Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Spotlight & Author Interview: Unforgiven by Elizabeth Finn

Sizzling Pages is so excited to have the opportunity to chat with Elizabeth Finn about her latest release, “Unforgiven”.  


A mistake made long ago…

Pain buried so deep…

When Bailey Trent returns home to her small little Ozark mountain town after being away for nearly six years, she knows she’ll face the ghosts of her past. It does not mean she’s prepared to come face to face with the cruelest of those memories.

Darren Cory’s life is a shell of what it once was, and when he’s forced to endure the cause of his agony, hatred abounds quickly. But hating Bailey destroys him too.

Can Darren find a way to move past the pain and forgive the woman he once cared so much for before his anger consumes them both? Or will he drag them into the hell of an unforgiven past.

Our Reviews


SPRR: Elizabeth, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. What motivated you to write?

Elizabeth: The motivation to write, in general, has always been there—whether a research paper for a college class I take or creative writing for no one but me, the love to write has been with me for far longer than I can even recall. It wasn’t until about seven years ago that I actually sat down with the intention of writing a book, and even then, I had no real inclination to try to publish it. It was more or less a test for myself, and an emotional need at that particular time in my life. That book I wrote seven years ago ended up being Brother’s Keeper by the by, and I sat on it for a good five years before ever deciding I wanted to have it published. Story telling has also always been a part of my makeup for longer than I can recall. My brain is constantly daydreaming and inventing plots and storylines. It honestly never occurred to me that I should actually try to write those stories down until seven years ago, but truth be told, I’ve been inventing plots in my head endlessly and obsessively since I was a child.

SPRR: What was your inspiration for the story of Darren and Bailey in “Unforgiven”? Was it purely a work of fiction, or based on true-life experiences?

Elizabeth: Inspiration is always a hard thing for me to pinpoint. I can tell you that this storyline has been in my head, like many others, for far longer than I’ve been writing. Conceptually, it was originally part of the Brother’s Keeper storyline but only ever in my head. Once I sat down to actually write Brother’s Keeper, it was clear that this storyline simply didn’t belong to Logan and Rowan. God knows Rowan had plenty on her plate—she sure as heck didn’t need this catastrophe to complicate her life further. That said, this subject matter was something I knew I wanted to tackle at some point. I have seen the devastation of this type of scenario, but I can also say it’s never impacted me directly or anyone I was terribly close to. I think most of us have experience either directly or indirectly with this type of scenario. It’s a devastation that too many families endure, and we instinctually know what this type of pain and loss would feel like.

SPRR: Is Darren’s anger/hatred towards Bailey amplified due to his own feelings of guilt? Does he have any guilt, or does he put all the blame solely on Bailey’s shoulders? He was not behind the wheel, but he did have a role as to how the events played out that evening. He was there, playing the role of "big brother", watching over his little sister and friend. He made the decision to leave. He made the decision to give Bailey the keys. He knew they were drinking. Does he feel, deep down inside, somewhat guilty and use Bailey as a scapegoat?

Elizabeth: First off, I love this question! I don’t often get a chance to so fully explain my own personal feelings about the characters I’ve created, so I’m going to get long winded right now, and I hope that’s okay. I’m thrilled to be able to answer this question!! So, Darren absolutely has guilt, and his anger is a byproduct of that guilt in a lot of ways. It’s mentioned a few times throughout the story. First, when Darren shows up at Bailey’s cottage after the parade and he’s rambling and just coming apart at the seams. That scene very much shows how conflicted he is not only about Bailey but how conflicted he is about their past and his own guilt. Bailey even acknowledges her own awareness of his guilt when she says to him, “We’ve both been on the receiving end of your hate. Whadya say? I’ll forgive myself if you forgive yourself. Dare ya.” I love her words there. She has plenty of her own guilt, but that statement is loaded with her own brand of backbone. It’s her acknowledgement that she very much sees how much he’s torturing himself as much as her. Darren also acknowledges his own guilt to his parents later in the book when they’re at the diner. It’s a subtle thread throughout the book that likely feels a bit overshadowed by his anger and rage at Bailey, but I have to say, that’s honest and real. Pain and guilt often morph easily into anger as a coping method, and in Darren’s case, he’s very much been swallowed up by his guilt and anger. He is very much a shell of the man he used to be, and he’s also very aware of that, incapable as he sometimes seems of moving past it.

