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Thursday 14 January 2016

ℚ♫ Kicking Sideways - Dina Keratsis

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Kicking Sideways (first published 1 January 2006; this revised edition , Dina Keratsis, 253 pages), a Contemporary Romance, spin-off to Charlesgate.

In this story about awakening and the healing power of love, a woman who refuses to let go of her troubled past is united with an easygoing man who can show her the path to her own salvation.

It’s an amazing read…the author, Dina Keratsis, writes the kind of stories that parallel real life issues and situations. It’s a story that you will relate to and if you’re like I am, you will wish the book would never end.” – (Sandie Vega, MyShelf)

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | Charlesgate | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Dina Keratsis.

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Dina Keratsis has shared with us her music playlist that runs through Kicking Sideways - enjoy!  (Unfortunately three tracks were not available on YouTube: “What’ll I Do?” by Helen Gross, “Stepside” by Jeremy Moses Curtis, and “A Scar as Big as God” by The Reflecting Skin)

What was the inspiration for Kicking Sideways?
"This is best answered in list form, mainly because I like making lists:
  1. an unrequited high school crush
  2. A Room With a View
  3. a song called “Blue Lightning” [written by Bow Thayer]
  4. too many visits to Santa Cruz
  5. a kind man who died tragically"
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Quite a bit of me is in all my books.  I’ve been keeping a quote book since high school.  One of my favorite quotes in that collection is “The trouble with our sister is that she doesn’t know what to do with what she knows.”  This quote is from a book by Ethan Canin.  That quote describes me.  I am filled with utterly useless passions and obsessions and I have found that the best way to satisfy those longings is to write books around them.

That’s why you’ll get a book comprised of my obsession with King Arthur, a lost chocolate cake recipe, and an abandoned factory (Cake, A Fairy Tale).  My love for lore, lonely buildings, music, books, and all sorts of little tidbits that fascinate me make it into my stories."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Kicking Sideways - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The remarkable Ravven does my covers.  She is a delight to work with and a wonderful writer.  My other two books were easier to capture but Kicking Sideways was a challenge because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted.

Cree is a woman at risk.  She’s a teacher, a mother-figure, a business woman, a surfer, a promoter of literacy.  She wants to change the world.  And she is very, very alone.  Stuck in self-imposed darkness, she can’t let go of her past to really embrace the present.

Ravven, the patient Ravven, offered many options – a couple in an embrace, women with faces half-turned to the reader, women with Beyoncé locks, women in flowing white dresses.  The one I chose has her back to the reader and is bundled up for a cool California day, protected in her shell.  And of course, there is Crumble, her mule, a metaphor for her life.

The cover depicts Cree at the start of the novel.  Whether or not she emerges from her own prison is her decision."
Why should we read Kicking Sideways and what sets it apart from the rest?
"You know, the older I get, I find no story that is unique.  Books are about a journey to the self, the becoming of true self, and real connection with others.  Every author tells this story in his or her own unique way and that’s a beautiful thing.  The only thing that sets me apart from the rest is me.  I like my tales to include nuggets of history and magic and music.  Some readers will love my quirks and others won’t."
Can you tell us something quirky about Kicking Sideways, its story and characters?
"There is a bit of a role reversal in this romance.  The hero is the stable, self-connected partner and the heroine is the dark, brooding Byron type.  That surprised me when I wrote it.

The dog, Lump, is the nickname for my now-deceased dog Logan, who was named after Wolverine.  Cree’s full name is Lucretia, after a Sisters of Mercy song.  Ellen is based on my grandmother’s good friend.  I still hear her voice in my head even though she has been dead for thirty years.  Finally, the scene with the eye and the box is stolen from my best friend’s life.  She was as stubborn as Cree.  Also, like Mike, I was disappointed to find that there were no vampires in Santa Cruz."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Every year for Mother’s Day, my husband takes us to Salem or Rockport to get a family “portrait” done.  This is an oldie but one of my favorites because it was the first."

What a fantastic picture! :-D Thank you for sharing it with us.
"Thank you for hosting me and for the fun questions."

Kicking Sideways
Available NOW!

UK: purchase from purchase from Nook UK purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads
US: purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US


Dina Keratsis said...

I am so excited to be here today! I keep hopong the site will magically transport me to the UK but we'll have to keep it virtual for now.

Majanka Verstraete said...

Love the family portrait :)

Majanka @ I Heart Reading

BooksChatter said...

Hi Dina! thank you for stopping by :-)
London is cold and wet today...


Dina Keratsis said...

That's okay. I'll take it. I've always wanted to go to England. Someday! I LOVE your site. You do amazing work.

Dina Keratsis said...

Ha! Thank you. It's a lot of fun to do instead of dressing up and going to a boring old stuffy restaurant on Mother's Day.

BooksChatter said...

There are some lovely places. Just come over in July or August ;-)
Aw! Thank you :-)