Thursday, September 13, 2012

Finding Lucas Review & Author Guest Blog

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today I'm featuring a review of Finding Lucas, by Samantha Stroh Bailey  Samantha is also guest blogging with me today. I hope you enjoy the fun planned here today!


Can you ever really go back to the past?  

On her fifth anniversary with boyfriend Derek, Jamie Ross finds herself in a Montreal hotel room wondering how the carefree guy she met in a Chicago bar has turned into “the quintessential metrosexual.” Weighed down by Derek’s disdain for her second hand wardrobe, her unusual family and her low-paying job as an associate producer of a daytime talk show, Jamie reaches a breaking point. And when her new boss plans to reunite lost loves on the show, she remembers Lucas— the boy she’d loved and lost ten years earlier. What follows is a quest that is at times hilarious and at others disastrous as Jamie’s life transforms from run of the mill to absolutely crazy. But will finding Lucas give Jamie everything she’s looking for?

Before sharing my review, I'd like to turn the blog over to our guest blogger today. 

I love to devour a good sex scene. For me, that means getting into some dirty language, maybe a little slamming against a wall and reading adjectives that make me a bit hot. I can talk about the nitty gritty details of sex and am known in my circles for having no filter. But, when it comes to actually writing a sex scene, I pause. I can imagine what’s happening to my characters and how they touch each other, what spicy words they’re whispering or maybe even screaming. But, just as I’m getting into it, I blush and have to stop typing.
Is it because I write mostly in coffee shops and getting all excited would most likely get me kicked out? Nope. I am in my own little world in my local café, and not the music nor the incessant grinding of the espresso machine can distract me.
Is it because I’m a mom and I’m afraid that the other parents, or gasp, the principal, might read my books and look at me differently? Doubtful, because these are the same parents who chat about Fifty Shades of Grey in the playground, and I’m scared of the principal no matter what I do.
Am I uncomfortable because my parents and their friends are going to read my books, and any mention of sex and my parents in the same sentence makes me squirm? I don’t think so because my parents are extremely open and are rarely embarrassed by me (anymore), and because Finding Lucas starts straight off with a sex scene, I just giggle when one of my parents’ friends tells me they have read it.
No, the issue is my in-laws. Whenever I’m about to start writing a descriptive sex scene, I think about my husband, and, inevitably, my mind wanders to his parents. His lovely, sweet, supportive parents who read everything I write are going to read about what my characters do in and out of bed. Will they be happy for their son? Worried? Do I really want them looking at us and imagining what we do when we’re not with them?
When I write, my characters become real. I hand my story over to them and they make it happen. So, I really can’t help it if they swear and contort themselves into awkward positions. But, still, when my characters end up in romantic entanglements and the off one night stand, I realize my in-laws are going to know.
I’ve been with my husband since I was 22 years old so you’d think by the age of 39, I would have gotten over wanting his parents to see me as perfect. Well, I haven’t. I want them to think I am the best wife, mom and daughter-in-law. I want them to see me as pure and innocent even though I’m far from it.
Recently, I decided to show them the first page of Finding Lucas so I could stop worrying that they might think I’m a sexual deviant. Biting my nails, my stomach churning in fear, I read over their shoulders as they took in my words. And they laughed. No one blushed; no one ran horrified out of the room. In fact, they loved it. When they’d finished reading as much as I’d let them, they turned to me, and said, “You think we don’t know about this stuff? This is fantastic!”
I should have known better. As much as I try not to, I do really care what other people think of me, especially those who I love. And those who love me know exactly who I am and are proud of me and my writing. So, even though my mind still wanders to my in-laws when I’m writing a sex scene, instead of embarrassment, I imagine them reading it and applauding me for getting it right.

Finding Lucas Review:

Review Rating: 4 Lightning Bolts

REVIEW:  Events in your current life can really make you long for the past. It's not a good idea to think so much in the past, but Jamie can't help it. She remembers Lucas, someone that made her feel so good. Things were going smooth for the two. One phrase scared her off, and she fled. Now, she lives with regrets.

Jamie is a hard person to like sometimes. I know that's what makes her a good character, because there's no doubt she makes mistakes, does and says stupid things, and can't seem to get things fixed at times. She's not perfect- and those are the best types of characters to read about.  

There's a great cast of supporting characters that bring a lot to this book. They are full of laughter, quirks, and great moments. The perfect set up for Jamie is working for a TV show that reunites old lovers- and she wants to be reunited with Lucas.

Finding Lucas is a heartwarming journey of evaluating your life, finding what you want, and learning about yourself along the way. It's a good story!

Samantha Stroh Bailey has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen. In fact, she even sent her first manuscript, Freddy the Flame, to publishers when she was ten years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but a lifelong passion to write was born.

After 15 years of teaching ESL to adults, including at the University of Toronto, she decided to live her dreams of being a fulltime writer and editor. Now the owner of Perfect Pen Communications, she not only gets to write novels, but also writes and edits for magazines, websites, businesses, students and other writers.
Her work has appeared in Now Magazine, The Village Post, Oxford University Press, Abilities Magazine, on and many other publications. Samantha also has a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics. 

She lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Finding Lucas is her first novel.

Connect with Samantha!

Twitter: @perfectpen


  1. Ha! I love this guest post! It is difficult to write sex scenes, knowing your parents, friends, neighbors, etc. will be reading them one day. Sam, I'm glad you had the guts to show your in-laws the scene you were worried about, and they gave you the thumb's up. Now you don't have to stress about their reactions in the future and you can make those scenes as spicy as you want! :)

    Finding Lucas is on my Kindle, waiting to be read, and I am really looking forward to it!

  2. Great post, Samantha!! I'm so happy your in-laws liked the opening scene! I think the first few pages of Finding Lucas are perfect... they really set the mood and give you insight on the state of Jamie and Derek's relationship. I'm glad you didn't change a thing! :)

  3. Love the insight on the post Sam! And thanks for sharing Nikki :)

  4. Good guest post and review! Finding Lucas sounds like a story that is both funny and emotional - Thanks for the spotlight

  5. LMAO!! Sam, you freaking crack me up!! I feel the same way about writing those...ah, scenes. But not because of my parents or in-laws. It's because of my kids' friends reading my work and the possibility that those friends could think my real-life girls might be up for some of the shenanigans I write about. LOL Because you know, MY kids are perfectly innocent little creatures and will never-ever do anything untoward in their angelic lives! (<--Shoosh. Let me continue deluding myself; I'm happy in my fairytale bubble.)