Blog Tour: The Art of Love by Anne Whitney-Review and Interview

Blog Tour: The Art of Love by Anne Whitney-Review and Interview

Marina Phillips has spent her entire life as her father’s victim. But enough is enough. All it took was one moment of realization to send her fleeing across the country into the unknown of New York City with no plans and no money. A new life without the constant torture is all she wants, but what she finds waiting is something she never expected.

Fitz is New York’s premiere playboy artist. Sexy, tattooed, and coveted by women and men alike, his performances are heralded as the coming of a new god of modern art. But when Marina wanders into his show, she becomes the inadvertent piece he’s always waited for – a girl to sculpt, to change, and to craft in his own image.

She never expects to fall head over heels into the world of parties, drag queens, agents, and artists craving for her and her benefactor. She didn’t even expect to begin falling in love with someone like Fitz, the sexy, pretentious man of her nightmares.

Above all, Marina never expects her father to stage a cross-country mission to paint her as a kidnapped girl taken by a psychopath.

With her life on the line, Marina has no choice but to accept Fitz’s proposal – change everything she is, inside and out, for the chance to start anew. But Marina has plans of her own. Plans that will rock her world forever.
This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

As many of you know, I have a huge love for new adult books. Something about them is just so awesome, and this was definitely different than any one I have read yet. Even though I always love the story about the ultimate bad boy falling in love with the perfect good girl, I do enjoy a nice break from it.

Marina Phillips has just escaped from horrible life from her tyrant father, and she happened to escape to the busiest place on the planet, New York City, with absolutely no money or place to stay. She then meets Fitz, a performance artist, while in the middle of one of his infamous naked performances.  He, along with his friends Viridian and Derek, offer Marina a place to stay. When suddenly the whole country is searching for Marina, she is transformed into Mary, a hip girl with confidence. Will her new disguise be enough to stay away from her father forever?

Marina had a ghastly life growing up. Her father basically hated her and treated her like a slave. Because of this, she is a very sheltered girl, making it hard for her to be in the real world. I just felt so bad for her having everything thrust at her at once. I do admire her strength through everything she’s been through. I didn’t understand some of her reservations at being in a relationship with Fitz. I was confused by her reasoning at times, but I’m glad she found who she was meant to be.

Fitz was possibly my favorite part of this book. It was hard to wrap my mind around the fact that he let a complete stranger live with him, but then I came to realize that it is just the kind of person he is. Quirky and strange, he’s immensely good looking and he knows it, hence being a naked performance artist. His ability to love fully was awesome, and I just loved his pretentious self a lot!

Viridian and Derek were such great additions to the story. Viridian is a struggling artist, but I loved her spirit and drive. I know a second story has been hinted at, and I’m hoping it’s hers! Derek was the funniest part of the whole story. He’s, erm, very fashionable and adorable, and he even may get his own short story!

This was a pretty fast paced book, and I read it in a couple of hours. I loved how the plot was super different from any new adult book I’ve ever read. It was a nice change. I liked the romance at times. Again, I was confused at some of the decisions that Marina made in regards to their relationship, but it all worked out in the end. I did want a little bit more steamy times.

This book is a great addition to the budding NA genre, and I’d recommend it to anyone of that age! :)

Favorite Swoon-worthy Quote: His heart is racing like mine. I open my mouth to tell him this, but he cups my cheek and our lips meet, feverish and full on. This is both exciting and frightening at the same time. I can do nothing but moan dreamily into his mouth as my body molds against Fitz, who has thrown all hesitancy out of the window and kisses me with such force that I almost forget how to think, how to breathe.
The Art of Love
Rating: 4/5 Tar Heels!

1- When did you begin writing? Why did you decide to become a writer?
I've always loved writing and telling stories but it was never something I looked at as being a viable life choice. After all, writers don't make any money unless they're Stephen King or something, right? I'm also a complete flake and have a habit of forming hugely complicated and elaborate stories in my head and never finishing them when it comes to actually writing it all down. With "The Art of Love", I found a story I really wanted to see through to the end so I pushed myself to get the job done. I'm still a little shocked that I actually managed it!

