In the Spotlight with Samantha Rey
Genre: New Adult Romance
Published: December 19, 2014
Sadie Vaughn is a college transfer student looking to get out from under the claws of her overbearing mother. She has closed herself off to prevent another devastating heartbreak, preferring men to be in her bed but not in her heart. Her plan to focus on her studies and ignore the opposite sex is ruined before classes even begin and she struggles to maintain her distance when she finds herself unable to keep the images of dimples and startling blue eyes out of her mind.
Gavin Ellis is devilishly handsome, confident, and seems to get under Sadie’s skin from their first meeting. When they become lab partners, Gavin tries his luck charming Sadie, but she is having none of it. He may be keeping secrets from her, but she hides her past from him, so when Sadie finds herself spending more and more time with him, she worries the walls she’s spent so long building up will come crashing down.
Jamie Ashford is dark and brooding and loves Shakespeare almost as much as Sadie. In their classes together, Sadie is intrigued by his mystery but when she tries to talk to him, he completely shuts her down. She does her best to ignore him, but when circumstances force them together, painful heartbreak from their pasts threaten to suffocate both of them.
Despite actively trying to avoid relationships, Sadie ends up in the middle of some very complicated ones. Is she strong enough to go after what she really wants or will the past paralyze her from making the decision?
What was your inspiration behind writing Every Beat?
Well, the first part of that question, I guess, is that I have always loved writing and wrote the beginnings of several books when I was younger. I didn’t finish many of them, or any of them really, but I always loved writing. I liked creating characters that I could control and step into their shoes when their lives seemed more fantastical than mine (that’s also probably why I majored in theatre in college). I grew up in the era of Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill and absolutely loved the drama and the heartbreak and the romance of it all. As the New Adult genre emerges more, I find myself completely drawn to it because it is what I have always loved…just now in book form.
As for what inspired Every Beat specifically, the first part of this entire story that I thought about was the idea of a quote tattoo that hid deep and dark secrets. After researching for forever, I found the perfect quote by none other than William Shakespeare. Things kind of trickled down from there in helping Sadie come to life.
I used to be a dancer (still am when I can make it to a class), so I love reading books about dancers. I love when dance is more of an integral part of the book instead of just a detail that is mentioned a few times. From the very beginning, Sadie was always going to be a ballerina and it was going to be a major part of her, just as it had been a major part of me.
Having loved the aforementioned TV shows, as well as The Vampire Diaries now, there is something beautiful and tragic in having a story with somewhat of a love triangle. I know that many people have a love-’em-or-hate-’em mindset, but I’ve always felt like there was something so dramatic about that choice you have to ultimately make. There may not be a right choice or a wrong choice, but just a choice. And that makes for some excellent drama in a story.
Who would you consider an influence to your writing?
I don’t know if there’s anyone who has influenced my writing style, per say. I mean, I had wonderful teachers growing up who taught me how to write and I thank them for my skills with storytelling and grammar (and I’m not just saying that because I’m a teacher myself).
However, there are definitely authors out there that inspire me with their words, their stories, and their journeys to become as successful as they are today. I will totally admit that I am a huge fan-girl and follow their blogs, back to the way beginning, and read everything they write. It is because of them that I had enough courage to do it myself. Colleen Hoover, Cora Carmack, Jay Crownover, and Tammara Webber are some of my favorites. Seriously, they are rock-stars. Because I love what they write and I firmly believe in writing what you love, readers who love their books may enjoy mine.
In one sentence, what is some advice you would give to a new writer?
Write a book that you want to read.
What are you working on next?
It will be a stand-alone novel, but in the same world of Massachusetts University and Every Beat. I can’t say too much now, but the main character is stubborn, confident, and doesn’t mind a one-night-stand in the least ;-). She may even cross paths with Sadie every once in a while.
With my strawberry-banana smoothie in hand, I found a bench to sit on while I checked my email and Facebook. I was about to check my notifications when someone sat down on the bench next to me. I looked up from my phone and did an inward groan. Gavin was sitting next to me. He looked good in dark jeans and a blue button up. Damn it.
“Sadie, what a pleasant surprise to see you.” His dimpled smile made me melt a little and want to slap him at the same time.
“Is it really considered a surprise when you came to sit down next to me?” I retorted.
“I’m happy to see you, too.”
I turned toward Gavin. “That’s not exactly what I said.”
“I read between the lines,” he whispered over-dramatically.
“What do you want, Gavin?” I huffed. He really was exhausting, but I couldn’t bring myself to get up and leave either.
“You didn’t call me this weekend. I waited by the phone all day.”
“Oh please, you carry your phone in your pocket. It’s with you all day no matter what,” I argued.
“True. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t waiting for your call.” His stupid grin and his stupid dimples were stupidly irritating because I felt like I couldn’t stop looking at them. I felt like they were all mocking me.
“Well, I guess you’ll have to wait a little longer.”
“This is better than a phone call. You like me.” Gavin leaned toward me just a little. His eyes were smiling so much they crinkled at the corners, revealing his amusement at my narrowed gaze.
I let out a sigh. “You’re a little full of yourself, did you know that?”
“Ah, you didn’t deny it.”
“That you like me.”
“I do not like you.”
“Go out with me,” Gavin said. His annoyingly smug smile grew at my look of incredulity. How the hell did we get there? What led him to believe that I would agree to that proposition?
“What? No!” I cried.
I was not interested in dating and this needed to be stopped before he somehow changed my mind. “Just because you said please doesn’t mean I’m supposed to say yes. Manners aren’t the end-all, be-all. You have to know I can’t stand you.”
“There is a fine line between love and hate.”
“And I am firmly on this side of the line.”
Gavin stood up, all six feet of him. He grabbed his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. I was frustrated with myself for even noticing how outstandingly attractive he was when his attitude irked me so entirely. “Then tell me one thing, Sadie.”
I crossed my arms. “What’s that?” I sucked in a breath as he leaned down and whispered in my ear. “Why haven’t you walked away?”
He straightened up, winked at my speechlessness, and turned to walk down campus. I wished he would stop winking at me. I just stared after him. What was with this guy? He got under my skin like no one else. I had lost my appetite, so I gathered my things, threw my smoothie away, and headed downtown to interview for a job.