Interview with ONE NIGHT Author A. J. Pine

Interview with ONE NIGHT Author A. J. Pine

OneNight_bannerJoyfully Reviewed Welcomes Author A. J. Pine and her latest release,

ONE NIGHT!

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One Night cover

When she lost it all, Jess decided to cope by living a lie. 

But you can’t keep on pretending forever…

Twenty-one-year-old Jess used to have everything—a loyal best friend, a boyfriend she loved, and a future that was right on track. But in a single night, her whole world changed.

Now, Jess lives for the impersonal connection of drunken hook-ups and to-go coffee cups in the morning. All she needs is one night to pretend everything is fine…until she meets Adam.

Thanks to a sports injury, gorgeous, charming basketball star Adam Carson is stuck in physical therapy at the hospital where Jess interns—giving her the perfect opportunity to see his sweet, considerate nature and making her realize that maybe she does want something more.

But while Adam might be the best thing that’s happened to Jess in a long time, letting him past her carefully constructed walls means letting him know what happened…and why he’d never want her for more than one night.

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24733057-one-night
Buy links:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1FIOv7c

B&N Nook: http://bit.ly/1DCW3Gc

iTunes/iBooks: http://apple.co/1FIORuD

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/one-night-25

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/A_J_Pine_One_Night?id=txudBAAAQBAJ

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EXCERPT

“Well, Ms. Elliott, I believe I’m ready to sleep with you.”

My gaze searches the length of his body. Where his jeans once hugged his hips just right—and yes, I noticed—he now wears his green basketball shorts.

“Do you always travel prepared to spend the night out?”

“No . . .”

He rounds the bed slowly and sits on the side opposite me.

“I’m not that kind of guy. I’m more the superstitious type.”

My heart hammers at his nearness. He may be across the bed, but he’s here, in my room, asking nothing of me other than a bed to sleep in.

“Enlighten me,” I say.

“I wear the shorts, under my jeans, the night before a game,” he starts. “And if it’s an away game, the night before travel too.”

“Because winning has nothing to do with skill and strategy, only whether or not you’re wearing the shorts?”

He chucks a pillow at me. Then I reach over to my nightstand where the product of my kitchen visit lies, tossing it across the bed to him. He picks it up and eyes the package of frozen peas.

“For your knee,” I say, and there’s a small silence as he positions the bag over the visible swelling.

“Thank you.” He says nothing more to give away what we both know, that Jake’s cheap shot did more than draw blood. Adam absorbed the shock of the blow with his whole body.

I turn off my lamp and slide down until my head rests on my pillow. He slides down too, so he’s on his back, the bag of peas molded over his knee, his head turned to face me.

“You’re miles away,” I say. But that’s not true. He’s closer than I’ve let anyone get since sophomore year.

He reaches his arm across the space between us, his hand finding mine where it lies on my pillow. He doesn’t grab it but instead snakes his pinky around mine.

I stifle a sharp breath, shocked not so much at the gesture itself but at the jolt of the touch of his skin.

“I’m right here,” he says. “Just being a gentleman. Friends or not, I don’t have much control over what can happen…” His eyes dip to his shorts, and I giggle. “… if I get too close to a gorgeous girl in bed.”

Heat floods my neck, my cheeks, and I cross my fingers the room is dark enough that he doesn’t notice. The thought of Adam’s body pressed against mine—of him being aroused by me—threatens my last shred of resolve. Because I want him in so many ways, this gentleman who keeps his distance. But I want even more not to lose him as my friend.

“You need to stop saying stuff like that.”

“Like what?”

I chuck the pillow back at him.

“I’m just asking for some clarification,” he says. “I mean, I say a lot of things.”

I purse my lips and glare.

“Fine. Okay. I won’t call you gorgeous anymore. I don’t need to. You already know I think it.”

How does he do that? Unabashedly say things threatening to unravel me. With the few others who have shared this bed with me, all I ever wanted was to get to the sleeping part so I could close my eyes and forget, fool myself into a night free from dreams pretending the arms around me belonged to Bryan. When the dreams stayed hidden, sleep was the one thing that could transport me back to where I used to be.

But tonight I fight the fatigue. I don’t want the evening to end, don’t want to pretend I’m with anyone else. Still, my eyes grow heavy, blink, blink, blinking me off to sleep. With each flutter of my lids, I watch my pinky, still laced with his. Our hands are the last thing I see before I lose the battle and sleep takes me.

In the early morning, I don’t have to search for a warm body that finds more comfort in the art of spooning a pillow. Because Adam is still here, his finger still tangled with mine. But we failed at maintaining the bed-border relationship.

His arm no longer has to reach to find me. It’s bent at the elbow, pulled tight to his chest and along with it, my hand. And his head, tilted slightly in my direction, rests dreamily on my pillow. I watch him, this beautiful boy with an equally beautiful, forgiving, nonjudgmental heart. And for a minute, I imagine giving my heart to him and his accepting it without question. I imagine a future with him in it, but only for a moment, before I let his soft exhales lull me back to sleep. Reality can wait a few more hours.

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Please tell us about your novel.

One Night is NA Contemporary Romance. As far as what it’s about, I think the blurb says it best:

When she lost it all, Jess decided to cope by living a lie. 

But you can’t keep on pretending forever…

Twenty-one-year-old Jess used to have everything—a loyal best friend, a boyfriend she loved, and a future that was right on track. But in a single night, her whole world changed.

Now, Jess lives for the impersonal connection of drunken hook-ups and to-go coffee cups in the morning. All she needs is one night to pretend everything is fine…until she meets Adam.

Thanks to a sports injury, gorgeous, charming basketball star Adam Carson is stuck in physical therapy at the hospital where Jess interns—giving her the perfect opportunity to see his sweet, considerate nature and making her realize that maybe she does want something more.

