Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tour Review & Interview: The Monster of Fame by Aimee Duffy

Adult Contemporary Romance

Can the voice of an angel heal a tortured soul?

Annabelle MacIntosh enters a reality singing contest to save her family from their mounting debt. Miles Oliver, celebrity judge and the owner of the biggest record company in the UK, doesn't think she has what it takes. She sings like an angel, but when she performs all he can focus on is the terror in her eyes. It's a look he knows only too well. After the pressure of fame destroyed his wife, Miles swore he'd never let the same thing happen to anyone else. Driven by the guilt he's carried for years, Miles tries everything in his power to make sure Annabelle doesn't succeed, because he doesn't believe she'll survive it.

Annabelle needs that prize money, and she's determined to win it. As she fights to make it through each round of the contest, an attraction begins to develop between the two adversaries. The longer Annabelle remains in the competition, the deeper her attraction grows to the man who's trying to prevent her from reaching her goal. Can she convince Miles she's strong enough to fight the fame monster and win?

Source: Received the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Did not receive any payment for review.

My Review

Annabelle's life has not been easy. She works at a grocery store near her home to help make ends meet. Her father left her and her family, leaving a steep amount of debt in his wake. Annabelle has dreamed of being a singer her whole life. She enters a competition called "Do You Have What It Takes?" This is a competition quite like American Idol. She thinks this is her shot to pay off the debts and help her family. 

Miles Oliver is one of the judges on "Do You Have What It Takes?" He has seen firsthand what the fame monster can do to a person. After all, fame took it's toll on his now deceased wife. He sees Annabelle at the auditions and has never heard such a beautiful voice. He is determined to make her leave the competition for fears that she will not survive fame. He soon becomes conflicted about his intentions when he finds out the reason why Annabelle is competing. 

Annabelle is very timid in the beginning of the competition. She doesn't have much confidence and is always second guessing herself. Her confidence and strength increases as her relationship with Miles grows. I feel like I'm explaining this the wrong way. It's not all sunshine and rainbows and there are bumps along the way. Misinterpreted intentions get in the way and there is a lot of internal conflict with the characters. 

I really enjoyed the romance in this book. I have been in sort of a rut lately with my contemporary romances. This book had just the right amount of steam. I really wasn't expecting it to have as much as it did and it gave me a "Oh, HELLO!" kinda moment LOL. Back to Annabelle... I really liked her character. She isn't a super skinny chic and she has curves. Not to mention that she's kind of a red head. More of an auburn, but still :-) And helllloooo, Miles is a hottie!! I'd be all over him like white on rice! I really recommend this book for a quick romantic read. I especially loved the last chapter. 

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m from “sunny” Scotland and work for a solicitors. I love reading, shopping (what girl doesn’t?), US Sitcoms, UK comedy shows, reality telly programs and nights out on the town with my friends. Just the usual. Oh, and I write in my free time

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing on and off since high school. It was only last summer that I really knuckled down and made it a part of my life. Now I can’t imagine a life any other way.

Have you ever been discouraged in regard to your writing ability and if so, how did you get past it andmove forward?

Yes. I needed quick feedback on a partial, so I asked a girl I didn’t know to critique it for me. She didn’t like my voice, the phrases I used but ironically she loved the story. After some moping, my usual CP offered to read it and told me it was the best thing I’ve ever written (and she’s brutally honest). I came to terms that my writing isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and now I’m okay with it.

What's your favorite thing about writing?

I love getting lost in my character’s heads. Writing about, say, a girl who has the balls to enter a reality singing competition is a vast difference from my not-half-as-fun life.

What is something you've written that will never see the light of day?

My first and second manuscripts! They were dreadful. Also a short novella I wrote for a friend that was m/m. I’ve read a few since I wrote it and realized how awful mine was. My friend seemed to like it though :D

What is your writer food?

People can eat and type? I get too lost in the words and my fingers don’t stop until the words stop flowing to eat. I’ve been known to take a break for a quick ciggy though.

What's the hardest thing about writing for you?

Getting started on a new story, especially if it’s right after the last one. If the books aren’t related, I still have the old characters in my head and it takes a while to get to know the new guys. That’s when I know I’m going to have to revise, revise, revise. I’m not a fan of revisions.

What inspires you to write?

Everything. People, pictures, songs, my garden, nature, television programs. Everything I see, hear, read
inspires a story.

How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

Five. The two that will never, ever see the light of day. My newest release, my book coming out in January and another that I have under consideration. The m/m was a novella. I’m working on book 2 of my debut release and I’m about half way through.

What are some of your favorite books?

I love The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, anything by Natalie Anderson or Heidi Rice, Bared to You
by Sylvia Day, the Fifty Shades saga, books by Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben and I loved how unique
Private Love in a Public Place is by Toni Kenyon.

What authors do you like to read?

Cassandra Clare, Natalie Anderson, Heidi Rice, Nicola Marsh, Sylvia Day, Stephanie Meyer, Linwood
Barclay, Harlan Coben, Savanna Chase, Zara Stonely, Jessica E Subject and lots more.

What inspired you to write The Monster of Fame?

Television programs! More specifically shows like XFactor, The Voice and Pop Idol. I thought why not combine those with a romance. Tada, The Monster of Fame was born.

If you could choose a dream cast for The Monster of Fame, who would you pick?

Ian Somerhalder for Miles, Isla Fisher for Annabelle, Ildi Silva for Safri and Ryan Hansen for Sander.

OHHHH Ian Somerhalder....I'm now drooling!! I can totally see him as Miles. It just made the story that much better for me :-) I love your picks for the cast!

Would you say you relate to any of your characters? If so, which one and why?

Annabelle MacIntosh from The Monster of Fame. She’s not had the best start in life, and where mine was much, much better, we didn’t have much when I was younger and had to make do with what we could. I admire her strength, her motivation and get up and go. I like to think I’m a little like that :D

About the Author

A lifelong bookworm with an addiction to happily ever afters, Aimée Duffy has read romance for as long as she can remember. After spending years dreaming up her own handsome heroes and feisty heroines, she finally decided to put pen to paper and write.

She lives in Central Scotland, surrounded by family and friends. By day she works in a private firm of lawyers, and by night she considers herself extremely lucky to be writing the books she loves to read and to have the opportunity to share her characters' happy ever afters with readers. In her free time she enjoys hillwalking and handbag shopping.

Aimée loves any excuse for a natter. You can find her at:

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