Book Blitz: Clarity 5





Clarity 5: Loving Liam by Loretta Lost
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Suspense

Synopsis:
Happily ever after isn’t always easy…
Helen and Liam are engaged to be married and their relationship is stronger than ever. But when Helen encourages the young doctor to mend fences with his estranged family before the wedding, she unintentionally opens a dangerous can of worms.
A devastating secret from Liam’s past emerges, threatening to tear him apart. The horrors of his family skeletons make him feel that it is a huge mistake to try to start a new family with Helen. Unable to cope, he pushes everyone away, including his fiancΓ©e and even his best friend Owen.
Now Helen must do all she can to save the man who has saved her so many times. Liam has put himself on the line to help her heal in the past, and she hopes to do the same—if she can even get close enough to try…


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AUTHOR BIO:
Loretta Lost is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories where very bad things happen to good people. Mystery, tragedy, and danger complicate her unique romances between characters who will do anything to protect each other.

In the two days of summer that she gets in Canada, she grows a garden of the hottest peppers in the world. She loves using these peppers to torture her guests and challenge their manhood. This could be why she isn't married.

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The Interview with author Loretta Lost

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Sure! Writing will destroy your life. If it doesn’t, you’re not doing it right.
Are there any writing rituals you’ve developed? For the last few books that I’ve written, I’ve stopped washing my hair until they were completed. It’s an effective way of keeping myself trapped in “writing mode.” When I do wash my hair, I feel attractive and energetic, and yearn to go outside and do human things among other humans. If my hair is gross, I feel too embarrassed to show my face in public and I am forced to stay at home and keep working.
How do you deal with the isolation of writing? I believe it’s important to have friends who are also writers so that you can share the struggles. I also recently got a cat, and he provides a little companionship by cuddling up to me when I’m working.
How do you stay healthy when sitting on your butt all day? You need to get up and take walks regularly. Personally, I need to move to different locations throughout the day to keep things interesting, because I get sick of sitting one way. Having good posture while writing plays a huge role in avoiding headaches or neck pain.
What is your favourite food? I’m obsessed with nachos and could eat them every day of my life.
What are your favourite TV shows? Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, The Good Wife, How to Get Away with Murder, The Affair, Firefly, Charmed, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and the list goes on…
If you could be anything other than a writer, what would you be? Definitely an assassin.
What is your secret wish? I would be overjoyed if the world ended and we were all plunged into the zombie apocalypse. I think everyone would have a lot more fun. I would miss writing and publishing books, but I would really enjoy all of the physical activity involved with constantly fighting for survival.
There is a lot of medicine in your books. Did you ever want to be a doctor? I would have enjoyed going to med school if my father didn’t love the idea. I despise my father, as he is a terrible human being, and I would never give him the satisfaction of doing something he’d approve of.
There is a lot of romance in your books. How do you feel about marriage? Sadly, I have almost stopped believing that true love and mutual respect in relationships exists outside of fiction. As I get older, I find myself turning down marriage proposals and saying, “Let’s be friends instead. That way, nothing can go wrong.” This makes me even more dependent on my stories for love and romance—writing creates a safe place where one can be optimistic and risk getting hurt. 