But while Adam might be the best thing that’s happened to Jess in a long time, letting him past her carefully constructed walls means letting him know what happened…and why he’d never want her for more than one night.

How did you research your novel, if applicable?

My heroine, Jess, is a college senior still trying to deal with personal tragedy that struck her sophomore year. While I can’t reveal what that tragedy was (Sorry—no spoilers!), I can say that it’s one that required me to research how such an event would affect someone.

Additionally, my hero, Adam, is a basketball player. I can watch a basketball game just fine and keep up with what’s going on, but to talk about basketball in the voice of a guy who plays it? Yeah, I needed some help. Thankfully one of my writing partners played basketball in high school, so I had some excellent help. Plus, that one steamy scene that involves describing a basketball play with cupcake frosting—I needed to make sure I got that one just right.

Where can readers find you online?

Twitter: @AJ_Pine

Facebook: ajpineauthor

Facebook Reader Group: Our So-Called Group

Goodreads: AJ Pine

Pinterest: ajpine

When you are stuck on something, what is your go to cure?

The best thing I can do when I get stuck on a chapter or a scene is to just write through it. I have to remind myself that the first draft does not have to be perfect. It just has to get done. As exhausting and frustrating as the whole editing process can be, that’s when the real writing happens, where I take what I had to just get down on paper hopefully make it into something other people will want to read. Also, chocolate helps. It may not make the words come, but it sure helps me feel better.

Do you have a real life hero? If so, can you tell us who and why?

In my day job I spent over a decade as a high school English teacher, and I have to say that my students were my heroes. I was fortunate enough to work in a school that put a very high esteem on writing of all types, so much so that for over twenty years the school has been putting on an annual event called Writers Week—a daily celebration of writing from students, faculty, and professional writers. It was watching my students get up on stage to share their writing in front of an audience of 500+ that prompted me to start sharing my own. It’s because of them that I am where I am now.

Who is your favorite literary hero and heroine?

Oh man? I have to pick one of each? That’s hardly fair. Hahaha. Well, if we delve into classic literature, I’m going with Beatrice and Benedick from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. You want to talk tropes? Beatrice and Benedick are one of my favorite enemies to lovers example. They absolutely steal every scene in that play, and my favorite portrayal of the two angry lovers are Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh. But if I can sneak in one of my favorite contemporary pairs, it would have to be Cath and Levi from Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

Are you character or plot driven? Why?

My ideas always start with a character or characters in a certain scene. From there, though, I do build the plot. Once I’m sure the characters have a story to tell, I draw up a full story outline before sitting down to write chapter one.

How do you feel about social media? Is it a help or hindrance to you?

Hahaha. This is a loaded question. I LOVE social media for interacting with other readers and authors. I have a reader group with authors Lia Riley and Jennifer Blackwood (listed above), and we have a blast sharing teasers/excerpts/daily shenanigans with our readers. I also love Twitter. Love twitter. It’s a great place to connect with lots of friends in the publishing world, but it can also be a huge distraction. When I’m on deadline, I have to close my social media windows until I hit word count. Then social media time becomes my reward.

What are the first five titles on your kindle?

Changing His Game by Megan Erickson
Afternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun
No Attachments by Tiffany King
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Hahaha. I guess that shows my tastes range from Erotic Romance to YA Contemporary. My Audible library is filled with YA fantasy. I guess I have certain mediums where I like to read certain genres.

Where do you see yourself and your writing in the next five years?
I really hope I get to keep doing what I’m doing. I adore writing romance and see this as the main focus of my writing career. However, I’m also a huge fan of YA fantasy and paranormal, and I have a few ideas waiting in the vault to see if anything comes of them. I wouldn’t say no to a career in varied genres/categories.

How many books do you own and what does your bookshelf look like?
Please don’t make me count. I’ve got two young kids, so our home book collection ranges from picture books to middle grade on up to adult. Let’s just say I have hundreds of books, but the shelves in my bedroom are the only ones bearing any semblance of organization. I’m a teen librarian by day now, so the day job definitely rubs off. My books are shelved alphabetically by author, split into fiction and nonfiction shelves. One day I want to get creative and organize them by color, but that might get me a little twitchy when it comes to finding the book I’m looking for.

What do you find inspiring?
In my writing life? I’m inspired by everything and everyone. Real life bleeds into fiction, so everything that happens to me or that I observe happen to others can trigger an idea. Movies, songs—there are so many wonderful places to find inspiration. But that also means if you know me, be careful. Anything you say/do can and may end up in a book.

Do you have a favorite charity?
I don’t think any one charity trumps another, but because I’m a mom, I find it hard to say no to anything that supports children’s health. My school recently did a big charity drive for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and I was happy to donate multiple times to sponsor some brave students who are going to shave their heads for children’s cancer awareness.

Your family is safe and sound. You have 24 hours to live and have been given the ability to do anything in the world, what do you do?

I guess it wouldn’t make sense to travel anywhere with so little time. Plus, I’d want to stay close to my kids. Depending on my mood, I’d probably just marathon a season of Gilmore Girls or Arrow.

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aj pine author pic

AJ Pine writes stories to break readers’ hearts, but don’t worry—she’ll mend them with a happily ever after. As an English teacher and a librarian, AJ has always surrounded herself with books. All her favorites have one big commonality–romance. Naturally, her books have the same. When she’s not writing, she’s of course reading. Then there’s online shopping (everything from groceries to shoes) and, of course, a tiny bit of TV where she nourishes her undying love of vampires, from Eric Northman to the Salvatore brothers. And in the midst of all of this, you’ll also find her hanging with her family in the Chicago burbs.

Website: http://ajpine.com/
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/ajpineauthor
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/AJ_Pine
Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7845968.A_J_Pine

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