Patricia Leavy will be awarding a signed set of 3 novels: Shooting Stars, Twinkle, and Constellations to two (US only) randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.
Author Interview: Patricia Leavy
1. How did you choose your genre? What made you write this book? I’ve always gravitated to women’s fiction because I’m interested in writing about women’s lives and relationships. Recently, I’ve become particularly interested in writing love stories. Constellations is the third book in a five-book serial, although it can definitely be read as a stand-alone novel. I absolutely love these characters, not only Tess and Jack but all their friends and loved ones. In fact, the friendship between Tess and Omar is actually one of my favorite relationships. Of all my books, these characters are nearest and dearest to me. When I finished Shooting Stars, the first Tess Lee and Jack Miller book, I knew there were more stories to tell and I hoped readers would enjoy following their journey as much as I love writing about them. I’m using these characters to explore love, to write a grand love letter to love in all its forms and with all its complexities, one that will unfold over at least five books. Shooting Stars explores love and healing. Twinkle looks at love and doubt. And so on. Even if people haven’t read Shooting Stars and Twinkle, they can still read Constellations, although I do think if you read them all, you’re more invested in the characters and their journey. Constellations is a novel about love and family – those into which we’re born and those we create – the human desire to belong and feel connected, the true nature of intimacy, and the power of love to heal and redeem. Constellations follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after three years of marriage as they navigate the meaning of love and family over a series of holidays. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a former federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. Both healing from past trauma, together they have finally built the life they wish to live. When Jack’s childhood family resurfaces, insecurity, a sense of missed opportunities, and the need for redemption test their relationship. When a terrible accident threatens everything in an instant, they learn what unconditional love and intimacy are really all about. In the end, it’s a quick, feel-good read, which I think a lot of us need right now.
2. Writers write what they know, and must observe the world. Are you a firstborn, middle or last child, and how does this shape your view of the world? I’m the youngest in my family. I think when you’re the last born, you really want to carve your own path and become your own person. That’s shaped the way I live my life and also the kinds of characters I create. My protagonists are all women and each one is searching for something, trying to build her identity in the world, in her own way.
3. Where is your favorite place to write? Coffee shops and museum cafés. People and art inspire me. The pandemic has been tough.
4. How do you feel about killing your darlings, and what do you do with the remains? I’m completely invested in all the characters that come through my filter. They’re real to me so it’s hard when a character dies. I always feel it deeply. I’ve been known to sit at my computer, crying, mourning the loss. I carry them with me.
5. You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them? I’m friends with too many authors to ever reveal a favorite. But when I meet an author I admire, I’m always curious about their creative process.
6. Inquiring minds want to know…tell readers something about you that no one knows. I’m incredibly shy. People usually assume I’m outgoing, but there’s a reason I chose a life where I sit alone in my home office most days.
7. You are stranded on a deserted island with only a backpack for company. What three items are in your survival pack? A big notebook, pen, and my iPod.
8. If you could have one superpower in your existence, what would it be?
9. Favorite snack? Lays Classic potato chips for something salty and mini marshmallows for something sweet.
10. Indy 500 – Do you know how to get where you’re going or do you drive the speed limit? I can barely find my way down my own driveway! I’m seriously directionally challenged.
by Patricia Leavy
GENRE: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Constellations follows Tess Lee and Jack Miller after three years of marriage as they navigate the meaning of love and family over a series of holidays. Tess is a wildly successful and world-famous novelist. Her inspirational books explore our innermost struggles and the human need to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Jack is a former federal agent. After spending decades immersed in a violent world, a residue remains. Both healing from past trauma, together they have finally built the life they wish to live. What will happen to their blissful union when Jack’s childhood family resurfaces? When Tess and Jack visit the Millers for Christmas, how will insecurity, a sense of missed opportunities, and the need for redemption test their relationship? When a terrible accident threatens everything in an instant, will they learn the true meaning of unconditional love? Their loved ones are along for the ride: Omar, Tess’s sarcastic best friend who calls her Butterfly; the female president of the United States, with whom Tess talks politics and bakes cookies; Joe, Jack’s friend from the Bureau who understands the sacrifices he’s made; Bobby and Gina, their younger friends who never fail to lighten the mood; and the Miller family. Constellations is a novel about family – those into which we’re born and those we create – the human desire to belong and feel connected, the true nature of intimacy, and the power of love to heal and redeem. Written as unfolding action, Constellations is a poignant novel that moves fluidly between melancholy, humor, and joy.