2- What was your inspiration for The Art of Love?
I'm a total modern art nerd. I love it and I love talking about it (my family and friends, not so much). I was watching a documentary one day called "Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present", which is about my favorite artist, the grandmother of performance art, and her retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. One of the performance pieces she put on was to sit in a chair in the museum for the entire 3 months of the retrospective and invite people to silently sit opposite her. I found it completely fascinating and wondered what kind of person you had to be to dedicate yourself entirely to something like that in the name of art, and what kind of person would fall in love with them. Lo and behold, Fitz and Marina were created (yep, the name choice is deliberate)! They're also inspired by Abramovic's relationship with her fellow artist and former partner Ulay. 

3- What books or authors have influenced you the most in life? 
I'm a big sci-fi nerd and one day plan to write that as well as romance so most of mu literary heroes are from that genre - Connie Willis is a big one (seriously, all you guys who think women are ruining sci-fi, get a grip and read To Say Nothing of the Dog. Also, Mary Shelley, anyone?). I also love Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. LeGuin, Douglas Adams, to name a few. Right now in NA, my current category of choice, I think Tammara Webber's writing some top notch work and really showing what NA is capable of, and my favorite romance writer is Julie James. Outside of books, I'm a huge fan of the work Gail Simone and Greg Rucka have done for comics, and the lord almighty Joss Whedon.

4-  What was the hardest part in writing The Art of Love?
Finishing it, to be honest. I'd never finished a project like this before. I'm a flake, what can I say? I'm also a huge procrastinator so working to overcome that took some practice. I really didn't want the romance to feel forced or rushed, nor did I want it to be the entire reason for the heroine's existence. Forcing myself to not take the easy route with the writing proved a challenge but luckily I have a badass editor and beta-reader who keep me going.

5- How do you begin to organize your writing process when you are starting a new project?
Lots and lots of note taking. If I don't write something down then the chances are I will forget it. I don't have a massively detailed writing plan set in stone but I keep notes of where the story's going to go and leave myself enough wriggle room in case the story spontaneously takes a new and better route. Everyone works to their own process and it's important to find your own way of doing things. 

6- Are any of your character's traits similar to you or to people you know?
I think there's a bit of me in all four of the main characters - they're all putting on different disguises to some extent and I have a habit of doing that to mask my own insecurities and worries. Not quite to the extent Marina goes, of course! They're all stuck at that point in their lives where they think they know exactly who they are and what they want but in reality are just as confused and unsure as they've always been. That's one of the reasons I really love the emergence of New Adult - we have this shiny new playground to explore that weird space between adolescence and full on adulthood where you're suddenly expected to be in charge of your life but have no idea where to start! Admit it, we all go through it. I'm still going through it! I also tend to have the same penchant for brutal honesty and candor that Viridian has, but I have much less cool hair.

7- What advice would you give to inspiring writers?
Just go for it. Find out what you want to write, how you want to write it and throw yourself into the deep end. Even if you fail a million times, it'll all help and be worth it when you finally succeed. Also read anything and everything. Not just for writing practice but as a general rule of life. 

This or That:

1- Peeta or Gale?
Peeta because I'm a sucker for a man who likes to bake.

2- Ron or Harry?
Harry - honestly, Ron isn't as well developed a character and I really didn't like the way he often treated the true BAMF of the series, Hermoine. My favorite Potter character is still Luna Lovegood. 

3- Physical book or e-copy?
Both. There's no reason why we as readers should have to choose between them. However, if one day someone makes an e-reader that occasionally sprays out the smell of paper books then I'll forever be dedicated to digital. 

4- Pen and paper or computer?
Pen and paper for spontaneously striking inspiration (always have one on you wherever you are), computer for the ability to write while watching Fringe and Buffy.

5- Rocker or nerd?
Nerd, although there's no reason why you can't be both. 

6- Beach or mountains?
Mountains. Sand irritates me and I burn very easily in the sun.

7- Cookies or brownies?
Evil choice! Depends on where they're bought or made, I guess. I make a mean chocolate brownie so I'll say that.


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