Today I have author, Imy Santiago on my blog. ‘finding Reese’ the second book in the Safelight series is out now.
Join the adventure.
Blog Tour: finding Reese.
finding Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel vol.2
Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content
Writer: Imy Santiago
Date of Publication: May 26, 2015
Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling
About finding Reese.
Hope Breeds Life…
Sometimes destiny and fate have a weird way of reminding us of our inescapable vulnerability, but more importantly our inexorable humanity. Life is fleeting, and what little time we have left in this world, we must make do with what we have, and cherish those whom we love by our side.
Fresh back from the Jackson Reese Press Tour, sports journalist Catalina Pardo rushes back to British Columbia after receiving unexpected and distressing news. With the help of award winning photographer Stryder Martynus, Catalina is determined to prevent the news of tragedy and heartbreak from governing her life again.
Together they will embark on a new journey of introspection to overcome the ghosts and raw emotions of their pasts−on a long and unpredictable road full of complicated circumstances−to find healing, hope and salvation.
The smallest of gifts−like a friendship bracelet−have the power to save your life, and unlike fairy tales, happy endings are seldom guaranteed…
*Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content−Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.*
Excerpt from finding Reese.
It’s such a peaceful feeling, trekking down the mountain−hearing the sounds of your board scraping against the snow, the light spray of powder landing all over your goggles and going up your nose. These are the little things that mean so much to me when I’m riding. I enjoy the silence as I become one with nature. It fills my soul with feelings I can’t even begin to describe.
But there’s something off about this line in particular. There’s an eerie feeling I simply can’t shake off. Maybe I’m just over-thinking things, or Rob’s resistance this morning somehow shook all of my confidence away, but a part of me feels this could be it.
A loud crack on the side of the mountain straightens my spine, followed by a shrill scream from Chris. Looking behind him, I see a cloud of snow and ice barreling down the mountain. The ground shakes as nature reclaims its territory. I let out a guttural roar to warn Rem, and he looks back at the monster behind us. I can’t see his eyes, but I can tell he’s scared by the way he’s flailing his arms trying to figure out how to outrun it.
I journey over, trying to find a safe spot to land, and hopefully escape the avalanche. A garbled cry for help comes from behind me, and I turn my neck just in time to see Chris sucked into the claws of the avalanche. “NO!” I scream, horrified.
I’ve lost all sense of place and time, but my body seems to be taking me to safety as my board zigzags down to the west side of the mountain. I’ve been able to avoid avalanches in the past, but this time around, I’m not so lucky. It takes another second before the avalanche sucks me under.
My body is tossed around like a rag doll until I’m buried beneath the snow. It’s packed in around me tightly; I can’t move my legs or arms, and as the snow settles, it feels like I’m encased in a pool of hardened cement. It’s becoming harder to breathe with each passing second as my body relays to my brain my death is imminent.
My mind replays memories of my life before me like a movie, and bitter frustrated tears stream down my face crystallizing quickly as the freezing cold sweeps over me. I’ve always feared dying like this, trapped in the place I love the most, in the snow. My thoughts are of my family, especially mom and Jupiter. My tears quickly become painful sobs as the contractions of my cries tighten the snow pack around me. Catalina… My best friend and confidante−the news of my death will crush her.
I wrestle against the hardened blanket of snow and ice to move my arms, and after a few seconds of unwavering persistence, my arms come free. My hands desperately push the snow away from my chest, trying to get hold of the radio. With shaky fingers I press the call button.
“Base, this is Jax. Do you copy? I’m trapped, but I’m okay. Can anyone hear me?” Taking small measured breaths, I wait for a reply, but all I get is static interference. “Base, this is Jax. I’m on the western quadrant of the mountain. I’m alive. Can anyone hear me?” Once again, static feedback rings in the small pocket of snow surrounding me.
No, no. This can’t be happening. My body shakes violently as the freezing cold goes through all of my layers. I’m finding it hard to breathe, and if no one comes soon, I’ll be dead from hypothermia.
I’m so cold I can’t feel my limbs, and the more breaths I take, the more exhausted I become. My life as I know it hangs by a thread. Exhausted, I close my eyes and say a prayer. I ask God to have mercy on my soul. While I’m not the most spiritual of men, I think He’s always had my back. All the stupid shit I’ve done, all the risks I’ve taken, and always rising from them all.
The clock is ticking. I need to dig myself out somehow and go home. I refuse to let this be my end. Catalina−the bracelet−look for me, please!
“Base, please. This is Jackson Reese. I’m alive. Someone come and get me. Please,” I cry into the radio, praying someone answers. I’ll keep trying until my dying breath. This is not how I was destined to die. Not here and not like this.
Closing my eyes, I rest. What happens next is all in God’s hands.
©2015 Imy Santiago – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Buy links: finding Reese.
