Welcome Liz Borino!
Thank you for stopping in to chat with us and learn about Liz's newest release. Grab a coffee or your favorite drink at the side bar there and come get comfy on the couch with us.
Tonya: Liz, welcome back. It's always great to have you visit. Tell us a bit about yourself. Do you have a day job?
Liz: I edit for two publishers and do some Public Relations work. The editing has actually improved my writing dramatically. If you read my work, you’ll pick up rather quickly on my disdain for the word that. Use it sparingly, writers, please…
I love to travel. My two favorite cities are New York City and London. I adore the theater culture in both cities. My love of cities comes from growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania.
Tonya: I’d love to visit London one day! Some of us have things we do to get into the writing frame of mind like music, or drinks. Do you have anything special you do to get into the writing mood?
Liz: If I have to do some heavy duty writing, I put on binaural beats. They help me to concentrate. If it’s just casual I use music and Snapple. Snapple keeps me awake.
Tonya: Are you ever at a loss for ideas? What do you do to get past those times? I don’t have them often but being out in my yard and gardens helps me get creative.
Liz: I do hypnosis. It’s supposed to create wealth. So far, I’ve manifested a title for my third book, fixes for plot problems, new characters and fantastic reviews. As of yet, no money. Where is my money, universe?!
Tonya: Hypnosis? That’s interesting and it seems to work for you…sort of, short of the money. Do you have a card file where you keep story ideas? Where do they come from?
Liz: It’s this grey mushy thing inside my head, um, hold on – brain. Sorry, it wasn’t turned on. I can usually access what I need. Where do they come from? Scary answer for you, but my life. No, I don’t write a biography, but my characters are all a part of me. The plot itself is mostly from my imagination.
Tonya: Are you a daytime writer, night time writer, and do you have to be alone to write?
Liz: Do you want to know what happens when I try to write at night? Around 11 last night, it took me three times to spell the word potato correctly. Needless to say, I’m a day time writer. And if I had to wait to be alone to write, nothing would ever get done.
Tonya: Do you have critique partners or ever been in a critique group? What was the best thing you learned from a critique?
Liz: Not a formal one. I have great fans who’ve become friends. They know me and my characters and so I can ask them if they think something would work or if I pushed the envelope too far this time. They’re wonderfully supportive.
Tonya: Do you write better when you first have an idea of what your characters look like or do you write, then add character looks?
Liz: I don’t know if I write better this way, but I know what my characters look like. I see them long before I ever start to write the book. In my head. I’m not entirely crazy. I day dream all the time and I have very clear visions of my boys (and girls).
Tonya: Do you always include HEA and is that type of ending important to you?
Liz: Someone has to be happy. The ending should at least be hopeful. I strive to give off a feeling of hope and love in my novels.
Tonya: Where can our readers find you and your books?
Synopsis: Expectations depicts the struggle between what we desire for ourselves and our familial obligations. The struggle is personified by Chris and Matt Taylor, identical twins, who are trying to win their overbearing father’s approval and acquire their trust funds. Love, money, and desire collide as Matt and Chris decide what’s really important to them.
Synopsis: What Money Can’t Buy, the sequel to Expectations, finds the two couples, Chris and Aiden and Matt and Carley, eagerly anticipating parenthood. However, their personal struggles continue. Though Matt overcame his dependency on alcohol, new temptations present themselves. And with Carley on bed rest, these temptations put a greater strain on their relationship. Chris continues to deal with issues regarding his father. These issues increase with greater proximity. When tragedy strikes, the best and worst in everyone is revealed. Can they stick together, or will their reactions tear them apart?
Excerpt: Chapter One
Excerpt: Chapter One
Chris O’ Boyle took a deep breath as he directed the movers on where to put the boxes in their new Hartford home. “I don’t know, Aiden. I think this is too big for the four of us.”
Aiden slipped his arm around his husband’s waist with a smile, “It might be too big if it was just four of us. Your dad has the guest house for him and his nurse and the kids have rooms close to ours, plus a few extra bedrooms.” His Irish accent was thick, as usual when he relaxed.
“My dad living here is just temporary.” Chris reassured, though he wasn’t sure who he was reassuring, Aiden or himself. He wasn’t entirely happy with his father living with them, but after the stroke it was either that or a nursing home. While a nursing home was still on the table, Chris didn’t have the time to research it before they moved. Besides, it just didn’t feel right to put family away, no matter how badly they hurt you.