That said, I’m very protective of him. It’s easy to place blame on him because he’s so hard on Bailey, but in truth, he isn’t responsible for the mistake she made. That’s not to say he didn’t have a part to play in what happened that night, and he’s very much dealing with his own guilt for his part in it. But that doesn’t make him responsible for her decision. I can forgive Bailey easily for her mistake, but it was very much her mistake. This book isn’t just about Darren being able to forgive Bailey. You have to appreciate that Bailey is forgiving him for every wrong he commits against her, and they are both in a very long and difficult process of forgiving themselves. It’s easy to get angry at Darren, and I know that, and I’m thrilled that people are so protective of Bailey, but in truth, he is broken. He is an amazing, caring, genuine man who loved a girl with all his heart in a way he didn’t even know how to handle, who suffered unimaginable loss and who coped. He coped in a way that is so common and so authentic in these situations. He used anger to avoid feeling the pain. That’s Darren in a nutshell. But regardless of how he behaves, he’s a genuinely good and decent man.

Sorry… Got a little wordy on that response, but I just honestly never get the opportunity to fully flesh out who these characters are from my perspective and talk about my feelings about them, and it’s liberating to give my own personal perception of how a scenario like this could play out. It’s all about perspective, and that varies so much from person to person, so while some find Darren hard to tolerate, other’s just fall in love with him and see his pain as easily as his anger and guilt. It’s a very interesting thing when reading how perspective affects people so differently, and I think this story is a great example of that! I love it!! It’s bringing out all sorts of varying perspectives. The feedback has been phenomenal, but you can also see how perceptions are so varied. It’s incredible…

Sorry… I’ll shut up now!!! ;-) Who am I kidding? I’m a writer; I don’t know how to shut up and stop typing!!!

SPRR: It would have been easier for Bailey to cut her losses and leave and move to Memphis with her mom, but she chose to stay when Darren asked without hesitation. It’s obvious that Bailey stayed because she loves Darren so much, she could never deny him anything. Do you think it was more than her amorous feelings for Darren that keep her from leaving? Perhaps playing martyr would help cleanse her conscience and help her to atone and heal?

Elizabeth: Another awesome question!! This very question was actually posed to me by my publisher, and there are certainly a few factors that drive her. Of course she has long and deep seeded love for Darren, and that isn’t something that simply goes away, not that kind of love and admiration. There is also a sense of owing him whatever he wants and needs to deal with his heartache—in essence she feels like she deserves it, but though she feels that way, she also has her limit, and she knows how and when to protect herself emotionally. She’s not willing to destroy herself. She’s a fighter—a very quiet and strong fighter. But I think the key to truly understanding Bailey is seeing that there is another driving force in her, and that is the desire to see if he can ever forgive her. She doesn’t expect it, she doesn’t even necessarily think she deserves it, but she simply can’t walk away until she knows… truly knows and believes that he can’t forgive her. She loved him. She desires his forgiveness above all else. It’s not a matter of deserving it. She just can’t let go until she knows there’s no hope of it. I get that! Those unanswered questions can haunt a person for a lifetime, and she just has to know. Painful as that journey might be, she needs closure—good or bad.   

SPRR: Why didn't Bailey stand up for herself further when she confronted Darren? I wanted to hear, in her words, how the events of that night unfolded in her eyes. Wanted to see Bailey express how she felt and her remorse, and how it truly was an accident. She kept apologizing, but never expressed what happened from her point of view or how she suffered through the loss and her imprisonment.

Elizabeth: This again goes completely back to perspective, and to me, explaining, making excuses, trying to justify her actions or even just declaring it was a mistake, are all defensive moves. She was guilty; she just was, and any defense against her actions or even explanation of her actions that she put up would have appeared just that—defensive. She needed to be guilty, and that’s okay. She was guilty. She made a choice. It was a bad choice, and there were consequences. I guess what I needed was for there to be no excuses for her actions from her perspective. If she tried to explain her actions that night to Darren, it would have been a defensive move, and I’m not sure if this makes sense, but she needed to be above that. Too strong and too accepting of who she was and what she was responsible for to do that.