Signed LIMITED First Edition Paperback via Direct Order
Teaser Gallery: finding Reese.
‘chasing Reese.’, was your debut release in January of this year, Have the last few months lived up to your expectations?
Yes and no. The past few months have been very daunting, mainly due to writing two books simultaneously: finding Reese.−the sequel to chasing Reese., and We Met on a Train. Because I was so engrossed with Catalina, Stryder, and Jackson, I shelved Evan Pryce−main character in We Met on a Train−to focus on completing finding Reese. There are many readers who have yet to discover the SAFELIGHT series. I look forward to gaining new readership when they do.
I have learned to roll with the punches, and it would make me a terrible liar if I didn’t admit I faced a lot of adversity after chasing Reese. released. The most valuable lesson I have learned since launching chasing Reese. is that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to disengage yourself from negative situations, and people. At some point it adversely affected my creative process, so I had to dig deep and teach myself, with the help of some very supportive readers, to not allow negativity to take control of my creativity. I worked out my frustrations while penning finding Reese. I truly believe my experiences helped me become a better writer.
There are three main characters in ‘chasing Reese.’, yet it isn’t a love triangle, what was your inspiration for this first story in the ‘safelight series’?
I believe I am the type of woman who believes in not sharing passionate, romantic love with more than one person. Why three characters? Why do their lives intertwine with each other’s?
The answer is simple. I wanted to write about love in all of its splendour; from the honeymoon phase, to heartbreak. Love has so many facets; it can be passionate and romantic, filial, or friendly among many others. No two people can love the same way, or with the same intensity.
Back when I was in college, I was an arts and humanities major. Two of my favorite courses were Philosophy and Logic. I’ve always wanted to challenge societal conventions, and back then I knew I wanted to write a thesis of what I think love is based on my personal experiences. Love can make or break a person, and that’s why I challenged myself to portray limitless love between three people. When you break down the SAFELIGHT series to its most basic form, it is basically a thesis about love−real, and honest-to-God love.
Is Jackson, the focus of your next novel, ‘finding Reese.’, as the title suggests? Any clues as to what we can expect?
Many have asked me in private messages why the SAFELIGHT novels have Jackson’s surname in the title. The answer is simple. If not for Jackson Reese Catalina Pardo and Stryder Martynus would’ve never had a chance to fall in love. I don’t want to spoil it for new readers, but those who have read chasing Reese. are aware of Jackson’s nickname…Without him, Catalina’s and Stryder’s story would be hard to convey in a real, and relatable way. Jackson is the glue that keeps all the pieces of this intricate story together, and without him, there is no SAFELIGHT series.
The way chasing Reese. ended has brought forth a single question: Where is Jackson Reese? Is he alive? I’m pleased to announce that answer is quickly given within the first two chapters of finding Reese. There is another journey to endure; one that is not easily experienced. Jackson plays a larger role in finding Reese. You will see him in a deeper and raw dimension than in chasing Reese. While all of the character’s integrity remains untouched, I’ve explored a different story-line; one that is fresh and showcases a raw vulnerability that readers will enjoy.
Do you enjoy the social media aspect of being an author? What’s your favourite social media platform?
Let’s go back fifteen years before the dawn of social media. I ask myself, how did authors and writers do it, and become successful without having a universal platform to showcase their work? No matter how you slice it and dice it, the only way these authors made it was by writing a great book. They didn’t have the tools we have available today.
Having said that, social media is a great tool to share your work with the world. Deep down, many writers in my position dream of their books being traditionally published. And while that much is true, social media plays an important role in helping independent writers, like me, to reach unexplored markets and gain new readership.
For most of us, Facebook and Twitter are probably the most helpful social media platforms to get our word out. I’ve explored Google+ and tsu, and after observing social media skills from the likes of Colleen Hoover, and Mr. Reynard himself, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the broader you market yourself, the better your exposure is.
My favorite social media platform is Facebook; that is where the majority of my readers and followers are. Social media marketing requires a lot of effort and time; sometimes it takes away from my writing, but my readers and followers appreciate updates and tidbits about my writing journey, and love when I interact with them. The truth is I love interacting with my followers.
Your first book. ‘chasing Reese.’ is an interesting mix of realistic, contemporary dialogue and breathtaking description, which parts are easier to write and why?
I’m often commended for having snappy dialogue, and descriptive writing in my books. That is because deep down I am a frustrated screenwriter. *laughs* I’ve been writing since I was seven. I wrote my first screenplay when I was thirteen, and never stopped. Yet, I never felt like I was good enough to publish. After reading Gabriel’s Inferno, I acknowledged it was time to give it a try. And I’m glad I did. It took me almost two years to gather the courage to write SAFELIGHT. That screenplay was then rewritten five times before it became what we all know today as chasing Reese.
