Wednesday, December 9, 2015

CHARACTER SPOTLIGHT: Caroline Gerard McIntyre from Bellator Saga by Cecilia London. **INTERVIEW, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY**



One of my (Suzanne) biggest turn ons in a book is a kick ass heroine. A woman who is not only smart and sexy but also strong and confident.  I can't resist seeing woman portrayed at their best. I had the greatest pleasure of finding just one such heroine in Cecilia London's Bellator Saga. Caroline Gerard McIntyre is one formidable character. She's genuine, kind, smart, sassy, and sexy. I was so lucky to sit down with her and chat all things Caroline, the friggin' amazing Bellator Saga and of course, her love and hubby, the sexy silver fox, Jack McIntyre!




Suzanne - Caroline, I'm so excited to meet you and have this chance to chat with you. Welcome! *rubs hands together and grins*, Shall we get started?

Caroline - Fire away!

Suzanne -It's no secret that politics is just not my thing. I find it boring yet in my opinion, there's nothing boring about you so I have to ask, why did you get into politics?

Caroline - [laughs] I’m a lot more boring than I look. I love public policy and could talk legislation all day, which definitely brings all the boys to the yard, let me tell you.

But seriously, I’ve lived, on the whole, a very fortunate life. It seems unfair not to do something with that, especially on behalf of those who might not have the educational or professional background that I have. I believe in justice, and in the power of government to do good instead of evil. And I hope my time in Congress and as First Lady of Pennsylvania has allowed me to bring a little more hope into the world.

Suzanne -You've endured a lot of loss with your first husband, Nicky, dying and then all that you've endured at the hands of the Santos administration. Where do you get your strength from? Not your physical strength but the emotional fortitude you have to survive all that you have? 

Caroline -  Moscato. Crates and crates of Moscato.

I don’t mean to be flippant, because I’ve had the unfortunate experience of seeing evil firsthand. The kind of thing you want to pretend doesn’t exist. It’s hard to explain. You’ve got two options – you can give up, or you can keep going. Both can be equally difficult or easy, depending on how you feel when you wake up in the morning. And I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers. Sometimes it’s just a matter of doing what you can to get through the day, setting boundaries, focusing on the simple things. Other times you need to ask for help, even if it seems like the worst thing to do. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who want to help, even if they can’t comprehend the battles I’ve faced. That’s what anyone needs, quite honestly, regardless of whether or not they struggle with loss, grief, or mental illness.


Suzanne -Enough of that sad, dark stuff, let's talk about Jack *winks* - I get the feeling that you never saw him coming. Talk about second chances at love! If you ask me girl, you struck gold with Jack! *dreamy eyes and sigh* er, sorry just daydreaming, where was I?...What do you love most about Jack?

Caroline - You want a naughty answer and I’m not going to give you one!

Okay, I’ll give you one. He has really nice hands.


He’s going to hate me for telling you this, but I love his vulnerability. He’d never admit it but deep down inside, he’s incredibly introspective and dare I say it, insecure. Maybe that’s the reason he never settled down before he met me. I have no idea. But he has such a huge capacity for love, even if he has a hard time thinking he deserves it. That’s so precious, and I can’t express what it means that he would trust me with his heart.

Suzanne -You and Jack have had some pretty heated moments...for example, an elevator seems to come to mind that unfortunately all of America was privy to...I have got to ask, if you had to choose - paddle or hand cuffs - *blushes* which one and why?

Caroline - Paddle. Always the paddle. And, of course, his really nice hands.

[shakes her head and checks her watch] That man. I’m going to drive home so fast.

Suzanne -Finally, being in the public eye has got to be hard. People make assumptions and think they know you. What's something about yourself that only a few people know but you wish more people knew?

Caroline - That’s a tough one. I’m not sure I want people to know my secrets. Even though Jack and I have received a lot of…questionable media coverage, I’ve generally been treated pretty fairly when it comes to assessments about my personality. I’d like to think I’m a decent person, that I’m kind, that I do the right thing even when faced with insurmountable odds…and so this may be a copout, but I’d rather focus on someone other than me.

Caroline - I’ve reaped the benefits of so much good press, and I feel like Chrissy [Caroline’s best friend, Republican Senator Christine Sullivan] hasn’t gotten nearly the positive coverage I’ve received. She’s one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met, and the closest thing to a sister I’ve got. People should know how wonderful she really is.

Suzanne -Caroline, thanks so much for chatting with me. *hugs Caroline* Please give Jack a HUGE kiss for me! *ridiculous grin*


Caroline - Oh, you sneaky woman. Points for trying. All his kisses belong to me!



Haunted by her experience at The Fed, Caroline tries to create a new identity. A new present, a new future. She can’t escape the memories that dog her when she least expects it, leaving her mired in a depression that she finds difficult to escape. Caroline needs to regain her physical and mental strength if she intends on surviving the journey to find the elusive rebellion. But that’s easier said than done with the ghosts of the past constantly whispering in her ear.

The road is long and dangerous, and there are no guarantees. She and her companions have no idea what they will find when they arrive at their destination. And what they finally discover may change everything.

Part Three of a Six Part Saga. Sojourn (approximately 89,000 words) is not a standalone and must be read after the first two books in the series. Ends in a cliffhanger. For readers 18+. This book contains adult situations including explicit sex and violence.

5 TORMENTED STARS

She did it AGAIN! Ms. London never ceases to amaze me and also emotionally gut me. After having read Dissident, which left me ravaged and crying like a baby at the end, I seriously didn't think this one would affect me as deeply. But it did, in a completely different way!

This one picks up right where book 2 left off with Caroline rescued but barely alive. As she's nursed back to health by an unsuspecting band of budding revolutionaries, she struggles to recover emotionally. She's plagued by her recent horrific ordeal with the Fed and also the ghosts from her past.



Caroline tries to lose herself and become someone else in the hopes of shattering all the memories, the heartache, the guilt and the pain.



This was a somber read and not easy although there was hope and like Caroline, a force that drove me to the end.

There are scars and then there are scars. The second book was very much about the brutally physical abuse and inevitable disfiguring and painful scars to Caroline's body. And the formidable strength this woman has. This book is very much about another aspect of Caroline's strength and also her deep, wide and dark emotional scars as she takes us back through her past when the present day triggers intense emotions and loss.

“Even if she wanted to be alone, darkness was a step she wasn’t willing to take.”

“She was trapped – caught between the nightmares that made her scream and the memories that made her weep.”

I can't recommend this series enough. The Bellator Saga is PHENOMENAL. I don't know how she does it but Cecilia has created this brilliantly intelligent, sexy, suspenseful and moving saga with both light - hope, love and friendship - and dark - hate, abuse and evil. Each book has a distinct feel, direction and somehow each one manages to hit you at a completely different emotional level.

The ending for this one left me with optimism and I can only hope the tide is turning.


***An ARC was generously provided by Cecilia London in exchange for an honest review.***


  


Cecilia’s not my real name. Yes, I like that Simon and Garfunkel song. No, that wasn’t the inspiration for the name. I write books. Or, I try to. Sometimes.

I live in Texas. I’ve dabbled in the practice of law. I love The Simpsons. I can’t wait for baseball season. And I have a very active imagination.


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