Thursday, 5 December 2013

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Back to Reality ~ Danielle Allen

~ Synopsis ~
Her past: Emanuel Mills was her first love. The guitar playing, adventure seeking, IT whiz was everything she ever wanted.

Her present: Tyree Barker was her last love. The cultured, educated, successful entrepreneur was everything she needed.

But when Sahara Lee’s past and present collided, a series of events occurred that changed her life forever, leaving her future up in the air.

As a college freshman, a tragic accident changed the course of Sahara’s life. Ten years later, just when she started putting her life back together, Sahara’s world was rocked again due to a similar accident.

Heartbroken and guilt ridden, Sahara fell into old, familiar habits before quickly realizing that she wasn’t the same Sahara Lee anymore. Unable to live a lonely, loveless, isolated life anymore, Sahara decided that the way she coped before wasn’t going to work this time around.

Time didn’t heal her wounds, but forgiveness might.

~ Character Analysis ~

Full name: Emanuel Mills

Born: April 12, 1982

Astrological Sign: Aries

Three Words To Describe Yourself: Adventurous.  Strong. Thrill-Seeker.

Stats: 6’2”; 195 lbs; black, wavy hair; grey eyes

Favorite food: Lamb Chops. My mom makes them with a traditional Lebanese recipe she got from her aunt.

Favorite music: I like it all. The album that’s in heavy rotation on my iPod right now is Yeezus by Kanye West. I’m a big Kanye fan.  The song that made me get off my ass and learn to play guitar is “Hurt” by Johnny Cash.

Favorite TV show: The Wire.

Activities: Basketball. Hiking. Biking. Kayaking. Anything physical.  

Favorite book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Favorite movie: Casino

College degree: Information Systems & Technology (Delta Southern University)

Current job: IT Operations Manager for Dominion

Favorite Quote: “It’s hard to wait around for something you know might never happen; but it’s harder to give up when you know it’s everything you want.”

Biggest Moment with Sahara: One of my biggest moments with Sahara was at James and Lidia’s wedding back in 2003 is one of many, many favorite moments. Emily got pulled onto the dance floor, leaving just Sahara and I sitting together at our table.  She asked me if I wanted to dance and my heart started pounding. Now I’d known the girl since she was born. She always flirted with me. She always made it known that she was into me. And I always played it cool. But that night, I couldn’t keep it together. It was as if my feelings for her refused to be locked down anymore. When we danced and she gazed up at me, I had to restrain myself from kissing her. I almost told her I loved her for the very first time after she performed a ‘Crazy In Love’ routine for me.  I almost did a lot of things that night. But I lost my nerve. I told myself that I had time to figure it out, to make it perfect. Especially since there were so many people around including a random guy who had followed her around the whole night after she danced with him once. So I decided to wait. And two weeks later, I was in a coma. I never got a chance to tell her anything. And when I woke up from the coma, she was gone. That’s when I realized life was short. And I needed to man-up.

