TITLE – Time to Begin
SERIES – Ward Sisters, #5
AUTHOR – Patti Korbet
GENRE – Contemporary Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – September 15, 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – estimated at 125k words
PUBLISHER – Patricia Korbet
COVER ARTIST – Patti Korbet
She’d been dealt too many blows to count. He’d always lived life on easy street. Are they Yin and Yang or a mistake of epic proportions?
Makeup artist Reggie Reynolds has endured a life as colorful as her ever-changing hair. After a painful childhood and a tragic adolescence, by sheer force of will, she found success – first in Hollywood, then on Broadway. Returning to her hometown offers a chance to help her aging grandfather and realize her dreams, not to mention soothe a broken heart. But even her storied past won’t prepare Reggie for what happens in her next chapter.
When reporter Eddie Besson meets Reggie on a flight to New York City, he thinks he’s at an all-time high-point in his cushy, perpetual-youth life. Twenty-four hours with Reggie changes Eddie’s perspective. Despite the fact she doesn’t want anything to do with him when he leaves, Eddie can’t stop thinking about the girl from New York City long after he’s gone from the Big Apple.
As Eddie’s perfectly-orchestrated life falls apart, he has some tough decisions to make, with only one thing certain: there will be consequences to pay for his lackadaisical approach to adulthood. Reggie’s own soul-searching reveals some painful truths, including guilt about passing judgment on the guy from Maine. When she runs into Eddie again – this time on his home turf – sparks fly and decisions must be made, choices that aren’t universally well-received. Will this unlikely pair go all-in, find a way to balance the scales and live life on their own terms? Or will tragedy tear them apart for good?
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The girl with the pink and black striped hair kept looking at him. Eddie thought he was just being paranoid at first, but she was definitely staring. He didn’t think he could possibly know her – after all, she looked like part of a Punk crowd, and despite his appreciation for the genre, that was definitely not his speed of social group. Maybe they’d had classes together in college. She might be around his age. But though he felt like he knew her somehow, he didn’t recognize her.
Pink Hair didn’t make any effort to engage him. Nonetheless, there she was, staring again. This time, though, her eyes watered and she looked like she struggled to keep the tears away. Maybe she wasn’t staring at him so much as through him. He should probably ignore her. But then her eyes drifted shut and a tear escaped, running down a surprisingly angelic face.
Shit, he thought. Don’t do it, Besson. Just stay where you are.
He got up and moved to sit next to her. When he put his hand over hers, she jumped a little and looked at him, confused.
“Hey, you okay?” Eddie asked.
“Um, not really. But it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it.”
“If it was nothing, then you wouldn’t be crying. Want to talk about it?” Jesus, what was it with him and providing an ear these days? First Kay and her marital troubles, now a stranger? Who next? Maybe she’d say no. Hopefully.
“No, that’s okay.”
Oh, good. That’s a relief, he thought. Eddie’s hand was still covering hers and she looked down at it. Since she didn’t pull her hand away, Eddie left his there. Maybe it comforted her. Maybe it would be enough and she wouldn’t use him as a sounding board. She sniffed and when she looked up she smiled at him.
“Eddie. You headed to New York?”
He nodded. “I’ve got a meeting.”
“Oh? You in finance or something?”
Eddie laughed. Hardly. “No. Reporter. I work at a small-town newspaper up north. My boss is sending me to meet with a potential new buyer for the paper.”
She’d bristled a little at the word ‘reporter’, but relaxed again when he said he worked at a small-town paper. Huh.
“Because you run things?”
“Nah. They want to meet with all the editors and I was away when they came last month. I guess it’s nearly a done deal and they want to figure out where we all fit in their organization.”
“Oh. How long are you in the city?”
“A day. Fly down today, fly back tomorrow. What about you? Why are you headed to NYC?”
“I live there. Well, in Brooklyn, anyway. I work in the city.”
“What do you do? If you don’t mind my asking. Sorry. Reporter’s instinct to ask questions.”
“It’s okay. I’m a makeup artist.”
“Oh yeah? Where do you work? In the movies?”
“I did. For a long time I worked in L.A. on movie and TV sets. I’ve been on a Broadway play for the past seven months. We were supposed to be done after six weeks. Then it stretched to six months. We’re regrouping right now, but we’re back to work tomorrow. They’re talking about a long-term run.”
“Sounds like you’re pretty excited about it.”