Aiden saw Chris’s eyes darken. He knew how difficult it would be for Chris to have his father here. Despite the fact that Chris dealt very well with the after effects of the attack his father wrought on him when Chris came out, it still hurt. Aiden squeezed his eyes shut at the thoughts of what happened, but he fought back his own feelings and took Chris in his arms. “Well, good, then we’ll have room for more children.”
Chris turned around in his husband’s embrace and pressed their lips together. “More children, Aiden?”
“I think so. What fun would having only two be?” Aiden smiled and let Chris go when the movers came back inside. He couldn’t wait to get all the crap put away and be alone with Chris. They hadn’t been alone in at least a week now, between the movers, Aiden’s classes, and doctor appointments with Meggie.
Meghan, his sister, was six months pregnant with Chris’s twins. They found out last week she’d have a boy and a girl. Aiden couldn’t imagine a better outcome. He worked with the movers to set up the living room while Chris was with others in what would become his father’s room.
Aiden nodded as the workmen put the entertainment center together and then placed the plasma television on top. When they moved out of their loft in Greenwich Village, Chris and Matt, Chris’s identical twin, debated on who should get the TV. Aiden and Carley, Matt’s girlfriend, sat on the couch and watched the heated debate. Chris and Aiden ended up with it because Carley had her own, which was almost as big. Matt got the leather couch and recliner.
Plasma TV, so unnecessary. Aiden scoffed to himself more than once. He didn’t grow up like this. He and Meghan grew up on a farm in Ireland. The house had three rooms, a kitchen, living room, and a downstairs bedroom where his parents slept. He and Meghan shared a loft area that you could only reach through a ladder. It was a far cry from the six bedroom home, with a pool and a guest cottage, he shared with his husband now.
Chris came in and sat down on the couch next to him, “They’re almost done out there.”
“Are you picking up your dad?”Aiden asked leaning into Chris’s chest.
Chris shook his head as he kissed Aiden’s hair. “No, Matt’s bringing him over around dinner time. I said I’d cook for all of us, but I gotta tell you, I’m not really feeling it.”
Aiden laughed, “If neither of you are cooking, then we’ll be getting to know the local takeout place.” When Chris didn’t respond, Aiden looked up into his golden brown eyes to find a far off look. “Would you like me to go to the store for you?”
Aiden’s question quirked a smile on Chris’s lips, “And what would you buy? No, really, I can’t cook with anything you buy. I swear to god, I tell you to get meat and you buy SPAM.”
“I did that once because it was on sale.” Aiden said and realized that was something they wouldn’t be worrying about anymore. Judging by Chris’s expression, he thought the same thing. To say they were well off was an understatement. The twins each received $50 million from their trust funds and any remaining wealth their father had, which was a lot.
“SPAM is always on sale. There’s no other way to get it out of the store.” Chris smiled and paid the movers when they finished. He and Aiden still had some hours, or days, of work ahead of them.
Aiden took Chris’s hand and smiled, “When did you say Matt was bringing your dad?”
“Six. Why?” Chris answered, appreciating Aiden’s smile.
“Well, I’d say between going to the store and cooking dinner, you’re looking at maybe an hour and a half. I think we have some room for fun in there.” Aiden watched recognition light up on his husband’s face. They sped upstairs without another word.
* * *
“Matt, where are you going?” Carley asked as he finished setting up the living room and reached for his winter jacket.
Matt took a deep breath and counted to ten in his head. It was difficult to keep the irritation out of his voice when he had to keep repeating himself. “I’m going to pick up my dad, get him settled at Chris and Aiden’s and then eat dinner.”
“You’re eating dinner there?”
“Yeah, hon. I’ll bring you back some.”
“Some what?” Carley asked, trying to tone down her frustration. The doctor put her on bed rest at her last appointment because she had bleeding and he feared a miscarriage. It meant she had two options, the bed or the couch. Carley saw this as an opportunity for her and Matt to slow down and spend some more time together. Unfortunately, he didn’t see it that way. Matt worked more. When they worked together it mattered less how much they were in the office. They enjoyed work after starting their marketing company. Enjoyed each other, their clients, and their other business partner, Cyndi. However, Carley did not enjoy the long days when she was stuck at home and Matt was at work. She was hardly looking forward to three more months like this.
“I don’t know.” Matt ran his hand through his hair. “Chris didn’t know what he was cooking when I talked to him.”
“You know I can’t eat shellfish.” Carley bit her lip after the words left her mouth. How often has either of us made shellfish? Instead Matt gave her a pained smile. “I know and so does he. I’m sure it’ll be chicken or steak.” He walked toward the door and glanced over his shoulder, “Do you need anything else while I’m out?”
You. I need you.Carley shook her head. “Thanks, babe. I got everything I need here.”
