Thursday 18 April 2019

Sealed With a Kiss #Review #Interview

My Lips Are Sealed (Sealed With a Kiss Book 1)

When Zoe's boyfriend went missing at the end of her sophomore year in high school, she thought happiness was a thing of the past. After returning from a summer trip on the other side of the world, she went to an open mic night at a local coffee shop, wanting to try a song she'd written for her missing boyfriend out on an audience. Meeting anyone new was the last thing on her mind that night, but when Elijah, a recent graduate of the local private liberal arts college, struck up a conversation with her after hearing her sing, she couldn't help but be drawn in. Sparks flew that night, and neither of them could deny that their chemistry was real. But what happens when she walks into her drama class the next day to find out that Elijah is her new teacher? 


Zoe is a non-identical twin. She is close with her sister but they are different in many ways. Zoe loves the performing arts. Her boyfriend was a popular jock and the towns golden boy. After an argument, he had left her house earlier than expected one night, but never returned home. Zoe has struggled with his disappearance ever since. The start of the school year is approaching and Zoe knows she needs to pick herself back up. She wrote a song and wants to perform for a local audience to try it out. While at a local cafe she meets a guy. He’s new in town and they have similar interests. What she doesn’t know is that he’s her new drama teacher. The pair become close and Zoe needs someone to lean on. 

My lips are sealed has a lot to offer. It’s the start of a series. It’s a mystery, Forbidden romance, Zoe has a passion for the performing arts and there is an underlying compassionate story. This book is 500 pages plus so it has a lot going on. Zoe has a good network of friends and all is not what it seems with her missing boyfriend. The story is a little messed up. It offers something different. It’s a lengthy interesting read.

4 stars out of 5.

My Heart Is Sealed (Sealed With a Kiss Book 2)

Five years after Zoe left everything and everyone she knew behind to attend NYU, it seemed like she’d gotten everything she ever wanted. She was acting on Broadway in her dream role and even booking solo concerts. When Elijah showed up at one of her concerts and their romance rekindled, she quickly realized that what she gave up to move to New York was worth more than any job, no matter how glamorous. She moved back to St. Augustine to marry the man she never stopped loving and it seemed like she was going to get the fairy tale ending and the happily ever after. But when someone starts threatening her anonymously and trying to expose all of the skeletons in her and her friends’ closets, will she and Elijah be able to handle a very different kind of pressure on their relationship?

My heart is sealed is the second instalment in a continuous story. In book one Zoe’s career goals are taking her places but she left behind the boy of her dreams. Some things are more important than fame. Some people are worth more than a career on the stage. 

Elijah visits Zoe for her solo act and she realises how much she is missing out. She decides to move back home but the transaction isn’t smooth. Someone doesn’t want her there. Can Zoe make her life work and avoid her crazy stalker?

My Future Is Sealed (Sealed With a Kiss Book 3)

After receiving a threatening message at their wedding, Zoe and Elijah are more determined than ever to do two things. First, to enjoy their new life together as a married couple. And second, to find and stop their stalker once and for all. But the messages continue to get more and more threatening, and they and their family are still just as stumped as ever in their quest to find their tormentor. With the unexpected news that they are about to have their first child, their resolve to find and stop this person is even more firm. Who is doing this to them? And why? Find out in the third installment of their epic love story! 

My future is sealed is the 3rd book in the series and the story is continuous. The cover gives us a glimpse into what to expect from this instalment. Everything is stepped up a knock; the romance, the crazy stalker and drama of the plot. 

It’s honeymoon time and our newlyweds are heading off for a relaxing vacation. Unfortunately they are not alone and scandal is about to break out. Unwanted attention can be both scary and damaging. This instalment is one crazy rollercoaster as the journey to happiness continues.

My Fate Is Sealed (Sealed With a Kiss Book 4)

Elijah hasn’t had the best luck in life. When his best friend committed suicide right before the end of their senior year of high school, he went to Florida in search of a fresh start. When his girlfriend betrayed him a year later, it seemed as though the universe was conspiring against him to make his life as miserable as possible. Until he met Zoe. In a matter of a few hours, she turned his world upside-down and gave him back his passion for life. When he starts his first teaching job out of college the next morning and sees her sitting in his class as one of his high school students, will he retreat back into himself like he’s become accustomed to doing for so long? Or will he risk everything for the girl who reminded him that life is worth living to its fullest?

