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Author Corner

“This book is dedicated to you, dear reader. Yes, you.”
-Becky Banks

The Small Book Blog wants to welcome author Becky Banks and introduce her newest novel Forged. Forged is scheduled for release on October 26, 2012, and is already #10 on Amazon’s Romantic Suspense list! Forgedis a high octane romance complete with thrills, chills, love, dark pasts, lusciously sensual scenes and sexy mechanics. Without further ado here is an introduction to Forged, our Q&A with the fabulous author Becky Banks, and my review of Forged.

Introducing Forged:
Eva Lynn Rodgers, the daughter of a mechanic, grew up with a need for speed. So did her best friend, and later boyfriend, Nathaniel Vellanova. But when Eva left the drizzling rain of Portland, Oregon, for a high-powered career in New York, she left both Nathaniel and her past behind.

Now Eva's back, and her BMW—like her life in general—could use a little love. Her new mechanic is the right man for the job, but he's got some scores to settle with the girl who peeled out for the East Coast when he needed her most.

It's time for Eva and Nathaniel to confront their demons. Passionate and dangerous sparks ignite as Nathaniel's brutal youth rises up and pulls Eva Lynn back to him—forging a bond that, this time, won't be denied.

Q&A with Author Becky Banks:

Q: In a previous interview you mentioned that you listen to music when you write to set the mood. Did you continue this tradition with Forged? What music helped set the mood for this gritty tale of lost love?

Hello Annie and thanks for hosting me again! Yes! I did listen to music while writing Forged, and as you can imagine the playlist was quite different from The Legend of Lady MacLaoch- for those who don't know, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch is a Scottish romance - I listened to Black Keys (old and new stuff), True Blood Soundtrack, Cee Lo Green, The Cardigans, etc. Here’s a clip of the one song that played for the majority of the love scenes. ;0)

Note, the sound quality on the CD is fathoms better than the YouTube version, and at 100db on a rocking set of headphones, it’s luscious.

Q: There was a fantastic connection between Eve and Nate. Was there anything from you personally or from research that helped forge that bond? Did Eve and Nate just demand that we feel and “see” the connection to further enjoy their adventure?

Yes, Eve and Nate came to me like that. Before I got started writing Forged I got a bee in my bonnet from girlfriends talking to me about their first loves and wondering, where they are now? My husband and I are first loves (very rare I know...) and for the first few years of our relationship we separated at our college summer breaks. I went home to Maui and he stayed in Oregon. A lot of that pain and angst that they feel I channeled from my early years when we left each other. Regarding the chemistry between the two, they came with that all by themselves. But, I should mention, my family are highly passionate people, both vocally and in the bedroom (my cousin for example knocked up his wife who had been previously diagnosed as infertile). So that type of chemistry wasn't foreign to me.

Q: Do you research, act out scenes to make sure they feel and sound right?

Are you spying on me? How’d you know that’s what I do?? :0)
Aston Martin DB9 [via]
Yes, I do research, but in the most awesome way possible. For example when researching the Aston Martin DB9 - yes I did a touch of Wiki searching - my main source of info was from the brilliant BBC television show Top Gear. They drive the shit out of the cars they get and whilst driving them, hold a commentary about how it’s handling, feels, and overall vibe. This is something that cannot be got from Wikipedia data gathering. Though, in reality I would have loved to have climbed into the drivers seat of theDB9 and drove it like a bat outta hell through the coastal range like Nate and Eva do in the book. Instead, I combined my knowledge of cars in general with the DB9 and wove together what it would have been like. Note, I did drive a similar section of the coastal range like a bat out of hell (and been a passenger when the person I was with was using Nate’s rule: if you’re not slidin’ you’re not drivin’) in a stick, front wheel drive two door inline 4. I just made that last part up to make it sound fancy, but it was just a Ford Focus. The Focus though, shouldn't be mocked, as I've experienced, the the smaller the car the more you feel like you might die at lower speeds (read: more exhilarating). For example a Ford Focus doing 50mph through a tight turn can feel like death is eminent, where as in a luxury car (take a BMW 5-series for example) taken at twice the speed you might feelthe same. So, small cars are safer and more exhilarating. Which, I might add is a large tangent from your original question. :0)

Q: Do you still consider yourself a romantic? Previously, with The Legend of Lady MacLoach you said you realized you were a romantic. Do you, expanding on your assessment that you like to “take unlikely people and make them fall in love”, feel that you did that with Nate and Eve?