A peek inside Clarity 5

“Hey! Liam? You okay, buddy?” Owen asks me with concern, putting an arm around my shoulders.
“N-no. My chest. It hurts.”
“Do you want to get out of here, and maybe go sit in the car?”
I am having trouble speaking or breathing, and I can only nod. I allow Owen to guide me out of the bar, and I try my best to remain standing. I don’t understand why my limbs feel like jelly and it is so hard to move my body.
Once Owen helps me into the vehicle, I allow my body to sag against the passenger seat. The passenger seat. Just like in my dream. My breathing comes in short, rapid bursts, and I feel like I am having a mild panic attack. If Owen weren’t here beside me, I would worry that I was about to die. But I know that he wouldn’t let that happen.
“Just calm down, Liam. You’re going to be okay,” he says, grasping my shoulder tightly. “Can you tell me what happened? In the dream?”
“What if it wasn’t a dream.”
“What?”
I blink slowly as I try to make eye contact with Owen and communicate my deepest fear. Something about the alcohol is opening the door to the very back of my mind, where the root of the issue has been lingering all this time. “What if I really did that? What if I really killed that baby?”
“Killed?” Owen says in shock, and I can see that his eyes have gone wide. “Liam, what are you talking about? You never told me that the baby was killed.”
“I left her there. I just left her there to die. Mama said—Mama said we’d go back for her, but we never did. She said the baby never existed, that it wasss a dream. But what if she did exist? Am I crazy? Am I crazy, Owen?”
My friend just stares at me blankly, and I find myself seized by a sudden anger. I reach out and grab him around the neck, dragging him closer so that I can look into his eyes. “Am I crazy?! Tell me! Did I kill the baby? Was there ever a baby! Fucking tell me!
“Liam,” he chokes out, “stop!”
“I can’t have a baby. I killed the baby. I’m a murderer. Helen would hate me forever. How can I tell her? That little girl was so tiny. She was like a little kitten. Did she get crushed under the tires of a truck? Did she freeze to death?” I squeeze Owen like a tube of toothpaste to try and get the answers out of him.
He claws at my hands to try to break free. “Hey!” he says hoarsely. “Liam, stop it!”
“Why was I so stupid? I killed her, Owen. I know that I killed her. I’m a monster.” My hands grow limp, and they fall to my sides. “I’m a murderer! I’m a fucking murderer! I knew all along. I was never punished. Not enough. He knows. I know that he knows. He’s going to come for me.”
My eyelids grow very heavy and it becomes difficult to hold them open. The world is growing dark, and I am beginning to feel like I am underwater. I try to move my arms, but they are flaccid. My whole body begins to feel like it’s disconnected from my brain.
I think I hear Owen’s voice speaking to me, but it is so far away. I can’t make out the words before the world becomes completely quiet and empty.


The Giveaway!





When Book Research Gets Personal… and Scary

By Loretta Lost

In the fifth book of my Clarity series, a young couple is engaged to be married and hoping to start a family together. Anxieties run high over whether they will have a healthy baby, and the bride, having been born blind, wants to have a DNA test.
I have done intensive research for many of my books in the past, but I must admit that this time, it made me a little scared and uncomfortable. I ordered a DNA kit off the internet for about $200 and it arrived within a few days.  I was worried about all the information I might discover, and if I’d be better off not knowing—but I tried to put my fears aside and do it for the sake of the book. I procrastinated for a little while, but the onset of a friend’s health issues made me realize that I wanted to know as much as possible, as soon as possible.
It ended up taking closer to twelve weeks to get the results, but they came just in time for me to use the experience in writing Clarity 5: Loving Liam. Although I had already written many of the scenes concerning the DNA testing, I went back and edited them with certain details of the experience—both emotional and factual. Regarding how the information pertained to my own health, I really did learn things I had not expected.
First of all, I discovered that I have a high risk of developing Celiac disease. This didn’t bother me very much, because I have never experienced digestive difficulties.  I already eat a mostly gluten-free diet since my ex-boyfriend and my mother must eat low-carb, and for some reason, I tend to adopt the eating habits of those around me. If I ever do get a carb craving, I usually only want rice, and I think that having Celiac wouldn’t really change my life. It will probably never be a concern.
The second discovery was much more alarming, and one that I wasn’t expecting: I seem to have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. I have always imagined writing books long into my old age, and the idea that I could lose my ability to do so earlier than expected makes me very afraid. No one in my family has any kind of dementia, so this was a huge surprise to me. Of course, it is still only a risk, and it seems like a healthy heart, regular exercise, and strong social connections can protect against developing Alzheimer’s. Although it’s scary, I am grateful to discover this now, at age 28, when I can still try to improve my lifestyle and remove some of the environmental risk factors.
There was a little bit of good news in all this as well. For years I have suffered from cysts in my ovaries, and recently I’ve had cysts in my breasts. They have been benign, but I do have a family history of breast cancer and I often worry that the pain from the cysts could be an indicator of something more serious. However, I was pleased to see that my DNA does not hold an increased risk for breast or ovarian cancer. Of course, I understand that I could still acquire either, and I shouldn’t assume that these organs will be completely healthy without regular checkups and healthy living.
I’m just happy that I don’t have to assume the worst, and that I won’t need to cut off my breasts as a preventative measure. I rather like my breasts.
I also learned that I am not a carrier of any diseases that could be life-threatening to my future children, which was very reassuring, but I am not taking any of these results at face value. Environmental factors can be just as life-threatening; it doesn’t matter how perfect your DNA is, you can still crash your car if you don’t drive safely.
Overall, I gained a massive amount of material for my story from this one little test I did on myself. It is extremely personal, which allows me to imagine how the characters would feel in similar situations. I think the only way to write is to allow yourself to be vulnerable, and hurt, and to feel—and then to pour those feelings on the page.

When characters are really afraid, and concerned about their own mortality and futures, that is when they are most real and we can connect with them best.


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