I’m really enjoying this series. Zoe is our leading lady but this book is writing from Elijah’s POV. It’s the story from the beginning but different from Zoe’s books. Elijah has had a rough ride when it comes to the ladies and now the girl he wants is forbidden. He doesn’t always get his own way and it’s really interesting to see the story from his POV. 

He has a strong personality which comes out well in this story and we see a whole different side of the same romance. 

4.5 stars out of 5.

My Bonds Are Sealed (Sealed With a Kiss Book 5)

THIS NOVEL CAN BE READ AS A STANDALONE, however, certain events in this novel will make a lot more sense if the other novels in the Sealed With a Kiss series are read first. 

River Hendricks's life is a mess. Her mother has just been diagnosed with stage two breast cancer and is about to start treatment. Her twin sister, Zoe, is living a thousand miles away and has just been the victim of an assault but is refusing to report it. Oh, and one of her college professors is Zoe's ex, Elijah, who is obviously still as in love with Zoe as he was the day she left Florida to move to New York three years ago. Wanting to be supportive of her sister, River has agreed not to tell anyone about Zoe's assault, leaving her as the only one who knows about it. And the weight of keeping it from everyone who cares about Zoe is crushing her. 

Mason Kelley has been Rob Jacobson's partner since graduating from the police academy a year ago. And in that time, he's fallen head over heels in love with the one girl he thinks he can never have: River, who happens to be Rob's stepdaughter. They've become close friends, which he thinks is the most he can hope for. But when River's boyfriend Patrick is all but oblivious to her obvious struggles, Mason does the only thing a friend can do. He steps up to the plate and is there for her as the friend and confidant she desperately needs. 

As River faces the challenges life has thrown at her, some of the bonds she's forged with people will be broken. Some of them will be tested. Some will grow stronger than she ever thought was possible. And one bond, maybe the most unexpected one, will grow into the kind of love she thought was only possible in her dreams.

As some of you know my favourite part after reading a book is to see what the Author wrote in the back (Titled: Author’s notes in this book). If your reading this book, check this section out. You don’t want to miss the connections. It tells us how the book came together for both the author and characters. It’s a treat!

My Bonds Are Sealed is the last instalment in the Sealed with a kiss series. It’s probably my favourite because I’m familiar with some of the characters and it’s cleverly crafted. The series is based around Zoe (River’s twin sister). The first 3 books are Zoe’s, the 4th is her boyfriends and this is River’s story. 

The twins live in different places and this story is completely it’s own, but Zoe’s life is intertwined. Zoe’s life is hectic and in the spotlight, where as River is behind the mic. The twins are opposites. 

River is with the wrong guy. He’s become routine. When she needs help she realises he is never going to change and she needs to use different resources. 

Mason would do anything for River. She needs a lift he’s there. A shoulder to cry on? No problem. He’s a supportive friend even though he wants more. 

River needs to get rid of the useless boyfriend, and Mason is there when her life is rough. She starts to see him in a different light. 

My Bonds are Sealed has some bittersweet moments.

This is aimed at the adult audience and this little dark horse will make you bush (not recommending a bus journey read lol). 

I’ve really enjoyed this series and have loved seeing the story grow. There’s two sides to every tale and this author is good at spinning the other side. I’m sad this series is over but looking forward to seeing what comes next.

1. What was your inspiration for this series?

Do you really want to know? Yes? Okay, fine. Here goes. *hangs head in shame* So, I'm a HUGE fan of the show Pretty Little Liars. So much so that I used to write fan fiction for the show. And I wrote a way worse version of the first three books of the Sealed With a Kiss series as a fan fiction based around the characters Aria Montgomery and Ezra Fitz. When I was spending so much time writing fan fiction, my boyfriend told me that I should really think about writing my own stories with my own characters instead of just doing the fan fiction thing. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought I could make that fan fiction I wrote even better if I didn't have to abide by the canon of the show. So, Aria and Ezra became Zoe and Elijah. I changed a lot about the characters because, you know, copyright laws. But one thing I didn't want to change was the student/teacher aspect and how they met. I really loved the idea of these two people who are both a little messed up in their own ways meeting at the exact right time and place and forming this crazy and intense connection before they knew how complicated it would be. And I loved the idea of this relationship looking so wrong on paper, but feeling so right to them. I thought about making Zoe a college student rather than a high school student, but the more I thought about it, I really felt like her story, at least in the first book, needed to be a coming of age story. She needed to meet Elijah while she was still finding herself as a person, and he needed to help shape the person she grew into, just like Ezra helped to shape the person that Aria became while she was in high school. And then the stalker aspect of the second two books? Well, if you're not familiar with the story of Pretty Little Liars, the five main characters (Alison, Aria, Emily, Hanna, and Spencer) have a stalker who goes by the moniker of "A." So, in Sealed With a Kiss, "A" became Zoe and Elijah's stalker.