I’m not sure that makes much sense, and if you feel very protective of Bailey, that might not be a satisfying answer, but I see this story easily from both Bailey and Darren’s perspective, and from Darren’s perspective, that would have amounted to nothing but defensiveness and excuses.

SPRR: If Darren and Bailey played their word game to describe their sex-life, what words would they use? (For Darren...I have.... Fast fingers.... Electric toothbrushes.....Explosive)!!

Elizabeth: Love your words!!! How about adventurous, intimate, liberating, desperate (not in a bad way), overwhelming, consuming… Goodness, I could go on…

SPRR: Will there be a spin-off to “Unforgiven”, perhaps Michelle’s story? If so, will we see more of Bay and Dare and a glimpse into their future?

Elizabeth: You never know… I never close that door, and Michelle would make an amazing lead character. She is one of the most fun characters I’ve written, and if I do, there would absolutely be updates on Dare and Bay—their children, their life together, her education… all the things I wish for her. However, I wouldn’t be adding any more drama to their lives. They’ve had enough, and they deserve their peace and happiness. They’ve earned it! ;-)

SPRR: Your smut scenes are SO creative and just off the charts, phenomenal – How does one think up some of those? How do those Uhhmm foreplay scenes come about?

Elizabeth: I’m going to start saying ‘no comment’ a lot here, so don’t mind me… You’ll just have to read between the lines!!! LOL!! What can I say? I’m creative, and there’s all sorts of fun to be had in an intimate relationship. If there’s intimacy, if there’s heart, if there’s love, the possibilities are endless! Beyond that, NO COMMENT!!!

SPRR: Electric toothbrush vs. showerhead? Mine boggling & genius LOVE IT!!!!! We are naughty and yearning to know…were they a reenactment’s or imaginative?? =0

Elizabeth: If you’re taking a vote, electric toothbrush all the way. I’m saying nothing else, but I wouldn’t give such advice without some fall back knowledge… Take that for what it’s worth!!!

SPRR: Are you planning on investing in a specific Electric toothbrush stock? I might – since that’s a definite on my Christmas list and might be on tons after they read Unforgiven.. Heck I might get one for all the gals on Sizzling pages as stocking stuffers!

Elizabeth: Oral B – again, you’ll have to just trust me. Have fun ladies!!!

SPRR: Any sneak peeks as to what you are working on next?

Elizabeth: I actually have two books contracted right now. The first, Conflicting Interests, is contracted with Ellora’s Cave. It is a detective/victim scenario with some great supporting characters, including a sassy British bestie, a junior high aged son with attitude, and a curmudgeonly partner who likes to cuss a lot and sugar coats nothing. It’s more suspenseful, still with emotion, but a bit less earth shattering emotional turmoil than Unforgiven. Dillon and Katrina’s story doesn’t yet have a release date, but we’re in the midst of edits, so more information coming soon!

The second book coming out is The Innocent Liar. It is contracted with Musa Publishing and is a boss/employee setup. There a lot of secrets and hidden pasts in this story. She’s hiding from an unknown threat, and his inability to accept her dishonesty and secrets is a constant strain on their attraction to one another. But he has his own secrets too, and their stories unravel and become all tangled up through the course of the story. You’ll meet Eli and Fiona this spring!!

Thanks so much for having me on Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews!!
Elizabeth Finn

Elizabeth FinnAbout Author
Elizabeth Finn is an Iowa native, where she lives with her husband and son. Elizabeth loves all things romance and enjoys immersing herself in the world of writing contemporary erotic romance stories. Look for more to come from Elizabeth Finn.


Amazon Author Page:

More titles by Elizabeth Finn 


                    Brother's Keeper Brother's Keeper Restoring Jordan Restoring JordanThe Devil's Pawn The Devil's Pawn

The Immortal's Series

          Immortal Protector (The Imm...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...