He nodded and grabbed his keys. “I’ll be home.” She wanted something else, but Matt chose to ignore it. He had to get out of there.
They moved up to Hartford last week, or rather, he and Chris moved them up. Carley couldn’t help because of the baby. So, she stayed with Aiden. These damn hormones were gonna kill him. And they weren’t even in his body. The first few weeks of the pregnancy were fine. Carley was happy, excited. If he was being honest, so was he. Carley didn’t have any morning sickness. Though, Matt did find himself placating requests of mustard and egg sandwiches in the middle of the night. All in all, the first trimester was pleasant. It was just now that she was starting to get a noticeable belly. Matt thought it was beyond adorable. That all changed three weeks ago.
One of the few nights they spent apart, Matt was at his loft hanging out with Chris and Aiden. It’d be one of the last nights they lived together. So, they all sat around playing poker and ragging on each other. The ragging only intensified when Matt answered his cell on the first ring, but he waved them quiet before saying, “Yes, baby?”
“Matt…are you busy?” Came Carley’s hesitant reply.
“Define busy, sweetheart. I’m demonstrating the proper way to play five card, by whooping Chris and Aiden into oblivion. What’s up?”
“The baby, Matt. I...don’t know. I’m bleeding pretty bad…and…” anything else was chocked out by tears.
“I’m leaving now. It’s gonna be alright.” Matt told her, though he had no idea if it was true. He cursed the traffic present even at 11PM in New York City as he picked her up and they drove to the hospital. The doctor told them she was at risk for a miscarriage. After a night in the ER, Carley was put on bed rest. No work, lifting, stress, and…no sex. Matt nearly swallowed his tongue when the doctor said that. Of course, the baby would come first, but damn it, three months? It had easily been five years since he’d gone that long.
Matt shook his head as he turned into the rehab facility where his father stayed until Chris and Aiden moved in. He’d be lying if he didn’t admit he was jealous of their house. He and Carley got a much more modest three bedroom. Quaint, perfect, she’d said. Wouldn’t last if they had more than one child. Shit, where did that come from? It was dumb really. They had more than enough money for something more elaborate. Chris didn’t even like the grandeur. He never enjoyed it. So, why the big house? Because they would have a slew of children to fill it.
Matt parked the car and met a young nurse standing behind his father’s wheelchair. Out of habit Matt noted she wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Oh yeah…that’s a great habit to have. He gave her a smile and offered his hand, “Hi, I’m his son, Matt Taylor.”
“I’m Sarah.” She smiled and glanced down at Robert.
Matt crouched down so he could look his father in the eye. “Hey there, Dad. How you feeling today?” Matt didn’t expect an answer. He doubted his father could answer. The nurses and doctors swore he had good days. Days when he was more responsive. Matt and Chris witnessed a few of these. Robert would blink in response to questions…and this was an improvement. Just months ago, Robert ran a multi-billion dollar business. And now he couldn’t lift a cup to his lips. Matt stood and gave the nurse…Sarah? another smile, “How is he so far today?”
“It’s been a lot of commotion. What with moving and packing…” Sarah stopped.
“It’s ok; I don’t expect anything out of him.” Matt signed the stack of papers she handed him.
“I’m sure it’ll be better once we get him set up at your brother’s house with a comfortable routine.” She glanced between Matt and Robert. “Um, your brother, Chris? He has a different last name…”
“Oh yeah, he took his husband’s name when they got married.” Matt answered glancing up to gauge her reaction. Chris wanted to disassociate himself from their father as much as possible.
“Oh…I see….” Sarah stammered.
“Is there a problem?” Matt’s eyes darkened with the question. He sensed judgment on her part and he didn’t take kindly to it.
“No, no, I’m sorry. He just never mentioned it in the interview or any of our other conversations…”
Matt studied her for a second before deciding she was far too nervous to really mean harm, “Well, think of it this way, if he asked you a similar question during an interview, you could’ve sued.” He offered a half smile, “Come on, let’s call some help and we’ll get him home.”
Sarah nodded, and then left to get a male orderly to help put Robert in the transport van.Matt watched her hips sway as she walked off and shook his head, “Dad, you sure know how to pick ‘em. Honestly…”
Tonya: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?
Liz: I’m offering a free copy of Expectations to one lucky commenter! So, please leave me love. My writerly ego will thrive and you could win a book! Thank you for reading!
Tonya: Liz, thank you so much for being with us all week. I hope the readers comment and chat with you. Ah, look, here come a few visitors now! Leave a comment to be in the contest. Liz will pull a winner on Saturday!