2. Who is your favorite character and why?
Oh, God! You're evil! That's like making me choose between children. LOL! I like them all for different reasons. But I guess I'm gonna say Zoe, just because I spent SO much time with her for the first three books. It feels like all of my characters are a part of me, but I feel like I've gotten to know her the best over the time that I've written the series. I don't always agree with the choices she makes (and man, did she make some STUPID choices in My Bonds Are Sealed), but I understand her reasons for making them. And I really just love her and Elijah together (gotta say it, Elijah's always gonna be my number one book boyfriend). For a bonus answer, though, my favorite supporting character is Grant. He always wants to take over the books and I have to reign him in. If I ever get brave enough to try my hand at a M/M romance, he might get his own book with Bryce.

3. I really like the twists that come with the different POV's. What made you decide to write the story from different angles?
Well, when I was in the middle of writing one of the first three books (I feel like it was My Future Is Sealed, but it might have been My Heart Is Sealed), I had this one part where I really needed to know what Elijah was thinking in the first book. So, as a character building exercise, I decided to write the second chapter of My Lips Are Sealed from his POV to try to understand why he would do what he did. I mean, what would possess a 22-year-old man to risk his career and his freedom to start dating a girl he just met? I needed to know. And, writing that one chapter, I was hooked. I loved getting to know my book boyfriend better and I wanted to know more. So, when I was done with the original trilogy, I decided to go back and write at least the first book from Elijah's POV, and that was what turned into My Fate Is Sealed. And River and Mason's story? Well, I'd already decided that after I was done with the trilogy from Elijah's POV, I was going to write books for Maddie and Kelly. It didn't seem fair to leave River out because she's such a huge character in the series, but her love story happened in those five years between when Zoe and Elijah broke up and got back together, so I figured it had to be released in between Elijah's books. And I really liked seeing her POV of both Zoe and Elijah during that time and what led to her realizing that they needed to be in each other's lives.

4. Who would you recommend your series to?
I'd recommend the Sealed With a Kiss series to anyone who likes a good forbidden romance, or anyone who likes a good romantic suspense. Honestly, I feel like anyone who reads romance and doesn't mind some steamy bedroom scenes could get something out of the series (as long as they don't mind the student/teacher aspect of Zoe and Elijah's relationship). At the end of the day, I try to write human stories with characters that you can really connect with, so I feel like anyone can read and enjoy them. I actually have a friend who doesn't even read romance that I gave copies of the books to and even she's hooked because she likes the characters.

5. What can we expect next?
Well, I took a short hiatus from writing Sealed With a Kiss because of some health issues and started toying around with a completely new story with new characters just to pass the time. And with some help from my amazing friend Rebekah Vasick, it turned into a story that I couldn't keep to myself. So, I'm releasing a standalone called What Doesn't Kill You on May 31st. It's a jock/nerd love story, but it's SO much more than that. It's about a young girl who was the victim of a sexual assault when she was fifteen years old, and the boy who ends up giving her the courage to come forward and bring her attackers to justice. It's kind of dark, but it's a story with a lot of heart and based on feedback I'm getting from betas and ARC readers, I'm super excited to share it with everyone.

But Sealed With a Kiss is far from over! There are several more books in the works. And there's a juicy little reveal in the back matter of What Doesn't Kill You, as a matter of fact. I've talked for a while about possibly giving Megan a happily ever after, but I never said with who.'ll find out if you look in the back matter of What Doesn't Kill You. And I'm really excited about writing the coming books because, after Elijah's second two books, each of the supporting characters is getting a book that's a different trope, so I get to expand my horizons. There's a F/F romance, a domestic abuse survivor romance with a good ol' Southern boy, a surprise baby romance, and another trope that I don't want to reveal yet because it'll give Megan's happily ever after away too soon. And if I'm feeling especially brave, there might be a M/M romance too, like I said in a previous question. So, yeah, I'll be busy for a while. Haha!

Carmen Richter is an independent author who writes as a labor of love. She has a day job in the claims department at an insurance company, so writing is a welcome escape after talking to a lot of people who are having bad days every day. When she’s not writing, she loves going to the movies and attending concerts and live theater. She lives in the Kansas City area with her boyfriend, Brett, a bunny named Marty, and a cat named Mal. 
You can find Carmen online in the following places:
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