The Moment You Fell For Sahara: To tell you the truth, each day of my life, from childhood to adulthood, I have fallen a little more in love with Sahara. But even before I was ready to admit it at James and Lidia’s wedding, we ran into each other at my parent’s house, my childhood home, in the hallway. It was Thanksgiving Break 2002 and she was about to go somewhere and I felt it. Everything I’d felt up to that point clicked into place and I knew that somewhere along the lines, I’d fallen for my little sister’s best friend.
Full name: Tyree “Ty” Barker
Born: July 5, 1982
Astrological Sign: Cancer
Three Words to Describe Yourself: Hard working. Successful. Motivated.
Stats: 6’; 180 lbs; dark brown hair; chestnut brown eyes
Favorite food: Maryland Crab Cakes
Favorite music: Hip Hop and Neo-soul… music with a message and a story to tell
Favorite TV show: When I watch TV, I watch the news or ESPN.
Activities: Work and Working Out
Favorite book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Favorite movie: Coming to America
College degree: B.S. Business Administration (Delta Southern University), M.B.A. (Harvard University)
Current job: Chief Executive Officer of the lucrative restaurant/lounge hybrids Motive and Jimmy’s.
Favorite Quote: It’s something my grandfather always said: “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.”
Biggest Moment With Sahara: She’d never been to the Museum of Modern Art so I took her to New York for her birthday. We did the touristy thing and we checked out some of my favorite places…the rooftop lounge and a couple of independent galleries. We did some of the things she’d always wanted to do…Broadway play, Double Decker Bus Tour. But the look on her face when we were in MoMA… THAT meant more to me than anything. She’s already a beautiful woman, but the look of pure contentment that rolled off of her while going through the museum hit me in a way I never expected.  We connected in a way that solidified our feelings for one another.  What we shared on her birthday…what we shared that entire birthday weekend, that’s the proof of how perfect we are together, how perfect we could always be together.
The Moment You Fell For Sahara: When I met her, I couldn’t get her out of my mind. But the moment I fell for her was the first time I spent the night with her. I woke up beside her and watched her sleep.  She looked so peaceful. The complete opposite of the night she fell asleep in my office at Jimmy’s. I knew in that moment, I had to have her. I had to protect her. I had to be with her.
Full name: Sahara Michelle Lee
Born: June 10, 1984
Astrological Sign: Gemini
How Would You Describe Yourself:  Brokenhearted. Heartbreaker.
Stats: 5’6”; curvy, hour glass figure; dark brown, natural curly hair; warm brown eyes
Favorite food: I love Italian food.
Favorite music: Jay Z
Favorite TV show: Scandal
Activities:  Listening to music. Seeing and experiencing art. 
Favorite book: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston because of how strong Janie was.  I read it in high school and Emily and I did a presentation on it for Honors English.  At the time, I thought it was good but it wasn’t until my whole life changed that it really resonated with me.  I reread it and I saw it through different eyes.  Janie lost loved ones and she persevered.  And by the end, she found her peace.  Whether I deserve it or not, a small part of me holds out hope that I will find mine too.  
Favorite movie: Coming to America
College degree: Biology (University of Virginia) and M.S. in HRM (University of Virginia)
Current job: Human Resources Manager
Favorite Quote: Art and love—the only two things that can bring you back to life.
Favorite Thing About Emanuel: Emanuel was always there for me. Ever since I could remember, Emanuel was always there to take care of and protect me. Obviously, as my best friend’s older brother, I know our dads probably coerced him into looking out for Emily and me. But as we got older, Emanuel never stopped being there for me.  Emanuel never stopped protecting me. My favorite thing about Emanuel is how safe he makes me feel.
Favorite Thing About Tyree: You know that song Wrecking Ball? It could’ve been written specifically for Ty and me. He came into my life so unexpectedly and he just changed my life. My favorite thing about Tyree is how sensitive and perceptive he is.  Admittedly, I can be cold and very closed off. But despite that, Ty just continued to be emotionally supportive and sensitive to my needs.
~ Play List ~
"To Build A Home" -- The Cinematic Orchestra
"Breathe Me" – Sia
"Trouble" – Coldplay
"Never Felt This Way" – Alicia Keys
"Fumble" –Trey Songz
"Gone" – Nsync
"Your Hands" – Marsha Ambrosius
"Any Time, Any Place" – Janet Jackson
"He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)" – Jill Scott
"I Need Love" – Robin Thicke
"Don’t Speak" – Leela James
"Say Something" –A Great Big World
"Bitter" – Me’Shell NdegeOcello
"Fall For Your Type" – Jamie Foxx ft. Drake
"Stay" – Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko
"Need It" – Half Moon Run
"Flaws And All" – Beyonce
"Doing It Wrong" – Drake
"When The Right One Comes Along" – Clare Bowen & Sam Palladio
"Like A Star" – Corrine Bailey Rae
"Safe & Sound" – Taylor Swift ft The Civil Wars
"Make You Feel My Love" – Adele

Author Bio:

I am a married event planner and life coach. My awesome friends and family and my amazing husband make my life sweet. I love to have fun and enjoy the life I’ve been blessed with. I love shopping and football with equal fervor. I’m an amateur movie critic (i.e. my husband and I watch and critique a lot of movies for fun). I love to read and I enjoy sharing my love of books with anyone who will listen. I love music. A good lyric with a good melody can paint a vivid picture and invoke such a range of emotions. I have a soft spot for most mediums of creative, artistic expression.

With degrees in psychology, human services, and marriage and family counseling, I have a unique perspective on life, love and the pursuit of happiness. As an author, I combine an active imagination and life experiences to create stories that are easily relatable and intentionally intriguing. I want to offer you a peek into someone else’s life and for you to get lost in their story, their trials, their triumphs. My ultimate goal is to create a character or a story that stays with you long after you’ve put the book down.

So in a nutshell: I plan. I teach. I read. I write. I watch. I critique. I shop. I play. I love.

To know me is to love me.


~ Giveaway ~

<a id="rc-6009a52" class="rafl" href="" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
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