just didn’t know what to do or how to do it."
"And when I got down here, I really did try." "I tried with Mallory and Henry and I worked hard on the farm- or as hard as I was able." "Let me tell you, I developed some serious muscle after only a few weeks down here." "It was like my arms had little bicep babies. *feels Cami's arms* "Yes you do!" " And I don’t even want to talk about my thighs after all the lifting my aunt and uncle had me do. Although, if we’re being honest, my calves look killer in heels now. *laughs at her own joke* "Hey, I'd say it was worth it then!"  "But it wasn’t until Stockton that I decided to really give myself a personality maker."
"He just has this way of drawing out the good in people. I’ve said it before, he sees the good in everybody." "I mean, have you met his best friend Shriver?" "yes." "Now there is someone who might actually need rehab." *smiles sadly* "Yeah, I can see that." "But Stockton doesn’t see all the messed up parts of people unless he’s trying to." "Mostly he sees what’s buried beneath." "And with me, he took the time and effort to pull that out of me." "Glad he did!"
"He and Will also were patient and caring enough with me to show me how to be better." "If they would have just talked my ear off about it and never taken the time to work with me, I probably would never have figured this out." *smiles* "But they went beyond that." "They took me with them on all their charity projects; they demonstrated goodness, kindness and grace." "They brought me into their family and made me a part of it and that was when the real change started to happen." "Now I’m the one running to Beth’s house with groceries and taking her kids on trips to the park so she can get a break." "Beth is an amazing lady." "When you practice that kind of stuff daily, it just becomes second nature." "And there is nothing more rewarding than giving yourself to others." "Y'all are just so awesome!" "I'm in awe of y'all!" 
The waitress comes by to clear our plates & offers us fresh pie & ice cream. *looks at Cami*  and says "How can you pass that up??"
"You can’t." "Don’t even try." "If you’re worried about the calories, I’ll take you back to the farm with me and show you how to work them off."  *winks* "Oh really" *seriously considers it* *to the waitress* “We’ll have two slices of peach, with ice cream and whipped topping.” *to Kelly* “They buy their peaches from Mallory. You’re going to love this!” "Oh it's a must for sure!"

"I know you've mentioned wanting to become an author." "Have you been able to write anything yet?"
 "I have! Well, mostly in my journal.  "Hey that's a start!" "But I’ve opened a Word document and I’ve started a chapter." "It’s a slow process, but I’m learning that sometimes the best things in life happen slowly and carefully." "Can't wait to read your work!"
The waitress brings us a huge helping of peach pie & ice cream, so much I wish Cami & I would've split it instead of getting our own. I look up at Cami & I can tell she's thinking the something & we both bust out in a fit of giggles.
 “Just wait, it will be gone before you can blink!”
After taking a bite of the most delicious pie I've ever had,  I ask "When Stockton has time off what do y'all like to do for fun?"
 “We’re actually pretty boring." "I don’t think Stockton was ever wild and my party days are behind me." "We spend a lot of time with his brothers and sister and with Mallory and Henry too." "Sounds like fun to me!" "There’s literally always work to be done down here, so our weekends are spent cleaning up his farm in order to get ready for the new barn or now that he’s making so much money with his design company, he’s started taking on all kinds of pro-bono projects around town." "Awww sounds like Stockton to me!" "So I do what I can to help him finish those." "I’m studying a lot too and he usually just grabs a book and scoots in next to me on the couch." "Romantic."  "Like I said, we’re pretty boring." "But I like it this way." "I like the rhythm our lives have found. It’s peaceful but beautiful.” "I agree!"
The waitress comes by to take our half eaten pies. I try & offer her money but she puts her hands up & says. "Sorry ma'm but Stockton made a trade with us last week so you ladies could eat for free." She smiles & continues, "He set me up with one of those pan racks your aunt has Cami!" We watch her happily walk away, I turn to Cami & say, "Ok, that's it!" "I'm moving here!!"
*grins from ear to ear* This place grows on you, doesn’t it?
We stand up &  hugging Cami I say "Thank you for meeting with me today!" "I really enjoyed our time together!" "Tell Stockton I said hello!" "Have a great day!"
 "It was so sweet of you to come all the way over here! And thank so much for the interview!" "It was such a fun time!!!" "See you later, Kelly!" "Bye Sweets"
Ok so what did y'all think about Cami?? Let me know, I'd love to hear  your thoughts!

Favorite Quotes:

"While my stature and general asinine behavior warranted screams and running of women and small children."

"They banished me to the land of middle class and sheep farmers."

"The duchess was wrecking my head in the best way possible." ~Stockton

"They took away my spring-line Valentino’s, and forced me into boots- and not the cute kind."

"Cami, you drive me insane. I can’t stop thinking about you.”

“Do hillbillies usually take this long to kiss a girl or are you purposefully trying to drive me batshit?”

"I probably would have found myself lost and made into an extra on The Hills Have Eyes- Redneck County Edition."

"Her mouth was the beginning and the end of me."

"He was my anchor, my significance and my saving grace all in one."

“She changed you and you don’t even know it,”

"And this was where I would live out my happily ever after with a man so great I would stand in awe of him for the rest of my life."

About my girls:
Lila Felix made the decision to write a book after being encouraged by friends. She is a stay at home mom to three wild children and three boisterous dogs and her high school sweetheart husband encourages her daily. Between writing books, she loves to read and watch sappy 80's movies. Favorite things: ice cream, anything purple, roller derby and any kind of music she can get her hands on. If you're looking for her, try looking in the swamp, she's probably duct taping something under the shade of a Cypress tree.
Stalking Links:

Rachel Higginson was born and raised in Nebraska, but spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. But came back home to marry her high school sweetheart and now spends her days raising her big family. In those few spare moments she has, she is either reading or writing Young Adult Fiction

Stalking Links:


Follow the tour:
SEPT 4 - Michael 
SEPT 6 - Chris Woo 
SEPT 7 - Jenn 
SEPT 12 - Regan 
SEPT 14 - Candace 
SEPT 15 - Holly 

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