If I can’t see the scene, hear it, or feel it, then it’s harder to visualize a story as a reader. I think both snappy dialogue and breathtaking descriptions are necessary to help readers understand not only what the characters are saying, but it helps to make the connection between what’s going on inside their mind and what they’re expressing, thus depicting a better scene.
It has been close to six months since I read your review of chasing Reese. It has become one of my most treasured reviews. When I’m struggling, or feel like giving up, I always go back and read your review, and those left by others. I made it my mission to dissect each review in search of ways to improve and grow as a writer. I applied those changes in finding Reese.
For me it is easier to write about heartbreak rather than sex. I am thirty four, and I still find it incredibly awkward to write a detailed sex scene in a manner that is not overly explicit, or clinical. The sex scenes in my books are not there for the shock value, or for effect. Sex is a beautiful thing that two people in love can always share. I like to explore the beauty of two bodies in a manner that is both tasteful and memorable.
Do you have a writing process that you can share with us?
I wish I could say I’m structured like most writers out there, but I’m not. I’m extremely disorganized. I don’t have a routine, or follow steps on a list… Hell, I don’t even own a desk to write on! *laughs* I hope that gives you an idea of what I am trying to say. Sometimes I write on my phone, but ninety five percent of my writing is accomplished on my iPad (my friends think I’m nutty to prefer a tablet over a laptop).
When inspiration strikes, I usually write dialogue first based on the conversations going on inside my head (I’m not crazy, I promise!). Afterwards, I weave the dialogue into the scenes I see playing out in my mind. Like I mentioned earlier, if I can’t see it or feel it clearly, I scrap what I have, and start again. Once I’m satisfied with the descriptive writing of a scene, then I move on to the next.
What time of day do you do most writing, or does it vary?
To be honest, I don’t have a writing preference. Sometimes I write early in the morning, and other days in the evening. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I write whenever I can. Some days I can write 11,000 words, and other days 300 words, but the point is to always keep plugging away.
I love having my dogs with me when I’m writing. Do you have any animal writing companions?
Unfortunately I don’t have a pet of my own. There is a house dog, but he is rather old, and incredibly senile. If I’m writing during the daytime, my three year old daughter usually sits beside me or on my lap while I write and/or promote. Occasionally, my fiancé will sit next to me while I’m plugging away, but the majority of the time I undergo the process alone.
Do you enjoy reading other authors’ work, what are you reading at the moment?
Before I became a published writer I always loved to read. My passion for reading renewed itself after reading the Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard, whom I discovered after a conversation between him and E.L. James on Twitter. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I read Gabriel’s Inferno that I felt inspired give writing another go.
I am currently reading Shattered Lies by Theresa Sederholt. It is the third and final novel in The Unraveled Series by this author. I’m enjoying this series immensely.
What’s next for Imy Santiago?
I have a few projects down the pipeline. My next release will be We Met on a Train. You can read the prologue at the end of finding Reese. Evan’s story (main character in We Met on a Train) is quite compelling, and it is definitely not a fluffy book. It is adult romance with mature content, but it comes with a trigger warning due to sensitive subject matter. I haven’t set a release date for it, but expect it to be available in the fall of 2015.
Once We Met on a Train is published, I will start the groundwork for saving Reese., which for now, is the final installment of the SAFELIGHT series. For 2016 I have planned another standalone ‘Words in Isolation’, and a coming-of-age novella ‘Sonnets of Pain’; both are in the concept development phase. And last, but not least, I will be translating both chasing Reese. and finding Reese. to Spanish.
2016 will be an incredibly busy, yet rewarding year.
Thank You Imy. Look out for my review soon…
For those who haven’t read ‘chasing Reese’ – a few details…
chasing Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel vol.1
Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content
Writer: Imy Santiago
Date of Publication: January 5, 2015
Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling
Book Teaser Trailer: Watch it here
Endorse and dream cast chasing Reese. on The Imagine Film List
Buy links: chasing Reese.
Signed LIMITED First Edition Paperback via Direct Order
Connect with Imy Santiago
About Imy Santiago
I love to read stories about loss, heartache and redemption so it didn’t shock me when I ended up writing stories of my own revolving around those themes. I write with my heart, using my life experiences and emotions to dictate the tone and path in which my fictional characters embark. I believe in the power of friendship and to always have hope because life is always full of pleasant surprises. If you were to ask me if I consider myself an author, I would tell you no, I am not. I’m just a girl who loves to write a good story that makes you consider life choices and the darkness that envelopes a broken heart. My stories are about loss, friendship, hope and love.
I hope to continue writing more books in the not so distant future. It could be said that writing keeps me sane and brings a smile to my face. When I’m not writing Adult Contemporary Romance novels, I’m enjoying a quiet life with my family on Long Island New York.
For full bio, please visit my website.