“It’s basically my dream job. I always wanted to work on Broadway, but it’s hard to get into the business there. Much easier in Hollywood, where there are a million different productions. Eventually, if you meet the right people, you’re set. I got lucky and hooked up with a stylist when he was just getting started. That led to where I am now.”
Eddie smiled. “Seems like you made some smart moves.”
“I did. Now I get to work in my hometown and be near my family.”
Eddie laughed. “Me too. But somehow, I don’t think my hometown quite compares with yours.”
“No? Population isn’t in the millions? No loud noises, smelly exhaust or ridiculous traffic?”
“No all-night takeout, no clubs with up-and-coming music. No way to escape your family, even when they’re driving you nuts. I love everything about New York.”
“Me, too,” Reggie said. “Those are just people’s usual complaints. But everything you said, that’s the reasons why I love living there. Plays, music, art, culture, food, history. It’s all there.”
Now boarding Delta Flight 1220 to New York’s LaGuardia at Gate 8. Please have your ID and boarding passes ready.
“I guess it’s time to board. Where are you sitting?” Eddie asked.
“Um, 14C,” Reggie said, looking at her boarding pass.
“No way. I’m in 14A. Looks like we’re sitting together.”
Reggie smiled. “Good. I was going to have to ask your seatmate if I could switch. Now I don’t have to do that.”
Beautiful Disaster – Jon McLaughlin
Falling – Jon McLaughlin
Faster – Matt Nathanson
Wake Me Up – Avicii
Love Stinks – The J. Geils Band
Who Says – Selena Gomez and The Scene
Thank You – The Shapes
Escape From New York – The Shapes
Claim Your Prize – The Shapes
Overflow – The Shapes
New Revolution – The Waking Hours
How Does It Feel – The Waking Hours
Survive – The Moog
I Like You – The Moog
All On Me – The Shys
Bom Bom Bom – Living Things
Not Thinking Straight – Pint Shot Riot
Five Year Rut – Supergarage
Turn Me On – Bromheads Jacket
I Couldn’t Imagine – Julie the Band
Pretty Good Day – Best Not Broken
Take My Picture – Best Not Broken
Restless Heart – Matt Hires
The Mess I Made – Parachute
Hanging By A Moment – Lifehouse
Absolutely (Story Of A Girl) – Nine Days
It’s Time (Live London Sessions) – Imagine Dragons
Static Waves (Featuring Katie Herzig) – Andrew Belle
Baby, I Love You – Ramones
Blitzkrieg Bop – Ramones
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend – Ramones
Family (featuring Tim Armstrong) – The Interrupters
Strangers – The Kinks
Eddie Besson is that guy, the one who still acts like he’s in college, despite entry into his 30’s. As the sports editor for his small, hometown newspaper, he lives above his parents’ garage, spends his free time hanging out at the one bar in town and strings along his high school girlfriend. The kicker is that he doesn’t really think there is anything wrong with his life. Until he meets Reggie Reynolds, and suddenly, his world seems pathetic and wasteful.
Broadway and Hollywood makeup artist Reggie Reynolds fought hard for the life she has now. Abandoned by her parents, she clung to her beloved grandparents as long as she could. But her grandmother was taken by illness, and now her grandfather is succumbing to age. She has never been lucky in love and is sure she is doomed for a life without it. Then she meets Eddie Besson and the world gets a little brighter, even if just for a moment.
Inspiration pictures at my Pinterest page
It is my pleasure to welcome Patti Korbet, author of Time to Begin, to Room With Books!
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a mother of two and a wife, so a lot of my time is spent caring for my family and spending time with them. We have a boat, access to a lot of lakes, plus we live a little over an hour from the ocean, so we do a lot around the water. We’re camping more and we’ve finally started taking the kids hiking, which is one of my favorite outdoor activities. With winter approaching, I’m excited to snowshoe with the kids and for more chances to go ice skating, two things I love about that time of year. For myself, I’m an avid reader, I make digital scrapbooks of my photos, I love dancing and moving my body to music or just listening and discovering new artists. I’m generally a crafty person, and I like to sew and make paper crafts, among other things. And in the growing season, I am a gardener (veggies and perennials).