Tess clung to Jack as they sped along the cliffside road on their Harley, winding around the last curve as they approached their house. When they arrived home, Jack carefully took off Tess’s helmet, kissed her, and grabbed the bag of fruit they’d bought at the farmers market. She pulled the scrunchie out of her hair, releasing dirty blonde locks down to her waist. They headed inside. “You thirsty, baby?” he asked.
He quickly tapped a coconut, stuck a paper straw in, and handed it to her.
“You’ve gotten so good at that,” she said, taking a sip.
“Yeah, just in time to go back to DC. I can’t believe we have to leave our Hawaiian paradise tomorrow morning. We’re crazy to leave Maui this time of year.”
“I know, baby. But we’ll be back in less than three months to throw Omar and Clay the tropical Valentine’s Day wedding of their dreams. Besides, it’ll be fun to see our friends.”
He smiled and kissed her forehead.
“Here, have some,” she said, handing him the coconut. “Let’s leave the pineapple out. We can grill it tonight for our Thanksgiving feast while we sit on the lanai and watch the sunset.” She kicked her shoes off, slipped her T-shirt over her head, and shimmied out of her shorts, revealing a hot pink string bikini. “Bet I can beat you to the ocean,” she teased, darting off.
Soon, they were splashing around in the warm water, the sun beating down on them. Jack wrapped his tanned arms around Tess and kissed her. They stared at each other, the energy between them electric.
“I could get lost in your big, brown eyes,” he said.
She smiled and said, “Come on, let’s dry off.” They walked to their pool and lay together on a chaise lounge.
“Jack?” Tess whispered.
“I know you hold back sometimes, but you don’t need to.”
“Baby, I know you do. There’s nothing that could ever happen between us that I wouldn’t want.”
He caressed the side of her face. “You’re so beautiful and delicate. I just want you to feel safe and loved.”
“I do and I always will.”
“You’ve been through so much. It wasn’t that long ago that Ray was stalking you; I know that brought up memories of your childhood abuse. I don’t ever want to be the cause of your pain or remind you of the ways you have suffered.”
“You couldn’t. You only push those thoughts further away. I trust you, Jack. Nothing could ever change that. I want to share everything with you. I’ve never felt as close to another human being as I do to you.” She ran her fingers through his wet, salty hair and said, “I still remember the first time we came here, before we owned this place. You took me in the shower and we were so free.”
He grazed his fingers along her cheek.
“I’m gonna rinse off,” she said. She untied her bikini top, let it fall to the floor, and headed for the outdoor shower.
Jack hustled out of his swim trunks and followed her. She flipped the water on, turned toward him, and smiled. He cupped her face in his hands, kissed her softly, and with one swift movement, swung her around and pulled her bathing suit bottom down. “Don’t let me hurt you,” he whispered. He pushed her against the wall and they made love passionately.
With his quivering body pressed tightly against hers, Jack kissed Tess’s neck and nibbled on her ear. Finally satiated, he turned the shower off and wrapped towels around each of them. He picked her up and cradled her in his arms as he carried her to a lounge chair. They resumed their tender kisses, Jack caressing the side of her face. He looked at her with unadulterated adoration.
“I love you so much,” he said.
“I love you too. More than anything.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is a bestselling author. She was formerly Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Criminology, and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. She has published over thirty books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into many languages. She is also series creator and editor for ten book series with Oxford University Press, Guilford Press, and Brill/Sense, including the ground-breaking Social Fictions series. Patricia has received dozens of accolades for her books. Recently, her novel Film won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction, her 3-novel set Candy Floss Collection won the 2020 American Fiction Award for Anthologies, and her novel Spark won the 2019 American Fiction Award for Inspirational Fiction and the 2019 Living Now Book Award for Adventure Fiction. She has also received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association. In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” She has residences in Maine and Massachusetts where she lives with her husband, daughter (when she’s not away at college), and her dog. Patricia loves writing, reading, watching films, and traveling.