Today we are excited to participate in Closed the Cover’s blog tour for Saving Rain by Karen-Anne Stewart. Saving Rain is a new adult contemporary romance that was released January 31, 2013 by Authorhouse.
About the Book
By Karen-Anne Stewart
Pub Date: 1|31|13
Genre: New Adult
Raina has tried to forget her past, forget the pain, but when she finds herself staring straight into the fury blazing in her ex-boyfriend’s eyes, her dark past comes rushing back. Furious with herself for actually having chosen someone like her father, she uses that anger to her advantage and fights for her life…and for her future that she prays will involve the man she can’t seem to get out of her head.
Kas is a natural leader, a fierce fighter, the type of man you send in when you need to get the job done. He is a courageous hero who is used to risking his own life to save others, but can he save the one who has captured his heart from her horrific past and the men who are hell-bent on destroying her?As Kas and Raina try to navigate through the twists and turns of a deviously intelligent human trafficking group, they find solace in each other’s arms. Can they infiltrate the trafficker’s tight ring, saving the innocent lives from imminent danger before it’s too late?
***Disclaimer: Due to sensitive issues of abuse, human trafficking, and adult scenes, The Rain Trilogy is intended for readers 18+. Although Saving Rain does not include ‘adult’ scenes, the final two novels do.***
This book took me by surprise, and really grabbed at my heart. It is probably best to understand that this book is dealing with human trafficking from an outside looking in perspective. The major focus of the book is not on this subject, but on the growth of Raina, a girl who was abused as a child who must come to terms with all that has happened to her. After her ex boyfriend attacks and almost kills her, she is forced to deal with all the emotions she has pushed down for so long.
And then there is Kas. Oh Kas. He’s the epitome of the good, Southern gentlemen. I picture him with dimples and a lopsided smile that lights up a room. He and Raina already have established feelings for one another. At first it was hard, because by 20% into the book, Raina knows she loves Kas. So for me, it was a bit hard to get on the “aww” bandwagon. We don’t get to ‘see’ the meeting, and falling for each other, persay. It is already established that they have feelings for each other. So when she realizes she loves him, it wasn’t instalove, but I still didn’t quite connect with it the way I have in other books. However, it doesn’t take long for me to get giddy about the two and by 40%, I was team Raina/Kas.
Kas is sweet, but demanding. He does tells her what to do, especially when it comes to her safety. I know he is trying to protect her, but wants her to make her own choices, away from her abusers. And in fact, he is taking away some of her control of the situation — this is a trend in this type of writing that bugs me personally. It didn’t take anything away from the story, but it makes me roll my eyes at guys in general.
The beginning is an experiment in creative writing. We start the book on the climatic scene: Raina is fighting her (ex) boyfriend; we then shift to the recent past. It is a bit confusing, but it was a bold move and puts you right in the action. We then slowly learn about Raina’s past and Kas/Raina. I actually really enjoyed this. It was different, and like I said, it threw me off, but once I caught on to everything, I appreciated the unique style that Karen-Anne put on her book.
The writing is straight-forward and it really helped when it came to dealing with the darker issues. However, one thing that bothered me some was that the narrator was omnipresent, seeing and hearing EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. It is very confusing to quickly move from Raina’s thoughts to Kas’ without getting whiplash. I’m all for shifting POV’s, but this was entirely too confusing. I was never in someone’s head long enough to truly grasp on to what they are saying before I was swept away by another character. It’s like they were vying it out for my attention and I kept shaking my head back and forth trying to keep up.
Learning more about Raina’s abuse is actually the most heartbreaking. Once I connected with her, I felt deep in my soul when she would have flashbacks. It was hard to read at times, because I found myself wanting to give her a hug (And I realize I say this a LOT in these types of books – but it’s true). Karen-Anne really captured the mind of an abuse victim and that was something I appreciated. It wasn’t trite or overdone to hijack the reader’s emotions.
Overall, this is a really sweet book that takes these really deep, dark issues, and brings them into light in a safe way. I enjoyed the book and cannot wait to read more of the adorable couple.
Inside the Author’s Head
Welcome to the blog! Can you first tell readers where the idea came from for Saving Rain?
Thank you so much for having me, Jess! I’ve always loved to read, and I first wanted to write in college but never did anything other than short stories for class. When I finally decided that I was going to follow my dream and write a novel, I knew immediately that it would be a romance book; I’m a sucker for romances! But, I wanted it to mean more, too, that’s how the idea for Saving Rain began. I have some experience working with survivors of domestic violence, and their courage stuck with me. Seeing the news and reading about human trafficking horrified me, and I wanted to help shed some light about these issues but also include a powerful love story between Kas and Raina.
This story has a fascinating (and rather dark) premise. What kind of research did you have to do to prepare yourself to write it?
I did quite a bit of research on human trafficking because I wasn’t really familiar with it, other than knowing that people are being bought and sold into sex slavery. The research ripped my heart out, and I became very passionate about trying to get the word out there that this does exist everywhere, not just in foreign places. I came across the Polaris Project and other great organizations that combat trafficking, and I learned a lot from their statistics and information. It was heartbreaking reading about trafficking and what these women and children, and even men, go through. I had to walk away from my computer several times as I was researching information for The Rain Trilogy. I have included the Human Trafficking Hotline in the back of The Rain Trilogy and their link is on my website, www.karen-annestewart.com.
How did your studies and experiences in life help shape who you are as a writer?