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I’ve been a reader basically my whole life, so there are numerous authors and books to whom I could point as being influential. To answer this more literally, however, I have to say The Hunger Games, particularly the last book, Mockingjay, directly led to the launch of my writing career. After I finished the book, I became a little obsessive about the story, and so I wrote a fanfiction that bridged between the ending and the epilogue. I found I was compelled to write on this project every day for hours at a time, and after a month, I’d written an ungodly amount of words (to the tune of 280,000 and it’s still not done!) After that, I felt empty if I wasn’t writing at least a little each day. I went from being someone who writes occasionally to being a writer because it became a habit. I shifted focus to the story that became Back to December, my first published novel, and that, as they say, was that. I haven’t stopped since.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I avoided the traditionally published route. I have an amazing mentor who had already done it both ways, and I knew I didn’t want to deal with the traditional publishing world’s way of getting my work out there. Having control over the process, answering to no one but myself, that appealed to me. So, there was never a question as to whether I’d self-publish. Once I knew I was publishing, nothing else made sense for me. That said, there was a steep learning curve to self-publishing, and there are some obstacles that could make an impatient person give up easily. I went through five rounds of edits to cut my manuscript nearly in half (and discovered a series in the meantime). I had to reboot my social media presence, because I’d walked away from that when my son was a baby. And then there is all the footwork to setup Kindle Direct Publishing accounts and learn the ins and outs. CreateSpace, the print-on-demand arm of Amazon, is even more of a headache to navigate in the beginning, especially. My marketing was basically non-existent and my tools for creating covers wasn’t much better. All told, it took just over nine months and was akin to pregnancy and childbirth without all the physical pain (but definitely with all the joy, anxiety and excitement when it was done). It’s hard to believe, four books later, that it was ever so difficult, but I learned a tremendous amount over the last year or so.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Teleportation. It would make my life SO much easier sometimes!
What was your first job?
Hmm. Well, first time I earned money was for babysitting. First official job for which Uncle Sam considered me employed was as a cashier at a small grocery store in the town where I went to college. Sadly, it’s now closed.
Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?
Parents aren’t supposed to have favorite children, but of all my characters so far, my favorite is Jack Armstrong. I started with three soldier characters who were friends, three peas in a pod – alphas who were romantic souls – Neil Murphy, Owen Nichols and Jack Armstrong. Though they’re not the same character, they have similarities that make them close friends. I fell in love with Neil while I wrote him. And then I wrote Owen’s story, and he replaced Neil. By the time I came around to writing Jack, I knew he was my favorite. His story is the most tragic, and you just want to give him a big hug. Readers have only met Jack briefly in Neil’s story, Right Here Waiting, but he’ll have a much bigger supporting role in Owen’s book, Ward Sisters, #6, Just Realized, and we’ll hear his tale later in the series (which has been significantly written already, so I know him very well by now). There are so many things to love about Jack. He’s a southern boy, through and through – polite, territorial, loves country music and football, and has a sexy southern twang that grows deeper when he’s tired, upset or excited. He’s also an Army Vet, has led a colorful life, and has endured his share of heartache. Beautiful, inside and out, with a gorgeous body and a heart of gold, Jack just wants to find love like his best friends have, one that allows him to create the family he never had as a kid. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that his exterior belies the sexy beast he is in the bedroom. His story will be the last in the series, not only ending his own story arc, but also ending the series arc.
What does your writing schedule look like?
Depends on the day. My kids are both in school full-time now, so I usually sit down for an hour or so after they get on the bus and deal with non-writing publishing chores – social media, emails, stuff like that – and then sit down to write. I’m in a post-publication lull right now, and the last book was a marathon with a sprint at the end, so I’m writing a little less, plotting in my head a little more. I strive to write at least 500 words each day (sometimes, life gets in the way of writing time), but I’ve had days when I wrote 10k words easily because the muse was happily speaking to me. Some days, because I self-publish, I might be working on less writing and more marketing stuff – creating teasers, generating covers, promotion – but I usually have weeks on end when I’m writing like crazy every day while the kids are gone and sometimes while they’re home.
Do you use your OWN experiences?
To some degree – sometimes, less, sometimes more (and I’m not saying which!) Any writer who tells you that they don’t is lying. It’s impossible not to bring a part of yourself into your work, even if what you’re writing is fantastical. I write reality-based, contemporary fiction and romances, to boot, so yes, there is no doubt that aspects of my life show up in my work. As one example, many of the places in Time to Begin that Eddie visits with Reggie are places I’ve personally experienced in New York City.
Was it easy to pick the title for your book?