Oh absolutely. Nate and Eve are complete opposites, and the bond that cements them together is the love they share for each other. I’m absolutely infatuated with opposites attracting, it’s what gets me giddy inside. We’ll see more of that from my future writings, no doubt.

Q: This novel takes place in Portland, Oregon. The setting for many famous books, movies and television (Grimm is currently shot in the Portland area for fans of that show) shows. If the city were ever to create a tour of famous and popular novel scenes and television/movie scenes that have taken place in Portland and the surrounding areas, do you think you would be able to have parts of Forged on the tour? Are there real places in Portland you wrote about or was it more the feel of a city you were familiar with?

Speaking of Grimm, I actually got to watch the making of one of the episodes. They were filming in a girlfriend of mine’s neighborhood and I cruised by at lunch for a peek! See pic below.

The car of main character in Grimm and a 'prop' police car!
As far as Forged goes, yes, nearly all the scenes were set in real places. Though of course the construction on the bridge that the end scene happens on is fictionalized. It was the Broadway that was getting major reconstruction, which gave me the idea to set it on the Fremont (one of the taller bridges in Portland). Also, Nate’s auto shop is based loosely on Pro Tek Automotive off of Sandy where I take my BMW and the locations of where Nate and Eva live are real places.

Q: What’s next for you? Are you already writing another novel?

Yes! I am writing another novel! After much demand (read: death threats) this winter I’ll be writing the sequel to The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, we head back to Scotland for round two of the adventure. In this new book I'll introduce to readers new characters such as Minory relatives that Cole uncovers, a little old woman who reads tea leaves, a handsome undergraduate researcher and a woman from London that Rowan should not have forgotten about...

Thanks again Annie for having me!


Becky Banks is the award-winning author of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. Her newest novel, Forged releases October 26th. Get it FREE all week on the Kindle, October 22nd - 26th.

Available through Amazon Oct. 26.

or visit www.beckybanksonline.com

The Small Book Blog Review of Forged:
While author Becky Banks has remained a believer in the power of love, her upcoming novel Forged is a dark, sexy and gritty tale when compared to her debut novel The Legend of Lady MacLaoch. I was privileged to read the early unedited version of Forged and was blown away at how different it is in style from The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, how once again Banks creates characters and situations that are believable with descriptions that throw you into the scenes, and Eva (our heroine) is a kick ass woman of our time, she is someone we all wish we could be at one point or another throughout our life. I am not going to get into too much of the story and plot, Banks still has work to do before Forged is released later this year, but I will say that it is about Nate and Eva, two characters who we meet separately only to learn that we have been dropped into their story years after it happened. They grew up together, dated and their love just was not enough. Forged occurs after all bridges are burned between these two, however, what lies ahead (for them and us dear readers) is the story of Nate and Eva’s reunion and if what they had and what they will experience will be enough to forge their friendship into a love that will last lifetime or if they will remain people with a shared past seen over the remains of their burned bridge.

Banks paints very visceral scenes with amazing descriptions that, while reading it, are like watching a play in my head. Forged is going to be one of those great novels that you find yourself invested in and do not want to put down. However, for our time management, I appreciated that Banks puts breaks with the ends of the chapters by switching to other characters perspectives or scenes. Trust me, this was essential for me while reading so I could get dinner on the table and sleep at night. I also found that Banks has created a real energy with the main characters, Nate and Eva, and their relationships and interactions with their friends and co-workers. It flowed seamlessly and had me feeling like one of the pals, talking trash, feeling concerned, giggling at their inside jokes, and I appreciated this because I find it helps a novel when the “B” characters have personality.

Overall Forged is going to be a steamy, sexy, high octane adventure (in and out of the bedroom) with some suspense and grittiness thrown in, of the strength of love and forging the path to see if it is worth the heat of making it stronger or if it will remain a burned out lie.