I was read to from an infant on. My parents loved books, and bedtime was always one of my favorite times of the day because I knew I would hear another great story. I truly feel that played a big part in me wanting to become an author later on in life. In school, I was one of those rare kids who actually loved reading the Shakespeare plays. English Lit was one of my favorite subjects and reading the classics was a fun pastime for me.
You have the Polaris Project on your website, www.karen-annestewart.com, did you learn about that organization during your research?
Yes, I found out about the Polaris Project, and many other wonderful organizations that fight against trafficking, during my research for Saving Rain. The Polaris Project treats all forms of trafficking in a holistic approach.
The Rain Trilogy contains abuse and human trafficking; what made you choose to write about such dark issues?
The short answer is, because it happens. Sadly, abuse and human trafficking exists; it happens every minute of every day. I wish those dark issues weren’t real, but they are. The Rain Trilogy is my humble attempt to, hopefully, shed a little light on what is happening in everyone’s backyards. With that said, I was sensitive in how I presented the issues.
Raina is such a strong female character; what inspired you to make her that way?
I have some experience working with domestic abuse survivors and their courage is amazing. I wanted to show the depravity of abuse and trafficking, but I also wanted to show hope. Raina chooses positive avenues to help escape her pain, and she works hard at making herself the intelligent, sweet, devoted person she is in the trilogy. Kas does save her life, but she really is the one that saves herself.
Okay, so I always like to see what authors read. What are your top five favorite books and why?
My favorite genre is definitely romance, I’m addicted to bad boys and heroes with a soft side. My favorite author is James Patterson, the man is amazing! Great Expectations is my favorite book; it has a little of everything in it, including some unforgettable characters. My second favorite book right now has to be Easy, by Tammara Webber. Easy is a wonderful love story with some mystery involved, and it delves into rape. I think Tammara did a great job of weaving such a hard topic into a beautiful love story. My third favorite book would have to be Kiss the Girls, by James Patterson. There isn’t much of a love story in this one, but there’s definitely mystery and obsession. My fourth favorite book….oh, this is so hard! There are so many great novels out there, but I will have to say Beautiful Disaster, by Jamie McGuire. Jamie did a wonderful job of taking a messed up relationship and truly making it into a beautiful disaster. It is well written and she’s unapologetic in how she wrote about the damaged love shared between the characters, showing how not all relationships are perfect. With my fifth book, I’m going to have to choose a childhood favorite, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis. This book was read to me as a child, so I have some great memories associated with it, and it’s a great story.
Night owl or early bird? How does it help with your writing process?
I used to be the type of person who HAD to get eight hours of sleep a night to function. Now, it’s hard for me to tell you the last time that I got eight hours of sleep. I’m a mom, wife, and I work full time, so I stay up late a lot writing. I love it, though…just as long as I have caffeine the next morning! Writing at night helps me unwind from the day, and I can use whatever mood I’m in to help create certain scenes. If I’ve had a bad day, I will write a fight scene. I use what I feel to write. I have never been an early bird, probably never will be. I drag myself out of bed to go to work, that’s when caffeine becomes my best friend; God bless coffee ;).
Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
I was taking a class in college when I realized that I wanted to be an author one day. We had to write a short story for class, and I fell in love with developing the characters. My professor told me that I should consider publishing the short story, but I never did. Now, I can’t think of not writing. I’m truly addicted!
If you could live in one ‘book world’ which one would it be and why?
Wow, you have some great questions! I would absolutely live in the hot hero romance book world; I can’t get enough of them! I just love it when a sexy savior comes to the rescue of a troubled, but strong, female character and the flames ignite.
Where do you see The Rain Trilogy series heading next? What can we expect for Kas and Raina in the upcoming books?
By the time this interview is live, the final book in The Rain Trilogy will be live as well. Saving Rain and Healing Rain are available now, and After the Rain will be available at the end of October. In Healing Rain, the readers will definitely see the relationship between Kas and Raina strengthen and heat up! There’s more twists and turns in Healing Rain, but I don’t want to give anything away. Let’s just say that some ghosts from the past come back to haunt Raina while a new character is brought in that turns their world upside down. With After the Rain, the hunt for Prizrak, aka, the Ghost, intensifies and so does the tension and heat between Kas and Raina. With each book, the readers will experience an even deeper level of the powerful love between Kas and Raina as they go through some very intense situations. Raina gets more involved in tracking the Ghost, and the closer she gets, the more Kas wants to protect her from the danger and threat of the ruthless trafficker.
What projects do you think you’ll work on after the trilogy has ended? Do you have anything else you are working on now?
I’m working on a new book now that is completely different. It’s a love story and it’s edgy, but on a different level. I’ve been asked if I’m going to write anymore about Kas and Raina, and my answer is a definite maybe! They are my favorite characters and I have fallen in love with writing them. I’m not ready to put them away!
About the Author
Karen-Anne Stewart is a new author and has only recently discovered that she is now addicted to writing. Her first novel, Saving Rain, was originally going to be a single novel, but it quickly turned into a trilogy. She fell in love with the characters and had to continue the story. Saving Rain is a new adult contemporary romance meant for readers 18 and older.
She lives in the mountains with her family. She loves to read, hike, and travel when she is not writing. She is a sucker for romance, especially a book with a strong alpha male who has a sensitive side. She also enjoys a good mystery and thrillers.
Her favorite author is James Patterson; he is an amazing writer.
With being a newbie, she is just learning all the ropes, but is loving the wild ride. She plans to write for as long as her fingers have dexterity.
Connect with Karen-Anne
Would you like to win a copy of Saving Rain? If so, click the rafflecopter link below. You could be one of ten people to receive an e-book copy of Saving Rain.
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