It’s funny that you ask, because for many of my stories, the title has been fairly easy. I might come up with a working title that feels right in the beginning, but over time, it changes as I find something that suits the story much better (Back to December was like that), but I’ve been lucky that most of my working titles fit the final story. In the case with Time to Begin, it was a huge challenge! My working title made sense on an intellectual level. It was called Buying the Cow, and the genesis for it was because I was inspired to write Eddie based on two things: Beyonce’s song Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) and the phrase, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” When I’d first envisioned Eddie, he was a much bigger playboy. It wasn’t until I started writing his story that he told me who he really was. Now, not only did the title fit poorly for who I knew Eddie was as a character, it also wasn’t even remotely romantic. So, I had to come up with something new. Eventually, after talking with my betas, I decided on Time to Begin, which comes from the lyrics of the Imagine Dragons song, It’s Time. On an intellectual level, it still met the same concept of ‘buying the cow’, but it was SO much more romantic, and the song itself actually suited Reggie and Eddie’s story even better.
If you could pick one profession other than author, what would it be? Why does it appeal to you?
I spent six years as a civil engineer before I stopped working to raise my family. Before then, I earned my professional license, and I maintain it in case I need to go back. Being an author is my dream career, but if I returned to work outside the home for a career (as opposed to a job that would make money for my family), I’d resume my former profession. There is room for creativity within the confines of engineering, and it challenges me on an intellectual level, something that I crave in my work (writing does that, too, in a different way, given that I’m not doing higher-level math when I write!) I believe engineers are a necessary part of our world, to making the life we know function, and I’m proud of my involvement with the field as well as my friends and colleagues from that part of my life. I’d never hesitate to go back if need be.
What are you currently working on?
I have numerous irons in the fire. Ward Sisters, #6, Just Realized, should be published around Christmas or just after. Following that will be the launch of my first Ward Sisters spinoff, Vega Brothers. It will tell the tales of several secondary characters, including Christopher, the stylist everyone adores. The first book, Steal Your Heart, is planned for the spring. Then, in early summer, I’ll publish Ward Sisters, #7, Think of Me, which will also be the pre-quel for my second spinoff series, Deacon Security. And then Vega, #2, You Got Me, will finally give us Christopher’s story. That will be published in October next year. I learned the hard way with Time to Begin not to plan an end-of-summer publication unless a book is at the editing phase in June, so we’ll see what happens. I may have something ready by then.
In the meanwhile, I’ll be working on other in-progress stories, including 4 Deacon Security books, 2 additional Vega Brothers stories, and a third spin-off that was generated from writing Time to Begin, called The Daigles. I also have three additional Ward Sisters books: Tell Me What it Takes (#8), and a two-book finale that will each be able to be read as standalones, but will be launched back-to-back, since they are intimately connected. That assumes I don’t focus outside the Ward Sisters universe.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? I have to pick one? Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk.
Night owl, or early bird? Nigh Owl.
Coffee or tea? I like both, but I’m a daily coffee drinker.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Roller Coasters.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? I live in Maine, so ocean, but only if the air temp is above 80 and the water is above 55.
Walking or fitness club? Walking, hands down, anytime. Hiking is even better.
Any last words?
I love interacting with readers and I read every comment on my Facebook author page. I also have a fan group – Christopher’s Minions – not an official street team, but a place where fans of my work can hang out, ogle hot men, see snippets of my works in progress and get the latest info first. I post in there more than anywhere else and it’s so much fun – I’ve always had long-distance friends (pen pals, a message board community), and this is an extension of that which focuses more intently on my writing. We’re always open to new members!
Thank you for taking time to chat with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour.
For a majority of her life, two things have been true about Patti Korbet: she loves to read and she has a very active imagination. You can often find her with a book or her Kindle in hand. And in the last few years, she’s frequently been typing away at her little netbook, turning the myriad thoughts that run through her head into story ideas.
Her career path to author has had many twists and turns, but Patti has been making up stories in her mind for as long as she can remember. Just as her son turned 9 months old, she made serious work of molding those stories into works of fiction. She put her nose to the grindstone in the fall of 2012 and hasn’t looked back since.
When not reading or writing, Patti pretends to be a gardener, loves to dance, watches a variety of shows with compelling characters and most importantly, takes care of her family of four. She hopes one day to convince her husband that fiction writing is a worthy pursuit. In the meantime, she’s proud to see the seeds of imaginative storytellers and prolific readers in her daughter and son.
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