Hiya Lia! Welcome back to UTC this time to talk about WITH EVERY BREATH!
Thanks so much. Hope you guys are having a fantastic holiday season!
Patagonia sounds like a very interesting place. Can you tell us more about your research and decision to feature this location?
Sure thing! I think the book came to me in three separate stages:
First, ten years ago I travelled to South America and spent two weeks in Patagonia on my own before meeting up with my then boyfriend (now husband) to hike the famous W-circuit in Torres del Paine National park. It’s a spectacular and raw place that really has a “ends-of-the-earth” beauty perfect for a wild romance.
Secondly, I reread Joe Simpson’s fabulous book “Touching the Void” about a mountain climber whose partner cut the rope on him after an accident in South America. That night it struck me, wouldn’t it be interesting to tell a story from the other guys point-of-view…the guy who cut the rope.
Third, I’m interested in the idea of forgiveness. I wrote this book in many ways to explore the idea of can we receive forgiveness or does it come from within? And what happens if we choose not to forgive? Can that be okay too?
These three seeds planted deep in the back of my brain and sort of grew into With Every Breath.
What do you hope readers will like about Rhys MacAskill?
He’s a 6’2 brooding Scottish man who climbs death-defying peaks for a good time 😉 Also, he’s sexy, unreasonable, mysterious and possessive, with one heck of a dirty mouth. He also has a very sensitive and romantic underbelly that he keeps well hidden.
What was the hardest obstacle you overcame in writing WITH EVERY BREATH?
I knew some readers would struggle with the “insta-love” aspects from the book, the idea that a guy meets a girl and boom, lightening strike (in With Every Breath’s case it’s literal). Regardless, I made a conscious decision to make this relationship fast and furious for a few reasons: 1) The timeline for the book takes place over the length of the hike which is a fairly tight ticking clock 2) I have experienced and am sort of a testament to insta-love being a real deal. My husband and I connected the instant we met and while it was a rocky road, it was the real deal from the first.
Climbing is definitely not as easy to find featured in romances but it’s a refreshing change of pace for readers. Do you have any experience with this in real life? Are you a fan yourself?
Um, lol. No. Not at all! In fact, I am TERRIFIED of heights. But I am a fan of rock hard bodies 😉 I guess I’m more attracted to sports where the individual is pitted against themselves and nature (one of the reasons my hero in the Off the Map series is a surfer).
Do you have a favorite quote or moment from the book that you can share with us without being too spoilery?
I think Rhys and Auden’s first kiss is one of my favorite moments in the book. That’s not too spoiler-y right? I mean, this is a romance. There is kissing–A LOT OF KISSING.
At the end of the kiss, Auden has this moment of recognition that everything in her world has just subtly changed:
A kiss should be the simplest thing in the world.
Not this gentle stirring, like wind through the underside of leaves, inexorable as the glacier grinding behind us. So hot and yet it doesn’t scorch. No, with every breath, with every touch, his kiss carves.
When he’s finished, my landscape will be forever changed.
As we say goodbye to 2015 and look back, what were some of your favorite reads on the year?
Oh, yes please! I love to recommend books and this year has been fab. My five favorite reads of this year are:
What’s next for Lia Riley?
I’m currently working on a fun new contemporary romance series set in an eccentric Southern Town. The hero in book one is named Rhett 😉 I’ll be announcing the details soon.
Can’t wait for that and thanks so much for stopping today and chatting with us!
Thanks so much for having me 🙂 Happy New Year!
by Lia Riley
Released: December 29th 2015
Published by Forever
BREATHE DEEP . . . AND JUMP IN
At the ends of the earth, Patagonia is a land where ambition trumps reason and the savage summit of La Aguja lures the most determined climbers. It's also the last spot a "play-it-safe girl" like Auden Woods expects to find herself. But she'll lace up her brand-new hiking boots and do whatever it takes to secure a dream job at an adventure magazine . . . even if it kills her. And it just might. When disaster strikes, her only chance at survival comes in the form of the surliest, sexiest mountaineer ever to come out of Scotland.
After a climbing accident cost him his brother, professional mountaineer Rhys MacAskill is at the end of his rope. Redemption is not in his future. That is, until a terrifying storm blows a budding journalist into his tent and it's up to him to make sure they both survive until morning. Despite the demons weighing on him, Rhys can't resist the temptation of the charming American and one wild night just isn't enough.
Auden and Rhys soon learn there are no shortcuts as they navigate their way between life, death, and atonement, and discover something they never expected—love.